The first trimester of pregnancy can be really tough. Whilst some ladies breeze through it, others have minor bursts of symptoms here and there and then there are those who are hit with a brick wall of placenta making side effects that can literally suck the life out of you. I was the latter. When I wasn't sleeping, I was sleep walking. When I didn't have my head down a toilet, it would be in a sink, a bush or scarf. Yep that happened- twice. But even in my worst state, I constantly reminded myself that this was all a good sign that Baby Bean was cooking away, nesting smugly in his/her hammock.
Having now, thankfully, passed through queaz-ville, I've been reflecting on all the things that have helped me get through the first trimester. You won't find anything glamorous here. These were purely little life savers or distractions whilst mumma-to-be plodded along suffering in silence,(although the Hubster might disagree here!) counting down the days to that all important first scan.
What to Expect When You're Expecting- Heidi Murkoff
As I couldn't ask my family and friends for advice about all those niggling concerns and questions, this book (which I purchased from here) became my little support guide throughout the first trimester.
It might look like a sensible-medical-degree kind of bore off book, but I was pleasantly surprised by it's honest and personable voice. The author has piled together a warts-and-all step by step guide to the stages of pregnancy and beyond. It pretty much covers all aspects, every symptom and any worries, and I highly recommend picking up a copy early on in your pregnancy.
Stretch Mark Treatment
From the day we discovered I was pregnant I started using Bio Oil on my stomach and breasticles. A lot of my friends had raved about this product so it was a no brainer to go with this straight away. It's a little pricey, about £9.99 for a 200ml bottle, which using twice a day usually lasts about 3-4 weeks. If it helps prevent me looking like Bubbles Devere from Little Britain (the huge bird who won't leave the spa and runs about naked hiding from the manager) throughout this pregancy then I'm all for it.
Most women who suffered with severe pregnancy sickness, will all recall the one or two food items that they could keep down. For me it was Hula Hoops and cheese sandwiches. Not exactly the most nutritional of foods, particularly when all you're being told is how important it is to eat healthily. That's all well and good, but you try eating sweet potato, spinach and bananas when you've not long brought those bad boys back up, practically whole, as your body didn't even give you time to digest them before it rejected anything that was remotely healthy. Hula Hoops, toast and H2O was just about the only thing that kept me going for 12 weeks...although this did have painful repercussions. Bring on the laxatives!
And so the vicious cycle continued. I couldn't keep down anything healthy, which meant my body didn't have the goods it needed to flush my system through. Lovely, I know. Leaving me with a stomach the size of a woman carrying quads and in so much pain that I sobbed about my troubles to a poor pharmacist lady who was very understanding. I don't think she'd heard the phrase "give me the drugs" from a woman prior to labour who wasn't some sort of mental drug addict before. She introduced me lactulose and it's been nothing short of a life saver. Safe to use in pregnancy, it helped ease a bucket load of discomfort. How pleasant.
Let's Face It Skin
As a result of my sickness, bad diet, constipation, combined with PCOS, my skin was left in a dreadful state that made Golam look like a beaut. Told you that you wouldn't find any glamour here. So my best friend during the day became the Rimmel Wake Me Up Concealer to cover up my dark circles and sore spotty complexion. At night I've been lathering up with Sudocrem to soothe the really inflamed parts of my face, which is unbelievably unattractive, but at this point, you're really past caring about being attractive. Sorry Hubster...you love me whatever right?
I've always had trouble dressing my stomach even before it started protruding in an entirely different direction- what was once three rolling speed bumps, surprisingly quickly started to sculpt itself into one hump. As lovely as this was to see, it meant that I've had to undo all my trousers every time I sat down, even from as early as 8 weeks, which left me no choice but to invest in my first pair of maternity leggings. Where the heck have these been hiding all my life? These H&M Maternity Leggings are seriously one of the comfiest items of clothing I have ever worn and I felt my stomach breath a sigh of relief when I slipped them on. Sickness and all, I felt like I could conquer the world in these beauties and at the bargain price of £7.99, I'm never going back to normal leggings. Ever.
Thinking About Names
There was one lovely aspect to our first trimester and that was keeping it a secret. It made that time all the more precious and I loved nothing more than coming home from work and talking about Our Little Secret with the Hubster. But the topic that came up the most was about choosing a name for our little bean. It's a huge decision and one that needs to be discussed early on as friends and family can beat you to it or you can simply change your minds. We really enjoyed using the Baby Names Genius App. It was so easy and fun to use, plus it's free to download via iTunes. With over 50,000 names on it's database you can generate new names with a click of the bubble, then save the names you like, where they originate from, plus see how popular a name is with other users. I love calling out new names to the Hubster to see what he thinks...we're still a long way off from deciding, but we'll get there, hopefully by the time he/she arrives.
What things got you through your first trimester? Let me know in the comments below...!
Until next time,
With Love & First Trimester,
Disclosure: I was asked to review the Baby Names App. Thank you for supporting the brands that make this blog possible.