Aquo's Speel

A-Z of Pregnancy

A-nkles – Swelling is a normal part of pregnancy that is caused by blood and fluid. Normal swelling, which is also called edema, is quite common in the ankles.

B-ladder – Train your bladder to behave. Urinate every 30 minutes, before you have the urge, and then try to extend the time between trips to the bathroom each day.

C-affeine – Caffeine should be limited to less than 200mg a day once a woman falls pregnant. This is equal to about one 12 oz cup of coffee.

D-iet – During pregnancy you need more iron because the volume of your blood increases and your baby’s blood is also developing. For an iron rich diet, include at least two serves of meat, chicken, fish, legumes or nuts every day. eat wholegrain breads, cereals and green leafy vegetables regularly.

E-ndorphins – You may have higher levels of endorphins near the end of pregnancy. For women who don’t use pain medication during labour, the level of endorphins continues to rise steadily and steeply through the birth of the baby.

F-olic acid – Taking a prenatal vitamin with the recommended 400 micro-grams (mcg) of folic acid before and during pregnancy can help prevent birth defects of your baby’s brain and spinal cord.

G-ynecologist – A trained practitioner who’s had post-medical school training in only women’s reproductive and general health. They are the practitioners that deal with high risk patients, multiple births, etc.

H-umidifier – If you have the flu during pregnancy, you can treat yourself effectively at home by investing in a humidifier.

I-mmunity – the immune system is lowered slightly during pregnancy, making pregnant women more susceptible to coughs, colds and flu.

J-aundice – Mild jaundice occurs in about 60% of full-term newborn babies, and in up to 80% of premature babies. You’re most likely to notice it from the third day after birth. Jaundice is usually harmless and disappears after 1 to 2 weeks.

K-egel exercises – Pregnant women who perform Kegel exercises often find they have an easier birth. Strengthening these muscles during pregnancy can help you develop the ability to control your muscles during labor and delivery.

L-ifestyle changes – Healthy lifestyle changes pregnant women should make during pregnancy include eating energy-giving foods, body-building foods and protective foods. They should avoid foods that are more likely to contain harmful pathogens (e.g. processed meats). Alcohol and caffeine may affect foetal development and should also be avoided.

M-idwife – A midwife is a health professional trained to support and care for women during pregnancy, labour and birth. They help you to stay healthy in pregnancy and, if no complications arise, to give birth with little intervention. Midwives also care for you and your baby in the first few weeks following the birth.

N-utrition – Good nutrition during pregnancy can help to keep you and your developing baby healthy. The need for certain nutrients, such as iron, iodine and folate, is increased at this time. However, pregnant women may need supplements of particular vitamins or minerals. Consult your doctor before taking supplements.

O-rgans – To make space for a growing baby, our organs move during pregnancy and they move again after birth. It all starts with the uterus which enlarges and pushes out of the pelvic cavity. Eventually, the body rearranges vital organs such as the stomach, liver and intestines.

P-lacenta – The placenta is an organ that develops in your uterus during pregnancy. This structure provides oxygen and nutrients to your growing baby and removes waste products from your baby’s blood. The placenta attaches to the wall of your uterus, and your baby’s umbilical cord leads from it.

Q-uestions – It is important that you feel well-informed about your antenatal care and have accurate expectations about what will happen when you go into labour. You should always ask your obstetrician or midwife any questions you may have throughout your pregnancy regardless of how silly you think they are.

R-est – Your sleep isn’t as deep and refreshing as usual, and you’ll wake more often throughout the night. You need more than usual – as much as you can get. Resting during pregnancy is needed more than usual as you are growing another life-form inside you.

S-leep – The best sleep position during pregnancy is “SOS” (sleep on side). Even better is to sleep on your left side. Sleeping on your left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby. Keep your legs and knees bent, and put a pillow between your legs.

T-oiletries – Your toiletry bag for after you give birth should include nicer products than you would usually use including  body wash, shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser, deodorant, and your favourite perfume.

U-ltrasound – Ultrasound is used during pregnancy to check the baby’s development, the presence of a multiple pregnancy and to help pick up any abnormalities. The ultrasound scan isn’t 100 per cent accurate, but the advantages of the test are that it’s non-invasive, painless and safe for both mother and unborn baby.

V-itamins – Prenatal vitamins are multivitamins that are specially formulated to meet the increased demand for micronutrients during pregnancy. They are intended to be taken before conception and during pregnancy and lactation. Since prenatal vitamins contain the vitamins and minerals that pregnant women need, taking additional vitamin or mineral supplements may not be necessary unless suggested by your doctor. Prenatal vitamins are often prescribed by doctors and also available over-the-counter.

W-ater – Your recommended daily water intake is higher during pregnancy but really varies based on your body type and size, how active you are, and so on, the general rule of thumb is somewhere between eight and ten 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

X-rated fun – Not running a business time schedule when trying to fall pregnant is more times than not more effective. Those that have more fun in the bedroom when trying also may experience less tension in their relationships.

Y-oga – If you’re attending a regular yoga class, be sure to tell the instructor you’re pregnant, and which trimester you’re in. Don’t do any poses on your back after the first trimester – they can reduce blood flow to the uterus.

Z-ygote – A zygote is the union of the sperm cell and the egg cell. Also known as a fertilized ovum, the zygote begins as a single cell but divides rapidly in the days following fertilization.

There you have it, my A-Z list of pregnancy. It was fun composing this list and the different resources I used to research the information used in this list.

Aquo Xx

Aquo's Speel

The last few weeks of pregnancy – reflection & growth…

Why dear Lord must the last few weeks of pregnancy suck so dearly?! Jesus knew that the only way for humankind to be saved was for him to give his life for them. So my question is – whyyyy then do women have to endure this kind of suffering?!

Everything else aside, I’m so grateful for this pregnancy and how smooth it has been…. until now – mind, body and soul – as when I fell pregnant for the first time (It was planned and I wouldn’t change it for the world!) I was still recovering from a horrific accident and nobody knew how it was going to go. It was quite nerve racking to say the least – nobody could really answer any questions we had, we pretty much had to wing it.

8 months & 2ish weeks later, along came a healthy little boy who has turned into the prodigy of his mother! Really – it’s scary. At just shy of two years old he is super cheeky, hard headed, knows exactly what he wants and when he wants it and god help you if he doesn’t get his way. Just like – ME!

At 4 weeks of snuggling up with my little prince, we started back at gym. The doctors told me to wait for my six or eight week check up (I can’t remember when it was) before starting back but I couldn’t resist, plus it boosted my energy levels and at that time a bit of a boost is exactly what I needed to say the least.

I decided to go in guns blazing with my approach to become a healthier mother, I figured with my impairments, Loosing a few kilos and changing the way I ate, drank, slept would all work out to be a massive plus for myself and how I was right! I lost over 30kg – during that time our whole diet changed, we ate a lot of chicken, salmon and fish, I started my day with a massive cup of black coffee – no sugar, 1L of water infused with lemon in my first hour awake, along with another two during the day, very little processed foods and all meals/snacks were portion controlled.

With gym, I went and did 30 minutes with a personal trainer three times a week and would go walking for at least 45 minutes everyday, 7 days a week. I allowed myself to have a cheat day every fortnight, instead of every week, and instead of eating whatever I wanted for a whole day, I would allow myself to have a cheat meal and a cheat snack.

The first ten months with bub was a massive shock to the system! As I couldn’t breastfeed due to there not being enough research at the time on the nerve medication I am on, my biggest downfall was Pepper Jack Shiraz, I would have a few vino’s most nights just to get to sleep – which made my quality of sleep even worse! A big plus was never waking up with a hangover.

After about ten months, I started to get this whole mum gig, I stopped drinking unless I was at an event – and even then, I would keep my head on my shoulders. I submerged my head in ‘The game” – reading about nutrition and anything else fitness and implemented what I thought would work for our family (much to my husband’s disgust!) there was a few months of trial and error but we finally created a system that worked for us.

Now, I understand that not every baby comes out as a textbook baby, but mine was close to it – we were very, extremely lucky the first time around! Even if getting him on the right formula was a complete nightmare! And being a stay at home mum I had lots of time, motivation and resilience when it came to lack of sleep to create this new healthy lifestyle for my family and myself.

So now, I’m at 37 weeks and 3 days at the time of writing this, it’s currently 5am and I haven’t been able to sleep from 3.30am (cheers husband for making so much noise snoring 😩😩😩) and last night I thought was going to be ‘The night’. Contractions started than stopped – damn!

Our second son was born on 3rd May 2019 at 12.57am – he made an extremely fast entrance into this world. We arrived at the hospital 6 minutes before he was born! The whole show wouldn’t have been four and a half hours long. He was born as I was standing in the shower, the midwife caught him – it was pretty epic! In all honesty – it’s about time things started to become a bit more straight forward for me!

I guess every mum finds having more than one baby a lot easier because they already have had the practice. You know little tricks to make bub happy and it’s just so much more crusier. With your second child there’s not really any such thing as rest, especially for a cane farmer’s wife.

This time I was able to give birth in my small home town rather than having to travel 110km to the closest city. I’m no longer classed as high risk like I was for my first pregnancy as doctors didn’t know what to expect the first time around. I really hate hospitals now – you would too if you have been through what I’ve been through! But not having to leave home, it wasn’t so bad.

This time around I wanted to remember the birth, I haven’t got much memory of my first birth – probably because it was so traumatic. This time around I remember everything! I was opting for a water birth this time around as I couldn’t last time, being high risk and all. I wanted to be more relaxed and just let it happen.

And boy did it happen! I was at home in the shower for a bit, it was so relaxing! I didn’t want to leave. I’m so thankful I was able to be able to remember everything this time around, and I will remember that forever. I do wish however, fathers were more understanding of child birth. When we are in active labour, don’t stand there winging at us, we can’t focus on what you’re saying and it’s just going to piss us off. We will go to the hospital when we’re good and ready (even if we are cutting it extremely fine!) Yes, it is your child too, but we know our bodies better than anyone – have a little faith in us.

Aquo Xx

Aquo's Speel

Getting pretty – it’s nearly time!

I am feeling so ‘whaleish’ at the moment, I really can not deal with this North Queensland humidity rubbish! So to change my whole mindset, I booked an appointment to get my hair done with my neighbour and friend, Erin Giliberto from Hair by Erin who operates out of Heaven Scent – a florist shop in Ingham.

Erin is passionate about hair and she was telling me her story about why she absolutely loves what she does. I love hearing people’s stories, however – it’s not my story to tell.  I have never had a bad experience with my hair, I get on really well with all my past hairdressers but I was absolutely AMAZED with Erin’s end product. For the last year, she has been working away at a balayage look – but this time I just couldn’t believe my hair ended up looking like it did. I was over the moon!

After I had my first child, I lost so much hair – it was super scary! I told Erin – I was completely freaking out! She explained to me why it happens – it all has to do with postpartum hormonal balances. Those who have researched it recommend not to worry, as it’s temporary and the hair grows back. As many women are breastfeeding at six months and sometimes beyond, checking in with your GP can help determine if the hair loss goes beyond the effects of pregnancy and childbirth. While your baby becomes your priority, ensure you are also eating a balanced diet that is rich in protein and vitamins, this will help eliminate other possible factors of hair loss like vitamin and iron deficiency.

I have always had reasonably healthy hair, until I had my accident. Then it was always so oily I had to wash it everyday just to keep it clean – which damaged it more.  Over the years I have learn’t different tips and tricks to make sure I don’t wreck my hair with too much colour, not enough love, etc. The following list is what I’ve learnt over the years:-

  • Use a salon quality shampoo and conditioner – This ensures there’s no nasties that will damage your hair.
  • Only condition the ends – because the scalp produces a natural oil, there is no need to condition the entire head – just the ends. I found since I started only washing my ends my hair looks cleaner for longer.
  • Get it trimmed regularly – This helps to keep it healthy as it grows. Hair begins to split somewhere between 3-4 months so getting it trimmed around then will help you maintain healthy hair.
  • Use a wide tooth comb before you wash conditioner out – doing so means less split ends and you don’t have to brush it while it’s wet (which means less split ends).
  • Do not use Pantene – Pantene contains silicone which can build-up on the hair with repeated use, and one of the active ingredients will dry your hair out leaving it more prone to damage.

As I have had some education when it comes to looking after my hair, and as my hair now has a few different shades of blonde through it – I want to be able to keep it healthy. When it comes to basic care it all starts with a good washing routine – here is the system I follow:-

  1. Get it soaking wet – This means you save $$ on shampoo as you only have to use a minute amount.
  2. Use a small amount of shampoo – A small blob is plenty, I then repeat this process.
  3. Massage the shampoo into your scalp – Don’t scrub the scalp too hard – remember those salon head massages? Yeah… like that.
  4. Rinse really well –  until you don’t see any more bubbles or suds on your head or going down the drain. I do this by feel – when it feels like it does when you first wet it.
  5. Gently dry your hair with a towel – I use a hair towel,  I leave it on for a while then I let it air dry.
  6. Comb it out carefully – with a wide-tooth comb, especially if it’s curly. Don’t yank or tug on it, because that can break the hair or pull it out.
  7. Try to use heating devices as last as possible – these devices will cause damage to your hair, limiting usage will reduce the severity of damage.

I have been using TreSemmè until my last hair appointment, I have since asked Erin to order me in some of the blonde shampoo & conditioner she uses – Base Blonde, it smells like marshmallows! I also just ordered salon quality moisturising shampoo & conditioner off eBay – Oasis natural look hydrating. When it comes to buying your shampoo & conditioner, buying the most expensive products isn’t the right way to go about it. You can buy products that keep your hair in tip top shape that are actually quite reasonably priced. It’s all about marketing for the big hair companies, a lot of the time your paying for bells and whistles you don’t really need.

“I think that the most important thing a woman can have- next to talent, of course- is her hairdresser.”

Joan Crawford

Heaven Scent (where Erin operates out of) is an absolutely AMAZING shop! Gail Guandalini (the owner) has created an awesome set up! There is a cafe, so going in and getting my hair done, having lunch and a coffee (and maybe some of their amazing corn flake biscuits) is an awesome escape from daily life for me. They also cater for events like birthdays, luncheons etc. in their cafe. Check out their website by clicking on the link below:-

Heaven Scent Flowers & Gifts

P.S:- I had another healthy little boy on the 3rd May 2019.

Aquo Xx