Just in case you missed the title or the featured picture, I’m excited to announce that I am pregnant with my third child. The kids are excitedly awaiting their new sibling and keep suggesting names – only boys names which obviously indicates their preferences! Now the difficult first trimester is over and I can relax a little, I’m going to enjoy this fun and exciting time before the chaos hits me.
Needless to say, this news was a bit of a shock and I didn’t even suspect pregnancy until I had a sickness bug that seemed to resolve itself by midday for two days in a row. It was then that I started to wonder and I realised that I needed to test! We (and everyone around us) were extremely surprised, but pleasantly so. Babies are blessings and we’re all excitedly awaiting the arrival of the new little one next summer.
My First Trimester
What do the Duchess of Cambridge and I have in common? Sadly it’s not a stash of tiaras and wealthy husbands but hyperemesis gravidarum. Apart from the subchorionic hematoma that I experienced during my second pregnancy, I’ve been blessed to have had two previous relatively easy pregnancies. I rarely felt unwell and definitely wasn’t sick. To be honest, even though I had the clot, I felt quite well. I can’t say that this time around.
The hyperemesis has meant that I have had relentless nausea and morning sickness to the point where I’ve been eating and drinking very little. Simply because even the tiniest sip of water made me heave. Running on empty when you are growing a person, parenting two others and teaching thirty more is no fun. At all. I’ve never been so drained in my life. And that’s even before the first trimester exhaustion kicked in and I started regularly falling asleep on the sofa at 7pm.
How Is Pregnancy Different The Third Time Around?
The strangest thing that I found about revealing my pregnancy this time around was that friends and family were less happy. There was kind of an underlying theme of ‘are you guys crazy?!?’ and ‘how will you manage so many kids?!?’. I found this a little difficult to deal with at first – hormones probably – but when people realised that we’re happy and able to manage, they were happy too.
It’s been over 4 years since my last pregnancy, a lot has changed. (Including the fact that you no longer get your Green Notes and instead it’s all online. Weird) I now obviously work full-time and have two older children to entertain and feed even when I feel drained. This has made my pregnancy exceptionally more difficult as I really can’t just go for a nap, like I did when expecting my eldest or look forward to my days off like when carrying my youngest. I’m on the go constantly and frankly, I’m finding I’m having to force myself to put my feet up when I need to. Let’s just say we’ve ordered in a lot and ignored the housework this trimester.
One difference with this pregnancy that has made me feel disappointed is the fact that because I’m not a first-time mum, I definitely feel like my concerns and requests are taken a lot more seriously just because I’ve done it before. This is a double-edged sword. For all the relative ease of my pregnancies, my labours have been difficult. Because of this, I’m already more assertive when discussing the kind of care that I’d like to receive. However, it bugs me a little when I think back to how easily my queries were dismissed during my first pregnancy.
My First Trimester Essentials
Like I’ve said, this first trimester has been extremely challenging for me. Although I’m glad it’s finally over, there have been a few glimpses of light and my essentials have definitely got me through.
As I’m no medical expert, I feel it’s unwise to state exactly what I was prescribed. However, I will say that if your sickness and nausea are debilitating, speak to your doctor about getting medicine to help you. Sickness is a part of pregnancy, constant sickness is not. The anti-sickness medication that I’ve been taking has stopped me from being dehydrated and made me feel human again, It’s worth it.
Change of Diet
My sister works within the health and fitness industry and when she had got over the shock of my third pregnancy, she recommended that I overhaul my diet. I dutifully followed her instructions because she’s expert and I have reduced my consumption of fatty foods and sugar as much as possible. I’m trying hard to introduce more fruit and vegetables into my diet but this hasn’t been the easiest task as unfortunately I still have quite a few food aversions at the moment. I’ve learnt I just have to eat what I can, when I can. Overall, I feel more energised and less nauseous when I eat well. It’s simple but it works.
Staying Away From Pregnancy Forums
During my first pregnancy, I looked at pregnancy forums all the time and somehow managed to convince myself that I had a multitude of problems. Nothing was ever wrong, I’m just part hypochondriac, part anxiety-sufferer. Whilst these forums can be helpful, it’s important to remember that they only represent a very small percentage of pregnant women and therefore pregnancy issues seem more frequent than they actually are. If you want to discuss pram choices or the best place to buy muslin cloths, then the forums are a good place to start, For proper medical advice, see a professional. Your anxiety levels will thank you for it.
Because I haven’t been eating properly for quite a lot of this first trimester, I wanted to make sure that I was getting all of the vitamins and minerals that I and the baby needed. Although my booking in blood tests didn’t show an iron deficiency, I was on the lower side of normal and wanted to make sure that I didn’t get any lower. For those who haven’t heard of it, Spatone is a liquid iron supplement that you can either drink by itself (if you’re brave, it has an incredibly metallic taste) or as I do, mix it with orange juice.
I find mixing it with orange juice ensures that the taste is undetectable meaning I can actually drink it and reap the benefits. Plus, Vitamin C helps the absorption of iron so I’m really helping myself out – and not just giving into my cravings for oranges. Spatone is all-natural and safe for pregnant women and children over 2, but as with all supplements check with your doctor before starting it.
I’m sure there are other pregnancy multi-vitamins out there that are just as good but this is the one that works best for me. I feel strangely reassured by knowing that I am getting the correct vitamins and minerals even though I have days when my diet is far from perfect. I used Pregnacare in each of my previous pregnancies and apart from it turning my wee bright orange, I’ve never had a problem with it as long as I eat it with my main meal. With hyperemesis, that’s easier said than done.
Sleep, Sleep And More Sleep
In life there is tired, and then there is pregnancy tired. I have spent the last few weeks feeling beyond exhausted as my body focuses all of its energy of growing a tiny human. Even a 7pm bedtime and the occasional nap doesn’t quite cut it. I need all of the sleep and when I do get it, I feel a million times better for it.
When my sickness was at its worst, I tried literally every remedy known to man. The world and his wife recommended ginger nuts to me and when I was desperate, I tried it. Did it help? Not really. I still had lots of days where I was pretty sick but on my good days, being able to snack on something at regular intervals meant I kept my energy levels consistent.
I mean it when I say that me and my Harry Potter water bottle have become best friends. It literally never leaves my hand. After being hospitalised with dehydration, I am extremely conscious of not drinking enough and even on my worst sickness days, I’ve learnt to sip slowly. Everything just feels better when you’ve had a drink even if it is just water. I’m counting down the days to gin!
Did you use any of these during your first trimester?
If not, what were your pregnancy essentials?
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