Julie Clark: My Pregnancy Journey
We sat down with Province Apothecary Founder + CEO Julie Clark to talk about her pregnancy journey. In this intimate piece, Julie shares the trials + tribulations of her experience including pregnancy loss, her anticipation for motherhood, new routines, recipes, favourite products + more.
Read her story here.
How has your pregnancy journey been so far?
As I sit here writing this, I am heading into my 34th week of my pregnancy. Pregnancy has been the hardest thing I have ever experienced. This experience has left me truly in awe of our bodies and what they are capable of. Becoming pregnant and growing a human is no easy task (at least it wasn’t for me).
My husband and I had been talking about having kids for a little while. We started trying to conceive last fall. I miscarried my first pregnancy and I was really upset. It was really traumatic for my body. Luckily I was able to lean on my husband, friends and family to help me through this difficult time. This experience also prompted me to pamper myself more – something I don’t always make time for. Some of the ways I enjoyed taking care of myself during this time were through facials, acupuncture, osteopathy and massage therapy. All of these things, combined with all the love and support from those closest to me, helped me heal and feel whole again.
When I got pregnant for the second time, the first 4 months were so hard. We all hear about how difficult the first trimester is but for some reason I was surprised by how truly terrible I felt. I had never napped before and during my first trimester, napping quickly became one of my favourite past times. The beginning of this pregnancy took a real toll on my body. I kept ginger chews in every pocket at all times. Coffee and I officially broke up (though I’m hoping we can get back together after baby arrives). My heart goes out to anyone in the middle of this stage of pregnancy.
Things have been so much better since around the 17 week mark, and it’s been both fun and interesting adjusting to my ever-changing body and energy levels. I feel so grateful this stage came when it did. I can move around, work, garden, stack wood, decorate PA’s new clinic and move us out of our storefront. This nesting stage really came at the perfect time. I definitely needed the extra energy boost to help me tackle the clinic expansion and get our house ready for baby.
What excites you most about becoming a mother?
I can’t wait to get to know our baby, to see my husband become a parent, and for us to become a family unit. We are both really excited for the new adventure that awaits us.
Have you noticed a shift in your skin since being pregnant?
My skin has been very happy and healthy throughout the pregnancy. It could be the hormones, prenatal vitamins, the extra sleep and care I am giving myself, or maybe it’s a combination of all these things. I am diligently hydrating my body, especially my tummy and breasts. I have been hydrating my face, neck, and chest a little extra right now in anticipation of not having as much time for my usual routine when baby comes. Overall I have been super lucky and haven’t experienced any pregnancy breakouts. My eczema has flared up a bit, but I feel like the stress of all the changes at work is the main culprit, as opposed to the pregnancy itself.
How has your self-care routine changed since being pregnant?
I am taking more time for myself. I’m trying to do fewer things, go out less, sleep longer, nap more, eat healthier, and prioritize time with my husband. My entire routine has shifted a bit and I’ve slowed down a lot.
One thing that hasn’t changed all that much is my skincare routine. I am forever obsessed with our rituals (massage, dry brushing, jade rolling) and I love my simple and effective routine - cleanse, tone, hydrate and exfoliator/clay mask weekly. In the first trimester, I did miss my night routine several times because my energy levels were so low. I could do nothing but get into bed right after work.
Balming up my belly and breasts has to become a new ritual for me and I love taking the time to massage my belly and talk to the baby. Our hydrating rescue balm is my favourite for this. I like performing this new ritual in the evening, it helps ground me after a busy day.
What products are you loving these days?
Hydrating Rescue Balm has been my go-to for my belly and breasts. I have been applying it to my belly, back and breast throughout the pregnancy and haven’t had any itchy belly skin! I also use it on my hands all the time because I suffer from extremely dry and dehydrated hands.
My eczema on my hands has flared up during pregnancy due to the additional stress it’s put on my body and the additional stress from work transitions, so I have been using our healing eczema balm as often as I need it. I always at night and I wrap my hand in a glove to keep the area protecting and extra hydrated.
My skincare routine has stayed the same as before, only now I am just adjusting it to the new fall season by adding in our moisturizer. The humidity in the air has really dropped so I love layering our moisturizer over my custom face serum morning and night.
I have been loving my NFH Prenatals and fish oil pills and have seen a big difference in my nails and hair growth. I never want to stop taking them!
In my birthing bag I have a few products I am looking forward to using: our wellness roll-ons: calm down + uplift, our sex oil (for my perineum), rescue remedy to help ease anxiety that might come with birth, mother’s milk tea by traditional medicinals, and I will be making these lactation cookies.
Have you had any unusual cravings?
I haven’t had too many cravings, I just generally love food so much! I haven’t experienced any out of the ordinary cravings, but I was obsessed with this smoothie in the 1st and 2nd trimester.
Chocolate banana smoothie
1 heaping tbsp cacao or cocoa powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 heaping tbsp chia
1 tsp vanilla
Water or almond/rice milk
I would get headaches if I ate too much-processed sugar, I have a sweet tooth so these headaches were a total surprise.
Lately, I have been wanting lots of salads and have been treating myself to The Goods Salad bowls.
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