Pregnancy Diaries: Finding Out & The First Trimester

As I mentioned in my life and blogging update earlier this month, I’m pregnant! Which of course means there are now some exciting things going on in my life that I just can’t resist blogging about.

Today, I’m sharing my first pregnancy diary. I have no idea how many of these I’ll share over the course of my pregnancy, but I love that I have a space on the internet that I can do just that if I want to get things off my chest.

I found reading other bloggers’ first trimester stories so incredibly helpful and reassuring, so I knew I wanted to share mine too. Let me know in the comments section below whether you had any of the same symptoms or experiences during your first trimester, and leave a link to your blog if you have one for me to check out!

And if you’ve just found out you’re pregnant or are part way through your first trimester, keep an eye out for a first trimester tips post coming soon.

Pregnancy Diaries: Finding Out

I found out that I was pregnant at four weeks, so pretty early on. Ryan and I weren’t sure if we would be able to get pregnant without help, because I have had lots of issues with irregular periods since I came off the pill in April of 2018, and was in the process of having lots of tests at the doctors to find out why.

I had already given up drinking and cut back on caffeine to try to give my body the best chance of finding its rhythm again, which is something the doctors suggested might help.

Anyway, my periods were not back to normal at all (although they were improving) but I had been tracking them using an app called Natural Cycles, to help me know when to expect the next one. It worked like a dream – I just had to take my temperature every morning as soon as I woke up, and it would tell me whether or not I had ovulated. Once I had, I knew to expect my period to finally arrive within the next 11-14 days, and it always did.

This time, I had been expecting it to arrive the following day, but I was about to go to a wedding up in Yorkshire and I thought, just in case, I’d take a test to reassure myself that it was safe to treat myself to a little prosecco or two while I was there.

I did not expect to see the tiny faint line that appeared on the test, that’s for sure! Ryan wasn’t home, but I sent a photo of the test to my bestie Zara (who has a seven-month-old now – she would have been four months at the time) asking what she thought. Really I should have just read the instructions, because they said even the faintest line means pregnant.

I didn’t take another test there and then, I just told Ryan when he got home that evening that it was very possible I was pregnant, and then went to the wedding the next day as if everything was normal. I didn’t drink, but I didn’t really think much more of it. I surely wasn’t pregnant, was I?

When I got home the next day, a Clearblue test had arrived from Amazon. I took it, and then passed it to Ryan before the results appeared so that he could be the one to find out for sure first. He said, “well it says a word…” and I was like “okay, what word?” and of course it was pregnant! Eek.

I don’t know about you but I had watched countless videos on YouTube of people finding out they’re pregnant, and I had cried happy tears at most of them. I fully expected to have the same reaction when I had my first positive pregnancy test, but instead, I just said “Oh, cool!” before being overwhelmed by a sense of absolute terror.

I had no doubt in my mind that I wanted a baby, and Ryan did too, and that now was as good a time as any to have one, but in that moment I realised that I have to grow this baby for nine months and hope that it’s healthy and that I’m healthy. That was just one of the many worries racing around my mind and it took me a good week or so to calm them down!

One of several of our positive pregnancy tests, two sets of photos from our two scans, and an awesome baby book that our friend Jess got for us from Typo 🙂

Weeks Four and Five: Cramping and Anxiety

Weeks four and five were definitely the easiest for me, although at the time I found them really difficult. I was still in a sort of surreal state, I didn’t really believe I could be pregnant and I had huge amounts of anxiety about losing the baby, so I didn’t get excited or attached in any way to the idea that I could have a baby in my arms later in the year.

The only people that knew at this point were Ryan, Zara and Bradley (who is Zara’s husband and Ryan’s twin), and while it was incredible to have their support, particularly as Zara had been through this earlier in the year, I felt incredibly lonely.

During these weeks, the only pregnancy symptom I had was really bad cramping. It felt like period pains and it would wake me up in the night. I found that yoga and stretching really helped ease the pain, but it worried me an awful lot. I called the Early Pregnancy Unit to ask them about it, but they didn’t seem overly concerned. Instead, they told me to take Paracetamol for the pain which helped a bit but I still found myself feeling very anxious about it. Zara has never had cramping and I stupidly Googled things and convinced myself that it was an Ectopic pregnancy.

Weeks Six to Nine: Bleurgh

Thankfully, when week six hit the cramping had completely stopped so did the anxiety. I’d been booked in for my first appointment (which is supposed to be at ten weeks but ended up being at eight because of my irregular periods situation) and things started to feel a little bit more real.

I was still not attached at all to the baby – I kept thinking it might not be alive, it might not be there at all, maybe my body has imagined it. My mind just wouldn’t let me believe that there could be a healthy baby in there.

By the middle of week six, after a couple of lovely symptom-free days, the reality of the first trimester hit. I want to reiterate here that I am so grateful to be pregnant, so I always feel incredibly guilty when I’m complaining about symptoms, but when you’re spending every morning hanging over the toilet bowl and wondering when this is going to end it’s really difficult to think about how lucky you are!

I would describe the overall feeling of these weeks as a mixture between jet lagged and hungover. It’s an extreme tiredness and nausea that really wears you down. I didn’t like any of the foods that normally made me feel good, I felt like I might be sick at any time, and my mouth tasted weird all the time so I was constantly eating mints.

I was going to bed at 9pm every night, or even earlier on some days. On the weekend I was sleeping for 12 hours and still didn’t feel good when I woke up. So many naps, no motivation. I felt like I would never be motivated to do anything ever again.

And all this is going on while no one around you knows you’re pregnant, so you have to go to work and pretend everything’s fine! Man, it was difficult, I did not realise it would be quite so hard. Women are amazing, aren’t they?

At around seven weeks, we told my parents, my sister, Ryan’s parents and his sister (Bradley is his twin brother so he already knew). We also had to tell some of my family because my dad had bought us Go Karting tickets for Christmas and I couldn’t join in!

I was worried about telling people so early but I’m so glad I did. Having their support was invaluable and also helped make everything feel real.

I told a couple of people at work to make things a bit easier there, but they were sworn to secrecy because I wanted my bosses to find out from me.

Weeks Ten to Twelve: Feeling Alive Again

The final few weeks of the first trimester were a lot easier. I had a scan at ten weeks (again, because of the irregular periods, but this was actually hugely beneficial because it eased my anxiety so much). I didn’t get emotional, but seeing that there was actually a real baby with a real heartbeat in there was amazing.

Of course, it was too early for them to do the proper tests and screening they needed to do, so they booked us in for another scan. I was getting quite excited at this point. I’d seen the baby, I was starting to feel better, and I knew it wouldn’t be long before I could tell everyone else I’d wanted to tell.

We had the second scan at almost thirteen week and it took ages! They told me my bladder was too full so I had to go and have a wee half way through which was a bit embarrassing, and the baby was moving around so much that it was hard for them to take measurements, but we made the most of getting to see our baby for so long.

That evening we told the rest of our family and our close friends, and then I jetted off to Amsterdam for work the next day (and almost got stuck there, but that’s a story for another day). I hadn’t told my colleagues yet – I waited until the following week to do that when I was over thirteen weeks.

And finally I had made it to my second trimester! I’m writing this at just over seventeen weeks and I’m feeling great. I still don’t quite believe it’s real, and while it’s much quieter there’s still a lot of anxiety swimming about in my brain, but things are a lot better now.

I’ll update you with a second trimester overview at some point I’m sure, but if you’re in your first trimester and feeling down like I was, know that it is going to get better soon. Just hang in there! You got this.

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3 Comments

  1. Kylie
    26th March 2019 / 8:15 am

    Loved reading this Ashleigh and honestly you are not alone. Everything you have felt and are feeling every women having her first baby has felt.
    Pregnancy is the most beautiful thing ever but its also the scariest thing as we as the babies protector worry so much at every stage.

    • Ashleigh Macro
      Author
      26th March 2019 / 8:30 am

      Aw thank you Kylie! I didn’t realise that I would find it quite so scary, I had been thinking a lot more about the reality of the baby once it’s born and how difficult that would be, but I hadn’t thought a huge amount about the actual pregnancy bit! It’s a long time, isn’t it? Haha x

  2. Sue Arif
    27th March 2019 / 7:49 am

    Lovely to read Ashleigh xx
    So pleased for you and glad you are now enjoying your pregnancy xxx love you all 3 of you!! Xxx 💖💖

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