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‘The Bump’: Zerrin Arslanoglu

Family LifePost Category - Family LifeFamily Life

Check out these gorgeous maternity photos from a mama who gave birth at age 44

This month’s ‘Bump’ maternity photos and interview had us bawling like, well, a baby because they are so amazingly sweet. Turkish mama Zerrin became pregnant for the first time at age 44, and gave birth to son Deniz on 20 January 2015. Read on for her inspiring pregnancy journey and what she’s found surprising about motherhood so far. 

What was your reaction when you first found out you were pregnant?
I was shocked, scared and in tears – my pregnancy was unplanned. Being 44 I was aware of the health risks for myself and my baby and couldn’t think about anything else but his health. I also felt so privileged and blessed that I was going to be a mom.

Any great books and resources that prepared you for when your baby arrived?
I read What to Expect when You’re Expecting and followed my weekly pregnancy development with the BabyCenter app. I also watched baby-related channels such as Pampers and Mothercare on YouTube. Eventually, that’s how I learned how to bath my little one! And KellyMom was a great source for all my breastfeeding questions and concerns.

the bump zerrin_2

What do you think every woman should know before getting pregnant?
First of all they should realise the upcoming change and be sure that they want a child. Once a baby arrives, there is no return!

Also, if you’re trying to get pregnant, consider getting your gallbladder checked for any stones beforehand. My pregnancy was unplanned – I had no check up prior to it – and around 14 weeks I started throwing up bile to the point that I was dehydrated and hospitalised. The scan showed that I had a stone. The gastroenterologist wanted to operate but my OBGYN was against it. So they made me go on a fat free diet to keep the gallbladder relaxed, as an operation could have been dangerous (I could have lost the baby).

I read a lot of forums with mums complaining about throwing up bile and always tell them to get it checked. Most future mommies think it’s just neverending morning sickness, but just to be on the safe side I suggest getting it checked!

What was the easiest trimester and which one proved most difficult?
The classic: first was very uncomfortable and the second was simply great.

Did you follow a fitness programme while you were pregnant?
Unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to exercise during my pregnancy. My OBGYN, Dr. Kelly Loi (she is great, by the way!) made sure that I was relaxed and didn’t stress my baby with excessive activity. Keep in mind that I was 44 and automatically a “risky patient”.

the bump_zerrin 1

Your funniest memory over the 9 months?
When I look back I still laugh about our first Motherswork visit. My husband and I felt so misplaced, so lost. We started walking around looking at the product range. Nothing was familiar. We didn’t know what to ask for, what to look for. One could see in our faces that we were total amateurs. We practically ran out of the store like kids trespassing in the neighbour’s garden!

Any fashion tips and tricks for maternity dressing?
Don’t be shy to show your belly! Being pregnant doesn’t mean you have to wear big baggy clothes. You should be loyal to your style, and be able to wear the same clothes after labour as well. My favorite pieces were my maternity jeans and plain t-shirts. I accessorized with scarves, necklaces and great ballet flats.

Did you have any weird and wonderful cravings?
I was really looking forward to the experience, but unfortunately I had none!

What did you struggle with most being pregnant?
Reflux and lack of sleep.

the bump zerrin_3

Name a mama you find inspiring and why?
My experience has taught me that all mamas are great in their own way. However, I’ve learned to respect my mom’s conservative/protective style, which I obviously didn’t appreciate at the time! I hope I can be half as good as she was in raising my brother and me.

What are your thoughts about finding out the sex in advance?
Although I was wishing to have a girl I was thrilled to know that I was expecting a little man. A little man with whom I would go to soccer games and cheer for…

Did it take you some time getting pregnant or were you one of those mamas who got lucky on the first try?
Well, I was one of those believing in Mother Nature and accept things as they come along. Deniz took us by surprise after 16 wonderful years, at a time when we can fully concentrate on him!

What kind of birth did you have? (hospital, home, epidural, etc.)
I had a C-Section at Mount Elizabeth. It all well went smoothly and very fast. Deniz was born at 10:26am and weighed 3kg; I will never forget the moment I first heard his voice behind the curtain and the first time I saw and had him on my chest. It was amazing!

the bump zerrin_4

What helped you get your groove back after being pregnant?
I don’t think one can get their groove back with a newborn. Everything has changed. I don’t have time, nor the energy, to go out as I used to. I’m actually learning a new lifestyle, “Life with baby at 45”.

Do you have any favourite mama-friendly  places (restaurants, parks, etc.) to hang out with your baby? Why?
I’m very lucky to be living on Sentosa because there are great walking paths, restaurants and cafes at The Quayside. Kith is my favourite place. The latte is great and there is room for the stroller.

Any local businesses (or websites) that made your pregnancy journey easier?
The team and prenatal courses at Mother and Child were great guides. I still go to their events and consult their lactation specialist for breastfeeding issues.

What are your hopes and dreams for your baby?
I hope he will be an independent person with a vision and mission in life. My dream? I try to avoid having any because he will have his own and those are the ones he will need to follow…


Thanks Zerrin! And huge thanks to family, lifestyle and storytelling photographer Kerry of Red Bus Photography. To learn more about Kerry and her services, click here

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