Hi my lovelies!
One thing I've loved doing over my pregnancy so far is discovering other mums' accounts of their experiences - every lunchtime I've searched for pregnancy updates, compared my bump to theirs, read umpteen birth stories (and scared myself silly in the process), and I find every single post absolutely compelling. I'm a woman obsessed! Apologies if you don't share this fascination - you might want to skip this post if pregnancy isn't your cup of tea (and I completely understand if it isn't!), but I've been documenting little parts of my journey so far and thought it might be nice to share with those of you who are interested!
So my first trimester was not absolute plain sailing. I know it's a tricky time for most mums to be but I think I literally got every single symptom going - if it was in the book, it happened to me!
It started for me with extreme bloating - unlike anything I've experienced before. I went shopping for new jeans with my bestie and felt I looked pregnant in everything - my stomach was just oddly distended and I had to buy trousers in a size up, which at the time was devastating as I'd been trying hard to monitor my diet and increase my walking. I put it down to my period being due, as I'd been monitoring my cycle for nearly a year to see if it attained some semblance of regularity following my PCOS diagnosis. So when it was a couple of days late, I didn't immediately jump to pregnancy conclusions. I did however experience terrible cramps and stomach pains, and started to worry as these were quite unusual without a period making an appearance. I also started crying at everything (this has persisted until now...)
Once I'd done multiple pregnancy tests and confirmed I was actually 5 weeks pregnant and not just the size of a small killer whale, I started to feel a bit better about my odd new body habits! I almost instantly became quite picky with food, sticking to lots of toast and craving smoked salmon at least once a day. I was also permanently exhausted - as a chronic fatigue sufferer this was not unusual, but it got to the point where I almost fell asleep at work because the tiredness was so extreme. Turns out my thyroid is acting up, which hasn't helped at all, so my fatigue is still ongoing... at least I'm prepared for being a parent?!
Around week 6 my nausea started - it was mainly motion sickness on the train at first, but soon escalated to being sick in the evenings and some mornings. I actually reduced my dinners and made sure to have larger lunches for a while because I just couldn't stomach food in the evenings. Anti-sickness wristbands improved my commute, as well as a healthy amount of mints and ginger nut biscuits. My manager at work kindly let me work from home for a few days to avoid the commute, which meant I could rest as well - this really helped. But nausea has been such a pain, I sometimes even make myself feel sick just thinking about food!
Between week 8 and week 10 I completely went off fatty foods as they made me feel so sick, and couldn't eat a grilled chicken burger at Byron because it just tasted wrong. I literally only wanted to eat cereal for ages, and at one point refused to eat anything but avocado and pasta for dinner - so healthy!! I tried to incorporate as much fruit and veg as I could bear to eat but really struggled to have a balanced diet thanks to the sickness. Thankfully baby didn't seem affected by this as he/she was measuring perfectly average at the 12 week scan, so I can only surmise that copious amounts of Weetabix helped somehow!
My skin has also been absolutely dreadful. I've got quite spot-prone skin anyway, but I'd reduced my dairy intake over the summer which had helped. Once I found out I was pregnant I stopped having soy and tried to eat more yoghurt on a daily basis, but mostly I think my skin just erupted thanks to hormones. I had to repurchase Estée Lauder Double Wear to try and conceal the red bumps everywhere, and it was so painful! Introducing a strict skincare routine has helped a little, but it's just a waiting game until the hormones level out a bit I think.
I also suffered from numerous aches and pains around my body, in particular my lower back after walking more than usual, and I had to start wearing a soft bra to bed as I just couldn't get comfortable. A wheat heat pad worked wonders here and I'm researching pregnancy pillows too as I want to get as much as sleep as possible over the next few months...
Reading back over this it does sound a bit negative, so I'd like to stress that while it's not been the easiest time, it hasn't been impossible at all, and we're so happy and grateful to be experiencing this! I honestly thought for a long time that we would struggle to conceive, more than we did - and I'm forever thankful to my body that it has managed to produce a healthy pregnancy thus far, because I had convinced myself it was something I could never achieve. I'm not going to linger too long on this because compared to many couples out there, our "struggles" were formed mostly of fear and a very disinterested doctor's diagnosis, and I would just like to acknowledge how lucky we are to have reached this stage.
That said, I'm looking forward to the supposed surge in energy during the second trimester, and the fabled pregnancy "glow" - come to mumma (although I'm 18 weeks now and it still hasn't appeared...ahem!) I'm also looking into very gentle exercise routines to limber up my unused muscles, so if you have any recommendations please do let me know!