Pregnancy

Things I Learnt During My 1st & 2nd Trimester

I’m 28 weeks this week and officially entered into my 3rd and final trimester! With just under 3 months left to go I must say time has certainly flown by, or I’ve just got so used to being pregnant that the passing weeks feel faster and much more normal now.

I wanted to write about how my pregnancy has gone so far including the things I have learnt along the way. This is not just about my body but about the impact it has on things like my social life, how other people see and treat me as well as the things I have been through.

1st TRIMESTER (1-12 weeks)

I often refer to these weeks as the hell weeks. I found out I was pregnant at 4 weeks after a long weekend skating at Corby skatepark. I kind of knew I was pregnant, it’s true people say you ‘just know’… well I just did, like an instinctive knowing. First of all you’re filled with all the good usual feelings of joy and worry, wanting to tell people but also keeping quiet waiting for that scan at 12 weeks. I also felt more love for Alex than I’d ever felt in the last 10 years, then I noticed I started to act more hormonal and crazy (crazier than usual anyway) then came the rest…

Morning Sickness
Who decided to call it ‘morning sickness’ anyway? Bet it was a bloke. It comes in the morning, afternoon and night, whenever it chooses fit to bless your day really but mostly starts once you wake up. It’s usually one of the first signs most women get and is caused by the hormonal changes in your body. I had full blown intense nausea from the moment I woke up until late afternoon. It took me 1-2 hours to get out of bed in the morning, by this time I had become quite accustomed to my sick bucket at my bedside. Bless Alex he would try and comfort me by rubbing my back, I could see he wanted to do more to help but there’s really nothing you or anyone else can do, just have to ride it out and try and eat something light. I remember feeling so sick and thinking at 10 weeks ”God is this my life for the next 30 weeks, I don’t think I can do this.” and would cry (whilst being sick through my mouth and nose at the same time).

I read alot about ginger (which I went off during 1st trimester), but the thought of eating a ginger biscuit or even a slice of toast in the morning made me puke. Eventually I had to go to the doctors when things almost got serious. 3-4 days of keeping no water or food down made me very poorly and unable to function properly or even work. They prescribed anti-sickness medication which I must admit worked wonders! I ate a chilli bean burger the same day and was absolutely buzzin’.

Smells
I felt like superwoman with a heightened sense of smell. Walking behind or anywhere near someone who was smoking made me instantly feel sick, sometimes I would just puke in the middle of Market Street at 8:30am which was not fun. Things I used to enjoy the smell of would often make me feel weird and I would walk around with a wrinkled nose most of the time.

Hormones & Mood Swings
I really cant thank Alex enough for standing by me during this stage. I would often drive myself into states of mania, once or twice I even drove him away for a few days. My hormones and emotions were all over the place. When I look back now I feel like I was consumed by a completely different person, literally everything pissed me off. I’m sure Alex and my work colleagues will agree when I say I’m very happy this part passed.

Fatigue/Tiredness
The feeling of being tired all the time and falling asleep sofa at 6:30pm became normal. This meant my social life disappeared almost all together, I just had no momentum to do anything.

Metal Mouth
For a few weeks it felt like I had a bunch of old coins in my mouth. A sharp copper taste would infest my tastebuds and make everything taste weird, like I’d been gargling 2 pence pieces all day. It was grim.

Exercise
For me, I miss skating the most during my pregnancy. I still continue to practice yoga but a much more chilled and relaxed routine, avoiding certain positions and taking it much easier. I do want to go skating every time I see a message from the lads in the group! Rollerblading for me is not only a physical outlet but a mental release. I can’t wait to skate again.

Diet
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There are food to avoid and other things to eat more of. Folic acid and Vitamin B6 are recommended in the first trimester to help develop the baby develop it’s spine and fluid healthily. For me this was easy because I LOVE Marmite (high in B6) and get alot of folic acid naturally through my diet eating plenty of spinach, broccoli, asparagus and beans.
– Avoiding certain foods has been easy for me being a vegetarian..apart from caffeine, oh how I miss a double espresso. You are told to avoid lots of food including raw fish, raw/deli meats, any unpasteurised milk/cheese type cheese, raw/runny eggs, processed foods and much more. Being a vegetarian who doesn’t drink milk, eat runny eggs or eat much cheese these was the easy bit for me.

Obviously no alcohol is advised  however I will admit I did lots of research and found that a study from Bristol University showed that less than 2units a week wasn’t harmful. I had the odd small glass of mulled wine over Christmas but since then I’ve gone off alcohol completely. Although I am looking forward to the day I can have a double neat brandy!

NHS Exemption Card
Excellent little perk! This little credit card sized certificate that means you don’t have to pay for ANY medication or dental treatment during pregnancy and 12 moths after the birth – Bonus! I’ve already been to the dentist twice just because I can ‘afford’ it now.

12 Week Scan
Ending on the biggest high at the end of the 1st trimester with the 12 week scan. This is the first time we got to see our baby and it all became real. It wasn’t just my body changing, it was something physically growing inside me, like I was a human incubator. I remember feeling more love than I’d ever felt for something, and I’d not even met her yet. Naturally you want to share the news once you’ve had a scan, Alex and I felt so happy and were excited to share our blessing.

2nd TRIMESTER (12-28 weeks):

By the time I had settled into the 2nd trimester things started to perk up quite quickly. I was no longer sick every morning and I wasn’t taking any medication for that either! I have more of the ‘glow’ about me as colour has come back into my cheeks. I’m also eating much better and actually enjoying food. My nose has adjusted to the smells around me but best of all my hormones and moods have relaxed. This is the fun part of pregnancy I never thought I’d see!

Clothes
I noticed some clothes were now too tight to wear normally, more specifically my favourite jeans. I had to invest in a good pair of maternity jeans, comfy joggers and a few jersey/stretch tops and midi dresses. I also miss wearing my favourite skating jeans.

Heartbeat Scan (16 weeks)
During my 16 week midwife appointment, they perform the heartbeat scan. This was the first time I cried with joy, the emotion and relief felt overwhelming. The 12 week scan was nice but didn’t touch me emotionally like this did. Actually hearing a heartbeat inside you is incredible!

20 Week Scan
This was the best part of pregnancy for me so far. being able to see a much more formed picture of a tiny human on the screen moving around, sucking their thumb and of corse finding out the sex! We were over the moon the find out it was a girl and already had chosen a name before we knew. I guess we kind of always did know in the back of our minds it was s girl.

Movements/Kicks
After I had my 20 week scan I learnt that my placenta is posterior (meaning its at the front) so it took a few more weeks than normal to start feeling kicks properly. I’d say that at 21/22 weeks I was feeling flurries and movements that felt like huge swarms of butterflies. Once she started kicking properly it was magic! The first few times I would just laugh and feel a flush of pride and happiness. Now she has a routine and kicks the most at night. I can sit and watch my belly move like there an alien in there (all the while trying to forget the scene from Alien).

Growing Pains
I can feel and see my belly growing day by day, I have had stich like ligament pains with the stretching, she’s a big bump! As she grows, it puts pressure and presses on some parts of my insides, I have to move around to get her comfy. She is also pressing on my bladder which means I need to pee 100 times a day!

Positivity
A Feeling of growing up and having to be responsible for a mini human has now become very real. Family and friends have been amazingly supportive and helped to buy things for the baby. By now the nursery is well underway!

Making Random Friends
Now I’m bigger, people (most often women) offer me their seat on the train and tram, whom I end up talking to for a while. Most of the time they have been in the same situation themselves. Also ‘mumsy’ looking women and cashiers on checkouts want to chat and ask how far along I am, It’s nice people show interest and share their stories and good vibes.

Grumpy Old Men
One guy walked past me on the high street and said (loudly) “You silly girl”. I laughed in shock and felt sorry for the guy, maybe has issues with women or even a bad experience himself. Another time I had an issue where the conductor was being rude and a bit of an asshole on a Cross Country train about me being in first class for 5 minutes. There was nowhere else to stand or sit in standard class and wasn’t safe, people often have to overflow into standing in first class. But ow well. Some people are just rude and I’ve accepted that.

Appetite & Heartburn
Lucky for me I’ve had no bad cravings…the naughtiest thing is properly the odd bowl of afternoon cereal, one or two pizzas and that one time I cried for chocolate…. Other than that, it’s been veggies as usual! Oh and potatoes, loving potatoes more and more now!! I’m hungry all the time, but oh man heartburn is REAL! I can physically feel my stomach at trying to make its way out of my throat come night time. I found that bicarbonate of soda and water has helped to neutralise my stomach acid. Also Rennie’s, I love you.

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I’ll keep the post much shorter next time, checking-in after the next few weeks. At the moment I’m very uncomfortable at times and find it hard to sleep which makes me think this is a sign of things to come for the next couple of months….

For now, Peace and Love!

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