PREGNANCY | THE FIRST TRIMESTER




Well, hasn't it been very quite on the blog lately? If you follow me on my social media accounts you would have seen the news that Marty & I are expecting a baby this year!! I always planned that once pregnant I would have weekly pregnancy updates on the blog however I did not expect that I would end up with morning sickness through to 16 weeks.

Being pregnant has definitely slowed me down! Being sick and always feeling exhausted has really left me not feeling myself for a while. When I've been feeling up to it I have slowly (very slowly) been working on this post to try and catch you up on my pregnancy journey.

Warning -- a lot happened in the first trimester so this post is pretty long!

TRYING TO GET PREGNANT

Long story short, getting pregnant did not 'just happen' for Marty & I. We had been trying for at least 18months before it finally happened.

If you have been unsuccessful in getting pregnant you're going to hate reading this next part (I know it was something I never liked to hear), but one of the things we did differently the time we got pregnant was that we actually stopped trying...

We were traveling a lot and had planned to start trying again the next cycle after our holiday. I had decided to focus more on getting healthier through diet and exercise and had started the Michelle Bridges 12 week challenge. I think this lifestyle change definitely had a helping hand in us finally getting pregnant.

Looking back now I really do feel like now is the perfect time for Baby vanderHeijde and, providing our house is finished when its supposed to be, everything has fallen into place perfectly.

EARLY PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS

I didn't notice any symptoms that made me think I was pregnant, which is kind of funny because every other cycle I had usually been a massive 'symptom spotter'. I would always get the slightest symptom and think 'I am definitely pregnant'.

Because this cycle we weren't actively trying, I didn't even suspect I was pregnant. In fact I was sure I was getting my period and I was actually waiting for my next cycle to start so we could start trying again.

I had been getting all the usual signs of my period starting so when my period was late I didn't think much of it. Once it was about 3 or 4 days late, I began to feel a bit hopeful and decided to take a test. Negative. Another week passed and still no period so time to test again... Negative again. I remember Marty saying 'are you sure you can't still be pregnant even with a negative test?'.. 'No Marty! Negative means negative!!'

I had been feeling extremely exhausted and found myself having afternoon naps on the weekends and going to bed really early on weeknights. I wasn't even the slightest bit suspicious that I was feeling tired because I could be pregnant and had just put it down to being busy at work.

I was also extremely thirsty and was drinking at least 3ltrs a day!! I would have never picked this as a pregnancy symptom either and just thought this was due to the weather starting to get warmer.

The following week I had still been getting period pains but no actual period and was getting a bit impatient. I had come to the conclusion that my cycle must have been getting longer again so I decided to see a doctor. The doctor organised some blood tests, including a pregnancy test and booked me in to get my results the next day.

FINDING OUT

The next day (5/11/16) I decided to do one more home pregnancy test in the morning before I went to the doctor... and there it was... two pink lines! I was in absolute shock! After hundreds of negative pregnancy tests, I was finally looking at a positive test.

I had always thought I would tell Marty in a really cute way. The year before I had purchased a card that said 'Warning: Dad Jokes Ahead' and had planned to do something cute as well as give that to him with the positive test enclosed. In the moment everything went out the window!

Marty was asleep at the time and I walked into the bedroom crying and trying to get out the words "there's two lines!!" Of course, over my blubbering, he had no idea what I was saying. Marty was just as surprised and made me go and get the positive test to show him. It was definitely an emotional and very special moment.

At the doctor, the blood results confirmed what the HPT said, I was pregnant!!

To make sure the pregnancy hormone (hCG) was going up the Dr had me do another blood test a few days later. In 5 days my hCG levels went from 109 (4/11/15) to 1740 (9/11/15).  Great signs that there was a baby in progress.

The whole experience wasn't really what I thought it would be. I don't exactly know what I expected...maybe a bit of excitement and a congratulations but my doctor was extremely cautious about not getting my hopes up given it was very early days.

Because my cycle was irregular, we weren't sure how many weeks pregnant I was so we booked a dating scan to check.

THE SCANS

Marty & I were so excited to see the little miracle growing inside and booked our scan for the next day. We got to the scan and patiently looked at the screen above, waiting to see our little baby....Turns out we were only 6 weeks and 1 day pregnant and there wasn't really much to see!

All the scan showed was a 'yolk sac' that measured 2.6mm. At the time the sonographer was able to tell us that I had ovulated from the left ovary. I thought it was pretty amazing that he could tell us that. Good work left ovary!

We nicked name the baby 'Poppy' as the pregnancy app told us it was he or she was the size of a poppy seed.

We didn't actually get a copy of this scan so I can't share. There wasn't anything to see though!

Because there wasn't an embryo showing on the scan yet, the Dr ordered another hCG blood test. The results came back at 22 500 (18/11/15).

We did a follow up scan the next week to see if we could see something growing inside the yolk sac and the Dr could finally confirm the pregnancy.....and there we saw an itty bitty little something.

The sonographer confirmed there was a 'single live foetus' measuring at 7 weeks & 5 days. Apparently it was the size of a grain of rice, however to us it just looked like a little blob so Poppy got a new nickname this week... Little Blob!

We officially got our due date, Little Blob is due July 9th, the day before our 6th wedding anniversary.

At the scan we also got to hear the heartbeat which was a totally amazing sound to hear. It was all beginning to feel very real at this point! The heartbeat was 155 beats per minute.



Now that we had seen our little blob was there, the Dr finally congratulated me and organised our referrals. Lets do this Little Blob!

The last scan in our first trimester was the 12 week Nuchal Translucency (NT) scan which is a screen test to access the risk of Down syndrome.

This was a very interesting scan and was when we found out that we have a 'difficult baby'. Little Blob did not want to get into the right positions and caused the sonographer a bit of grief which made the scan take even longer.

Super long scan + very full bladder.... not good!!

It was definitely my favourite scan so far though. Seeing our baby, actually looking like a baby was magical and once again made things feel very real!! It's not really a Little Blob anymore...We could  see it's face, body, arms, hands, legs and feet! It was very special.

At this scan our due date changed to the 10th of July -- our wedding anniversary! Little Blobs heart rate was 153BPM and he/she measures 63mm crown to rump.



CRAVINGS & FOOD AVERSIONS

My very first aversion was before I even knew I was pregnant. It was a strange aversion but probably a good one for baby -- coffee! Previously I would have had a coffee every morning and sometimes a second one mid morning if I was feeling tired but randomly I had stopped feeling like coffee. It just didn't seem very appealing.

It wasn't long before I started going off food. When this first started, I wasn't really feeling sick yet. I just didn't have much of an appetite. I found SALTY carbs like rice crackers and chips very appealing which wasn't great for my Michelle Bridges 12WBT. Anything sweet however was off the cards! I had absolutely no desire for anything sweet. Anything that was even the slightest bit sweet, tasted sickly sweet to me.

Around the 7 week mark was when I started feeling nauseous, at first I was a little bit happy to be feeling something as it was a good sign that the pregnancy was progressing. Due to the nausea, it wasn't long before I wasn't feeling like most foods.

Because I had lost my appetite, all healthy eating / meal plans were out the window, sorry Michelle! The thought of food started to make me feel sick so the last thing I wanted to do was look at a menu for the week. Eating became whatever I could look at without getting nauseous.

I did start to crave watermelon, fresh juices and sparkling water! I swear some weeks I was eating a whole watermelon! It became a staple grocery item and I would often just have cut up watermelon for lunch! I was enjoying fresh fruit in general and liked to add in some other fruits to make a bit of a fruit salad. Watermelon was definitely the favourite though.
Some other foods I was enjoying:
  • Vegemite on toast or crackers
  • Greek yoghurt with blueberries, walnuts & honey
  • Fresh tomato with salt and pepper 
Meat was the food the turned me off the most! The thought, smell and look of meat made me feel sick to my stomach so I was vegetarian for most of the first trimester (and into the second trimester..).

I found that buying lunch out when pregnant is really difficult unless you just go for fried foods. Anything I would usually grab on the go wasn't allowed. Sushi - no. Sumo Salad - no. Subway - no. Ham & cheese sandwich - no. Fruit salad - no.... hot chips, potato gems, potato scallops - yes. Once again... Sorry Michelle.

Oh and then there was Christmas lunch... which this year was cold meats and salads... yeah, that was fun!

MORNING SICKNESS

Ha! 'Morning' sickness.... What an interesting term. I would say that all day sickness is a much more accurate!

As mentioned earlier the sickness started at around 7 weeks for me. My sickness was actually at it's worst in the evening. By the time I would get home from work, I had to go straight to bed because I felt so sick.

I was using 'Elevit Morning Sickness' tablets but found these only worked for a few weeks before my body got used to them. I tried doubling them (ingredients are all natural) but the relief didn't last long so I stopped around 12 weeks.

Morning sickness had me feeling pretty miserable and sorry for myself, this added with the pregnancy hormones made me cry a lot. My poor hubby didn't really know what to do, but turns out he had the best medicine... a good cuddle and a shoulder for me to cry on.

FULL ON PREGNANCY SYMPTOMS
  • Extremely sore & tender breasts
  • Very strong sense of smell (to the point where some smells made me vomit)
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Loss of focus & organisation
  • Extreme nausea, some vomitting
  • Hormonal - emotional
HAIR / BEAUTY / WEIGHT DURING PREGNANCY

I have noticed since being pregnant that my hair is much thicker and growing like crazy!! To the point where straightening it became way too hard because it took too long. My mum said when she was pregnant with me her hair actually stopped growing and she didn't even have to shave her legs -- clearly we have completely different pregnancies.

I was lucky enough not to get any breakouts on my face however I did get a couple of small breakouts on my chest, top of arms and back which was strange. My skin has been feeling good in general although maybe a little bit dry. I do wonder if my skin being good has to do with me not wearing makeup though as since having no energy, I haven't been wearing makeup.

The ONLY one up side to morning sickness and lack of appetite is that I have lost weight instead of gained weight in the first trimester. I lost about 5kg in total.

PREGNANCY GLOW

Still waiting...

I think that pretty much sums up my first trimester! I know there are probably a lot of gaps in this post so please leave me a comment below or on Facebook or Instagram if you have any questions about my pregnancy so far!

Hope you liked this post

All my love,



3 comments :

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience. What a journey.

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  2. Don't forget about the cervical mucus during the first trimester... a lot of women think there's something wrong when it's their first pregnancy, but believe me it's perfectly normal. Even if it is gross! Ha.

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