June is feeling ever so close for Olivia and Alex Bowen. The couple are expecting their first baby together and, they tell heat, they feel like the time has flown by. The nursery is prepped and the dogs – Reggie and Winnie – are about to get their first pram lesson. Here, they tell us about the highs and lows of pregnancy…
Do you feel ready?
O: As ready as we can be. It’s so hard to prepare. We’ve got a few more bits to arrive, like the pram and the travel seat, and I think that when they get here, it’s really going to feel real.
Will you be practising around the house with the pram?
O: [Laughs.] We were talking about the dogs, because they’ve never been around a baby really.
I’ve actually contacted my dad to see if we can have my little sister’s fake baby doll, so we can put it in the pram and pretend to hold it because, apparently, this helps dogs get used to it! I’ve also been playing baby noises on the TV. So, we probably will be strolling around with a fake baby.
Are you nervous?
O: It was something I was really scared about, but being part of the C&G Baby Club has been really important to me. They have so much on there – articles, a careline, even WhatsApp. I think a lot of people get weighed down with the negatives and the judgment, which is what their campaign is all about. Even when I’ve said about being scared of birth, I have had people come at me in my DMs about my choices – it’s a really hard thing to get your head around. To have a free service like that on hand is really important.
Did it surprise you that people were judging your pregnancy choices?
O: Well, the C&G Baby Club’s #LoveDon’tJudge campaign has found that seven out of ten parents feel judged, which is a lot.
A: It has a real effect on people’s mental health. When Liv reads these comments and it upsets her, that obviously affects me, too, because I don’t want to see my wife like that. We just want to show people that, instead of judging, you should support others.
O: And we do see a lot of support. I think if you surround yourself with the right people and sign yourself up to these kind of services, you can control your social media, what you see, and the ways to deal with things. We’re used to being judged but, Jesus, parenthood opens up a whole other level – it’s mad!
Has anything surprised you about pregnancy?
A: Liv has smashed pregnancy. She has struggled a lot with anxiety, and we didn’t know how she’d be, but she’s been more active than ever, eating really clean and mentally OK. I’m so proud of her.
O: I was always so worried about how I’d be, and that’s something that put us off a little bit, because I have suffered with depression and anxiety. I was so scared that it would creep in, but it’s actually been quite enjoyable!
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What are you excited to be able to do again?
O: I’m looking forward to having a glass of wine. My favourite drink is Laurent Perrier Rosé Champagne – I know that sounds really boujee, but I’m really excited to have a glass and just feel a bit free again. You worry so much, because you’re responsible for making healthy choices for your baby. I’m just looking forward to being able to eat crap and drink a glass of wine.
A: We’ve already got it in the fridge!
O: I keep eyeing it up and thinking, “Not long to go.”
Olivia and Alex have joined the C&G baby club #LoveDontJudge campaign to end parental judgement before it starts. For more information and to join the club for free, visit CGbabyclub.