Jenny is FitBump Mum-to-Be of the Month - congratulations!

Hi Jenny! First of all, congratulations on being Mum-to-Be of the month!

Tell me, how many weeks are you now and how are you feeling?

I am 36-weeks pregnant and actually feeling pretty good.  ‘Bump’ is very active, which can be interesting, but reassuring all the same.  I do feel very tired (and heavy!) at the end of the day, especially when I’ve been busy with my 6-year old daughter or not had the best of night’s sleep!

What aspects of pregnancy are you enjoying?

I have mostly enjoyed this pregnancy as I have felt well and happy, almost ‘blooming’ as the phrase goes!  The ‘bump’ is very active and I love trying to guess which body part is poking out at me.  I have particularly enjoyed seeing my daughter ‘bond’ with her prospective sibling – she loves to hold/cuddle my bump and sings/talks to it most days.  She has also become very protective of ‘bump’ and me, which has been very sweet.

And the not-such-fun bits?

The lack of sleep lately has become frustrating…although, I have found sleeping almost upright on the sofa better than being in bed.  I’ve been very lucky and not suffered from backache or anything like that but certain (less attractive) pregnancy issues have caused some discomfort.  Oh, and acid, especially in the evening – milk and Gaviscon are my new best friends!

What’s been your favourite pregnancy gadget?

A plastic shoe horn!!  Not having to bend down and put my shoes on every morning for the school run has been a godsend.

You do your online pregnancy fitness with me but have you always been active or is this new?

I have always tried to be fairly active and as a family we try to get out and about most weekends.  I have also enjoyed playing tennis and swimming over the years and took up jogging a couple of years ago, thanks to the NHS Couch to 5K app.  I even managed to do the Race for Life in 2014, which felt like a massive achievement at the time as I have never been a natural runner!  Maybe postnatally I can attempt a 10K one day.

I am really enjoying your online Pilates course.  I was disappointed that I couldn’t make your evening classes in person but the online course allows me to exercise at home whenever I can grab 20-minutes or so.

Are you into healthy eating? What’s your all-time favourite dish?

I try to eat fairly healthily and almost always cook from scratch.  I have always enjoyed fruit and veggies anyway but there is always room for a bit of chocolate too!  I enjoy most foods really so choosing a favourite dish is tricky…maybe a good king prawn chilli linguine or lasagne.

You used to work with babies – tell me a little more about it?

Yes, I quit my job as a Biochemist and retrained as a Paediatric Nurse in my late 20s.  I found my vocation when I became a Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse working with premature and sick babies for several years.  I loved my job and felt very lucky to have worked with such a great bunch of people and learnt so much from the families whose babies had to be admitted to the unit. I made the decision to leave nursing when my daughter was 2-years old and have very rarely looked back since.  I feel very lucky to have been able to have spent the last four years seeing my daughter grow up.

Do you have any “secret” plans up your sleeve for a new career path one day?

I had hoped to start up a new venture to support mums-to-be/new mums in a kind of advocate role, as I feel strongly about mums being given the confidence to trust in their own innate abilities.  When I had my daughter I was very lucky as I had a very supportive midwife, husband and parents who gave me the belief that I could, and did know how to, look after my precious new baby.  However, having spoken to friends and other new mums I learnt that this is not always the case.  Often we are given conflicting advice from different sources, which can actually hinder bonding and mothers’ confidence in their natural instincts in how to cope and look after their babies.  Maybe one day!

And what about the birth? Thinking about it or a case of bury your head in the sand?

No, I am thinking about it.  Even though I have been through it before I am still feeling some fear and trepidation.  I think I feel I have more at stake as I already have my daughter.  I have been reading up on the pain relief options again but still hope to try complementary methods of breathing techniques, TENS and massage along the way.  I am pretty open-minded though, especially after my journey through the birth centre, delivery suite and emergency theatres last time!

What are you most looking forward to about motherhood x two?

The feeling of amazement that my husband and I have created a new life and the first looks that pass between my new baby and me, as well as the new baby and my daughter and husband.  I think my daughter is going to love being a big sister and I am really looking forward to seeing how she develops in herself when there is someone else in her life.

We all need a bit of “me time” when we’re mums. What will you be squeezing into your “mummy me time”?

Yes, that would be lovely but probably quite rare as we do not have any family locally and my husband works long hours so I shall make the most of every minute of it!  I do try and get a day at Ragdale Hall every year or so with my Mum and we certainly make the most of that.  I try and catch up with friends as often as possible, more in the daytime with the little ones, which I really enjoy.

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