So the cat’s out the bag! Shortly after moving back into our flat (the day after actually), we found out that Kez was pregnant. Welcome to the first blog post in the series, Pregnancy Diary: First Trimester.
Our baby is due mid-late November 2020, so if the little one is comfy in there we may have a December baby on our hands instead!
We aren’t finding out what we’re having, which for us just adds to the excitement of it all.
Kez decided to start this blog/vlog series, sharing her pregnancy experiences in each trimester. The series will include symptoms, struggles, useful tips/hacks, in the hope that it helps other first time mums and pregnant women feel less alone!
So, over to Kez…
We’ve also produced a video version of this blog post for YouTube, so check it out below!
Pregnancy Diary: First Trimester
How I Found Out I Was Pregnant
The first morning we spent in the flat after moving back in, I woke up at 5 am. I just couldn’t shake this niggling thought, no matter how much I tried to get back to sleep.
It was telling me to take a pregnancy test. I laid awake for about an hour and then caved, and took the first pregnancy test. To my complete shock, two faint lines appeared. So I took another test, which was a different brand. It was an early indicator test, but even then I was still taking it really early. At this point, I wasn’t convinced that the first test was correct. But then the second test came up with two faint lines again.
By this point, it was about 6.30 am and Sam was still fast asleep with no idea what was going on in the bathroom. Whenever I imagined revealing my pregnancy to Sam in my head, I’d had grand plans to set up a scavenger hunt. I’d put little clues around the flat for him to eventually find the positive tests. However, my excitement totally got the better of me!
I ended up bursting into the bedroom shouting ‘SAM! THERE ARE TWO LINES!’ and waving the tests in Sam’s rather alarmed face.
Being half asleep, he didn’t exactly give me the reaction I wanted. He thought the lines were too faint and wasn’t convinced. I was infuriated. But then a few days later, I took a third pregnancy test, and the lines were darker. He believed me then!
Funny story: I took the first two pregnancy tests on Friday 13th March! And then a week and a few days later, the UK went into lockdown…
Psst! Make sure you save this post for later!
Pregnant in a Pandemic
Believe it or not, lockdown actually ended up being a blessing in disguise. I made hiding my pregnancy really easy, and I didn’t have any awkward ‘Why aren’t you drinking?’ conversations.
The downside of it meant that no partners were allowed to attend NHS scans. I would have to attend my 12 week and 20 week scans alone.
I was becoming increasingly anxious about the 12-week scan and was convinced that something would be wrong and I’d be told bad news completely by myself. My stress levels were getting unmanageable, so we decided to book an early private scan.
This also meant that Sam could attend too, and we’d see our baby for the first time together.
The First Scan
When I booked the early pregnancy scan, I thought I was around 10 weeks pregnant. However, the sonographer informed us that the baby was actually measuring around 11 weeks!
As for the scan itself, being a first-time mum I don’t really know what I was expecting to see. Seeing an obvious, moving baby with a tiny flickering heart captivated us! I was spellbound that this tiny little baby on the screen was in my tummy, and found it really odd that, even though I could see it waving its little arms and legs, I couldn’t feel a thing.
I think I actually said ‘Oh my god! It’s a baby!’ and Sam was like ‘Well yeah, what were you expecting was going to be in there?’ It was a very special moment to have together, and one that we’d totally recommend to other mums going through the same thing.
Telling Friends & Family
I ended up telling my parents at 5 weeks as I really needed someone on my side to support me. I was feeling quite anxious about everything and just wanted my mum!
We didn’t tell everyone else until I was 11 weeks pregnant, so after the private scan that confirmed all was going well.
Social distancing made telling our loved ones a bit tricky, but we went to see Sam’s family and stood in their garden to share our news. Then we FaceTimed grandparents, siblings, and close friends.
Literally no one suspected a thing! Their faces were priceless. Even though it wasn’t face to face, it was still really special.
First Signs of Pregnancy
I tried my best to avoid symptom spotting, as I didn’t want to get my hopes up. Never in a million years did I expect to get pregnant the first time, but here we are!
The first thing that I experienced that made me stop and think happened when I brushed my teeth. It wasn’t the flavour of the toothpaste, but the texture of the foam once I’d been brushing for a bit. It made me gag EVERY time, and made mornings and evenings bloody hard for about a fortnight!
About a week before I found out I was pregnant, I felt this odd fizzing/bubbling feeling in womb one night. It wasn’t painful – more uncomfortable – but I’d never experienced anything like it before.
On top of this, I had random hot and cold flushes throughout the day, and moments where my heart rate would increase momentarily. This would happen when I was just sitting still, and then quickly settle down again.
First Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms
I’ll be honest, I completely underestimated how terrible something so small could make you feel! The first trimester for me was a total wipeout. I spent 90% of my time on the sofa under a blanket. Sam had to do everything for me. I felt horrible and useless.
One day, I walked into the kitchen, saw a jar of peanut butter, and gagged violently. The slightest thing would set me off. I wasn’t actually sick all that much, but nausea and food aversions were the WORST.
For the first 8-10 weeks, I survived mainly on buttered toast and potatoes. And pizza.
I also suffered from awful headaches/migraines that made me feel sick and extreme fatigue. From the time I woke up to the time I went to bed, I was tired. I’ve never felt anything like it.
Then I had less major symptoms, like cramping as my womb expanded to fit our ever-growing embryo. My boobs really ached too. Not my idea of fun.
Quite early on in the pregnancy, I was recommended by a friend to look into hypnobirthing.
If, like me, you thought hypnobirthing involves actual hypnosis, you’re wrong. It’s more a programme of breathing exercises and meditation sessions to help you prepare for childbirth.
I was actually quite terrified of birth before I started on my hypnobirthing journey. Now, I’m super excited to meet my baby! Hypnobirthing helps you to understand the biological processes behind child birth, and reduces the fear and tension you feel going into it.
The ultimate aim is to have a calm birth, where you relax and let your body do what it knows how to do.
Of course, it’s completely normal to be scared of something you’ve never experienced! But remember that it is also something women have done for thousands of years – and often more than once!
Must-Have Products for the First Trimester of Pregnancy
If you are completely clueless about what to buy during your first trimester of pregnancy – you aren’t alone!
I found it really overwhelming to read reviews and blog posts as they all seemed contradictory. So I’ve tabulated the essential items I bought and that I actually use (super important) below for you!
Sam actually bought me this as a gift, as I was finding it hard to settle at night. It's great if you want to feel secure and supported when you go to sleep.
I used to use these to ward of travel sickness when I was a kid, and they came in handy again when the dreaded morning sickness reared its ugly head!
The smell of this is amazing! Liquid Yoga comes in a range of products, but this bath soak and the space spray are my absolute favourites!
Omega 3 is vital for your developing baby, but a lot of cheap prenatals don't include it. Make sure you take them daily, and if you're suffering from morning sickness try taking them in the evenings instead of first thing.
Ok, I know these aren't the sexiest bras out there BUT, they are comfy! Free from underwiring, and perfect for breastfeeding once you've had your baby, stock up now.
No word of a lie; I live in these, and the shorts Blanqi sell too. They are SO soft, extremely comfortable, and aren't see-through! Result.
Although stretchmarks are considered hereditary, this helps to keep your skin flexible and hydrated. I for one found that, as my boobs grew, they were SO ITCHY, and this really helped soothe them.
My Experience of the First Trimester
That’s it from me for now! I’m always interested to hear from other pandemic mummas and first-timers, so get in touch in the comments if this is you.