I've got a task for you.
Imagine you have drunk six or seven pints (or whatever your drink of choice) on an empty stomach and you end up going to bed at 2am and have to get up for work at 7am. You know that queasy feeling that sits in your stomach all day as you try and get through work in a zombie like state. Well that's been my life for the last three months.
They tell you the first bit is hard. You go into it expecting to feel a bit rubbish but nothing can really prepare you for how you are going to feel when everything around you smells. All the good things and the bad. My commute in was absolute hell because a) coffee and b) perfume. So much perfume, until I walked around with a permanent wrinkled nose. My sense of smell was absolutely insane, I was picking up even the smallest of things.
My breasts were constantly sore and itchy, I couldn’t be dealing with it. I went and got a maternity sleep bra just to try and find some support and relief at night because every time I moved in the night they would be right there reminding me that I was pregnant. A fact that I'm thrilled about but not so much when trying to get comfy!
I also got tired a lot quicker, bed time stopped being midnight and became 9.30pm instead. I've also never been a nap person before but started taking the odd one here and there. I also found that going out in the evening was tiring and I was more inclined to want to go home early, again very unlike me. I’ve always loved my sleep but this was just on another level. I had to battle myself not to close my eyes at my desk because I knew if I did I would just fall asleep. 10 hours sleep MINIMUM was required a night.
Hiding it from people became a real issue. I am a drinker, I always have been. My friends are all drinkers. We like to go to the pub and drink. We like to go the park and drink. We like to go to each other's houses and drink. So how then do you get around not drinking!
I found that asking bar staff for a 'vodka cranberry, without the vodka, but make it look like a vodka cranberry' was actually very successful. I even had friends try some and not be able to tell it was alcohol free, so strong is the placebo effect!
But I'm a cider drinker, and my friends were starting to clock that I'd not had one in a while so I had to start asking for bottles of cider at the bar and could they could pour out the alcohol and fill it with water/lemonade (obviously the bottle itself needs to be dark, like a Kopparberg).
Then my beautiful friend (who didn’t know I was pregnant) suggested we try and do ‘Sober for October’, to which after some fake umming and aahing agreed to. BEST IDEA EVER. I could have kissed her! I could finally drink soda water and lime to my heart’s content.
I am not the best at keeping my own secrets, especially when it was such a happy one but I tried my hardest not to tell the world and their neighbours. A few people asked and lying to their face was hard but I wanted to make sure I was as close to 12 weeks as possible before telling lots of people which I think is fair. It’s quite easy for the number of people who know to grow quite large though, especially when they then tell their partners.
I think my lowest moments of the pregnancy were in week 6 (week 10). It saw me sitting on the kitchen floor crying because I could only stomach tinned peaches, and it had taken me an hour to decide on those. In the 6th (10th) week I also had to attend a hen do, and dancing through waves of morning sickness at 1am with a banging headache in a hot, airless room was not my idea of a good night. It also took me an hour to get home on the night tube and drunk people aren’t that good at giving up their seats for pregnant women.
My cravings in the first trimester included lemonade/lemon squash, oranges for a couple of weeks before I went off the texture, prawns, sausages, and at the very beginning in week 3 (week 7) ready salted hula hoops. Beige food became THE ONE. I did find however that there is only so much pasta you can eat before you get sick of it (something I never thought I’d say) and I preferred ketchup and salad cream, going completely off mayo.
Food aversions, and I’m going to type this quickly because thinking about them still makes me a bit queasy – eggs, avocado, mayo, bananas, mushrooms, a lot of meat and bread. I lost 4lbs between weeks 3-7 (7-11), mostly because I was eating smaller portions. Being full made me feel just as sick as an empty stomach did. The main problem I found was I’d find something that my queasiness could handle but I’d go off it quickly if I ate it too much of it.
At no point during the last 12 weeks have I felt scared at any time of the impending change in our lives. I have wanted a child for a couple of years now so it was just a relief to be pregnant and to know that we could conceive as well. I had a moment in week 7 (week 11) when I was talking to my tummy and I said, ‘Stop making Mummy feel so sick!’ and then I caught myself in the mirror and had a bit of a disbelieving ‘you’re going to be a mum now’ moment. Leigh has handled it all beautifully, checking that all my fruit is washed and nagging me about not eating too many prawns. He’s got a dad book which he’s been reading and although his main stress at the beginning was money and saving for the child, a new job and pay rise helped squash those fears a little.
I’m excited to go into the second trimester, being able to tell people and finally not having to hide it! I can also start buying baby things in full force, I’ve been trying to restrain myself although have picked up a few bits because my thinking was, ‘If it’s in the sale it would be stupid not to!’
Week 9 (week 13) I started to get super paranoid about miscarriage and I just couldn’t shake the thought that something might go wrong. Apparently this is really common and that helped ease the stress slightly. I think it was a combination of being so close to the 12 weeks and finally starting to think about telling everyone and anxiety about not having any tangible proof that a baby is growing. This last thought doesn’t make much sense as I had the proof in the sickness and tiredness, not to mention the never-ending sore breasts.
The relief then of finally seeing our baby, hearing the heartbeat and seeing it misbehaving on screen drove all negative thoughts from my mind and also made the first trimester sickness worth it. I burst in to tears, and then cried even more when I was told baby was actually further along and very well established.
The first trimester was a bit of a whirlwind of secrets and sickness but I am happy to be out of it and in to the supposed 'glowy' second trimester.
If you are interested in seeing my first trimester in pictures you can follow my Instagram @ohmybabygoulding.
NB: I wrote this blog post over the last three months, with the understanding that I was three weeks pregnant from the start. As we now know this to be hugely incorrect I have added the actual week in brackets.