You’re pregnant! Congratulations! Now what? This post is going to be a brutally honest one so strap on your seatbelts and get ready for the post I wish I’d read after peeing on that little white stick. Whether you’ve been trying for years or simply slipped, fell, landed on a penis and into this situation you’re probably an absolute mixing bowl of feelings. Do not panic! We’d had the “let’s begin to try” chat and yet when those two little lines appeared I can honestly say that I felt beyond panicked and cried to two days. There is nothing wrong with worrying about what will obviously be a big change. Here are a few of the things that went through my head (feel free to add your own in the comments)
How the hell are we going to do this?
But what about my job?
How huge am I going to get?
How the fuck am I not going to tell anyone for 3 months!
But I went out drinking last night!
I found out I was pregnant at 5 weeks, I’d been teaching a surf retreat in Portugal and not only had I fallen off the board hundreds of times and swallowed copious amounts of seawater, I’d also drank alcohol almost every day and had a complete binge of espresso martinis for a friends birthday. It seems this happens to lots of people, it’s like your last final blow out before you pull up the drawbridge and become mother earth for the next nine months.
Secret The hardest part about being pregnant for me was the first 12 weeks. You’ve peed on a stick and it says you’re pregnant but yet it doesn’t really feel real and you’re beyond panicked that whatever you do might cause you to lose it. This is normal. Then we all add on the extra pressure of not being able to tell anyone so I’m sorry guys but I call bullcrap. I decided to tell my closest friends and family because at the end of the day if I did lose my baby I’d want them to have known so that they could support me no matter the outcome. Don’t suffer in silence, tell someone you can trust.
Worry I wish someone had told me that it was ok to feel worried that I wasn’t ready, that I might struggle and to think “shit, do I actually want to be pregnant?” Being worried about the upcoming changes does not make you a bad person, it makes you human. Not many of us like change and becoming a parent is huge. Embrace the uncertainty and know that you were built for this and will be the most incredible parent when the time comes.
ChangesIf you’re anything like me, the minute you found out you were pregnant you felt like you suddenly had a bump and scrutinised every ache, pain and craving. For most of us, we’ve learnt what pregnancy looks like via movies, hear-say and the internet, but I’m sorry, there’s a whole lot of things they missed out and don’t even get me started with labour! You might be expecting to feel like dog-crap during your pregnancy but you might be lucky and feel incredible! I absolutely loved being pregnant and only really suffered heartburn, reflux and a little bit of sciatica at the end, I was never sick but had some days where I felt nauseous and was a little more tired than usual but that was it. You can actually feel blooming gorgeous during your pregnancy and please don’t let the world around you, make you feel guilty for saying so!
PressureIf there was one thing I wish could have f*cked off during my pregnancy it was other people and their damn opinions. So many people treated me like I was sick, not pregnant and couldn’t wait to tell me all the things I should or shouldn’t be doing. Whilst I am aware that most people just want to show you they care it can be the most frustrating feeling when there is an argument for every opinion and in a world where so many people have been a parent it can be overwhelming being in the firing line. Do yourself a favour and listen to your gut, you (and your midwife) know best!
Exercise I continued to exercise during my pregnancy and cannot recommend it enough, not just for keeping yourself physically fit and strong for your baby but for your mental health. There are lots of do’s and don’ts out there but I’ve written my key points for exercising in this blog post. Rule of thumb: If you’ve always exercised then continue to do so but reduce the impact or dangerous movements and reduce your intensity to around 75%, up your rest times, reduce your weight and swap core based movements for compound exercises. If you’ve never exercised but want to then I suggest joining an antenatal group, getting a pre and postnatally trained personal trainer or women’s health physio to go through some movements with you.
I’d love you to share your honest thoughts about how you felt and your experience when pregnant in the comments below as you never know who it might help.