Sunday, 20 April 2014

Notes on Growing a Small Thing - First Trimester

Having introduced our newest adventure in my last post, I thought I would write a post on our experience of pregnancy so far. Probably like many other musings on the subject, this post about the first trimester contains mostly nausea, a large selection of carbs and a few days of bone-aching tiredness. Being one for reading and research, I'd read plenty on the subject of early pregnancy and what to expect. Nothing really prepared me for the reality...

1. The textbook information you find is that nausea/sickness can kick in from around six weeks and tends to fade off at the start of the second trimester. Mine kicked in even before we knew I was pregnant - fleeting moments of nausea and lightheadedness at first (so, 3-4 weeks) and then developing into daily sickness from 5 weeks onwards, ramping up in intensity every week, with the odd day of respite. And although I was practically counting down to the start of the second trimester, the sickness is still going strong at nearly 16 weeks.

(On the flip side of this - neither my mother nor Alan's suffered from sickness at all - many women don't! *sulk*)

2. It's not morning sickness, it's just sickness - it can strike morning, noon or night. Definitely more of a morning thing for me, though, in an almost clockwork-like manner - 'Get up, shower, feel nauseous, get back to bedroom, be sick'. Yup, pleasant.And often followed by 'eat breakfast, leave house, be sick on pavement/in drain/ on train/ on station platform, buy second breakfast to eat at work'. Even better.

The sickness I've felt in the evenings has been completely different - nearly always attributable to something specifice I've eaten, or realising I've overeaten. And then there's the random moments, where you think of something, or you smell something and it sends you running for the nearest bathroom. Coffee? Eurgh. Assorted something in the fridge? Excuse me for a moment...

Pregnancy sickness is also different to other sickness. Often, if you get a sickness bug, you start feeling weak and being sick, it lasts for a day or two where you can't do anything other than lie in bed. With pregnancy sickness, you feel fine one minute, the next minute you have your head in a bucket, and then you feel better again (and repeat ad, erm, nauseum). Timing doesn't come into it.

3. Everyone gets different symptoms, and you don't get all of them. So far for me, the sickness has definitely been the low point - I haven't been exceptionally tired, apart from the odd days here and there, and although I've had a few other symptoms (noone ever tells you about the sore boobs and the sluggish bowels!) the nausea has definitely been the one that has had the most impact.

4. Your food preferences are apt to change from week to week and even day to day. And they won't necessarily be the same as anyone else's. For me, it was marmite on rice cakes and citrusy fruit juices at first (then I started being sick and haven't had any fruit juice since!). For one week only it was jacket potatoes. Then it was hot green vegetables and spicy foods. During the last weeks its been pasta, and tomato and vegetable based dishes - and at the moment I can add salads and cheese to that. (M&S cheese scones are my current 'food heaven' - so good!). Conversely I've gone off foods as well - mostly fruit and meat, but also cakes (I KNOW!) and other sweet foods, like hot cross buns and chutneys. Not chocolate chip cookies though, they're good.

Early on, I also went off tea (no, I don't recognise myself either) - along with the sickness, it was one of the first signs which made me suspect I was pregnant! Luckily that one has come back slowly, although I'm finding I do prefer decaffeinated tea at the moment.

5. Crisps. You will want all the crisps. Even at 9am. Salt and vinegar flavour if possible (later on, paprika). And you will feel guilty. But it will help (at least a bit) with the sickness, so don't feel too bad about it - however, do brush your teeth afterwards! And drink lots of water.

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