11 May 2016

The twelve worst things about early pregnancy

So you're pregnant! 2 blue lines on the wee stick! Amazing!.... Sort of.

Don't get me wrong I love being pregnant! I love the bump, the scans, the smiles from old ladies in the street. I don't even really mind the odd belly rub. But I HATE the first trimester.

There are so many things that suck about the first 12 weeks of pregnancy that I struggled to get it down to 12 things. 

In fact the only good thing about the first 12 weeks of pregnancy is that thanks to the weird rules of when pregnancy starts, you're only ACTUALLY pregnant for 8 weeks of it. But boy do those 8 weeks drag.

1. The waiting.

The first thing you think when you're pregnant is "I'm having a BABY!" Babies are awesome! They're so cute and snuggly and they wear adorbs things like teeny tiny hats. Except you're not having a baby, well, not any time soon. You're better off not thinking about the baby part for at least 3 months because the waiting is sooooo frustrating! You don't start dreaming of your Christmas present in March do you? That would be crazy.

2. The secrets and lies.

If you follow the standard protocol of only telling a select few about the pregnancy until 12 weeks you have to do some weird lying and act generally strange for a while.
For example, what kind of lunatic says "decaf please" when offered coffee at the start of a 12 hour shift at 6:45am on a Sunday?! DECAF?! Of course I want the caffeine! But if I say yes to coffee now I'll have none of my caffeine allowance left for 3:30pm when I will REALLY need it!
Which leads me to...

3. Caffeine withdrawal headaches.

This might not be so bad if you haven't got two tiny tots and basically survive on double shot lattes to get through a normal day. I was like a crack addict going cold turkey.

4. The bloating.

I nearly bought myself new maternity jeans at about week 6 because I couldn't do up ANY of my trousers. Then by week 9 (I hadn't got around to buying any because see point 6.) the 'bump' I had been struggling to button my flys over had gone. Turns out I was just gassy. Nice.

5. The barely there "bump".

Is that a bump? Do I look fat? How fat was my tummy before it had a baby in it? The baby is the size of segment of satsuma, how can it make my belly look like this? IS it the baby or am I just standing weirdly? Do I look pregnant? Do I look fat? Do people think I'm fat or pregnant or has no one noticed?
I can't WAIT for a bonafide actual proper pregnant baby belly bump, with little alien foot prints poking out instead of this half flabby tummy, half food baby confusing stomach status.

6. The exhaustion.

The exhaustion of early pregnancy is a phenomenon only understood by other women experiencing it at the same time. I'm now 16 weeks and I made notes about how exhausted I was and I STILL can't reliably tell you how exhausted I was because of the magic spell. You know the magic spell? The one where the worst things in life (and motherhood) instantly turn into sweet nostalgic memories once they have passed? The same spell that makes your Mum say awful, terrible things like "I didn't mind getting up to babies in the night, I just enjoyed the cuddles" (LIES).
So here's my tip if you are in the first trimester and dying of tired, don't ask anyone if they felt that tired when they were pregnant, they'll say "yeah, oh I used to take a nap occasionally" when what you need to hear is: "I cannot put one foot in front of the other, I feel like I'm dragging myself through extra thick treacle with a rucksack full of rocks tied to both legs and I'm hungover in a brightly lit, too noisy room and my eyelids are made of lead and at 3.30pm my body legitimately shuts down for the day."
It's awful. Truly, terribly awful. And you might have to take care of real-life humans AS WELL AS yourself during this time. AWFUL.

7. The heightened sense of smell.

There are some bad smells in the world people. I know because I can smell them, ALL.
All of a sudden your beloved first born child's morning breath is repulsive enough for you to want to lock him in a different room until he's brushed his teeth.
The smell of alcohol seeping out of your husband after he's had half a pint feels like you're being intoxicated by his very presence.
The stench of feet at soft play goes from mildly off-putting to stomach churningly disgusting.
The sweet, homely smell of coffee in the morning is enough to knock you out cold.

8. The nausea.

Morning sickness. The world's least accurately named symptom of all time. I felt sick nearly all day every day for several weeks. That doesn't sound as horrific as it was. "I felt sick" just sounds a bit lame and pathetic, but the waves of nausea that washed over me were completely debilitating. When you feel sick you can't think or talk or move or function as a human being. Even without vomiting (which I did my fair share of) feeling sick is the worst.
Actually, feeling sick isn't the worst... the actual worst thing ever is this... (True story, from the one night my husband was away...)

The boys shouted for me that the sun was up and as soon as I woke up I could smell it. Both of them had pooed. One steaming giant poo awaited me in a potty by the door, the other bursting out of a nappy milimetres away from staining some lovely Thomas the Tank Engine pyjamas. I heaved before I'd opened the door and vomited seconds after, into the only available receptacle, the potty. For what seemed like an eternity but was probably 7 minutes I held my breath cleaning up all the poo and managed to only vomit 2 more times.
That was the worst.
I just gagged writing it down. I might actually be sick now just thinking about it.

9. The rules.

This applies to all of pregnancy but it's hardest at the beginning. All the "ooh should I eat that?" "does that look cooked to you?" "have you touched any lambs today?" URGH the tediousness of not catching rare pregnant-woman killing diseases every single day! Why have lambs got it in for pregnant women anyway? What did we ever do to them?

10. The admin.

Did you know that scans and midwife appointments don't just happen? You have to call up people and book appointments and frankly it's added loads of extra life admin that I just can't cope with. It's hard enough getting the kids to preschool and remembering to be at home for the person buying your old oven off of eBay let alone having to remember to book a midwife appointment. (Which is why I literally actually forgot to do that until people starting asking when my scan was and I realised I should probably inform the NHS of my pregnancy at some point.)

11. The forgetfulness

It just took me twenty minutes to remember what I was going to write for point 10. I don't know the in's and out's of it but I do know that my brain is next to useless in the early weeks of pregnancy. I left things at people's houses, forgot to put socks on the kids, forgot to pack picnics for picnics and completely 100% forgot my own pin number. I don't mean I forgot it for a bit, or for a day, I mean the number has left my brain. It's been my pin number for about 2 years and now it's gone forever. The harder I tried to remember it the further it went from my mind. I had to wait 10 days for a new pin number. We had to shop online that week. Stupid baby brain.

12. The night-wee.

It's not a cool trick to play on the tiredest human alive to make them need to get up, get physically out of bed and go to a cold room in the middle of the night to wee. Pregnant bladders are evil.


I'm so glad that bit's over. The second trimester is soo much better! It's so good in fact that I keep forgetting I'm even pregnant for days at a time.

If you're in the middle of the twelve weeks of sickness and exhaustion my only advice would be to cry at your husband a lot, eat more cake and McDonalds than you thought humanly possible and go to bed at 6.30pm every night without having done the washing up. None of those will make you feel better, but you might never get the chance to behave like that again, so why not?!


  1. For me it was looking like I'd eaten all the pies but couldn't tell anyone that yes, I was eating all the pies because I was eating for two! x

  2. omg yes! you are so absolutely right. thank you for sharing.
    Barbara (week 12)