Rebecca is a regular reporter on BBC 1’s Watchdog and a well-known consumer journalist who has worked on many and varied programmes ranging from Your Money Their Tricks, to a regular spot on This Morning, and presenting the beauty segment on Gok Wan’s How to Look Good Naked! She lives in London with her husband Jim and their toddler Benji, and the family are expecting a new addition in March.
I am lying on the kitchen floor with my two year old throwing pasta at my head and jumping around in fits of giggles with a ball up his t-shirt shouting that he too has a baby in his tummy. Every time I attempt to move from my prone and vulnerable position as a food target on the floor he rushes over with a mock serious expression, “No Mummy,” he says, “You need to sleep, you’re growing a baby. Lie. Down.” And I thought telling him I was pregnant with his younger sibling would make life easier. Ha! Later whilst picking the toddler tea from my hair I started to think on how my first pregnancy was so different. First time around I was a Princess. I positively floated everywhere on a cloud of happy hormones with my yoga toned perfect bump dressed in a variety of silky dry-clean-only clothes. After that initial first trimester of inevitable nausea and back-ne (who knew being pregnant would give you teenage skin on your back??) I had felt invincible and powerful, a vessel of future life to be admired everywhere she went.
This time around pregnancy has been very different, with a two year old in tow there’s no easy relaxed afternoons with a possible nap and a full night’s sleep to look forward to. I am now a little irritated by first pregnancy me, “Wake up!” I want to shout, “Won’t be like this next time around!” There’ll be no yoga to soothe the mind and smooth the bump, no silky stainable fabrics to waft around in, no compliments on that pregnancy glow – for who could possibly find my ‘glow’ under the layers of sallow sleep-deprived skin that I no longer have the time to hide with make-up. First time around my gym-honed stomach kept its shape for ages, I had been desperate to show a little round tummy that would proclaim to the world: “I’m pregnant, hooray! Now spoil me rotten.” Well I got my wish this time around as I ballooned to a 6 month sized bump by week 5! Seemingly in an instant my normal clothes were no longer an option, a fact that became all too clear when my skinny jeans gave up and popped a button violently and loudly during a work meeting. “Too many wheat grass shots?” smirked my producer. No, just a teeny, tiny foetus and, of course, A LOT of cheese.
So for my second I’ve gone ‘maternity’ early in every sense of the word, not only am I showing early but all my nine months of symptoms from the first time started within weeks of seeing that familiar blue line on my test. Back-ache, exhaustion, spots, my hips expanding – some of these things waited for labour last time but now they’re joining me for the full 40 week gamut. Thank heavens for good maternity clothes – the fabulous Seraphine wrap dresses, their ridiculously comfortable stretchy maternity jeans and Seraphine’s flattering maternity jumpers have got me through those times when I feel more lumpen than luscious. In my mum’s day it was all tent dresses and hiding your growing form beneath layers of bows and fabric so I feel really lucky to see that clothing designers now want to stylishly celebrate our burgeoning bumps not conceal them. My son even commented on one outfit saying “Pretty mummy” before launching himself at me with the inevitable yoghurty fingers – future note: always wear washable fabrics. And I certainly find some comfort in knowing I can still look like myself whilst pregnant, even if there’s a little more to me this time around.
For more from Rebecca follow her on Twitter @soverybecca
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