We’ve been huge fans of the gorgeousOlivia Bowen and her fairytale relationship with her hubby Alex for some years now, so when the Love Island star announced her pregnancy, we couldn’t wait to chat to her to find out more about how her first pregnancy journey is going.
“I feel very lucky because I've had some friends that have really suffered with sickness and not being able to eat and feeling really, under the weather. But in the first trimester, I felt nauseous every day. You know what, it felt like a hangover! Like, a hangover every day without the fun part! So it was hard at the start. And now I'm feeling a little bit more myself. I'm still doing Pilates and walking the dogs, but you just get tired quick, don't you? I get to 2pm in the day, and I'm like, I can't do it.”
While Olivia may have gotten off lightly with her early pregnancy symptoms, she did experience one surprising sensation that proved how in tune with her body she really is.
“I had pain, like a period pain like the side of my body. And it came from the left side. Apparently it was where the egg was going into, into my uterus to secure itself, because when I went and had a scan at four weeks, they were like, the egg came from the left side. So I actually feel like I felt that happening, which is really crazy, because it traveled down the left side of my body.”
“That was a really weird symptom that I just did not expect to sort of know that early. It's just so incredible what a woman's body does.”
Diet wise? There’s only one thing Olivia is craving right now. “I have non-stop been eating tomato and mozzarella.”
Despite the fact Olivia and Alex are clearly overjoyed about the arrival of their baby, having a family wasn’t always on the cards for the pair, and she’s very open about the fact that it took a long time for her to feel like she wanted children.
“I made it quite vocal to a lot of people that I wasn't sure if I even wanted kids. I just was never sure and it never came so naturally to me. I also never thought I'd be in the position to have kids - I never thought I'd even get married! It's quite overwhelming when you've never imagined that for yourself.
“For us, we've been together for five years and it was actually a strange pinnacle moment. We went on holiday to Portugal, and we were sitting around the pool, and there were kids and young babies playing in the pool being really loud, like splashing around. Usually, me and Alex would move to the adult bit but we were watching them with their parents and thinking they were so cute. And I think it just dawned on us. It was really weird.
“We just thought, okay, maybe it would be nice to start a family, maybe we are just scared and a bit nervous because it's such a big change. But I don't think you can ever be fully ready.
“It's such a huge, unknown thing, that you just have to sort of just continue to follow your heart really, and just see how you feel.”
Although she had a feeling that she might be pregnant, taking that pregnancy test was really nerve-wracking for Olivia.
“I was too scared to do a pregnancy test in front of Alex because I really did think I was pregnant so if it was negative, I would have been quite disappointed. So I did it upstairs in the bathroom on my own. Then I came downstairs and Alex was on his Xbox and I could tell he didn't want to get up because he thought I wanted him to clear up or whatever. And then he just came in and he was so shocked.”
Olivia admits there has always been a small part of her that would dream about the moment when she’d tell people the news, and if you follow her on Instagram, you’ll no doubt have seen the adorable video of the couple sharing their news with their family and friends.
“I would always think about that moment of telling people because I know how much it means to my family and friends. So I would always imagine it. I've been thinking about it for like two years, even though I've not even considered children. We knew we wanted to capture their emotions, because we just knew everyone would be so shocked, because we've been saying, Oh, no, no, we don't have any kids. So yeah, we were definitely planning it for a while.”
Olivia knows a thing or two about how to dress, so we were dying to find out what her maternity wardrobe staples are.
“I'm loving a really stretchy jumpsuit and stretchy dress. I just think it’s a good idea to go into your usual clothes shop that you go to whether you shop online or wherever, and just go up a size or two in a stretchy jersey dress. It always looks nice and it fits nice. You're not having to traipse around finding actual maternity brands. And that's worked for me for now.”
Olivia’s must have maternity product
I'm using My Expert Midwife's fantastic skin elastic oil for your body at the moment on my bump. I've got stretch marks on my boobs anyway, so even if it doesn't work, it's so nice to just spend that time rubbing your bump, like a little massage.
You may not know this, but Olivia already has two adorable babies in the form of her two French Bulldogs, Reggie and Winnie. We wondered how she’s prepping them for the arrival of their new baby brother or sister.
“I've been given some good tips, like getting the babies things out early for them to get used to them, playing crying noises on YouTube or TV for a bit to get them used to the noise. Hopefully they'll be fine.”
When it comes to giving birth, Olivia shared how a past trauma in her childhood has impacted her fears around labour.
“I was so scared, and I've always been frightened of birth. I think that could have been part of the reason why I was sort of putting it off. A childhood friend’s mum died during childbirth, and it sort of scarred me. I don't know why as I wasn't even that close to her. But for so long, it was all I could think about. And then, my friend who has a six month old, told me she used the positive birth company, and the Hypnobirthing course, and she said it just changed her whole outlook. I started that with Alex and we both listened to the online course and it's already changed my outlook. I feel so much more positive about it, and I’m kind of looking forward to it, which is weird, because I really had a strange dislike towards it.”
If you’re not following Olivia’s home interiors account already, we recommend you do as her home is goals! She’s also been sharing some sneak peeks of her nursery plans over there too and we’re obsessed!
“We're not finding out the gender because so many of my friends have been like it's the best surprise and we don't have many surprises in life anymore so I think it will be fun to try and wait it out. So the nursery itself is going to be quite neutral.
“We've gone for a safari theme which will be really cool with giraffes, elephants and all sorts. It's really fun because I think you can go a bit more wild with a nursery. I've got quite a muted taste in the house, but in the kids room, you can kind of go a bit mad, which is really fun. We've been working with the modern nursery to help us design it and they’re a great one to follow if anyone else is trying to plan a nursery.”
Although their baby is very much on its way, the idea of being parents hasn’t quite sunk in yet.
“I can't even say mum at the moment. I just can't see myself as a mum. I'm still in that bit where it's just really weird. I think Alex is going to be very laid back, and maybe a slight push over. I suppose I might be a bit more structured. But I'll say we’ll probably both be pushovers.”