I completely missed out the early weeks when I was writing about my first pregnancy and realised, in hindsight, that really they were the most important. I think that once you get past the first trimester, you settle into your pregnancy a bit (though I still worry a ridiculous amount) and the symptoms and ailments decrease so that you almost – almost – feel normal again. But for the first few months, it can be a really lonely time – Googling every twinge and ache, checking for blood spots every time you use the loo. It can be tiring, stressful and, I suppose, if you don’t have the right support, very scary.
So this time around, I kept notes about how I was feeling and the sorts of symptoms I had. I kept them brief, because I was jotting them into my iPhone (that was about all I could manage, it meant I could type and stay horizontal!) but I hope that they are moderately useful. Here they are, straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak…
“Week 5. Already feeling jittery. Every tiny cramp and twinge makes me panic. I remember, after Angelica was born, that I wanted to write a “guide to surviving the first twelve weeks”, but it’s all very well being so cocksure when the baby is born and safe. A different matter altogether when you’re in it. Maybe I should write it now and try to follow my own guidelines!
“Wow. Was I really this hungry and this tired last time around? I can’t believe I was. [Ed: I was.] I’m going to have to hunt out my diaries in the office and see. I can honestly barely function. It’s making me feel very apprehensive about how I’ll manage things with two babies. I keep thinking about asking my Mum to move in and I haven’t even gotten through a week yet!
“Roundup of symptoms: NO sore boobs (never have had them), feeling nauseous, feeling tired, a bit crampy, shaking hands, very bloated stomach, terrible headaches.”
“Idea for post: How to Survive the First Twelve Weeks without Losing Your Mind. (Especially If You’ve Had a Miscarriage.) Tips would include: having an early scan, remembering that the wet feeling in your knickers is probably increased discharge and NOT your body gushing with blood! Cramps are normal. No symptoms? Also normal. There! Post done… I should ask people for their own suggestions and do a sort of collated advice post…”
On that note, everyone – I think I should write this survival post up, so if you do have any of your own tips, could you add them to the comments below? I’ve collected quite a few, but would be great to get some fresh ideas…