18 Weeks Pregnant: Blooming Lovely

01/09/2013 23:31 | Updated 22 May 2015

I've written before about the mixed feelings I've been having regarding putting on weight and getting bigger. My bump is definitely showing now, and while this is cause for celebration, I still have some adjusting to do in my head. I've also noticed that I've been getting bigger in other places as well – my boobs are out of control (well that's normal), but my bum and thighs are also joining in. Bump aside, I'm definitely larger in dress size than I was pre pregnancy.

I've been counteracting the negative feelings this awareness of my size has brought on by making sure to really make an effort in the grooming stakes – every single day. One of my closest girlfriends – who is now pregnant with her second child – gave me the advice to really relish and enjoy this my first pregnancy and look after myself, as when you have a toddler to care for as well, there never seems to be enough time in the day!

I have developed a routine involving having a nice shower after my daily swim, then massaging my bump with Bio Oil to avoid stretch marks (available at Boots), and moisturizing elsewhere too – my arms and legs and shoulders. This is having a lovely effect on my skin and also means I am giving myself at least 5 – 10 minutes a day relaxing and caring for myself and my baby. I'm also making sure to put on makeup, even if I'm not going to work or have any plans. That way, if I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror I can see I at least look pretty and polished, as well as larger!

The best thing about this new size is the fact that I now have an excuse to buy some maternity clothes. I've never been one who needed and excuse to go shopping, so I've had some real treats lately! Whilst I have started with a few staples (bigger bras, jeans, vests, etc), the really interesting thing about this all is that I have also had to revisit my wardrobe and look at it in an entirely different way.

I've discovered lots of clothes I haven't worn for ages can actually be repurposed for a totally new maternity look. Leggings, for instance, look fab teamed with a short, floaty dress (and open cardi, if it's chilly), and my maxi dresses are really coming into their own as long flowing skirts matched with boots. I've also rediscovered all my accessories – long necklaces can add length to the body and a short silk skirt can now be used as a scarf – yes really! So you don't need to spend a fortune on looking nice when you are pregnant, you just have to look at what you have and who you are now with new eyes and see yourself for the beautiful, blossoming pregnant woman you are. After all, that is what others see when they look at you.

How did you make your wardrobe stretch further when you were pregnant? Did you have any 'me' rituals that helped make you feel special?

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