Sunday, 7 June 2020

My First Trimester

Did we plan the baby?

Sooo, let's do a a little background on us. Gabor and I have been together since 2010, we've been engaged for three years now and he is in his early forties, 12 years older than me. Throughout the years we always said that we will have a baby when I'm around 30, which I turned this April. 
I have been on the pill on and off for 9 years until I decided last March that it was enough, I will no longer take it, and will see how my skin behaves without it. Yepp, I mainly took it to keep my shitty skin in somewhat of a balance. 
So that's how we were, mainly using the 'pull out method' as "contraception" right until once he simply didn't pull out.(Can't believe I am writing this down...)
So, no, we didn't plan the baby with checking temperatures, tracking ovulation and such, but starting a family was definitely the next chapter in our story. It simply happened earlier than we expected. We know that we are very very lucky and that too many couples struggle with fertility issues nowadays but for us it feels like it was meant to be.

I read an article months after we found out we were expecting about food items that help with conception and funnily asparagus is one of them thanks to its high folate content. Thinking back to late spring-early summer time I ate asparagus at least 4-5 times a week so I'm not ruling out that this played a hand in our 'luck' as well...

When did I find out?

I've been feeling a bit different so I decided to get some pregnancy tests. I waited for the weekend to come around when I have the time and peace to do whatever I feel like doing and deal with the emotional side of the result wether it'll be positive or negative.

I peed on the stick 13th July 2019 and it proved that my feelings were right and that I am in fact pregnant! I honestly had this feeling from the day of conception that something was different so this was just reassurance that intuitions are a real thing. 

How did I tell him?

At this time, my boyfriend worked night shifts which meant starting the day at 4pm and I did a normal 8-5pm so some days we only saw each other in bed while the other one was sleeping. 
This meant that I had to keep it a secret for almost a week until he had a day off! 
It was really hard, and I ended up telling one of my friends the news first because I couldn't keep it to myself. 
I made some plans months before to go to a rooftop cinema with a friend the following Friday but that was his day off and I couldn't wait longer to face him with the baby news!

Gabor also decided to go in to his workplace for a couple hours, so we were getting ready at the same time...
I told him nonchalantly that I ordered him a book for our upcoming holiday because he likes to read on the plane. He was struggling with his cardi zipper and didn't really listen to what I was chitchatting about so about five minutes later I asked him again. I got you a book, would you like to see it? He already forgot of course, so he went, yeah, yeah, sorry what did you get.
 That's when I presented him with a book titled 'Pregnancy for Men' by Mark Woods. It took a few seconds for the pennies to drop and then he asked me, "Are we having a baby?". 
That's how long I could hold it before I burst out in tears that yes, we are having a baby! He was super surprised, got a bit teary eyed and then he just got his things and basically ran to the tube station.
I was laughing to myself because I knew that it was a shock for him and he probably needed some time alone to settle the information. He sent me a text couple minutes later that he was just taken by surprise, this came out of nowhere but he is very happy, and we'll talk when we both get home... 
When I got home, completely drenched (best day for rooftop cinema, huh?) we stayed up late talking and started planning out the future.

Any pregnancy symptoms?

Waking up and staying alert and awake throughout the day was a struggle most days. First trimester tiredness is just a complete other level of tiredness. I remember getting home at 6pm and struggling to take my make up off and shower before I collapsed in bed or on the couch. Also not zoning out of conversations and staring in the distance took immense energy... 

I didn't really have morning sickness, my nausea came in the evenings mainly and I only threw up a handful of times in the first trimester. First time I threw up was after an Ed Sheeran concert when I got home at 3am and had a full day of meeting people and going going going at 8 weeks pregnant.
The combination of being tired and an empty stomach is always a bad omen.

Snacking throughout the day definitely helped with nausea, you can't let your tummy become empty because that's when you start to feel sick. As soon as you reach that point you won't feel like eating anything so best not get there. Keeping some plain crackers, biscuits or almonds in my bag always helped.

How did my skin react?

One of the first symptoms of pregnancy was that my super oily skin and acne came back on my face with a vengence, but this time it was absolutely all over my face. I never had acne on my cheeks, jawline or my neck before, but this time I had new whiteheads popping up every single day at random places. 
It felt like I was back in my teenage years and it honestly made me feel ugly and very unhappy.
As it was the height of the summer during my first trimester the heat didn't help with my skin and I developed acne on my back and chest as my skin couldn't breathe through my thick uniform.
I used The Ordinary's Salicylic Acid which helped with the existing ones but was powerless against the deep, painful, cystic zits.
At this point I was just crossing my fingers that it will go away as soon as I go into the second trimester. Also, I took it as a sign that I'll have a baby girl who is "stealing my beauty" so it's all worth it...

Some flat skin tags also popped up around my stomach area just to make my confidence plummet even more and strech marks appeared what felt like overnight on my boobs and love handle area. I started using oil on the developing stretch marks but honestly they didn't do much for me.

What about food?

I felt super bloated all the time. It is true, you just look like you had a big lunch in your first half of your pregnancy and that you gained a few extra pounds.
Not gonna lie, I think I probably did gain a significant amount of weight during the first trimester because everything I ate was beige and quite unhealthy and the type of food that will make you bloated. 70% of my diet consisted of white bread (loved a tuna baguette and a simple ham and cheese bagel), pasta (was obsessed with those Tesco raviolis you can get that take a couple minutes to cook and I drenched them in ketchup and mozzarella) and don't let me start about those yummy sugar-coated Waitrose pastries!
The other 30% was fruits, vegies and nuts. I loooved ice cold cotton candy grapes and nectarines. I ate them as a side with everything. For a quick snack I turned to plain almonds and walnuts. And I didn't stop with my asparagus obsession either...

Not a healthy, balanced diet by any means but when you feel generally shit like many women do in the first trimester I think you just eat whatever gets you through those first weeks.

Also ice cold water felt like the tastiest thing! So refreshing and helped whenever I was a bit nauseous. 

I also started to have breakfast, which was greek yoghurt with different berries and nuts.

Another change was that I drastically cut down on my caffein intake. Before the pregnancy I had 3, sometimes 4 lattes a day (drinking it out of boredom), now all I wanted was one in the morning while getting ready and didn't feel like having more throughout the day.

The first scans

We had a trip planned to Hungary in a few weeks' time so we booked in an ultrasound appointment just to confirm the pregnancy and to check that everything is looking good with the baby. 
As it was a very early ultrasound, it was done vaginally but we could see the baby and even hear the heartbeat. At this point baby was already 8 weeks old, which meant that I had no idea how to calculate the weeks and I had to register the pregnancy ASAP as soon as I got home to London...

When we got home I made an appointment with my GP who then directed me to my chosen hospital's website to register. I was a little bit annoyed because I waited almost two weeks for that GP appointment just to be sent home and do what I could have done weeks ago.

I met my midwife on the 2nd September for the first time and we had the 12 week, nuchal scan appointment 4th September 2019 in the hospital. As my midwife struggled to find my veins the nurses took double amount of blood at the hospital for all the initial blood work that needed to be done. There was struggle on their side as well so in the end they took the blood from a vein on the back of my hands. Going forward I will just tell them to take it from there, it's less painful for me and way quicker to fill those ampoules.
Baby was very ''camera shy'' and didn't want to position well for the scan so I had to go back to the waiting room, jump and move around a little bit to help the sonographer see the baby better. On the nuchal scan everything looked fine thankfully, baby measured normal and very low chance for Down's Syndrome. 

I feel like the first trimester went by really quick! The days felt shorter because as soon as I got home from work I tried to go to bed as early as possible.

I wish I had taken week by week belly pictures from the start but honestly there was no bump and I felt that it is pointless if you can't see anything other than a bloated tummy...

Now we're ready for the second trimester!


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