Those first few months of your first pregnancy are a strange period. Not only are you trying to process that a little being is nestled deep inside of you, but a lot of the time there are dozens of physical symptoms manifesting themselves in all different shapes and ways.
In those first fleeting weeks and in the months that followed I found great comfort in reading about others’ experiences – to know I wasn’t alone and that everything I was going through, others had gone through it too.
So in the spirit of the sisterhood, I thought I’d sit down and reflect on what the first three months of my pregnancy was like, in the hope that one day it might help someone else…
I thought I knew what ‘being exhausted’ was. Then I fell pregnant. Exhaustion during pregnancy is unlike anything else I experienced and looking back now it was probably one of the first symptoms I experienced (the one that got me to take a test was sore breasts – which was never one of my premenstrual symptoms). I’ve been a good napper for most of my adult life, but all of sudden my naps turned into two hour deep sleeps. There was a stage probably between about weeks seven and 11 where I sleeping until 7am in the morning, scoffing down lunch at my desk, and then driving home during my break for a kip. Some days I needed another lie-down when I got home from work and then often than not I was in bed again between 7:30 and 8:30pm at night. Even now in week 14, I’m still needing a nap most days – if I’ve got the luxury of a day off or a weekend, it’ll often be multiple naps, sometimes lasting an hour or more each. I just can’t get enough sleep! Since about week seven, I’ve also woken up during the night (usually around the 3am-4am mark) to use the bathroom. Sometimes I manage to fall back asleep quickly, but other times I toss and turn for hours and it feels like I’m just getting back into a heavy sleep when my alarm goes off – on days like that, a nap is almost always necessary. Turns out growing a tiny human is blooding tiring work!
Morning sickness and nausea
Or anytime of the day sickness really, but to be honest, my morning sickness has been the worst first thing of a morning. Nausea seemed to really ramp up around week seven or eight. Much of the advice online suggests eating smaller, more regular meals to keep your blood-sugar levels stable and that truly did help me. My diet got very bland and things like mashed potato, bread and cheese became almost daily staples. Some days I struggled to eat anything with colour, fruit was not appealing but strangely I could manage cherry tomatoes by the handful. I was slowly able to introduce more flavours (and colours!) into my diet – much to Adam’s delight, but I found I couldn’t quite eat my usual serving as it was just too much and would make me feel ill. I was prescribed anti-nausea tablets and during my first trimester they helped immensely. For a few weeks there I was taking at least one a day. While I retched a few times, it was really the nausea that was getting me down. I found I would perk up in the afternoon, but if it was too long between my last snack of the day and dinner, that familiar feeling would be back in my belly again. I thought my sickness was starting to fade around week 11, but it’s come back with a vengeance and is actually worse now in the early stages of my second trimester that it ever was in my first 12 weeks. I’m now vomiting a few times a week and all times of the day, and some mornings I’m struggling to keep even water down. I’ve been prescribed some more heavy duty medication and some special wafers, so I’m planning on getting those ASAP. I’ve really found it quite debilitating, as I’ve never been a ‘sick’ person and I’m really hoping this fog will lift soon.
Bloating, gas and constipation
Pregnancy ain’t pretty at times and my tummy has been a little confused the last few months. The bloating really ramped up around week 8 and my stomach would swell enormously in the evening, making me quite uncomfortable. The bloating isn’t as bad now, but some days I do still feel balloon like. The constipation and gas I’ve read are partly due to your digestive system slowing down, so baby can absorb as many nutrients as possible. It’s been unpleasant for both me and Adam, but having an understanding partner who’s willing to laugh off some of my indiscretions helps. Intimacy certainly takes on a whole new meaning in pregnancy!
Nothing has really stood out on the craving front, except on a few days where I’ve really felt like a particular meal – once it was a takeaway chicken burger with chips. It was so good at the time, but I’ve had no desire to have another one anytime soon. Breakfast has probably been the biggest meal hurdle I’ve had to cross, on account of my morning sickness. I’ve found when I find something I like and I can keep it down, I tend to repeat it day after day until I get sick of it. Initially I started with Vegemite toast, then bagels with cream cheese, then English muffins with avocado, tomato and a little grilled cheese. This week peanut butter toast made an appearance. At dinner time Adam and I have been relying on firm favourites like lentils and bolognese, which we can make in big batches. I’ve gone completely off tea and coffee, and for much of the first trimester, anything sweet just wasn’t appealing. I’m finding I’m wanting desserts a little more now – chocolate is good – the darker the better – and to even things out I’ve been trying to match those hankerings with a side of fruit, primarily strawberries.
For other mums, or mums-to-be out there – what was your first trimester like?
Have a wonderful weekend. x