Our beautiful mama-to-be this month needs no introduction – the sassiest midwife in town (plus one of our wonderful contributors), Shani is expecting a baby girl very soon and we couldn’t be more excited! We chatted to Shani about everything from pregnancy cravings to her perfect birth scenario – and took a peek at her super cute baby-shower at Cove Beach. A big thanks to our photographer Lidiya for the stunning piccies!…
What was your reaction when you first found out you were pregnant?
Actually a bit surprised, but so very happy. I also felt a bit pensive as I had a previous miscarriage and was a bit nervous to celebrate right away.
Your funniest memory over the nine months?
For me, the thing that makes me laugh (and melt) the most is watching my husband’s excitement in preparing for the baby. He likes to use my teaching doll to show me all the things he knows how to do, changing, wrapping, burping – it has become quite a comical routine.
Any great books and resources that you turn to for baby preparation?
As I’m a Midwife and Prenatal Educator, I didn’t use too many references other than what I already know, however asking friends who have new babies to “give it to me straight” has been the best education of all!
What was the easiest trimester and which one proved most difficult?
Second trimester was the easiest, as in the first I was plagued by nausea and vomiting and so far the third has been tough on my pelvis! I think that working full time as a Midwife six days a week has been a tough act to balance.
Do you follow a fitness programme while pregnant?
I envisioned prenatal yoga and pilates… instead what I have done is prenatal couch! Working full time makes it tough to get into any sort of regular exercise routine and on my Fridays off, I like to spend it outside doing something with my husband or friends. At work, I do sit on the birthing ball as much as I can though.
Any fashion tips and tricks for maternity dressing?
I think the great thing about a winter pregnancy has been that even at 30 weeks I have not had to buy any “maternity clothes”. There are so many beautiful pieces out there in the general stores that can be worn as maternity clothing. I find dresses over leggings my go-to uniform.
What have you struggled with most since being pregnant?
I have always been a big social butterfly, brunches, ladies nights, weekends with friends… so it has been tough to reign that in. The biggest issue is the smoking in Dubai, coming from Australia where no food or beverage venue has any smoking allowed inside or even outside, going out in Dubai is very tough for a pregnant mummy.
What kind of delivery are you hoping for?
I’m hoping for a normal delivery. Whether that means with medication or not, I will really leave it and decide on the day. My 13 years as a Midwife has taught me to expect the unexpected and never plan too much when it comes to labour and birth. I’m open to whatever happens on the day, but will try to stay home in labour for as long as I can before going to the hospital.
Name a mama you find inspiring and why?
I don’t have to look far to find inspiring mothers, I’m surrounded by them in my family. From my own mother, my sister, my grandmothers. All of them have shown incredible strength, resilience and sacrifice in giving their children the best they can, in not always the easiest of times.
What are your thoughts about finding out the sex in advance?
My husband was so keen to know that I couldn’t possibly have kept it from him. I had a feeling it was a girl from the start and when the scans confirmed it, we were both over the moon. In Dubai, finding out the sex is very common. If I was in Australia, I may have waited.
Any local businesses that make your pregnancy journey easier?
I love reading local Dubai mummy blogs who like to tell the good, the bad, and the ugly, it’s so refreshing and fast becoming my prep resource!
Did you or do you have any weird and wonderful cravings?
I’ve gone from being such a foodie, cooking and eating everything, to being a little ho-hum about food in general in my pregnancy – so I’m most looking forward to getting stuck back into loving seafood again. But god bless pre-cut fresh pineapple, it has been a daily food for me – day and night!
We can’t wait to meet Shani’s baby girl! A huge thank you to Lidiya Kalichuk of www.lidiyakalichuk.com for the gorgeous photos