My 16 week bump, need to take an updated picture!
I wanted to create this post as I don’t think there is enough talk about the dark side of pregnancy, especially in earlier pregnancy. Unless you have been pregnant there seems to be an expectation that you are radiant and must be enjoying yourself at all times. I am so grateful for my pregnancy and my baby and I absolutely do want to cherish every moment, but I also want everyone to know that if you are currently a little fed up. That’s totally okay! Obviously, there are way more highs and lows to pregnancy but I thought I would pick some of the key ones.
Currently 23+4 weeks pregnant.
Baby bump. This has a mixed opinion, some people hate their growing belly and weight which I do understand. However, for me seeing your body ‘look pregnant’ and watching your baby get bigger is lovely! So far, I have been pretty lucky and had quite a neat little bump which I am happy about and hoping it continues that way, but there is obviously time for it to all go wrong and for things to go a little Violet Beauregarde post chewing gum.
Baby kicks. Again this is somewhere I have been pretty lucky. I felt something around week 16/17 and again in week 18, something that felt like butterflies in my lower tummy that lasted around 2 seconds. The second time I knew it was the baby and got all excited, it was amazing. I have since then felt the baby move pretty much every day, it’s become way more prominent now in week 23, more of a kick that I can feel at any time of the day (before it was just when I sat down in the evenings). Also around 10 days ago Rich managed to feel a kick too which was amazing. A real pregnancy high and had me all wrapped up in love.
When hormones work in your favour. A couple of weeks ago I was on fire! I would be up every day at half 5, bright eyed and ready to conquer the world. I got up, took the dogs for a walk, cleaned the kitchen and spent an extra 10 minutes on my hair. My skin was also glowy and my hair was doing exactly what it should. Also, I felt amazing all the time! This came down with a crash last week where I had a bought of antenatal depression (boo!) but it will be a welcome return when/if it comes back. I loved it!
Baby Scans. This goes without saying really, they are magical. However, don’t be too shocked if they’re not as magical as you initially thought they may be. I felt like a right cow after my 12-week scan to not come out crying and don’t get me wrong they’re lovely but I think sometimes they can be nerve wracking and you just feel relieved that your baby is well. I did nearly cry though at my 6-week early scan (see below bleeding) as we were all set up for bad news. As you know when you go into a baby scan room there is normally a TV ready for you to watch, this wasn’t the case with our scan, there was just a private one for a sonographer which suggested to me they were shielding what could potentially be bad news. Anyway, I have never known such an incredible feeling of the loveliest sonographer in the world flipping the screen around to face us after a couple of minutes and seeing a teeny tiny little bean and right in the middle a flicker, before she even explained I knew this was a heartbeat and our little trooper was there and alive and well. So obviously that made me well up. Also the week before my 20 week scan I was being a complete hormonal prick and had it in my head I had got too excited and that I shouldn’t be that confident my baby was okay and that a miscarriage can still happen later in pregnancy so was shitting myself for my scan (despite hearing his heartbeat a week before I at a midwife appointment! I know irrational) so seeing him was lovely and halfway through the sonographer (again a lovely woman) managed to catch babies hand giving us a thumbs up. Now obviously this baby isn’t that smart (or maybe he is) and everyone else just found it funny, but I started crying as in my hormonal state I took this as a sign, like “look at me mum, I’m fine and you can stop worrying” it literally makes me want to cry now thinking about it! It was a perfect little moment.
The bleeding. At the start we had some bleeding which was horrendous, I was already nervous for my pregnancy (due to having a chemical pregnancy in August) and just as I started to get excited, I had some bleeding. The bleeding lasted a few days and although it was light, it was a lot heavier than I imagined what spotting would be… but who knew it was spotting and an early scan confirmed it was implantation bleeding. I was slightly earlier than I had anticipated (thank you PCOS and irregular cycles) which is why we were all concerned. Although it was nothing to worry about it definitely put me on edge and made me nervous about getting excited again. Pregnancy is such a nerve wracking thing!
Antenatal depression. Now, I haven’t had full on antenatal/prenatal depression but there have definitely been underlying points during my whole pregnancy. My whole first trimester I felt out of sorts, sick with worry and not myself. I was pretty horrendous to be around and also isolated myself a lot. There is a lot going on with your body, you are suddenly a vessel and your sole responsibility is keeping your baby safe and that can be tough, the nutrients are prioritised to him and something has got to give. I perked up a huge amount for the second trimester but did come down with a crash last week (week 22) – I couldn’t stop crying in the mornings but felt alright after about 11am, had no motivation, couldn’t get happy about anything and it was horrible. I didn’t think it would shift but I am a lot better this week. I don’t want to talk too much about it in this post as I am planning on doing a whole post and video around this as I don’t feel its talked about enough, there is a really high expectation for a pregnant woman to walk around all ‘glowy’ and amazing.
It’s not YOUR body anymore. The sooner you can get your head around this the better. Your body’s main concern right now is keeping that baby safe and well, that means that the goodness in your food is prioritised to your baby, you will struggle to catch your breath because your lungs are being squished and your body is prioritising oxygen to your baby… at some point with less oxygen, fewer nutrients and all your bodies energy going into growing a human being, you are going to get very very tired. At first, I was determined to fight this, but pushing yourself isn’t good for you and it isn’t good for your baby. Once you accept you are no longer the most important thing (now is a good time to accept it as I heard a rumour that once that your baby is out that is 100% the case) you will understand that you should probably have a nap at 4pm and also if you need to sit down between the hoovering and mopping that is totally okay. Stop fighting your body. It’s doing an amazing thing. You also need to feed it better (I am failing miserably at eating well during pregnancy and need to sort my life out here!)
What were your pregnancy highs and lows?