The reality of my pregnancy settled in after a few days and it was strange, but within a week or two and over the weeks following I was already noticing changes.
My breasts were so so painful, I had to go out and buy a maternity bra very early on as I couldn’t bear the under wire in my existing bras. I remember pulling up at a local retail park to go into Mothercare to be measured and seeing a guy from work, I had a mini panic and sat in the car for ages before scurrying into the store in case he was still about, saw me and realised I was pregnant. Looking back this was hilarious! a) he probably wouldn’t have recognised me or had a clue who I was b) I could have been popping in to buy a present and c) what man would give a damn or remotely think about it anyway! That’s just how irrational I was!
I was CONSTANTLY going to the toilet, how no one in my office realised anything I have no idea, I was up and down like a yo yo, my bladder must have been the size of a pea! On an evening I must have gone almost half a dozen times through the night!
By week 6 I was exhausted it was literally taking all the energy I had just to get home on a night from work. I had really greasy skin and hair and felt tremendously bloated and gassy. I looked back on a picture after I’d had my daughter, and again how no one suspected I have no idea! I looked awful! I was slightly freaked out though when a colleague came to me one day and said she had had a weird dream that I had a baby. How I didn’t manage to look like my jaw had just hit the floor and remained totally calm (when inside I was screaming oh my god she knows!) I don’t know! I finally started to look human again towards the end of the first trimester though thank god!
My appetite became unreal! I was constantly starving and even one day drove across three lanes at the last minute to get to a McDonald’s Drive Thru on my way home from work because I just couldn’t drive past it (I really felt the NEED for a McDonalds if I happened to see one). I then went home and had a full tea after scoffing a cheeseburger! However as the weeks went on in the first trimester I also had occasions where I felt so bloated I just couldn’t physically eat any more. It finally levelled out around week 10 but by week 12 I definitely had to buy maternity trousers as my own wouldn’t fit any more, getting up from the desk with my trousers unbuttoned was getting a bit risky!
My emotions played up from very early on and I had many random outbursts, hissy fits and tears! Sometimes I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at something and would even cry because I felt so happy! My husband had no idea what to do with me and my colleagues probably thought I had been possessed by a mad woman!
I tried not to obsessively read up about my pregnancy or get too ahead of myself but I did buy the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” book and found it really informative and helpful. I loved reading up what stage my baby was at each week and what size they were. I even managed to have willpower and not secretly jump to the next week to read up in advance. It was like my little treat every Sunday evening / Monday to read “the next chapter”. Most women tend to not want to do much until they’ve had their 12 week scan and I was no exception but as soon as it was drawing near I couldn’t help but start to write lists about what we would need, what we would need to do etc etc. I went into full on planning mode the week before the scan was due! Early nesting perhaps?!
As the scan date got closer I got really nervous, I kept thinking back to the fact that I had drank on new year and exerted myself dragging that bloke up the hill in the snow.
I was paranoid I had inadvertently affected our baby but when the day arrived and I laid on the sonographer’s couch I was in total awe at the little tiny baby on the screen in front of me. It was so perfect and so clear, you could even make out what appeared to be eyes, nose and mouth. When the sonographer pointed out the little heartbeat hubby and I just looked at each other and grinned. I felt like I wanted to cry with happiness but I just grinned and grinned. I remember my husband being totally blown away when he saw our baby do a little jump and he held my hand and told me how pleased he was to now have two precious little things to look after. I felt so special.
When we announced our news that night we were inundated with dozens and dozens of congratulations messages, it was so overwhelming! The same week as the scan it was Mother’s Day and hubby bought me a book of nursery rhymes, then a week or so later my friend bought me baby clothes for my birthday, I was thrilled and it really dawned on me that I really was going to be a mummy!
I spent lots of time signing up to the baby clubs such as Bounty, Emma’s Diary, Huggies, Pampers, Sainsbury’s Little Ones, Boots Parenting Club and the Mothercare Baby and Me Club, to mention a few (I think I may have got carried away!) and got excited when I received info and vouchers in the post.
We made our first purchase just after the 12 week scan, it was the Babystyle Oyster travel system and Britax Baby safe Plus SHR car seat, they were lightweight, compact and easy to fold and unfold, great for me with my mobility problems. My parents very generously bought it for us as their gift to us too which was very kind of them. I didn’t really shop around much for the system. We went to three stores and two of the three recommended the Oyster for my needs and it kind of sealed the deal. I was quite impressed with the speed in which we made the decision!
Throughout my pregnancy I had to be under a consultant due to my hip problems as they weren’t sure how well I would manage a natural birth or if I would need a c-section so I had to be monitored for a decision to be made later down the line. It meant additional appointments with a consultant as well as my midwife but I felt happy for the support. At the end of the first trimester, week 14 we had our first meeting with our obstetrician and we got to hear our baby’s heart beat for the first time, we weren’t expecting it and it was so moving! There was a little tiny person growing in my tummy, a little life taking shape, surreal and beautiful! Hubby couldn’t take his hands off my tummy, lovingly stroking it and often saying “our baby’s in there”. Somehow we just knew it was a little girl too, but at that point as it wasn’t confirmed all we knew for sure was that it was our little “mini” and this is what she affectionately became known as. I couldn’t wait to feel my baby move, I wondered if I would be freaked out or if it would feel a bit alien but at the same time I was desperate to truly feel my baby, but for now I would have to wait, they say patience is a virtue…