Hey! Remember Me? My 2020 So Far…

Pregnancy announcement

I actually can’t pinpoint one reason why I haven’t written a blog post in so long. Before I attempt to decode and explain:

How are you, my dear A&L reader?

It’s been ridiculously quiet here I know. Why now? Something in me told me to write. As much as I’ve enjoyed putting together brand new videos for you on my YouTube channel and being vulnerable on my Instagram, there really is nothing better than clicking away at my keyboard. The truth is, there have been a lot of things keeping me from my home of this blog: the realities of life, the current world situation and something many of us creatives take for granted – inspiration. I was initially planning on taking a month off of all my platforms in December, but one month became two…became three, you know the rest. I’ve been trying to figure out what I want to share with you here. What you would like to read about, as opposed to watching on my channel or getting a snapshot of on my Instagram. Then yesterday, my mind started writing this post in my head – just write this down it said. And so here I am. A little unscripted and probably rusty. Wow, how things have changed since my last post.

So firstly, happy new year! I’m well aware it’s mid-April! I’m only saying it because I haven’t and I really do wish you a good (rest of) 2020. Can I catch up with you quickly? I’m secretly hoping you’ve been catching up with me over on my other channels. In case you haven’t, here’s my life over the past few months in a nutshell:

2019 Break

I’ve made it no secret that I’m constantly pushing back against the current and ever-changing demands of the social media platforms to do more, engage more and create more. It’s exhausted me. Social media and blogging are very different from how it was when I first started nine years ago. As much as it’s important to adapt and do so quickly, there are some boundaries I’ve had to put up for it to still make sense for me to do, while serving you with valuable content. One of those boundaries is taking regular breaks to refresh, rethink and give my mind a pause. I take weekly breaks from all of my channels so I can have a moment to myself, my family and other thoughts I don’t indulge in during the week as I’m occupied thinking about content to write, shoot and put together for you.

As you know, I hosted my first blogging class last year. And after pouring all of my energy into that, I knew I had to slow down. I realised I hadn’t taken leave the entire year. If I had been employed by a company I would’ve had to. That’s when I decided that our family trip to Tanzania that December was going to be my break. We’d be there for three weeks, so I decided that I was going to sign out of all my channels and just enjoy my family – whom I hadn’t seen in almost two years. I’d planned on writing a “see you next year” post, but in November I found out that I’m pregnant (!) and well, let’s just say a lot of things were thrown out the window after that.

Have a watch of my new year and pregnancy announcement video:

Baby O. 2.0

As I write this, I’m currently in my third trimester of pregnancy! We have a lot to catch up on, and I’ll be writing some pregnancy content exclusively for you on here. If you’re watching my videos and following my Instagram and Facebook, you’d have gotten some insights of how this pregnancy is going. If social media isn’t your thing:

  • Baby O. was planned, but we were surprised at how quickly I feel pregnant. Especially considering I have PCOS and was expecting a bit more time for my body to conceive.
  • Pregnancy has never been my favourite time, and I’ve been going through the weeks mostly counting down until the next trimester. This time it’s definitely tougher as I have a toddler to take care of too. My body is feeling more strained and the first trimester was hellish. I chat more about my experience in my first trimester and second trimester updates.
  • I’m generally more relaxed compared to my first pregnancy. I knew the first trimester would be rough, and I’m anticipating the rest of my pregnancy I’ll get heavier and less mobile. I’m prepping for Baby O. as much as I can in the current situation. Which leads me to the next big thing that’s happened…

Coronavirus & Lockdown

When I first heard about Coronavirus, I didn’t give it much thought to be honest. I figured it’d calm down and life would be as normal. I had a massive international brand trip to Europe planned in March, that I’d been preparing for since December. I was so honoured to be invited and I was already preparing content for it. Two weeks before I applied for my visa, Coronavirus was already in Europe but the brand confirmed we were going ahead. I was also going to make the most of my time in Europe and see my sister afterwards. Tickets were bought, other work was declined and I got the go-ahead from my OB-GYN to travel. The day before my visa was ready, the trip was cancelled as we now know was the beginning of a global travel shutdown. At the time, I still didn’t think it was as severe as news made it seem. I thought it was just a cautionary cancellation, secretly hoping they’d change their minds and I’d still go. What was I going to do with this visa, ticket and hotel reservations?! Looking back on it, of course, I see the bigger picture. I lost money but I have no idea what would’ve happened had I gone and been stuck in Europe for God knows how long, or been refused to come back to South Africa. My return date was the same day SA closed its borders.

News of the lockdown and realities of our restrictions have hit so many of us. For me, it was mostly the cancelled trip as well as prepping for Baby O. Things to others that may seem superficial but means a lot to us expectant moms – baby showers, shopping trips, showing off our bumps in maternity clothes, maternity photo shoots have all been cancelled. I’m sad because this is our planned last pregnancy and I really wanted to celebrate it as much as I could. My heart aches for the first time mamas who, despite there being a recent lift in the selling of baby essentials, may still not get the support from their villages. It’s a hard time for many financially, and the lockdown means family and friends can’t help the same way they could normally. Hospitals around the world aren’t allowing partners in delivery rooms. It’s an especially scary and uncertain time for mothers right now.

pregnant mother

I had my moment of panic, and I’m still up and down. It’s really not been easy being a full-time stay at home mom with Kai out of school, without our helper, support from family and friends. A lot of our plans for 2020 have had to shift – we were supposed to start renovating our house last month to have more room for Baby O. But, for the most part, I’m grateful and hopeful. I’m grateful that President Ramaphosa has implemented rules and laws in place to protect us from a potentially bigger disaster. And I’m hopeful my baby will arrive into a safer world.

How are you? How are you handling isolation? Are you also expecting this year or just had a baby? I’d love us to stay as positive as possible that the rest of the year has good things waiting for us. Please drop a comment below, I’d love to hear from you. While you’re here and I’m planning content for the rest of the year, please let me know what you enjoy reading on here. 

And sorry I’ve been AWOL x 

Second & third photos by Robyn Davie.
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3 Comments

  1. May 23, 2020 / 2:32 pm

    Hi hun,

    Though I’ve been keeping up on other channels, I’m so glad to see this post that breaks it all down holistically rather than bite-sized video chunks here and there. I’m also someone that generally prefers reading as it’s easier to absorb content quickly in any environment, vs. a video you have to have the time to watch (and lately I’m often tiptoeing around a room with a sleeping baby!). That said, I was so thrilled to see Kai’s video debut! ❤️❤️❤️

    I feel you with the cancelled plans. All my lofty ideals as a single-time mom fizzled into a mad dash for baby basics to bunker down. Interrupted plans seem insignificant and selfish considering what’s going on around us with mass casualties and job losses, but they hurt all the same! I can’t even imagine being pregnant right now. Sending all my love to all of you and wishing you a safe arrival of Baby O2!

  2. Matshepo Seletswane
    April 23, 2020 / 11:12 am

    Hi Aisha

    Thank you so much for taking time to write to us, highly appreciated! I have missed your writing. As much as I follow you on your other platforms, I have always been a book worm and nothing beats curling down with a good read and that is where your blog comes in. I love reading about your journey in life as a mother, woman with dreams and wife. Your stories are inspirational and give a sense of hope that we can all do something good with our lives.

    Congratulations on baby O and wishing you and your family all the best during this time of the covid-19. Let us keep the faith and a positive mindset that all this will be over soon and not forgeting being grateful for the previlege of life and having food on our table. Thanks for sharing your life with us and keep those stories coming!

    Stay blessed
    Matshepo

    • Aisha O'Reilly
      Author
      May 6, 2020 / 10:58 am

      Matshepo, I’m so happy to read your comment. I think many people underestimate the power of their voice and how important it is for us bloggers to hear from you. Thank you for reading, for engaging and for your well wishes. It’s always good to know that I write for someone to read, and hopefully inspire or let them know they’re not alone.

      I agree with you. Let’s keep faithful and grateful for our lives. Things may be tough for many right now, but every storm has its end.

      Aisha x

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