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Draw Dress Dream

Carmel Jenkin is a visual artist based in Melbourne, who creates beautiful artwork that celebrates the female form. Carmel also runs the blog Draw Dress Dream where she documents her incredibly cool outfit choices and shares ideas and inspirations! Now pregnant with her first child and very close to her due date, we had a chat with her about how the experience has been and all the positives she has taken from her first pregnancy.

Read Carmel's style blog here or check out images of her awesome personal style on instagram @drawdressdream

Carmel wears Soon Maternity:
Elizabeth Maxi Dress / Paris Drop Waist Dress / Lara Maxi Dress / Bettina Feeding Top / Axel Maternity Denim

What do you love about being pregnant?

I love the miracle of a little human growing inside of me. I was told before I fell pregnant that I was not fertile and would need ivf, so its a blessing for me to indeed be pregnant. I'm grateful for the experience.

For once in my life, watching my belly expand is a positive experience. I've always been petite and fit but watching this bump grow and developing womanly curves has been utterly amazing. I'm truly in awe of what your body can do as it changes and grows. Also, its good to have an excuse to eat chocolate, without feeling guilty.

I love finding new outfits to dress the bump! Wouldn't any girl love a new wardrobe.

I've noticed that my skin has that pregnancy glow and my hair is in the best shape of its life. Never has it been thicker! Also oddly enough, my hairs have stopped growing on my legs so that has been another perk as its hard to shave when you have a bump.

I'm suddenly finding that friends and relatives, even strangers are much nicer and caring towards me. Honestly I've had people come up and talk to me that would never give me the time of day if I was bump-free. It's like you have a membership to a new club of people, in particular fellow pregnant mama's.

What foods are you craving?

In a word...chocolate! But to be honest, I have always craved chocolate so I don't know if much has changed. My resistance to it has changed though. If I crave it I just let myself have it. I had a lot more willpower when I was bump-free.

I can't seem to shake the m&m's, flake bits and crunch chocolate in rotation. But besides that I am eating very healthy, thank goodness. I start my day with oatmeal and for lunch and dinner I usually have a salmon with salad or a steak and salad. I have been eating heaps of fruit but the chocolate craving is unbearable. I just have to give in.

What will you miss about being pregnant?

Probably the napping and resting and of course, having a break from my job!

I think I will also miss being the center of attention. Once the bub is born the attention will be shifted to completely the bub, so its the last chance the outside world pays special attention to me.

I will really miss the kicks, there is no substitute for the wonder of feeling your child grow inside you. It was always a personal hello and taught me the rhythms of my child before anyone else.

Will miss that extra thick hair! I'm hoping it will stay. I really hate hair fall and I heard it is rapid after you give birth arghhh

The thing I most look forward to about becoming a mum:

I lost my Mother to cancer when I was 15, so having the chance to develop a mother /daughter relationship of my own with my bub (yes, I'm having a girl) is very important to me. I think it would heal a lot of pain I felt during and earlier in my life.

I also think becoming a family of three is super special and the new found responsibility over the new little one. Yes, it's a daunting task but it also is an amazing privilege and I'm excited for this new chapter in my life. Will love seeing my husband become a parent and bonding with his little girl.

Finally, I think I most look forward to meeting my baby for the first time. This thought alone has got me through the anxious times of my pregnancy.

What can you not live without this pregnancy?

1. The Leacho back and belly pregnancy pillow! Call it a giant snake pillow or whatever you want, but this pillow is the best $140 I ever spent in my life. In my second trimester I experience horrific back pain, but after much research and a few mistakes I eventually found for me what worked and eliminated the back pain! Please don't consider any other pillow... this one took away my lower back pain in one day.

2. Magnesium powder - I swear by this product! It really helps with cramps that you get in your calves and it helps me get to sleep at night. I can't live without it.

3. Maternity jeans, stretchy dresses & sneakers - have lived in these all throughout my pregnancy. I thought it would be hard to look stylish but actually it was a cinch.

What is your favourite maternity style?

I would have to say it's the Elizabeth Maxi Maternity dress! It totally is a showstopper! It's really flattering on the bump and looks gorgeous on! Have reserved to wear it on Christmas day.

Favourite beauty products during your pregnancy:

I really love the Eco Tan for an organic tan with a great colour. Great news is that it has no nasties so safe for preggy bellies.

Aspect Dr moisturising cream with resveratrol. No nasties and left my skin feeling hydrated and smooth. Made with grape seed extracts and peptides.

The Balmers Blend Aloe Gold Gel for stretch marks. I heard of this product from a friend who swore by it during her pregnancy and did not receive one stretch mark. So I gave it a go and here I am at 36 weeks with no stretch marks! Product really works.

Words of advice:

Don't read the internet too much on birth plans! There are too many strong opinions out there that can influence you and its most important to listen to yourself an stay true to what you want in regards to a natural birth or c-section.

Work out as much as you can but make sure to listen to your body. Please don't let pregnancy be an excuse to park your but on the couch and watch tv. Get up and move or go to gym! Its healthier for you and your baby.

Try and enjoy the experience even when it is challenging!

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