Today we are chatting to the gorgeous Kaylynn Smith who is 28 weeks along. I studied PR with Kaylynn and she was always one of my favourite people; I am beyond thrilled for her and hubby Leith that they will be welcoming a baby boy in late August.
From 2 to 3
Kaylynn is an Account Manager at Ogilvy PR. She has been in the industry for 7 years and has a love/hate relationship with her job. “PR is not for the faint hearted and it’s really unpredictable and stressful at times; but if you love what you do, it does make it worth it.” Leith is in the events industry, so it can be tough at times with both of them having demanding jobs, but over the years they have found a way to make it work. “The most important thing is investing quality time in us, our marriage, and now building a strong foundation for baby.”
This is likely to be the biggest change she can foresee for now. Married for five years this year, they moved from Cape Town to Joburg for work 4 years ago, so it has been just the two of them for a long time. “We are very accustomed to our alone time and doing things at our own pace and in our own time. I think the biggest change will be learning how to find that alone time and quality time together once baby is born; and having to live around a routine.”
Away from home
Both Kaylynn and Leith are very close to their families, so moving away from Cape Town was a difficult decision, but they embraced Joburg as their home. Being pregnant while far away from their families is a new level of difficult (I cannot even begin to imagine!). “Being pregnant in Joburg while my family is in Cape Town is extremely hard. This is the first grandchild on my side and my mom gets quite sad about it, because she feels she is missing out on a lot during this huge milestone in my life.”
She has found ways to share as much as possible with her folks and her younger siblings, keeping them updated on all the firsts, weekly pictures and including them in the baby purchases.
“I also share videos of our monthly scans with them and it does help in making them feel involved. My mom will be coming to Joburg for a bit once I give birth and I am really looking forward to that. My dad, brother and sister are planning on visiting often once baby is born, so that they don’t miss out on our baby growing up.”
Leith has been her rock through everything. “He has honestly been so amazing! I’ve definitely seen another side to him. He was particularly amazing when I had morning sickness and he really took care of me. He didn’t know how to cook, but he learnt really quickly and started cooking for me and always cleaned up the house when I couldn’t. He has seriously been such a great support and I am so grateful for him.”
Sharing the joy
After only a month of trying to fall pregnant, Kaylynn had a suspicion that she was pregnant as she was already having symptoms.
“I didn’t tell anyone about the symptoms and on the morning of our 4 year wedding anniversary, 16 December 2014, I took a pregnancy test and it was positive! Hubby was downstairs at the time, so I decided to send a picture of the pregnancy test to his phone and added the caption, “Happy Anniversary!” I heard him scream after I sent the pic to him and he came running to me. One of the best days of my life.”
They decided not to tell their parents, as they were flying to Cape Town for the Christmas holidays that weekend and wanted to surprise them in person.
“We arrived in Cape Town on the 22nd of December. We had a box for each set of parents, which we asked them to open as an early Christmas present from us. Inside each box was a photo frame with a poem inside. The poem was addressed to grandparents and written as if it was from our unborn child. My mom started crying halfway through and couldn’t finish reading it.”
They had already told their siblings, so they recorded the whole experience on Kaylynn and Leith’s phones to show the baby one day. They announced their pregnancy on Facebook after her 12 week scan with a pic of hubby pointing at her little bump.
As mentioned, Kaylynn’s symptoms kicked in early and she suffered terribly from “morning” sickness from week 6 to week 15. “It’s been a rollercoaster ride thus far! It was around the time between Christmas and New Year, so I didn’t have such a great holiday season. Morning sickness worsened as the weeks went by and I really struggled to eat much or keep anything down. Mom2b shakes were the only thing I could stomach, which was good as I knew my baby was still getting nutrients.”
Kaylynn says she feels like she has had all the symptoms in the book; morning sickness, acne, dry skin, cold sores, and backache. She’s also been very emotional and cries at the drop of a hat.
The second trimester has brought her some relief and she is in awe of her growing baby. “Feeling my baby move and kick and seeing him grow each month at the ultrasound scans, makes it all worthwhile. I never knew I could love someone so much without having even met him yet. The highlights of my pregnancy have been the day I first felt him kick, followed closely by the first time my hubby felt him kick. Seeing our baby at our monthly ultrasound scans takes my breath away; I always have butterflies for the whole day after seeing him.”
Having your baby…
Kaylynn has always wanted to give birth naturally; and after doing lots of reading and speaking to a number of other moms, she is hoping to go the natural route, if possible. “There is so much information available on the Internet, at the hospitals and in books. I have found that although being informed is very important, at the end of the day you have to do what you feel is right for you.”
“I know things can change at the last minute, but until then, it’s a personal choice. I feel that nobody’s opinion should matter about how you decide to have your baby, as long as it is an informed decision. Your body, your decision. I find it quite sad how moms shame one another for how they decide to give birth.”
Kaylynn will be welcoming her baby boy at Life Fourways Hospital, a 3 minute drive from home. “I considered what would be best for me and my baby. I would be slightly disappointed if I end up having a C-section, but my main concern is my baby’s health and what’s best for him and if a C-section is necessary, then I am all for it! I briefly considered having a home water birth, but after chatting to hubby about it, I changed my mind. Also, with living so close to a great hospital which is fully covered by our medical aid, it was a bit of a no brainer.”
Words of Wisdom
One thing you wish somebody had told you about pregnancy?
That it was actually hard work. But at the same time also the most amazing thing that you could ever witness your body do. I never knew that our bodies were so amazing until I fell pregnant. It’s a true miracle.
The best advice you’ve received?
That you should not listen to any advice! Lol The best advice I’ve received has been from my mom, she told me that I should look after myself and that everything will be ok and fall into place. And so far, it has.
Advice for other first time mommies-to-be about pregnancy?
Look after yourself. No matter what happens along the way, it will all be worthwhile when you hold your baby. I am so excited and can’t wait for that moment!
Also, I have realised after chatting to people that, like when planning for their wedding, many people don’t prepare for the marriage. They are so focused on the wedding day, that they don’t prepare for what comes after. Similarly, many people I’m sure, don’t prepare for after baby is born. I think it’s good to prepare for what’s going to happen after baby has arrived, such as how will you and your husband parent him/her, discussing your stance on discipline, how will you establish a routine, stance on schooling etc.
Advice for daddies-to-be from a pregnant mommy?
Just show you care and help wherever possible. Learn what is important to her and what her needs are, and do whatever you can to do just that. She will appreciate it so much.
I think pregnancy is one of the most amazing things in this world! Making another human being should be classified as a superpower! ☺
I agree with Kaylynn, it is most definitely a superpower! Thank you SO much to Kaylynn for sharing her story with us. Kay, I hope the rest of your pregnancy is smooth sailing and your gorgeous boy continues to inspire you and bring you joy. We will hold you in our thoughts and hope along with you that you get the birth you are wanting.
Sending all the love xx