When I started this blog back in 2009 (it’s Lipglossiping’s 5th anniversary on Friday!), I was already 8-months pregnant with Leila, which didn’t leave a lot of time for pregnancy thoughts and updates. When I discovered I was expecting again last September, I thought that this time around I might fill the pages with tales of untreated haemorrhoids, killer constipation, and colourful stretch marks but when push came to shove, I’ve actually spent most of these past 9-months feeling too lackluster to blog much at all.
Which means two things.
One. You’ve actually been spared.
And two… You’re overdue a post (or seven-hundred).
Let’s start with a pregnancy/beauty/health one shall we? I’ve only got two weeks of this chapter in my life left, so I’d better crack on!
Sickness & Nausea
There’s been a lot of it this time around. I didn’t realise how lucky I was when I was carrying Leila, my early pregnancy symptoms revolved around sore boobs and that was mostly it. This time, I was dealt the whole deck – from night-time nausea to daily ritualistic sacrifices to Ralph, the porcelain god. Nipples that were convinced my bras had turned into julienne peelers overnight, and the kind of exhaustion that had me tucked up in bed by 7pm every evening.
My only advice is to remember that it will pass. Unless you’re really, really, unlucky. In which case, sorry about that. I tried sickness bands, preggo pops, scent therapy… truly, the only things that really worked for me in the early days were to make sure that I slept as much as I was able (waving goodbye to my late nights of blogging) and to eat toast/crackers/anything I could get my hands on before I’d even sat up in bed in the morning.
Back in 2008/2009, I glowed from day one. Five years on… not so much. It’s a pretty frustrating turn of events for someone who invests so much bloody effort in their appearance nowadays! As soon as the mercury plummeted and Winter approached, my skin turned to pure shit. The dryness, all over my body was unbearable at times. Foundation was a no-go, a practical impossibility, so I resigned myself to it and spent the mornings slathering on increasingly rich moisturising products in an attempt to keep the flakies to a minimum.
I’d love to tell you that I found a magical combination of moisturising products to solve my issues. But I didn’t. It didn’t matter how heavy the lotions were, how much the serums pulled water from thin air, or how many moisturising masks I applied, I can’t say that I ever restored the balance through changing my moisturising routine. The only thing that has provided relief is upping regular exfoliation from once a week to four(!) times a week. I’ll admit, I was worried that I was over-exfoliating my sensitive skin… but I really believe that my skin, right now… needs it more than anything else.
I’m alternating between using LUSH Let The Good Times Roll Cleanser (£6.35)* three times a week while in the shower in the morning, and my beloved Elemis Tri Enzyme Resurfacing Gel Mask (£38.25), once a week as a Sunday night (treat)ment. For moisturising, I got so pissed off at throwing money at products that I’m really happy to have stripped back the fuss and found it beneficial. I’m using Olay Beauty Fluid Sensitive (£3.99) and it’s doing a grand job without bells and whistles.
Another cruel blow from the last 9-months was that nothing actually changed. With Leila, my greasy roots disappeared and I was able to get away with washing my hair only twice a week! This time, nada. The only noticeable difference was how much greyer I’ve become in the 5-years between kiddos. Thanks for that!
I avoided dyeing my hair completely for the first 3-months of pregnancy and have since cut-down my habit to once every 8/9 weeks. I use a semi-permanent dye… the same that I was using pre-pregnancy but I’ve gone another shade lighter as my hair seems especially prone to sucking up the dark colour at the moment. I use the Superdrug Crème Sensations in Light Brown 6.0 (£3.59) which gives me a med/dark brown result and lasts really well over my greys.
I’ve been waiting for the onslaught of stretchmarks since I turned 30+ weeks but I haven’t seen any. Well, not any new ones anyway… some of the faded ones from last time are looking a little more pronounced but I may have gotten away with developing any additional marks.
Having said that, I firmly believe that there is nothing you can apply topically to your tummy to avoid stretchmarks. Nothing. You’ll either get ‘em or you won’t. I haven’t paid any special attention to moisturising my body because I’m a lazy oik, so the only products that have been in contact with my baby bump are good old-fashioned Astral Cream (£3.99)* after showering and LUSH Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner (£15.95) as a once a week treat, a product that I still get evangelical about!
The only other pregnancy issue I’ve experienced with my body has been a big increase in the development of my existing skin tags! I’m a skin-taggy person and have had a few removed over the years but in the past 9-months, my two remaining ones have literally tripled in size. I’ve read that this is a common issue, brought about by the extra growth of cells within the superficial layers of skin. This makes perfect sense to me… and may also explain why I’ve benefited so much from upping my exfoliation routine! I’ll be getting them frozen off when bubs is out, for sure!
Other Preggo Issues
I was half-expecting my PCOS hair-growth to go ballistic during pregnancy… but this hasn’t happened (thank God!). Neither have my moods been massively altered by the hormonal changes. My diet has been affected by the return of “borderline” gestational diabetes and my greatest ally in reducing my refined carb-intake has been the humble loaf of Burgen Bread (the soya & linseed one) (£1.40) and an increase in side salads! I have missed hot cross buns terribly this Easter but Lidl’s 81% Arriba Superieur Dark Chocolate (£0.99) has seen me through my darkest days!
My final issue has been achieving quality sleep. I’ve really struggled with it on and off since week 32. Mostly thanks to heartburn, so if the old wive’s tale is anything to go by… I will surely give birth to an ape. I’m at the point now that regular over-the-counter remedies just aren’t helping. I have a midwife appointment tomorrow but with only 2-weeks left, I don’t think she’ll be keen to put me on anything stronger.
So there we go, I’m sure I’ve missed some preggo-related stuffs but in all honesty, I’m bored of writing this mammoth post now and I desperately want to go and put the kettle on.
All things being well, we’ll be meeting the newest addition to our family on the 7th May, that’s not long is it? I still haven’t attached the crib to the bed yet but I have packed my makeup bag for the hospital. Priorities!
* press samples
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