I am so excited about this meet-the-bump! Jenna and I met when we were both interns at Elle magazine back in 2009! And now she is 34 week pregnant with her first babe. Of course, she also happens to be super stylish leading me to having serious maternity wear envy throughout her pregnancy. Jenna is now looking forward to being a mum as well as continuing to be a content creator for select brands.
How are you really feeling?
Excited, nervous, emotional – all the feelings really! I’m not really surprised as although pregnancy is a blessing and a miracle, growing a human being takes a lot out of you mentally and physically.
What was the thing that surprised you the most about being pregnant?
The preconceptions around pregnancy led me to believe this would be an easy ride – that I wouldn’t eat any sugar, that I would gym my way through the 40 weeks, that it would be all glow and tummy but what came as a surprise was that you just don’t know how you will handle pregnancy – each pregnancy is different and it is OK to say you know what – I love my baby and am so excited to meet him or her but the carrying part is actually not for me or I find this really hard. For me it is important to be open and share on this because during my pregnancy I have found so many other women who have battled with post-partum depression, difficulties through their pregnancy, finding it really challenging to breastfeed, hard truths that women feel they can’t share or talk about, that its supposed to be all roses. I think it is important for women to support each other and share / talk out about this so the ride is not so lonely.
You recently closed your company, so describe the new normal day in your house?
It was a tough decision to close my first baby but the right one I know to be a first time Mum. I love working so to be honest a few projects have crept up which I am busy with as well as a few collaborations – I have begun sharing my pregancy and my journey on social media – sharing on products I love, baby tips I have picked up, dressing the bump and just really hoping to inspire and inform other women in some way be it big or small. A typical day for me starts with a stroll to Bootleggers for a coffee (I allow myself one a day) then I’m on mail doing a bit of work in the morning and then its full on organisation mode. We have recently moved into our new home in Greenpoint so between preparing for the baby and a new space I am always doing something. Full on nesting mode really. I’m not one to sit still so my days are full and this new phase is about sharing, connecting with people and taking time out to create be it on the home or work front. The weekends are all about family time. These last few weeks my husband and I have really tried to cherish this time together before there’s less of it with a newborn baby!
Take us into your babe’s nursery?
You’ll have to wait till the full nursery reveal on my blog for all the details! But what I will say is that I have tried to create a really still, elegant and peaceful space. Much to other Mums horror it is all white. We don’t know our babies gender yet but even if we did I would have kept the room in neutral hues. We had the compactum, crib and rocking / feeding chair custom made with Baby Belle – these pieces give the room a French / old world feel with a handcrafted crib which exhibits all the hallmarks of an antique crib with its classic curves and detailed carvings and deep button hole upholstery. These pieces add a sophisticated feel to the room while I balanced old world with a modern touch by adding a gold and mirrored side table, a beautiful icelandic sheepskin and a white linen toy box stacked with handcrafted knitted animals and toys. As much as I tried to keep the nursery all local there were a few pieces we picked up on our trip to NYC – a Trousselier sheep musical mobile, prints from the Animal Print shop. Oh and one of my fave finnishes in this room that brings in such warmth and feminity are the French lace curtains I found in Franschhoek at Masquerade.
How has being an expectant father changed David or given you a different insight into who he is?
You know what is interesting is how little others talk about the impact on Dads and what they go through on this journey. They may not have the constant reminder of carrying around a big bump but they too go through changes. There is a lot of pressure to provide as a father, how the new arrival will impact on their work, life, balance, how they will handle the birth itself. I would really recommend couples going to an ante-natal course as this provides a journey for both of you not just mums-to-be and it is a really lovely thing to do together. We are attending Thula Baby Centre classes and it gives us a weekly opportunity to ask questions, learn about pregnancy, birthing, breastfeeding and most importantly is just such a great support network to meet other mum and dads to be and connect with the right professionals from midwives to lactation specialists. The Dads connect and have a space to chat and bond over their thoughts and what if’s and its really important that the Dads are involved. David is beyond excited, he has been so involved and supportive from the beginning – he has definitely showed me a more gentle side but also a very strong side in that he takes his responsibility seriously and has prepared for his role by reading, reasearching and asking the right questions. For Dads to be – do get your hands on The Expectant Father, The ultimate guide for Dad’s-to-be and he also has enjoyed reading The Bump app.
What are your top picks that you pack to keep you comfortable yet super stylish during your pregancy?
Shoes, shoes, shoes – when you are expanding in every which way and are having a blah day and nothing fits, an amazing pair of shoes can change everything
Have fun with your choices and don’t feel you HAVE to resort to maternity wear. Definitely invest in a few beautiful dresses, a classic white shirt and a really great knit – just get bigger sizes and don’t feel you have to wear maternity clothing only.
Having said this, there are a few items that I had to get in maternity- a pair of maternity leggings (coming from someone who thinks leggings are a fashion sin, trust me, you’ll thank me later) a pair of dungarees and maternity jeans – H&M have great options that are comfortable but still stylish. I find in the last trimester a chunky knit or white longer length shirt goes perfectly with a pair of maternity leggins and leopard print loafers (my current wardrobe staples).
Before you think outerwear make sure you are being kind on your skin – I am obsessed with all the Mamma Mio products as well as Bio Oil – I alternate as I love how they make my skin feel and will continue to use both post pregnancy. I am also a huge fan of Africology anti-ageing SOS spray – in the last trimester I tend to wake up with a puffy / swollen face and the spray soothes, hydrates and moisturises the skin beautifully.
We know you are always on the look out for amazing products, what have you bought already for your babe that you cannot wait to use?
I can not wait to use my Artipoppe leopard print baby carrier – it is made from cashmere, wool and cotton and carries baby from 6months – two years and I can not wait to wear it!
My Bugaboo – my husband is a bit of a nerd so we spent days test driving different prams, he researched different brands to within an inch of his life – he took this very seriously and the result was the Bugaboo Chameleon 3. We got the navy one with cream quilted detail interior.
Mums swear by the Nurture One Nesting cushion – it is locally produced and an amazing sleep aid that is safe. It holds the baby securely and assists with snug position for sleeping which in turn encourages calm and relaxation. It also allows for a smooth transition from breast feeding to crib, pram or cot without changing position.
My Woolina sleep sack which is a wearable blanket made from merino wool which regulates the babies body temperature keeping it cool in summer and warm in winter.
Im also excited to try out my Wubbanubs – part plush toy, part dummy the Wubbanub is designed to stay in place and comfort your baby. It’s attached to a sweet toy that’s easy for babies to grasp and close to impossible to lose. It will probably be my baba’s first little friend – I ordered the lamb, baby giraffe and ele from Amazon.
Ewan the Dream Sheep – I bought mine from Kids Living. It calms the baby and lulls them to sleep – it has actual womb and heartbeat recordings that are combined with either vacuum cleaner, rain or harp sounds. After 9 months in the womb your baba is accustomed to the mothers heartbeat so Ewan the dream sheep immitates these sounds and provides a calming and comforting affect on your little one.
Oh and last but not least – I am so excited to try out my sheepskin – it has such amazing benefits – the merino wool is super gentle against baby skin, has natural temperature control abilities, can result in better sleep, reduce stress and colic and, and and! Love that you can use it as a play mat or in the crib or pram – I got mine from Baaa Sheepskins.
If someone could have given you one piece of advice before falling pregnant what would that be?
Slow down, take a long deep breath and pause. Pregnancy is such an individual experience so it can be hard sometimes to get good advice and trust me, everyone has an opinion. Listen to your own body and do what feels right for you. On a practical front I would really suggest spreading things out nicely – don’t wait until the end to do the nursery, to buy all the essentials – do it as early on in your pregnancy as you feel comfortable doing it. For me the last few months have been exhausting so to have everything ready and organised has been so wonderful and less stressful.