Monday 26 November 2018

The First Trimester

When Jamie and I told friends, family and colleagues that I was pregnant, we were greeted with congratulations and excitement, and when I told other mothers that I was pregnant this was quickly followed with "you'll feel better after the first three months!" Pregnancy seems to be widely acknowledged as a rotten experience during the very beginning - and very end - and though I haven't had the worst time it definitely has been a ride so far.

Honestly, I'm a complete novice when it comes to all things baby - I've never spent much time around young children, with little experience of their needs, what to expect at each age, or how to talk and act around them, so as a result everything about this journey is fascinating to me. I've suddenly become glued to pregnancy books and journals just to try and gauge what to expect and what is normal (A few blogger favourites are Sian and Alice) and I've googled more random pregnancy queries than I'd care to count. But I've found that everyone's very different experiences have made me realise my own experiences aren't weird or unusual, they're just mine - there's no standard on how pregnancy is going to be for any one person, so if sharing this helps any one person accept their new version of normal then that is all I can hope for! Here are my experiences of pregnancy with Shroomie, weeks 1-13:

🍄 Sickness
I can echo the very many women who argue that mornings have nothing to do with morning sickness. Early on I felt very ill in the mornings, but as the weeks went by it very much became afternoon-and-evening-sickness. I have a really strong stomach and I've been fortunate enough not to have experienced vomiting, but the constant sense of nausea can feel quite overbearing and at fifteen weeks I'm really glad it's starting to ease.

🍄 Aversions and cravings
Something that hasn't eased at all yet is my bizarre change in food tastes: it honestly feels like my body's been taken over by aliens because suddenly I'm barely interested in any of my usual favourite indulgences, but my requirements change literally on a daily basis. And I mean requirements - when I've decided what we're having for dinner my word is law and that is the only thing Shroomie deems fit to eat.  I have become consistently obsessed with juices and smoothies, coconut yoghurt and tofu, but everything else changes at the drop of a hat. I've been particularly into floury and starchy beige foods (I guess because their plain nature is helpful with the weird feeling of simultaneous hunger and nausea?) Mercifully I haven't had any cravings that aren't vegan, but I've been really conscious to make sure I'm getting as many nutrients and minerals as I possibly can, in whichever way I can stomach them!

🍄 Forbidden foods/activities
Learning all the things that you shouldn't do or eat in pregnancy honestly feels like a race against time. We found out we were expecting at 6 weeks, and up until a little while before I'd been drinking alcohol, downing caffeine, I'd even had a sizeable new tattoo - all with no idea! At first I was so worried that I'd somehow hurt the baby, but it's something a lot of women experience and it seems that embryos can be pretty robust during these first stages. Luckily, I'd started to go off the taste of coffee and alcohol even before we took the test so giving those up has been surprisingly easy. I also had to start taking folic acid - although with a vegan diet I was eating a reasonable amount of it already, it's suggested you take a supplement. I was quite gutted that long, hot baths with certain essential oils were suddenly off-limits, but the fact that I suddenly wasn't allowed to change the cats' litter trays sweetened the blow a little - all the more so because my now superhuman sense of smell makes any scent seem a million times more potent.

🍄 Body changes
Everybody's different with this but I seem to recall I felt physical changes in my body from about eight weeks of pregnancy.  I noticed how uncomfortable my jeans were when I wore them travelling to Antwerp at around ten weeks. I felt bloated, which has increased week on week, and my chest has gone from a C to a DD and counting - it itches from growing so fast in such a short period of time and is really uncomfortable. Just now I feel at a stage where I look like I've gained weight as opposed to being pregnant which is a little hard to get to grips with, but I need to accept that it's OK and get used to it.

🍄 Needing to pee all the freaking time
This didn't bother me until we were at Desert Fest in the middle of an Acid King set and I had to miss the middle to venture out to the loos! It is also the biggest red flag to colleagues that you're expecting a baby if you're constantly in and out of the bathroom, which is awkward when you're trying to keep the secret until you're past the long-awaited twelve week mark.

🍄 Mood swings and exhaustion
Extra hormones have a lot to answer for. I've been feeling a lot more sensitive, reactive and emotional. But a big contributor to this - and something I really underestimated - was how absolutely knackered I've been feeling all the time. I work full time and there's no lunch break to speak of so by the evenings I'm ready to collapse. I was hoping this may ease by the second trimester but as yet there's no signs of improvement - however growing a human seems a justifiable reason to be knackered, and let's be honest, it's not going to ease when Shroomie arrives!

Overall, I'm thrilled to be past the first stages as many of these symptoms have started to ease and I'm feeling a little more "me" again - not to mention more relaxed that we don't have to keep it secret any more. At the time of writing this, I'm at fifteen weeks and a couple of days ago I felt Shroomie move for the first time which was completely mind-blowing. I'll be keeping updated as the second trimester really starts to get going - I've been promised to look and feel "glowing" by many sources, so here's hoping..!

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