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Karena Valentina

Sharing my adventure as a new mum. Exploring parenting, style, travel and personal reflection.

HE SAID, SHE SAID!

HE SAID, SHE SAID!

Hello everyone… Hope you're all having a lovely weekend! 

I've been wanting to do a Q&A with my husband on all things pregnancy, parenting and birth for a little while, so on Friday we sat down with a glass of bubbles and answered some questions to see how our answers would differ. I told him to be honest and not hold back and I was actually surprised with his answers.. I think becoming a Dad may have made him a little soft!!!! We set up the camera to capture our reactions, swapped laptops and read the answers the next morning, it was actually really fun. Here goes…

RICKY'S ANSWERS:

How did you react when you found out Karena was pregnant? 

I was so surprised and in a bit of shock. I didn’t believe Karena and thought the tests were wrong and the line was too faint. I got about 8 more tests and sat with Karena as she took all of them. The fact that we were in Scotland and could share our news with family was quite amazing though!

Were you nervous about becoming a parent? 

I never really felt nervous, I always thought we would be fine and Karena would be a natural. Any nerves that I may have felt were definitely overtaken by excitement.

What was the hardest part of the pregnancy? 

Watching Karena struggle with her ribs and various other pains she was feeling was horrible. I have never really felt so useless before (until the birth). I don’t deal too well with emotions at the best of times, so the walking emotion factory was a tad difficult to deal with too… :-) 

What was the best part of the pregnancy? 

Our musical education to Karena's bump is the thing that makes me smile the most when I look back. Rod Stewart night, Del Amitri, Paul Young and feeling Jack kick along to the music.

Is there anything you would have done differently during the pregnancy? 

I’m not sure about doing things differently but there are definitely things I would make sure we do again. Karena painting and decorating the baby’s room at 18 weeks pregnant was a great help, I will try and beat her to it next time though. 

How did you feel about the birthing experience? 

Looking back, all I remember are the exciting parts. Driving to the hospital, waiting for each measurement, the bath and then the actual birth. Karena being in pain is something that I struggled to deal with at the time, but then seeing her hold Jack for the first time is the picture I have in my head and will do always.

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a parent? 

The biggest challenge is definitely only having 1 week off work when Jack was born. Luckily Karena’s Mum was here but I still feel like I missed too much at that early stage. No matter what work commitments I have next time I will find a way to take more time off. I also find it difficult playing catch up when I come home from work and Jack has learnt something new or grown up more (It happens daily). I guess all Dads just have to accept it but I’d love to spend more time with Jack and Mummy!

What have you learnt that you wish you'd known? 

Not to be worried about nappies… They are easy :-) 

What is the best thing about being a parent? 

Easy… Everything, every smile and strange look and even the strange smells and random sick stains down every shirt. Seeing him develop his cheeky little personality and spotting little traits from Karena and I is surreal in the best possible way. 

Also knowing that one day I may do something to make little Jack proud makes me happy every day!

MY ANSWERS:

How did you react when you found out you were pregnant? 

I sat on the floor and cried. We were in the UK on holiday and I woke up one morning and turned to my Ricky and said "I'm pregnant!". He didn't believe me, but I sent him to the pharmacy to get tests… 

Were you nervous about becoming a parent? 

I was secretly petrified! Who wouldn't be! I'd always wanted to be a young mum and even more so when I met my husband. When that test returned a positive result I reslised more than ever that we were two big kids that joke our way through life, were we capable of this? It didn't take me long to realise that we were as ready as we'd ever be and the nerves were replaced with excitement!

What was the hardest part of the pregnancy? 

Well… where do i start… detached ribs, morning sickness to 38 weeks, rupture on my cervix and migrianes just to name a few (don't worry this doesn't happen to everyone!)… No seriously though the hardest part for me was the wait! I was so desperate to meet my little guy that every single day felt like a year! 

What was the best part of the pregnancy? 

The kicks! Oh my goodness they are the best! I still miss feeling a little human playing around inside of me and seeing the look on my husband's face. We used to have "musical education" every night when we would play songs from our favourite artists and Jack would dance along… he would also respond to light which was so amazing! 

Is there anything you would have done differently during the pregnancy? 

I would have agreed to more date nights with my husband… He always wanted to go out and do something fun but I always felt too tired or fat… I now realise that I wasn't fat, I was PREGNANT! Now that little Jack is here we don't get too much time together and I wish I'd enjoyed those last few months with just the two of us!

How did you feel about the birthing experience? 

At the time I was screaming at my husband "how can any woman find this liberating" then 3 minutes after the birth I described it as the best experience of my life and told him I wanted so many children with him. It was a day that I'll never forget and I feel as though its almost frozen in time. I just remember feeling so much love for Jack, Ricky and my mum (who was also present for the birth). 

What is the biggest challenge you have faced as a parent? 

Guilt. This will sound so silly but I constantly question myself and wonder if I'm doing things right. I studied in childcare and teaching at uni and have worked with so many children, but still question myself at every turn. More recently I have found a group of mamas more like myself and this has stopped… I've learnt to take a more relaxed approach and this has really helped me to enjoy every guilt free second with my boy!  

What have you learnt that you wish you'd known? 

Every single baby is different, there is no one size fits all. I have really stopped comparing myself to others and have learnt that I know what is best for my own child. I have loved being a mummy from the start, but even more so now that I recognise Jack's cues and have adopted more of a baby led parenting style. 

What is the best thing about being a parent? 

I can answer this with one word: "EVERYTHING". Every single smile, feed, development, sleepless night, poopy nappy… everything is magical in it's own way. Even the harder moments become memories that you know you will look back on and treasure and for me this is the essence of motherhood.

Still friends???

Still friends???

Hope you've enjoyed our answers… This is such a fun activity to do whilst bub sleeps! 

Much love, 

Karena (and Ricky!) x

BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS!

BOOKS, BOOKS, BOOKS!

DRESSING FOR THE SEASONS

DRESSING FOR THE SEASONS