Heat’s editor in chief Lucie Cave has been blogging about her pregnancy and her first baby son Ridley, who was born six months ago…
This was the conversation I had in bed last night with my husband Ben:
Ben: "Don't you think Ridley looks like me?"
Me: "No, he looks more like me"
Ben: "He looks nothing like you. He's got my beautiful eyes"
Me: "He's got my eyes!"
Ben: "They are dreamy and blue like mine, not brown and dirty like yours"
Me: "The Internet says they can still change colour up until 6 or 7 months"
Ben: "He looks like me, he's a boy. You're a girl"
Me: "Well I'm more tired than you anyway."
To try and prove a point, Ben then did a very scary looking face swap with Ridley. Which just resulted in making Ben petrified about going bald when he’s older.
I’ve started worrying that having a baby has made me a bit narcissistic. I thought you were meant to be content to trudge about with hair like a hedgehog, proudly caressing the spare lump of skin flapping over your waistband. And don't get me wrong, I was more than happy to slob about at first. But if I’m honest, I secretly thought it would all miraculously slot back into shape after a few weeks – well, isn’t that what all those celebrities teach us to believe?! And now six months in and I’m not looking like a Victoria's Secret model (because obviously that’s exactly how I looked to begin with), I’m staring into in the mirror wondering how my boobs have turned into Womble's noses and why I never appreciated my tummy before. I am also officially the biggest sucker in the world for any product that promises to make me look all shiny, polished and perfect. But do any of them actually work?
Fighting the jelly belly
Admittedly my tum has gone down alot since the birth (and if I squint my caesarean scar looks a bit like a smile, so not all bad) but there's still a sizable overhang.
So I've spent the last couple of months doing Joe Wicks aka ‘The Body Coach’s 90 day SSS plan to help shift some unwanted bits and its definitely working (when I’m not cheating and drinking wine anyway).
Joe’s workouts and recipes have been so successful he will be challenging more bodies to transform in a new channel 4 show soon. I’ve also discovered one of the best postnatal workouts about (its so good its actually won awards) – BuggyBells - kettle bell training in the park run by fitness guru Jamie Lloyd who keeps a careful eye on your buggy while encouraging you to swing and sweat about. So your baby gets fresh air while you get super fit! And after just a couple of sessions I’m already convinced I can start opening bottles with my bum cheeks. Occasionally I also do squats in my bedroom using Ridley as a weight, which he thinks is a brilliant new game he’s invented.
Am I too old for granny hair?
One of the many great things about maternity leave is that you don’t actually need to see anyone apart from a very small person every day. Which means if you want to experiment with your look - aka your hairdo - there's no one in the office to have to explain it to if you end up looking like you’ve been electrocuted. Having dyed my hair blonde for the last million years I wanted to try a different colour and ‘granny hair’ was beckoning. I did worry I was too old to pull it off and would look like one of the Golden Girls until my husband Ben kindly pointed out 'No one gives a sh*t about what you look like apart from you'. I went to Bleach London – pioneers of rainbow hair - and they assured me silver would work with my skin tone and should – WHOO HOO! - actually make me look younger. I now have a granny barnet and I love it.
A new face please
It's true that pregnancy gives you a ‘glow’. It's also true that once you've popped the baby out, abandoned sleep and rediscovered red wine, your skin starts looking grey and dusty. Celebrity facialist Debbie Costello says, “After having a baby the hormonal changes can effect the skin with pigmentation, darker patches and dryness.” After a skin rejuvenation facial she convinced me to chuck out all my old half used bottles of face cream, replacing them with a range from Zo and made me promise to wear SPF 50 (from Skinceuticals) every day without fail. Next she sent me to visit her colleague Dr Sarah Tonks for Ultra Cel - a ‘facelift without any needles’. Using radio frequency and ultrasound it targets tissue down to the muscle layer, which tightens and stimulates collagen growth. It felt a bit like I was being zipped up from the chin (yep, weird) but afterwards I could instantly see a difference and am told the best results happen after six months. So I can get younger as I get older – hurrah! I’ve even had friends asking me asking what I’ve ‘had done’… which for me is money well spent.
…There’s even a cure for 'down there'…
Whether you’ve had a natural birth or ended up in surgery, there’s still a fair bit of recovery to do in your lady region. Step forward ‘Elvie’
– which arrives in a pretty mint green box with the discrete promise to be ‘Your most personal trainer’. It’s a pelvic floor tracker that connects to a companion app and encourages you to get your bits back in shape with special technology that feels a bit like playing a game on your iPhone. It actually looks so pretty you wouldn't mind it falling out of your handbag. Unless your husband mistakes it for a Tamagotchi and starts trying to feed it in front of everyone…