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What I wish I’d done while Pregnant (and what I wouldn’t do)

Pregnancy is a time to really be kind to yourself, both physically and mentally, so do only what you have the energy and and appetite to do – otherwise, get as much rest as you can.

Besides rest, here’s what else I’d do more of if I was pregnant again (and what I wouldn’t).

I would… (if I could)

Stay as active as I could, within reason. My recovery from my first pregnancy was quite a lot easier than my second, and I attribute much of that to staying fit and doing strength-training a couple of times a week. While I had a lot of lifting a toddler during my second pregnancy, it wasn’t quite the same!

At-home yoga and pilates are perfect if you’re short on time or on a budget, and I found F45 workouts easy to adapt to my changing needs (though you shouldn’t do anything harder than you did pre-pregnancy).

I wouldn’t…

Buy so many clothes – for myself or baby. I’ve just been through my own wardrobe to clear out any maternity/larger clothes I bought for myself during pregnancy, and it’s disappointing how little times I wore anything – even pregnancy jeans. I lived in my LJ maternity leggings (I did have a few pairs! MEG20 is my discount code), and one maternity dress, but hardly wore anything else. If I was going to shop again for myself, I’d invest only in clothes I could definitely wear for breastfeeding (wrap dresses, button down dresses or shirts, etc).

I’m also guilty of going overboard with newborn clothes during both of my pregnancies, but the baby a) grows out of them so fast and b) gets changed so many times a day due to various spills, that I could have definitely shopped smarter. If you’ve already shared your due date, I’ll email closer to the time that you’ll be thinking about baby’s outfits, but otherwise these are the best investments:

  • Dimples Merino Layette: beautiful New Zealand made merino, the ideal fabric all year round, there are three layette options, it gives you a beautiful ‘coming home’ outfit, and provides each of the ‘basics’ baby needs to start life. I find Dimples ‘NB’ size roomier than others so they last a lot longer for my babies.
  • Sleep gowns: If there was one item of clothing I couldn’t live without, it would be sleep gowns (noone needs to be trying to match up domes in the night). We live in these.
  • And… that’s basically it! A few cotton or merino onesies, footed pants and sleep gowns are all you really need.

You will most likely be gifted some beautiful outfits by friends, but to begin with, you won’t need much more than the basics, and it’s much more fun doing some online shopping in the middle of the night after baby arrives anyway (you’ve got some long nights ahead of you, save something to look forward to).

I would…

Take more photos (or have a maternity shoot). Though your changing body may make you uncomfortable and tired most of the time, it’s pretty incredible to be growing a tiny human, and I think it’s so special to capture this moment in time. We print our photos with Happy Moose, who deliver them framed and ready to hang (all done in New Zealand by a small, amazing team) – I have a discount code with them which is ‘meg‘.

While you’re at it, I also wished I spent any free time I had organising and printing my other photos – I always leave it way too long to put them into albums, and pregnancy is the perfect time to sit on the couch choosing your favourites.

I wouldn’t…

Work so hard! During my first pregnancy I designed ‘made with love‘ (which I hope you’re loving already) which took a huge amount of my energy, and the first 20 weeks of my second pregnancy I was in my first year of a new business venture, which also totally zapped me.

Whether you work for someone else or run your own business, I’d prioritise delegation over everything else. You know you’re going to need a break, so make sure you’re able to pass over all essential work to other capable hands sooner rather than later. I’ve never been good at delegating, but last year I hired another Auckland Mum to give me some ‘virtual assistance, and it’s been a life-saver.

I would…

Organise, and make the most of, time with my partner. Especially during my second pregnancy, because with our two little people, finding time together is few and far between, but even with my first – because the time you have after your baby is born is so different. I wish I organised a couple more date nights, went to more movies (not in the last month though, when even sitting became uncomfortable!) and taken a little baby-moon staycation in the last month.

For my second pregnancy, if I could have (it was 2020, so I really couldn’t have!), I’d also have taken a last overseas family holiday with just Teddy, because it’s going to be quite a bit harder to do so for the next few months at least.

I wouldn’t…

Stress about putting together a nursery. I was in such a rush to get a cot, feeding chair,  find the right decor, set up the baby monitor, etc etc, and then my first baby ended up staying in his co-sleeper for 6 months. With Emmie, I haven’t even set up the baby monitor – she’s next to me almost all the time, and I know I’ll hear her if she cries from her bed. Unless you’re planning on moving baby straight into their own room, all you need is a safe sleeping space for them.

Same goes for baby bath – we use this one now, but with Teddy we just showered with him to begin with, and had lots of sink baths!

We use the Shnuggle Co-sleeper (we used the Snuz Pod for Teddy but I prefer our new one for various reasons), and I have a moses basket downstairs for day naps.

I would…

Speaking of day naps, I would definitely try to rest more, and that’s probably a good place to conclude this email, as my newborn is sleeping so I should too. If you don’t have a Growbright body pillow to sleep with yet, honestly invest now – code is ‘meg’ for 15% off.

If you haven’t already, fill in your due date and I’ll send you emails to suit where you’re at on your journey, and feel free to ask if you have any specific questions.

Megan xxx

Why you need to Know the Five Love Languages in a Relationship

You need to Know the Five Love Languages in a Relationship

If you’ve ever felt as though your partner doesn’t understand what you’re saying – even when you’re speaking very clearly, or just wished you could read their mind during a fight – you’re not alone. If you’ve been together a while, chances are there have been times where you’ve noticed your communication styles are different (especially in an argument), but for most couples, it’s not just your use of language which differs, but your love languages too.

Just as we communicate our feelings differently through words, we give and receive love differently. Understanding those differences can seriously help your relationship. Our “Love Language” is how we express, and accept, love.

Have you noticed that you feel more appreciated when your partner brings you a gift, or better still when they turn off their phone and give you undivided attention, or does your heart just melt when they put their arm around you in public?

Just as ‘opposites attract’, it’s actually very likely that you have a different love language to your partner, so knowing each other’s love language, and learning what makes each other fulfilled is integral to staying in love.

Dr Gary Chapman’s “ 5 Love Languages” –

The concept of love languages is in reference to the book “The 5 Love Languages” written by relationship counsellor Dr Gary Chapman. Its premise is that individuals show their love differently, and conflict will arise if you do not understand what language your partner speaks.

“Between busy schedules and long days, expressing love can fall by the wayside. We forget to compliment, to give gifts “just because,” to linger in our embrace. The things that say “I love you” seem to either not get said or not get through. This is a book about saying it —and hearing it—clearly. No gimmicks. No psychoanalyzing. Just learning to express love in your spouse’s language.

With over 11 million books sold, The 5 Love Languages has transformed countless relationships. Its ideas are simple and conveyed with clarity and humor, making this book practical as it is personable. You’ll be inspired by real-life stories and encouraged by its commonsense approach. reading this book feels like taking a walk with a wise friend. Applying it will forever change your relationship—starting today.”

Having taken the quiz and reading about my preferred language, I can see how it can give both individuals and couples a level of awareness that may be useful in his or her relationships. Unfortunately, Dr Chapman also appears to have very outdated ideas on marriage, sexuality, gender roles and what makes a happy partnership. Though I do not condone those ideas, Putting aside Dr Chapman’s views (which I personally do not agree with), I do agree that understanding your love language is a relationship game-changer.

If you’ve used either of our two couples’ journals ‘our love story‘ and ‘I still do‘ you may have already worked out from your prompted conversations, which love language both of you best respond to, and how you can make each other feel valued and appreciated.

What are the The Five Love Languages?

1. Words of affirmation – this language uses words to affirm others. ‘You look beautiful today’ or ‘I really appreciated it when you did X,Y,Z’

2. Acts of service – actions are used to communicate love. Think ‘actions speak louder than words’.

3. Receiving gifts – For some people, what makes them feel most loved is to receive a gift. Gifting is symbolic of love and affection.

4. Quality time – This language is all about giving the other person your undivided attention. If you are with a person who speaks this love language, its time to turn off the phone, shut down the computer and give your partner your full attention with no distractions!

5. Physical touch – To this person, nothing speaks more deeply than touch – not just sex and intimacy, but holding hands and embracing. This person feels affection through physical touch

Our Love Languages – and how they Impact Our Relationship

  • Blair and I undertook the test, and despite having been together for almost 15 years, I was still surprised by the results.
  • Most of us have one or two that are much more important to us than the others – for me, the big one was ‘Acts of Service’. I don’t like (or need) to be touched, nor do gifts swing me, but if Blair is willing to help me, that’s when I feel most loved.
  • While he knows I need his help (all the time!) until now, he didn’t actually realise that this was my “love language”. He helps me wrap and send the journals every day though, so safe to say I’m getting a lot of love!
  • Blair, on the other hand, responds to words of affirmation and quality time (I was surprised that gifting wasn’t his love language!). If “words of affirmation” is your love language, unsolicited compliments mean the world to you. Hearing the words, “I love you,” are important—and hearing the reasons behind that love sends your spirits skyward. Insults can leave you shattered and are not easily forgotten.
  • In terms of quality time, this is where I can really improve the “language” I use – really being there, without my phone, and with chores and tasks on standby, makes him feel truly special and loved. Distractions, postponed dates, or the failure to listen can be especially hurtful.

How This Concept Can Change Your Relationship

Learning about love languages is an effective way to understand differences and strengthen a relationship. When you realise what your partner does and doesn’t care about, you can empathise better. Take the quiz with your partner and pay attention to his or her order of preferred language.What makes him or her feel most loved or appreciated?

Is it whenyou compliment them on their outfit (affirmation)? Is it when you are fully present and engaged in whatever activity you two are doing together (quality time)? When you surprise them with a present (receiving gifts), do the dishes for them (acts of service), or when they spontaneously give you a kiss (physical touch)?

Understanding your love language promotes self awareness and communication – when do you feel loved and appreciated the most? Has your partner previously done things that you may now realise that was them showing their love to you but in a different language?

Your Love Language in Everyday Life

Understanding your personal love language, and theirs will enable you to to become more aware of how and when your partner feels the most appreciated or unappreciated (perhaps later helping you understand how they are feeling in a future disagreement). Even if you’re not in a romantic relationship, knowing love languages can help in many different types of relationships aside from romantic ones.

Understanding your love language can also help you in other areas of your life – the concept of love languages transcends to all relationships in your life including professional relationships, friendship and family. It is unsurprising that with everyones differences and diverse backgrounds people will inevitably communicate in different ways.Your love language may be different for each relationship, but it is a useful tool to see what is important to the people around you so you can empathise and understand them more.

The important thing with understanding your love languages is to be thoughtful and celebrate each other’s differences and desires. It is such a great way to learn what your loved-one wants, and how both of you can help improve your connectedness.

Have you taken the quiz? Was your love language different to what you expected? Is this going to help you communicate to your partner how they can help you in wedding planning, for instance. Once you know your love languages, using one of our couple’s journals is a great way to continue to openly communicate and discuss what you can do for each other to strengthen your relationship and ensure each other feels loved. See some of the questions from our ‘I still do’ wedding anniversary‘ and ‘our love story’ couples journals below to inspire you.

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couples journals wedding anniversary journals australia nz love wedding planner diary our love story
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