Becoming a mum has always been my dream and those that know me well will openly tell you I have been talking about the day my dream would come true for many years now.
Meeting so many woman through the years going through pregnancy and getting to experience motherhood always made me want to be in the same boat and just be able to know what it truly felt like to have another human growing inside you.
With the disease Endometriosis being something I have battled with since the age of ten (will go into this deeper in another post) it has always been in the back of my mind, hovering there wondering if I would ever get the chance to easily fall pregnant when the time came. Nath and I knew that we didn’t want to start trying until after our wedding, we are a little old fashioned that way. We also didn’t want to announce when we were planning on trying to the whole world because that daunting feeling of it maybe not being that easy was still there.
Skipping a head a bit May came round and we knew it was time. 28th May I had missed my period for two days and I couldn’t wait anymore. I took two tests and bam there they were – two bright lines!
I hope to write more about our journey into trying for a baby at another time but for now let me share what these first twelve weeks of pregnancy really turned out to be.
Starting from five weeks pregnant the nausea and tiredness kicked in and it only got worse from there.
Nausea, Vomiting and Indigestion
Ok, so its very well known that most woman at least suffer from nausea during their first trimester. I was what I thought prepared for this and even though hadn’t vomited in quite some years was aware I would probably feel crappy. What I wasn’t prepared for was the level of this I would be hit with. From five weeks pregnant the nausea kicked in and I had no choice but to share with my workmates the news. There was no way I could hide how gross I felt. At first I seemed to be able to control the feeling by eating often and by often I mean like every hour! but by seven weeks the tiny little sprout inside me decided to make it harder and the vomiting began.
So, you know what tummy bugs are like? Yeah well think of that except in my head I swear this seemed so much worse. After my first vomit that was it, I didn’t stop vomiting and continued to vomit TEN times over two days.
Anything I ate or drank came up and my genuine response was to cry and feel so broken inside. Thankfully my doctor had given me some meds to try if I needed when she knew I was feeling so nauseous. I had to give in at this point and take one so I did, I was so grateful to stop vomiting at least for the time being but the side effects kicked in – constipation and extreme tiredness!
Then the indigestion kicked in. I have never been one to suffer from indigestion or heart burn so this was just horrid to me. By week eight the food I was able to stomach I had to be cautious of because some would just give me indigestion and then come straight back up. Gaviscon clearly became one of my best friends though as it does for most pregnant women. I was happy to at least be able to eat and enjoy some things though and with most staying down but the nausea was almost always there.
By week nine and ten each day had just become different and so up and down. I would feel good for a large amount of time overall and then out of no where be hit with a lot of horrific vomiting. Even having a shower would make me vomit and all I started to feel was this was never going to end.
There are so many things people say to do to help, like before getting out of bed eat a dry cracker. I did this, did not work. Sometimes I would wake and not have even gotten out of bed yet and I would vomit up bile so you really just have to find what works for you!
I believe my hardest weeks were week nine and ten, the night that absolutely broke me was during week ten when a simple plain salad for dinner became my worst enemy. After consuming this simple healthy salad indigestion kicked in and by now I knew that if indigestion had appeared then vomit was bound to appear too. Between 8pm and midnight I vomited four times. I felt the worst I had felt the entire pregnancy so far and officially was broken.
All I could do was cry; I was tired, completely empty and really wondering what road I had put myself down.
The doctor then saved me. As I sat in that doctors room I cried and cried and couldn’t help it. She almost put me on a drip because I was so dehydrated but luckily with new medication I started to be able to hydrate myself a bit more and keep food down. Ondanstetron and Ranitidine were my golden tickets.
Unfortunately side effects came with these though with constipation being another unwanted friend.
To skip ahead a little the road continued to be up and down and I was still vomiting at weeks thirteen and fourteen. I truly thought it would never end and that I may as well get used to this being my life until our baby joined us. I remember saying to Nathan “I just want to feel normal again.”
Then finally, at fifteen weeks the vomiting stopped.
Indigestion still stuck with me for a while longer and I found myself having to take Ranitidine quite often but at least the time had come where I felt almost back to my normal self before pregnancy became the new me.
Again, there are the typical things you hear that naturally come with pregnancy but I definitely had never experienced this level of tiredness before. The amount of sleep I had from weeks five to fifteen was insane with most nights consisting of being in bed for at least 11 to 12 hours at a time. Of course my sleeps easily became broken each night between vomiting, indigestion and weeing often but overall my bed had seen me more then anyone else had in many weeks. Everything seems to come with a side effect whether good or bad these days and unfortunately with my bed being my frequently seen friend I ended up screwing my neck and head badly.
Still to this day I am suffering with the pain and I haven’t been completely sickness or pain free since May this year.
Reading above you can obviously tell that food wasn’t making me feel very good for quite some time. I did find some foods became my staples though and the healthy food idea went out the door because in the end all my focus became was to keep food inside me!
Carbs and dry food were what I stomached most and it wasn’t long before I realised that our little baby sprout at least liked peanut butter toast. There are many theories around nuts with one being that you shouldn’t eat them often in pregnancy otherwise it will give your child allergies, then theres the other theory that if you do eat them they will prevent your child from having allergies. For me, it was the last thing I cared about at the time and just enjoying something and it not making me vomit was a highlight.
Any form of fruit and veges my body wasn’t really liking and I often found these were the foods that would create indigestion easily too. Cravings never really kicked in for anything in particular either but I found myself thinking about wanting to eat things I knew I couldn’t, like cream donuts and cheesecake!
The sad part was that the foods I was enjoying would often leave the most disgusting taste in my mouth afterwards so it made being able to stomach some foods also depressing as I knew what the result would be in the end.
Other foods I enjoyed was pikelets, noodles in soup, cornflakes/cereal, lollies, mashed egg sandwiches and I lived off mints and barley sugars.
TV and Movies
I have never been one to binge watch TV shows and I generally am very selective of movies with always sticking to the same genres and not branching out to far. Boy oh boy over these fifteen weeks did I watch my fair share of TV and find myself sitting on the couch for large periods of time.
So I was already fourteen episodes behind on Masterchef Australia but hey before long I caught up and then before you know it I finished the entire season.
Whilst watching Masterchef my usual Home and Away would be chosen at times but the big one of all was me deciding to watch Gilmore Girls right from the beginning.
I remember loving the show when I was younger but I must have only watched a few episodes and never watched the whole seven seasons from start to finish. Something I noticed whilst suffering from horrific morning sickness was my energy was always low and the ability to even be able to do anything that involved really thinking was not in any way possible. The good old television distracted me enough to forget how awful I felt thankfully and so the beginning of Gilmore Girls Season One started. Lorelei and Rory helped me survive and now at twenty three weeks as I reflect on this time I come to the very end of the reboot season ‘The year in the life’.
As for movies well I am one for my usual favs and I needed to revisit some of my fondest memories as a child watching those movies I will continue to watch for the rest of my life.
Some of these included – New York Minute, Pollyanna, The Notebook, The Lizzie Mcguire movie… you see what I am getting at!
This was the most stressful part of it all for me. Being a teacher you are always on your feet and you can’t just casually take a break whenever you need. Children deserve attention and to have those experiences given to them and I felt horrible not being able to be the teacher I wanted and was expected to be. Before I started vomiting it seemed no one quite understood what I was going through. People who were parents already just compared me to their situation and if theirs hadn’t been bad they didn’t understand. Then people who weren’t parents at all didn’t quite understand in general. I just felt so alone in how I was feeling and felt like I was just being a pain all round.
Once the vomiting kicked in I had no choice but to take leave and thankfully my head office granted me leave without pay for three weeks to begin with. I was also grateful that this would stretch to over 4.5 weeks as holidays were coming up and would be included. All I was praying was by twelve weeks I would be ok to return to work and not leave my team in the lurch.
Without getting into further detail it was challenging and by twelve weeks I still needed to take a couple more weeks off as like mentioned above the vomiting was still present. After more stress and lots of organising with head office my request of my hours being reduced instead of me going back to full time or early maternity leave was accepted. Working two days a week has helped and been so much more achievable for me. At the end of the day you just really have to do whats best for you and your baby, thats all I could keep reminding myself.
Even though these weeks were rough there were positives and there are things I am grateful for.
My husband Nathan is incredible and he is what got me through. He watched me vomit more then he should have ever had to have witness, he held my hair back, he even ate his dinner next to me as I poured my guts out into that dreaded blue bucket.
Alongside this he heard me complain multiple times, he put up with my crazy emotions as I weeped often, he did the supermarket shopping weekly all by himself and the biggest of all he sacrificed having his birthday dinner out and instead stayed at home with my not so flash home cooking at the time.
It was challenging not being able to express how I was feeling to most people as the only people who knew that I was expecting until twelve weeks were Nathan, my parents, my workmates and two friends. The highlights during this time though was getting to see our precious little bundle on the TV in the scanning room. At seven weeks and then at twelve weeks we got to experience this and seeing the joy spread across Nath’s face as he clutched my hand made me realise that it was all worth it. So even though it’s been one of the most challenging rides this year I know that it will also be one of the best journey’s I have ever been on once I hold baby sprout in my arms.
until next time,