Many of you will know Shanéy (Shan) as the voice of You, Baby & I. For those of you who don’t, her blog follows her life as a young mom with her beautiful toddler, Kitana, and will soon be expanding to include the exciting journey she is embarking on with her second pregnancy. Based in Johannesburg, she is 19 weeks along and expecting to welcome baby in late September.
I feel that she is the perfect person to start my Pregnant in (_) Interview series because she feels as I do about not only sharing the happily ever after of pregnancy and parenthood.
“I want to share everything – the good, the bad and the ugly! It was exciting discovering I have a lot of pregnant moms reading my blog at the moment, because I want my readers to go on this journey with me and now I feel like I am on this journey with them too.”
Pregnancy & Baby Two
Shan describes her first pregnancy experience as “perfect”. Although she experienced morning sickness, cramps and the bane of every pregnant woman’s existence – the toilet run every 5 minutes; she loved all of it, from the Nando’s cravings to having a full night’s sleep (anyone remember what that’s like?).
She has also been blessed with a wonderful and supportive husband, who loves to spoil her.“He’s a sweetheart, I’m glad I married my best friend.”
Being an only child, Shan always knew she wanted more than one child and began thinking about having a second baby around this time last year. “I became impatient (haha), but realised I needed to wait a little bit longer.”
Although a little nervous of having a toddler and a newborn, she loves that her kids will grow up together. “The 3 year age gap is perfect. I know it won’t be easy, but Kitana has become very independent and I’m sure she’s going to want to help me with the little things like passing me the diapers and bum cream.”
How do you prepare your precious firstborn for a second baby? “I think it’s important to spend as much time as possible with your little one and let them know that there’s a baby in mommy’s tummy. Kitana knows but I don’t think she understands yet; I just keep reminding her so hopefully when she sees the baby she will be okay. Really hoping she will be okay!”
I had a bit of a challenging first pregnancy, and have been very nervous of having to go through all of it again. Shan has given me a little hope on that front. “I’ve realized that no two pregnancies are alike. Before Kitana, I believed that all pregnancies were basically the same and I expected the labor and delivery everyone talks about (haha). This has been brought up for me again now, I feel like I’m pregnant for the first time as everything is so very different.”
This time round she has had no morning sickness or cravings. She has had a lesser known symptom called Dysgeusia, which is a distortion of taste from the pregnancy hormones, most commonly having the taste of metal in your mouth.The good news is, it often clears off in the second trimester, so we hope Shan can enjoy food again soon! In spite of this, insomnia, and constant exhaustion making it difficult to focus and work; she is trying to enjoy every day of being pregnant.
The shift in symptoms did have her wondering if there was some truth in the old wives tales of predicting the sex of the baby; and her research has allowed her to create a fun and unique way to get her readers guessing the sex of baby two.
A few weeks ago Shan didn’t want to know the sex, but immediately said yes when the doctor asked them at the scan. She wouldn’t share it with me yet, because she has been planning something special for her readers, which she posted yesterday. She is even hoping to get inspiration for the perfect name from her readers, so you should get over there and share in the magic.
Preparing for birth
The most difficult part of her first pregnancy was not getting the birth she had planned. Luckily she had a relatively easy physical recovery after having an emergency c-section with Kitana, and she was able to work through it and make peace with it over time.
She is facing it head on now, “I want what is best for my baby and a c-section is the only option for me. I’m fine with it because I am prepared this time around; my doctor and I are already looking to schedule a date, hopefully no earlier than 39 weeks.”
Being apart from Kitana for three nights during the recovery is more scary for her, as it will be their first time apart.
Incredibly admirably, Shan is still breastfeeding, which has made separation impractical until now. Although her gynecologist has said there is no issue with breastfeeding while pregnant, she is hoping she will be able to wean her soon. It is something she has been working on for a while now. Between weaning and a developing closeness to family members, Shan is hoping the time apart will be manageable for them both.
Words of Wisdom
The best advice you received when pregnant?
Take each day as it comes and don’t plan too much.
Advice for daddies-to-be from a pregnant mommy?
Don’t get on the bad side of a pregnant woman! Ha-ha! I think you just need to be supportive and don’t try too hard. Sometimes we need space, but sometimes we need help. With all the mood swings, it can be a difficult time for the dad-to-be, but he needs to be patient and understanding.
Advice for first time mommies-to-be about pregnancy?
Expect the unexpected! Everyone’s pregnancy is different. Please don’t compare yourself to Kate Middleton or Victoria Beckham. Enjoy each day because it goes extremely fast and don’t over-work yourself.
Thanks you so much Shan for sharing your journey with us! We are sending all the love and wishes for a smooth and effortless pregnancy, birth and recovery, and we just know that Kitana is going to be the very best big sister to the new arrival!
If you want to follow on with Shan’s journey, you can find her here.
I hope you enjoyed the first installment of Pregnant in (_). I’m hoping it will get even better as I refine everything. Next week we will be meeting Nicola, in a Pregnant in (KZN) interview!
Sending all the love xx