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Things No One Told Me About the First Trimester….

But I probably wouldn't have listened anyway....

We found out I was pregnant on the 16th of May, after enjoying a gorgeous last minute 10 days in Turkey so I could recover from an acute hamstring injury without feeling TOO depressed, I couldn’t help but be slightly confused by the absence of my period.

My body has a wonderful way of messing with me, when I’m stressed my period tends to take a hike for a few days (I’m always stressed). When I first went vegan, I hadn’t quite figured out my diet and missed my period for a whole month, I was sure that was the case after struggling with vegan food in Bodrum and living off chips and salad for 10 days. Nevertheless, when we arrived back home, starving, hungry. and exhausted, I noticed I had a pregnancy test in the cupboard, I jokingly suggested we take it, and my partner's response was, "Ok, but hurry up I’m starving." He was used to my general need to take a test every month like some sort of OCD check list. Let me get this straight, we definitely wanted a baby, but the timing caught us off guard… I mean REALLY caught us off guard. My image of sitting in the bathroom with my significant other waiting with excitement for the pee stick to tell me I’m pregnant was not what happened; in fact the first thing I said was "FUCK" and then I started crying.

To my child, I hope you never read this, and if you do, it’s not you it’s me. I’m literally mental.

I have always wanted a baby, and to be having one with the love of my life is AMAZING, so many women (myself included) plan their life to a tee. Get the guy, get the ring, have the princess wedding, get the dream house, have kids, and be a boss woman with your incredible career/business. Suffice to say, life rarely goes as planned, we are not yet married, we both own properties, but separately, and neither are ideal for us, our two dogs, and a child. Career wise we are not exactly doing badly, but I wouldn’t say I’m where I want to be, however, I am adaptable, and this is my baby.

The first trimester has been HARD, way harder then I ever imagined and I’m going to share with you some things that surprised me and upset me so that new mums that are just as terrified and deer in the head lights as me will feel less alone…. 

I am SO tired.

Everyone talks about pregnancy fatigue; "Oh you’ll be super tired"…. but they also talk about how you should enjoy your pregnancy because you’ll never sleep again?! Make up your mind! I personally, have felt like I’ve been jet lagged for over 2 months. It is a tiredness I can’t fight. A debilitating, nauseating, revolting tired. I wake up and I feel like shit, I force myself to walk the dogs and eat breakfast and if I don’t have to work I will go directly back to bed, I would stay there all day if I could.

I feel useless. Anyone that knows me knows I LOVE to work, I love to be busy, I love it… I live for it. So to be laying in bed feeling sorry for myself for months it’s just not me. 

On top of the ridiculous levels of exhaustion, there is the fact I can't seem to sleep past 5am everyday, which sucks, especially when I need energy to work during the day. I will usually go to bed about 10pm (after Love Island obv) and like clockwork, I wake up with the sun at 5am... this might have to do with the sun rising and the heat in my bedroom, we are moving in two weeks and I am hoping it will change then, but at the moment, sleeping past 5am seems impossible. I then have to take around 3 naps during the day in between whatever it is I have to do that day. Sidenote: I am not a napper, I am a 6.30 am till 11pm every day type girl.

I feel sick.

This has been one of the hardest things for me; my nausea has consumed every inch of life for the past few months and it still is now (yay) I’ve had a few days of full on vomiting. My personal favourite was puking at my physiotherapist's office, then on the station platform, and then in a bin on the platform at Hackney Downs during rush hour (FYI no one asked if I was ok, thanks Londoners). It has been ridiculously hot in London for the last couple of months with temperatures in the 30s making me reel, the options are to sit in my tiny hot flat with no outside space watching my dogs miserably stare at me, or take them to the park and hope I/they don’t die from the heat.

The nausea starts from the moment I wake up and I know I immediately need to eat, this curbs it for about 30 mins then it returns, if I leave gaps between eating of loner than around 2 hours I feel like I’m going to faint or puke. It’s great. Love it. Yay pregnancy.

At this point, the baby is sucking anything and everything from you which is why you are so tired, the nausea is supposedly down to hormone changes, but I have to tell you, those prenatal vitamins are a bitch. I’ve started taking them at night which makes it slightly less shit, but not that much less shit.

Everyone tells me the second trimester is better. I’m waiting. Hello?

What is that taste?

Not everyone gets this (lucky) but obviously I have. A constant aftertaste, no matter what you’ve eaten or what you haven’t eaten. I chew gum around 15 times a day, it doesn’t help that much. This, I’m pretty sure, is why I feel so sick. It tastes like I ate raw broccoli, didn’t brush my teeth, and then went to sleep and woke up with broccoli un-brushed teeth breath and then I sucked on pennies for a bit. It is HORRIFIC and it is always present, if you eat it's there after, if you don’t eat, it’s still there. Brush your teeth? It is there 20 mins later. It sucks. It is called Dysgeusia and there seem to be several different reasons for it occurring, however, I am told it will go away as my pregnancy progresses and I cannot wait.

Why am I not happy or excited?

This has been the hardest component of pregnancy for me and I have to keep reminding myself that it is perfectly normal to feel this way. When I have guiltily expressed how I feel to my fellow mummy friends they have all told me they felt the same in varying stages. I have always suffered with intense anxiety and depression so pregnancy, mentally, was always going to be strenuous for me. From coping with my crippling body dysmorphia to my doubts about myself as a mother and general human being, worrying about every eventuality and stressing out about the tiniest thing. My partner was initially excited about the baby and I was on a downer, so much so I questioned whether this was actually for me. Was I ready? Would I ever be ready? Did I really want to be a mum? What about my career? What about my body? We aren’t married, we don’t have our dream house. All of these negative thoughts crippled me and ruined the first few months of my pregnancy. I was in tears most days and after speaking to my friends, it felt better to know I wasn’t alone. It has taken me until 14 weeks to feel connected to my pregnancy, even after the ultrasound I felt empty and unhappy, despite seeing the baby for the first time and sharing that moment with my love (which was amazing). It is not unusual to feel unhappy, scared, or anxious; you are not alone. 

I have really bad gas...

Yep. Pregnancy is SO GREAT with all its wonderful little perks. When you’re pregnant, your body starts releasing all kinds of new hormones. Progesterone, the big mother of hormones, signals to your digestive system to slow down and stop digesting so quickly (annoying) it also causes muscles to relax (great) things like beans and vegetables are obviously triggers (I’m vegan), but for all of you who aren’t, you can limit the amount of foods that will give you embarrassing gas. Ugh.

I'm so thirsty but I don't want to pee anymore...

This is a real dilemma; the level of dehydration I have experienced since finding out I'm pregnant in the middle of a heatwave that has seemingly lasted a decade, is insane. I cannot get enough water. But what happens when you drink? You pee. Pregnancy is already known for frequent urination, I have never EVER gotten up in the night to pee, and now I get up at least twice. I hate it. Disturbing my already slightly horrendous sleep to pee. AGH. I'm dehydrated and I can't stop peeing, HELP ME!

Where is my bump/summer body?

I’ve spent the last 6 months vigorously and intensely working out and training pretty much everyday, my body has never ever looked better, and my boyfriend obviously agree since he managed to put a baby inside me as a consolation prize! When I found out I was pregnant, I was my goal weight, I had abs for the first time in my life, the toning on my legs was to die for (if I do say so myself). Me, the body hater, the self loathing, self critical witch, I LOVED my body for the first time in my life… and now I’m pregnant. Now I know that pregnancy comes with weight gain, I know that, but I was so excited for a summer of crop tops and bikinis, especially with the weather we’ve been having in the UK lately, but instead I’m at the stage in my pregnancy where I don’t have a bump, I’m not obviously pregnant, I just look like I’ve let myself go a bit. It’s so frustrating, and whilst I accept I’m growing a human, I can’t help but feel sad for the abs I worked so hard for. I think my changing body will be one of the hardest things for me to accept about motherhood, everyone tells me I will "be all bump" and "bounce right back" and I appreciate the sentiment, but you just don’t know, do you? My body is changing and I have absolutely NO control over it. And THAT is a terrifying thought.

So to all you expectant mamas out there, I feel you, I get your pain, you are not alone, but we were made to do this, it is literally why we are here and we will be fine, many, many woman do this in way worse conditions. Good luck.

Samantha Bentley
Samantha Bentley

Born and Bred Londoner, Mother to baby Roman and my two pooches, Plant Eater, Yoga and Aerial Teacher + Learner, Music Maker... was once in Game Of Thrones, was once a Penthouse Pet, used to win awards for getting naked.

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