The Joys Of The First Trimester
When I found out I was pregnant it felt like I was just sitting around waiting for the symptoms. Every little thing that could have been linked to pregnancy I was googling (I know – never google your symptoms) and putting it down to the tiny little seed sized being growing inside of me.
At 7 weeks pregnant I was booked in for an early scan, due to a trip to A&E a few nights before. It was a nerve-wracking time not knowing what the scan was going to tell us. Being called into a small room and waiting with apprehension whilst the sonographer was trying to find a tiny flicker amongst my uterus. Moments later she told us she could see the heartbeat, Phew, she showed us up close on the other monitor. And there it was, our beautiful baby at just seven weeks, looking like the perfect little seahorse it should’ve done, all healthy and normal for that stage of pregnancy. Within those few minutes of staring at it on the screen, Dan (my partner) holding my hand, i’d decided that i loved this baby more than anything in the world and i was going to do my best to take good care of it and keep it safe. It was clear to me from that moment onwards how lucky we really were.
Aside from the above my first trimester was basically 12 weeks of…
The feeling of ‘I’m going to be sick’ didn’t actually ever leave me, even now at 23 weeks I have days where I constantly feel like I’m going to vomit, it’s just now they are few and far between. Although I felt sick all day every day I was never actually sick…THANK THE LORD. I have a bit of a phobia when it comes to sick especially being sick myself so this I was thankful for. And believe it or not eventually I did become accustomed to always feeling like I was going to throw up every time I opened my mouth to talk or had a plate of food in front of me. I would even gag (still do) out loud but knew nothing was going to come out. Sometimes my gags were so loud and embarrassing that even Dan would wait a few paces behind me, just in case!
Cramps all around your tummy, which is considered normal but also not normal, so obviously that makes you worry even though you’re supposed to be calm and relaxed. Feeling like you have period pains for the best part of 12 weeks isn’t really what you would call fun. Nurses and midwives tell you not to stress about it but really, how can you not? Getting the balance between ‘if in doubt get checked out’ and not over thinking and stressing every little niggle was and still is possibly one of the hardest bits for me personally.
I don’t think there is even a word to describe how tired I felt during those first weeks. Keeping up at work along with moving house put me to the test very quickly. I would come home from work at six and be asleep by half seven most nights. On my half days I would spend my afternoons kipping on the sofa, waking up to try and force down a bit of goodness for dinner, having a bath and going straight back to bed. I felt constantly sluggish and lethargic as if my body was on a slow go.
Lack of appetite
I mean for those that know me this was probably one of the more obvious symptoms…I have always loved my food and all of a sudden I had no interest in it at all. Not any kind of food. On the odd occasion a mint would help my nausea but apart from that there was nothing I wanted to put in my mouth. I actually lost weight in my first trimester. All my friends and family would joke with me saying ‘Only I could get pregnant then lose weight’ as I was always “trying” to shed a few pounds before getting pregnant.
In the first few weeks I wouldn’t say I suffered any of those ‘crazy pregnancy hormones’ you hear people talking about. But as the weeks went on they definitely came about! I was up and down, having days where I was really happy and then there were the days where I was irritable and a little bit on the snappy side – poor Dan didn’t know whether he was coming or going most of the time. The water works would just come out of nowhere. It would take the smallest things, I think the worst times were when I showered a spider down the bath drain, realising when it was too late and watching him surrender and curl up into a ball to take the ride down the pipes of doom! I was completely distraught at the fact that I’d sent a living creature on possibly the scariest journey of its life and had no way of fixing it! And then there was the time Dan was tickling me and I drew blood on his arm by accident (with my fab new pregnancy nails by the way!) trying to push him away and cried for a solid 10 minutes, blubbering about being the worst girlfriend ever and causing him pain and loss of blood! I mean, pregnancy definitely does funny things to you!!
The biggest of all, no matter how down in the dumps I was feeling or how sick of feeling sick I was, doubts of am I going to be a good enough parent, I never stopped feeling blessed. All of this is such a small price to pay for something so amazing. Never taking it for granted and knowing that Dan and I were simply so lucky to be embarking on this journey together.
My top tips for coping with the first trimester would be: trusting your own instincts, putting your feet up, sucking on mints, leggings, sacking off the underwire bras (some may think it’s way too early to give up luxuries just yet, not me – comfort is key) And most of all remembering that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!