Before Mia found out she was pregnant, her and Fred had been trying for a baby for two years. During that time, she dreamed about what it would be like to be pregnant. Completely oblivious, she assumed she’d love it, she’d have the amazing pregnancy glow that all the celebrities talked about, and she got angry whenever anyone who actually *was* pregnant complained about it. Like hello, they were complaining about things she would have killed to experience!
She takes all of that back and apologises.
The first trimester for Mia consisted of a lot of toilet hugging, food aversions, smells making her retch, and plenty of days where she couldn’t get out of bed. It wasn’t the happy experience she’d always dreamed it would be. Below are some of the worst symptoms you can experience during the first trimester, Mia’s included.
Mia thinks the term ‘morning sickness’ is a bit of a joke – her nausea and vomiting certainly wasn’t confined to the hours before midday – it carried on all day long and made her feel utterly terrible. Some women on the baby forum she frequented said they enjoyed being sick as it reminded them that they were pregnant; Mia thinks they need psychiatric help as morning sickness contributed to the worst weeks of her life.
Mia did a lot of research into morning sickness remedies. Everything from ginger (bleurgh) to sea bands were suggested. Nothing worked for her. Instead, she survived on fizzy lemonade and crackers – these were the only things she could keep down.
Exhaustion in the first trimester is caused by rising levels of progesterone, but the scientific reasoning for it probably won’t make you feel any better when you’ve got a 9-5 in front of you and all you want to do is sleep. Mia has no idea how those with other children to look after survive.
Experts advise taking naps as and when you can, but really, who has time for this? Experts also suggest eating a healthy diet and exercising. Mia thinks this is hilarious – any woman who can manage to head to the gym and eat salads during the first trimester is like some kind of walking goddess in her eyes.
If the nausea and vomiting wasn’t enough, your baby will soon prevent you from eating all of the foods you previously loved. Mia suddenly gained aversions to macaroni cheese, chicken, butter; pretty much anything normal that wasn’t bread, crackers, Galaxy or Monster Munch. This not only made her sad (she was a big foodie) but left her eating some really weird combinations of food at mealtimes. One meal of a giant Yorkshire pudding containing potato smilies was especially interesting. On another occasion, the only thing she could tolerate was mashed potato – she’s not been able to look at potatoes since.
Guess what happens to the few bits of food you are able to eat? That’s right, they get stuck in your digestive system, and you’ll probably go for days without the ability to take a poop. And when you do… the poop will be so hard it will rip and tear you and send shards of lightning through your butt hole until you’re bent over the toilet bowl crying, wishing you were constipated again. Pregnancy is so glamorous isn’t it?
You can blame progesterone again for the constipation. This makes Mia laugh as it was a lack of progesterone that made it hard for her to conceive in the first place. It’s like her hormones are f**king with her. Drinking prune juice should help here… or really, any kind of liquid you can manage to keep down. An enema is a good back-up plan.
Mia didn’t experience this during the first tri (though she’d have gladly taken it over the nausea). For some women, the first thing that makes them take a test is noticing changes in their breasts. This again is due to your hormones, and Mia’s research shows that it can start within two weeks of conception and continue on until your hormones begin to level out. She’s not sure what a good solution is here, but she recommends a nice, comfortable, non-underwired bra and letting your girls hang free whenever you can. Baby Center recommend running warm water over them too.
Here’s another symptom that Mia luckily didn’t experience, but one that has some ridiculous remedies. This is caused by pregnancy hormones relaxing the valve located between the oesophagus and the stomach – allowing stomach acid to reach your oesophagus. The remedy, according to Mayo Clinic, is to eat small meals often and avoid citrus fruits and chocolate – bit hard to do when mandarin oranges and chocolate are two of the only foods you can keep down Mr Mayo!
Luckily, towards the end of the first trimester, you’ll be given your dating scan and seeing your little bean on the scan screen almost makes all of the symptoms worth it. The symptoms do go away for most women too once the placenta takes over. Mia wishes those of you going through it a lot of good luck. You can do this!
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