Mamas I am absolutely loving this month’s ‘The Bump‘ interview with homemaker Jasmine How, who welcomed her son Francis this past February. Not only are Jasmine’s photos absolutely gorgeous (look at her rocking the bandage dress, and those fabulous nails!), but beyond the photos is her refreshingly honest and thoughtful interview. She bravely shares about her own struggles with breastfeeding and IVF — challenges many mamas face, but don’t feel comfortable speaking about publicly. We’re so grateful to Jasmine for sharing her story, and hope little Francis can someday make his daddy’s dreams come true by become a 2-sport professional athlete!
What was your reaction when you first found out you were pregnant?
Ecstatic, but mixed with immense feeling of anxiety, nervousness and caution. All of that at once! I was so afraid to express my joy due to past failures over the last 4 years.
What’s your funniest memory over the 9 months?
During a visit to London, my girlfriend and I were both pregnant, and we also had along her elderly parents and her husband who had just had minor surgery. None of us could lift anything heavy, it was pretty comical!
Any great books and resources that prepared you for when your baby arrived?
What to Expect the First Year by Eisenberg, Murkoff and Hathaway. Informative – but very thick – book!
Which was the easiest trimester and which one proved most difficult?
Second trimester was the best as morning sickness has disappeared and I could eat better without feeling nauseous. It’s also easier to walk and shop without those pesky third trimester backaches.
What do you think every woman should know before getting pregnant?
Breastfeeding can be soooo difficult. I guess I’m one of those unlucky ones that had difficulty producing milk. I thought I was prepared for it and that milk would just come in easily. I attended classes, read about breastfeeding and joined a breastfeeding group on Facebook. I thought I knew everything but it was still harder than expected. But I did not stop. Perseverance is key to keep one going. I’m still pumping and latching Francis. Flow is sufficient, but not enough for storage.
I was very sad in the beginning, wondering Why this is happening to me?! But I have accepted the fact that I’m just not a lucky mom with an overabundant milk supply. I still want to pump/latch up to 1 year, if I can.
I would definitely encourage breastfeeding but for some mums, it’s a matter of personal preference or medical problems that are out of your control, and that’s ok!
Did you follow a fitness programme while you were pregnant?
Nope. I just ensured that I ate a lot of pregnancy “superfoods” (kale, yoghurt, fruits and berries, soy milk) and swam for exercise. I learned a frequent, small intake of food is better to avoid heartburn.
Any fashion tips and tricks for maternity dressing?
It’s good to have light makeup, so that we still look fresh instead of tired. Pick clothes that suit your style. Body contour clothes looks great in framing the baby bump!
What did you struggle with most being pregnant?
Backaches and swollen feet.
Name a mama you find inspiring and why?
Kate Middleton. She looks beautiful and graceful before, during and after pregnancy!
What are your thoughts about finding out the sex in advance?
I think it’s easier to prepare for baby’s arrival knowing the sex, but my husband preferred not to know.
Did it take you some time getting pregnant or were you one of those mamas who got lucky on the first try?
We tried natural conception for a year. Didn’t work out. After that, one IUI, four rounds of IVF and three rounds of frozen embryo transfer. It’s emotionally draining.
What kind of birth did you have?
Caesarean section at Raffles Hospital. I loved the service there; it’s always quiet and peaceful. The staff are very friendly and helpful, I really enjoyed my stay there!
What helped you get your groove back after being pregnant?
I got back to the gym doing my favourite group exercise classes, like body combat, step, and intermediate yoga. Having help in the house is definitely a big relief!
Do you have any mama-friendly favourite places (restaurants, parks, etc.) to hang out with your baby?
Standing Sushi Bar in Marina Bay Link Mall. The staff are great and I frequent the place quite often. As a result, they serve me my drink just the way I like it (warm water) without asking and are always happy to take care of me!
What are your hopes and dreams for your baby?
Our dreams are that our baby will grow up to be a doctor that will cure cancer and rid humankind of this horrible disease; my husband hopes that his boy will be a 2-sport professional athlete in basketball and tennis!
Thank you Jasmine! And thank you to the talented Hart Tan of Tomato Photo for these gorgeous maternity photos!