Finding out she was pregnant with twin girls, whilst boarding a plane to the UK with her little baby boy Rocco and husband Brad, Laura couldn't help thinking how she was ever able to travel overseas again. Laura tells us, "It’s a bit of a rollercoaster knowing you’re having twins and you flip rapidly from awe and excitement to fear and worry and then back again. Nothing can quite prepare you for what is to come. I still look at them now and think; I have twins! and I still battle to believe I grew and birthed two complete little beings!"
Just a couple of weeks before Laura birthed two beautiful baby girls, the UNIK team did a shoot with her showcasing the most beautiful baby bump. With the most incredible glow, and looking insanely gorgeous, we were so lucky to dress Laura in her favourite UNIK pieces.
Now - 6 months postpartum, we sit down with this superwoman to hear her story with tips and secrets to looking after yourself during pregnancy and thereafter.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from, where did you grow up, and how did that shape you into who you are today?
I grew up on a farm in South Africa. I was a bit of a tomboy with two older brothers and spent a lot of time riding horses and motorbikes. I’ve always had a huge love for animals and had many dogs and cats. I had a lot of pets that I hand reared too, such as piglets, lambs and goslings! Caring for and healing creatures may have been why I eventually chose the profession of Physiotherapy…
Despite being a tomboy, I started ballet at the age of 3 and have always loved to dance and perform! Later in life I became a burlesque performer with the alter ego of Sylphie Stone!
My other big love was water, and I spent a lot of time swimming (I was a synchronised swimmer for my state!), at lakes or the beach and when I was old enough, scuba diving.
What do you love doing as a family and what do you love doing by yourself?
Doing anything new as a family is the best - like trips to the Animal farm, or Museum - I love to see my little guy discovering things! But beach days are my favourite outings. Even on the days I’m so tired I can barely stand up, a little bit of sunshine and a refreshing swim is totally worth the effort of getting the WHOLE family out!
And as for things I love doing by myself, well, a solo beach swim would be at the top of that list too! I also love to dance (but I do that with, or in front of, the whole family at home quite often too…). I love to sew and pre-kids finding a sunny spot with a good book would have kept me occupied for hours! These days I find great joy in the simple things like a 5min car ride without any kids, ha ha.
How did you feel when you found out you were expecting twins, and how did this pregnancy differ from your first pregnancy?
I had a feeling I was pregnant with twins the moment I knew I was pregnant! Reason being I felt VERY pregnant VERY early on. When it was confirmed though I went from feeling incredulous, to feeling rather nervous (we were literally boarding a plane to Europe with Rocco and all I could think of was “When or How would I ever do this again?”. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster knowing you’re having twins and you flip rapidly from awe and excitement to fear and worry and then back again. Nothing can quite prepare you for what is to come. I still look at them now and think “I have twins!” and I still battle to believe I grew and birthed two complete little beings!
As for the pregnancy itself… much much harder than the first! I think a pregnancy when you have a toddler is always going to be harder but this time around, I had morning sickness, heartburn, difficulty sleeping from much earlier on and significant pelvic pain, plus I was so BIG and HEAVY by the last trimester it made the little things so difficult. I had days I felt so tired and sore, and it would upset me so much because I couldn’t play with my son the way I used to or would have liked to.
Being a physiotherapist, did you access any of your physiotherapy tools in pre- and post-pregnancy, and can you share some tips for expecting and new mamas?
Pilates! I’ve always been a fan, obviously, as I use it as a form of physio treatment but the way my body bounced back from my first pregnancy amazed even myself, and I can only attribute it to regular Pilates and core strength.
As for this pregnancy… the body feels like it's bounced back pretty well but I’m not so sure it looks quite the same just yet!
You have absolutely been glowing through this pregnancy; what are you doing to look after yourself, both body and mind? Tell us the secret!
Ha ha! I think that’s just the extra fluid filling out all the wrinkles! Pilates is perhaps the answer there as well. During the last trimester of both pregnancies, I spent a lot of time floating in pools! The weightlessness was blissful, and it allowed my mind to ‘float’ as well. A total time out from the everyday grind.
Can you share any tips for styling a growing bump? Was there anything in particular you lived in during pregnancy?
Ooh… I’m not sure I thought much about styling my bump. Comfort was the main aim for me during pregnancy, especially the twin one! Fortunately, all the UNIK pieces are comfortable! The Turner jumpsuit was probably my pregnancy go to for comfort and had the added bonus of looking awesome. I’d be wearing it with a crop if warm or a long sleeve top if cooler. And post pregnancies this has also been breastfeeding friendly! I wore the Valentina silk jumpsuit and yellow kimono to my twin baby shower and felt stunning despite my massive belly!
How is life with newborn twins and a 2 year old toddler? You’re an absolute superwoman and make it all look so effortlessly easy.
It is full on! We’re lucky to have a toddler that is super cruisey but it's still a crazy juggle. I have a newfound respect for all parents of multiples as you really can’t understand it unless you’ve done it yourself. My husband has played a huge part in keeping me sane and constantly amazes me at how calm he is in the midst of twin chaos, especially when, (as our friend so appropriately put it) his head fell off when he first heard the news!
Having my mum live with us for the first 4 months was also an absolute godsend! Thanks to both of them I’ve felt rested and brave enough to venture out with the twins and get back to some form of normalcy much sooner than I ever expected.
Have you had any advice on how to go into the newborn phase with twins, or are you ‘winging’ it? What are your tips for mamas expecting twins or new mothers in general?
One word - Village! We are so incredibly grateful for all the help we received in so many various forms - food, play dates for our toddler, newborn cuddles or pram walks so I could sleep, more food. It really does take a village to raise twins! And as a mum or parent you need to learn to readily ask for and accept help. It’s hard, especially for parents living away from their immediate families as they feel they should be self-sufficient and don’t want to burden friends, but when people offer help they mean it and by accepting whatever they are offering it not only helps you survive but also strengthens your relationship with those friends.
And with twins in particular my biggest advice would be routine! I tandem fed and made sure the girls slept at the same time - which sometimes meant waking one for a feed or up from a deep sleep! It killed me but if you don’t have them both in sync you will never get a chance to rest or do anything!
You always make our pieces shine in such an effortless way, what are your favourite UNIK pieces, and why?
You know the answer to this one…my black dress! The Austen maxi. It just makes me feel so fabulous whenever I’m in it!
I live in this dress, before I was pregnant, whilst pregnant and post both pregnancies! I also have it in blue now, which is lovely and Summery, but the black is still my fave! But all my UNIK pieces are well loved and to be honest, they make up the staple of my wardrobe these days… the long sheer shirt dress (Bronte) is perfect over a bikini for beach days and breastfeeding; the Valentina silk jumpsuit makes an evening out effortless when time to get ready is severely limited, and my latest purchase, the Venus dress, makes me feel like a goddess instead of a mother nursing twins!