After the initial shock of finding out that the IUI had worked and I was on my way to becoming a mother, I then really started to enjoy pregnancy. I can honestly say that during the first 20 weeks I couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about…
What about morning sickness?
After hearing all the stories, I was very much prepared for the worst. However, I was fortunate not to suffer from being sick, morning or other, as a result of being pregnant. During the first 12 weeks I certainly felt a bit queasy, particularly if I didn’t eat regularly. My remedy to this was to nibble secretly on rich tea biscuits throughout the day. In the evening I would then dash home from work, gobble up my dinner by 6pm followed by a bowl of rice krispies just before bed to get me through the night!
What weird cravings did you have?
I didn’t really have any specific, or weird, food cravings – I just wanted food and lots of it!! In my head, and logically, I knew I didn’t need to be eating for two, however my stomach seemed to be telling me otherwise! The food I was craving in particular were carbs, lots of them and all of the time. This carb obsession became a bit of a stumbling block for me…
I was very keen not to announce my pregnancy at work until I was at least 12 weeks, if not more. The fact that, a month before I conceived, I had announced at the weekly lunch time office outing that I believed in ‘No carbs after 2pm’, therefore, caused an issue!
Did you have to change what you ate and drank while you were pregnant?
I expected to change my diet more than I did, and be deprived of some foods and drinks. The only things I missed were sushi, blue cheese, pate, and rare steak. I actually didn’t miss drinking alcohol at all – I had two glasses of champagne during my whole pregnancy and even those I could have left. Now, however, I’m back to a glass of wine most evenings (we’re currently in the pandemic lockdown of 2020 so who isn’t?!)
How did your body change while you were pregnant?
In the first twelve weeks, as well as being extremely tired all the time, the most noticeable thing to change were achy boobs. After the carb feast each evening, I took to lying on the sofa watching Netflix with my boobs propped up by a cushion and dozing until I felt it was acceptable to go to bed – at around 9pm!!
The other thing that I experienced early on in my pregnancy, was that l started to lose words. I am not sure whether there is such a thing as early onset ‘baby brain’, however whatever it was continued throughout my pregnancy and still troubles me now. Luckily, my mum, sister and I can communicate quite happily replacing most words with ‘thingy’ and ‘wotsit’, and know what each other are talking about!
What did you enjoy about being single and pregnant?
I was really lucky to have the support of family and friends so I very rarely felt lonely or alone during my pregnancy. In fact, one of the best days of my pregnancy was my 7-week scan at the clinic in London. My mum, dad, and sister Sara all accompanied me, and it was such a lovely afternoon out, which we all thoroughly enjoyed. The bonus being that Sara and I got to hear my baby’s heartbeat for the first time – such an amazing moment to share with my sister.
Another calendar date that I used to dread when single was Valentine’s day. However, on 14th February 2019 I decided to take this day as an opportunity to treat myself. I ate fab food, followed by a relaxing bubble bath with my hand on my starting to grow bump – a memory of an early moment where I began to fall in love with the little tiny human inside me.
Wasn’t it hard being pregnant and single?
I would love to have shared having a child with a partner, however for me the ‘normal’ order of events hasn’t happened. The days I found tougher were the same ones that anyone who is single generally finds more difficult; Christmas day, New Year’s eve, my birthday. It is on these days where if you are in a couple you don’t NEED to make such an effort, you tend to have someone there to celebrate the day with you.
Do you know what you’re having?
The decision to find out whether I was having a boy or girl, or leave it as a ‘surprise’, was, for me, not one I debated at all. I really wanted to have a girl so for this reason alone I needed to know. I am completely sure that if I had been told I was having a boy I would, have been fine, however I would have needed to buy myself some time to get my head around the idea of having a son. I was, however, blessed with a daughter.
When and how did you tell people that you were pregnant?
The first person to know was my cousin Zoe (she was with me when I took the test), followed a couple of minutes later by my sister, mum, and dad. Then ‘my wonderful women’, my other cousins (Zoe’s sister and brother, Ruth and Tom) and of course Ben. Ben is my best man friend, he is kind, supportive and caring and gives the best hugs a person could wish for. Within hours I had told quite a number of people that I was 2 weeks pregnant! This felt like the right thing to do as I wanted to know that if anything happened, I had a support crew in place who would be able to catch me if I fell.
With everyone else, I decided to wait until after my 12 week scan. First on the list, after this scan, were my 6-year-old niece and 3-year-old nephew. Sara and I had discussed how and when to tell them, and we had prepared ourselves for any questions that the inquisitive small minds would inevitably throw at us. The reality of my announcement, however was simply met with squeals of delight and the request to name the little person growing inside me ‘Pink Peanut’.
One of my completely unexpected, and favourite announcements, was to my new work colleagues. To say I was nervous about telling work would be a massive understatement. I had only been working for the company for 4 months and by the time I decided I needed to tell them, I was coming up to 15 weeks pregnant. The reason for my nervousness was that I had no idea how much detail to go into. Did I want to talk about sperm with my boss, director and everyone in the office?! I decided that honesty and openness was the best approach for me. In the space of a 5-minute chat with my boss Nick, all my fears had been dispelled. He could not have been any more unruffled, understanding, supportive and genuinely pleased for me.
Who is going to be at the birth with you?
This for me was another no brainer – my sister Sara was my natural birth partner choice. To be honest if I had my time again and I had a partner, I think I would still want Sara as my birth partner! In addition to Sara I also had Cheryl, my midwife.
I am not going to say too much this week, however you will come to learn how incredible and vital the role of my ‘birth team’ became through the second half of my pregnancy, during Mia’s birth and in the first two eventful weeks of Mia’s life. We laughed, we cried and we hugged a lot over the next 22 weeks…