Becoming a mama is one of life’s greatest gifts and to celebrate we’re running a feature each month dedicated to a Sassy Mama-to-be and her beautiful bump! This week we’re sitting down with Karen Wazen Bakhazi and chatting about her favourite pregnancy moments, weird cravings and how she plans to stay healthy and happy for the whole 9 months. Currently a mama to baby George, who was born on 26 Oct, 2014, Karen is now expecting twin girls – due at the end of August!
What was your reaction when you first found out you were pregnant? Twins?
When I first found out I was pregnant, my initial feeling was SHOCK! My son Georgie was only 2 months old and my pregnancy really came as a surprise! But it was also the most wonderful news when we found out we were expecting twins! Thrilled, nervous, excited, overwhelmed, blessed and happy can now barely describe our emotions.
Your funniest memory over the nine months?
In my last pregnancy with George, not a long time ago (haha) a funny incident happened. I tend to have “preggo brains”, where things slip my mind quite often. That particular time, it slipped my mind to change my slippers into shoes and I drove all the way to the mall not realising that I was still in my home slippers. I obviously had to come back home and change into shoes!
Any great books and resources that you turn to for baby preparation?
Even though I believe no book can really prepare you for what is coming, there is this one book called “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”, which helped put some things into perspective from me as a new mama-to-be. Before that, I really didn’t know much about pregnancy nor motherhood.
What was the easiest trimester and which one proved most difficult?
In my pregnancies I found the first trimester the most difficult. Even though I have to admit I’ve had it easy, no morning sickness nor extreme fatigue. I just didn’t find the psychological impact of having to adapt to the changes of pregnancy very easy. Having to accept that changes will happen in my life is always quite daunting at first. What then seemed like scary changes are now the most beautiful things that have happened to me.
Do you follow a fitness programme while pregnant?
I try to stay healthy by doing some regular swimming sessions, as well as occasional prenatal yoga.
Any fashion tips and tricks for maternity dressing?
A tight dress which brings out my bump with a loose cardigan over it. Easily my favourite pregnancy look!
What have you struggled with most since being pregnant?
I am not immune to toxoplasmosis, which means I can’t have salads nor raw vegetables unless they’re washed with a disinfectant. That means no salads or greens outside the house! It’s more difficult than you could imagine.
What kind of delivery did you have previously with George? And what kind of delivery are you hoping for now with your twins?
My first delivery was a C-section, so this one will have to be similar. I don’t mind that I got a C-section as I actually saw some benefits to it.
Name a mama you find inspiring and why?
I don’t mean to sound cliché, but my mom is definitely a mother I aspire to be like. She has everything under control and always did. She is a mother of 4 and the co-founder and partner of one of the leading catering companies in Lebanon. She’s also an architect and has built some of the most recognised houses in Beirut. Having said that, she is also a full hands on mother who never made us feel like we came second to anything at all… I really don’t know how she does it.
What are your thoughts about finding out the sex in advance?
I personally am for finding the sex in advance, even though I respect people who prefer keeping it as a surprise. To me, I just feel more comfortable knowing what to expect and buying the necessary things in advance in the right colours. I’m too impatient to wait nine months to find out!
Did it take you some time getting pregnant or were you one of those mamas who got lucky on the first try?
I actually got pregnant twice without even expecting to. So yes, I’m one of the lucky ones and feel extremely blessed for that.
What helped you get your groove back after being pregnant the first time?
Haha, I didn’t have time to get my groove back before I was back to being pregnant again!
Did you or do you have any weird and wonderful cravings?
With my first pregnancy, I wanted pickles and yogurt alllll the time! This pregnancy I can’t really say I have cravings, maybe just a sweet tooth.
Where will you be having your baby and who is your OBGYN?
I usually give birth in London at the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, however this time I will be giving birth in Beirut. It’s more convenient given that my whole family and my husband’s family will be there and I will be needing all the help possible. In Dubai however, my OBGYN is Dr. Wael Lakkis – he’s followed me through both pregnancies and I would definitely recommend him.
Stay tuned for more beautiful sassy mamas-to-be!
These gorgeous images of Karen and George are courtesy of Natalie Robinson Photography.