The Preggie diaries: The first seven weeks
I have decided that I would love to document my pregnancy for us to remember my pregnancy and always have something to go back to read to remind us about the life that was growing inside me, my body changing and all the serious and humorous things that come with expectant parents. I thought that other people might enjoy reading this too, so I thought I’d share some of our story on my blog. Here goes the first installment:
Deciding to be parents:
When we decided we wanted to be parents, we were by no means ‘ready’, you never really are. But we felt it was something we would love to do together.
I had always wanted children someday, but whenever we spoke about it, I was not ready. I did not feel a burning desire to be a mom, and I wanted to wait until I got that feeling to commit myself to such a huge life change. I think my husband was quite content with just the two of us for a while. While on our hiking trip in The States, one day this new desire entered my heart, the desire to be a mommy and start a family with my husband. I brought up the topic, and he seemed to feel the same way, although maybe not as enthusiastic as I was at that stage. We decided we would wait until we were settled back at home in the next year to start trying. We had many conversations which helped us wrap our head around having a baby and the joys and challenges ahead of us.
We didn’t share this information with many people. I told my mom and sisters, and a few of my close friends who have had children already. I found this helpful because these were woman who know what to expect and can give you advise and encourage you. There is nothing like a supportive community around you.
But for the rest of our family and friends, well they would have to wait until we announced that we were pregnant. Who knew how long that would be. I didn’t want people asking us if I was pregnant yet every time they saw us, because sometimes people that don’t have children can be slightly insensitive. And the women I told respected our privacy and would only engage with the topic if I brought it up, which I now realise is really helpful, thanks ladies!
Waiting and having fun in the process:
Best thing here is to try your best to stop thinking about it, focus on normal present life, and relax and have fun with your partner. The first month after taking my contraception out, I was an emotional wreck, because I couldn’t stop thinking about it and I thought I might go crazy. But turns out, I just needed to talk to my husband about my worries and thoughts, and that was what made all the difference. Sometimes all you need is a chat. I was surprised how easy it was talking to my husband about this, but my mind was working against me for some reason, but once I got over my fears and spoke up, I felt such a relief. Now we could just have fun for at least a few months.
Is that nausea a sign?
I felt nauseous quite early on in my cycle, so I was very suspicious of it. But it was happening everyday, and it got worse, and I started getting dizzy spells after a few days. I did not feel normal. But I wouldn’t know anything for certain until my next period was late, which seemed like ages away. Again, I felt it was so helpful to keep my husband updated on how I was feeling, it took my anxiety away and allowed me to focus on life. He really appreciated me talking to him, and said, “if this is a baby, it’s ours, you shouldn’t struggle alone, I’m here for you.’ That was my aww moment. I’m so lucky to have such a supportive husband. And so we tried to continue as normal, waiting patiently, making a few dietary changes just in case.
The two little pink lines- finally finding out, sharing the news with my husband:
I chose to do a pregnancy test on a Saturday morning because we don’t need to go anywhere early in the morning, we are both at home, feeling relaxed. I snuck out of bed hiding the pregnancy test with my ninja skills. Stealth is key. And so I peed on the stick and put it down, waiting the prescribed time, it was still early days so it won’t show up immediately. About 2 minutes in, I noticed a faint pink line developing where there was nothing before, and I watched as it got darker. This was it, I was not seeing things, it was real. I smiled a happy smile, and said a prayer thanking God for answering our prayers and being so wonderful. Now to tell the husband. . .
We share a lot of information with each other, so I knew I wanted to tell him straight away. Steve is the kind of guy who is no frills, no fancy stuff, he just likes it plain and simple, so I knew I just needed to tell him simply and honestly. Nothing big, I wasn’t about to buy a onesie and print something on it, or put the test in a box and wrap it up. That’s not us.
Holding the two pink lined test in my hand, I walked into our room quietly, and sat next to him. Steve was lying on his stomach reading a news article on his phone. I said quietly, “If everything goes well, in 9 months, we are going to be a mommy and a daddy.” He paused for a moment, then quickly turned a round and looked down at the test revealing the result, looked up at me and said, “oh wow, you’re preggers, congratulations!” giving me a cuddle with kisses. I think at this moment, we were both feeling a little overwhelmed, mixed with panic and joy and excitement.
Getting through the next few weeks without it being too obvious:
We decided to wait a little before announcing the news to our family and close friends. It’s so important to communicate during these weeks as you both don’t really know what’s expected and you both have different expectations, but you need to decide together and keep supporting each other. I can’t stress enough how important it was for me to have someone to talk to, and it kept me sane during the next few weeks. My morning sickness seemed to disappear at this stage, which was fine with me, until I read that most woman only start experiencing morning sickness around the 6th week. Oh dread. I did feel more tired than usual, frequently having dizzy spells, but thankfully no nausea. Until a few days before the 6th week started, then it hit me. I wasn’t sleeping well, I was either too hot or too cold, I woke up feeling exhausted, feeling nauseas and lightheaded for most of the day, and then came the headaches. I’m quickly learning that pregnancy is no joke.
Keeping all of this a ‘secret’ was easier said than done. I had to decline all those cups of coffee and wine and we eventually made a system that Steve would make sure I already had a drink before anyone else had a chance to ask me. So instead of saying, ‘no wine for me thanks, I’ll have some water’, I could say, ‘no thanks, I already have a drink!’. Doesn’t sound like much, but it keeps people from being too suspicious.
The hardest part was the morning sickness, and trying to claim that I am constantly on the verge of getting a cold and coming up with creative reasons why. I was tutoring a child that had a cough, I stayed up late in the cold, I got stuck in the rain. These were all things that were true, but there was a different reason for my developing ‘cold’. I was also tired all the time. Down to the bone tired. Mamas, you know this feeling. We cancelled many social events because I was just too exhausted to go. We blamed this on Steve. He was the one that was working so hard, he has a demo coming up, and he’s been really tired lately. It’s called team work. You can’t blame everything on me.
Changes in my body already:
I can’t believe how quickly my body started changing. Within a few weeks, my free boob job had commenced, and I was putting on weight, feeling quite chunky. My husband was delighted of corse, reminding me of how beautiful I looked more frequently.
And then I really did get sick:
If you have ever had the flu while being pregnant, it’s worse than any man flu to ever exist! For a few weeks I had been telling people that I was feeling as though I was getting a cold, to explain my tiredness, headaches, no alcohol and avoidance of socialising. I had never actually gotten sick, until early one afternoon, I started feeling those typical flu-like body aches with a severe headache. It quickly developed into a fever, and I found myself crawled up in bed with my winter pajamas on. On top of that, I was experiencing morning sickness. Not a good combo.
I plucked up the energy to go and fetch my husband from work. I was excited to have somebody at home to look after me. He put me straight to bed and made me a warm cup of milo (my new favourite drink, it’s better than tea and without the caffeine of coffee). We watched Netflix in bed, and I fell asleep waaay to early. I didn’t realise that your ‘normal’ sleeping schedule goes haywire even before the baby arrives.
Thankfully I wasn’t sick for long. I survived. With a few slabs of chocolate, ginger cookies and many cups of milo. Steve stayed at home to work for the day to look after me. Isn’t he just the greatest?
The first signs of a bump:
I thought my body was just laying down some fat. I didn’t expect a baby bump for another 2 months. But when I looked in the mirror at about 7 weeks, there was definite roundness developing. It was tiny, but it was there. Nobody else except my husband could really notice at this stage because nobody else knew my body that intimately. My first thought was, “I’m having twins, because I wouldn’t be showing this early if there was just one in there!”. I then googled photos of baby bump progressions, and I realised that for some woman it’s just normal to ‘show’ early. Most of the time, at this stage, it is really just your body growing and laying down some layers of fat that will be needed later on. This is especially true if you are on the skinnier side, because your body really needs extra fat reserves to grow that tiny human. Your body does some amazing things in preparation for your growing little bean!
In just a few days my jeans had become too tight, and I resorted to wearing leggings all the time, even if it was a little inappropriate. I also wished to do those cute baby bump progression photos, and we needed to start that asap before my body changed too much. Steve set up the tripod in our bedroom, I’m not sure how often we’ll take a photo, but probably once a week if we remember. I love the idea of looking back to see how your body changes in such a short time, during God’s most amazing miracles. I can’t wrap my head around how amazing it is to be able to create and grow a tiny human inside you. It’s an incredible privilege to be able to experience it personally.
At this point so many things were running through my mind and I felt pressurised to make all these decisions I wasn’t ready to make. I realise now that you do have time to do research and reading, it is better to delay the decisions so you can make an informed choice. There is a lot of great information out there, including the information you get from chatting to people. Also, it is completely acceptable to say, ‘I’m not sure about that just yet.’
I hope you enjoyed reading this, I would love to hear about your experience of your or your wife’s early days during pregnancy, what was it like for you?