As I write this, I’m 24 weeks pregnant, which puts me at around 5.5 months – in some ways feels like I’m still v.early on and in others feels like I’ve been pregnant forever. The thing I’ve learnt from chatting to friends, lovely online people and a healthy dose of google is that everyone’s pregnancy is unique and very individual. So at this ‘past the halfway stage but still a long way to go’ point I thought I’d share my ‘best and worst’ bits, potentially with an update post-pregnancy to see how it all changes and if anything in the last few months trumps the best and worst so far. Because it’s nicer to end on a positive I’m going to start with worst and then go into the best…
Photo by Debs Stubington http://www.bangonstyleblog.com
The Worst Bits
The First 12 Weeks
I should probably say that as far as the first three months go (and pregnancy in general), I really didn’t have that rough a time overall. When compared to the level of sickness some people have mine was pretty plain sailing. However, at the time it was hard. Feeling like I had a rubbish hangover every day from finding out (around week 4/5) to when it eased off (week 11) wasn’t fun at all. Being off a huge amount of food (seafood and meat both made me want to vomit) and having a handful of days of morning sickness (FYI NOT just in the morning). The symptoms on their own were less than fun but it was more the overall feeling of just not feeling like myself that I struggled with. With no outer signs of being pregnant and not being quite ready to tell everyone it felt quite isolating for those few weeks. I also think it makes a strong case for maternity leave to happen for that first trimester…
I miss goats cheese. And sushi. And deli style cured meats. In general I miss that feeling of being able to choose what I’m eating based on what I want to eat rather than what I can/can’t eat. For the first week weeks my body decided to make it easy and make almost anything that wasn’t a white carb off limits unless I wanted to feel sick. But since that eased off I’ve had to be a little more aware of what I can/can’t have. In general I’m relatively relaxed about it as I found pretty quickly that if you google hard enough with anything relating to pregnancy you will find at least one horror story (alongside many a ‘that isn’t anything to worry about’ stories). So have mainly been avoiding the off limits cheeses, alcohol (Christmas without a runny brie and a glass of fizz is not going to be the same) and undercooked meats/fish. The list of food to avoid is pretty endless so I’d of course recommend checking it yourself if you’re pregnant too. But telling myself it’s only a relatively short period of time and I can have all my favourites back in my life.
Trying to be ok with my changing body
This is a tricky one and I did touch on it on my post about boobs (here if that entices you to have a read) but the changes that my body is going through are quite tricky to get used to. At the moment how obviously pregnant I look comes down to what I wear. It’s pretty easy for me to still just look a little on the chubby side. It’s hard to know which I want to be – do I want to look properly pregnant or do I want to look normal. It’s quite tricky learning and adapting to dressing my new shape – the frustration of knowing there’s so many things that don’t fit me anymore led to a big wardrobe clear out where I put all the ‘not happening’ clothes into storage for the next few months (years?!) before I can fit into them again. Because I was just fed up of trying and failing to find things I felt good in. I’ve always opted more for the loose/baggy option over fitted – which is great for pregnancy comfort but can leave me feeling like I just look like I’m the size of a house already. Knowing it’s down the baby and not my ongoing love of coco pops and mac and cheese (well, at least mostly down to baby…) doesn’t always make it easier to feel good about it. I want to embrace it and feel good about my growing bump but it’s hard when you just don’t quite recognise what you see in the mirror as you!
Ok so I know this is probably just a tiny snippet of what is still to come – but at this stage where I can be blissfully unaware of the sleep deprivation to come… I can still say at this stage that the being unable to sleep is a bit rubbish. I normally tend to sleep on my front and from pretty early on (maybe around 13/14 weeks) I’d not been able to sleep in my ‘usual’ position and it’s taken a while to adjust and get used to sleeping in different ways and generally it’s starting to just be a combination of loo-trips, discomfort and trying to avoid sleeping on my back (not recommended from 2nd trimester onwards). I’m sure I’ll look back on these disrupted nights sleep with wistful eyes in a few months time! But for now… I miss having a good snooze!
The Best Bits
Telling people you’re pregnant
Honestly, this was the BEST feeling. Telling both sets of our parents that they’re going to be grandparents and seeing their beaming smiles (and a bit of an emotional tear). The excited and shocked faces of friends when you tell them (the squeals and the hugs!). Then of course letting the news out online was so lovely. Getting so many congratulatory messages and excited replies. It’s a good feeling and definitely makes the whole thing immediately feel very real and very, very exciting.
The 12 week scan
I could probably equally in some ways put this under worst bits because the big milestone of that first scan comes with a building pressure/anxiety/fear that everything hasn’t gone as swimmingly has you hoped. But all of that is totally erased in the moment that you see the baby on the screen for the first time. The feeling of happiness and relief in that moment made it one of the best parts of pregnancy for me so far. Of course it’s really surreal to see that slightly blurry outline that vaguely looks like a baby wiggling around and knowing it’s taking place inside your body is bizarre. But seeing it and realising this is really happening and you haven’t just been whinging about being tired for weeks for the sake of it.
Scans in general
Every scan has been a highlight for me actually. At this point we have had three – the NHS 12 week and 20 week scans and then one we booked privately at 16 weeks to find out the gender. All three have been so good in their own right. Just seeing the baby having a wiggle around and that reassurance of being told everything is looking good so far is a good feeling.
Being pregnant in Winter
I’m sure every pregnancy timing has perks but for me I’m pretty delighted with the timing. I can bundle up the bump under cosy jumpers and it’s basically totally fine for me to hibernate for Jan-March when the baby is due. That doesn’t mean I’ll become a total hermit for three months but the pressure to be out and about and social is a little less in those colder months, which means less FOMO and more Netflix Box sets for me. Winning. Plus when the baby arrives it will be coming into Spring, which is a time of year I love – with days getting longer and warmer and the promise of Summer being just around the corner. I could probably add in here that eating whatever I want without as much judgement is a definite high… bring on all the winter comfort food!
Feeling the baby move
Again, it’s surreal but also really amazing. At first it’s hard to tell what is wind and what is baby kicking/moving around. But once you recognise the feeling it’s pretty exciting every time you feel it. I also absolutely loved it when Ollie got to feel it kick for the first time with his hand on my bump. I now get distracted from day to day tasks trying to catch my bump moving with the kicks. It’s not so strong (baby is still tiny) that I can see it really obviously but I can see the odd kick make my bump move and this amuses me no end.
General warm fuzzy feelings
Being pregnant has no doubt brought a new sort of closeness between Ollie and I. He’s definitely going out of his way day to day to make sure I’m happy and comfortable as much as possible and I just love it when it says hi to bump or gives it a little stroke. I know it sounds a bit cliche but it is just so exciting and special and to know we’re both looking forward to it so much is a little big magic.
So there’s my little summary of highs and lows of pregnancy so far… will be interesting too see how they change over the next few months. I’d love to know your own highs and lows of being pregnant if you have them to add!