Aside from the extreme fatigue, sickness and on occasion; crippling pain there were many times in my pregnancy that I felt truly blissful. I was thankful every day that I woke up to jolly kicks and every day passed was a little bit more of a relief (though sadly I had learned from my last pregnancy that there really is no “safe point” as I may have previously, naively assumed- 12 week scan most probably & 20 week scan… that I took so much for granted!!!)
Obviously the happiest times were the scans. Being consultant lead I had 4 extra reassurance scans and each time it is confirmed there is a heartbeat yours can finally slow. I loved watching this developing little human grow stronger. One of the scans she was being her utterly Diva self and would not position herself for a clear scan. The sonographer has to bring out what looked like a comedy, over-sized wedge of cheese to put under my hips to prop me into a suitable scanning position. Dignity certainly goes out the window during pregnancy… and let’s not even go there about the utterly indecent exposure & some in labour!
At the 12 week scan I was taken aback by how similar this scan was to Mylo’s scan. Only; this baby was slighter and my suspicions about Team Pink were confirmed then and there in my mind. We have both our children’s scans on our mantle piece & what is lovely is that they are facing each other. It brings me so much pride to see them both together- my two biggest accomplishments in life.
I know people have their opinions about the reliability of Dopplers (blah blah blah) but I found great comfort in putting it to my swelling belly and hearing the sounds of a healthy, happy baby. We even took the Doppler on our travels to New York over Christmas and one of my most treasured video clips is the sound of Bea’s heartbeat as the camera pans over the streets below & snow is falling. By the December I had really started to feel less anxiety about the pregnancy.
Below are some of my top moments with accompanying pics. I wanted to do everything possible to capture the full spectrum of joy.
12th Jan 2018- The Gender Reveal of Dreams!
We all looked at the screen on this third scan and marveled at the perfectly forming little person, flipping and posing as of practiced for this exact moment! I was just ecstatic that there was nothing untoward in the scan. My hubby and I left the scan room to collect pay for the scan pictures whilst my Mother remained in the room to giddily find out the gender of her second beloved grandchild. I think it was as important to her to be involved in the gender reveal process to keep looking forward positively. Like myself, she is a lady who’s mind is always buzzing so she enjoyed having my gender reveal to focus on. She would not like to admit it perhaps but she is one of the finest hosts in the land!
It was a really exciting part of the pregnancy journey because I involved family and friends leading up to the reveal by getting them to predict the gender of our second child. It was very interesting to see the split turning out practically 50/50. It begs the question as to what makes this little person who they are and what characteristics are used from a picture to predict the gender.
Have you ever had people successfully predict your babies gender? Do you believe in the old wives tales? I found that this pregnancy was completely different from the start to Mylo’s I KNEW I was growing my little girly sidekick.
For two days my Mum busied herself with setting up our childhood home with an intricate reveal. There were balloons… so…many balloons that were just perfect. For these two days she was the only person who was certain of our babies gender. I can only imagine what a difficult secret it was to keep. There were no hints dropped even when I probed. This usually open book of a woman was very closed as others’ gender predictions continued pouring in and noted on our makeshift tally chart!
I picked a dress that made me feel confident. It just so happened it incorporated both blue & pink (this was accidental on my part but certainly added to the decoration littered around the living room. The whole reveal was rather theatrical (certainly up my street though I think something that was not necessarily a comfort zone for my poor Husband who was dragged into the high jinx along with my little sister!!!) The reveal was not an event atended by guests as I knew that this time I wanted to throw a Baby Shower. One person can not host too many events! So I settled my nerves and went “Facebook Live” to document the evening. It seemed to be a massive hit. My Mum had managed to keep it engaging. The main event was triumphant. My Husband and I stood beneath a huge, blacked out balloon. Inside; contained glittery bits in the colour to represent the baby inside me. There were two boxes in front of my Husnand and I. One box contained a balloon with the words “It’s A…”, but we didn’t which box held our exciting news.
On a countdown we both opened our respective box and my sister popped the balloon above us so there was a flurry of PINK as the “It’s A Girl” balloon flew out and our future was confirmed. I was an emotional wreck but (almost) kept it together enough to sign off from my live Facebook session, closely followed by an audience, larger than expected. The outpouring of love was incredible and I was so pleased that I had correctly predicted who was growing away inside me. That was two for two! It just solidifies the fact that Mother’s have a deep routed awareness of themselves and such a strong link to their child that serves as almost a metaphorical umbilical cord throughout their connected lives!
The gender reveal meant that we could really start planning our future as a family. Following the shock, tears and elation I figured that I would start getting practical about the situation and start buying in clothes that were not just gender neutral and planning the nursery scheme!
I have included the video of the reveal. It is a rather lengthy video and was much more exciting when it was streaming live. I have been thinking about this post and my abridged pregnancy and the point of the reveal ended up being the halfway point through my pregnancy!
31st March 2018 – Baby Shower- Let them Eat Cake!
I was starting to feel large and less in charge of my own body but I was past the point of “V Day” (or “Viability Day” – post 24 days which is one point that an Angel Parent like myself can breathe a small sigh of relief as my little girl would be recognised as her own little person & in medical terms was now a full fledged baby!) So this was another excuse to celebrate.
Having thrown one I am certainly a proponent of Baby Showers- why not eh? I was going to celebrate as much as possible! (See post on “10 ReasonsBaby Shower’s are a Great Idea.”) Again my Mum opened up her home to a cascade of beautiful, amazing, Goddesses on Earth who came baring gifts in arms and so much love in their hearts. I was humbled & blown away by the turn out as childhood friends mixed with family members, new friends chatted to old family friends and work colleagues mixed with friends I had drifted apart from but had made the effort to be part of my new life as a Mummy.
My heart swelled with pride as all my favourite people opened themselves up to meeting new people and being a little bit silly for the day… my theme was Unicorns (we had set up a makeshift photo booth full of unicorn props!!) and we played two games; one that could have been very hit or miss called “Dirty Nappies” where we had to guess what fully edible food item had been smooshed into a nappy representing the full spectrum of baby Pops to come- including full Poo-Nado!! Some were indeed very realistic!
The day was more successful than I had ever imagined it would be, it was pretty much an open house event so people dropped in as they were able to which made it a really relaxed experience. I hadn’t really set an end point but said people could leave when they wanted… good job there was no end time as people stayed way past any time I would have imagined which was amazing.
One of the highlights of the event was my gorgeous Unicorn Nappy Cake. I refused to deconstruct it for ages as it was truly a work of art, but it literally contained EVERYTHING I would every need for my baby girl. It was a hard day when we had been home from the hospital for a few days and it came to the time to unravel the glorious creation as we needed to retrieve baby items!
The event was a perfect fusion of remembrance and nods to Mylo where possible, celebration & silliness. I wore a unicorn horn with purple tupee for the majority of the day so it was never going to be a normal event!
If you ever wish to host a Unicorn Baby Shower here are a few ideas below in the form of photos from my day:
11th April – Maternity Photoshoot- Feel like a Goddess!
In my time of adversity I was blessed with the most lovely people coming into my life because they had been moved by Mylo’s story. It made me remember that mostly the world is a wonderful place and at the core people are good. I forgot how many people had me in their thoughts and cared about me.
This was made obvious by the nominations for a Facebook Competition to win a Maternity Photoshoot with the wonderful Rachel Harris of Ruby Lights Portraits in Plymouth who is an expert at empowering her women subjects and making them feel ruddy glorious!! So thanks to my lovely friends who wanted me to feel beautiful and lift my spirits I won, as towards the end of the pregnancy I was feeling really deflated and as if I was losing myself!
Rachel drapes you in finery, guides you through posing to show your best angles (I wasn’t sure I even had any & I knew I was rather awkward with my body and posing but Rachel was so patient with me!) then produces the most beautiful quality images I have ever seen. I had been stalking… I mean perusing the Facebook page whilst I grew fatter & fatter and wondered if I too could look Bumpy and beautiful.
I was elated to find out I would get to feel like Gaia or another Goddess for the afternoon and play “dress up” for a purpose. I am a fan of all things regal, Lacey, glittery & whimsical so all the dresses I got to wear ticked all the boxes. I was so worried that I wouldn’t fit in the dress section as I have always had trouble finding clothes to fit my bizarre body shape (plus sized but short as I have never broken the height of 5ft!!!) and the previous images I had seen were of beautiful, skinny and taller women who clearly didn’t need any help to look good!
I needn’t have worried as all four of the dresses fitted me as if they were tailored for just me! This confirms to me that Rachel truly is some sort of magical being and the dresses are from a Far Away Fairy Tale Land. With my hair and makeup professionally applied and preened I was already feeling the most beautiful… neigh sexy that I had felt in a long, long time. I was truly glowing and Rachel made pregnancy look ethereal and effortless.
There was the opportunity to really have fun on the set and I didn’t stop laughing for the afternoon & I was able to be myself and forget about anything that came before and anything that was to come and just be in the moment living my best life! If only I had been able to feel like this version of Amber the whole way through pregnancy, I thought to myself as the gigantic fan blew my glorious lose curls and I flipped my hair, posed like a pro (under constant guidance because my hand would often look “claw-like” instead of soft! Soft is one word that can not be used to describe me in any sense so holding my body in an aesthetically pleasant way was quite challenging!!) and made memories with what I now could see was a beautiful Bump for years to come.
It was timed perfectly as just five days after the shoot, Beatrice came into the world and my Bump was no more! If you have the opportunity to do so I would highly recommend investing in a Maternity Shoot as it serves to remind you just how beautiful this moment in time is. Until I saw the pictures come back I had not realised quite how prominent my Bump was and was always saying that I wanted more from my Bump, for it to really protrude but from the images I think we can all agree that I was ruddy HUGE! No wonder Littme Miss Bea was ready to come into the world!
So these were a snapshot of my most precious moments of pregnancy. What I hope can be taken away from this post by other Mums-To-Be is to take every opportunity you can to celebrate this wonderful creation inside. You are doing an amazing job and you deserve to be
a) looked after
b) feel loved & maybe most importantly
c) feel beautiful!
Live Bea’s Mummy x