I’ve been keeping a little surprise for the past four and a half months! I decided I wanted to write this in the early weeks of my pregnancy, for any other women out there who, like me in September, may have just found out they are pregnant with their first baby and don’t know what on earth to do or what to expect! The first trimester is one of the most special, scary and emotional periods you go through and I hadn’t ever been told anything about it. Google became my only source of comfort for the first five weeks after our positive result. The first trimester can be a really lonely time as you’re coming to terms with the fact you’re with child and are going to HAVE A BABY, whilst carrying on with real life, dealing with morning sickness, exhaustion and are terrified for the worst but also wanting to tell people what’s up with you. I was inspired to write this after I saw Lily from Lilypebbles’ pregnancy announcement video (she is due a few weeks before me) and it made me cry as I could relate so much. Here’s a few weekly notes of the first 13 weeks and some more info on what to expect.
Around four weeks pregnant – when I found out
4 weeks pregnant
I found out I was pregnant as my period was 5 days late (I’m usually 28 days on the dot) and I had had crazy sore boobs for a week or so – worse than any soreness I’ve ever had before! I was working from home and my husband had left early that morning to go to Morocco on a work trip. Nothing can prepare you for the tsunami of emotions that you feel seeing ‘Pregnant’ for the first time. I think I was crying and shaking for around an hour and to top if off, H was somewhere over the Mediterranean and I knew I could only tell him this in person. I had to keep the news to myself for two very long days and meanwhile I spent every spare minute googling ‘what to do when you find out you are pregnant’ and what happens next. The first thing I did was go and buy folic acid and Vitamin D supplements that you must take for the whole of your first trimester to help your tiny fetus grow properly.
Here’s what happens over the next two months (in the UK)
5 weeks pregnant
The first thing to do is make an appointment to see your GP who will calculate your estimated delivery date and give you loads of paperwork and tell you to self-register with the maternity department of your chosen local hospital, they’ll provide a list to you. Amazingly, they don’t ask you to take another test as the home tests are over 99% accurate. And you’re sent on your way… still not sure what to do or if you’re actually pregnant! You don’t have actual confirmation until the first scan at 12 weeks! Once you’ve registered with your hospital maternity department they will send your next steps and midwives appointments the next week or so.
6 weeks pregnant
This is where I think many women start to experience morning sickness, which can last until around week 17. I am very lucky that I was only actually sick twice in my pregnancy, and both were in the evening. I went to Paris this week with two of my friends and I was not myself at all. I felt ok, but I was disorientated, tired and worrying a lot… Ellie and Alice, sorry again!
7 weeks pregnant
These next two weeks were the worst for me by far. I was totally exhausted all the time and feeling nauseous, especially in the evenings from around 6-7pm. I was carrying around sick bags that you get on aeroplanes (that I asked my husband to stockpile for me) as I was feeling awful, but not actually being sick. I struggled waking up in the mornings, at around 3pm I would be falling asleep at my desk and had to take a nap at work a few times, and then from around 6pm-7pm I would feel horribly sick on my commute home without fail. Thankfully it gets better, but I felt like a ghost at this point and was sleeping at every possible chance I had, sometimes even as soon as I got home from work. I also decided to cut out coffee as I’d read it can increase chances of miscarriage, but I adjusted eventually by week 10.
8 weeks pregnant
I was still feeling similar to the week before but with more hormones thrown in. To the mix. As well as being exhausted, my moods were up and down and I was crying at everything. I started thinking more about my diet this week to try and combat the extreme energy drops that I was getting by adding lots of fruit and veg to my diet, drinking more water and healthy snacks that I could nibble every few hours, like dried fruit and nuts.
Week 8 you have your first midwife appointment where you have your ‘booking bloods’ taken to test you for your blood type, any diseases you may carry and they ask you a very detailed history of yours and your partners health history. It takes at least an hour and I went alone to this one, I wouldn’t say your partner needs to be there but it’s worth talking about family health history together before. You get given a huge blue folder full of paperwork and reading material that you have to keep all throughout your pregnancy and take to all appointments. At the appointment they had already booked my next two antenatal appointments, my first scan at 12 weeks and my follow up midwife appointment at 16 weeks. These were already printed out for me and in the blue folder. I also got a flu vaccination this week for free from my GP. It’s worth noting that you won’t get given any results of the bloods they took, unless there is a problem they need to alert you of within a few days, until your next midwife appointment at 16 weeks.
9 weeks pregnant
Still super emotional, tired and moody this week but was feeling a little better. By this point I had been hibernating for three weeks and didn’t have the energy to do anything other than get through the working day and get home to bed. This week I almost fainted on the tube on my way to work one morning and was told by TFL staff that I should be wearing a pregnancy badge, which I did from this point on. Getting a seat on the tube while pregnant is a whole other complex story so I won’t go into now, but 70% of the time it works for me. We told our families this week and things started to feel a little more real with all of their love and excitement although for me it wasnt until week 20 (halfway) that I got a bump to show and bond with.
10 weeks pregnant
I decided to tell my boss at work this week as I wanted him to know why I had been so off lately. It turns out he had already guessed, even as much as I had been trying to be normal.
For the previous few weeks I was going to the toilet a lot more than usual and waking up every night to use the loo. I think this is due to your uterus getting bigger and pressing on your bladder, before it moves higher up and settles under your belly button. Needing the toilet a lot doesn’t stop but the waking up in the night does by the second trimester.
11 weeks pregnant
I made a note here that I feel my tummy looking more bloated and my waist expanding a little. But looking back I think my bump didn’t come come in visibly until Christmas which was 18 weeks. I have to still remind myself that soon I will be huge so don’t wish my body away! I was still feeling very tired and trying to get all the sleep. My skin had been noticably better for a few weeks and people had mentioned that my hair was silky and healthy too.
12 weeks pregnant
The day of our 12 week scan
Today’s the day you’ve been anxiously waiting for and it’s magical seeing your little baby on screen for the first time, not to mention FINALLY getting proof that he or she is in there. The sonographer will measure your baby to give you your accurate due date and check that there are two hands, arms, feet and hands while you stare in awe at the screen/your partner and/or cry. I stared at the print outs for the rest of the day! If you choose, you’ll also have a blood test to screen the baby for Downs syndrome, Edwards’syndrome and Patau’s syndrome. I hadn’t heard anything back from my booking bloods by this point, so I was relieved to get a letter a few days later saying that we were low risk and no further tests were needed on baby.
Another thing I’ve definitely noticed is that my bras don’t really fit anymore as I’m getting bigger. *I went for a bra fitting at 18 weeks and had grown two cup sizes! I felt as soon as I came out of the first trimester I instantly felt more alive and energetic and back to myself. This is biologically because the newly grown ORGAN, the placenta has now taken over keeping the baby nourished and Mama gets her energy back now that tiny baby is fully formed! With my energy back I’ve definitely noticed that my appetite is back with a vengeance and I’m hungry all the time! Still no cravings at this point but maybe that’s still to come.
13 weeks pregnant
This is technically the last week of the first trimester and I was feeling pretty good now. I had my energy back and finally feel able to function again, see friends and be excited for the next six months.. and baby. I found out this week that I have D negative blood and that basically means that my blood isn’t compatible with other blood groups (and maybe the babies blood) so some further tests are needed and I may need Anti-D injections at 28 and 31 weeks to stop my blood from rejecting the babie’s blood if they mix during the pregnancy or birth.
I have to say that so far I’ve been so impressed by the NHS service and efficiency of their maternity services. Every appointment was followed up by a letter and I have been fully kept in the loop with everything. I hope that this might be helpful for someone else out there who needs some reassurance in this beautiful and emotional time. You and your body are amazing, you need to know this much!
If you’d like me to write something for the second trimester (I’m currently at 21w2d) then please let me know with a like or comment?
K & Bump