I’m over halfway to meeting our little one and here’s what I couldn’t do without
So I’m pregnant. And actually we’re over halfway to meeting our baby and the whole thing is C-R-A-Z-Y. It’s both all we can think about, but just doesn’t feel real at the same time; by the end of the summer there will be a new little human living with us and we are so, so excited to meet them and hug them and kiss them and prod their little tiny feet and I’m not sure how I will ever get anything done ever again. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions with one day me grumbling about heartburn and missing eating massive meals and the next day crying at the thought of just how cute it will be to watch them sing in the school play (yes I will be one of those mums who cries at everything). The only way I can describe it is that it feels like as your belly grows, your heart does too. I’ve got a lot of love to give right now people!
There’s a lot to say, but this blog and all my social channels have always been a mix of things that I love and/or are going on in my life – so expect to see some baby bits sprinkled around with the usual style, beauty, book, organisation, general life content. Today I thought I’d share the bits – both material and emotional-boosting – that have really helped over the past 20+ weeks…
THE PRACTICAL THINGS
A Gigantic Water Bottle*. This was perhaps my first proper pregnancy purchase. Everything I was reading was stressing the importance of getting enough liquid down you throughout the whole thing, and although I did a decent-ish job of drinking
water squash (fun fact: I have gone off squash – WHO AM I!?), I thought the best way to ensure that I keep on top of it was to invest in a mahoosive bottle. I’d recommend one with a straw so it’s easy to sip from during the night and one that’s insulated so it stays nice and cold and refreshing.
Chantelle Soft Stretch Thongs*. I replaced the entirety of my underwear drawer last year and although I didn’t buy these with the prime idea that ‘These will be fab when I get pregnant!‘, it was definitely at the back of my mind. They are a one-size fits all style which I usually raise an eyebrow at, but the stretch in them is undeniable and so far they have been so utterly comfortable and accommodating of my constantly changing body type. Will I have stretched them out to a point that they won’t go back after pregnancy? Perhaps. But we’ll cross that bridge when it comes to it, because right now they are heaven.
bbhug me Pregnancy Pillow*. I don’t think I have one Mum friend who didn’t recommend this pillow and I think I ended up getting one when I was about six weeks pregnant because I just could not sleep at that point in my pregnancy. Whilst it’s been an absolute gigantic thing that I had to remember to hide whenever I shot a video, I have to say that it has become my bean bag best friend. I don’t use it in the typical way yet – between your legs and leant on as you side sleep – but I prop it up into a v and put it behind my neck to hug my shoulders as I side sleep. It’s been great at propping me up as the acid reflux is REAL and it’s great for watching TV in the evenings and reading, as well as sleeping.
Lululemon HR Align Pants*. Lockdown has meant that although I’ve been pretty socially isolated (and seriously what I would have done in those early days to be dozing on my parents sofa and fed my Mum’s freshly baked cakes!), it’s meant that I haven’t really had to wear ‘proper’ clothes. Do I wear leggings or joggers most days? Absolutely. I purchased my favourite style of leggings in a high-rise fit, a size bigger than usual early on and they have been GREAT so far. You just can’t beat the feel and coolness of the fabric and the extra fabric at the waist has meant that for now they fit quite nicely over my bump. Plus I’m guessing they’ll come in pretty handy post-birth too.
Susanne Kaufmann Stretch Mark Oil*. I would say I got to about 12 weeks without a smidge of a stretch mark and then my boobs completely exploded and now they are stretch mark central and I look like a boob job ‘after’ photo. I’ve used various different lotions and potions since day dot, but I would say that this one seems to help make my stretch marks less red and angry. It seems like stretch marks are genetic thing, so although slathering on oil might not stop them altogether, this one smells lush, feels nice and sinks in quickly and leaves my skin feeling really soft and supple.
Pregnancy+ App. There are so many apps you can use and I say go for it. Especially in the early days I found learning about the changes that were happening inside my body to be extremely comforting. This one is my favourite because week on week it gives you an actual size representation on your phone of what the baby looks like. I remember being so excited to get to week 9 because by that week it starts to resemble an actual baby, and then week 16 because then the baby filled the whole screen. Like I know it’s not my actual baby that I’m looking at, but it feels like it. I also liked this one because it didn’t talk about morning sickness every damn day like some of the others did.
Maude + Mrytle Nausea Products. Speaking of which, morning sickness was a huge stumbling block for me and one of the reasons why I just haven’t felt ready to try to have a baby before. I thankfully had it pretty easy during my first trimester which I’ve thanked my lucky stars for repeatedly, but I got myself prepared just incase with some of their Morning Sickness Vitamin B6 Pregnancy Bon Bons, which are basically mini chunks of Kendall mint cake. In the moments that I did feel a bit peaky I liked to have these on hand and found that either these or a Softmint (or a whole pack) did the trick. You know me – I like to be prepared.
SHOP THE EDIT*
Talking to Friends. Chatting to women who have gone through this is perhaps the most integral thing that has helped me keep my head (mostly!) screwed on during this. I actually don’t know what I would do without having friends who already have kids to message basically everyday; asking for advice, sending photos of ridiculously cute and probably wildly impractical baby clothes, or just a note to say that I hadn’t passed a bowel movement for the third day in a row and do I need to start eating dates. If there isn’t anyone in your life who has kids then ask around and get in contact – even if it’s a general acquaintance that you haven’t connected with in yonks. Finding women who are due around the same time as me has been so fun and it’s just nice to have people to talk to who are like ‘SAAAAAAME‘, when all I want to talk about is my strawberry cravings.
Pregnancy Vlogs. I swear the online algorithm is informed the moment you wee on a stick and get two lines because from that moment be prepared for your Instagram explore page to be full of babies, your YouTube recommended feed to be packed with pregnancy vlogs and for everything single ad you receive to be for baby products. IT’S INSANE. The most helpful of all of these things though definitely were the pregnancy vlogs. I am particularly in love with Charlotte Louise Taylor’s because she gives off major super kind and gentle big sister vibes and the ones she does for Channel Mum always made me cry – especially in the early days. It’s nice to keep up to date with things on the apps, but it’s even nicer to have a real person account of all the changes too.
Streamlining Advice. Google is both a wonderful thing and perhaps THE WORST thing when it comes to pregnancy – you can find every and any scenario on there and it’s easy to get sucked into a hole that proves your theory to a tee. Mark is a rational ol’ soul and whenever I found myself knee-deep in tabs, he would pull me out and suggest that I keep my reading to official resources, like NHS pregnancy advice, Tommy’s or What To Expect. Advice comes at you left, right and centre from friends and family and when that happens I listen, head to my resources and try to make up my own mind from there.
Keep a List of Questions. Although midwife appointments are pretty few and far between in the first half of pregnancy, I found it a good idea to keep a running list of questions on the notes app on my phone. Whenever something popped into my head – if it wasn’t an emergency and I didn’t need an answer immediately – then I added it to the list. Super helpful, because otherwise at the appointments that you do have I could 100% guarantee that I wouldn’t remember even one of them. The pregnancy brain is real people!
So there you have it – by the end of summer they’ll be a new member to the Newton household and although we still can’t quite get our heads around it – there’s an actual baby human inside of me?!? – we’re over the moon. And finally I can stop breathing in every time a camera is out. Win, win all round! Sending all the good vibes to those on their own fertility and pregnancy journeys – you’ve got this.
Photos by Mark Newton