It’s a beautiful thing overall, but there are a few things even 16 weeks in that I wish someone had told me!
- Microbladder starts early and continues all the way through getting worse as you go along. The hormones and the fact that you’re being extra conscious to drink those 2 litres a day combine to see you going at least once every hour early on, then you’ll have your baby sitting on your bladder later on. You will wake up at night needing to go too, no matter when you last had a drink.
- Round Ligament Pain – NO ONE will tell you about this. You will cough or sneeze and wonder what you just ripped/broke in your stomach. It’s ok – your body is pumping a hormone around your body called Relaxin which helps all the ligaments in your tummy relax and stretch in preparation for accommodating another human being inside of you. *NOTE* Relaxin doesn’t just work on your tummy so beware overstretching other parts of your anatomy!
- You will pee in so many containers that this becomes normal. In order to check that your suppressed immune system isn’t letting all the baddies through, you have to take a urine sample to every appointment you have. *PRO TIP* Grab a couple extra every time you’re in with the doc/ midwife at an appointment, so you don’t ruin every piece of tupperware you own. Even if you do have perfectly proportioned tupperware, chances are they’ll make you go again anyway in case the sample got contaminated with last night’s pasta you had in there, before you ran around the house in a panic looking for a receptacle to pee in before your appointment. Amazing how narrow the official ones are – how good do you really think a woman’s aim is when she can’t really see where it comes out?! That gets worse, by the way.
- You will redefine the word “TIRED” in interesting and new ways. During the first trimester you will (try to) eat, (try to) work, sleep, repeat. You will have no normal reason for why you’re so tired apart from this: Growing another human inside you is exhausting. Remind your partner of this often; they forget. Sleep when you feel you need to, and cut yourself some slack. Plenty of time and energy in the second trimester to get stuff done.
- You have to actually BE 16wks or over for your 16wk appointment. I was told to book this one myself with the community midwife through my own GP because I’m under Midwife led care as I am Low Risk. When I attended I was 15wks +6days. This is not good enough – they won’t do the Doppler to listen to baby’s heart until 16wks or later. Save yourself some time and effort. Because you will have to pee in another container AGAIN whether it is the next day or next week.
- You will hate all your clothes nearly instantly. When I found out I was pregnant, suddenly I just couldn’t stand ANYTHING that was remotely tight or restrictive over my middle, even though I didn’t have a bump per-se. I bloat(ed) pretty badly and my stomach seemed to be constantly rolling with all the wonderful smells I encounter every day, so stretch everything with wide comfy waistbands were my thing. THIS IS OK. Halfway through my first trimester, between bloating, tiredness, bad diet and inactivity I weighed 164lb (I started off about 158-160lb). Into my second trimester I weighed 154lb because I started craving and eating healthy foods, more appropriate portions and had energy to do things again – even as simple as taking the dogs a walk. Learn to be ok with your weight – learn that stretch fabric is a gift from God and enjoy the journey. Go get some underbump jeans from New Look! Soon your bump will be in evidence and trust me – that’s where the weight is!! I’m curvy to start with and this has been a real education in self love for me.
- Get your partner a book/ List of things NOT to say to his pregnant/ labouring/other half with newborn. My hubby has already expressed concern about how things “Down There” will be after I have our child, doubt over how he will feel if my bowels evacuate as I am pushing said child out (something I have acute anxiety about anyway!) and that when I’m giving off I’m “only saying that because I’m pregnant” and “Why are you so tired”. Other top hits include people commenting on what you can/can’t eat (DUDE – pregnant lady and food – don’t get in the middle!) and your size (because that is considered polite conversation even when not pregnant, right?!). Men – *PRO TIP* – when she asks you to do something around the house? Do it before she either hurts herself doing it or maims you for not bothering. I had to bribe/ blackmail hubby with banana loaf to fix the yard light because it was too high for me (4ft11in tall) to do it myself.
- Don’t think too much about the weird dreams. I had one where I had to be knocked out to give birth and I came around, was presented with a baby and had no memory of how he came into the world. This is one of my worst fears – I’d rather remember the whole thing guts and glory! But it had me out of sorts for days. Obviously you’re always going to go with whatever choice is best for baby and birth may not (probably won’t) go how you planned but you can’t help some fears and anxieties..Find someone who has been through it before to chat it through with – I promise you’ll feel better. My sister and my friend MJ both have 5/6month olds and I would be lost without them. My sister once assaulted her husband whilst pregnant and asleep because she dreamed she had a bug crawling up her arm. The dreams can sometimes be pretty damn funny.
- People will try to give you advice – take it with a pinch of salt and make your own mind up. Everyone goes through pregnancy differently, labour differently and does mother/parenthood differently. That’s ok – that doesn’t mean their way is the only way or your way is wrong. Best thing to do is read up and make your own choices – no one can make them for you.
- You may not get the pregnancy “glow”. Straightaway or ever. It may come and go. But don’t feel down because of it. Do what you can – I’ve a great blog up about skincare and your diet and drinking lots of water helps tonnes. I go through phases of glowiness and breakouts – Trimester 1 was breakout, trimester 2 from week 13 had been glowy but this week (16) is breakout phase again. Concealer is a wonderful thing and just keep a good routine going if you can.
What were some of the things you wish someone had told you? Let me know below!