Pregnancy–the first four months

I turned 16 weeks pregnant this week (I still can’t get used to the whole x weeks and x days thing, maybe I will by the time the avocado arrives) so thought I would update you on my experience so far, I can also look back at this myself when I want to remember what it was like! (or compare it to the next time HA!) Oh, and we are either calling it ‘sproglet’ or the fruit/veg that it is the size of at the time, so avocado this week!)
Here is a run down of my various symptoms, I am going to be brutally honest by the way.
Sickness/nausea – Luckily for me I wasn’t actually physically sick that much, i just felt like I could be sick at any minute for most of the day. ‘Morning sickness’ is a myth, it should be ‘all day’ sickness. Anyway, my hints for trying to combat this is ginger biscuits (to be eaten almost constantly) or ginger tea, both of which help to settle the stomach. Other people have said that travel sickness bands work well, but because they would’ve been obvious at work I didn’t bother. (I didn’t tell anyone at work until after I came back from my honeymoon and I think wearing those would’ve been a giveaway!) The nausea died a happy death about two weeks ago, until the weekend when i caught a bug and had to have a day off work, but it didn’t feel the same, so I think it was a proper bug as i felt shit and not better once I had vomited.

Sense of smell – it’s really really sensitive at the moment, the slightest whiff of something unpleasant can make me heave. or actually be sick depending on how bad the smell is. I stopped wearing perfume myself, and until recently had to avoid the perfume department in Debenhams/boots, plus particularly whiffy people on buses/trains and smokers in the street. This week I have started wearing perfume again though, hurrah! I’ve also fallen in love with the smell of lavender, and burn it at bedtime in an oil burner, plus sprinkling it on the bed linen.

Itchiness – Around week 12 I got THE itchiest nipples known to man, (or woman?) and at the airport before our flight to Egypt I had to purchase some anti itch cream, and subtly apply it about every 20 minutes for the whole flight. I hope planes don’t have secret CCTV. Anyway, it got a bit better for a while and then spread to the backs of my knees, my inner and outer elbows, and my legs/feet once we got back. However thinking back on it now it might have also been a change in climate from warm to freezing etc. It definitely wasn’t sunburn as I kept out of direct sun during the day but the doctor gave me some cream for it and it cleared up in a few days, and hasn’t returned since.

Cold – since before I found out I was pregnant I have had a cold, some days it isn’t so bad, but it is still there. It is so bad that I have nosebleeds, and the amount of gunk I swallow overnight (then subsequently frequently throw up) is unpleasant. Doctor says keep drinking orange juice, sleeping when tired (really!? thanks!) and taking pregnancy vitamins, but there is nothing else they can do unless it turns into a chest infection (which I get yearly) its just because I historically have an awful immune system from having glandular fever twice (which is meant to not happen) when I was younger. Maybe the cold will go when the baby pops out.

Body – I’ve put about 3 lbs. on since I found out I was pregnant, which I think is about okay (I put an extra one or two on on honeymoon because of the all inclusive food, but it came off when I went back to rushing about at work) but to be honest if you cant eat in large quantities when you are pregnant, when can you? Obviously as soon as I found out I stopped the wedding dress diet (which was actually just no sweet things) and upped my food intake, as I was previously only have one main meal a day and light snacking (which I know isn’t healthy but hey, I eat ALL THE TIME now, which is better?!) My mother has warned me not to get fat (“it especially shows on your arms and legs Lauren”) otherwise it will be pretty tricky to lose, but to be honest, I’m not that fussed if I get fat and pregnant, it’ll go or it wont, either way I have a husband that loves me whatever I look like. Anyway the average if you were of normal BMI, which I am is a lb a week from week 13, so I probably need to eat a shitload of biscuits over Christmas to catch up!

 
Bump – I still look fat round the middle and not properly pregnant (above is the wedding/honeymoon, where it was fairly obvious (to me anyway!)) However there is a definite bump, and everything is a lot harder than the previous flab. I got a bump fairly early on, it appeared around week 11, just in time for the wedding (thanks body!) and has been growing slowly ever since. I think it’s difficult to track how quickly its growing as I see it from the same angle every day, so we really should start taking pictures of it to track its progress. Its giving me a bit of a bad back, especially first thing in the morning.

I need to look into pregnancy pillows soon I think. Sam actually ordered me one off eBay the day we found it. He then got all excited and told me he had ordered a TWELVE FOOT pillow, and I got mad and told him he had to cancel it as a) I didn’t need one yet and b) how would we explain that to our flatmate when it arrived! Luckily the eBay seller was very understanding of hormonal pregnant lady moods and refunded him instantly.  Not many of my skirts fit anymore, which is a bit of a problem for work, but the bump isn’t big enough for any of the maternity dresses I bought in the ASOS sale recently, so I’m just walking around with half done up zips for the moment. I have worn a few maternity dresses outside work, and eBay is your friend!

So far no stretch marks anywhere, but I am applying various creams and oils when I remember (which is about once every three days, as I am useless at trying to keep my body in a good condition. I’m sure they will arrive with a vengeance at some point.  I am also useless at remembering to take pregnacare tablets every day but am trying to get better! its easier now as my flatmate knows I am pregnant so I can leave them on the table where we eat in attempt to remember!) No bigger boobs yet (harrumph!) and no swollen ankles or anything like that. My hair is still falling out in the same amounts it did pre-bump, I am still get hormonal spots (thanks PCS) ever so often round my chin/jawline, and I do not feel glowy in the slightest.

Sleeping – I haven’t had a full nights sleep in forever, because of peeing or just general un-comfortableness (too hot, too cold etc) but I used to manage with around 5-6 hours sleep a night and a nap some evenings. In the first three months I was EXHAUSTED all the time (which made wedding planning hard and very stressful) and would have slept after work till dinner, eaten then gone back to bed if I could. If I’m honest I did this a few days when I couldn’t cope with the tiredness. I sometimes wish I didn’t have a job that was so stressful and exhausting. The tiredness has abated a bit in the last few weeks, but not entirely.

Peeing – I was under the impression pre pregs that you only peed a lot when the bump was pressing on your bladder, aka once you got a proper bump. OH NO! something to do with kidneys and excess liquid etc means that you pee more frequently pretty much from the start. So far I have not actually wet myself but there have been some close calls!

The ‘unspeakable’ symptoms – [I’m going no holds barred here, sorry!] as a ‘sufferer’ of IBS I am no stranger to odd bowel movements, but seriously, the constipation. I am experiencing is unreal. Its not every day but at least once or twice a week that I am stuck (usually overnight) in the bathroom for around an hour, in the most excruciating pain I have experienced (its akin to the paid in experienced when my appendix was about to burst) and at points I have been fearful that it was something far more serious and that the baby was in danger…and almost called an ambulance. I have discussed this with my doctor and he said that the symptoms are so severe because of my existing IBS and that there isn’t any medication to give me as it could harm the baby. He advised lots of water and green vegetables and less wheat (which is all normal for me anyway) plus I rarely eat dairy so its not that. I just have to persevere he says. So persevere I am, so every night thus far has been disturbed with either a trip (or two) for a widdle, and/or a trip for a poop (eventually) and I won’t even talk about the parps/burps/trapped wind paid. Rennies are my friend right now.

How pregnancy is affected by PCOS – I was told it would be more difficult for me to conceive with the amount of cysts I have, but I am not going to go into our personal account of length of time etc., the fact is it happened, and luckily without medical intervention. However I was told that the risk of miscarriage is ‘thought’ to be higher, so not to take any unnecessary risks, and I also had to undergo a nasty 14 hour fast to see if I had gestational diabetes (I don’t, but I have to do it again in March anyway). I am also in a higher risk group for pre-eclampsia, macrosomia, and pre term labour. It might also mean difficulties with breast feeding. I will jump all these hurdles if/when they occur.

That’s about it for now. I will just briefly mention that I am absolutely petrified of giving birth, partly because husband was 11lbs 7 ounces when he was born, (that’s ginormous fyi the midwife almost fell off her chair, and wrote it in capitals in my notes) and I am a very small person. Also I have never watched programs like one born every minute and have no desire to. Right from the very beginning my friend Amy who has a 6 month old, and Steph (a 7 week old) have been great sources of information, and also things like breast pumps, bath soaks and belly rubs, magazines and various other contraptions and useful things! So the collection has started, and I have purchased three books (all from playtrade to save £) but have not really started reading anything yet. Partly because I don’t want nightmares about the birth (had three already) and partly because i’d rather just let nature run its course, and not be worrying about what should be happening and what is actually happening. 

I will keep you posted as the bump goes from an avocado to a watermelon or whatever it ends up as! We have a lot of big decisions to make in the next few months so i’m sure I will be asking for advice as time goes on!
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9 Comments

  1. baileycakes
    21st December 2012 / 6:10 pm

    Still cant believe youre preggo! Gives me faith that I can still have babas will all my cysts too yaaaay xoxo

  2. 21st December 2012 / 6:20 pm

    Ahh I’m here at 13 weeks just nodding away at everything (bar your PCOS and IBS, which sound tough – but you sound very resilient and fingers crossed everything goes ok).

    I’m with you on the itching, nausea, and heightened sense of smell. I’m still having sickness and am needing to snack on crackers all the time and wear the wrist bands.

    I also have the worst breast pain and (here’s an unspeakable one for you!) my aureolas have got massive! The breasts have enlarged too and they’re feeling rather monstrous. As I’ve not got that much room in my coat anyway (was a 32FF anyhow) it keeps popping open Carry On Style whenever I move.

    It’s nice to get past 12 weeks though – I had bleeding and was on tenterhooks for 3 months hoping everything would be ok.

    I’m totally with you on the terror of labour! I have an anxiety disorder so I’m a bit worried I’ll freak out and not be able to do the breathing and pushing and whatever else is involved. Plus I have a very low pain threshold and cry at anything. I am going to be seriously pathetic and midwives are going to hate me.

    My friends who have had kids say that all the books are pretty pointless anyway, and that they read them but didn’t use any of them, relying on intuition and trying stuff to see if it works. One of my friends started rattling at me about moving and “the right” schools and I just looked like a rabbit in the headlights, and she stopped. It’s all a bit overwhelming!

    You sound quite sensible about it all though, and it’s really lovely to read such a down to earth, straightforward post about it. I feel very much less alone, so thank you! xxx

  3. Susi
    21st December 2012 / 7:16 pm

    Hi,
    I’ve not commented on here before.
    First of all congratulations on your pregnancy. I have a beautiful little 2 and a half week old baby girl. I loved being pregnant, it seemed to fly by after our 20 week scan.
    The one book that I did enjoy is The Baby Whisperer and I found the antenatal classes brilliant!
    The thought of giving birth scared the hell out of me too and I didn’t want to think about it at all during my pregnancy but you know what it isn’t that bad. I laboured mostly at home on the sofa and in the bath, by the time the midwife came to check me I was 7cms dilated!! I got to hospital and Darcy was born under 2 hours later with no pain relief…it was too late and I was in the zone and didn’t want anything to slow it down anyway.
    Anyway, congratulations again. Also it’s so true about the rush of love you have as soon as you set eyes on your little one.
    Good luck x

  4. Sophie - CGDN
    21st December 2012 / 9:47 pm

    A permanent cold, boo 🙁 Sounds like a total mixed bag of weirdness! I have to say the very concept of labour comes across as the most dreadful situation, don’t blame you for not wanting to find out too much too early. Have to say I have absolutely no advice for you on the bump front at all but sounds like you have plenty if support already 🙂 x

  5. 21st December 2012 / 11:20 pm

    Just to say too, I also have the permanent cold! (asthmatic, pathetic immune system). I’ve been doing steam inhalation but it’s just a bit meh. Apparently I should be getting a surge of energy soon but I’m still ready for bed at 8! x

  6. Rosie Swaffer
    22nd December 2012 / 12:13 am

    My boyfriend says thank you for pouring some cold water on my almost incessant broodiness 😉

    Sorry to hear that pregnancy isn’t treating you as well as it could, but brill news re the overcoming PCOS enough to conceive naturally- I’ve got endometriosis so have fears about certain aspects of it all too, sometimes it sucks being a woman!

    xx

  7. Victoria
    22nd December 2012 / 10:52 am

    Congratulations on your pregnancy!

    I fear giving birth too. Me and my Sister both weighed almost 10lbs so I am praying my baby takes after my boyfriend who was a tiny baby..!

    x

  8. Jesss
    22nd December 2012 / 11:41 am

    Congratulations on your pregnancy, I hope the rest of it goes smoothly for you 🙂
    I’m absolutely terrified of giving birth, not going to give you the horror story that inspired it but when I have babies, it’ll be by Casaerean! My family has big babies and tiny hips so labour tends not to be fun for us either.

    Jesss xo

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