Thursday, September 11, 2014

Bumpin'... 36 Weeks and Hope


We're getting closer little Pecan. Closer to the day we will meet you and we're full of hope that your journey will be a safe one.

You're most active during the night time... A sign of things to come perhaps? You enjoy being rocked in my belly, I imagine you sleeping as my body sways from side to side during my late morning 'waddle' along the golden shores of the beach.

This week we made a new friend, Sarah. Sarah is four and friendly, oh so friendly. She loves our dog because Coco plays with her dog, Bailey. Sarah also likes to hold my hand and race us back to her parents. I don't need to let her win because she's fast, much faster than a 36 weeks pregnant woman.

Sarah enjoys talking about her playgroup, the movie Frozen and her little brother, Jimmy.

+++

It's surprising to think I will be full term by the end of this week. At times I feel like I have been pregnant for what feels like forever. I struggle to remember what it feels like to not have this swollen belly. My legs and arms are larger, my loose jeans are now a snug fit and my hair is thicker and healthier than it has ever been.

I'm aware that you still have some time to develop little Pecan and could continue your water journey for another five weeks. We're ready for you whenever you choose to join us.

Love Mama xxx

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

My Best Friend


Byron

He's the witness to this little life we share together. He's my surfing buddy, my informal masseur, my friend in time of need, my personal chef and my most trusted companion. Together we're embarking on a rather exciting and somewhat scary new chapter in our lives and I wouldn't want anyone else by my side to share it.

For all the silly arguments, wine haze-filled nights out during our earlier years and daily stresses, we have grown together and our friendship is as strong as the tiny heart beat that pumps from deep within my belly.

Thank you for making me congee when I have been ill, for sitting beside me during every trip to the hospital, for holding my hand during that frightening plane ride to Tioman Island, for convincing me to adopt that cheeky rescue puppy, for marrying me in front of our closest friends and family and for sharing my thirst for travel, adventure and love.

You're my best friend.

Love Bella xx

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Natural Foot Care During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the hormones relaxin and progesterone assist to prepare women for childbirth by relaxing ligaments. These hormones also act on the ligaments of the hips and feet, which can make us susceptible to pain and injury.

Excessive weight gain, hormonal changes, diet, exercise, warmer weather and changes to your centre of gravity can all contribute to foot pain and swelling (oedema, or fluid retention).


Here are few helpful tips for the first time mamas-to-be to care for your tootsies. Everyone else can benefit too!

Foot care during Pregnancy:

- Walk barefoot in the sand- it's a natural exfoliant
- Elevate your feet when you can to reduce the risk/ effects of swelling, particularly in the afternoon
- Cool your feet in the sea for ten minutes after exercising
- Moisturise and massage your feet and legs after showering. I use coconut oil and spend a couple of minutes at the end of each day to gently massage my feet (I also use the same oil on my bump)
- Some of my friends have suggested support stockings to assist to reduce swelling and the formation of varicose veins
- Roll your feet over a bottle or rolling pin as you sit if you have trouble reaching them
- Check your feet daily for any signs of cracked skin or neglect and address it immediately
- Avoid a high salt diet, which can increase the risk of swelling
- Wear comfortable, well-fitted shoes that support you
- Keep toenails short (use clippers)
- Avoid excessive weight gain (yes, consider the pressure on your poor feet if you find yourself reaching for an unhealthy snack. A healthy diet is always best)
- Limit your consumption of fried foods and chocolate
- Eat fresh cucumber. I love to blend cucumber into my cool, raw vegetable and fruit smoothies (yum!)
- Take care of your feet and posture with flat-soled shoes (no heels)
- Drink plenty of fresh water. Contrary to what you might think, keeping hydrated will not increase swelling in lower extremities
- Avoid alcohol, tobacco and caffeine (this one almost goes without saying...)
- Avoid standing for prolonged periods and circulate your feet and ankles if seated for extended periods of time, particularly if you sit at work. It's best to get up and move around if you can
- Consult your medical professional if you notice sudden or excessive swelling during pregnancy as this may be sign of a more serious condition, such as preeclampsia
- Enjoy gentle, regular exercise, such as walking and yoga. Avoid running and high impact sports during the third trimester, particularly if you are new to these types of activities
- Drink up to two cups of dandelion leaf tea daily. It has a gentle diuretic effect and is safe to consume during pregnancy
- Have your partner or friend gently massage your feet at the end of the day. It's a wonderful way to indulge and relax, naturally.


Sure, you may find it more difficult to buckle your sandals or slide on your socks and boots but trust me- a little extra foot care goes a long way and really helps you to maintain your comfort during these last months.

Any other foot care tips? Please share in the comments below!

Bella xx

Monday, August 11, 2014

Bumpin'... 34 Weeks with New Friends


One sunny morning during my 34th week of pregnancy as I collected the newspaper from our front lawn, I met Hal. Hal's an elderly man who lives around the corner. He walks a young, playful two year old black Labrador named Mindy. She's about as sweet as Labs come, with a gentle nature and flapping tail. Hal asked how long we had to wait until we meet little Pecan and was surprised when I answered, just over five weeks. He laughed and said, 'Are you sure you haven't got two in there?'.

It was wonderful to hear those words as I had been a little concerned in previous weeks that Pecan may be on the small side. I needn't have felt so concerned as this baby is growing as expected and I've begun to fill out more myself (hello breasts!). My favourite torn jeans feel tighter around my legs than last week and I'll soon need to fold them away in favour of stretchy yoga pants. I love being pregnant in the cooler months.

The rest of the day was spent washing Pecan's cloth nappies in preparation for his/ her arrival. Next week we'll wash all of the baby clothes as I continue to brainstorm items to stockpile for birthing.

I can really feel this nesting urge to prepare, scrub, polish and purge my life of unwanted or unneeded clutter. I'm also cooking more too, if only my energy would last beyond 7pm...

Bella xx

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Bumpin'... 32 Weeks Filled with Love and Friendship


I love it when friends come to stay. In my 32nd week of pregnancy, this sweet girl, Kailee and her beautiful husband, Lachlan came to share a long weekend with us at the beach house.

It was the first time their little dog, Laramie (named after the American town in which they met) had ever seen the beach. He bounded along the shore, splashing about with our little Coco, his energy catching.

On one hazy morning, where the sea salt hung thick in the air we had a pancake cook-off. Kailee's tantalising orange and almond pancakes impressed the judges (Lachlan and myself) for a narrow win over Byron's strawberry and banana offerings.

We slept in each day, a true seaside holiday where this 32 week pregnant mama could relax in comfort with dear friends. The greatest highlight for me was seeing my friends, who travelled such a long distance by car. Though the duration of their stay felt more like a heartbeat than four glorious sun-soaked winter days, I am grateful that we could bask in the warm winter sunlight. She, 19 weeks pregnant with their first baby and I, 32 weeks pregnant with ours.

What greater joy than to experience this life-giving time with my dear friend at the very same time that she is expecting. I am so pleased they allowed us to take some maternity photos down by the shore. If I manage to catch up with my own pregnancy posts, I will be sure to share Kailee and Lachlan's gorgeous images here for you.

There's something magical about sharing your pregnancy with another pregnant mama, don't you think?

Bella xx

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Bumpin'... 31 Weeks by the Rock Pools


Sunshine, blue skies reflected on the water and laughter. 31 weeks has been colourful, playful and fulfilling. We've been to our first antenatal class and met some interesting folk who are also expecting their first babies. Some of the couples are renovating, moving or building new homes. To me, the inexperienced girl, this all seems to be cutting the deadlines very fine when a baby is due. I'm reminded that people are capable of remarkable feats when the time calls for it. Somehow we just seem to manage, we make do with what time and resources we have available to complete tasks and I'm often astounded at the achievements that people have made, ourselves included.

Pecan is reaching the size of a small coconut, tucked safely inside my belly as Byron, Coco and I wander the long, deserted shores of the golden beaches. We returned to the rock pools at low tide one afternoon where I rested with Coco, watching the skilful aerial display of different species of waterbirds.

Coco introduced herself (in true small dog-style, barking and wagging her tail) to a young family, who were fishing from the shore. It turns out the lady was a colleague of B's from the restaurant. To see this young family enjoying the vast, open beach together on a warm winter's afternoon was like having a personal glimpse into the very near future for us.

In a little over two months, we too will be a seaside family. With this gorgeous man by my side, I feel calm and ready.

Bella xx

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