Today’s interview is with the amazing Nicola Tweed. You may recognise her name from here – she is the mad talent that helped create my gorgeous new website. Nicola found out she was pregnant the same day that I approached her and Andrea to redo my site – some things are just meant to be!
Nicola was born in South Africa to two Scottish parents, but lived in Botswana for most of her life. She also lived in London for 8 years before following her heart back to South Africa and settling in Howick, Kzn. Multitalented, Nicola specialises in web design and development, but is also a qualified personal trainer and a blogger.
A First Trimester of Pregnancy
Just short of 15 weeks pregnant today, Nicola is expecting her first baby on 14 November this year. As with most mommies, multiple tests were taken before she could really believe it. “Two pregnancy tests and a blood test later and we were sure I was pregnant”.
I clearly remember how incredibly challenging the first trimester could be, and that at 14 weeks I was still feeling awful. Nicola has had a similarly rough time and, like so very many of us, has been struggling with the reality of pregnancy versus what she expected it to be.
“I thought it was going to be this wonderfully AMAZING experience, but so far, for me, it’s been one really big roller coaster. I cry at everything, I can’t concentrate and I am just not myself.”
She has been experiencing the dreaded “morning” sickness and, my personal nemesis, porridge brain. “Up to the 12 week mark I suffered with vomiting. I found it funny how pregnancy made me turn away from the things I enjoyed, like eggs and coffee for breakfast. The smell and thought of them both made me run for the toilet. The smell of a braai (and even just the word) made me do the same!”
“There was also the terrible brain fog that was so bad that some days I didn’t even bother getting out of bed. I surely wasn’t myself and it felt depressing, especially as my usual healthy lifestyle went completely out the window – hello couch, coke, chips, chocolate, pizzas… Now that I’m past that mark, I’m feeling so much more focused and have come back to my exercise and juicing.”
Looking up & Looking Forward
In spite of the rough start, Nicola is remaining positive and focused on the fact that the first trimester is just the first stage in this journey, and hopeful that the worst of the symptoms will pass soon. She also describes her 12 week scan as a particular highlight of her pregnancy so far, “The beauty of a human being growing inside you is just mind blowing!”
Another highlight has been the unexpected excitement of her other half, Clinton. “He is not big on romance, sympathy or words; so it’s been hard not getting the morning sickness sympathy I wanted. But he is so looking forward to being a dad and he does little things to show support, like buying me bags of pregnancy vitamins on days when he can see my energy levels flagging and not moaning about the dishes piling up 😉 !”
She cannot wait to find out the sex of their baby and share it with the world. When she first found out she was pregnant she was dead certain it was a girl, even referring to the baby as a “she”; but at the 3 month scan she kept getting this feeling that it was a boy. Only time will tell!
A tip for friends and family, “I want either pink or blue at the baby shower, nothing yellow please!”
Names for baby are already in the forefront of her mind. “I’ve always wanted to name my little girl Charlotte, but it’s out the window now that the new little princess has that name.” (THANKS ROYALS :P) “I’ve narrowed my girl list down to either Olivia or Emily… luckily Clinton and I both agree on the former.”
Evidently, Nicola and I have the same taste in names, as those were the top 3 names on my list! She is less sure on boys names (a sign maybe…), though she would love for it to be Scottish in honour of her family’s heritage. In the end though, she doesn’t think they will make a final decision until baby is actually born, feeling that when they meet him/her for the first time, they will just know.
Tough pregnancy or not, Nicola definitely wants to do it all again and wants either 2 or 4 kids. “The bigger the family the better!”
Her greatest resource for making the practical decisions so far has been her friends. “Most of them are on their second or third child, so they are walking books of knowledge and have guided me with regards to the best doctors and hospitals in our area.”
A great support system is definitely key to a happy healthy mommy and baby, and Nicola is blessed with Clinton, friends, family and an amazing doctor.
“I’ve been absolutely bowled over by how excited our friends and family are for the two of us. It brings tears to a pregnant mamma’s eyes! My doctor, Dr Dhavaraj, has been an absolute dream, I love how he makes you feel like you are the only person in the world having a baby.”
Words of Wisdom
As is always the case, Nicola has received loads of advice over the past few weeks since announcing her pregnancy. The best advice so far? “Smile, nod and trust your own judgement.”
“I’d don’t think any advice can prepare you for pregnancy, I think it’s quite a personal journey and everyone experiences different things,” she says.
Advice for other mommies-to-be
I don’t think I’m quite ready to be giving mama advice yet. One thing I’d tell every pregnant woman though, is to buy a comfy pair of pyjamas that you absolutely love. You’ll be spending a lot of time in them! My new doggie print winter pyjamas from Mr Price make me happy no matter how awful I feel.
Advice for daddies-to-be from a pregnant mommy?
Some sympathy would be nice, we are after all doing all the hard work!
Thank you so much for sharing your journey so far with us Nicola! We are right alongside you in hoping that the worst has passed, and the second and third trimester are much more gentle to you. We are so happy for you and cannot WAIT to hear the sex of the baby 🙂
Next week we return to our roots with a Pregnant in (Cape Town) interview with the lovely Mushra Hartley.
Sending all the love xx