PREGNANT + TODDLER LIFE
It has been a while since I wrote a blog post and A LOT has happened in my personal and professional life, all very exciting too.
I am currently 37 weeks pregnant with number two and Jet is 20 months old, how time flies. While we planned to have our bubs close we didn’t predict it would be so quick to fall pregnant, which was around the time of Jet’s first birthday that we celebrated at The Farm in Byron Bay. The start of this pregnancy was not quite fun. The morning sickness was intense and while being a naturopath I wish I had the secret to avoiding nausea I’m just not sure it completely exists. Sure zinc and B6 deficiency will contribute as well as being unhealthy or liver stress, with inadequate diet etc however I was in a great state of health when we conceived and still managed to struggle. I was still breastfeeding Jet and ‘they’ say that will contribute also. My morning sickness lasted until around 20 weeks, oh and it wasn’t just morning sickness it was pretty much on and off all day and my worst was around 4-5pm, good times! When I was around 12 weeks pregnant Jet and I caught a virus and were quite sick resulting in a sinus infection for me. Luckily I was confident in treating naturally and could certainly avoid antibiotics, with the help of acupuncture. But during this my acupuncturist and I decided it would be best to stop breastfeeding Jet as my recovery was prolonged due to feeding him, growing a bub and trying to have reserves to heal myself. I had previously night weaned Jet by sleeping in the spare room for 2 weeks while my husband slept with Jet in our bed, SUCCESS. Then the complete weaning was actually easier. I gave him his last feed before bed one night then stopped cold turkey, Jet went for my breast once or twice afterwards but that was it. We are lucky that he is a great eater, as didn’t have the need to supplement with a bottle either. As much as I had great hopes to tandem feed my children it was certainly our time to stop for us, which Jet was 14months old.
On a professional note, from the fun and success of Jet’s introduction of food chapter and documenting each step of this journey, plus due to demand of friends and clients I ended up writing a book. The book is called ‘Baby, It’s Only Natural’ an integrated guide to introducing food to your baby, supporting natural immunity, developing gut health and preventing food intolerances and behaviour disorders. Thankfully I was offered a publishing deal with Olympia Publishing in the UK. All very exciting and now is in the final stages of publishing and will hopefully be released in the coming months, so keep an eye out in bookshops and online.
With all this book excitement and my private practice increasing especially in the pregnancy/ fertility/ baby area I decided it was time to step back from my amazing role as Head of Medical at Noosa Confidential. This was the hardest and most emotional decision I have had to make in my career as it has been one of the biggest parts of my life since leaving university due to my passion for wanting to make a difference in mental health. However it was time and now have the view that I can still help the mental health industry from a different perspective – by preventing mental health and behaviour disorders from preconception, pregnancy and baby health and now this is my focus which I’m very excited about.
Back to my pregnancy and Jet juggle. WOW no one tells you of the struggle it is to try and embrace the roller coaster of pregnancy while your attention is still severely needed with a toddler. It is interesting how easily you forget you’re pregnant so often, compared to when pregnant with your first everything seems so intense and you’re so aware of every little detail of what is happening. I have to regularly remind myself that I now have two children and need to be conscious to eat enough for baby growing, rest enough to nourish myself and spend time connecting with bub and the toddler. This pregnancy we kept to ourselves until around 20 weeks which was very special as it was just my husband and I that knew (plus 2 close friends), we felt it was nice to not take any attention off Jet as he was pretty much still a baby also. I also was teaching quite a bit of Yoga until 32 weeks that was lovely as most classes were prenatal or mums and bubs classes, that was special for me to teach and be surrounded by the baby bubble.
Jet’s adjustment to the ‘bubby’ as he calls it, has been quite cute. Early on he had no idea however once my belly started growing he became quite obsessed with it, constantly giving it cuddles and kisses plus saying goodnight each night to the ‘bubby’. Such special moments, especially those when he would fall asleep cuddling my belly. The tiredness that can accompany pregnancy is not so nice when also raising a toddler, you truly do experience a new level of fatigue. Especially when you are struggling to eat right from morning sickness or not sleeping properly. My recommendation here is take ANYONE up on the offer to help out. Thankfully I have close friends that have certainly been my lifesaver and helped to take Jet for a few hours so I can rest or not have to juggle jobs + pregnancy + toddler. From my first pregnancy I started to learn how to receive but with this pregnancy it was crucial to allow myself to receive. This has also brought me to being more mindful of self-care practices with the help of a beautiful mentor Star Depres from Byron Bay (CLICK FOR LINK). Embracing the feminine within and creating the space for me, has hugely impacted my life and has been perfect timing while pregnant to embody this feminine self-care goodness, as I feel it will certainly be important to continue not only while I’m deep in mum life with 2 under 2 but also ongoing. Looking back I have lived a pretty hectic stressful life, always over-filling my plate and living more masculine in the push, strive, more, work harder lifestyle. While it has served me to a degree, being pregnant this time round has opened up a lot of perspective of quality of life and what I hope to model for my children. And so it has started with my own self-care, ability to receive, slowdown and flow with what life delivers. I highly recommend any woman to look into what Star offers and shares as she has certainly changed my life that will dramatically benefit my family’s future also.
This birth again we have planned for home, and when bub decided to engage from 34 weeks it brought up some anxiety for me (surprisingly interesting for me to process and work through). However now I’m 37 weeks I’m in the clear to birth at home and have set up a nice birth space, hopefully this labour will be longer and I’ll be able to utilise the birth pool and embrace the different stages of labour. (Jet was born in 1.5 hrs and I was by myself until the last 10mins = quite intense). I’ll write another blog after bub is born of how I set up and what I had in my birth space at home, including things you need.
Now we are just letting the days roll by and embracing the last few days/ weeks of pregnancy and the time as a family of 3. When I say ‘embracing’ I don’t mean to make it sound all light, fluffy and perfect, as I wouldn’t want to imply that it is any of that. The pregnant + toddler combo I’m sure for some is fabulous however it has certainly had it’s moments for us. Adapting to the changes in Jet’s sleep patterns and needing to roll my whale belly out of bed 5 times a night to pee then attend to Jet, if need be, on top of these moments to then be woken at 4am when a truck is being pushed into my face with truck sounds certainly is challenging. Then also ‘embracing’ the toddler tantrums and different attitudes can be next level and end up with me trying to hide somewhere in the house so I can cry into a pillow in peace. We have the moments we cry together and then smooth it over with a nap together, which there is nothing better when pregnant and having a toddler to surrender to the to-do list and instead fall asleep with your bub in arms as you too certainly need a day time sleep.
For me the biggest lesson of this toddler + pregnant chapter has being conscious of my daily mindset. If my head is slightly in the wrong state, it makes the day 100 times harder and a lot of crappy things seem to happen. Flip side if I’m relaxed and have more humour it is so much easier to get through the day and deal with whatever Jet throws at me. So being mindful of my head has certainly been important, and knowing when I need to reset and pull myself out of it so I can cope enough to get through the day with some sanity in tact. This is not always easy and I definitely had days I chose to sit in my funk and struggle, especially on those days when it is hard to leave the house. My advice is definitely being conscious of the mind and how powerful it can impact your day. If you’re in a funk or struggling, get out of the house and shift that energy for yourself and your toddler. Say yes to when people offer to help out and give you time out from your toddler, don’t feel guilty that you should be spending all your time in these last months with your toddler as you are also growing a baby and need to nourish yourself and the bub. And finally remind yourself when you start to wonder how you will cope that you won’t know any different and you will just make it happen, you wouldn’t have fell pregnant if the universe didn’t know you could handle it. You got this mama!!
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