Find some gorgeous maternity photography inspiration in Sassy Mama’s ‘The Bump’!
This month’s ‘The Bump’ features stunning maternity photography of Birgit Jaegermeyr by Gunilla Lindgren of Sugarlight Photography. Birgit gives her honest insights into motherhood to her daughter Emma Marie, from the highs of “blissed-out-so-in-love-with-my-baby moments” to “the rocky parts that will make you question your capacity – not to mention your sanity”. Read on to hear more about her experience with pregnancy in Singapore and to check out her gorgeous maternity photoshoot at East Coast Park!
What was your reaction when you first found out you were pregnant?
Funnily my sixth sense told me that I might be pregnant when I peed on that clear-blue test strip. However I instantly cried happy tears once I got proof of my gut feeling and returned with the biggest grin from the bathroom and said to my fiancé “Honey, I was right – we’re having a baby!”
Your funniest memory over the 9 months?
Her wiggles and how my bump transformed and looked when she kicked me, it was like there is an alien inside. That really made me laugh all the time.
Any great books and resources that prepared you for when your baby arrived?
I highly recommend The Wonder Weeks, a book and app that explains the mental development of your little one and how to cope with them during challenging periods. The hilarious book Sleep is for the Weak is for anyone who has ever been kept awake by a baby…night, after night, after night. It’s no sleep solution; for me it’s simply a source of comical inspiration to see the light at the end of the tunnel of tiredness. LOL.
What do you think every woman should know before getting pregnant?
Birth is a miracle and an absolutely incredible experience, no need to be scared about it – you will get through! Motherhood is uniquely, emotionally intense — being a mum is the best thing ever, but the highs and lows are extreme. Yes, there are some blissed-out-so-in-love-with-my-baby moments, followed by others, but caring for a newborn is also an all-consuming rollercoaster ride. The rocky parts will make you question your capacity – not to mention your sanity – but the beauty and wonder and breathtaking views from the peaks are unbeatable and ultimately outweigh the challenge.
What was the easiest trimester and which one proved most difficult?
What an absolute crazy, surreal and amazing experience this journey has been and I can’t name one trimester that I didn’t enjoy. On the contrary, I truly felt a bit of sadness when the pregnancy came to an end because I am the woman who absolutely LOVED being pregnant…everything about it! The overall amazement of growing a human, her not so little kicks and wiggles and the way my body blossomed. I will never forget the moment I heard that little heartbeat, felt the first flutters and noticed my bump growing. Seeing now how this tiny spot on that black and white screen turned into a human, my eyes well up with tears again.
However there’s no denying the anxiety we felt before every doctor’s appointment and it never washed off completely. But I guess that’s the thing about being a mother — the concerns and responsibilities start even with a positive pregnancy test.
Did you follow a fitness programme while you were pregnant?
Yes, I always loved to exercise so I also stayed active during my entire pregnancy. I continued with my HIIT training but on a moderate level and did prenatal barre workout at WeBarre once a week.
Any fashion tips and tricks for maternity dressing?
I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on maternity dresses, hence I kept up my style with regular clothes. I mostly opted for dresses with an elastic waistband that was easy to wear over the bump and they are still comfy postpartum. I also concentrated on crossover tops or button-up styles since they’re still very practical with breastfeeding. And I think it’s the best time to wear tight dresses – once you realize you don’t have to suck in, you go all out! 😉
Did you have any weird and wonderful cravings?
I didn’t desire any weird combinations but my sweet tooth was an ohmygosh-it’s-real introduction to the pregnancy cravings everyone talks about. Postpartum my love for Tiramisu is still a thing, though.
What did you struggle with most being pregnant?
My sweet tooth was out of this world but I needed to eliminate the sugar as much as I could so that the baby didn’t grow too big.
Name a mama you find inspiring and why?
My German friend Wanda because I admire her style of parenting – a perfect mix of creating a positive relationship with her kids and enforcing rules in a very soft approach. I also love how honest and raw she describes and see the whole motherhood thing and always encourages me to hang in there. She always cheers me up after having a rough night with her extremely humorous attitude.
What are your thoughts about finding out the sex in advance?
Both my fiancé and I were too curious to not finding out the sex in advance. It also strengthened the bonding to our baby and it felt more “real”. Also it was nice to prepare all the baby stuff in a specific color scheme, to purchase the first dresses and even to concentrate on finding just one name made it so much more fun to found out before. Additionally I think although you say “most important is that the baby is healthy” (which truly is!), you might have a preference for the gender. I would have worried that I might have been sort of disappointed at birth if it didn’t meet my expectations.
Did it take you some time getting pregnant or were you one of those mamas who got lucky on the first try?
We didn’t really plan it — luckily it happened straight away.
What kind of birth did you have? (hospital, home, epidural, c-section, with a doula, etc.).
I had a vaginal birth at the hospital, got induced one week after the due date because the amount of my amniotic fluid went down. I prepared with hypnobirthing, which truly helped me getting through 20 hours of labor.
Who was your OBGYN, and where did you give birth? How was your birth experience?
Dr Swee Choo Yeoh, I delivered with her at Mount Elizabeth Hospital Orchard. My birth experience was just wonderful; the staff was so heartfelt, motivating and encouraging all the time and the nurses patiently helped me with breastfeeding afterwards.
What helped you get your groove back after being pregnant?
Gladly I didn’t lose my positive attitude after I gave birth so I could quickly start to find a routine with my baby and to soak up those precious moments that gives you so much energy. It also helped me to make our first family outing two weeks later and to keep in touch with other mums to get that important support for your emotional rollercoaster ride. I also try to squeeze in some workout sessions whenever possible and keep up my healthy lifestyle but don’t put too much pressure on the bouncing-back-to-my-pre-pregnancy-size-process. Accepting that I’ve changed and that I went from being me to also now being a mother took me a while but helps me now to find my balance.
Do you have any mama-friendly favourite places (restaurants, parks, etc.) to hang out with your baby? Why?
I love go shopping at Paragon Mall since all the cute kids’ shops are located there and the baby-friendly restrooms (thinking of nursing rooms, changing tables and parents compartments) truly make your day a bit less stressful. As we live close by the river I love to go there for a walk and grab some healthy snacks at Carrotsticks & Cravings which is a great place for mummies to hang out.
Any local businesses (or websites) that made your pregnancy journey easier?
Mother & Child at Tanglin, WeBarre Studio…and Sassy Mama, of course!
What are your hopes and dreams for your baby?
Life is not about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself. When life becomes a rollercoaster, climb into the front seat, throw your arms in the air and enjoy the ride. Rise by lifting others. Life is all about how you handle plan B. Practice the art of listening. Find the joy in all choices you make. Never forget that I love you no matter what. I believe in you, maybe sometimes more than you believe in yourself. Just follow your heart, that’s all that matters.
Thanks so much for chatting with us, Birgit, and big thanks to Gunilla Lindgren of Sugarlight Photography for the beautiful images!