There’s no denying pregnancy is pretty magical, it’s really quite incredible when you think about the fact that you are growing a tiny human being inside your body. Nature is pretty marvellous. But, well, despite what the media likes to portray of pregnancy, being pregnant doesn’t always feel that magical. Most media images of pregnant women show glowing skin, radiant complexions and a lot of the less fun aspects of pregnancy are very much glossed over.
This post will highlight some of those less enjoyable aspects – not because I want to scare anyone or put you off being pregnant. It is magical feeling those kicks and the symptoms really are different for everyone. But I just want to get this post out there for any mummies to be who are feeling less than yummy. Know that you are not alone, and what you are going through is perfectly normal.
Because, for some of us, pregnancy isn’t exactly a bed of roses.
I turned 12 weeks last week (I had my first scan on Friday) and am in that delightful stage where I no longer fit into some of my clothes (bye bye skinny jeans for a while) but am not looking pregnant. Family and friends are starting to notice the beginnings of a bump, that slightly rounded tum, but to anyone who doesn’t know I am pregnant, let’s face it, I just look a bit chubby!
Now, I have never been a skinny girl, I have big wide hips and a rather rotund bottom. I have always been a definite pear shape and while occasionally I could squeeze into size 12 trousers, size 14 (and sometimes 16) trousers have always been the norm for me. Top half though is more of a 10-12. As a teenager I hated my lower half, being given the nickname “thunder thighs” by one of my brother’s friends didn’t help with that, but as I got older I learnt to at least accept my body shape and be happy with what I’ve got. One of the benefits of being pear shaped is that I always had a fairly flat tum. I’m not talking washboard abs or anything, but I have always carried weight around hips and bum, rather than on my tummy.
So one of the things I find tricky to come to terms with when I get pregnant, is the expansion above the waistline. My boobs get a bit ridiculous really early on, I have another post about them planned but so far I have gone from a 32D to a 36E, last time I reached a 36G, bonkers. Anyway then obviously my tummy soon stops being flat. This seems to happen quite quickly for me, I guess it is different with everyone and must depend on your body shape but because I am used to having little in the way of a tum, maybe I notice it bulging sooner?
It’s not all from baby either, I am happy to admit that I am eating a little more than pre-pregnancy. Not loads, and I know the whole eating for 2 is a myth, but you know what? I find pregnancy tiring. Really tiring, so to get through the day I snack more than normal, and eat a bit more chocolate because it helps me feel better. And if there is one time in your life where you shouldn’t worry about a couple of extra pounds I feel it should be when you are growing another human being inside your body. I lost my baby weight after Monkey, (thank you WW) and so I know I can do it again. Plus I can’t be overeating that much as the only places I am growing is tummy and boobs, everything else seems about the same size.
The problem with all of this is flattering clothing. I love the look of a lovely baby bump, but I’m not there yet. It’s obviously too soon for maternity clothes, but I also can no longer wear many of my pre-pregnancy clothes, as my waistline is expanding. As a SAHM a lot of my outfits involve colourful skinny jeans and slightly loose longline tops, as I spend a lot of the time on hands and knees playing and I HATE the builders bum you can get in low-rise jeans! But I can’t get into those skinny jeans anymore, there would be no hiding the builders bum with the excess weight I am now carrying. Plus with morning sickness and the odd bit of heartburn I hate my tummy feeling restricted as I expand. So what do I wear?
Leggings and dresses. Lots of leggings and lots of tunics and dresses!! I took a trip to Primarni (Primark, just pretending it’s posher than it is) for a load of £5 tunic dresses the other day as while I had a few, I by no means had enough to be wearing one every day. And I honestly don’t know what else to wear!
A few of my dress combos, ignore the socks and slippers lol!
I’m not buying more jeans in a bigger size, because there’s no point, I will grow out of them super fast, and I hate feeling restricted. I have lots of maternity jeans and clothes from last time but it feels daft wearing them yet. Interestingly I had a conversation a while ago with an ex-friend who was pregnant, telling me that her clothes were too tight and she couldn’t do them up. I excitedly commented it may be time for maternity clothes soon, and honestly, the look she gave me! “Er no, I won’t be needing maternity clothes” as if I couldn’t possibly have suggested anything worse! Barmy really. Think she planned on leggings and jumpers/dresses for the rest of the pregnancy, but honestly, I am bored of this ‘uniform’ already and will be looking forward to some variety!
After all, this phase is just temporary, and when my current leggings get too tight I will break out the maternity leggings. Then will follow the maternity jeans and as I will be pregnant over the summer this time I may get some maternity shorts. It has surely got to be about comfort!?
But for now, I will stick to my routine of leggings and dresses, to hide the slightly flabby looking bump, until it starts looking more like an actual ‘bump’!
What did you find most comfortable when you were pregnant? Particularly in the early stages? Or did you manage to keep your regular wardrobe a bit longer than I have?
The first trimester of pregnancy can be pretty rough. I know it’s not the same for every woman, some have an easier time than others, and some have it far far worse than me, but in general it can be a difficult time.
You find out you are pregnant and feel really excited, but you’re not supposed to tell anyone yet, in case something goes wrong. Then the symptoms kick in. Morning (or all day) sickness, exhaustion, aches, pains, heartburn, constipation, flatulence. All sorts of joyful fun to experience, let alone physical changes such as bigger boobs, and potentially a rounding of the tummy. All the while you are supposed to be keeping it secret.
Even while you are feeling all of these physical effects, I find that for me, the pregnancy still doesn’t feel real at this stage. I guess after the initial excitement of the positive test wears off, I hold myself back from being too happy, just in case. Plus when you feel rough every day it is hard to feel positive about it. There is no doubt that being lucky enough to fall pregnant and bear a child is a blessing, but that doesn’t make it fun. And I don’t think you should have to pretend that it is, if that is not how you feel.
Anyway, digressing, the weeks tick by and, whether you’ve kept it completely secret, or told a few people, to most people in the world, nothing is happening, and even with feeling a bit rough, there are times when you wonder if anything is happening too. I guess what I am saying is that sometimes it is hard to equate the changes to your body, with the life growing inside of you.
Then comes the day of your scan – which I think they call the 11-14 week dating scan now, but it is usually around the 12 week mark. You are excited to see your little one, but nervous as for most mummies this is the first time you see what is going on in there. There’s obviously the nerves associated with wondering if all is ok and developing as it should be.
You go into the ultrasound room and within a few minutes you suddenly see this little baby on the screen. Not a cluster of cells, or a tadpole like creature (that you will probably have seen if you read any of the early ‘your baby this week’ articles on the web) but a teeny tiny human, with arms and legs and a little heart fluttering away it’s own rhythm. It is a truly incredible moment to see that small baby, that you have grown inside you.
It suddenly feels real, and, if all is well, relief washes over you. It doesn’t mean all is safe from here on in of course, but for now, you can see your new little one. That little person created by you and your partner, who is growing and developing safely in your tummy.
We saw baby number 2 on Friday and he/she was such a little wriggle bum, flipping about all over the place. Kicking their little legs about, touching their face with their hands, rolling all over the show while the ultrasound technician was trying to get the measurements.
The first trimester is done (or nearly) and the risks of miscarriage greatly reduce. You can take a sigh of relief and tell the world if you want to. Show them that first picture of your little one. Look forward to the second trimester, where the symptoms *should* reduce and you could hopefully start to feel better and less exhausted.