What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Lora Garrard
Lora Garrard, Founder of Lipstick in the Sand (@lipstickinthesand) shares her journey to date
To my complete surprise, I discovered I was pregnant. We weren’t trying for a baby or honestly even planning to get pregnant just yet, so it was all quite a lot to digest at the start. All happy positive thoughts but a shock none the less. Our lives were about to change forever, and to mentally prepare for that change was quite overwhelming. I found out quite early that I was pregnant, at just over five weeks – I normally have a very reliable menstrual cycle and I had this feeling deep down, so straight off to the pharmacy I went. Unfortunately, my husband’s parents were staying with us that week, so I didn’t get to do the romantic reveal I had always planned. A suspicious phone call to him insisting we meet for lunch that day and an announcement over a chicken skewer in Dubai Mall was how it had to go down.
I think it took until this time to really get my head around the fact that I was pregnant, what that meant, and what I needed to plan for. I found it so surreal in those first 12 weeks because we were being safe and not announcing it just yet. It was this huge secret that I felt I couldn’t plan properly for because it didn’t quite feel real. Luckily, one of my best friends was visiting this month so I got to tell her face-to-face which was magical. Being in Dubai, I felt like I’ve missed out on sharing a lot of pregnancy moments with loved ones, so sharing moments like this one was precious. I also spent this month secretly throwing up at work every single morning without fail – that was pretty miserable and draining. I ate enough to feed a small army in between spew breaks and had to resist eating out in public – due to Ramadan – which was a whole other challenge. My husband was fasting, and I pretty much wanted to sleep after he had eaten, so it was tough to spend any time together and that was really hard.
We could finally announce our news! I could explain why I ate so much and got sweaty at random intervals. I continued to have morning sickness right up until week 16, which in the peak of summer was exhausting. Sick bags, toothpaste and a sugary drink to regain energy afterwards, were now all my handbag essentials. A visit from my mum for a week was valued and we were lucky enough to time our gender reveal scan during her visit, which was beautiful for her to be a part of. We found out we were having a little boy, and within an hour, we were at Dubai Mall buying our first blue items.
The first big wardrobe clear-out happened. Regular trousers we no longer my friend and maternity jeans were now life. I quickly detached from my wardrobe favourites, after some huffing, tears and frustration. That cleanse and those quick decisions made me feel much better. My advice to mums in their first trimester would be the sooner you can dress for your ever- changing body and get a few key items that make you feel good about yourself, the better. I started pregnancy yoga in
an amazing maternity range from Mums and Bumps which were my saviour for comfortable workout wear, because yes, you will even grow out of your stretchy leggings. I was a yoga virgin and have completely converted – I would recommend it to anyone during pregnancy, it helps me relax and I feel so light afterwards – a feeling which is now very rare.
I finally had some down time and took a two-week staycation in Dubai. Originally, we had planned one last adults-only break in the Maldives, but when I realised it was a no-go due to Zika virus, we decided it would be easier to stay home. I can’t “Enjoy the miracle that is creating life” tell you how happy I am we did. No uncomfortable plane journey, awkward pregnancy holiday packing, or worry of feeling too tired to do things. We finally got to really enjoy the amazing country we live in; Privilee beach days made us feel like we were far from home, and I used my time to create a million spreadsheets of expenses and what I wanted to buy. It’s the endless online searching and Insta-shopping that takes time, so I felt great for locking down the essentials such as personalised towels and baby lions for the walls.
I’ve now booked flights home, so I can deliver in the UK with my friends and family around me. It’s starting to sink in that something actually happens at the end of pregnancy. In the meantime, the amazing team at Infinity family clinic look after me, and Dr. Janeta has been my go-to for keeping it real. I’ve also felt ready to get some proper information on what to expect – don’t pressure yourself to do this, you need a lot of headspace and it has personally taken me until month six. I visited the team at Maalak mama & baby care and had a session with Cecile, who if you haven’t heard of, is basically superwoman. She taught me and some girlfriends the essentials on breastfeeding and sleep techniques and it wasn’t overwhelming at all. I walked away feeling genuinely equipped as a mother with practical techniques, the science behind them, and tools to prepare me for motherhood.
I’m due mid-December and I’m praying for him to be right on time, so I can enjoy some Turkey back home. Until then, I will continue to educate, but not overwhelm myself, and as much as possible enjoy the miracle that is creating life.