First time mama to twins and co-founder of Genie Juicery, Melanie Barnish dishes on her pregnancy…
It’s no secret that all of us girls at the Sassy HQ live for the fresh juices from Genie Juicery. We also happen to have a major #girlcrush on the co-founders of the company, hence both of them being featured in our column, The Bump, just for mamas-to-be!
Born and raised in Australia, Melanie transported her life from the Gold Coast to Hong Kong several years ago to work in the fashion industry. After struggling to stay healthy and maintain a good work/life balance, she saw the need for a good detox program, a place to buy cold pressed juices, smoothies, nut milks, cold brew coffee and snacks and a platform to promote wellness and health in Hong Kong. This was where Genie Juicery was born, her proverbial first baby. A few years down the road, Melanie found out she was pregnant but not with one baby… but two! She shares her thoughts on all things pregnancy related in this edition of The Bump.
What was your reaction when you first found out you were pregnant?
Excitement and a little bit of disbelief! I was very impatient and did a test a few days early in a public toilet (totally glamorous!) on Queen’s Road when I bumped into my husband on the street during a workday afternoon. The second line on the pregnancy test was faint so he wasn’t convinced, but I had high hopes.
What has been your funniest memory over the last few months?
I think probably around the time we had the first scan and saw twins…! All I could do was laugh. We wanted to do something funny to share our news and posted the picture below on Facebook.
Any great books and resources that are preparing you for when your babies arrive?Being around my friends and their babies is probably my best resource to get prepared. I also like pregnancy apps like “Sprout” and “What to Expect” to track your babies growth. Although I wish there were twin-specific ones. As for books, a lot of my friends have recommended Gina Ford so I am reading her book “A Contented House with Twins”.
What was the easiest trimester and which one proved most difficult?
The second trimester was definitely the easiest as everyone says. I felt great and kept forgetting I was pregnant and bumping into things with my belly! I started to struggle towards the end of my second trimester with shortness of breath and back pain. I am in my third trimester now, which is luckily shorter with twins but I can definitely tell this is going to be the hardest.
Do you have any weird and wonderful cravings?
Not really, sadly, I am just into plain things which is rather boring.
What have you struggled with most since being pregnant?
Probably shortness of breath! I love to exercise and walk with my dogs but towards the end of my second trimester I stopped being able to walk up hills or do anything remotely strenuous. I hike and exercise a lot usually so I really miss it. Now just a flat walk gets me huffing and puffing and exhausted.
What are your thoughts about finding out the sex in advance?
I think it’s really fun to keep it a surprise if you can. In the beginning, it’s difficult as you really want to know and it’s so tempting during the scans… but by that time you have already started a gender-neutral nursery! The thought of two boys also petrifies me (I already have a husband and two male dogs in my house) so this also made it an easier decision for me to keep it a secret.
What was your experience delivering in Hong Kong?
I haven’t delivered yet but I can say that I have had a bit of a rough run with doctors and selecting a hospital with our insurance. Twin deliveries are more complicated and I also have a rhesus negative blood type (the rarest) so have been classed as very high risk. I was given so many mixed messages on my options and still to this day am not completely sure where I am delivering or with who!
What do you think every woman should know before getting pregnant?
Just to relax about it all and that everything is pretty much completely out of your control. I found as soon as I was pregnant there was so many silly rules about not doing this or that or eating certain things. A lot of locals can be very superstitious as well. Do you own research, make your own decisions and enjoy the ride.
Did you follow a fitness programme while you were pregnant?
Yes, up until the end of the second trimester I followed pretty much my usual routine of yoga, hiking to the peak and some circuit training. I listened to my body and knew what I was capable of and pretty much just took it day by day.
Any fashion tips and tricks for maternity dressing?
Wear black! I am lucky to be pregnant during the colder part of the year as the weather is nice and cool so can get away with pretty much anything.
Name a mama you find inspiring and why?
My best friend and business partner, Cara. She is such a natural mum and has the most beautiful happy and healthy family.
What are your hopes and dreams for your baby?
To be happy and healthy!
Melanie and her hubby, Craig welcomed their gorgeous twins, Isabella and Frederick on Monday, 11 April, 2016. Congratulations!
Thanks to the talented Michelle Proctor of Michelle Proctor Photography for all of the beautiful images above! Follow her on Instagram @michellejproctor