We’ve been keeping a secret! I’m actually terrible at keeping secrets so I’m surprised I managed to stay quiet on this one. Plus, this is absolutely the biggest news I’ve ever shared, it still feels so surreal to even be typing this out.
We’re having a baby! The happiest news to end 2021 – a rather uneventful year up until the day I took that test. It’s funny, I had been saying a few days before that the year had been such an unremarkable one for us, I actually didn’t even do a yearly roundup on this blog because I couldn’t think of anything we’d achieved or learnt or done, and then we got the biggest news of our little lives! You couldn’t make it up.
Since finding out, Jord and I have had a few months now for everything to sink in (although does it ever really sink in! Eeep) with various scans and check-ups helping us to relax a little along the way. I have to admit that I had no idea what to expect post-positive result – I’m the first of my close friends to have a baby on the way, so I’m literally winging it. Every day is truly a school day. I find myself learning new things about pregnancy and often wishing “I was okay not knowing that” but ultimately, the human body is a wonderful thing and I feel in awe of all the changes that have come in the last few months. Except maybe the constant sneezing (?!) and the insomnia, that just seems unfair.
My first trimester was a trip! The exhaustion was like nothing I’ve ever felt before, in fact one of the reasons I took a test was because I couldn’t even make it through dinner without leaving to lie down. I was shattered in a whole new kind of way!
Not long after I found out, I started to feel a bit of nausea – nothing too wild, I would say I got off very lightly on the sickness front, although I did get a lot of food aversions. Even now, anything with a strong scent is a no-go. Coffee and toothpaste are probably the worst, I had to buy some citrus-scented toothpaste for a while because I couldn’t deal with the strong minty taste. That, I didn’t expect.
Everything just tastes different to me now, I remember I was with my friends maybe a week or two before I found out I was pregnant and everything I ate or drank tasted odd. That hasn’t stopped and even now, nothing tastes like it used to! It’s such a bizarre experience and I wonder if I’ll ever get my taste back.
At first I had almost no appetite but thankfully it’s come back over the last few weeks, and I haven’t had too many cravings – only really pickled onion Space Raiders and Sprite… two things I never went near before I was pregnant!
Other than the continued lethargy, it was really only wrestling with hormones that I struggled with. I had a bit of, I guess, OCD at first and had a hard time with cleanliness and, in particular, seeing strands of hair for some reason – especially after swimming when there was wet hair in the showers. I have tried to explain this to Jord and my friends and I can’t. I just became a bit neurotic about keeping the flat clean, and I really found it impossible to relax when the flat wasn’t spotless, but also felt too tired to do much! It was a tough time.
I also really struggled with certain materials touching my skin, especially bedding and pyjamas! I was super particular about what I wore, and I did have a bit of a hard time with this. I’ve never heard anyone else speak about this so I thought I’d mention it here incase anyone else is going through it. After a while I stopped trying to stop the feelings and just tried to go as easy on myself as I could – I accepted this was something so entirely new to me and of course I was going to be feeling overwhelmed.
I think because I was so tired for those first few weeks, and it being January, I wasn’t doing much and therefore didn’t have a lot of distractions, so I sort of hyper-fixated on these things. It was rough but it didn’t last long.
I wish I had been a little easier on myself in the early days and trusted that things were going to get better, but it’s hard to have faith when you’re feeling so anxious.
Something I found odd at the beginning is how isolating your first trimester can be, it feels too early to tell anyone and yet it’s the time when you need the most support. I found it tricky to articulate how I was feeling to Jordan and a lot of the time my emotions got to me and I felt lost and hopeless. It didn’t help that I was struggling with the tail-end of a never-ending winter, along with my changing body and a flood of hormones too. And I truly think I had it easy in terms of symptoms/my situation so I can’t imagine how it must feel to go through it with multiple children/financial struggles/extreme morning sickness!
I also felt, and still do feel, I guess a bit superstitious in some ways. I found it really hard to tell anyone I was pregnant incase something happened. Sharing our news on social media was something I found really tough and I think if it wasn’t for having some work commitments which required me to announce the news (and the fact that I was quickly starting to show!) I would have waited a lot longer to share such a massive part of my life! Ultimately though, I’m glad that our wider circle knows and I have that extra support around me.
As soon as I entered the second trimester, it was like someone flicked a switch! My hormones levelled out, I relaxed a little and I started to enjoy being pregnant. If you’re reading this and you’re in the first few weeks, you’re probably going to be feeling like you’ll never feel human again, but trust me it does pick up!
Now we’ve passed the halfway mark, and everyone finally knows, I’m starting to feel more like myself. Well, myself plus little one, anyway. I’ve started to show, I feel like I have a bit of the pregnancy glow everyone talks about and I just feel genuinely content. It’s a very exciting (but nervy!) time!
My hormones have made me so emotional and I really didn’t expect to feel like this. Having scans really makes you feel ALL of the feelings, when I see the baby on the screen I have this rush of emotions that I’ve never experienced before. It’s so unfamiliar but so lovely, I feel the least anxious straight after I see evidence of our tiny creation.
At first I had a few wobbles about what I would wear when my bump was bigger but now I’ve sort of settled in to wearing variations of the same thing – floaty midi dresses and stretchy jumpsuits. I think at some point I’ll buy some maternity clothes so I can feel comfortable as bump grows but for now I’m just trying to figure it out as I go.
It’s funny because almost as soon as I found out I was pregnant, it was like none of my clothes fit me anymore. I think my ribs and hips widened quite quickly because jeans and certain dresses just didn’t fit right from the start, even though it took me so long to show.
I ended up clearing out most of my clothes because I didn’t want the stress of having to fit in to them again, I’ll figure it out as I go and then see what I’m working with postpartum. I think it’s absolutely normal to not know how to feel about your changing body during this time, everything feels different but not in the way you expect!
I downloaded a couple of pregnancy Apps not long after I found out and they’ve been oh so helpful! I love Nurture for the daily updates (although the forums can be a little overwhelming at first!), Ovia for tracking appointments and seeing the gestation on a calendar, and Pregnancy+ for seeing the size of baby each week.
I’m trying to learn as I go because I truly feel like I know nothing about pregnancy and labour… or looking after a newborn! I also find it hard not having my mum or Jord’s mum on hand to ask them questions, but I’m so lucky to have a partner to support me and I know we’re in a better position than anyone doing this on their own.
We found out we’re having a baby girl at my 20 week scan and have been holding on to the news while we shared it with friends and family.
I was so shocked that I asked the ultrasound tech to check twice, I was so convinced I would be a boy mum! Everyone kept telling me I would have a boy and we even picked a potential name. We’re so excited to have a little lady on the way and I know Jordie was destined to be a girl dad. He was made for the job!
So a new chapter begins! We definitely had a very relaxed approach to conceiving but I’ve always been the kind of person to leave things to chance. There’s a lot of change in the works for us, it feels like nothing we’ve ever gone through before – so many emotions, so much to look forward to and celebrate. As you likely know we’re hoping to move to a new place in the coming months, hopefully in a new neighbourhood, so we’re sitting tight until we find somewhere special.
I feel relaxed and content right now, no matter where we live I feel like we’ll be happy!
I’m hoping the rest of this pregnancy is smooth sailing, I’ve been feeling so good recently and I really want it to continue! I actually didn’t expect to feel this good – I have lots of energy, my skin is so clear and my hormones have mellowed out too.
I’m not sure how much of this new chapter I’ll share online, it’s a hard one to navigate in some ways as I know how little I cared about pregnancy before I was expecting! I think I will eventually slip in to a balance that feels comfortable – it would feel strange not keeping you in the loop at this wonderful time.
To all the other mamas-to-be that might be reading this, I hope you’re feeling good and excited about what’s to come. Already your messages of support have made me feel so loved so I truly appreciate it. Such a happy time!
Here’s to a new chapter!