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Thursday, 30 July 2020

I'm Pregnant! Finding Out & Symtomns

Surprise! I'm pregnant!

It feels so good to be able to say that out loud and for what's felt like the biggest secret in the world to not be a secret anymore. The past few weeks have been challenging to say the least, emotionally and physically, and all I've wanted to do is talk about it but my partner and I wanted to keep this to ourselves (and close family) until we hit the 12 week mark. When I found out I was pregnant I knew I wanted to document my journey on my blog and Instagram, the highs and lows, the reality and everything that comes along with growing a human. This first post is going to be about how I found out and my experience during the first trimester.

Finding Out & First Signs
If you've following my blog or my Instagram for a while then you'll most likely know that I have PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and I've battled imbalanced hormones about 10 years. I've always thought I'd struggle to carry a baby as one of the main symptoms of PCOS is difficulty getting pregnant, and with my irregular periods I didn't even know if I was ovulating or if my body was working correctly.

I stopped taking the contraceptive pill two years ago (blog post about that here) and ever since then I've battled with awful pains every month and irregular periods of anything from 28 day cycles to 48 day cycles. These sometimes long cycles made it impossible to know when I was ovulating but also made it difficult to know every month if my period was on it's way or if perhaps I needed to take a pregnancy test!

In mid-June it got to around the 35th day of my cycle and no sign of my period yet, which wasn't unusual, but something felt different. My very first symptom was a change in appetite, not only was I more hungry than before but I was having food aversions to foods and drink I would normally I love - namely my morning cup of tea, chocolate (crazy!), fish and even porridge. This was teamed with a slight nausea, fatigue and a migraine-type headache, so I thought I probably just had a virus.
Fast forward a week and my period was still a no-show and my symptoms were still the same with a bit more intensity and even stranger appetite (I just wanted all the plain carbs and no vegetables!).
I knew at this point something more was up, so early on a Saturday morning I drove to a shop and picked up a pregnancy test.

My partner was at work on this day and wasn't getting home until about 4pm, so I decided to just take the test by myself. Partly because I couldn't wait that long but also because even though I knew something was up I'd convinced myself I couldn't be pregnant because of all my health issues.
I took the test.....and it was positive. The blue line came up straight away and it was a very strong line. I couldn't believe it. I burst into tears and just kept repeating to myself 'oh my god, oh my god, oh my god'. I then had the long and agonising wait for my partner to get home from home!
I'll keep how I told my partner (Billy) private, but safe to say we're both delighted and feel so blessed.

Weeks 6-12 Symptoms
I was almost 6 weeks when I found out I was pregnant, and boy or boy are they right about the sickness majorly kicking in at 6 weeks. As I said above, I felt really off very early on but between 6-10 weeks it was the worst.

The way I describe to anyone who's not experienced the first trimester joys is a combination of feeling horrendously hungover, like you have the flu and a sickness bug all at the same time.
Let's start with the most infamous early pregnancy symptoms - morning sickness. Ironically my sickness was actually much worse in the afternoon and evenings, as soon as it hit 1pm I'd feel absolutely useless. It was like a cross between extreme car sickness and the worst sickness bug you've ever had - not fun!

In the mornings I'd wake up ravenously hungry but the only thing I could manage to eat was toast and from 6-8 weeks it was marmite on toast and 9-12 weeks was some form of plain cereal.
My appetite was relentless and I noticed if I didn't eat something every hour then I'd feel even more sick, so there was a lot of snacking on toast throughout the first few weeks! I also had a thing for orange & mango juice, salt & vinegar crisps and crumpets. In the evening my appetite almost completely went away as this was when I felt my worst, probably due to tiredness, so eating dinner was a mission in itself. I survived small portions of jacket potatoes, plain pasta, mash potato and funnily enough...veggie shepherds pie!
By week 10 my sickness has approved dramatically. I was still feeling sick in the evenings and my appetite was still off but now I was managing to eat lettuce in my sandwiches, carrot sticks with hummus and cherry tomatoes.

Let's talk about boobs. I've never had the biggest chest, not the smallest but nothing to show off, so suddenly having these two bulging rocks on my chest has been a big adjustment....and I know they're only going to get bigger. This symptom might sound pretty great but actually my boobs have been SO sore and so sensitive, and none of my bras fit anymore which is a bit of a nightmare.

Exhaustion has been one of my most effecting symptoms. I've been going to bed at 7:30pm every night and just feeling totally drained all day long. This is a really common and normal symptom of pregnancy as the body is working super hard making a tiny little life, but it really is awful.
When I was exhaustion, it's not the type of tiredness you get after a big night out, working late at the office or doing a killer workout, it's the sort of fatigue which means you have to crawl up the stairs because you can't muster the energy to walk, your whole body feels heavy, you're fighting a constant battle with yourself to keep your eyes open, you feel delirious because it feels as if you haven't slept in a week.
I've found this symptom especially challenging mentally as well. I've been working full time (thankfully from home!) and trying to keep on top of my normal workload and come up with creative ideas etc, has been near impossible. This symptom has also made me feel like I just have no personality as well, like I'm so tired I can't crack a smile, laugh or even hold a conversation.

Another killer symptom for me has been headaches. I feel like I had a constant headache from week 5 to week 10 without a break. My head just throbbed, my eyes ached and any noise above a whisper would not help the situation! You're allowed to take paracetamol when you're pregnant, but I've only take it twice so far when the pain just got too much to handle.

Food's been difficult during the first trimester. One day I'd be craving something so much it's all I could think about it then the next day the thought of it would make me feel sick! I've had major food aversions and I've craved random foods such as salt & vinegar crisps, crumpets, mcdonalds fries, smoked salmon, rice with soy sauce, cheese and anything zesty!

I could probably go on and on about symptoms but I think I've covered everything major, apart from indigestion but I feel like that's a bit too gross.

I can't wait to share more of my pregnancy journey and eventually life as a new mum!

Live Happy, Live Healthy


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