The not so glamorous side of pregnancy that nobody tells you about…

1st Trimester: 0-12 weeks

By Hannah Headford, Hippychick employee and mother to one.

Headshot of a woman standing against a brick wall. Hannah, a member of the Hippychick team
Hannah Headford – Account Manager at Hippychick

I didn’t experience this in my first pregnancy but extreme tiredness and feeling sick all the time are really getting to me this time around.  Two examples of the not so glamorous side of pregnancy! This may be partly because I had COVID when I was 9 weeks pregnant (although I didn’t know I was pregnant at the time) and I also now have a crazy and demanding 2 year old to look after while navigating these first, challenging three months. 

Luckily, I haven’t actually been sick so far, BUT if I can describe the feeling, it’s like having a really crippling hangover – every day. 

Trust me, the cravings they all talk about are VERY real.  My hand is constantly in the fridge or food cupboard grabbing things that wouldn’t occur to me under normal circumstances.  Morsels of Cathedral City mature cheddar cheese, Mr Kipling Fondant Fancies (yes has to be this brand) and salt and vinegar crisps. 

I feel hungry every second of the day.  Fortunately, my very understanding midwife told me not to worry about it.  Just to eat what makes me feel better and little and often, to help curb the sickness. 

Although same midwife did become the she-devil when she proceeded to tell me I am overweight and need to attend a pregnancy fitness class (I am 4ft11 and weigh 65 kgs). I barely have the energy to get out of bed!  Although I know she’s only trying to help me to carry a health pregnancy to term, it doesn’t help the irrationally low self -esteem I’m experiencing in these first few weeks with my raging hormones. 

Little girl wearing a "promoted to big sister" t-shirt holding baby scan photos
Hannah’s daughter Hollie

BE KIND TO YOURSELF

This is my top tip in the first three months.  In fact, it’s my daily mantra. however bad I’m feeling in the mornings, to look at myself in the mirror and tell myself I’m amazing. It actually really helps. Just do it.

ALIEN BUMP

Everyone told me the first time around that I would develop an emotional connection to my bump. Well actually, I didn’t feel it with my first, and I don’t feel it now. What I am sure of is that I will love the baby when he/she comes but right now, I’m more focussed on getting through what I can only describe as a living hell with the sickness, sore bits, sore nipples and overwhelming tiredness.

Woman taking a full length photo in the mirror

SORE NIPPLES

No one told me about this but it’s actually one of the worst side effects of early pregnancy for me.  Everything makes them hurt – from wearing a bra, the water from the shower, or even someone just brushing past you.  I’m afraid I don’t have a cure for this hypersensitivity, but I know it will go – eventually.  Lots of soothing creams such as Sudocrem (my cure all for everything) and a firm telling off to anyone who dares to try and access this forbidden area!

INCONTINENCE 

Yes, like you, I thought incontinence pads were just for old people.  But I now have to wear one every day in case of a rogue sneeze or even a cough. Stock up now!

BACK PAIN

This can and does happen in the first trimester, and for me it continued pretty much to term with my first pregnancy.  A warm bath, a hot water bottle, and a Hippychick feeding pillow for sleeping and supporting my bump. Total godsend. 

I’m now at 13 weeks and the worst part is over.  Perhaps the most difficult thing was telling my employer, Hippychick. I was so nervous I couldn’t even say the words. I just popped my scan in an envelope and handed it to Julia.  At first, I think she thought it was a letter of resignation so when she saw the scan she was both relieved and happy. 

Being a family business I know how supportive and understanding Hippychick will be.  Thanks in advance to the team who are going to have to put up with me for the next 27 weeks! 

Look out for my next blog post, coming up at the end of my second trimester. See you then!

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