Oooh I’m so excited to be writing my first pregnancy update! As I said, I’ll be keeping most pregnancy related stuff to this post on a Friday.
I don’t want to do the same repetitive updates that I’ve seen on other blogs (as much as I have enjoyed them), so as well as a few key updates, each week I’ll be focusing on a different topic connected to pregnancy including nutrition, exercise, clothing, body image, skin care, supplements, the books I’ve been reading, getting ready for the arrival etc. I’m just wanting to make my hopefully slightly different approach to blogging about pregnancy clear from the word go.
I’ve been doing a lot of reading and research into hormone balance, fertility and pregnancy over the last few months, for both myself and clients, I’m actually thinking of pulling together a mini e guide because I haven’t been able to find a lot of decent stuff, i.e. from a not the mainstream nutritional approach, on this any where, and I know from the number of emails I get this would be helpful.
So the first trimester so far has been challenging at times. The biggest issues for me have been pregnancy anxiety, nausea and tiredness.
No body seems to talk about this! I’m sure I can’t be the only person that spent the first few weeks of my pregnancy worrying that something would go wrong, and to some extent that worry still comes and goes. About a week after I found out I was pregnant I woke up and felt fine, no breast tenderness, tiredness etc. It freaked me out so much I phoned the midwife who had to reassure me that I was, in fact, still pregnant. On the day of my scan, I was in a right state thinking that there would be nothing but empty space inside me – despite knowing deep down everything would be fine. I am a lot better now, but I can’t wait to reach the official end of the first trimester and of course have my 12 week scan! The thing that has made a big difference was actually accepting the worry – as my best friend said to me, ‘you will never stop worrying about them’, what I need to do better is find a way of dealing with that worry and not allowing it to take over. I have been using techniques like meditation and affirmations and they have really helped.
I haven’t been sick, but I have had quite a bit of nausea. When I first got it I was actually glad as some research has suggested that nausea in early pregnancy is a good sign. It comes and goes but tends to show up in the middle of the night when I wake up (multiple times) for the loo, first thing in the morning and sometimes later in the evening. I just feel permanently hungover. Fun right ;-) I do know that low blood sugar seems to make it worse so I’ve been eating little and often and making an effort to get some sources of protein. I’ve also been enjoying ginger in things like smoothies and tea. There are other things you can do such as supplement with vitamin B6 but at the moment it’s manageable.
I swear I have never known tiredness until now. I’m in bed most nights at 8pm and find myself in need of an afternoon nap most days, although I never have time to get one. I don’t sleep too well during the night because I’m waking up for the loo all the time. I’m just doing what I can and prioritising sleep as much as possible.
Other than that I think I have experienced most pregnancy symptoms I’ve read about on a lesser basis. Breast tenderness is there quite often and my boobs are massive – I’ve gone up two cup sizes! I also have more visible veins across my chest, stomach and legs because your blood volume increases in pregnancy. My sense of smell is more acute and I’ve been experiencing those aversions to chicken, coffee and big salads which is just plain weird considering how much I loved those foods. However there are some clear biological reasons for those aversions – our bodies are so naturally smart! My cravings have reduced a lot, I was wanting all the carbs but now I’m craving things like apples and bell peppers. I’ve also cut out caffeine almost entirely, no tea, coffee or even green tea. I’ve been enjoying Dandy Blend, ginger tea, mint tea and lots and lots of rooibos with almond milk.
Last week I had my booking appointment with the midwife. This is where they ask you twenty million questions about everything and take loads of blood for testing, but it is nicer than it sounds as you also get to see when you’ll have all your appointments and scans and things. Next week I have a follow up appointment with the consultant I was seeing before I got pregnant so that should be interesting as well.
As for my body, as I said the boobs are huge and I have definitely thickened round the waist and belly. Some of this is weight gain of 4/5 lbs which I think is partially down to the extra carbs, but that amount is also completely normal at this stage of pregnancy. Some of it is bloating caused by a sluggish digestion as a result of the extra progesterone circulating in the body. I’m not feeling too bad about it at all, I have had a few fat days, admittedly I have already found some images of slim women with perfect bumps (often exercising a lot) a bit upsetting, but James promptly comforts me and gives me some perspective.
In going forward I’m hoping to find a pre natal yoga class and aqua class. I’ve been enjoying yoga at home but I think I’d really benefit from a proper class. I’ve also been thinking about making sure our environment is more toxin free, how to be as thrifty as we can be including things like buying maternity wear on eBay, and I’m also going to be investigating placenta encapsulation.
I’ve also started a Baby board on Pinterest if you would like to follow it!
Over all, I’m just so so happy to be pregnant! I’m choosing to enjoy every second of this amazing experience as much as possible, one of the reasons we decided to announce it sooner rather than later. Sharing our news has been one of the loveliest things so far. Another key thing I’ve learned is that I need to trust my body more. I read a great book on natural pregnancy (more on this in a future post) where the author talked about trusting your body to deliver a healthy pregnancy. I realised that could be part of the source of my anxiety – after all me and my body have had a rocky relationship in the past. I need to remember that my natural instincts are very strong, I knew deep down I was pregnant before I took the test, I knew I was further on than my dates would have suggested, which was proven at the scan, so my instincts have served me well so far. I need to make sure I listen to them, and trust in my body whatever happens.
If you’ve been pregnant / are pregnant how was the first trimester for you?
Yay I think it is totally normally to worry. Having a good midwife is key! I am now 31 weeks and ready to get her out. It is hard work gaining weight with nothing you can really do about it, I know you can just deal with it after but it’s still an effort to stay feeling body positive. Also, in pregnancy there seems to be no such thing as normal.
I bet you are petal, not long for you to go now!
As I said before it is totally normal to worry and the beginning of years of worrying! If you want to chat about natural pregnancy and childbirth or anything else give me a shout, did natal hypnotherapy, water birth at home, only gas and air despite back to back position, no placenta injection etc etc.
Thanks again Amy, I need to try and find out more about this hypno birthing as a few people have mentioned it to me. Might have to pick your brains soon!
Obviously I have zero pregnancy experience whatsoever, but there are three pregnant ladies at my gym at the moment, who are all a little bit ahead of you in the second trimester. They’re all lovely, so I do chat to them a bit and all of them (including one who is a Body Pump coach) said that the first trimester is the worst for both tiredness and nausea, so hopefully those will improve for you!
As for weight gain, I think people are generally wired to gain in a certain way during pregnancy, unless they’re taking things to huge extremes in terms of eating too much or too little. Some people are all bump wheras others gain a little bit all over – if there’s one thing I have noticed it’s that all of the ladies I mentioned are very fit and work out a lot, but they look completely different despite being at virtually the same point in their pregnancies. Sure, people who are athletes or lucky enough to maintain high mileages as runners throughout their pregnancies just look lean with a bump stuck on, but I’m not sure those types of people are really very common…at least outside of certain blogs!
Oh I hope so, I was in bed asleep at 8.30 last night, although we had been out at a foodie thing but I was so knackered. I was really hoping I might be all bump, like my sister who looked amazing in her pregnancies. However I think I’m going to be like my Mam who was big all over haha, I’m just going to have to deal with that! Yeah, I think I’ve needed to get some perspective and remember that every woman is different when it comes to how pregnancy affects how she feels and looks – I agree I don’t think those kind of women are that common normally!
I have no plans for kids yet, but I do enjoy reading about other people’s pregnancies! xx
I know nothing about pregnancy but I just wanted to say how cute your little bump is in the photo!
Thanks Zoe, haha I thought that too :-)
Aww, love the little bump! I guess, with any change in our bodies, we have to trust that our bodies can deal with it all. Worrying is totally normal, but you’re equipped with all the things you need, just keep reminding yourself of that.
Thanks Sarah, that’s just what I’ve been trying to tell myself!
This is such an exciting post Laura! My mum is a health visitor so although I’ve never been pregnant, I recognise lots of the things you’re describing as very normal for mums-to-be! The little bump is adorable!
Thanks Claire! That must be so cool to have a health visitor in the family, when your time comes I can imagine that being really comforting :-)
Yay! I have no experience of pregnancy myself (yet hopefully!!) but I am SO PLEASED for you :) I do get the impression though, despite possible anxiety etc, you will be one of those glowing, very relaxed mothers! Interesting to hear about your smell sense going up :)
Thanks Georgia, that means a lot I do hope I’m one of those kind of mothers!
I think pregnancy anxiety is really quite common, I was a nervous wreck during my first trimester and like you was so scared at the scan that there would be nothing to see. 4.5 years later he’s sat on the floor in front of me playing with Lego and singing the Lego Movie theme tune ;) you never stop worrying about them for sure but it’s all worth it! Wishing you a healthy and happy pregnancy!
Thanks so much for this Debbie, that has made me feel better! xx
You look fab in that dress Laura! And I have to say, despite the tiredness you look glowing! :)
Wow I didn’t know you had more visible veins in pregnancy….learn something new everyday! :) I think as far as exercising throughout pregnant, just doing what you can is all that you can do. Heck, it’s not often you’re pregnant, no point making yourself miserable, pushing yourself when you really don’t feel up to it. And from what I know from other women, it will all soon start to get much better for you in the second trimester for sure :)
Thanks Nicky! You are so right – I really need to remember that with exercise and stop stressing about it :-)
Oh! I’m totally sending my friend to this post. She’s still in the first trimester and hasn’t announced the pregnancy because of the anxiety as you’ve described. “Is everything okay with the baby?” “Am I still pregnant?” Great update. You look cute in the sailor dress. Reminds me of your Halloween costume from 2011 which I adored. xo
Thanks Nicole, haha thinking of that outfit is quite hilarious, I hope I will be able to fit back into it at some point in the future!
You look so happy in that photo! :)
I’ve not been pregnant so cannot comment from my own point of view, but several of my friends have waited until they were obviously showing before announcing their pregnancies. I think when your body is going through such massive changes and you have absolutely nothing to compare it to, you have no choice but to question everything that is taking place and until you are comfortable in yourself and your ‘new’ body it’s always going to be a worry.
I hope you manage to get some regular sleep over the coming months. Because you won’t be getting any from September!
Thanks Mary :-) That is a very sensible way of looking at it, and you are so right about the sleep, I need to stock pile it!
What a lovely picture :)
I think that the “perfect” little bump is not really normal- working at a school I see a lot of pregnant mums and while a handful are so compact you can’t tell they are pregnant from the back, most pregnant ladies come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s nothing to worry about- don’t compare yourselves to others in that situation.
I agree with Mary too- try to get some rest while you can!
Thanks Maria :-) I know I think I just needed to gain some perspective again, and yes I definitely need to get as much sleep as possible!
“trusting your body to deliver a healthy pregnancy” …. totally agree; I actually went off all alcohol and horror of horrors I went off stinky cheese!!! It was the one time I truly trusted my body xx
I’m really trying as hard as I can to listen to it and so far it’s working!
Laura I feel very bad now for posting that picture on my blog. It was never intentionally meant to make you feel bad. I think my friend is a rarity and though yes she looks all wonderful with her small bump etc. I don’t think it’s something everyone should aspire to. She is working quite hard to not gain too much weight this time around (it’s her second) so I think it’s a very conscious thing for her. I was just amazed she was still so speedy running. I think you look beautiful and radiant, and very natural. I’m sorry if my post was insensitive!
Oh blimey Anna I’m really sorry I mentioned that now, you certainly don’t have anything to apologise for! Your friend looks fantastic and bloody brilliant! It did make me feel urgh for a minute – but that’s my issues – not something you should worry about! The stuff that’s been getting to me most is surprise surprise, on Instagram haha, and to be honest I think it’s when I’m feeling particularly hormonal it’s worse! Please, please don’t feel bad about that pic at all and I’m so sorry if my comment on your blog made you feel bad, as I said these are totally my issues and by the sound of it your friend rocks and is an inspiration. Argh, sorry again!
congratulations! my little boy is 12 weeks old today and i already miss being pregnant! i was anxious in the first trimester (and beyond…) and had the same worries that there wouldn’t be any baby at my 12 week scan, but he’s here and despite all my worries he’s beautifully perfect and i couldn’t be happier :) best wishes for a smooth pregnancy, will be looking forward to reading along!
Thanks Kirsty and congrats on your bundle of joy! xxx
Sounds like your very prepared for this new chapter Laura, looking forward to getting to know your bump!
I had no symptoms at all. Even at 16 weeks(thought it was my 12 week scan I had no bump) very anxious indeed. I really regret not letting go and enjoying it. best of luck missus :)
Thanks :-) I think it’s just remembering that every woman is different. I am trying to relax and enjoy it, what will be will be after all!
How about a doula? They support you during the birth, but you build a relationship during your pregnancy and can help a lot. I know one near you and a lot of them do placenta encapsulation. I’ve had doulas as clients so found out a lot about it :)
If you’re interested, I’ll get you her details.
Elisabeth Winkler of Real Food Lover has decades of experience with pregnancy/birth and is also firmly on the ‘natural’ side without going ‘too far’ if you know what I mean. She’ll have a lot of help of places to look to save you the time searching. I can send her details over too :)
I’ve found a local Doula actually! I found her first through the placenta encapsulation but I’m considering the doula as an option. Of course it depends on what we can afford. Just off to check out Elisabeth’s site, thanks!
Love the picture Laura. I teach pre-natal yoga and I often include some positive affirmations or quotes around trusting the body, trusting our inner guide throughout the pregnancy and birth. I know a lot of the women in the class really enjoy it and find it helps their headspace and with anxiety in general. You might find including some of these affirmations in your meditations or just having them handy to read/remind you might help with dealing with the anxiety as well? Just a thought :) Looking forward to more updates!
Hello Laura you look so pretty with little bump in that photo of yours. It so good to know that you are so exited about your cute little angel.
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