As part of our Meet the mamas series, we caught up with the feisty ex MMA fighter, yet super lovely first time mama Elizabeth Lawrence.
The best things about being pregnant?
I have been asked this question numerous times by friends and family, and my answers have always been very easy. Since finding out we were expecting, I have watched my husband fall more and more in love with me each day.
We’ve always had a ridiculously strong relationship, but when this gentle giant discovered he was soon to be a daddy, his entire mannerisms changed.
He stopped at traffic lights more gently, took the inside lane of the motorway rather than the fast one, would run for ice chips out the freezer like my mouth depended on them and at 7am when he was leaving for work, I would often hear him whisper “bye beautiful, bye little baba”. He is the sweetest man I have ever known.
In addition to that, the best thing about being pregnant is the sudden realization of how amazing a womans body is. In 15 weeks I have watched my belly grow this (rather large) rounded bump, my size 12 tops beg for mercy and the sudden soul warming acknowledgement that in my tummy is the most loved and wanted little baby, that I am solely half responsible for creating.
And the worst?
I’m sure every expectant mummy will laugh and say “No, no, it’s all wonderful darling.” – It’s a big big fib! The worst thing about being pregnant is the persistent bleeding gums and dry hair I am experiencing. Suddenly my once pearly whites are being consumed by sore, swollen gums and it hurts. This is all thanks to those pesky hormones and (as my dentist so lovingly told me) can last until my little one reaches their first birthday.
My hair on the other hand is nothing more than a ball of matted pain on top of my head. I always took great pride in my hair and when I noticed it starting to dry out, I did what any woman would do and run to Tesco in my pjs to buy every single bottle of “simply sleek nourishing hair mask”. Alas, this wonder mask did not work and I found myself some days crying at the pain from trying to brush it. It wasn’t until I ran out of shampoo that I found a cheap bottle of Argan Oil shampoo at the back of the cupboard and thought why the heck not?
The clouds parted, a choir started to sing and I rejoiced in beautifully soft hair once more.
I’d love to give credit to the shampoo but I suspect it’s more due to the fact I hit my second trimester and things are starting to level out.
Have you done any pregnancy exercise?
I do Yoga three times a week and go for a 30 minute walk every day. I’ve never been one for “gentle” exercise, so I’m constantly questioning if I’m doing it right.
“Is this okay? I’m walking good? Like a proper athlete?” – Challenging stuff! haha
If you worked out before pregnancy, how has it changed?
I was previously an MMA fighter/instructor and was an enthusiastic dead lifter at least 3 times a week. Unfortunately all of these have come to an end and I suddenly find myself deep breathing with 20 other women on a bright pink mat as I perform a downward dog? Very bizarre concept. Never did I think I would find myself being told to breathe and it classed as exercise. Oh what a world in which we live 🙂
Do you have any funny cravings?
If by funny you mean disgusting then yes, yes I have. For about 3 weeks all I ate was pieces of Terry’s Chocolate Orange wrapped in slices of ham. Looking back, it was vile and I’m now very aware why my husband would look at me like I’d slapped his gran with the ham.
Currently (4 weeks now) I have been eating 4 boxes of cherry tomatoes a day dipped in houmous. This baby is a food combining legend.
Your favourite mama mio products?
My favourite mama mio product is the Gorgeous Glow Balancing Facial Wash – my skin has been SO temperamental since pregnant and this has really helped soothed the cracked dry skin I’ve been experiencing on my forehead and chin. Its a beautiful product to use when you feel like hiding your face and skin from the world.
Your typical skincare routine?
I previously would cleanse, tone and moisturize every day. However, since becoming pregnant I have found the brand of toner and cleanser I was using is suddenly burning my face a little so I have been using the Mama Mio Facial wash and a dry skin moisturizer.
A day in the life of your pregnancy?
My day consists of waking up in the morning to suddenly run to the bathroom as my bladder reminds me “I’m in charge”. It seriously is.
I then come downstairs and attempt to make a decaf coffee and some toast, before my little bundle reminds me we don’t like coffee anymore, so peppermint tea it is!
I catch up on emails, make a list of tasks for the day and then get ready for work.
I work part time as an undertaker and particularly since becoming pregnant, I have found my role becoming more and more demanding. For this reason alone, I dedicate an hour a day to meditate and relax before heading off to the office.
After 8 hours in branch and 2347 packets of cherry tomatoes later, I head off home to have a few hours with my husband before going to my yoga class. Recently we have been dedicating an hour every evening together, to make lists and plans for the baby and the nursery. Usually it ends in myself collapsing with sheer excitement on the sofa so he can rub my feet – I know right, he’s so lucky.
I have a simplistic life with simplistic needs. I have no regrets or desires for anything more, just a happy, healthy marriage and baby.
The thing that most scared you before pregnancy?
Before I was pregnant, nothing really scared me. I never thought having a baby was a possibility and so I had put any prenatal concerns out of my mind. Due to my previous career in MMA I was told there had been a significant amount of damage to my womb and I was unlikely to ever conceive. For this reason alone, I focused on my career and family with every intention of starting an adoption process within the next 2 years. It was only on that strangely sunny day in May, that I took a chance on a ClearBlue and my life changed forever.
What most scares you during pregnancy?
Everything! (Said with a smile on my face)
I feel like pregnancy is a series of hurdles. Once you overcome one, you’re then destined to take a deep breath and start climbing the next one.
My first worry was “oh my god, it’s going to be ectopic” – A scan ruled that out. On to the next hurdle.
What if there’s no heartbeat? – There was, I saw it 4 times before I believed it.
What if they don’t grow? – They are doing – my belly can confirm this.
What if the testing for down-syndrome doesn’t come back within the normal range? – it did.
I was never a panicky kind of person before pregnancy, the only things I ever stressed over was a standard Friday night phone call of “how much brie do we actually need with this wine?!” – Damn I miss brie and wine.
However as the weeks have gone on, I’ve found myself quietly sitting, with my hand cupping my bump and knowing all of these panics and worries are because I’m a mummy. I’m madly in love with a baby I haven’t even met yet – but I know him. It’s the most bizarre (yet beautiful) experience I’ve ever had and I’m only (nearly) half way through.
Everything is scary in pregnancy. As women we put so much pressure on ourselves to not fail, to not let our bodies do something wrong, to not go against what “should” happen – but we’re human – and humans are unpredictable! I’ve learnt patience with myself and that actually, this fear women have over EVERYTHING going wrong – is just confirmation that we’re going to make remarkable mummy’s and always strive for the best for our children.