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!