I was going to call this post My Pregnancy Journey but I couldn’t bring myself to say those words. Truth is it has been a bit of a journey* (eurgh, I know). I couldn’t care less about pregnancy stories but since discovering I am with child I’ve been devouring vlogs, blogs, books and tales from other mums like a crazy woman. I’ve got just weeks left until two become three and life gets seriously hectic, so it made sense to share what I’ve learnt over the past nine months! Grab a brew, put your feet up and enjoy …
// First Trimester // 0-12 Weeks
Finding out I was pregnant was a total whirlwind of emotions. I didn’t feel pregnant despite five separate positive tests, it was only hearing a heartbeat at an early scan did it dawn on me that this shizz was real! Despite no morning sickness the sheer exhaustion that arrived was like a slap in the face. I felt like a grizzly bear hunkering down for mid-day naps as I struggled to keep my eyes open. The tiredness was competing with my hormones that were all over the place, I had no idea how irrational, teary and emotional you could be in this trimester. It was not a fun rollercoaster to be on especially during hectic chrimbo celebrations and planning a wedding, trust me!
I thought going without booze would be tough but apart from craving a cocktail on the beach in Bali (and abstaining) it’s not been too bad. To be honest the smell of a glass of rosé would make me want to vom, it’s crazy what your body knows it needs and doesn’t need.
This trimester felt the longest, especially waiting for the special 12 week scan. I wasn’t prepared for how precious this bundle of cells become to you as you try to shy away from stories of miscarriages or complications. It’s always hanging over you that you’re in this ‘danger zone’ until you get to 12 weeks (sadly, the truth is the whole pregnancy is one potential danger zone) but you have to relax and hope for the best or else you’d drive yourself mad with worry. Life carries on and for us we went to Switzerland, Bali and moved house in this time!
- Lather up on the stretch mark cream (I used this oil twice a day since I found out and not one pesky mark has come my way – hurrah!)
- Take your folic acid and vitamin D and up your fruit and veg intake if you can
- Get fitted for a maternity bra – they may be unsexy but they are important
- Download an app or two – I did get a teeny bit obsessed with the Ovia app seeing what size/bizarre vegetable our baby was each week!
// Second Trimester // 13 – 28 Weeks
Feeling the baby kick for the first time was awesome but totally bizarre. I was lying in bed listening to music when I felt what was unmistakably a flutter. I kept replaying the same song hoping for a similar reaction and couldn’t help but get teary eyed when the movements continued, calling for John to try and feel what I could feel too!
The bloated look I was rocking in the first trimester gave way to a neat rounded bump and maternity clothes started to infiltrate my wardrobe. I was so lucky as my best friend and step sister had recently had babies so I could nab their cast offs! I’d recommend a decent pair of jeans, leggings and long vest tops as essentials. ASOS do a great (and reasonable priced) maternity bundle to allow you to mix & match looks.
I suffered from really painful SPD which, annoyingly, arrived at the same time as our wedding. There were worries I’d be on crutches for the big day as my pelvis, hips and lower back all fought to be the bearer of the worst pain. I’d try anything to find comfort including an unsexy but oh-so-helpful pelvic girdle, swapping the sofa for a yoga ball and sleeping in a mound of pillow propping up my hips. Despite being desperate to ignore the pain and have the best day ever I also had an osteopath on speed dial who was a miracle worker in sorting me out and I’ve not had a spot of trouble since!
- Take a baby moon at the late stage of this trimester or early stage of the next when you still have enough energy to get about
- Start to enjoy it all! I definitely relaxed as I saw my bump growing each day. The cloud of anxiousness also lifted after I reached the magic 24 weeks stage. We began buying things which made it all seem real and exciting (If you’re in the UK I’d definitely recommend going to a Mum2Mum event for brilliant nearly new bargains)
- Join a special pregnancy fitness class if you can. I go to a weekly class ran by a midwife/fitness instructor which has been great in both meeting other mums-to-be but also staying in some sort of half decent shape to counteract all the sweet tooth cravings!
// Third Trimester // 28-42 weeks
Reality hits as the day of birth is getting closer! Right back when I first pee’d on that stick the third trimester felt like a lifetime away but now I’m like – How do I only have two weeks to go!? How? Am I prepared? Am I ready? arghhh!! mixed with Bring It On! I cannot wait to meet our bambino to join our wolfpack. Why is this taking so looooooong!! etc etc. This trimester has definitely seemed to have gone in the blink of an eye although that may have something to do with keeping busy as we’ve moved house again, my mum threw me a gorgeous baby shower, we went on a Spanish baby moon and I finished the first draft of book 5!
The bigger I get the more my body feels like it belongs to someone else, I never knew just how blooming you could go without popping! Added to the size of my rounded stomach I have no spacial awareness as my collection of juicy bruises confirm, I even nearly knocked a coffin over at a recent funeral as I swung my bump around too quick. Yup.
It’s not all glowing skin and shiny locks either. Pregnancy insomnia is a real thing. I’m exhausted in the day but then wide awake until the early hours as my mind races, acid reflux hits, restless leg syndrome takes hold, or heartburn turns up (Rennies become your best friend). When I do finally nod off I’m woken up to nip to the toilet numerous times a night. This should be the time when I’m banking up the sleep! Grrr. At least it shows I can survive on broken sleep, I guess.
Baby is kicking away like a champion, so much so that I’ve even managed to capture some of the movements on video which is cool … in a slight Alien-type way! From the size of a poppy seed to this fully formed baby, this whole pregnancy has blown my mind with what your body can achieve. It really is a miracle.*
*Told you to expect some cheese.
- Starting to think about birth options and what YOU want. Hospital, home, midwife-led unit? Whether you want to go down the natural and hypnobirth route or take all the drugs you can get your hands on. It’s all up to YOU and what’s best for you and your baby.
- Enjoy the last few weeks as a two-some as much as you can. It’s hard as you have less energy to do fun things but even just hanging out and chatting to your partner can be special before your worlds change.
- Go to Positive Birth Movement class if there’s one in your local area. Reading this book (I don’t know how I would have got through the last few weeks without this bible) gave me the biggest confidence boost that yes, I CAN TOTALLY DO THIS!
Next step … Motherhood!