As I have mentioned on the blog already, I am currently growing a tiny human in my belly and have been now for the past 21 weeks so I thought it would be good to do a little update on how pregnancy has gone for me so far. Things have gone great for the most part and I have had a very enjoyable pregnancy – long may it continue! We can’t wait to meet our baby boy!
Since we conceived as a result of IVF, our first scan was actually at 7 weeks. As a side note I’ll mention that we are quite open about our fertility issues and the treatments we have gone through. I think there is still a stigma associated with having problems conceiving and the more people talk about it, the more others will understand and realise it is more common than they might think, 1 in 7 couples in fact. Saying that, I completely respect the choice others make to keep their fertility issues and treatment private.
At 7 weeks, there wasn’t much to see other than a sea horse shaped blob but that sea horse made two people (and more!) extremely happy and relieved – after the stress of IVF to see that confirmation in black and white that I was actually pregnant was the best feeling!
Up next was the 12 week scan which was a huge milestone for us as it marked the point where we could comfortably share our news with people outwith our close friends and family. We had known I was pregnant at only 2 weeks and 10 weeks was a long time keep such a big secret. It was also the first time we saw something that actually resembles a baby and it still amazes me how detailed the scans are. I could have sat and watched him wriggle around all day.
Between weeks 18 and 20 we had two scans – a gender scan at a private clinic and our routine 20 week scan. We both had a feeling we were having a boy so weren’t too surprised when Nicky quickly spotted “it” on the screen. At our 20 week scan, we were able to see almost every inch of his body up close while the technician measured him, we were delighted to find out his growth is right on track.
After some IVF-related complications in the first few weeks of pregnancy which led to a short hospital stay and a couple of weeks of pain and discomfort, I am happy to say that I have been very lucky since that stage and have felt pretty good for the most part – the universe is giving us a break!
The main plus for me is that I have experienced absolutely no morning sickness, no vomiting or even nausea. I imagine that is the most debilitating side effect of pregnancy and feel for anyone who goes through this. In the first 12-14 weeks the worst things for me were the fatigue and headaches. These weeks were filled with early nights, planning my very low caffeine allowance around the days activities (evening cinema dates meant I had to wait until after dinner for my daily caffeine fix otherwise I would sleep through the whole film!) and generally lots of slothing and napping on the couch.
The only other thing that has caused me any suffering is difficulty sleeping. I have no issue falling asleep but if I wake up in the middle of the night, my mind starts racing and I can lie awake for ages. However, I have slept amazingly for about a week now so hopefully I’ve broken the cycle!
Outwith the norm it seems, I haven’t had any particular cravings or aversions when it comes to food. The main thing I have noticed is my increased sweet tooth, not for anything specific, just anything with sugar in it! Dessert has become my best friend.
In contrast to that, I have also started paying more attention to my fruit and vegetable intake and have definitely improved in this area. I have started eating a lot less meat and regularly have plant based only meals as that is what my body wants. I’m really enjoying this way of eating and will likely continue it after the baby is here.
As my bump grows, I find that I can’t fit as much food in my stomach which has taken a bit of getting used to as I have a pretty big appetite. I am getting more used to the “little and often” way of eating – I’m just seeing it as a way to get a bit of variety in my food throughout the day!
Other than 4 weeks at the start of my pregnancy when I was not physically able to step foot in the gym, I’ve made very little changes to my exercise regime and I am so grateful for that. I lost a fair bit of strength in that 4 weeks and I have only managed to regain some of it but I don’t even care, I am just so happy that I can still strength train 4-5 times a week and have only recently had to make any modifications to my workouts.
A big surprise was my desire to take up running again. I currently only do one short and slow run a week and love listening to a podcast while having the streets practically to myself (I usually run around 6am!) I would like to keep up running for as long as I can but realise it may get too difficult past a certain point. I am really pleased I’ve started it up again though as I think it will be a quick and convenient way to get some exercise in when the baby is here and I may not have as much time to get to the gym.
I have been so lucky that I have been able to continue almost as normal with my exercise schedule but realise that as baby (and I) grow, I will have to cut back and I am OK with that as it is only temporary. As much as I love being pregnant, I am also looking forward to the challenge of getting back to my pre-pregnancy levels of fitness.
The last thing I’ll mention is my struggles with my growing body during pregnancy. It’s amazing how for weeks all you want is to see a big baby bump and when it finally happens you start to see all the downsides – clothes not fitting, feeling huge and bloated after every meal, random pains, difficulty sleeping. Of course, the upside of the bump outweighs all that stuff but it is still normal to have bad days.
Most of my bad days have been when I overeaten or have eaten something that doesn’t agree with me, basically anytime I feel bloated! There is also that slight twinge of disappointment when you realise your favourite dress or pair of jeans will be living in the back of your wardrobe for the next few months.
As someone who works hard in the gym and pays attention to what I eat, the added weight and body fat can be a difficult pill to swallow but every time I have a negative thought in relation to my body, I just remember it’s growing along with our little baby boy, this is all for him and I have plenty of time to worry about how my body looks after he is here. So….pass the chocolate!