Written by You&Milk - Updated on Nov 9, 2023
So many of you have been following my pregnancy since we announced it in April 2020 (it seems so far away and so close at the same time...) on social networks, and just as many of you have asked me to share with you all my mum to be tips!
It is therefore with great pleasure that I give myself up here today... and of course, this article is personal, and it is up to each mother to pick and choose from this article what she finds relevant and useful.
For those of you who have known us for more than a year, i.e. before the launch of our brand in September 2019, you know that Edouard and I are very keen to keep small surprises in store for ourselves, whether for everyday use or for special occasions.
So, to announce my pregnancy for Thelma, our first little girl, I hid my phone in the living room to film, I prepared a breakfast on a Saturday morning by buying for Edouard the mug from Emoi Emoi "Papa poule", which I put on the table with a little box next to it containing my positive pregnancy test, as well as a little baby bonnet that we had bought a year before during our trip to Peru, telling us that it would bring us good luck for our future baby.
I'll let you imagine his joy and emotion when he arrived for breakfast, it was an incredibly moving moment and I'm glad I captured it on video!
For my second pregnancy for Andrea, I really wanted to involve Thelma in the announcement, so when I saw the positive test, I made the choice to keep the secret to myself and I can't hide the fact that the five days that followed were the loooongest of my life, it was a Monday, I will remember it all my life...
We both went to the medical laboratory with Thelma and when I received the results by email in the middle of the afternoon, a wave of emotion overwhelmed me, and I immediately shared it with Thelma who, to be honest, didn't understand everything that was happening ;))
As we both love photography with Edouard (and it was in fact the theme of our wedding), and as we had often done lifestyle photo shoots together, then during my first pregnancy, and after the birth of Thelma, I immediately contacted the photographer Alexandra Maldémé to explain to her that I wanted to organise a photo shoot on the following Saturday at the Serres d'Auteuil in Boulogne, in order to tell Edouard about the great and beautiful news, and to have a (spontaneous) souvenir of this memorable day in pictures!
Photos Credit : Alexandra Maldémé
It was both a joyful and emotional moment, as you can imagine! And once again, we could have a picture of this indescribable moment.
But for the very, very impatient girls, I don't recommend this kind of announcement ;-), because clearly you will suffer too much during the looooong days you will have to wait ;)). Besides, most of you told me that you would never have lasted so long!
But I can assure you that this expectation was equal to the emotion of the moment...
The photographer who shot the announcement of my pregnancy to Edouard :
To be original ;), I was relatively ill for the first three months, and very tired like many mothers-to-be who carry life.
What helped me a lot in this first quarter was to practice sophrology and meditation.
My favourite Apps for meditation :
(all downloadable on IPhone and Android)
To compensate for this great fatigue, I went to bed at 9:30 p.m. at night, I took a course of vitamins and food supplements (Gestarelle is top and very complete), and my gynaecologist prescribed iron and magnesium.
It was difficult to explain to Thelma how tired I was, how I had difficulty finding the little energy I needed to read the evening story, the ritual of the three of us... I blamed myself a lot, but by putting words to this tiredness, I felt that she understood and forgave me.
I will make a small aside on the confinement, which I did not experience well emotionally as a future mother.
Indeed, I confided in Edouard and by phone to Flavia Nasio, Bloomdoula, about the guilt I felt towards this baby who was growing inside me, in a context of fear, permanent anxiety and confinement.
I managed to put these feelings into words: I felt that this confinement did not give my baby the right to exist. We had to stay at home, so in a way we were "hidden", and I felt that I was hiding this pregnancy that we were so happy and proud of!
Don't hesitate to subscribe to the Mumtobeparty newsletter and follow their account on Instagram! Christel and her team are dedicated to helping expectant and new mothers through inspiring and supportive articles, live shows and themed events. The wellness destination for future and young parents!
THE GENDER OF OUR BABY
For this second pregnancy, Edouard and I had chosen to be surprised by the sex of our baby :)!
It was a beautiful adventure, and the meeting with our baby was going to be doubly intense and full of surprises: that of meeting this little being and of discovering if we were going to welcome a little boy or a little girl.
The sex of our baby was far from being our concern, the only thing that mattered was his good health and being able to hold this little being in our arms a few months later!
Clearly... the impatience got to us the last few weeks, it's exciting not knowing, but it's also a little "torture" ;).
And as intuition doesn't always prove to be true, I who was sure to carry a little boy for this second pregnancy, it turned out that we were going to meet our second little girl love!
No preference, sincerely, just a BIG happiness that Andréa joins our lives and enlarges our hearts and our family!
To calm and soothe my nausea for the first four months, I drank a lot of ginger and lemon tea, which relieved me quite quickly.
I also discovered the exquisite 100% organic herbal infusions from Mama Rosae, adapted to the ailments and needs of future and young mothers: nausea, contractions, breastfeeding,...
It's true that having also gained a lot of weight during this second pregnancy (20 kilos at 37SA, as I gave birth a month earlier than the expected term... our little Andréa was in a hurry to meet us...), I tried to be careful with what I put on my plate. The crazy thing is that I didn't overindulge on the hunger front, but I did have a lot of water retention. A lot.
And for that matter, weight gain during my pregnancy was never a concern for me as long as I didn't have gestational diabetes. My body and my baby needed those reserves, so I didn't flog myself. And the great gynaecologist who had already been with us for Thelma never made me feel guilty about it. What a relief because I know that many gynaecologists put pressure on their patients, who like me, put on a lot of weight despite the fact that they don't eat anything!
On the snacking side, I discovered "la fabrique des mamans" snacks, organic and healthy bars that meet the specific needs of young mothers and future mothers.
Their Immunity range is perfect during pregnancy as is their Lactation range, which helps to boost lactation.
On the craving side, and exactly like when I was waiting for Thelma, I wanted to eat pad thai absolutely every day at any time of the day or night! And my sweetheart has become an expert in the preparation of this dish that I can't get enough of!
Recipe available in the book "9 months food", offered by a friend when I was waiting for Thelma (full of delicious recipes!)
Not being immune to toxoplasmosis, we were very careful to wash all fruits and vegetables, raw vegetables with vinegar, to cook meat well...
I never deprived myself during my two pregnancies, but I was always careful to eat as healthily as possible and to limit my cravings to one big one a week, as I hate frustration on the plate.
So I've never been very fond of maternity dresses, simply because they often didn't correspond to my style, to the fashion I like.
For Thelma, Édouard and my mum had each given me maternity dresses that I enjoyed wearing, but for this second little baby, I must admit that I opted for flowing, empire-shaped dresses, which I embellished with a little belt under the bust to show my belly, no maternity trousers, no maternity jeans, because I didn't want to feel constricted in my clothes.
I found my happiness in very pretty dresses with style, also at Zara, on Asos, H&M, and in some small boutiques of independent designers, on which I cracked here and there.
I customised my favourite dresses from Sézane too!
I invested in comfortable, 100% cotton lingerie, including bras without underwires, because by the fourth month of pregnancy I could no longer bear to wear bras with underwires.
As far as jewellery is concerned, I discovered the bolas from Maison pleine lune, and I haven't left mine, the Aimée Hexagone gold model, for the whole of my pregnancy... I really like the symbolism of this jewel, which soothes and calms baby thanks to its tinkle.
You will also find a little "Ohé locataire" brooch at Ohé Mimine, to celebrate your pregnancy and the little tenant that is growing inside you :)
BEAUTY AND COSMETOLOGY
Since we welcomed Thelma, we've been focusing on all natural and healthy (ideally organic) products for our whole family. So naturally, during this second pregnancy, I turned again to products with a healthy and natural composition.
Precious oil from eveetrose to prevent stretch marks and dry skin, a 100% natural oil, and part of the profits donated to an association, which I particularly appreciate.
A non-greasy oil that I applied morning and night from my 4th month of pregnancy.
And its fragrance is so subtle... it can also be used as a massage oil (massages which are clearly welcome during pregnancy :) )
Omum day cream that you can find on the Eloisbio website (which offers organic and natural products for the whole family). A cream that moisturised and soothed my sensitive skin during the last months of pregnancy!
Alphanova sun cream 100% organic (index 50) that I used during our summer holidays at 6 months of pregnancy (I had never applied index 50 before this pregnancy, and I can tell you that I came back with a caramel skin as if I had used 20/30, which I usually use... Moreover, this cream is 100% healthy so what more could you ask for!) on the Eloisbio website
IMMORTALISE THIS PREGNANCY IN PHOTOS
With Edouard, we have always loved (and the word is weak haha!) photography.
Just like when I was expecting Thelma, Edouard took a lot of pleasure in taking pictures of my belly every month, with our little Thelma who was happy to play the game (Ok, not always ;)...).
And it is also quite natural that we wanted to do a lifestyle pregnancy shoot again during our summer holidays near Marseille.
It's very important for us to be able to keep these precious memories of my pregnancies, through beautiful images, these moments of life that we will enjoy watching again and again, both of us and with our children, for the next 60 years!
We have always preferred outdoor, very natural shoots to studio shoots (much less aesthetic for our taste and which don't look like us).
We had a wonderful photo shoot at the end of the day, where the light is best, with Ketty Domingues (photographer) and her sister Maéva Domingues (videographer), who made a short video clip for us that was just as beautiful!
We were seduced by the light and warmth of their photos and shots, the naturalness that comes through and the way they captured both our joy and our emotion!
Contact them with your eyes closed! They travel all over France!
Photos credit : Ketty Line
Acupuncture, prenatal yoga, haptonomy, osteopathy, shiatsu and massage: this is what was at the heart of my 9 months of pregnancy in terms of alternative medicine.
We put a lot of emphasis on alternative medicine and a very natural approach to my pregnancy and childbirth, as much as possible.
Also, in order to treat my pregnancy insomnia which started in my fourth month, I was lucky enough to be able to have acupuncture, and I can tell you that it was very effective from the first session! I also had two osteopathy sessions, which gave me a lot of relief, especially for my sciatica from the fifth month of pregnancy.
Finally, and even if the confinement made things more difficult, I was able to take a few prenatal yoga classes, which allows you to refocus, learn to breathe well, and maintain a certain flexibility during your pregnancy.
I'm lucky enough to have a very considerate boyfriend, who gave me a shiatsu session (suitable for pregnant women) in my sixth month of pregnancy.
It felt really good and helped to relax some of the tension points that were starting to be felt.
Be careful to choose a practitioner who is used to treating pregnant women!
Another alternative medicine approach that I recommend is Reiki.
I discovered this practice during my pregnancy for Thelma. It is a method of meditative relaxation through touch, which brings comfort to the body and mind. I understand that it is recommended to wait until the end of the third month of pregnancy to practice it.
It is important to find a practitioner near you (and someone trained and certified, very important!).
Finally, I had the chance to enjoy two relaxing massages adapted to future mothers, and in the same idea, a lot of relaxation, a moment for oneself, to let go...
Gynécée and Espace Prénatal are located in Paris, so sorry provincials!)
Gynécée, la Maison de la Femme et de la Maternité, Paris 9ème
Espace natal, Maison Périnatale, Paris 16ème
BIRTH PLAN :
The birth plan is a declaration of intent and a transcription of what we want or don't want for the day we welcome our baby.
It is important to share with the health care team some of our experiences and the basis of our wishes.
We were lucky enough to be accompanied by a golden gynaecologist (whose name I won't give here for fear that all the mums-to-be in the world will go to see him and that he will be too much in demand afterwards haha, but I promise I'll give you his name if you ask me) who listened to us and asked about our birth plan. He was the one who brought up the issue of the birth plan, and we were reassured to see that our feelings and our needs, expectations, desires, were taken into consideration, and welcomed with kindness.
Margaux, Doula at Deux Barres Roses had kindly sent me a birth plan template to complete, which helped me and Edouard a lot in our journey.
Among other things, in our birth plan, we mentioned these wishes (if this can give you some ideas for yours):
- to be able to choose the moment (and if I decide to have it, as there is no pressure at this level) when I want to have the epidural, and to carry out most of the labour without an epidural, in order to accompany my baby and the waves of contractions
- enjoy the nature room during labour (bath, balloon, soft music,...),
- soft light in the birth room,
- It is the father who will welcome and hold our baby when he arrives,
- skin to skin with baby for me and dad,
- a welcome feed during skin-to-skin time
- being kept informed step by step of everything that was going to happen and what was going to be done to me (in fact, we had such a great team who knew us well, so it was all induced and spontaneous)
Of course, and I am unfortunately well placed (I say "unfortunately" because our little Andréa arrived a month early, and her little lungs were not ready :/... so our little girl had to be quickly transferred to intensive care at the Necker hospital, and I had to give up some of the wishes of our birth plan. ... the priority being to look after her and help her to breathe, to simply live) to tell you, there is your birth plan, and there is what you will experience, which is not foreseeable, not plannable in your birth plan.
By this I mean that it is essential to define with your darling what is important to you in welcoming your baby, but keep in mind that sometimes everything does not go as you had dreamed, fantasised, and that you have to know how to let go, especially about your birth project.
I had to give up, with a heavy heart, the welcome feed with Andréa, with tears in my eyes to leave her when we had only just met, and I can tell you that it was a very difficult mourning to do... even today, I still find it difficult to talk about the three of us meeting without crying.
But more than anything, I know (and Edouard kept telling me) that the priority was to get our little Andréa into vital care without delay. Her hospitalization seemed like an eternity...
To finish on a lighter note, I would say to you to ENJOY every moment of your pregnancy, to let yourself be carried along and to savour this EXTRA-ordinary adventure: the discovery of your pregnancy, the announcement, your belly getting rounder, your exchanges with your baby, this exclusivity, his first little kicks, the ultrasounds and seeing this little baby growing, marvelling at his little nose, his hand grabbing his leg, the waves on your belly, even the nausea is something I keep a "good" memory of (yes I'm a masochist haha) because it's a sign that you're carrying Life, the contractions, these waves, this expectation. . and THE meeting.
The one that will move you beyond all the words I could put there... ♡