From the first day of pregnancy, the female body develops so it has the capability to bring an innocent little baby into the world. A mother’s perspective about her body completely changes when she realises just how remarkable her body is by being able to bear a child. People start complimenting you on how glowing and blossoming you look and come on, who doesn’t like a bit of flattery? Your hair starts growing thicker and shinier, your nails grow quicker and stronger, and overall you just feel a lot more sexy about yourself!
However. There’s also another side to it. A side that is a LOT less glam. The more real side.
The first trimester (week 1-13)
One of the first symptoms I had was the sheer exhaustion. If you know me, you’ll already know that sleep is very precious (God help me in 9 weeks!). I have to have at least 8 hours of sleep each night or there’s no chance of you getting any sense out of me. I remember before even taking the pregnancy test I came home from work one evening and decided that I needed a little sit down on the sofa. Low and behold, 3 hours later I had Danny waking me up saying it was 8pm! I’d say that I’m a self-proclaimed nap queen, but that was a bit much even for myself!
Morning sickness. Morning? What about morning, afternoon and evening? That sounds more like what I had! Now, I don’t feel like I can complain too much about my sickness because I had it a lot easier than other women, but my God, morning sickness is not fun! It’s especially annoying when you feel sick all day, you go to the toilet to finally be sick, and.. nothing. Just a whole lot of dry heaving. And believe me, dry heaving is not a great thing when the world is in the middle of a global pandemic and the government has brought in a rule that everyone should wear face masks in public places! Having to get Danny to stop the car on the side of the road on the way home from Lidl because I needed to vomit wasn’t one of my finest moments.. Feeling like you need to throw up + face masks + gag reflex = NIGHTMARE.
Second trimester (week 14-27)
The second trimester tends to be a lot better than the first. The sickness starts to disappear, your energy levels start to rise and things start to feel a lot easier.
People tell you “enjoy your second trimester, things go back to normal by then before changing again when you reach your third trimester!” This is true to an extent, but by now, the changes are more internal.
PELVIC FLOOR. What’s that? Make sure to bid farewell to your ability to laugh, cough or sneeze without having to cross your legs! I’ve got to be honest, I found this one particularly hard. Before I fell pregnant, I used to see the adverts on TV for Tena Ladies and I used to think that I wouldn’t be needing those for years, but here I am – 23 years old – and I’m losing control of my bladder. Great.
One night – I’d gone about 20 weeks by this point – we were watching Banshee on Sky (if you haven’t watched Banshee, make sure to add the series to your watch list!) Anyway.. at some point in the episode, I had the urge to sneeze and before I was able to cross my legs, it happened. On my light grey sofa, my wee went THROUGH my trousers and onto the sofa. Mortifying. I’m lucky after being in a relationship for six years, there’s not a lot of things that can make me feel embarrassed in front of Danny but, my god, my cheeks were bright red when I had to go get some kitchen roll to dry my wee off of the sofa.
Leg cramps. These are so painful, and even worse at three o’clock in the morning! There’s not a lot of things that can wake me up once I’m asleep (I genuinely think I could sleep through an earthquake) but I’m sure that Danny thought that the baby was coming one night with the scream that came out of my mouth!
Another thing I had were vivid and strange dreams. I’m not talking about one or two, I’m talking about such dreams nearly every night. At the start of the latest lockdown, we started watching Vikings on Amazon Prime (another programme to add to your watch list – AMAZING!).
There’s a baddie called ‘Ivar the Boneless’ in the series, and well, in my dream, Ivar had come all the way from Scandinavia to Llandwrog on a double decker bus where he held me and my family hostage in my grandparents’ house. Why a double decker bus? Why Nain and Taid’s house? Completely absurd.
Third trimester (week 28-40)
I’ve only gone 31 weeks therefore I don’t have as much input when it comes to the third trimester, but up to now, the tiredness has come back tenfold. I never really bother wearing makeup to work – I’d rather have an extra 15 minutes in bed – but lately the bags under my eyes have been a bit excessive for me not to have to wear a bit of slap (thanks, pregnancy insomnia.)
Nothing gives your self-esteem more of a battering than having people comment on how glowing you look for two days straight when wearing makeup, only to come in on the third day without any makeup and having people ask if you’re feeling alright.
I’m not sick Jean, just look rough as hell.
I mentioned pregnancy insomnia in the previous paragraph, and can I just say – it is a bitch! Have you ever been that tired you could fall asleep by your desk in work? Or when sitting on the toilet? It’s best for you to go to sleep isn’t it? Think again. It doesn’t matter how comfortable your bed is, or how tired you feel, the combination of your mind working 100 miles per hour, trying to make yourself comfortable and the physical changes make it nearly impossible for you to fall asleep. And just when you finally start falling asleep.. you need the toilet. Bloody typical!
I hope this hasn’t scared women that are hoping to be mothers in the near future. The whole hormonal and physical changes that come with being pregnant are more than worth it, no matter how hard it feels sometimes!
I’d like to hear about your experiences and symptoms if you possibly have any unique ones. Make sure to put them in the comments below!