So if you’re not familiar with pregnancy stages and scans, a pregnancy (at least here in the UK) is split into three. A pregnancy is usually up to 42 weeks in length depending on when your baby arrives. Each ‘trimester’ is usually determined by a 12-14 week period from conception. Every trimester is very different for the mother and baby.
When I was pregnant with Lola I had no idea about the actual goings on and how my pregnancy would develop. Call me naive or just plain stupid; my knowledge of babies and labour stemmed from a combination of the sex education I had in school and watching too many episodes of OBEM (One born every minute).
So after having my 8 week doctors appointment it’s safe to say I was overwhelmed with paperwork, leaflets and absolute fear. Of course midwives see pregnancy as a process and deal with women all day everyday. But this was happening to me! ME! I had no idea what a episiotomy was?! I had never even had a blood test before. Everything about this was scary and I was venturing into the unknown.
My First Trimester
12 weeks of being pregnant for me felt fine overall. In terms of symptoms I didn’t really suffer any. The ones I did have were bearable and became normal. Of course most people don’t discover their pregnant until about 4/5 weeks so it’s not long until your first trimester is complete. But it’s not an easy ride. My first trimester like most mothers is emotional and filled with anxiety and uncertainty.
I would say just the feeling of being pregnant and getting your head around what is going on; is for me what the first trimester was about. I had no real bump, nobody would’ve guessed I was growing a human, I suffered no morning sickness, had no cravings and felt pretty much normal. So course some women don’t have it so easy as those first 12 weeks can be brutal. I count myself lucky.
Bloated and hormonal – similar to how you’d feel on your period I suppose.
My boobs were slightly bigger and sore – Underwired bras had to go.
I had moments of feeling a little dizzy and sick – Would feel fine after something to eat though. (Never happened in the morning like I expected)
My hair and skin was the best it had ever been. Less break-outs and I could easily get away with washing my hair every few days which never happens.
Educate yourself: Read the leaflets, blogs and NHS websites. I also downloaded the Pregnancy plus app which was brilliant throughout the entire pregnancy.
Listen to your doctor/midwife: They know best so ask any questions and take onboard any advice. Remember you must take Folic acid during the first 12 weeks as well.
Fill your cupboards: Stock up on quick plain snacks – cereal bars, biscuits. Ginger nuts is known to help as ginger tackles nausea.
Treat yourself: moisturise, have relaxing baths and soothe your body. Soon enough your bump will show and parts will ache, prepare yourself before you’re too tired or heavy to indulge in these luxuries.
Finally the best part of reaching the end of my first trimester… our twelve week scan. In the U.K. If you’re considered a low risk pregnancy you will only receive two NHS scans at 12 and 20 weeks. The twelve week scan is extremely important as this is ultimately the first glimpse of the baby so a lot of checks are made.
I remember being so nervous that morning and crossing all fingers and toes that our baby was okay. I fully appreciated that we’d made it to the twelve weeks with no problems but couldn’t help but feel anxious.
Our scan was the first appointment at 8:30am which worked well to curb any further nerves. We’d checked ourselves in with reception and I began to drink the entire water cooler. (Apparently it can help with visibility of the baby when your bladder is full). We paid for one photograph token…yes you have to pay! And waited…
We were called into a dark room by a lovely sonographer and I was told to lay down. It’s just like you imagine to be honest. A cold jelly is smeared across your stomach and a machine is used to bring up images on a nearby screen.
The ultrasound was fine and we could see a blurry outline of our baby. It was an emotional and happy moment, one we’ll never forget.
Look out for my second trimester blog for more insights into my pregnancy journey. Thanks for reading.