What was your favourite part of being pregnant?
I loved being pregnant the first time around. My favourite part was feeling the little one kick and the overwhelming sense of calm I felt throughout. Fast forward 16 months, I’m 23 weeks pregnant with our second and things couldn’t be more different. I’m knackered, huge and have given up waiting for the damn pregnancy bloom to reach me! Therefore, I’ve resigned myself to the fact that this is just the way it is this time, invested in a good fake tan (a bit of colour always makes you feel better and hides a multiple of sins) and decided to enjoy taking it easy whenever I get chance. One thing that hasn’t changed though is that feeling the little one kick makes you feel amazing no matter what you’re wearing, how bad your skin is or how sore your Dolly Parton esqueboobs are.
What was the worst bit about being pregnant?
Morning sickness is hell and so bloody cruel as it happens at the time when you are not supposed to tell anyone you’repregnant. Therefore, as well as feeling like death warmed up you then have to add the pressure of pretending that you’re on top of the world – total torture! I also missed not being able to enjoy a glass or five of vino with my hubby and was horrified when I attempted to dance at a friend’s wedding and instead looked more like a Weeble on ice, not a good look!
Did you develop any strange cravings or strong aversions to anything?
During both pregnancies I have had an unhealthy obsession with cheeseburgers, in particular when washed down with a full fat, ice cold can of Coke (It had to be a can or in a glass bottle no plastic nonsense OR ELSE) Oh and copious amounts of fizzy Haribo , yes just call me the perfect vision of pregnancy health! Luckily both times this craving stopped after the first twelve weeks.
Did you find out the sex of your baby before the birth? If so, why?
No, we kept it as surprise and despite my early “tell me all” urges during this second pregnancy we have gone for waiting until the big day to find out.
Would you say that you got the birth that you wanted? If not, why?
Yes, right up until the epidural stopped working and it was then all downhill to a world of terror from there on in.
What are your overriding feelings about the birth?
TOTALLY SHOCKING! I am still scarred by the experience 16 months on and dreading the birth of our second due in August. Hindsight is definitely not a blessing and I am now longing for the bliss of ignorance you have going into the birth of your first.
Did anything shock or surprise you about pregnancy, birth or after? Is there something you wish that someone had told you?
I was so bloody smug and calm before the birth of my little girl. I’d read all the books, kept in shape and felt totally prepared! Therefore, it was a complete shock when I got out the other side and started to deal with things no one had warned me about and which hadn’t featured in any of the books I’d read religiously!
From dealing with all the downright disgusting things you have to go through as a new mum (the post baby poo, never ending blood loss, swollen bits, sweating like a pig e.t.c e.t.c.),the changes it has on the relationships in your life to how the state of your post baby vagina seems to be the topic of conversation regardless of where you are or who you’re with. I was left totally reeling by all the stuff I hadn’t been told, let alone even heard about. I therefore, started to write about all my experiences in a very frank and honest tone and hence my book The Baby Bible: A No Bullshit Guide to Motherhood was born! Once I wrote a few chapters I started to send it out to fellow mums and mums to be and after the amazing response I got from them, I realised I wasn’t the only one after a straight talking, no bullshit look at motherhood.
I am currently working on the book and launching the No Bullshit Mum Revolution. I am recruiting straight talking mums to the website, Twitter and Facebook page to come and share their experiences and opinions NO JUDGEMENT! You can find out more by popping in to see me and other like- minded mums at www.the-baby-bible.com, follow the No Bullshit Mum Revolution on Twitter @thebabybible and come and join the closed Facebook Group by emailing your email address to Olivia@the-baby-bible.com The more straight talking, no bullshit mums the merrier!
How much weight did you gain and did you find it easy to lose?
I gained 11 kilos with my first pregnancy and found that a lot of hard work was the only way to shift it afterwards. Shaun Tthe Insanity legend/torture master, was the cause of a hell of a lot of post pregnancy pain!
Did you exercise during your pregnancy?
I exercised like a woman possessed the first time arounddetermined to do all I could to stay in shape to help aide the whole crazy notion of “bouncing back” after the birth! Yes, I brought into the media hype and pregnancy pressure of getting back into my skinny jeans before my newborn was in the next size nappies – PAH! What a load of bullshit. I’m happy to say that, now pregnant with my second and feeling totally nailed, the only thing I’m buying into is putting my feet up whenever I get chance (rare with a 16 month old little diva but total bliss when the opportunity arises), having that extra slice of cake if I fancy it (as your body ends up looking like rubbish regardless) and generally taking off all the ridiculous pressures I placed on myself to be a beautiful, blooming social butterfly who attended as many social things as possible to keep up the pretence that when your heavily pregnant you can still do all the same things your pre pregoself did.
Has your body changed in ways that you dislike? If so, do you want to do anything about this?
I think it is crazy to think that any woman is going to be happy with what that find facing them in the mirror post baby, no matter how many downward dogs, complex squats or swimming sessions they have done during the nine months. It is a bitter pill to swallow when you realise that things are not quite in the same place as before and that just when you are atyour most exhausted you have to then muster up the strength to a) give a damn about what you look like and b) work your ass off to get back to anything like what you resembled before. Then add into the mix the thought that just as you get back to any form of normal size you will probably be jumping back on the pro creation train and putting your poor body and vagina through it all again. Hardly inspiration for hitting the gym!
I was terrified pre-birth of my bits being stretched beyond recognition and having to resign myself to a life of Tenaladies, therefore, I was obsessed with doing my pelvic floor exercises throughout my pregnancy and after she arrived. THANK GOD I did is all I can say. The relief I felt when I could sneeze post birth without having to change my pants,more than made up for the fact that I had a long way to go to get rid of the extra lumps and bumps that had taken up camp on my body.
Did you attend any antenatal classes and what were your thoughts on them?
I must admit the idea of antenatal classes filled me with dread after hearing horror stories of you and your partner having to visualise your vaginal passage, so this was something I was not really looking forward to. However, I had my first daughter in France and my French Drs attitude was that they were a waste of time so that was the end of any sessions for me. I therefore, have to thank the Midwives and brave ladies from One Born Every Minute who provided me with everything I needed to know and quite a lot of info that I didn’t want to know about giving birth!
What one piece of advice would you pass on to a pregnant friend?
Don’t put up with any pregnancy bullshit from others about, what you should be doing, how you should be feeling or how you should be looking. If anyone dares tell you “Well you’re not ill, you’re just pregnant” give them a quick, sharp kick in the groin and remind yourself that if you felt as ill as you do during those first twelve weeks of pregnancy at any other time of your life and for that length of time you would be checking yourself in to the nearest A&E until they found out what the hell was wrong with you. Another one high up on my “stupid statements to ignore at all costs list” is how people love to tell you that just because you’re pregnant you should “carry on as normal and not be precious about yourself!” Dear God you are growing a tiny human. Yes, actual tiny hands and toes and a brain all for someone else. There is nothing normal about that. Most importantly you and your body are singlehandedly helping to continue the human race. Therefore, you are bloodyprecious and should be treated as such. To hell with anyone who thinks otherwise and has the nerve to say it to you!
Do you have any fashion or beauty tips to share with other pregnant women?
Ditch the skinny wardrobe as soon as those jeans start to feel a bit too cosy! There is nothing more depressing and infuriating then trying to get ready and only having things that don’t fit you to hand. Instead, banish any of your normal sized, now muffin top creating clothes out of sight and only have outfits that fit you comfortably and make you feel less like a chubby checker. Do this and you will be guaranteed to lower your hatred levels for your wardrobe and cut your getting ready time by at least 10 hrs! Oh and BACK away from the scales. You are carrying a small human around with you, therefore,you are going to put on weight, you don’t need to remind yourself of how much you’re gaining every single day. No good can come of it!
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