Time is just going so fast right now, I said to Jordie yesterday “every day this week I’ve said the words ‘how is it that time already?!’” – I think keeping busy helps, especially when you’re in the sort of limbo period of the end of the second trimester/start of the third. There’s so much to be done but it feels a bit early to do it all!
I’ve been sharing a little bit about my pregnancy journey so far, it’s funny with pregnancy because you don’t want it to feel like it’s becoming your whole personality… but it’s also such a big part of your life! I think I have quite a relaxed approach to it all, especially now I’m nearing the end (maybe not so much at the start!!) but even so, it definitely takes up a huge chunk of your time/thoughts.
I’ve said this before but I really relied on similar posts from my favourite creators when I found out I was expecting – growing a human is such a minefield, especially if (like me) you were very unprepared, you’ve never been around anyone who is pregnant and you’re totally new to it all. I asked on Instagram recently if there’s anything you wanted to know, and the below is the outcome! Hopefully this helps to soothe any anxious early-on mamas to be.
I think I’ve had a very textbook pregnancy in general; the first trimester was rough with hormones, anxiety, fatigue and nausea but the second trimester was all energy, glowy skin, feeling great! As soon as I hit the third, I’ve been tired, achey and all the rest. I keep saying I feel very pregnant now!
Anyway, here’s some pregnancy Qs for you. As always, these are just my own experiences and don’t invalidate your own journey in any way. There’s also some sensitive information here so please feel free to click out of this post if you think it might affect you negatively.
Have you always wanted a baby? How did you know when to start trying?
I honestly couldn’t believe how many people messaged me and said something along the lines of “I thought you didn’t want kids! What changed your mind?” – I didn’t realise I had been so vocal on the topic! I’m not sure if this is because I just wanted to avoid being asked about kids/wanted to buy myself some time or if we were really set on not having kids. I know in our 20s we were quite content with our life, and I fully believe it’s fine to be selfish and not want your lifestyle to change. We were travelling a lot, going to gigs and out for dinner/drinks often – it is hard to imagine how a baby will factor in to that. Even now I wonder how I’ll keep that part of our lives with a little one in tow.
I think we definitely didn’t have the same drive to have a baby because no one in our close circle of friends has kids – of course we know lots of people with kids, but no one we see regularly. I didn’t want to be the first person in my close friends to have a baby, but here we are…!
To answer the question, I think we were always open to the idea of having a baby but weren’t sure on when. In the end, for us, I think the pandemic really helped us imagine a life with a baby – our lives had slowed down, we’re both in our 30s… it just felt right!
How long were you trying? Did you do anything to help you conceive?
So we definitely left it to chance – I’m very much a ‘if it’s meant to happen, it’ll happen’ kind of person when it comes to my life and I guess I sort of adopted this for conceiving too.
However! I did have a small panic after I was diagnosed with PCOS last year, I wasn’t given much information on conceiving but the conversations I did have were very disheartening. I’ve always had issues with my periods and I thought the chances of getting pregnant naturally were slim, so in some ways I never really allowed myself to imagine being pregnant. It was definitely a tricky area to navigate.
Anyway, after that we had more of a proactive approach to it (heh) and thankfully it happened almost straight away. I was casually taking myo-inositol which I was recommended by so many people with PCOS, but as I said, I didn’t expect to get pregnant so I was still living as I usually did.
How did you find out you were pregnant? What were your symptoms?
I have never had regular periods (I wasn’t even sure if I was ovulating!) so I was technically never late (my cycle was mostly around 36+ days long but sometimes it was more like 50 or 60 days) but I did have some symptoms that made me question if I was pregnant, although I absolutely never truly thought I would be!
I remember my friends were round for drinks and I just could not enjoy whatever I was drinking – everything tasted so odd! Around the time I would have been about 3-4 weeks, I couldn’t stop sleeping and I was needing naps all the time. I thought it was just the effects of winter so I put it down to being run down, but I also had incredibly painful boobs – they were swollen, impossibly sore and really tender. I think that’s what made me take a test! I didn’t even tell Jord about it though, that’s how certain I was that I couldn’t be pregnant, but here we are…
Tips on surviving the first trimester?
I found the first trimester really tough, as do most! For me it was more the mental side effects more than anything, although the fatigue made everything worse.
I only had a little bit of nausea around weeks 5-8 but it was mostly bearable. I mainly just ate beige food, slept and tried to stay off social media – I think you just have to find a way to survive in the first trimester, whatever that looks like for you – it really is not a fun time! I think I suffered more because it was winter and I’m just not good with miserable weather anyway. I’m pretty sure it rained throughout too, which is never a good moodbooster at the best of times – I think if it was nicer weather I would have been able to go for walks to lift me up a bit.
One thing I will say is that I really did have a very, very pessimistic view of pregnancy in general. I really struggled with the idea of my body changing, not feeling like myself, giving up my social life and never being able to wear all my beautiful dresses again. I almost had a bit of a funeral for my wardrobe, one day I just gutted the lot – all the ones I thought I might fit in to again I put in to storage and I also sold a lot of outfits too.
I will touch on this a little bit more in a few paragraphs, but I feel so much better than I expected. Often I’ve felt better than I did pre-pregnancy!
I really thought it would be 9+months of feeling tired/swollen/sick/lonely. I expected to see everyone else living their best life throughout summer, and I would be stuck at home feeling huge, tired and rubbish, but it’s just not been like that at all. I honestly think I look great – my skin is the best it’s ever been, I still fit in some of my clothes and (for the most part) I have had so much energy!
Hormones are really tricky, you just have no idea how you’ll feel and you can only hope for the best. I do still have days where I feel like I have no one to speak to – pregnancy can be SO lonely. I miss my mum and I realise I know almost nothing about her pregnancies (although she had four babies which gives me hope!) and the same with Jordan’s mum too. I have lots of people I could ask, but it doesn’t compare to having your mum to listen to all your worries. A lot of the time there’s something bothering me and I want someone to talk to about it but I can’t think of a person who is quite right for the task – I guess there’s a mum-shaped hole in my life.
How did you deal with early pregnancy anxiety?
This is definitely the hardest part of the first few weeks/months – I absolutely refused to get excited, we barely even talked about the baby and I only told my closest friends. We even got an early private scan for reassurance.
I wish I had been a bit more positive about the process, although I do know I was only protecting myself from possible heartache. There’s this pressure to keep your pregnancy quiet until the second trimester, but I think that only makes the loneliest time even lonelier. If you have people who you can trust, be open about your news if you wish to – after all, you would want someone to be there for you if the worst was to happen.
Did you have to change your skincare?
I will do a full post on this soon because my skin completely transformed during pregnancy. It went from being blemish-prone and combination/oily to dry/dehydrated as hell. My skin used to hate any kind of rich products but now I layer them on! So yes, I did have to change my skincare but since I wasn’t using many actives, the skincare I was using was mostly pregnancy-safe – it just became defunct in my routine with such a big change to my skin.
Saying that, I’m actually so surprised at what products aren’t pregnancy safe! I have quite a relaxed approached to ingredients in pregnancy (with the exception of retinol, which I rarely used anyway) and every now and again someone will say “you know that’s not pregnancy-safe right?” and it’ll be the most bland, basic product ever! Now I just make sure to check, I find this site quite helpful.
When did you start showing?
I think this just shows that I have never spent any time around pregnant women AT ALL, because I just thought I’d have a sizeable bump from 12 weeks. Obviously that’s not the case and I waited so long to get a little bump, I’m so impatient! One day I just popped – I think it was around 19 weeks, I just suddenly had this rotund stomach. Very cute.
However, I did notice I was super bloated from around 8 weeks so I already felt like I was showing sometimes. My boobs got bigger immediately so thats’s been more of an issue than my actual bump! They barely fit in to any of my clothes, whereas my bump is fine in floaty midi dresses. I think the first trimester was actually the hardest in terms of dressing, you’re not showing but you still have nothing you feel comfortable in.
I also noticed my ribs got bigger and my bra band changed quite quickly. My jeans and trousers didn’t feel comfortable from around 10 weeks and I just ended up wearing dresses a lot which was all good with me.
Are you feeling similar/different to how you thought you would feel during pregnancy?
I really want to make a point of this because I wish I could tell my first-trimester-self that it would not be as bad as I was expecting! I know I might be in the minority here but I really am so shocked at how good I feel. Of course, this could change over the coming weeks as I get bigger/closer to my due date, but right now I’m just appreciating every moment.
I also haven’t felt as hungry as I expected – I mostly eat the same, maybe slightly healthier because well, baby – although some days I do feel like a bottomless pit, but I just roll with it! I think you just have to do your best with pregnancy, whatever that may look like to you.
Do you still have energy for everyday tasks and housework?
Yes! I didn’t at first, but from around 13/14 weeks I was feeling much better. I definitely feel way more tired in general than I I did pre-pregnancy – I barely do anything in the evening and if I do go out, I have to spend the next day recovering because everything aches! But I would say I’m doing well with it all, Jord is a massive help and I have a good approach where if I feel I’m able to get stuff done, I’ll really try to go for it.
I still do my daily walk each morning and sometimes in the evenings too (although I gave up my spin class in the first tri!) which is mostly fine, I walk a bit slower so I don’t get pelvic pain and do a smaller route than before but I’m so glad I can still manage to be active.
How is maternity dressing going? Have you had to buy a new wardrobe?
This is something that really stressed me out at first, I hate shopping, I hate *having* to buy new stuff and I despise trying on clothes.
As I said, I did a big clear out a while back and put away anything I wouldn’t fit in to for a while (which I think will also take the pressure off me postpartum too) and I’ve built a bit of a capsule wardrobe of outfits I can just grab and go. Why make it any more stressful?!
So at the moment I have about 6 outfits I wear on repeat depending on the weather, and I’m hoping to start buying a few maternity basics to fill the gaps. So far I’ve just been sizing up where needed and I’ll hopefully continue to do this to reduce the amount of clothing waste later on. In a lot of ways it’s actually easier to dress now because I’m so limited with my options that the choice is made for me.
How is Jordan with pregnancy? What kind of dad do you think he will be?
He’s been great, as I knew he would be. I always said I wanted to see him become a dad because I absolutely know he is made for the job. He also really wanted a girl and I know he’s going to be such an amazing girl dad, so it’s a very happy, exciting time for us both!
What would your ideal birth be?
I’ve been working on my birth plan recently because I honestly had no idea where to start with it! I was of the idea that you just rolled up and the professionals took over, but that’s not quite right.
Ideally, I’d stay at home for as long as possible and then get to the hospital and deliver a healthy baby moments later, but I think that might be an unrealistic expectation!
I’m going to be on the date-and-raspberry-tea diet for the last month which I hope helps, and alongside hypnobirthing and a good understanding that things might not go my way, I have a relatively relaxed approached to it for now – we’ll see though!
What are you most worried about?
I think we all have the same worries when pregnant, suddenly nothing matters anymore but having a healthy, happy baby. I do think I’ll probably have a bit of an identity crisis once baby is here, and I’ll definitely feel overwhelmed often, but I think these things are relatively normal. It’ll be a big adjustment for sure.
I feel quite worried about the winter months because I always struggle with the dark days and feeling cooped up, and I can imagine this is even worse with a baby! Hopefully I just relax in to it and enjoy the time though – fingers crossed!
How are you managing being pregnant away from your family in New Zealand?
I think anyone with a baby/a baby on the way will worry about a lack of support – it’s definitely something that’s always played heavily on our minds. I always imagined my mum would be on hand to help me in the newborn days, and it seems like every other person in the world gets to have that. Of course, that’s not the case but at times it does feel like we’ll be the only new parents without any sort of help from family! I always remind myself that there are babies born every day who have less than what we’ll be able to give our baby and they manage. We’ll find a way, I’m sure.
Have you bought any pregnancy books and will you be going to classes?
I found pregnancy books to be super helpful, and I’m surprised at how much I’ve loved reading them. At first I went off other people’s recommendations and recently I’ve been looking in bookshops for similar reads.
As for classes, we’re definitely going to do hypnobirthing – I found Katy from Born Ready Baby who is just lovely so I’m excited to start with her!
Do you think Glasgow is a good place to raise a baby?
I’m definitely of the ‘happy mum, happy baby’ mentality so I think a baby will thrive in a stress-free environment. Ideally we would be living somewhere a little quieter, and with less stairs, but I feel content here for now!
How do you feel about becoming a mum? Are you the first of your friends?
I feel great, I think I’m in the sort of boring, impatient stage right now – I just want her to be here already! Once we move and can get everything prepped in the new place I think I’ll feel more settled and excited but right now I feel like I’m just waiting.
I’m the first of my best friends but we are close with a couple who had a baby recently, they have provided endless support and have taken to it so well. I think there’s a lot of negativity online and I struggle with so many people only telling me the bad parts of being a parent, so I’ve found chatting to my friends with kids so reassuring! It’s good to be real about what’s to come, but there’s no point in feeling anxious if you can avoid it.
How’s your mood been like during pregnancy?
It’s been pretty good ever since the start of the second trimester, which aligned with spring starting to appear too – brighter weather really helped overall. I have always had a hard time with hormones (I have PMDD which causes hardcore mood swings alongside your period) so without my periods I’ve actually been feeling better than I usually would. I feel the most content and settled I’ve felt in a long time, it’s a really lovely, happy time and we’re feeling very excited about what’s to come!
Any advice for anyone in their early stages of pregnancy?
Yes, absolutely try to enjoy it! I wish I had had a little more faith that things would work out and found a way to relax a little. Once I learnt to block out the noise, I felt so much better and really started to love being pregnant.
There’s definitely a bit of trauma-dumping that comes with being a new mum I think, so if you’re feeling anxious when talking to certain friends with babies or going looking for horror stories online, my advice would be to find a way to avoid this.
I am a realist and I like to be clued up on a situation, but in my more reasonable moments I know there’s nothing to gain from being anxious – although there’s no way of telling yourself that when you’re going through it!
I spent the first few months in a state of pure panic about my pregnancy, and in the end I have had such a relaxed and easy time – so I really did waste a lot of time feeling worried for nothing. I guess what I’m trying to say is that it’s healthy to be aware of the situation and any possible outcomes, but try to soothe yourself with positive stories and helpful information instead.
Now we’re on the countdown to the baby’s arrival, I’m looking forward to our last few weeks together together just the two of us, as well as moving and all the nesting that comes with the final months of pregnancy too.
I hope this serves as a bit of reassurance for anyone currently trying or expecting, you will hear the words “just you wait…” so many times over the coming months that they won’t even sound like words anymore, but I wanted to provide a bit more of a positive take on pregnancy. It’s tough at times but also very lovely – just be good to yourself, block out the noise, lay low if you need to and put yourself (and baby!) first. Even if that does mean developing a snack habit and going off grid a little.
Sending lots of love to any other mamas to be! You got this!