Sunday, 8 October 2017

Things I Wish I'd Been Told In The First Trimester


The first trimester can be a crazy time. You've been hit with the news that you're going to have your own mini me in just nine months. Your hormones are sending you into overdrive and you may or may not have just been sick because you smelt someone cooking eggs. We have all been there and I am here to say that there is light at the end of the cradling-the-toilet-bowl tunnel.

It is ok to be scared
When I found out I was pregnant, I was living in a shared student house with my husband and I hadn't even graduated yet. We had big plans to travel the world and experience all the crazy things life has to offer. Admittedly, when I found out I was pregnant, I felt scared. I didn't feel like it was the right time to start a family. 7 months later, I am nothing but a vision of excitement at the thought of having a baby. I'd say that it is natural not to immediately feel excited. Having a baby is a massive step and a complete lifestyle change. You may not feel an immediate connection with your unborn child. You may struggle at the thought of making compromises and changing how you envisioned the next few years of your life. But, trust me, it doesn't make you a bad person if you aren't immediately excited. It doesn't make you a bad parent if the people around you seem to be more happy about your news than you are. These feelings will come.

Eat what you can manage and don't feel guilty about it
For the first few months of pregnancy, I felt this real sense of guilt that I wasn't providing my little one with what she needed in terms of nutrients. The problem was that I couldn't manage anything that wasn't mega salty or just carbs. The only thing slightly nutritious that I was having was fresh orange juice - I drank gallons of the stuff. But all I wanted to eat was toast, chips with multiple sachets of salt, and salted tortilla chips. I tried to push myself to eating food that was good for me but it made me feel sick so, most of the time, I stuck with what I could manage. I'd say that a healthy diet is important but morning sickness and cravings often hinder you from eating what you know you should be. For now, eat what you can manage. Drink lots of water and try to sneak some fruit and veg in if possible. But, most importantly, take your pregnancy vitamins (the ones that contain folic acid). The sickness will go once you hit the second trimester then you can focus on improving your diet.

The morning sickness WILL eventually stop
Usually around the 14th week of pregnancy, your symptoms will die down and you'll start feeling a bit better. By 20 weeks, you should feel pretty much back to normal. The first couple of months of pregnancy were definitely the most difficult for me but things majorly improve in the second trimester. Just think that your body is experiencing something completely new - you are growing a human! Rest up, eat whatever you like, boss your partner around, and get as much sleep as humanly possible. 


Calling 111 is better than googling your symptoms
Those first few weeks before you're assigned to a midwife can be really scary - especially if you're a first time mum. Everything is completely new and the temptation to google every symptom is ever-present. My top piece of advice is to call 111 which is the non-emergency NHS number and talk to one of their advisors who will tell you whether it is worth you arranging to see a GP, dropping into the maternity ward at your local hospital, or if what you're experiencing is totally normal. Calling this number is a lot more reliable and an easy way of putting your mind at ease.

Don't feel scared of telling people about the pregnancy
I know that this definitely isn't applicable to everyone but when I fell pregnant at the age of 21, I was sure that my parents would be really annoyed about it. So sure that I didn't actually tell them until I was 18 weeks gone. Looking back, it's ridiculous that I was so scared to tell them because my family are all really excited about the baby. I'd say that if you think someone will react negatively to the news, just bite the bullet and tell them. If they do react badly, I am sure they will eventually come round - who wouldn't love a little bubba? But keeping your pregnancy secret isn't a good idea because you need people around you to support you and it is important that those you spend time with know you're pregnant in case you start feeling ill or anything. Also, equally importantly, declare your pregnancy to your employer as early as possible. I told my employer when I was only 2 weeks pregnant as I worked night shifts and my job involved long hours on my feet. Once he knew that I was pregnant, I was allowed more breaks, had to do less heavy lifting, and was offered some day shifts as well.

Your body is going to change in crazy ways 
I've spoken a couple of times on this blog about pregnancy body confidence (here and here) because I think a lot of women struggle with how their body is changing during pregnancy - I know I have at times! But it important to keep in mind that being able to carry your child is such a privilege even though it might not seem like it when you're battling morning sickness and feeling so exhausted that you're tempted to take five naps a day. Remember why you are doing this and think of each change as a step into a new world.




Research what financial support you're entitled to
If you're in the UK, you'll be entitled to some means of financial support depending on your circumstance. The best way to identify this is by dropping into your local Jobcentre, reading up on the GOV UK website, or chatting with your employer.


Every pregnancy is different
This is a great thing to keep in mind when you are reading up on pregnancy forums or being given advice. What is right for you and your baby might not have been right for someone else but don't let their advice sway you. Your body knows what is best for your child - and knows far better than someone on an online forum. Also people seem to love to try to scare pregnant women with graphic tales of their workmate's cousin's friend who literally split in half during childbirth. Take this stories with a pinch of salt and talk to a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.

Don't buy maternity clothes too early
When you're in the first trimester, you probably won't be showing much - if at all. I'd seriously advise saving your pennies and not buying any maternity clothes yet. I am now 33 weeks pregnant and I am still wearing regular tops and jumpers with maternity jeans. Only buy maternity clothes when you feel like you need them because you can't be sure how big your bump will be and how much weight you will gain - or even lose in some cases.

I hope you found these points helpful and I would love to hear which things you wish you had been told during the first trimester.
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6 comments

  1. I've not personally had children and I'm still undecided about having them. My co workers love telling me horror stories and often moan about sleep deprivation, arguments and all the other downsides of having your own brood! I've asked them more recently to start sharing all the positives more often so I'm not scared away forever! I really like honest posts like this because you can learn so much from people who share their pregnancy experiences on their blog! All seems like great advice :)

    Issy | MissIsGoode
    xx

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    Replies
    1. I don't know why people love sharing pregnancy horror stories! And it's usually the same people who then ask when you're settling down, getting married, and having kids. It makes no sense!

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  2. Congratulations lovely, and you look absolutely beautiful in this post!
    You'll be a gorgeous little family!
    Charlee || Rose above the Thorns

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  3. These are some great tips! I see so many people commenting 'should you really be drinking caffeine?' or things, and I just think let the gal do what they want!

    Chloe | Mojichlo

    ReplyDelete

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