Pregnancy journey holds varying emotions for different mothers. Some exciting, some sweet, some excruciating, … but in all, whatever your pregnancy journey, it’s always beautiful to share because sharing could be therapeutic for you and others reading or listening to it.
In an interview with The Nation Newspaper’s Flair Magazine, 32-year-old Nigerian on-air personality and a television presenter for MTV Base Africa, Stephanie Coker, talks about her pregnancy journey and the most memorable 2019 moment.
Stephanie and her husband, Olumide Aderinokun who welcomed their first child last month, got married on the Greek Island of Mykonos in 2017, and this new arrival makes her a first time mum, while Olumide has at least one child from a previous relationship.
Read excerpts from the interview below…
On why she decided to reveal the news of her pregnancy and childbirth on her birthday:
Well, not only was it my birthday the day I posted the maternity photos, but it was also thanksgiving in the United States. So, I just had so much to be grateful for.
God has been so good and I have so much family support and friends spreading and sharing their love and I just thought I would share that amazing day with my people and my family online. And you know also witnessing a miracle of bringing a life into the world. It’s just so hard to describe the joy and the feeling, it’s next to none.
On how she managed to stay stylish while pregnant
Oh my goodness! What can I say about staying stylish while pregnant? I don’t think style was at the forefront of my mind whenever I was getting dressed when I was pregnant. You know obviously you have this big bump, so it’s pretty hard to get dressed. You just really want to be comfortable, and that was what I was shooting for; to just be comfortable.
I didn’t buy a lot of maternity clothes just because I didn’t feel they were stylish enough. Even though I wasn’t trying to be over stylish, they just weren’t cutting it. So I would just buy clothes that I liked. I would buy a couple of sizes up like a size 12 or 14. And I bought a lot of oversized T-shirts, shirts, and jumpers. I wore a lot of sneakers, sandals.
I just really wanted to be comfortable, but when I did go to Paris I wanted to be stylish because you know you can’t be super stylish in Paris. I just made sure I wore kitten-heels and I took a lot of stylish pieces but I made sure they were over-sized so they actually fit. It’s not cool when you wear a small size when you are pregnant; it’s super uncomfortable.
On her secrets of staying in shape while pregnant
I did a lot of prenatal yoga, swimming, exercising. So, I was taking my brisk walks up until about eight months. I just think that exercising is really important and also watching what you eat even though your cravings are just through the roof. You really just want to eat everything that is not good for you. But I tried to eat a lot of smoothies, sandwiches, and salads.
Ultimately, I was just really lucky that the fat didn’t go to my body; it really just went to my belly and a little bit to my face, I would say. But that’s like inevitable. I will encourage people that, whilst pregnant, they should try out things like yoga and swimming because it takes a lot of weight off you.
And it’s actually really good for you; it makes you feel good because you don’t have to carry so much weight in the swimming pool. Don’t be a couch potato while pregnant; if possible, try and avoid it.
On her beauty/skincare routine during pregnancy
I have no beauty skincare routine; being pregnant, you can’t really use chemicals. So simple soap was my best friend and tea tree oil. I did do a lot of facials. So I did a lot of dermaplanning and light facials but nothing with any chemicals. I did break out a lot due to hormones. Drinking a lot of water was also very good for me.
On balancing her new role as a mom and career
I am just going to take every day as it comes. Just lean on the support that I have from my mum and my family and I am going to employ the help of a nanny. I think it is really important to utilise the help that is available; and if you can afford it and if there are people available to you. I think as parents we should make use of the help that we have.
And in terms of my career, I am going to start learning how to prioritise. Ultimately, my family and my child come first but I can’t let my career slide too; you know I have worked so hard for it. I do plan on just making sure that I am on top of the ball.
So my husband as well, you know he’s a parent as well and he has to help out in the home, in terms of our baby. That’s how I plan to have a balance. Focusing on my career, but at the same time prioritising my child and depending on my family support system.
On her most memorable moment during pregnancy
Finding out I was pregnant, my baby moon with my husband in Paris; that was also amazing. And then my baby shower; the people that came out to celebrate with me that day were so amazing. I think the best day of being pregnant was seeing my baby’s ultrasound, the feeling; I can’t describe it. Those are my most memorable times during my pregnancy.
On whether she thinks it’s possible for female celebrities to “have it all” – a thriving career and a happy home
I think it is possible, I think we just need to find the right balance. We need to keep some things off social media. I think it’s not everything you need to respond to, even though it’s hard sometimes. I don’t think it’s worth it. Keeping your sanity and home sometimes is more important.
I just think that is one of the ways to help keep a happy home. And as for career, I feel like there is an attack on female celebrities who are married; it’s really weird. It’s like once they get divorced, or separated, it’s like their career blows. There are other women who still have a happy home and a thriving career. I do think it’s possible. I just think we all need to find the right balance.
On some of her most memorable moments of 2019
Hands down, being pregnant. Second, being able to speak in the UN on the status of women in March of this year; that was amazing. Having my presenting course classes being able to hear all these stories from all these young aspiring presenters and being able to spend two days with them.
Those moments are the moments I love most about my job; being able to talk to people who want to do what I am doing. It reminds me of where I am coming from and the passion I felt when I wanted to be a presenter. I really cherish those times.
On the lessons life has taught her
Life has taught me to just be grateful for everything that I have, the people I have, the support and family that I have, the friends that I have. And also nothing lasts forever, so you have to just enjoy what you are going through at that moment. And just believe that it would get better. You don’t know how strong you are until you literally have to be strong.
Her advise for Nigerian women
I think Nigerian women are amazing, they are strong, they are so hardworking. I would tell them to keep pushing. We have been suppressed as Nigerian women; we are told to be a good wife. They should try more to celebrate each other and not pitch themselves against each other.
Not seeing themselves as competition even though that’s what a lot of us have been brought up seeing. This is how we have been conditioned by society. I think we should continue to push our talent to the forefront. We can all be great mothers and great wives. But we should not forget who we are. We should believe in ourselves and our dreams.
Read the full interview Here.