Pregnancy – The smiles, scares and symptoms.

I’ve always wanted to be a mum, ever since I can remember. I was that cliche little girl who wrapped teddies in blankets and pretended they were babies and kept them safe. Once I got older the reality of what being a mum was quickly dawned on me, it definitely wasn’t as I played it out in my head as a kid. I was too selfish to want kids when I was happy with my life the way it was.

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Little me holding my baby cousin.

Michael and I never actually sat down and decided we were going to start trying for a baby, yeah it had came up in conversations over our relationship but never enough to properly declare ‘we’re trying’. I came off my contraceptive implant in April, not to start trying but because it was the devil (for me anyway). I guess we both silently agreed if it happens it happens.

Early November I felt funny, I had my suspicions I was pregnant but knew it would be too early to test, then started the longest week of my life. On Friday the 18th I left work and went to the shop to buy a test, I don’t know why but I was ridiculously embarrassed. I felt like I was doing something wrong. I walked about for ages before plucking up the courage to grab one, which I quickly hid in my basket that I had filled with unnecessary things I had been picking in my panic.

I got home and suddenly felt so stupid, there was a very convincing voice in my head telling me I wasn’t pregnant. I thought it was pointless now waiting for Mike because why would he want to see a negative test?? I took the test and quickly looked before I put it down. The big negative line had already showed up, like a bitter sweet kick in my face. I walked into the bedroom feeling a weird mix of sadness, relief and almost grief. Two long minutes went by and I picked up the test expecting to see that big negative but nope, two lines stared back at me. The two lines that would change my life forever.

This is when I feel bad because Mike found out we were having a baby by me calling him in tears asking him to come home (whoops sorry babes) I was shaking like a leaf and well and truly in full blown panic mode. We were having a baby. AHHHHH

The first twelve weeks for me were easy symptoms wise, except for the sheer exhaustion. Nothing prepares you for the first trimester tiredness! The only problem was, because I had very little symptoms I utterly convinced myself something was wrong (this is a running theme throughout my pregnancy by the way). We had a trip to Edinburgh when I was 7 weeks pregnant. We went to the Christmas market which we love. I missed my usual glass (or 5) of hot pimms but we were so caught up in the euphoria of the news we had a great time.

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Cheeky little selfie in Edinburgh.
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Getting mad on Irn Bru in Edinburgh.

My twelve week scan couldn’t come quick enough, the days leading up to it I tortured myself, reading scan horror stories online. I remember holding my breath, terrified that we wouldn’t see a baby. Luckily everything was absolutely perfect, this tiny little peanut popped up on the screen with a fluttering heartbeat and was dancing around like mad. We came away scan photos in hand beaming. I was so happy. Our little baby was well and truly settled in my tummy, growing away nicely. I knew from this point I had a little boy in my tummy, I don’t know why, call it mother intuition.

The second trimester for me was the hardest, everyone told me the tiredness will go and you have an abundance of energy. Nope. I felt tired, sick and I started getting the most awful back and rib pain. Always on my right side in the same place, no matter how I slept or sat it would never go. I weirdly always felt hungover, hangovers are bad at the best of times let alone when you haven’t even bloody drank. Did anyone else have that or was this just my strange body? The good side of the second trimester was my glow. Now I don’t want to sound smug (secretly I am) but I got that pregnancy glow you hear so much about. My skin which always has bothered me completely cleared up, my hair was shiny and thicker and my nails were growing like mad. This helped ease the aches and pains.

We went to Amsterdam when I was 17 weeks. It was my birthday present, this was organised by Michael before we found out I was pregnant. I think he had very different plans for it but regardless we had a ball. I was feeling good but very very tired, we were doing about 18,000 steps a day. Which is a lot for me at the best of times. This is where I first felt a flutter. I knew straight away it wasn’t gas or anything else. That completely changed everything. I obviously already was over the moon but I suddenly felt that motherly instinct everyone banged on about.

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Amsterdam at 17 weeks.

I constantly had my hand on my little bump. My twenty week scan was one of my highlights of the pregnancy. I couldn’t believe how much our wee one had changed, again the days leading up to the scan I’d convinced myself something was wrong. I was feeling the odd flutter but never enough to reassure me. Luckily everything was perfect. There was a fair few times I wasn’t feeling as much movements and I needed that reassurance and to hear the heartbeat, I went to the midwives quite a lot for this. They must of been sick of me! Turns out I had a front facing placenta that was masking a lot of the movements which meant I didn’t feel proper strong movements until about week 26. Week 27 was one of the worst weeks for me, my back pain was through the roof. This resulted in a stay in hospital, actually in the induction ward. Hearing women going through early stages of labour really kick started my fear of giving birth. Up until that point I guess I buried my head in the sand. It was awful, I was so glad to get home. I remember while I was in the hospital once Mike had to go home Jack started going crazy in my tummy, it’s like he knew I was sad and alone. That night triggered quite a fear of birth for me, I spent countless hours while on maternity leave reading birth stories trying to reassure myself but I soon came to the realisation every birth is different and I had very little if not zero control how it would play out. This resulted in me only writing four simple words in my birth plan, ‘deliver my baby safely‘.

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Little baby leg at 20 week scan.
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24 weeks.
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28 weeks.

Third trimester was a mix of sleepless nights, pregnancy yoga and a lot of food. I loved my last 10 weeks. I felt great (the back and rib pain had just become something I put up with). We went away on a few trips enjoying our time as just us, I was embracing my growing bump and felt the best I had throughout my last 30 weeks. All my midwife appointments were perfect, my bump was exactly the size it should be and I was slowly preparing the house for our impending arrival (nesting is crazy!). I barely slept though, I was exhausted during the day but as soon as night hit I was wide awake, damn pregnancy insomnia. Your mind just goes into overdrive and heartburn hits (gaviscon was my new best pal). I feel it’s our bodies preparing us for the sleepless nights with a newborn. I was almost 2 stone heavier but felt the most attractive I think I ever have. This was until I hit week 38, I was miserable. I felt huge and it took me so long to get comfy then as soon as I did I needed to pee. Great fun! Luckily Jack came at 39 + 3 so I didn’t have too long to wait after I started feeling rotten.

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38 weeks.
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Enjoying a mocktail at Fonab Castle.

My hints and tips – basically what everyone says (how boring of me)

  • Lather up on the stretch mark cream, I was lucky and never got which surprised me because I have on my thighs. I think it’s down to genetics if you get them or not, but it really helps with the itching when your skin starts to stretch so for that reason alone I feel it’s worth it.
  • Sleep sleep and sleep some more.
  • Get fitted for a maternity bra, so unsexy but they make it so much comfier and easier.
  • Download an app to follow your pregnancy, I used pregnancy+.
  • Take photos of your bump! I missed a few weeks and totally regret it.
  • Just try enjoy it, if you can. Sometimes it’s super hard but I felt mines passed so quickly!
  • Try find a pregnancy fitness class, it’s crazy how much my energy improved just by doing yoga.

All in all I absolutely loved being pregnant. I know I’m one of the lucky ones, I had very little symptoms for the most part, I had the glow and to top it all off my birth was fairly straightforward. Part of me loves having my body back but I honestly can’t wait until we decide to try for baby number 2.

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