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From Bump to Baby - the surprises I wish I saw coming. 🫣

From Bump to Baby - the surprises I wish I saw coming. 🫣

To all of my fellow parents & soon-to-be parents! I'm back with some juicy tidbits from my recent adventure as a phil&teds® whizz at the BabyShow in beautiful Auckland, New Zealand. The atmosphere was buzzing with excitement, & there were cute couples at every age&stage of the parenting journey.🤰
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But you know what really struck me during my conversations with these newbies? It's that no matter who you are or where you're from, we all share the same worries & insecurities when it comes to diving into the world of parenting. It's like there's this universal language of anticipation & sometimes downright scary unknowns that we all speak fluently. 😘

There's something incredibly comforting about hearing someone say, "I know what you mean" or "Don't worry, that's totally normal." It's like a warm hug of reassurance that you're not alone in this wild ride called parenthood.

So, this one's for all the amazing parents I met at the BabyShow – thank you for inspiring me to pen down these thoughts. And to all you other parents out there, let's talk babies - what will happen to a mama's body, & I'll share some handy & essential planning tips. After all, we're all in this together 👊

Being the first isn't always the greatest, & trust me, I learned that lesson the hard way... 😆 I was the FIRST in my friend's group to trip into pregnancy & parenthood. Stumbled & fell, are other words that come to mind, as my bundle of joy was a surprise. So, my friends & I naively celebrated like rockstars, wearing rose coloured glasses dreaming of communal parenting, but let's just say, it was more ambitious & naivety than practical. 🙄

Being pregnant & becoming a parent wasn't part of my plan, so once again naively, I had convinced myself that it wouldn't happen since it wasn't in my immediate vision. However, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade! 😬 I was fortunate to have a beautiful pregnancy experience without any morning sickness, and I felt well taken care of. Surrounded by a supportive & loving group of friends, I felt incredibly blessed & grateful for their presence as my belly grew. Admittedly, my belief in "eating for two" led to some overindulgent cravings, with my bubs (not me) often dictating lunch choices like burgers, fries & a small chocolate milkshake. TBH sizing references may have been exaggerated, but honestly, one of my joys of being pregnant was I made everything XL (guiltlessly)... ‘cos you're eating for two or more – right?! 🤭

One thing that really helped & made me connect with my lil alien that was growing in my belly was after finding out the sex of my bub, we named him. We, meaning my overly helpful & very opinionated group of friends. Suggestions included Jet, Luca, and Bilbo (at this point in Wellington, Lord of the Rings was in full production, & the talk of the town!) We settled on Elijah Luca. From the moment I named Elijah, I loved him, & every night I used to rub my belly, talking & singing to him. If you don't want to find out the sex of your lil bump, then just coming up with a cute name can really help. Naming for me, made it real; & motivated me to get shite done! 😤

I wish I could tell you that I was planned, scheduled, in control & had everything sorted, but honestly as a first-time expectant parent, a novice in the world of parenting, these are the things I wished someone had shared with me.

When you're an expectant parent, there are two things happening in unison - as the parent that is carrying & giving birth to bubs, you'll be going through some significant physical changes, that leaves you thinking WTF, & at the same time, you're trying to plan ahead your ‘to do’ list in preparation for the birth & arrival of your bub. So, from the prospective of a mama of one, & flying this journey solo, I'll trying to make things easier for you! I've collated a list that includes both for you, of the trimesters & expectations within (though understanding everyone is different, especially for our gorgeous parents of multiples...but at least it's a starting point for ya!)

First Trimester (Weeks 1-12):

Physical Changes:
  • Hormonal changes may lead to morning sickness, fatigue, & breast tenderness.
  • Nausea & vomiting may occur due to increased hormone levels.
  • Breast tenderness & swelling are common as the body prepares for breastfeeding.
  • Increased urination frequency due to hormonal changes & pressure on the bladder.
  • Mood swings & emotional changes may occur due to hormonal fluctuations.
  • Weight gain may begin, primarily due to increased blood volume & fluid retention.
Planning Ahead:
  • Schedule your first prenatal appointment to confirm the pregnancy & establish care.
  • Start taking prenatal vitamins to support your baby's development.
  • Make lifestyle adjustments such as quitting smoking & limiting caffeine intake.
  • Research childbirth options & consider creating a birth plan.
  • Begin compiling a registry of essential baby items & nursery decor.
  • Seek support from loved ones or online communities to share your experiences.
  • Start researching into antenatal classes available in your area. You can ask your healthcare provider, check local hospitals or birthing centres, or search online for classes offered by certified childbirth educators or organizations.

Second Trimester (Weeks 13-26):

Physical Changes:
  • Morning sickness may subside, & energy levels may increase.
  • Baby bump becomes more noticeable as the uterus expands.
  • Skin changes such as stretch marks & darkening of the skin may occur.
  • Fetal movement, known as quickening, may be felt around the midpoint of the trimester.
  • Digestive issues like heartburn & constipation may arise due to hormonal changes.
  • Breasts continue to grow & may become more tender.
Planning Ahead:
  • Attend regular prenatal check-ups to monitor your baby's growth and development.
  • Finalize your baby registry & prepare your home for the baby's arrival.
  • Budget for baby-related expenses & research childcare options if needed.
  • Take childbirth education classes to prepare for labour & delivery. Antenatal Classes.
  • Review & finalize your birth plan with your healthcare provider.
  • Practice self-care & seek support from loved ones as needed.

NB: For you parents that are looking at returning to work, this would be a great time to start researching & pre-booking into daycare options for your bub – some daycares start taking babies once all vaccinated OR of a certain age (sometimes 6mths up). It may seem way too soon to even consider this, but from what I am hearing, daycares are usually booked out, hence why a lot of parents are starting to look as early as now!

Antenatal classes are also a wonderful opportunity to connect with other parents, & usually end up being the fellow parents you have coffee & wine date with later on in the parenting journey! Your unofficial support group, & later BFF's! 😇

Third Trimester (Weeks 27-Birth):

Physical Changes:
  • Increased weight gain as the baby continues to grow.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions may occur as the body prepares for labour.
  • Backache & pelvic pain due to pressure on the back & pelvis.
  • Shortness of breath as the uterus expands & pushes against the diaphragm.
  • Swelling, particularly in the feet, ankles & hands, due to increased fluid retention.
  • Fatigue & difficulty sleeping due to discomfort & anxiety about labour.
Planning Ahead:
  • Attend prenatal appointments more frequently as the due date approaches.
  • Pack your hospital bag with essential items for labour, delivery, & postpartum recovery.
  • Finalize preparations for the baby's arrival, including setting up the nursery & purchasing last-minute essentials.
  • Practice relaxation techniques & self-care to manage stress & anxiety.
  • Discuss your birth preferences with your healthcare provider & prepare for labour.
  • Enjoy the final weeks of pregnancy & cherish the special moments before your baby arrives.
  • Become friends with your car seat and learn to know how to install into your car for the first trip home with bubs.
NB: If you need additional info on car seats my previous blog will be very helpful.

Cracking the Car Seat Code: Tips on Choosing the Right one for YOU! 🥳 (

I hope this helps all you expectant first-time parents out there& if there is anything that you may want to know more about, then please share in the comments section below - I'd love to hear how you are doing!

Next week, I’ll be talking to one of my dearest friends about being a first-time dad. That should be VERY entertaining 😁

Sofia 🩷

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