A Beautiful Mama-To-Be & Her Bump! We Chat All Things Pregnancy With Anna Al Qasimi-Roberts
Anna Al Qasimi-Roberts is the Managing Director of Nudge, a Communications Coaching and Advisory based in Dubai and available online to the world. A former International TV and Radio Presenter, International Speaker and Moderator with over 10 years experience, Anna has interviewed CEOs, government leaders and award winning athletes but now channels her expertise to allow women to be the boss of their business and life (wow!! See more at www.thenudgeeffect.com)
A twin herself, Anna is now expecting un-identical twin boys anytime between now and the next month! Having been told that she would never have children without medical intervention due to endometriosis and PCOS, Anna’s twins were actually conceived naturally (she bought 5 pregnancy tests when she first found out…). Married to an Emirati/German husband, Anna is really looking forward to welcoming two new little people into their family – and we can’t wait to hear of their arrival!
Where were you when you first found out you were pregnant?
At home! My husband was actually the one who suggested I take a pregnancy test in the first place and when it came back positive I had to go to the pharmacy and buy 4 more tests in 3 different brands because I thought it was a mistake!
Your funniest memory over the nine months?
Probably when my husband went to talk to the bump and was met with two kicks to the face!
Any great books and resources that you turn to for baby preparation?
I’ve loved the ‘What To Expect’ App which gives you an update every week on the relative size of your babies and what’s going on inside your womb. My husband and I watch the updates every week and it’s great to have him involved and understand what’s going on with my body. I also loved ‘How to grow a baby and push it out’ by Clemmie Hopper who is known as Mother Of Daughters on Instagram and we took a Wise Hippo Course with Nicky Langley which has been one of the key strengths I drawn from when things have felt a bit overwhelming. I’ve also got to mention Keith Littlewood from Mind Body Balance who I worked within the year before I got pregnant to get my Endometriosis, Polycystic ovaries and Thyroid condition under control without medication and manage my digestion, energy, and sleep.
What was the easiest trimester and which one has proved most difficult?
I’ve been really lucky to have a symptom free and straightforward pregnancy. When you are told you’re expecting Twins, you are immediately classed as High Risk. I would prefer this to change to ‘being at a higher risk’ of developing complications as everyone has a different experience of being pregnant but I would say that the first 12 weeks before you can anyone is the most harrowing and frustrating!
Do you follow a fitness programme while pregnant?
Yes, I’ve been continuing to maintain my fitness routine at the gym and exercise classes the entire way through my pregnancy. That includes lifting weights, aqua spinning, barre classes and prenatal yoga. I’ve found it makes a difference to my mental state and helps with sleeping.
Any fashion tips and tricks for maternity dressing?
I bought pregnancy jeans in my size and the size up when I was only 6/7 weeks and they were definitely a great investment and have lasted me the entire way through my pregnancy. Asos is great for business dresses and super reliable as well as being priced competitively. I’ve found I still fit a lot of my normal leggings and baggy t-shirts so don’t go too wild buying clothes in the first 20 weeks or so.
What have you struggled with most of being pregnant?
The reactions from people. Being told, ‘wow you’re going to be huge’, or ‘omg your stretch marks will be terrible’ or ‘you’ll tear from front to back with twins’ has just really being exhausting to not only hear but respond to. These comments always come from someone who has no experience with twins, has no idea that I’m doing absolutely great and that everyone has their own individual experiences, it’s not fair for you to project your fears onto me.
What kind of delivery are you hoping for
As natural as possible, which comes with a lot of caveats with twins! If I do go into spontaneous labor, the option of a water birth, for example, is off the table but at the moment I’ve worked out a great list of birth preferences for me with my doctors and midwife such as being able to stand in the shower with wireless, waterproof monitors on or having an IV line and Epidural placed in situ without drugs administered until necessary. The options of induction and medical interventional with a cesarean are also very real but I know that I’ll be in safe hands and as the Wise Hippo program has taught me, it’s all about having the right birth on the day.
Read more: The Birth Plan, Is There Such A Thing
Name a mama you find inspiring and why?
My Mum! She only found out 10 days before my sister and I were born that we were twins and she delivered naturally with Gas and Air so really set a precedent for what seems like a very normal situation for me.
What are your thoughts about finding out the sex in advance?
We preferred to find out as it was shock enough that I was pregnant in the first place, and with twins!
Any local businesses that make your pregnancy journey easier?
Define in the marina are great dealing with pregnant clients for classes with both barre and spinning on offer, TKD was a godsend helping me feel comfortable in a changing body and prepare for breastfeeding with beautiful bras and we listed our baby registry with Mumzworld which has the easiest and most extensive system to navigate and quickest delivery time.
Read more: A Chat With Foodie Queen Annabel Karmel
Do you have any weird and wonderful cravings?
I wouldn’t say cravings but I really had a taste for mincemeat (tacos, spaghetti bolognese etc) as well as citrus fruit and milk in my first two trimesters.
Where will you be having your baby and who is your OBGYN?
I’m in New Zealand to give birth so I have a wonderful midwife here in Auckland who will deliver the boys alongside a team (Most likely 14 people!) at North Shore Hospital. Until I arrived in New Zealand I was under the care of Dr. Helena Taylor in Healthcare City in Dubai who has an incredible personality and would highly recommend.
What are you most looking forward to about motherhood?
I can’t pinpoint one aspect but having talked about having children for a while I’m really excited for my husband and me to be embarking on this next chapter together to lean on for support, learning together and having two new additions to the family!
All images are Anna’s own