Two blue lines! The first trimester
So, those two little blue lines appeared. I’m sure my heart stopped for a minute, and that I needed to blink as I wasn’t even sure I was seeing correctly.
After all the months of just one line, seeing two was like having all my birthday’s and Christmases come at once.
We were at my parents’ house in Mount Maunganui and my husband was having a sleep in. I had woken him up and asked “should I take a test?!” before rushing into the bathroom to pee on the stick.
My hands were shaking the whole time and my heart was hammering away, but the smile on my face when I walked back into the room was enough to give it away.
I had to take a second test just to actually believe what I was seeing. This just amplified my excitement, there’s no way two tests could be giving the wrong reading!
Pretty much the earliest point you can find out you’re pregnant from a home test is when you’re 4 weeks along (give or take a bit here – everyone is different and the hormone levels in your body can change with everyone). This was the point that we found out, and it meant I could calculate when my due date is. The 40 weeks of a pregnancy is calculated from when you started your last period, so although I was 4 weeks pregnancy, the little bean that was growing was only like 2 weeks in progression.
I had been doing some research in to what is suggested for a healthy pregnancy and what is advised to avoid. I have been taking prenatal supplements for a while now, and I have chosen the Usana Prenatal CellSentials supplements. They specifically contain iodine and folic acid, which is very important in the early development of a feotus, as well as a multitude of other nutrients that are essential for a healthy pregnancy. The other thing I needed to change was what I was eating, or should I say what not to eat. Everyone is different when it comes to deciding what to eat and what to avoid during pregnancy, and there’s guidelines around what is advised to avoid due to the risk of an infection for mum and bub.
Everything seemed to carry on as usual for the first 5-6 weeks of the pregnancy. I stepped back a bit from the farm and it was good timing as I didn’t have any young calves to feed any more. I still needed to feed the calves with the trailer feeder but this meant no more heavy lifting. Anything I felt was too heavy I just asked my husband to help me with!
From about 6 weeks was when the morning sickness kicked in. Or should I say all day sickness?! It started off just feeling nauseas when I woke up and I would usually have to dash to the toilet (or kitchen sink if I was there!). This happened for about a week before the nausea seemed to start stretching further in to the day. I couldn’t eat anything before heading out on to the farm, and when I did eat I just felt ill. Thinking about food, smelling food and preparing food seems to get my tummy churning. What makes it worse is having no food in my tummy – as soon as I start to get hungry I feel sick! I can’t win!
The only thing that seemed to calm things down was salt and vinegar chips, lemonade, tomato on toast, cheese on toast, frozen coke and ginger beer. Basically a lot of things that I have not included as part of my lifestyle for a number of years! I felt like such a fraud while posting on my social media pages, as I was saying one thing but doing the total opposite. This was a very difficult time because I wasn’t being true to all my followers, but also I knew that our bub needed the nutrients in whole real food, but I just couldn’t keep anything like that down. Other Mum’s who have felt like this will understand that you just have to do what you have to do to survive each day. This is such a crucial time in the baby’s development and it was so tough knowing I wasn’t giving it the nutrients I knew it was needing, but I just couldn’t force a green smoothie down me!
I pretty much turned vegetarian for a number of weeks in the first trimester. The thought and smell of meat almost made me dry retch, so Brendan had to cook whatever meat he was having that night for dinner a few times!
I found that if I didn’t have to prepare food then it was a lot easier. One weekend when me and my husband were milking and I was up early, we were in the cowshed and I had been dry retching the whole time. I said to Brendan gosh I would love a BLT bagel from McDonalds (OMG I KNOW RIGHT!? WTF) and he said what if I make a bacon, cheese and tomato sandwich for breakfast for you? It was actually amazing.
As the weeks went on I learned to work with the nausea. I would stay in bed until about 8am, and have some ginger biscuits when I woke up to settle my tummy. Water was sipped throughout the day, and I even started putting fresh ginger in boiling water, letting it cool then keeping it in the fridge for a nice cool drink. I always had a supply of potato chips, for those times where nothing else could possibly help. I brought a bulk pack of Bundaberg ginger beer (which I’m pretty happy to say actually lasted me till like 12 weeks!). I cooked dinner based on what I felt like at 4pm that afternoon, instead of trying to talk myself in to something all day and still not feeling like it when it came to dinner. I had a nap basically every day, usually just after lunch. This was a game changer for me as I find if I over do it or get too tired then the nausea just gets worse.
Unfortunately I haven’t had that day where I’ve woken up and not felt an ounce of sickness. Instead it’s tapered off gradually, and instead I get to about 5pm before it starts to kick in a bit. Meal times are always a challenge, as I don’t really feel like anything in particular. I still have to eat regularly otherwise I start to feel sick, which is where random snacks seem to come in handy. Processed cheese slices were my pick for a while there! (I KNOW RIGHT! I wouldn’t usually touch these with a barge pole!!). Bread/toast has always been great, especially if I don’t really feel like eating anything but I know I need SOMETHING.
The last 2 weeks (so from about 13ish weeks) I’ve felt a lot better. The nausea is less frequent, and I can get through a few days at a time without being sick. I still find if I over do it, like this past weekend I had my besties hen’s party which I had organised. I felt fine during it (although I left at like 10pm!) but on Sunday afternoon I was not doing so well – headache, nausea and tiredness. Usually going to bed early to get a good nights sleep helps a lot! Meal times are still a struggle, and I have to force the fresh vegetables down me most of the time!
All of these challenges are totally outweighed by the thought of having a small bundle in our arms in May 2018. This is the most exciting thing Brendan and I have done and we just can’t wait to meet the little Mr or Miss when they decide to come earthside.
We contacted midwives very early on in the pregnancy, as they can get booked up quite quickly. We have found a wonderful lady who has the same vision and values in a birthing experience that Brendan and I are hoping to have. I knew early on that I was going to do what I can to have as little medical intervention as possible during the labour and birth. I am comfortable with the thought that my body is designed to grow, carry and birth a baby naturally, and that I am going to assist my body in all of these challenges the best I can.
Regular stretching is part of my routine at the moment, as is a lot of walking and light exercise. Gone are the high impact and strength workouts I absolutely love. I know some women can continue doing these workouts through their pregnancies, which is fantastic! For me, they just make me feel terrible afterwards. I have tried to keep up the low impact strength workouts, but sometimes they just require effort I do not have. I would much rather put on a pregnancy yoga video that makes me feel empowered and refreshed. I’m hoping to do a bit more as we go in to the second trimester and the nausea fades (hopefully!) but only time will tell. I’m fairly determined to walk up The Mount again before bubs arrives but if that just isn’t possible I’m happy to settle for walking around the base instead. Since about 13 weeks I’ve also had some pain in my right hand side back of my pelvis. Usually walking and bending over is pretty painful. I’m booked in to see a women’s healthy physiotherapist next week so hopefully she can help me out! I’m also going to do my best not to get any abdominal separation, which is fairly common. Again, I’m hoping the physio can help me with this along with pelvic floor strength.
It has been so hard to keep this news quiet as I pretty much wanted to shout it from the roof tops! We decided early on that we would only tell a handful of people to start with, and then let more family and friends know as we reached the 12 week mark. This was completely a personal choice, and I know some people choose to tell their loved ones sooner than 12 weeks and also some choose to wait a lot longer in to the pregnancy.
We opted not to have the 12 week screening tests done, again a personal decision. None of these screenings are “compulsory” however a lot of medical professionals encourage them. As long as you are fully informed on what the screenings mean, and are comfortable with whatever decision you make, there is no right or wrong way to go about it.
Since entering the second trimester of my pregnancy, so from 14 weeks, I have felt a lot better. There will be a lot of exciting things happening in this trimester including hopefully feeling the baby move! And also starting to grow a little bump, as at the moment I just look like I’ve put on a bit of weight and can’t fit my summer shorts any more! And that my boobs have gone up like 3 cup sizes hah! I have brought a couple of stretchy dresses for summer so I’m looking forward to growing in to them! I also allowed myself to buy a couple of baby things once we hit the 12 week mark. Only clothes at this stage but some lovely people have given us gifts already which is so generous. I can’t wait to put them to use!
I feel like I’ve covered a fair bit in this first post. I don’t want to sugar coat anything about pregnancy so I promise to be as real as possible (now that I can share the news!) throughout the whole journey. I also don’t want to let the challenges that come with being pregnant taint the joy of growing a small tiny human inside me, because this will be the greatest thing I have ever done in my life and I want to cherish every moment it’s inside me hearing my heart beat.
If there’s anything in particular you would like to know, or you just want to connect to a fellow mum-to-be – send me a message! I’d love to hear from you!