His Sleepy Smiles

Yummy yummy I’ve got love in my tummy

Today social media reminded me that it is 2 years since James had a status saying “planning with Iris when we should have kids, just so that they don’t have their birthday in the summer holidays! Oh me…” – about 7 months later on the 11th of September 2014 we found out that we were expecting and JJ was born on the 29th of May, so not in the summer holidays! We got a pregnancy test at the supermarket on our way home from doing a maternity photoshoot. We were staying with James parents at the time, because we were between houses. As soon as we got in I went straight to the bathroom to take the test. I remember James’ dad hoovering downstairs whilst I took the test. I can not explain with words how happy it made me feel when I turned the test around to see that a plus had appeared on the little display. I shouted downstairs to get James to come up. I showed him the test and we both hugged and cried. That was it, life had changed forever.

Then dinner was ready downstairs (typical!) and we had to go down and eat with James parents (grandparents to be, little did they know!). We had to eat and pretend that our lives had not just changed forever. We gave each other a few secret looks during dinner, ate quickly and back up to the room to look at the test again, still positive. Our sisters (aunts to be) and my best friends were the only ones who we told. The rest of the family and friends waited until mid November when we had been for our first scan and the family was all together.

For as long as I remember I have always been fascinated by pregnant women. They just look so happy and there is this glow about them. I have photographed a fair few as well and being in their presence has always been such a positive experience. So it was an understatement to say that I was excited to be one of them. I loved being pregnant and feeling how my body changed along side that of my growing baby.  I remember how all of a sudden I did not have just a few wobbly bits on my tummy but instead one rather big one. Getting past the stage where I just looked as if I liked chocolate too much was lovely.  I loved wearing tight dresses which showed of the miracle growing in my tummy.

I want my blog to be honest, blunt and funny, just like I am as a person.  Sometimes when I am being honest it can be mistaken for pessimistic, but I prefer the term realistic optimist. I got rather surprised when I started experiencing some of the pregnancy symptoms or side effects some might call them. By writing about them I hope that whoever reads my blog might be just a little bit more prepared than I was and find some of the symptoms less awkward and embarrassing.

Hemorroids! Try to say it with a smile on your face, it makes it so much easier 🙂 I know that you are probably thinking yack and scrunching up your face. Don’t. This is actually a very common problem in pregnancy. I started by being quite constipated early on and think that is how I got them and let me just say that they are not pleasant. They can also be caused by the pressure of the growing uterus or by changes in hormones during the pregnancy. I discussed them with my doctor and midwife, but did not get anything for then, was just told to drink prune juice to avoid constipation and this would relief the hemorrhoids. Well it helped a bit but they just got much worse after the birth, because as you can imagine the pressure on that area during birth was tremendous.  But lets move on to another awkward subject – I will mention the hemorroids again when I tell you all about recovering from the birth. In short my best advice is to stick to the prune juice or even mild laxatives.

Thrush! Again, try saying it with a smile on your face 🙂  This is apparently also a common problem during pregnancy. I did not know that and was convinced that there was something wrong with me and the baby when it kept coming back again and again. I had several canesten treatments, but after a while the doctor finally prescribed something stronger and what a relief it was! The thrush was gone just like that and has not been back since! I am lucky that I have good friends, who I can speak to about these things and me and James are very open and honest about anything. Luckily he is not bothered talk about the female body and the things that happen to it daily and during pregnancy.

Those two were my most awkward to talk about subjects during pregnancy, oh and vaginal discharge, but basically it was just more than usual and not very uncomfortable. However when you have not been pregnant before you don’t know these things and as women often do, we overthink things and convince ourselves that something is wrong. When you think about the amazing change your body is going through, a few odd side effects are really nothing to worry about. Remember, you are growing a human inside you.

Oh there is one more, I had an extremely stuffy nose! Did you just raise your eyebrows at that?! Once more google informed me that this is also another pregnancy side effect due to hormones. But it was a very uncomfortable one as I could not find any medicine to take for it which was okay to take during pregnancy. It caused me many sleepless nights, probably more waking up at night needing the bathroom!

When I look back at my pregnancy today I smile. I remember how beautiful I felt and how lucky I felt that I was in the process of growing a small human, a bundle of joy right underneath my skin. I think that pregnancy is a very carefully put together progress, there are side effects which are not always pleasant, but at the same time you feel so beautiful and know that you are just doing an amazing job of growing a human inside you. It is all worth all the side effects and more!

I have attached a few pictures from our maternity photoshoot by the talented Hayley Fraser photography (www.hayleyfraserphotography.co.uk) who definitely managed to capture how I felt and how I remember my pregnancy.

Iris Xx

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