Its hard to believe its only been 4 and a half months since I was pregnant. It feels so much longer than that already – so I want to get my memories down while they’re still (semi) fresh in my mind. This post will cover all the symptoms from the first trimester as a first time mum.
I found out I was pregnant at about 5 weeks. I was having some “off” symptoms and so I took a test to try and prove JHogg wrong, as he had been saying maybe I was pregnant for a few days. Never mind waiting 2 minutes for the test results to show – it was a clear positive within a few seconds. We were both delighted and terrified all at once. We had just put our flat on the market and hadn’t plan to try and get pregnant until towards the end of the year, but we couldn’t be more excited.
The First Trimester Midwife Appointments
I was given a booking in appointment with the midwife the following week. It all got a bit complicated at that point as I had no idea how far along I was. I hadn’t had a period since February 2012 (due to the use of the contraceptive impact, which I had recently had removed) so that scuppered the usual way of dating. We knew it was highly unlikely I had fallen pregnant with the implant still in, so that left me with somewhere between 5 to 1 weeks.
I was given my maternity notes at my first midwife appointment. I was to take them with me to all appointments going forward, and to the hospital with me when I went in to have the baby.
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First Trimester Scans
As a type 1 diabetic I am at risk of complications throughout pregnancy so I was referred to the diabetes antenatal clinic. Here they take a urine sample, weight and review my insulin requirements. On my first visit they decided to surprise me with a scan to try and determine how far along I really was. I hadn’t expected it so I was alone and JHogg missed out on the first scan.
It is really hard to see much on early scans, and the baby is so small that its easy to make mistakes. At first he said there was no heart beat, but that it was ok because it just meant I was at around 2-3 weeks and the heart isn’t quite beating yet. I then pointed out a little flicker and asked what it was – turns out that was Piglet’s wee heart! He still dated me at around 4 weeks and recommended a 2nd scan at around 8 weeks. I was also given a prescription for folic acid in 5mg, higher than the standard amount in pregnancy vitamins, due to my diabetes. I took this throughout the first trimester.
The morning sickness hit me not long after, at which point I caved and told my parents and JHogg’s parents that I was pregnant. My mum came with me to the next scan, where they dated me at 10 weeks as opposed to the expected 8. At this point I was also told I had a large cyst on my ovary, around the size of a golf ball. Apparently it is fairly common and provided it wasn’t causing significant discomfit I was told not to worry and they would reassess at 20 weeks. The worst case scenario it continued to grow in which case Piglet would be delivered via C-section and the cyst removed at the same time.
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First Trimester Symptoms
I found morning sickness really rough, my only way of keeping it at bay was to eat fairly constantly throughout the day. For some reason brushing my teeth seemed to set me off. I switched from an electric to a manual toothbrush but still often had to stop mid brushing to throw up! Lots of mouth wash and floss became my friend, and I generally just hoped for the best! I started wearing Sea Sickness Wristbands which helped for a while, but it didn’t eliminate the morning sickness completely. I was praying it would end after the first trimester.
For me, morning sickness wasn’t just a general feeling of nausea. I was sick anywhere from 3-8 times a day. My one regret is that I didn’t seek help for the sickness, particularly in the first trimester when it definitely peaked. Let’s just say I was well acquainted with our bathroom!
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Low Blood Pressure
I have always had fairly low blood pressure, but it reached a whole new level. It was particularly bad in the first trimester. I found I was blacking out more and more often and getting out of bed was a particularly difficult one. I was advised to stay hydrated (which I always do) and to pump my arms before standing up, always doing it slowly. It did help a bit and generally I didn’t find the blood pressure affected me. The nurses did like to offer if I would like to lie down after they’ve checked it each time though!
I was so relieved when 12 weeks rolled around. The first trimester was over and we could start being open about what had been going on. Hiding the sickness had been particularly difficult. I couldn’t imagine trying to hold down a job with it, never mind trying to keep it a secret! JHogg came to the 12 week scan with me and we were given our official due date – 22nd March 2016. It seemed so far away at the time, but we were so excited.
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