The first three months…

I wasn’t going to go backwards with this pregnancy in terms of what I share on the blog but then some of the times when I most desperately wanted to read about other peoples experiences was of the ‘getting pregnant’ (more on this to come later,) and the unspoken first 12 weeks. So for those of you who are planning or trying or in those secret weeks, here’s how I found it.

I’ll start at the very beginning…

We found out we were pregnant very early on. I had always said that I wouldn’t do a test on the first day I was late, but when it came to it I managed to hold out 2 extra days (because my cycle varies a little anyway,) then caved. I was so nervous that I did the test without Pete because I didn’t want to disappoint him if it was negative! It all seems crazy now! Especially when we looked back and said deep down we both knew – My boobs were bigger and ridiculously sore, and my nose was like a highly trained sniffer dog – nothing escaped me! When Pete came home that night Francesca was around and it was killing me to act normally, then our wedding photographer came over to deliver our album (better late than never,) and it was only at about 9 o’clock that I dragged him upstairs to tell him finally! And then I fell asleep.

That was the beginning of what was really my only major pregnancy symptom, I have never been so tired in all my life. Every night I was in bed between 8.30 and 9.30 (for someone who usually goes to bed at 11-11.30 this was a major departure from the norm,) and in the day I just about coped. I didn’t get much else, fleeting nausea was so mild and if I ate it went, so I ate and ate and ate. I’ve never eaten so much in my life and yet I didn’t gain weight for few weeks, so despite the advice that you don’t need extra calories until the third trimester, I must have needed them somewhere!

The lack of symptoms meant I really worried. I wouldn’t say that I was wracked with worry or it was the only thing on my mind, but I certainly found it hard to be positive about being pregnant. So much of my experience so far has been coloured by my medical background and because of my time spent doing Gynae on-call shifts, essentially dealing with women who were having possible early miscarriages I prepared myself for the worst. I googled miscarriage statistics and as each week passed I felt better. I think I knew deep down though that it would work out.

I actually found those first few months quite depressing. It sounds spoilt but I am so used to being active, going out and doing things and I’m also naturally a very open person. Not telling people was hard, but the sleeping was awful, for me at least. Coupled with the dark nights I felt like I was only ever asleep or at work and I really missed getting out as much. We did tell some people though on the premise that if something went wrong we wouldn’t have kept that a secret either and before we told our family we paid for a private scan at 9 weeks, right before Christmas. I couldn’t bear the thought of telling them and them later being disappointed and Christmas would have been too hard otherwise. It would be very unusual for me not to have a drink in my hand!

After Christmas the time flew and I didn’t have my scan until almost 14 weeks, the latest possible date to have the anomaly screening, (that we agreed we wanted regardless, so we could prepare if there was bad news.) It was so amazing to see this little human kicking up a storm on the screen when just a few weeks before it had looked like a wriggly baked bean.

By this point I was on bump watch. I knew it wouldn’t be for a while that I would pop a bump out but my shape changed so early on in pregnancy that I wanted to actually look pregnant. I was so bloated right from the off that my tummy filled out after only a couple of weeks and my boobs have gotten so. much. bigger. Most people when I told them our news had already guessed, even my work colleagues at only 11 weeks. It has taken a lot longer though to get a real bump rather than just a different shape. I could feel my uterus at 14 weeks, but not see it, then about 16 weeks I started to feel different and it’s only now that it’s definitely there, although sometime I still feel just a bit porky!

One thing I did stress out about was what to eat or avoid. The advice is so conflicting and people can essentially write whatever they want on the internet with no medical evidence to back it up. I had always dreaded being pregnant as I mistakenly thought I couldn’t eat so many of my favourite foods – seafood, deli meats, runny yolked eggs. After reading a lot in the first couple of weeks (I found this the most reliable source of advice, with the specifics covered in the comments section particularly helpful,) I realised that the guidelines change all the time. For example rules around cured meats like salami have changed since some of my friends were pregnant a couple of years ago. Essentially it boils down to 3 categories: Things that you need to moderate (like caffeine and alcohol,) things that could make you sick (like food poisoning,) but won’t harm the baby and things that could give you a pregnancy threatening infection like listeria or toxoplasmosis. It’s a personal choice but my take so far has been that if I wouldn’t worry about getting ill from something pre-pregnancy then I won’t worry now, but I have avoided certain cheeses, pate and rare meat, as they pose a small but possible risk of listeria and toxoplasmosis.

So there you have it, we’re almost up to date! I plan to do a monthly pregnancy update from here on in with my experiences, but for now feel free to ask me any questions, I’m sure many of you out there can identify with some of the things I have experienced and I hope reading about it helps some of you going through or yet to go through it. Feel free to chip in with your experiences too!


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24 thoughts on “The first three months…

  1. It sounds like we had a very similar 3 months… I felt so worried and down during mine, but at 16 weeks I’m starting, slowly, to feel a bit better. I still get crazy periods of anxiety though (my bump seems to have gone down! Etc) and I’m still tired a lot… I hope this improves! It’s good to hear things sound better for you : )

  2. It’s funny how people have such varied experiences. My first 3 months I experienced lots of cramps- (the first sign I was pregnant!) and I was so so sick. We had an early 8 week scan and then had to tell people as I couldn’t hide the reason I was ill all the time. Thankfully the sickness disappeared at 13 weeks!

    • I had cramps too – in fact I still get them but much less now, I had them right from the beginning. In fact I had various niggly symptoms but nothing that overtook my life. I was so grateful not to be sick!

  3. I basically felt the same way… my main symptom was extreme tiredness (I was taking lots of naps) and big boobs (that were actually not painful). We knew I was pregnant because of my boobs, very early on I could not stand underwire bras and they just felt fool.
    But I did not get practically any nausea (well I did throw up 2 times in the whole pregnancy, once in the 1st trimester, and once in the 2nd) and it made me worry. (Until I read that not getting morning sickness is also normal and not necessarily an indication that something is wrong). And like you, when I started getting slightly queasy if I ate an apple or something bland the feeling went. I mostly only craved orange juice, red meat (well done) and sometimes salmon for the whole pregnancy.
    As for the foods that are not recommended I did stay away from foods that could potentially make you sick (toxoinfection) because pregnant women are immunosuppressed (to protect the foetus), so something that would not normally make you ill could potentially do so during pregnancy, and dehydration or a fever can be dangerous to the baby.
    I only started really showing somewhere between 20 and 24 weeks, before that I just looked a bit “thicker” but it was easy to disguise with a sweater. And I think it was also around 20 weeks that I started wearing pregnancy jeans.
    I hope your pregnancy continues to go smoothly!

  4. I was horribly sick until 20-something weeks (then it returned at 30-something) but I was prescribed anti-sickness tablets at 13 weeks as I needed to be able to keep antibiotics down. I would definitely recommend the anti sickness drugs if you have it bad.

    I agree the tiredness is unbelievable – how can something so small make you so snoozy?!

    The third trimester was by far my favourite by far – partially because movement etc made it much easier to know he was ok (feeling Max move was my favourite thing about pregnancy overall) and I loved my bump even though I was like a space hopper on legs by the end!

    Wishing you a happy and healthy next few months xxx

  5. Congratulations! I had a relatively easy pregnancy symptoms wise, however, I ended up having gestational diabetes which meant I had to monitor what I ate very carefully. This did mean I put on very little extra weight though and I’ve honestly never felt so healthy and happy. I have an amazing 5 month old son now but I still miss being pregnant. Enjoy it, it’s one of the most amazing, miraculous times of your life x

  6. The tiredness is something that totally took me by surprise. I expected morning sickness but was only sick a couple of times, the tiredness however was horrendous. I remember coming home from work, lying down on the bed for ten minutes, and waking up the next morning! I also really craved carbs, and filled up on sandwiches, toast, and pizza. I am not a big coffee drinker so was fine with that and at first I tried decaf tea – but it just didn’t taste right so I limited it to a couple of cups a day.
    I also found out very early on, it’s hard not to if you have been trying and have an awareness of your usual cycle! I was so impatient I tested before I was even late.

  7. Oh I love reading this! I have been broody since I was 18 and ache to have my own baby but I know it is a few weeks off for us, especially as I am marrying my you boy in 5 weeks.

    I know so many other ladies how feel exactly the same, it’s only really when they feel movement that they can really feel happy and confident about their pregnancy.

    I cannot wait to read more πŸ™‚

  8. Rebecca I love these posts!
    I’m a little way behind you, I’m 14 weeks! And have been soooo tired, but had no sickness. We waited until we were 10 weeks to tell anyone, and it was really just because of a holiday we were going on. We’re just started to tell people now, although I am normally an open person, I liked the fact that just my husband and I knew, it seems all the more real now more people know, and there forever looking at me,to see if that bump has popped out!!
    Good Luck πŸ™‚

  9. I had nausea, but no actual vomiting from about 6 weeks. Also the overwhelming tiredness, and dizzyness as soon as I tried to do anything remotely resembling exercise. This all more or less wore off at about 14 weeks and now at 27 weeks I’m just starting to get a bit tired and uncomfortable again.
    For me the bump was present from about 18 weeks, before that the waist was just getting thicker. I was quite neat until 22 weeks, but in the last 4-5 weeks it has grown rapidly. A slightly insensitive work colleague commented that I must be due soon yesterday, when I said no not until the start of June she said she would have guessed April. Ouch!

  10. Would be interested to know if you did anything to help you conceive. Ovulation sticks, or timing of ovulation. I have pretty irregular periods and would like to know what helped if anything. Huge congrats by the way .

  11. Hi Rebecca
    Thank you for sharing your experience of the first trimester, Im glad you are feeling less anxious now.
    My husband and I have been ttc with no success for 1 year now so I am really looking forward to your ‘getting there’ post. Its nice to here about others ttc journeys.

  12. Oh the tiredness. And the hunger. Seriously, why do people not warn you?! To be fair, I think they did but I thought that they were exaggerating! The first 17 weeks for me were horrendous, I was sick every day and had to be in bed by 7pm. The second trimester has been much more enjoyable with the appearance of the bump at about 20 weeks, starting to feel kicks and being able to stay up until at least 9.30pm (maybe even 10.30 on a weekend). I hope that you are able to start enjoying pregnancy more now and that things continue to go well πŸ™‚

  13. We conceived on our first cycle of clomid, so found out very early on. We tested on day 14 post-ovulation, and then again the following day because we couldnt believe it had worked!

    I’ve been very lucky during my first 3 months, as I’ve had no nausea or vomiting but have been extremely tired! I’m 18 weeks now and still get very tired by about 6.30pm which us awkward when I’m at work but fine when I’m at home and can just have a snooze for a bit.

    We had 2 early scans due to pains and bleeding, so we were able to tell family before Christmas when we were still only about 8 weeks, but it was good to be able to share our news with them! I think the fear of miscarriage is only slightly wearing off now, but hopefully it will be better once we have the 20 week scan next week!

    Looking forward to hearing more about your pregnancy as time goes on! X

  14. Lovely to hear how you are doing…

    My first trimester was full of worry (we also had an early scan about 8 weeks just before xmas) and i just didn’t want to get my hopes up until after that 12 week scan because of various family problems. I had a distinct lack of any symptoms – i wasn’t even overly tired but I was definitely more hungry! In fact the girl sitting next to me at work said she knew I was pregnant because I completely changed my eating habits. No more salads for me – I needed carbs so was all about sandwiches and cake. Previously I was always quite disciplined but I totally let myself eat what i wanted during pregnancy and it made me realise that I do actually like healthy food as even with letting myself eat what i wanted I was still quite healthy…

    With regards to eating and drinking I had normal tea but limited my intake (as i couldn’t stomach the decaf version!) With regards to coffee I pretty much went decaf apart from the odd skinny latte with one shot instead of 2 when i really needed it!! I observed all the soft cheese/pate/rare meat guidelines but like you I carried on eating prawns and shellfish (not oysters though) and deli meats. I don’t know anyone that got sick on parma ham or chorizo!!

    In hindsight I was very lucky as I didn’t even suffer heart burn/indigestion/swollen ankles etc… I did get stretch marks though!!!

    Second trimester was definitely the best!

  15. Wow congratulations! Amazing news. Hope you have a really good pregnancy and please keep us updated on the blog!

    As you know I got married when 12 weeks pregnant with William. I had horrendous morning sickness, tiredness, bad skin etc. How I made it through my wedding day is beyond me. The phenergan i took the night before helped somewhat and I avoided vomiting on my wedding photographer.

    I swore if one more person suggested I try eating a ginger biscuit I was going to gauge out my eyeballs with a rusty fork and feed it to them.

    I had a complicated pregnancy, same second time round actually, with acute throwing up, but it is all worth it. The moment they put your newborn on your chest and you see them in all their pinky blue puffiness, just makes all the rest of it fade away.

    Enjoy every moment of your pregnancy and take it easy x

  16. With regards to the food it is so confusing in this country what the guidelines are! I am italian and women in Italy would not dream of giving up salami, cured meats or cheeses, we just eat normally and seem to have just as healthy pregnancies/babies. I remember last year a Japanese friend of mine who was returning to Japan at 4months pregnant told me she was dying to have some proper sushi! I looked on in horror but she seemed more confused about why I thought she couldn’t eat sushi and told me Japanese women do not stop eating it when pregnant. I guess it is part of the scaremongering culture in the UK. If you have been eating it your whole life you are probably going to be ok! So good for you!

  17. How have you found your skin Rebecca? Has it been better or worse since getting pregnant? I’m worried a sudden influx of pregnancy hormones would trigger acne again…

    • It has been hit and miss Alice but I did had have a good 3 month period where I was either using face wipes or more often, just not taking my make up off at all. It hasn’t all gone bad but have had a few spots around my chin.
      However, since getting into a new cleansing routine it has improved already so not sure how much of it is pregnancy. Lots of people say it makes their skin better. I was worried about how it would go too, but at the end of the day, I wasn’t going to let a few acne prone months stop me having kids!

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