The first trimester, quite possibly the roughest trimester of pregnancy.
One that, for me, was filled with anxiety, holding my breath, being terrible at keeping secrets and nausea.
Right now I am coming out the other side as I approach 14 weeks pregnant, towards the glory filled days of the second trimester. I am on my way to the glowing and a bump and not being too exhausted.
Fingers crossed anyway.
Those nail biting weeks
From the moment you pee on a stick and see that line develop your life changes. It doesn’t matter whether this is your first pregnancy or your third, you know that big changes are coming your way.
A new life, a new baby, a change in dynamics.
This time, for me, as I watched the faintest of faint lines appear across the Clearblue stick, holding my breath. I knew what to expect.
Or so I thought.
I had been taking Pregnacare ever since we decided that we were ready to add to our family. Religiously every morning popping the specially formulated vitamins with breakfast, after I had studiously taken my temperature for the BBT chart and before I went to pee on an ovulation stick. Who said trying to conceive wasn’t fun, spontaneous or glamorous?! So I knew I was taking the right blend of vitamins, increased folic acid and Vitamin D (seeing as even though we live in the sunshine vitamin D deficiency is all too common here as it gets too hot to go outside). I knew I was doing all the right things, yet I was still nervous.
Nail bitingly so.
I thought that third time round I would find it a breeze, that I would fly through the first trimester no worries. That I was an old hat at it all and the fact that I was doing everything by the book would mean that I wouldn’t worry at all.
Yet that wasn’t the case
This pregnancy has been the most nerve wracking of the three.
With my eldest I wasn’t really sure I was pregnant, then I was and that was that. One early dating scan due to no period after coming off the pill with a tiny baby heartbeat and I was elated. The baby was coming in October and that was the end of it.
With my second, finding out much earlier and being in Dubai, was different again. Blood tests checking rising hCG, which were perfect, and another early scan showing a heartbeat. The baby was coming in April and that was that.
This time round I have been more anxious. With a recent diagnosis of PCOS I knew I had ovulated late and that my pregnancy was running at least a week behind. Yet at my first appointment at 4 weeks pregnant with a LMP showing I would be more like 5 and a bit, I was give a scan.
Do you know what you can see at 4 weeks pregnant?
10 days later my second scan, a point at which with both of the boys I saw a tiny heartbeat, and we went back. A gestational sac, a yolk sac, still no heartbeat, but bleeding.
Brown bleeding, but bleeding nonetheless.
Which continued on for the next week, turning red at one point as I held my breath and prayed.
Another 10 day wait.
Heading back into the room for my official dating scan and a tiny flickering heartbeat on the screen.
A sigh of relief
But here, in Qatar, you get scanned a lot and my next scan had my husband panicking as a glitch in the machine showed two heartbeats.
Utter shock as my doctor uttered those words
Do twins run in your family
A nervous laugh, and no, messages to my husband who was at work and extra scans later, it turned out it was a glitch in the machine.
My 12 week scan
The final hurdle before announcing, and luckily, all was fine. One happy little baby wriggling around and one very excited big brother in the room with us.
Why was I so much more nervous?
I am still not sure why this pregnancy feels more nerve wrecking. Maybe it is because I am more aware of what could happen with more people speaking out about miscarriage and pregnancy problems. Or the fact that I have been reading internet forums about my bleeding, with a high proportion of others doing the same, sharing their experiences which aren’t always good news.
Maybe it’s because my nausea has been limited to the evening and been bearable. That I haven’t really been sick or felt that pregnant.
Whatever it is I have been holding my breath about our little Christmas miracle thats coming.
But they’re coming.
And they are definitely starting to make their presence known.
Cravings, bumps and announcements
Yep, baby is certainly letting me know that they are taking up residence and it’s their way or the highway.
The cravings begin in earnest, ahem toast with butter and peanut butter anyone?! Cake, and anything salty. Like salt and vinegar crisps, so I’m really having to watch myself and my sodium intake – especially being hypertensive already.
As the aversions, (any kind of fish turns me green), are slowly subsiding but not quite leaving. I’ve given up on trying to resist and force myself to eat the things I am struggling with and going for the lashings of peanut butter instead.
I’m all about the cake.
Knowing that I will start to feel better soon and that until then the baby will take from me what they need, that I am taking the correct dose of folic acid, my vitamin D is sufficient and that I will eat vegetables again one day soon, then a Mars bar for breakfast isn’t the end of the world.
That at least the world now knows about our Christmas baby and the big brothers to be.
And that the bump I am sporting isn’t ALL cake.