Ahhh the first trimester, my old friend. Where to begin? Quite frankly, it was mostly ghastly. Want to know why? Read on!
Finding out I was preggo
I found out I was up the duff two days before my 31st birthday – happy birthday to me! I hadn’t really experienced any “proper” (expected) early pregnancy symptoms, in fact, I had really bad tummy cramps, which I thought was my period arriving. It didn’t come, but the cramps persisted and were quite sore actually. I thought I’d better buy a couple of pregnancy tests and plumped for those First Response ones because I knew that if I was pregnant, I was early on! I peed on the stick, and the red line appeared pretty much straight away.
Then I headed out to get my nails done, LOL.
Of course I told the husbear when I returned, but I must admit, it didn’t feel real! Then I did the classic tracking back and realised I’d been boozing loads and eating oysters and stuff in celebration of my birthday the weekend before. But what can you do, eh? I had no idea!
I’m pregnant! What next?
Turns out, you don’t have to book a doctor’s appointment or anything, all you have to do is pop into your GP and let the receptionist know. I filled in a form, which asked me my date of birth, height and weight (to calculate my BMI) and the start date of my last period, because that’s how they work out your due date. All I had to do then was wait for a call from the midwife, which I’d been told to expect at about 6 – 7 weeks.
5 – 7 weeks
YES it was totally exciting knowing I was pregnant, but I felt so self-conscious! I honestly felt like I had it written all over my face, and it was so hard not being able to tell anyone. At this point, I felt pretty bloody awful as well, so I immediately thought everyone would suspect. I still had horrendous cramps, I felt nauseous all the time, I was hot and sweaty and completely exhausted.
I spent what felt like hours locked in a work toilet trying not to cry (often unsuccessfully) and waiting for the nausea to pass. Oh, and a real highlight was vomiting between my legs on a park bench outside St. Nicholas Cathedral like I’d had one too many the night before. Yummy.
I soon realised I could control my nausea by eating regularly, so I went to Tesco and bought all the snacks – dried fruit, fresh fruit and more cereal bars than you could shake a stick at. They genuinely helped – as soon as I had the slightest sick feeling, I ate and drank something and it dissipated. Having previously not been much of a snacker, I was convinced this was another cue for my work colleagues!
8 – 10 weeks
At about 8 weeks gone, I had my first midwife appointment. My midwife came to my house to see me and it was essentially a WHOLE LOAD of questions about our and our families’ medical history. Given we hadn’t told anyone yet, we just had to answer this as best we could based on what we knew. The midwife also took my blood pressure, a urine sample and attempted to take my blood, but she couldn’t get a vein (bleurgh) so I had to go to the doctor’s the next day for a healthcare assistant to do it instead.
In this time, my cramps went away, which was SO good. I chatted through my other symptoms with my midwife and was reassured they were all normal and to just keep on keeping on. After the appointment, we decided to tell my parents, which was lovely to be able to do face to face and felt like such a weight off! Yes there were tears, after all, my parents lost their first grandchild (my niece) in 2016, so it was bound to bring those feelings back, but the tears were happy as well.
11 – 12 weeks
Christmas! The time of Christmas parties, getting dressed up and going out on the drink. Well, not for me this year. This year my body blessed me with a urine infection, which really knocked me for six. I had to take time off work (my first sick day in at least five years) and again, I was convinced everyone knew my secret. Luckily (ha), it did give me a reason to not go to the work Christmas do, which was a relief – I didn’t fancy trying to lie that one out.
I didn’t have a bump yet, but my tummy was so bloated, I got a couple of pairs of maternity jeans from ASOS – one over the bump and one under the bump (I got them in tall, but you can also get them in petite and standard). I wore the under the bump ones mostly, because the over the bump were still a bit too big.
Over Christmas, we told Andrew’s parents and our other close family, but still held the news back from wider friends and family until we’d had that 12 week scan.
The first scan
The first scan is both crazily exciting and terrifying. You’ve been wishing away the past five or six weeks, desperate to know exactly what’s going on in there, but at the same time, you’re absolutely terrified something is going to go wrong. Luckily, we had a healthy, wriggly baby with a clear heartbeat! And just one – we weren’t having twins.
The whole thing took around two hours – we had the scan first, then I was weighed and measured, then I had my blood taken (again, it took two nurses to get it, yuck) and then finally the appointment with the consultant. I talked through my medical history and had chance to amend anything we’d told the midwife that was wrong, after clarifying with our parents.
I’m classed as a high risk pregnancy, due to my kidney issues, my depression and my niece’s stillbirth. So that means I’ll get more care than your average bear, which is fine by me. I will have growth scans every month (April, May, June) and an extra obstetrician appointment at 30 weeks.
Next step is telling everyone the news!
P.S. apologies for the stock photos – I had no desire to have my picture taken when I felt so grim!
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