I hope you're having a great day.
I wanted to pop on here quickly to write a blog post on my pregnancy journey so far. I'm 6 months pregnant today and time is flying!
Before I get into it, I want to thank you all so very much for your kind wishes - It's such an exciting time for us - Every message & well wish genuinely means so much.
I did a Q&A on Instagram recently and loved all the questions I received. I don't want to bombard my Instagram with pregnancy 'stuff' so I thought I would share my journey so far here - That way, it's stays forever and those who are interested can hopefully read it.
The first and most popular topic I got asked about was morning sickness so here goes!
Like most other Mammy's-to-be, I had a few horrendous weeks of morning sickness.
Unfortunately I don't think there is any way of escaping it - If you're going to have it, you're going to and there's not much can cure it (I'm so sorry for any newly expecting Mum's reading this - I promise it gets better!)
For me, it was all-day kind of sickness and lasted approx 4-5 weeks (From week 6 to week 11 of my pregnancy). There are different degrees of it - Some people get it much worse than others - The most famous example being poor Kate Middleton who was admitted to hospital with it on all three pregnancies.
It's a really tough time - My advice to anyone experiencing it is:
1) Surrender to it
Stop trying to fight it. I tried to continue working as normal, going for my walks as normal but I physically wasn't able to.
When I gave in and acknowledged that I was sick (ate just what I could - mainly tea & toast and cut out walking completely), it became more bearable. It didn't cure it but it became a little easier to deal with.
If you had a tummy bug / food poisoning, you wouldn't dream of trying to work as normal, eat as normal and morning sickness (depending on how bad you have it) is the same.
2) Rest / Sleep as much as you can
It's easy for me to say this when it's my first baby (I'm sure Mammies with 2 / 3 other children at home are rolling their eyes right now!) but if you can at all, go to bed as early as possible and relax as much as you can. Sleep was the only thing that saved me.
3) Talk to someone who understands
For the first few weeks, I really wanted to keep my pregnancy news to myself. Trying to explain morning sickness to someone who hasn't experienced it before can be tricky (I was trying to explain it to my partner saying 'It's like the worst hangover ever but without any alcohol!')
Talking to my Mum really helped me. She had morning sickness with the three of us and knew exactly how I was feeling. It probably sounds strange but I took comfort in knowing that it's totally normal, most other Mammy's-to-be get it, it passes (Usually after 12 weeks) and the end result is so worth it.
You probably won't want to tell too many people at the start but if there is some one person you can confide in, then definitely do.
4) Eat small amounts of bland foods often
For the first few weeks, I couldn't stomach food - Everything looked, smelled and tasted disgusting! All I could do was eat small amounts of foods often. I found eating bland foods such as toast and crackers was the easiest way of getting food into me.
5) Other popular recommendations - Ginger / Anti-sickness bands etc
Many people recommended drinking ginger tea (or taking some form of ginger in foods / drinks), anti sickness wrist bands etc - To be totally honest, none of these things worked for me.
They worked for some of my friends so I would say, they're worth trying (I would have tried anything if I thought I would have felt better!) but they didn't help me.
Of course, it goes without saying that I would recommend visiting your GP.
They are the ones with the professional medical knowledge. This post isn't to give out medical advice - It's just to share my experience and any tips/tricks that worked for me!
'Scan Me' - Early Scan
When I found out I was expecting a baby, I almost didn't believe it - I had to see it for myself (Waiting 6/7 more weeks until my first scan sounded like torture!)
I remembered my friend telling me about an early scan she got done in Mullingar in a place called 'Scan Me' where you could go for an early scan (Anytime after 6 weeks)
I rang 'Scan Me' that day and got an appointment for the following day.
It was the most comforting thing I have ever done. I couldn't recommend it enough. They scanned the baby which for me was mind blowing. I could hear it's little heart beat, see it move (a little dot at the time!) , they told me how far I was gone (6 weeks, 2 days) and gave me my due date there and then. It cost €100 and was the best thing I did.
If you're feeling nervous or are still in disbelief like I was, then I highly recommend it. It makes everything more real and magical (And also distracts from morning sickness for a whole 20 mins)
I'm sure there are other early pregnancy scan services around the country. The one in Mullingar was closest to me but I'm sure if you google it, you will find the one closest to you.
As I mentioned earlier, everything tasted disgusting at the start but foods I definitely crave are:
- Grapes (I could eat 2 big boxes per day no problem)
- Red meat
- Sugary sweets e.g. Haribo
- The smell of dog food (Don't judge me (lol!) but every time I'm dishing out food for George, I sniff it, I'm so tempted to taste it! I never would (well I don't think so anyway) but it smells sooo good!
Foods I'm turned off:
- Salmon (I normally eat so much salmon but now it turns my stomach!)
- I went off chocolate for a while but that passed after 12 weeks - I've been making up for it since!
Other than that, I don't really have any major cravings. When my auntie was pregnant, she loved to lick coal. One of my best friends loved to chew gravel (Gravel as in stones!!) so at least dog food isn't that bad?!
I have to admit, I absolutely LOVE hearing people's cravings. Some of them are so funny (Please feel free to comment any funny cravings on this post!)
I've always loved walking, it's the only exercise I do. I've gone through phases of the gym, different types of classes etc but I never last too long at them. I always go back to my walking.
I walk 4/5 times per week (if I can). Some days, its a 20 minute walk with George, other days it can be 1-2 hours. I go any chance I get.
My doctor told me that I can walk the same as I did before I got pregnant but obviously to listen to my body. If it feels in any way too much, then take a step back.
As I mentioned earlier, when I was first pregnant, I couldn't eat much so I was quite weak - I cut out walking completely. When I hit the 12 week mark, I really began to feel normal again and started back my walking slowly but surely (10 minute walk one day, 20 min the next etc)
I'm 24 weeks now and I feel like I could walk for Ireland. My energy levels are great, I'm not too heavy yet so I'm enjoying it while I can. I'm sure in a few weeks, it will get tougher so I may not have the energy I have now but I'm going to keep going for as long as I can.
Everyone is so different. I'm sure there are people who just simply don't have the energy to talk, not to mention, walk. There are some pregnant ladies lifting weights in the gym (I can barely lift my little dog!) - everyone's ability is different.
It's important to listen to your body and always ask your GP for advice.
Maternity Clothes - What I've bought so far
Spanx 'Mama' Leggings
If you follow me on Instagram, you will know I live in Spanx leggings. I wear them almost every single day - dressy or casual.
When I was around 10 weeks pregnant, I noticed them getting a little tight in the evenings or after a big dinner. I decided to buy the 'Mama' version i.e. the maternity version and just like the normal ones, I have lived in them everyday since. The maternity Spanx are almost identical to the normal ones - The only difference is they have an elasticated waistband which expands with bump and should last the whole way through. They're super comfortable on.
Most of the tops I wear to work or at the weekends are big fitting/loose. I hate wearing anything too tight day-to-day so I've been getting away with what I have so far and haven't really bought much.
My Mum is trying to get me to buy a few tops - She's telling me, I will wake up one day and nothing in my wardrobe will fit me, lol!
I find shopping in store impossible for maternity wear so online is the only way to go. I bought these two tops from H&M online. They're loose fitting and super comfortable - Very plain and simple but they wash perfectly (Oh god, I'm sounding like such a Mammy already!)
Sportsgear / Walking gear
When I'm not wearing my Spanx leather leggings, I'm in my H&M maternity sports ones. They were €9.99 - Perfect for walking and day-to-day wear. You really can't go wrong with them.
Underwear & Pyjamas
Again, when I was shopping on H&M for tops, I picked up some maternity underwear and pyjamas. They're both so comfortable. I have found H&M the best website for this kind of thing - Super cheap and quality is perfect.
Other than those items, I haven't purchased any other maternity clothes.
Maternity dresses for Weddings / Special Occasions
Up until now, I've been sizing up in normal dresses for special occasions (You can see photos of me & bump at a recent dinner dance, a wedding etc on my Instagram)
I'm 24 weeks now and I'm not sure that I will get away with that any longer - Bump is getting a little too big. If I size up two or three sizes, the dress fits the bump but the shoulders/hips end up being too big so it's just not working out!
Here are a few names of places for maternity dresses that people have sent to me:
If you have any other recommendations for maternity Wedding Guest dresses, pleeeeeease let me know, I'm dying to discover new brands and will be sure to share!
If you want to treat yourself (Pregnant or not), try out reflexology!
Rachelle, one of my friends has a gorgeous beauty salon 'Embodyment' in Carrick-on-Shannon, Leitrim. I'm embarrassed to say, I didn't know she did reflexology until two weeks ago when she invited me in to try it out. OMG, it is amazing - Sooo relaxing. When I came out, I felt like I was walking on air! It's really such a treat.
I just quickly google searched the benefits of Reflexology during pregnancy;
'Reflexology is very relaxing and can help with stress related symptoms. Most women sleep well following a treatment and many report a sense of wellbeing. Although relaxing many women report feeling energised. Other benefits include help with headaches, constipation, backache and symphasis pubis pain. Reflexology is known to be accumulative and has shown to help prevent postnatal depression.'
Beauty & Skincare Products
To be totally honest, I really don't mind if I get stretch-marks or not. Obviously I would prefer not to but if I do, I do. So far, I've been using Bio-Oil and Pregnacare stretch mark cream on my bump. I don't have any yet (I don't think) but I'm sure over the next 16 weeks, I will get them. I remember Dr Doireann O'Leary saying on her Instagram that stretch marks are pretty much genetic - If your Mum got them, chances are you will too.
As long as bump arrives healthy and happy, I'll sacrifice a few marks on my tummy!
I visited an amazing skin specialist; Jen Brennan (Her Instagram page is 'skin_therapy_ireland) a few months ago. Jen took an in-depth look into my skin and advised on what products I should use which best suit my skin.
I am very fortunate in that my skin is quite 'normal' - a little dry in places, a little oily in others but overall, pretty ok. I get spots from time to time but nothing to panic about.
The products that Jen recommended for me are ones which contain very little ingredients - Only whats necessary i.e. no perfumes or harsh ingredients.
Jen also kept my skincare routine as simple as possible. Before this, I used to use eye creams, toners, serums this, serums that etc - I was basically using wayyyy too much product on my face and most of which was highly perfumed.
Here's what I'm using now:
When pregnant, it's advisable to stay away from skincare products which contain Vitamin A. Our skin can change so much during pregnancy and everyone's skin is so different - It's best to see a specialist if you can.
What I've bought for the baby
When it comes to being organised, I'm not going to lie, I'm very bad. Everything is last minute with me so I'm a little embarrassed to say, I haven't really bought much yet.
There's a few people I follow online who are due around the same time as me and they have all their baby stuff (buggys, cots etc) ages ago so I probably should get started?!
I get a bit bamboozled with everything everyone is telling me to buy and not to buy! I think we just need to sit down and make a list. One day should sort it, right?!
I think that's most of the topics covered so far. I'm so excited for the next few months. As my bump gets bigger, it's beginning to get more real.
If you're on Instagram, be sure to follow my page - My username is 'jenniferwrynne'
I'll continue to share what I buy for the baby and all the maternity style.