My Pregnancy Journey: First Trimester

Part I of a series that looks at the good, the bad, and the ugly of being pregnant – and for all the women who are currently pregnant, you got this!

Part I of a series that looks at the good, the bad, and the ugly of being pregnant – and for all the women who are currently pregnant, you got this!

Like every first-time expectant mother, the Internet was and is my best friend, from the very start of my pregnancy. I would spend an endless amount of time researching and reading articles about what to expect, what my body is going through week by week, how the baby should be developing, what I should be doing, what I shouldn’t be doing, and how I should be feeling etc.

Although researching and reading articles is great, especially finding out what fruit or vegetable my baby was equivalent to every week(!), what I really wanted to read online was brutal honesty of what to expect month by month and that’s something that I couldn’t find. We all know that pregnancy isn’t an easy process but a lot of the articles that I came across were somewhat sugar-coated. What the articles don’t tend to tell you is that the solution they are putting forward doesn’t necessarily work for everyone because no two pregnancies are the same.

Every woman has her own experience. Some have an easy pregnancy and some difficult. Some get all the ‘glow’ and others all the pregnancy rashes! But what I learned and am still in the process of learning is to take it a day at a time and listen to my body, its needs, and to trust my instincts.

My pregnancy was planned so before taking the test, I tried to stay in tune with my body, looking out for the usual pregnancy signs. Leading up to finding out I was pregnant, I noticed I was really bloated all the time which isn’t normal for me. The rest of the symptoms I experienced were no different to PMS symptoms. When I first found out that I was pregnant, I took a standard pregnancy test.

So at this point, I didn’t know how far along I was. Naively I assumed I was a week or so! A few weeks later I took a clear blue test which indicates how far along you may be and I discovered that I was more than 1 month pregnant. Almost immediately after finding out, my nausea symptoms kicked in. Luckily, I wasn’t amongst those who had severe ‘morning sickness’. I vomitted very rarely and soon after felt completely fine. But I would experience the feeling of nausea very strongly every day which I found was way worse because I didn’t get any relief from that feeling.

The internet will tell you that you will usually experience sickness in the morning. I’m here to tell you that isn’t always the case. When my nausea started it was all over the place. There was no set timings of when it would happen. But I soon learned that it was triggered by hunger. The moment my stomach rumbled, it was go time. And I mean drop what you’re doing and find yourself a snack ASAP.

A pattern had also developed, instead of ‘morning sickness’ I had ‘evening sickness’. As soon as I finished work, during my commute home my nausea was at its peak. This was accompanied by; loss of appetite, an increased sense of smell, and a strange ‘metal taste’ In my mouth all the time – the best way to describe it is, it’s as though you’re sucking copper coins. Not that I’ve ever tried that…no really, I haven’t.

Needless to say, my commute home on the tubes and DLR were horrendous. I would contemplate running off at a random stop just in case I puke. Talking was out of the question as I would literally gag on air and although it’s a great way for people to move away from me, I could have done without the looks of disgust from random strangers. My evenings were a complete disaster. Eating dinner was impossible. Just the idea of stepping foot in the kitchen made me feel extremely sick, the process of making dinner made me feel sick, and everything I made tasted horrible to me.

I noticed that I was put off of random things such as chicken keema which I had 3lbs of in the freezer! Just the thought of it was sickening to me. I was put off pasta and if you know me, you’ll know I LOVE pasta. In addition to that, I was put off mochas which was really upsetting, because having a mocha every morning before work along with a pain au chocolate from my favourite cafe (Apestat, Islington, London) was crucial to my morning routine.

I read online that a lot of women tend to have a craving for things they used to have in their childhood. Things that they probably haven’t eaten in years. For me, that was hot chocolate although it didn’t last very long. I craved my mothers cooking all the time, but being so far away from my family didn’t help at all. Apparently ginger helps with nausea. I know this because every single person who I came across liked to tell me to have ginger. Ginger tea, ginger biscuits, crackers, anything with ginger.

Once again, I am here to tell you this did not work for me. I hated ginger anything pre-pregnancy and during pregnancy, ginger made me even more sick. Hey, even water/flavoured water triggered my sickness. The only thing I remember easing my nausea were Starbursts which I heavily relied on in the evenings. Most of my time during this trimester was spent running back and forth to the bathroom, peeing and if I wasn’t peeing, with my head hanging over the toilet just in case I puke.

I was exhausted all the time and constantly wanted to rest. I somehow still managed to force myself to workout every day. I am used to doing HIIT training and I didn’t change my workouts during the beginning of my first trimester. However, leading up to my second trimester, I did modify some moves to be cautious and also stopped working out my abs altogether.

At nights, I would have an odd sensation in my abdomen which felt like my uterus was really sore – I believe what I was feeling is known as growing pains which is what you feel when your uterus gradually grows, causing cramping in your lower abdomen and lower back. It would cause me discomfort when turning sides during the night because it felt like I had to literally hold onto my abdomen to turn sides, despite there being nothing there to hold at this point.

Oh, I nearly forgot to mention the overwhelming emotions that take over. I remember being so exhausted from not being able to eat anything, being homesick, not feeling like myself, and with the added stress of having no support that I would burst into tears out of exhaustion whilst walking home from the train station in the evenings.

Apparently, the second trimester is supposed to be much more enjoyable, so have a read of my next blogpost about my experience!

This article was originally published on the author’s website, Safura’s Corner, and can be found here.