Having a baby was always on the agenda. Except if anybody asked, I was always quick to throw my ‘old eggs’ and my other half’s ‘roadie lifestyle’ into the conversation, so much so I think I’d almost convinced myself that conception would most definitely be an issue.
So you can imagine our surprise and of course delight when, just three weeks after we’d said ‘I do’ and me being a week late, we discovered I was pregnant.
The pregnancy journey of discovery
The next few weeks were a steep learning curve, whilst I had always wanted children, I had done little-to-zero research into pregnancy and so I had a lot to learn. And although friends had produced offspring of their own, I wasn’t all that interested in the nitty gritty of what was involved when it didn’t matter to me. I now wish I’d asked them what their takeaway life lessons were from those early weeks of discovery were, because all of a sudden, I was furiously treading water in the very deep seas of the first trimester with no back up, aside from an equally clueless husband.
So, if you’re treading the same waters, I’ve highlighted five things which took up a huge part of my brain during those first trimester and what I learned:
The worst kept secret?
From the moment that blue cross developed (very strongly) on the stick, I felt like a different person. It sounds insane, when the baby was smaller than a piece of sweetcorn, but I’d leave the house and wonder whether strangers were also in on our incredible secret. Aside from boobs that felt so tender I wanted to punch everyone who hugged me, I had zero other symptoms, so felt fraud-like and even spent a stupid amount of time wondering if I was actually pregnant. But at the same time I also felt like my belly was expanding at a rapid rate. It wasn’t. In fact, at 29 weeks now I can DEFINITELY confirm it wasn’t.
My pregnancy radar was also going crazy, I was seeing pregnant women everywhere. On the train, in the supermarket, it felt like every man and his dog, so to speak, were in the club.
When I finally announced our exciting news at 14 weeks, the people I spend every day with didn’t have a clue.
Lesson learnt, sadly, life isn’t all about me.
Exercising in early pregnancy
Having been working hard up until the wedding and then just getting back into it again with a vengeance after the month-long honeymoon style celebrations of daily prosecco (more on that later!) and wedding cake, I became panicked about whether I should still be following my high-intensity schedule. As it turns out, after much googling and chats with professionals, I could continue with my training as long as I felt comfortable. Although weirdly by week 9, I felt really differently about putting my body and baby through those classes so I switched up to walking and swimming with some strength work thrown in. The carb-loading hasn’t stopped though, if anything it’s increased ;).
Listen to your body, you know yourself better than you think.
I mean, this the reason we’re in this situation in the first place I know, but it’s funny how it quickly becomes the real elephant in the room. In the early days, you continue with gusto (if you’re not feeling too tired or sick obviously) but then all of a sudden both you and your partner feel a bit weirded out by the prospect. “Can the baby feel anything?” and “is sperm safe for the baby?” (yes, I did actually Google “can I have unprotected sex when I’m pregnant?”). As the weeks went on, we worried about crushing the sweetcorn-sized baby, when really the belly was down to the bread and pasta consumption.
If you feel up to it, do it, your belly is only going to grow and grow.
The great food minefield
“Don’t eat peanuts, they’ll give the baby an allergy”…….. “Oh no you can eat peanuts, that ban has been lifted”.
“All eggs should be well done, no runny yolks”…. “If they’ve been stamped with the lion mark it’s okay to have them runny”
“Sushi is off the menu” (my heart broke!) “sushi is okay if the fish has been frozen”
“Keep off the booze” “one or two glasses a week with dinner is fine”
These are just some of the conversations I have been involved in, most of which aren’t just limited to the first twelve weeks either. In the first four weeks of pregnancy ignorance I ate paté twice, drank daily and had sushi at least three times. Just leaving that one there. I think knowledge is power but so is common sense.
The first scan
The pinnacle of the first trimester is the scan. My advice would be to read up as much as you can about what happens so you know what they will test for and be looking for, but above all, enjoy. There is nothing that can prepare you for seeing your baby on that screen with an accompanying heartbeat. I was obviously hormonal, I don’t know what the husband’s excuse was 😉
Read more on pregnancy and what to expect on the Lifecake blog: