The 10 Truths about the ‘Mom Tum’ 

Some of us in this world can give birth and within the shortest space of time can go back to looking like they never really just spent 9 months housing a tiny human being rent free. However, majority of mothers don’t seem to escape the reminders so easily and are left with marks that may make us feel as though we are the only ones who have them, when in reality, a majority of our fellow mothers feel the same way and have them too. I definitely was hit hard with the ‘mum tum’ the second time round and so I decided to write and share my 10 truths in case you share them too. 

  1. Your muscles post- partum have adapted to the pregnancy shape, so that you always look like you have a 4 month pregnancy bump, even if you’ve lost a ton of weight.  
  2. Stretch marks – they’re there and even though somehow if you didn’t notice them whilst you were pregnant, they’re still there. 
  3. Extra Skin – literally just ‘hanging there’. 
  4. Even if you have a flat tummy in the morning, after you eat you tend to look bloated and rounded out. This is due to the muscles not being as strong as they were pre-pregnancy. 
  5. Your stomach is darker than the rest of your body – if you are Caucasian or any other light skinned origin then this isn’t such a major issue and for most, not even noticeable. On the other hand, if you’re dark skinned like me, or even darker than it makes a massive difference from our darker pigment all collected together in our excess skin. 
  6. You’re still sporting you’re linea neagra, this almost always fades away however straight after birth it still sticks around for a bit. 
  7. Depending on how big your bump grew or what your belly button was like before, chances are you belly button is ‘bigger’ an ‘outie’ now or there is some considerate change. Most people generally have their belly buttons go back to normal after a while, however few people don’t. (Mine definitely changed after my first pregnancy and was bigger)
  8. If you’ve had a c-section, you may have an overhang, a dip (not everyone has these) but also a scar. Within a year most c-section scars are pencil thin, however some may end up thicker.
  9. Hairy Belly – some ladies grow hair on their bey during pregnancy, it can’t really be seen during the time of pregnancy however after baby is out and all the skin collects, you find that you have a hairy, floppy belly. Attractive right? But not to worry, it will fall out and not grow back again, or if you can’t wait until then, then you can shave it off like I did. (Shaved once and it never grew back). 
  10. Although sometimes you find yourself wishing you had your old abs back, nearly all the time all these changes fade away and in the end even if you don’t look exactly the same as you did pre-pregnancy you won’t really mind that you went through all these changes because in the end, it was all so worth it. 
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    Motherhood Unplugged 

    So I’m here again after what seems like an eternity, apologetic and ready to ‘catch-up’ as usual. Or more likely fill you in on all the crazy happening in my life. I would like to pretend I’m sipping a cup of coffee whilst my newborn is napping away and I’ve found an hour from my sweet new mommy #2 life to write this blog post. However, the truth is actually on my way to a check up with my doctor, sitting in the back of the car, making myself extremely nauseous whilst I write this. Anyone else get that? And truth is I’m cranky because I’ve said to myself a thousand times I should write on my blog, but by the time night comes I’m crashed out in bed with my make-up on whilst putting Ayan to sleep. Motherhood. So therefore I can’t wait any longer so I’ll just write in the car and throughout the rest of the day whenever I’m catching 5 minutes to do so. That’s paragraph one done. I’ve arrived, so I’ll save this draft and be back later… 

    Back again, finally home, everything is great! Scar is looking good. Aryana is currently burping/vomiting on me whilst I write this, however, before I leave in half an hour to take her for her first check up I would like to finish this post. So let’s see shall we. 

    As I was saying, well actually I don’t remember what I was saying, but what I do want to say is that, blogging is something I so love to do, I love to write, write about my life. I love the questions I receive, the insight I give people into my personal life. However, at some point blogging turned into a ‘competition’ for me, I kept following other bloggers, especially ‘mom bloggers’ to catch what ideas they had, to see how they were doing climbing the social ladder. And at some point I noticed a trend. These mothers all seem to have the ‘perfect lives’ with perfect babies that sleep through the night, perfect make-up, perfect hair and perfect white backgrounds for their Insta pics and their vlogs. And whilst all that may be true, it is not achievable – not without a whole lot of stress anyways. I found that at some point I got caught up in some kind of competition, to portray the ‘perfect Insta life too’. Stressing on taking the perfect Instagram picture, stressing on having my make up perfect for a vlog, stressing on writing the perfect blog posts. Making everything seem like my motherhood was easy, smooth and life was bliss. Well it’s not true. My life is bliss, but for all that it is and all that it isn’t. For all that I manage to do and all that I don’t.

    If you’re a mother to be, or just another momma following a mommy blogger than please don’t put the expectations on yourself that they seem to lay out for you. I can assure you half these ‘perfect mommies’ have parents, in laws, nannies, cleaners to help them do what they do. Hence the extra time to do all these crafty, Pinterest things that get us feeling like we aren’t doing enough. Admittedly as a mother I have extremely high expectations of myself 99% of the time so I end up joining the Pinterest mommy club, however, it’s not always smooth sailing and there is 1% of the time when I’m a binge eating, tired, stressy mom who feeds my kids chicken nuggets for lunch AND dinner. And I’m going to blog about it. 

    Yep that’s right, I want to give a real insight into my REAL life. Not my wannabe Insta mom life that anyways I never can keep up with. I want to show what it’s REALLY like to be a momma with a toddler and a newborn, to be young, full of passions, tired as hell, mostly achieving what I set out to do but everyday for at least a few moments as my husband will tell you… a hot mess. I want to blog the real me. Blog what’s REALLY written in my diary for the day, write about the tantrum Ayan had and although I was a zen mother on the outside I’m crying on the inside. So as of today I’m blogging my life to you, my real life, with all the social media around even being a mother has become a competition and I’m tired of it, so join me on my journey, even if I don’t have fancy Insta pics or if I don’t look like a model everyday or if I write a cranky post, grab a coffee (only one if you’re breastfeeding or pregnant). Because motherhood is fun, it is great, it’s full of ups, but there is also sad times, frustrating times and times of tears. Because this is REAL motherhood, this is… motherhood unplugged. 

    Week 33

    Okay seriously, at this point is it legal to PANIC  yet?! Time is honestly flying by, as you can see I barely get time to even update the blog, even though I would so like to do that more, plus, on top of that I keep falling asleep whilst putting Ayan to bed. Totally a third trimester fatigue symptom! Okay, so let’s do the facts! 

    • Baby is weighing in at over 4lbs! (I know my chuky monkey definitely is from my most recent scan)
    • Baby is around 17 inches, according to the WTE app this is the size of a pineapple, although I beg to differ, over on this side of Europe we seriously don’t get pineapples that big #sorrynotsorry
    • Your baby technically is the newborn that he/she will be, except a much smaller and skinnier version. These last few weeks are mostly for filling out with fat, maturing of all the organs especially the lungs therefore there are no ‘developmental changes’ as such.
    • If you gave birth at this point, baby has a 97% chance of survival! – HOWEVER, this is NOT recommended to even try inducing birth in any way. The human gestation period is around 40 weeks for a reason give or take a couple of weeks either side, waiting until both you and baby are naturally ready for birth day ensures the healthiest baby for you to enjoy!

    This is just a quick recap of the factual things at this point in the pregnancy, it is currently 5am in the morning and I have been tossing and turning since 3am (no thanks to pregnancy insomnia), therefore, my next post will be a catch up on MY pregnancy – a lot os symptoms have popped up for me and barely any of them I am enjoying, also a list of third trimester symptoms as I feel that there are too many and I need more than a shared post to write them all! Catch you on the next post!

    Reema Ox 

     

    What not to say to a pregnant woman – PART 2

    If you’ve been keeping up with the flow, then you will remember that what now seems like a loooooong time ago, I uploaded my V L O G on what NOT TO SAY TO A PREGNANT WOMAN.  For those of you that enjoyed it, then here below I have posted PART 2 of the vlog and for those of you who simply have no idea of what  I am talking about, then click the link below and you will find out all the do’s and dont’s of what to say and what not to say to a pregnant woman. Enjoy!

    Weeks 31 + 32

    So yet again another two weeks went by as a blur, for many reasons. Let me list them out for you;

    • I am severely  N E S T I N G so I’ve basically been spending my free time bleaching my house and cleaning it until you can see your face on every surface.
    • I have left everything until last minute, so I am now rushing around like a headless chicken trying to get everything including this mini ‘make over’ done in this house. Nb. trying to get everything done with this massive bump!
    • I am spending as much time doing as fun activities with Ayan as possible as only very few weeks remain until he is officially not an only child anymore, so I am cherishing every moment.
    • I managed to record, edit and post one VLOG (yes the part 2 guys), I will also be posting it on the blog here!

    So yes, apart from that, lets look at the major things happening this week. Baby may already be heads down, ready to greet you, not only that baby is already weighing in at 3.5-4 lbs! Can you believe that?!? I personally am not feeling so ‘heavy’ in the mornings, but I do have to keep on taking 30 second breaks after physical effort and by the end of the night I’m feeling like a bleached whale on most evenings. Baby is also resting as much as he/she can right now, ready to make the grand entrance into this world, they are also so big now that they are back to being in a curled up position, so it’s definitely getting cramped in there. My favourite thing happening this week? My little baby actually is playing back with me! When they stick a limb out, I will push it back in and they’ll push back out again, sooooo cute!! Although at this point of pregnancy I am really beginning to FEEL IT, and boy oh boy do I mean it. Have you ever tried climbing up 2 flights of stairs 33 weeks pregnant with a 11kg toddler in your arms? It’s tiring for sure. I am also cherishing every single second of every day being pregnant as I know the journey is nearly coming to an end and for sure I will miss being pregnant, no matter how hard it is.

    What are your favourite parts of pregnancy this week?

    WEEK 29 + 30

    Okay this is going to be a super quick update for my blog readers who are wondering where the hell I have dissappeared to. Sincerely, I have NO IDEA  where the past two weeks have gone, I know that sounds so bad, but really when I look into my diary, during week 29 I did A LOT and that is with no exaggeration, then during week 30 I spent my time feeling nearly the worst I’ve felt in many years (no it wasn’t the flu or anything) I had this strange pain in the back of my nexk, not blood pressure, that went through my shoulders and crippled me from either seeing. Still don’t know what it was, baby seemed all fine, however, I am sooo glad that it’s all over now. So as a recap, I generally can’t put a detailed source of what had/has happened the past two weeks, as it has just flown by, however, let’s have a look at where we have arrived size wise etc. for week 30.

    I actually went for a scan at week 30, and found out my little darling is already weighing in at 3.3lbs! A chunky little monkey like daddy (as my MIL tells me). Baby is already heads down, and was doing some kind of aerobics as I watched in real time on the 4D scan (the only picture I caught baby was actually holding it’s foot to it’s head, so cute). I’m taking it as a sign that I’m doing a pretty good time at baking this baby because head circumference was measuring at 31 weeks + although I definitely cannot be that far along in the pregnancy, so we took it that little one is just prepping for the grand exit. Apart from that, all seems good and fingers crossed everything stays good, healthy and happy! And how was I feeling? Well TIRED for one, the slightest things exhaust me now, yet I am very proud of the fact that I am still incredibly active and I’m trying to keep my energy intact so I don’t get lazy – although who can be lazy with a toddler? I also have taken another break from the gym as it just wasn’t really working out for me, however, I will be be back soon. Until then I’m just ‘enjoying’ time off by actually keeping physically so busy at home, I have SO MUCH to do and so little time.

    So yes, for those of you who may have thought I fell off the planet earth, I didn’t I was actually just trying to survive week 30, thankfully now I am back in form and I hope that I don’t have to experience something like that again! Oh and that cute littel 3D scan you see up there, yep that’s right, that sure is baby Moldovan #2! 🙂

    You are a MOTHER, your baby is YOURS. 

    I write this post with much sorrow in my heart, with pain for how many mothers do not know their rights for being a MOTHER. I dedicate this post to my Romanian readers, so you know that as a mother you are FREE to be close to your baby and NO ONE is allowed to tell you otherwise! Please take two minutes of your time to read this beautifully written passage (I did not write this), I do not who did but I wish that I knew! We live in 2017, our babies are ours and I am urging all mothers in Romania to stand for what is rightfully theirs… their CHILD! 

    Something a MAJORITY of Romanian doctors + midwives should read!!!! A baby should NEVER be taken away from the mother after birth even for reasons such as ‘the mum needs to rest, for changing or being fed’. The first few days are crucial to attachment + breastfeeding to go as smoothly as possible and I will never understand why in romania people are paying 5000-7000 lei for these private clinics just for the babies to be taken from them. Alongside that the culture teaches women that they are unable to manage by themselves and they NEED the help (almost a controlling and manipulating way of lowering self esteem of mothers to be so they genuinely believe they can’t manage without babies being taken away.’) I repeat your child does NOT need to be taken away from you (as long as it’s perfectly healthy) and neither should you as a mother be accepting that! If the baby is taken away it should be on YOUR say, not theirs! Whoever wrote this, wrote it beautifully and this truly is how it should be! 

    Bebelușii: 

    ” Bună mami,

    Sunt puiul tău

    Eram în pântecul tău, la căldură, nu știam ce este foamea, frigul, lumina si senzațiile de a purta haine si scutece. Auzeam vocea ta, fluxul continuu al sangelui tau si cateva zgomote zilnice. 

    Eram mereu lipit de tine.

    Apoi m-am trezit intr-o situatie cu totul noua: plamanii mi s-au umplut cu aer, am auzit vocea meapentru prima data.

    Lumina.

    Frigul.

    Caldura.

    Frica.

    Apoi am auzit vocea ta.

    Am simtit pielea ta, bratele tale.

    Si sanul tau.

    Este ceva cald de bagat in burtica mea, dar tu continua sa ma tii in brate, lipit, nu ma lasa pentru ca mi-e frica.

    Suzetez la fiecare 10 minute pentru ca am nevoie de tine.

    Uneori mi-e foame, uneori sete, dar deseori este doar modul meu de a afla ca esti inca alaturi de mine.

    Spune-le familiei si prietenilor ca sunt la fel de frumos si in poze, acum vreau sa stau doar cu tine! 

    Tine-ma aproape! 

    Lasa-l pe tati sa gateasca sau decongeleaza ceea ce ai pregatit inainte ca eu sa ma nasc.

    Nu este momentul sa faci pe Master Chef, mami! 

    Este momentul sa descoperim impreuna cum putem trai separat, dar mereu aproape.

    Nu-i asculta pe ceilalti! 

    Nu sunt alintat si nu vreau lapte praf.

    Laptele tau este mai mult ca suficient. Sunt mic si imi ia mult sa ma hranesc, uneori adorm. Incearca asa: cand dorm eu, dormi si tu mami.

    Stiu ca te simti obosita.

    Dar nu va dura la nesfarsit! 

    Sa iesim afara mami! 

    Pune-ma in sistem , aproape de sanii tai si mergem unde vrei tu! 

    Eu nu am nevoie de altceva, decat de tine.

    Ajuta-ma sa ma fac mare, nu ma lasa sa plang, plansul meu e mai mult decat un alint, este frica de moarte.Pot supravietui doar cu tine! 

    Tine-ma langa tine, mami, sunt mic! 

    In curand voi descoperi lumea si voi avea mai multa incredere.

    Ajuta-ma sa cresc! Intr-o secunda devenim mari.

    Relaxeaza-te mami, inchide lumina. Intinde-te langa mine si ia-ma in brate. Mangaie-ma si pupa-ma repetand amandurora ca totul va fi bine! 

    Nu tine cont de sfaturile pe care nu le-ai cerut! 

    Sa stam impreuna, mami, lipiti asa cum eram pana ieri, cand eram in burtica ta! “

    Dealing with body changes during pregnancy.

    One thing that I’m sure A L L of us go through at some stage during our pregnancy is self-consciousness. Many of us (including me) find that at some point we begin to feel ‘fat’, ‘ugly’ and we find that at some point we love ourselves a little less – this, followed by guilt because of course we should be ecstatic about the fact that we are lucky to get pregnant and experience something so beautiful in the first place. Considering I’m onto my second pregnancy now, I didn’t think I’d have those feelings again, yet mid – second trimester, there I was wondering why I had got pregnant, because I was just so ‘fat’ again. Looking through all the ‘perfect’ pregnant women on my instagram my only thoughts were ‘why do I not look like that?’. How are all these women growing with grace and glowing beauty and where the hell is MY glow?? So anyways, I spent about a quarter of this pregnancy NOT taking pictures of myself with the belief that I didn’t look graceful and beautiful, I almost stopped taking care of myself, going to gym, doing my make-up etc. And so the downward spiral began…

    Then one night after putting my toddler to bed, I was walking around in underwear and one of my husband’s t-shirts, obviously no make up and hair piled in a bird’s nest on top of my head when all of a sudden, my husbad turned round and told me I was the most beautiful woman in the world. I’m sure he’s said this before but it was truly the first time in a long time I actually heard him. That night after taking a long look at myself in the mirror I thought ‘what am I doing to myself? Yes, I have all these flaws, but they are because I am growing another child, a symbol of our love, what can be more beautiful than that.’ And that was the click, since that night I decided to start doing little things, little adjustments in order to make myself feel beautiful again. I may not look anything like I did 6/7 months ago, yet for sure if I dedicate just a little bit of time to myself everyday then in feeling beautiful, I am acting beautiful and therefore I AM BEAUTIFUL. So here below, I have made a little list of tips, on little things we can do throughout our pregnancies to make ourselves feel the best we can and accept all those crazy hormones + changes that are taking over our bodies!

    PREGNANCY PIGMENTATION – I have suffered this SO bad during both my pregnancies, where I am of asian heritage my skin is dark brown and therefore the pigmentation is black on my skin. My quick fix: a little bit of foundation which takes me 2 seconds to apply every day. Long term treatment: Looking into any treatments which may be available out there for pigmentation (I’m very into natural treatments and I think I may be starting the potato treatment – I’ll be posting about that soon if it works!)

    PREGNANCY WEIGHT GAIN – although this is the most natural change that can happen to us during pregnancy, many of us find it hard. During my first pregnancy I was still quite chubby with ‘puppy fat’ from med school, so the weight gain really didn’t affect me. However, for this pregnancy, as I started off with a six pack, the weight gain hit me really hard psychologically. My quick fix: Walks with the family, going to the gym, telling myself that this is only temporary. Long term treatment: Although I eat A LOT, I try to eat as healthy as possible so that I can be sure everything I am consuming is doing great for the baby as well as for me. Also eating well avoids unnecessary weight gain and this therefore means after giving birth I will hopefully be able to get my pre-pregnancy body back quicker.

    PREGNANCY ACHES & PAINS – I’m the get go mummy. I literally never sit down, and when I do it’s to blog, reply to emails or to work on customer programs (so my brain is literally always on the go), yet sometimes the back pain, the sciatica means that some days I literally HAD TO take a break and not complete everything I’d wanted to that day, whcih really got me down. My quick fix: accepting that I really should just take a break because soon with two babies, I’ll be wishing to sit down and won’t have the chance. Long term treatment: getting my hubby to massage me, trying out different stretches to help the pains.

    PREGNANCY WARDROBE: as time goes on I really almost have nothing to wear. Over here where I live, maternity clothes that are good quality almost do not exist and so I am just squeezing into my larger size clothes or of course, just stealing from my husbands wardrobe, who doesn’t? My quick fix: buying larger more fashionable, comfy (yet also cheap clothes) where I can find them. I really don’t want to spend a lot of money on clothes for this bump when I know that I will definitely not be wearing them post-partum: Long term treatment: Looking at clothes and saving the ones I will buy after I give birth. Mental shopping therapy, and seeing as I barely bought myself any clothes during the pregnancy, it will totally be guilt free shopping when it comes to buying clothes!

    PREGNANCY SKIN PROBLEMS: if you’re lucky you will have the pregnancy glowing skin (I did during my first trimester), if you’re like me this pregnancy then you may be suffering all sorts, pigmentation, dry skin, pregnancy eczema. My quick fix: cover it all up, I love make up so I don’t have a problem with covering my face in it, and as along as my husband loves me bare faced, that’s all that matter right? Long term treatment: either finding more accurate treatments for the symptoms or if you know that it’s purely a pregnancy thing (like me with my eczema) then just remind yourself that it’s all worth it for your beautiful little bundle of joy!

    Pregnancy hormones that tell you you’re ugly: Me everyday. This unfortunately is a battle that can only be fought mentally. My quick fix: putting on a little bit of make-up, dressing up in something nicer (if it fits). Long term and MORE IMPORTANTLY: remind yourself that you are not any ‘uglier’ than you were, and even if you feel that you are it is for the most beautiful reason ever! Look in the mirror and tell yourself that you are beautiful and every time that you feel your little baby kick, it’s a reminder of why all these body changes are just so totally worth it.

    I hope these little tips helped, just remember, how you look at other pregnant women and admire them, that’s how everyone else is looking at YOU. Even if you don’t feel like you’re amazing, you ARE and you have no reason to believe otherwise! 

    What NOT to say to a pregnant woman.

    My  V L O G on what not to say to a pregnant woman is out now! The minute a woman gets pregnant it’s almost like the rest of the population gain a free pass to comment, advise and accidentally insult the pregnant woman. From speaking to other mama’s at least I can live with the thought that I am not the only one and that it happens all around the world!

    However, that does not mean it should happen, does it? So in my vlog posted below I give a few tips from personal experience and from others on what NOT to say to a pregnant woman! If you like the video then please don’t forget to like/share/subscribe, thank you!

    Week 28!

    Hello third trimester! We’re at the last stretch of the pregnancy and as well as being excited I am also scared! So what’s happening this week?

    Know the Facts

    Baby is weighing in at 2.25lbs and is around the 40cm mark from head to heel. Baby can blink his/her eyes, which are by now sporting cute little lashes and at some point baby will see the light differences filtering in through the womb. In addition to that, baby is accumulating body fat day by day in preparation for birth. I don’t know if this is coincidence or if baby can see the light flashing in through my womb, but every time I shine a light on my belly baby stops kicking!

    In other news 

    Although it may not seem like a lot is happening, in the momma’s world usually at this point if there already wasn’t ‘a lot’ happening, then it begins around now. Many are completing birth plans, going to antenatal birth classes, baby shopping (my favourite part) and nursery decorating.

    Personally, I haven’t completed any kind of birth plan yet nor have I been to any antenatal classes due to the fact that previously I had given birth via c-section (transverse baby) and I am so hoping I will be able to try for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth after Caesarian), however, in order to ‘stabilise’ anything, I’m waiting until the 32nd-34th week in order to see if baby is heads down or not, and from there on to be able to get fully assessed and checked to see if I am a good candidate for a VBAC (I’m pretty confident I am).

    Baby shopping wise we have almost EVERYTHING, we planned well ahead and slowly bought everything so it didn’t seem like a ‘major spend’ in one go, even stocking up on nappies on Black Friday! Although to be absolutely honest it does help having a two year old as technically we didn’t start from scratch. However, I still have left to buy a new baby swing and a humidifer so if anyone has any good recommendations PLEASE comment and let me know!

    Nursery wise we always knew we wanted two children close together and therefore during the first pregnancy, we had spent major time and effort into making this beautiful gender neutral Jungle Book Nursery, with Mufasa and Simba on a mountain far over, a Toy Story Ceiling with a huge yellow sun, yet when you switch the light off you can stare into a starry night sky. As you can tell I am sooo in love with my son’s baby room! I will be adding a baby name to the wall and I’m thinking of tying some ribbons to the crib to change the look up a little bit and maybe some new curtains too, but we will see. On another note, I still have SO MUCH TO DO around the house, meaning when I was pregnant with Ayan I did a little ‘makeover’ and since then I haven’t done so, I would like to do the same this time round and just have almost another clear out but honestly being super pregnant, having a toddler and a puppy and being a personal trainer is kind of crazy so somehow I never seem to be getting round to doing it and if I am it’s at extremely slow progress, but I will, and when I do, I will be doing a VLOG tour of my home makeover.

    Talking about VLOGS , I have a NEW and EXCITING (also super funny) VLOG coming up over the next couple of days, as a little sneak the title is ‘What NOT to say to a pregnant woman.’ So keep posted!