Hi! My name is Cath Sharples and I am a first time mum due on February 25th 2014.
Apart from a bit of nausea for the first 12 weeks (and now again at the end of my pregnancy) it's been pretty much smooth sailing. I have tried to keep fit for labour by attending "Fit for 2" classes twice a week which are run by a midwife and personal trainer. Despite that somehow I have still managed to put 23 kilos on.
I only found out I was pregnant at 8 weeks - I really should've known due to the nausea and extreme tiredness (I was falling fast asleep on the couch at 7pm every night!). But just thought it was stress due to working a lot of hours in my own business!
In January last year I quit the corporate world and my secure job at a bank to start my own business - which consists of me doing a lot of things on a freelance / project basis. I love the variety and the fact that I have the flexibility of working from home when I feel like it. Some of the work I do involves sessional lecturing in Financial Planning at La Trobe University, writing for financial literacy related websites and education programs (my biggest project to date has been with ME Bank in association with Money101), facilitating and assessing training programs for accountants and financial planners (with a few registered training organisations) as well as research, analysis and compliance related work for financial planners all around Australia (Darwin, Adelaide, Rockhampton, Cairns, Parramatta, Orange and Melbourne). It keeps me busy! I've just partnered up with my first contractor who is looking after my clients for 3 or 4 months while I take some time to learn how to be a mum! After that, I'm hoping to continue to work approximately 3 days a week from home. We'll see how it goes!
My husband Paul and I got married in March last year after living together for 7 years. We'd talked about having a family - we're both in our early 30s and have travelled together over the years - to California, New York, Vegas, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Europe (UK, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Paris, Amsterdam, Bruge, Germany), Hong Kong, Cambodia and Thailand to name a few. We love going out for dinner and catching up with friends. We're calling life with a baby our new adventure!
I have chosen to be part of the study as being an educator I believe in the value of research. I am also involved in a pre / post natal depression study in collaboration with Deakin University and Mercy Hospital. Owning a small business I believe in the value of collaboration (using different peoples expertise) and embracing technology intelligently to better the lives of people.
I'm hoping that I will be able to breastfeed due to the health benefits for the baby and I. I used to think it was as simple as "sticking the baby on your boob" but I have a number of friends with new babies who have opened up my eyes to the fact that it can take a bit of work and be a bit of a challenge (especially to begin with). I'm hoping that being part of the project can not only assist me with feeding, but many women through the development of the app, online community and through the use of clever technology.