Women empowering women
Hong Kong is all about growing ideas and helping others achieve their dreams. So when mama of two, Lauren Lin came to the 852 with her fam a few years ago and saw that this city was teeming with opportunities for mamas (#girlpower), she felt at home. Coming from a background of 10+ years in partner marketing, public relations and marketing management she decided to start PIVOT with her friend, Kimberly Arth.
PIVOT helps to connect high calibre professional women (young professionals, new mamas and mamas with older kiddos looking to get back to work) to companies and projects that fit their skills and experience. We’re all about women supporting other women and we’re so happy to feature Lauren as our The Bump as she prepares to welcome baby number 3!
What was your reaction when you first found out you were pregnant? Did your reaction change with all three of your pregnancies?
It was a mixture of emotions… surprise, excitement and a little fear. I think my husband and I were in total shock the first day we found out! With a four year old and two year old, we already felt life was crazy and exciting so the thought of the third was a little overwhelming. But we are so thrilled to meet our little guy; our family doesn’t feel complete yet without him. I felt the same way when we found out about our first and second born.
Any great books and resources that are preparing you for when your baby arrives? Any good suggestions on books for helping your older children welcome a sibling?
It is very funny how different the experience of being pregnant with our third has felt from first and second time around. I often forget I am pregnant because our lives are so busy with activities, school, and work. So to be honest, I haven’t read much in advance about our baby brother’s arrival.
However, I love talking to mothers of 3 or 4 children, they always have amazing insights and perspectives on how to prepare and really what to expect. Our goal is to make it through the first six months and then hope to get into a nice groove with our third.
We’ve found some really great books for the kids to prepare them for their new sibling. We read them each night then talk to the baby in my belly. We also make it a point to talk about the baby openly and often, and taught our 2-year old to say his brother’s name. My daughter is very excited and understands what is going on but I think it might be a little more difficult for my two-year-old son to understand.
What has been the easiest trimester and which one proved most difficult?
Thankfully the first and second trimester were great, I am very lucky and don’t suffer from morning sickness and my energy levels were up for both trimesters. The third has by far been the most challenging, between acid-reflux (the worst!), lower back pain and never ending tiredness it has been hard. I hate complaining so much but have to remind myself it is all temporary and my body will feel normal again after pregnancy!
Do you have any weird or wonderful cravings?
After being pregnant with both a boy and girl, I’m 100% convinced of the truth in the old wives’ tale that if you are craving savoury it is a boy and sweet cravings means a girl. I’ve craved everything salty, both with this pregnancy and before my first son! From pretzels to salt and pepper potato chips to pickles, then I found a genius combination… dill pickle potato chips!
What has been your funniest memory over the last few months?
My funniest memory has been when my son Henry started to call his own little belly “baby”, he lifts up his shirt and points to it and says baby. When Henry was born, my daughter would mimic me nursing Henry with her dolls, which I’m sure he will do as well and it always makes me laugh! It’s amazing how observant kids are.
What have you struggled with most since being pregnant?
I think the biggest challenge while I have been pregnant is my lower energy level. I often get frustrated when I can’t lift the kids and be as active as I normally am, or feel so tired I have to take a nap, or completely modify my exercise routine. But my loving and very positive husbands reminds me of the miracle I am creating. This helps me to enjoy the experience, especially because likely this will be our last.
What are your thoughts about finding out the sex in advance?
I really admire and respect people who wait for the surprise on delivery day! I was hoping to have the self-control to wait this time around but was too excited to find out. We found out really early, 11 weeks, which was very helpful in prepping my daughter not to be disappointed that she was having a brother and not the sister she always wanted.
What has your experience been with being pregnant in Hong Kong? Healthcare system?
I had my first two children in the U.S. so I was a little nervous about having a baby in HK. However, I’ve been really happy with the care I’ve received to date. I have an awesome GP, who always spends time to thoroughly understand my concerns and issues. And a great OBGYN who has been highly recommended, he always makes me laugh and puts me at ease! I’m hoping “Hotel Matilda” will be as good as everyone says it is, I’ve never been so excited to eat hospital food.
Read more: Choosing your hospital for labour: Private or Public?
What do you think every woman should know before getting pregnant?
I think it is important to keep the big picture in mind, the changes and discomfort you experience for nine months are temporary. The joy and love you will experience when you first lay eyes on your baby are indescribable and are more powerful than you could ever imagine. And what every one of our friends with children told us before our first was born has been so true: you never think your child can be more adorable and enjoyable than they are at that moment, then you discover the even greater and different joys of the next age and phase.
Did you follow a fitness programme while you were pregnant?
In the beginning of my pregnancy I did a combination of barre, pilates, yoga and 30 minutes of cardio (walking or the elliptical). About half way through I noticed my abs felt different, my doctor said my abs had separated (Diastasis Recti), which is quite common in your third pregnancy. She suggested I see a physio for pilates, which made a huge difference, I highly recommended as I’ve had the opportunity to repair and strengthen my abs for labor and will continue post delivery.
Read more: 9 Ab Separation Facts for Pregnancy and Beyond
Any fashion tips and tricks for maternity dressing?
I’m all about dresses, whether pregnant in the winter or summer. A cute maxi dress in the summer or throw on a light cardigan in the winter, it’s the perfect maternity go-to. I find work clothes a little more tricky but luckily the trend for longer tops has been very helpful, paired with black pants or leggings. Also, I’ve had very generous friends share their maternity clothes they were happy to part with!
Name a mama you find inspiring and why?
Both my mum and mother-in-law are very inspirational mothers and women! As dedicated career women, they both worked full-time in demanding professional careers while raising me and my brothers and my husband and his sister. Although my mum was busy with her career and travel, she always made my brothers and me the priority in attending school functions, sporting events and more.
My mother-in-law also had a very long and successful career but also managed to raise two amazing children who appreciate and value all she sacrificed and provided for them. Now looking back on what each of them went through to be successful working mums, especially in a professional era less enlightened about flexible or project-based work engagements, I appreciate and respect their commitment and sacrifices much more.
What are your hopes and dreams for your baby?
We feel so lucky to have another baby boy join our family. We hope he is born healthy and that he knows how much love there already is for him from our family. It is a connected, dynamic, multicultural world that he will grow up in and we hope we can give him the same foundation of respect, optimism and open-mindedness that our families, schools, and communities did for us.
Thanks to the talented Michelle Proctor of Michelle Proctor Photography for all of the beautiful images above! Follow her on Instagram @michellejproctor