Pregnancy diary: The first trimester
So… There is a baby growing in my belly. An actual human baby. It moves, it somersaults and opens its mouth. It’s half me and half Nick.
We’ve officially reached the second trimester. Yeah, baby! We’re at 13 weeks. We’re out of the “danger zone”, we’ve made our announcement and, most importantly of all, the horrific first trimester has come to an end.
I don’t think it’s actually sunk in what is happening yet. We’re 13 weeks in but, to be honest, I just look like I’ve eaten a few too many bagels. Nothing actually seems to have changed. In fact, if it wasn’t for the ultrasound and the complete lack of periods, I would doubt it was actually true.
Oh, and of course, the symptoms that seem to have hit me like a hammer, tidal wave and a steamroller all in one are also a bit of a giveaway. So with the second trimester well and truly underway, let’s take an honest look back at the first.
1. Morning sickness
Let’s just start out with the most obvious lie of the lot.
First of all, the name is utter crap. From the phrase alone and the movies and the Instagram shots, morning sickness is portrayed as a little bit of queasiness. Oh don’t worry it won’t affect your day to day life. And if you do throw up, it’ll be first thing in the morning and then your sickness will be lifted and you can trot about the rest of your day no problem.
Utter rubbish, I’ll tell you that.
I plant myself somewhere in the middle of the morning sickness scale. I’ve read online of some poor women who can’t even keep down water. Those women are warriors, keep going girls.
Myself, I experienced constant nausea on a daily basis. If I did throw up it would be first thing in the morning, but then I would get no relief from the sick feeling and it would continue throughout the day. In fact, the only time I did get some relief was when I was asleep. So yeah, morning sickness is neither restricted to the morning nor does it always involve actual sickness. The constant nausea is enough to make anyone go a little stir crazy.
My relationship with food has adjusted dramatically in the past couple of months. Even just the thought or smell of some foods is enough to make me gag. Whereas some I’m like “yes! I want that now!” Unfortunately, by the time I get it I often don’t want it anymore. Case and point, I dragged Nick and the little one to Pizza Hut a few weekends ago, and didn’t want to eat my pizza when it arrived.
Or I could crave a McDonalds one night and then if someone mentions it the next day I’m dashing to the bathroom.
They say a lot about eating healthy during pregnancy. And by ‘they’ I mean the internet who you should never ever turn to for advice. But to be honest I’m happy just to eat anything! My lunchtime food consists of looking on the shelves and picking whatever doesn’t make my insides squirm. Sometimes that’s a chicken caesar wrap, but sometimes it’s a packet of strawberry laces and bubblemint gum.
They say that eating for two is a myth, and that you shouldn’t eat whatever you want. While I may agree with the first point I call bullshit on the second. As long as you’re not eating too unhealthily, I think the main priority is to actually get things into your body and keep them there. If that means I eat three packets of salt and vinegar crisps back to back, then so be it. It doesn’t make you a bad mum.
3. The tiredness
Don’t get me wrong, I was an ‘in bed by 9pm or earlier’ kinda gal before little bubba was formed, but by 7pm at the latest I can barely keep my eyes open. There’s even times when it’s 2/3pm and I’m trying desperately not to doze off. My eyes itch but I know that even if I rest them for a second, I’ll be snoring and drooling in no time.
But in fairness, I am loving our nights in now when we’re in bed straight after the little nugget and watching Netflix. I haven’t seen midnight for months.
4. The loo
I’m not going into great detail here but there will be a bit of that talk coming up. First off, I have to pee constantly. Honestly, I’m up in the night at least twice for the longest pees in history. Where on earth is this liquid coming from?!
Now for the other one… I’ve read you can go one way or another during pregnancy, and I am swinging between those two trees like George of the freakin’ jungle. There was a particularly unglamorous moment when – after a lovely romantic Valentine’s Day night away in the Lakes – Nick had to speed to a nearby Asda and let me sit in the bathroom for 10 minutes. He patiently waited outside for me. What a saint.
And god help you if number 1 and number 4 strike you at the same time. Be there, done that.
Gross talk over now.
5. The boobs
Getting sore boobs is a common symptom of early pregnancy. For me it was the absence of sore tatas that alerted me as I used to get them every cycle anyway. But while their soreness has mostly subsided, what I was not prepared for was them exploding like two non-spiky puffer fish under my chin.
My spatial awareness regarding my chest has been completely thrown off whack. There have been a couple of instances where I have knocked the girls into a chair or door frame because I can no longer judge the distance between my boobs and things around me. So if I do happen to hit you with my chest boulders, please accept my apologies.
6. The emotions
Now I’m an emotional person and proud of it. I once cried in the cinema at a banking advert – you know the one where the dad passes on the scarf and he leaves it on a bus? *sniff* – but nothing prepared me for the emotions early pregnancy would bring. Here’s a couple of examples…
- I was worried I would be a bad mum (legit reason to cry so only half counts)
- Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’ came on when we were driving late at night
- Nick and the little nugget were watching YouTube videos about ‘car crushers’
- We were watching ‘Stardust’
- Nick said in a text ‘I love you and I’m proud of you’
- Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’ came on when we were eating tea – what is it about that song??
- One night they just flooded out and I’m not sure why
- I dropped a stitch when knitting a baby blanket
I’m a tear making machine. But literally anything will set me off right now.
7. Telling people
It’s bloody amazing, let me tell you that. I told my parents as soon as we got in the car after the 9 week scan (we thought it was a 12) and my mum was crying and happy dancing with a roller brush full of paint. My sister was shouting down the phone at me. Nick’s parents dolled out hugs, as did his sister and her boyfriend. My mum and dad brought me flowers when we saw them the next day. My best friend shouted “I bloody knew it!”
Telling people, although nerve-wracking, is an amazing moment. My advice? Do it with a little flair. I told my parents they had been promoted and laughed at their confusion before finally putting them out of their misery. Nick considered putting the scan picture under the butter tub at tea time but decided against it – would have been hilarious.
8. The bonding
As I’ve written about before, I’ve found it a little tricky to feel bonded to this little person growing in my stomach. Yes, I’ve got the app that tells me where I am and I’ve even got a little bump – could be food or farts but I’m sticking with baby – but I’ve struggled to feel connected to either bump or Nick. And I blame the sickness. It’s made me feel so isolated and alone and it makes you forget that millions of other people have been through or are going through this. But all you have to do is reach out.
All I have to do is tell Nick and he’s there. I get a hug on demand or a hand hold or a stroke of the hair, and it feels just a little bit better. He’s a typical man – he likes to fix things, he needs to fix things – and I can tell he hates that he can’t take this sickness away. But he doesn’t need to. I just need the support. And slowly the bonding gets easier. He might have a chat with bump one night as he rubs cocoa butter onto my stomach. Or he’ll poke it gently. Or talk to me about his daydreams.
It’s a tough road – if I wasn’t sick it’d be plain sailing – but with constantly feeling like the plague is back in town, it’s a struggle. But as long as you’ve got people around you, it gets a tiny bit easier every day.