I’ve given birth to my little one now (yay!) and having gone through 9 months of pregnancy, birth, and now one month out the other end, I think I can safely say damn, that was a weird year. To immortalise (and mostly so if I do this again I can remember accurately) my entire experience, I thought I would put out there to the world my pregnancy experience in hindsight, with each trimester getting its own time to shine. So without further introduction, my first trimester;
From 0-13 weeks pregnant it was a bit of a rollercoaster. Physically, I started throwing up at 6 weeks and this continued until I was about 17 weeks. And it wasn’t just in the mornings (the name “morning sickness” is completely misleading). I threw up all throughout the day and night. Not constantly – this isn’t one of those horror stories everyone seems to have. It would build up and then I would have the sweet – and completely disgusting – release of vomit, feel better and then it would slowly build again. Somedays I would throw up upwards of 10 times, other days it was once or twice.
Strangely enough, some foods I ate and threw up, I could eat again, while other foods I still avoid. You get pretty good at weighing up the risk of “how is this going to taste coming up vs how hungry am I“.
I also was religiously checking to see if I was showing. I’m not gonna lie, I’m not the skinniest person. I am 162cm tall, and at the time weighed 69kg. My belly wasn’t flat and I had bloated days. So looking in the mirror every day to see the changes, I honestly didn’t look pregnant, I looked like I had eaten a giant meal or had period bloat. That was discouraging for me. Somedays I would wake up and feel like maybe I wasn’t pregnant. But then I would throw up and I would feel pregnant again.
Along with throwing up consistently, I became very, very dehydrated. So much so, I ended up going to hospital one evening to get put on a drip. I was also given at this stage some anti-nausea tablets which were a complete life saver. When you throw up so much that you no longer eat or drink properly, definitely ask for the tablets. I strongly advise anyone that has morning sickness, definitely grab some anti-nausea from your GP or midwife. Makes pregnancy much more bearable.
In this stage you also have 2 ultrasounds. The first – the dating scan – taken from 7-10 weeks ideally. As exciting as it is to have some images and you may want to rush in to have them done, waiting til at least 7 weeks means you get to see the heartbeat and you know if its a viable pregnancy.
The second – the NT scan – or Nuchal Translucency scan done on the 12th week. This checks the thickness of the back of the neck to test for downs syndrome. You can opt to have the harmony test instead, but I wanted to see my baby again!
Of course the entire first trimester is filled with a mix between excitement, fear, and worry. Excited to be having a baby; Fear of all the things you can no longer do or eat – what if you eat something without knowing its bad for the pregnancy and something goes wrong?! And worry, in hoping that you make it through the first 13 weeks – that you will keep carrying this baby safely and healthily.
I think if I were to give myself advice looking back on things during this time, I would tell myself yes, you will throw up but it isn’t forever and it’s honestly not the worst thing (and drink your damn water!). You may not show yet and that’s okay! – just means you will have more time to eat crappy foods and not have to deal with strangers comments. And of course, honestly, eat what you crave (unless its unpasteurised cheeses or deli meats). My diet beforehand consisted of a shameful amount of takeaway foods and soft drink. I attempted to change this overnight to only water and tonnes of vegetables. In the end I ended up only being able to keep down cheeseburgers, pineapple fritters, and fruit. I would get tired at the end of a work day, and the last thing I wanted to do was cook a meal that I would probably throw up. So yes, I did end up getting take away occasionally, and both myself and my child are healthy and okay. After all, our parents most likely ate way worse things during their pregnancies (my Mum told me she ate cheeses and salami constantly). And lastly, stop weighing yourself and obsessing with how your body looks. Your about to turn into a giant balloon and create life. Stressing about or constantly monitoring your weight is definitely not good for your mental health.
– Caitlin –