Let’s be honest…

IMG_7791I’ve finally entered my second trimester. It felt like a long time coming and that I’d forever be stuck in the loop of never-ending nausea coupled with the anticipation/doom of the impending 12 week scan. Does anyone enjoy the first trimester? I feel like it’s woman-code everywhere to not talk about how tough it really is. Or, the reality is probably actually that, as most people have passed the hell-filled first three months by the time they announce their pregnancy they are just so happy to be feeling better and don’t want to dwell on the past.

It’s hard though. It’s tough to be feeling so tired, so sick, unable to eat anything and to not be able to talk about it. Deep down we are all little children and when we feel ill we just want to be able to say it out loud and have someone understand what we are going through. Having instead to go to work and try to act as if everything is normal, even if you’re hiding your belches in meetings, or surreptitiously mainlining crisps before a catch up with your team as they are the only thing that make you feel better (for five minutes) is not easy. At one point I broke down in a meeting with my boss on a morning where I’d had to run from the train station to the office as I thought I was going to be sick and didn’t want to do it on the road as all my colleagues trotted past, and just ended up crying ‘but how do women do this?!’. I know I’m not the first working woman to be pregnant but I couldn’t understand how this is what working women are actually going through but no one talks about it. I felt like I must be some kind of failure as surely other women don’t struggle like this. I’d certainly not heard of any who did.

Luckily I have a very supportive boss who gently explained to me that women cope by occasionally taking sick days, and then suggested I go home. He was basically telling me to give myself a break, and at that moment that permission was everything I needed. It also helped me enormously to know that other women did struggle and that he knew personally of women who have had to take time off in the first trimester. I just wish women spoke about this more.

Another thing I wish I had realised was ok was not seeing friends. When I found out I was pregnant one of my early thoughts was ‘Ok so I have to find a reason for not drinking when I’m out’ which I found an easy answer to: I’m on a health kick (the old antibiotics story is like waving a huge womb-shaped flag that reads I’M PREGNANT). I did not, however, anticipate that the mere thought of doing anything after work – and I really do mean anything – would be so abhorrent to me that I would never need this excuse. As I trundled through my first trimester I kept trying to keep plans, even making plans too, but eventually, one by one, I cancelled every single one. Every single one. For two and a half months I did not do a single thing other than work and sleep, aside from one brief breakfast with a friend and one work dinner that I had to attend where I made an excuse to run off at 8pm.

Again, I assumed I could do it all still as I assumed that’s what all pregnant women did. I now am in major doubt of that. If you are a pregnant woman in your first trimester who is still managing to make your pre-pregnancy trifecta of work/gym/social life work then, frankly, I’m in awe of you. But I suspect most of you are not. But that’s ok! Let’s just tell each other.

So here I am: IT’S OK TO FEEL SO ILL YOU CANNOT GO TO WORK. I did. IT’S OK TO FEEL SO EXHAUSTED YOU HAVE TO LEAVE EARLY. I did. IT’S OK TO MANAGE YOUR TIME SO SOMETIMES YOU CAN MISS THE RUSH HOUR COMMUTE. I did. IT’S OK TO CANCEL ALL PLANS GO TO BED AT 8.30PM EVERY NIGHT. I did. IT’S OK IF SOMETIMES YOU CAN ONLY EAT BREAD AND POT NOODLES. I did. You will eventually be able to face salad again.

So let’s start being honest. And there’s one last thing I want to be honest about. It gets better. I’m in week 14 now and all nausea has pretty much completely gone. I’m not so tired and am back to actually having engaging conversations with people. I’m sleeping better on the whole. My boobs definitely don’t hurt as much. I’ve told much of my friendship group and family so I don’t have to lie anymore. And, best of all, I have a cute little bump to remind me that it’s not all been in my head this whole time…

8 thoughts on “Let’s be honest…”

  1. Loved this! Beautiful bump pic and I totally agree with you.. I have found now I’ve started telling friends who have been through it they’ve started saying.. ‘oh how awful are the first few months..’. Not just me then!

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    1. Ah thank you. Yes exactly! I feel like everyone keeps quiet until you’re through it and then it’s like, oooh yeah that was really rough, I felt that way too! Haha! You must feel great telling your friends now though 🙂

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  2. Beautiful write up, can’t tell u how I feel right now cause still in my first trimester, I think everything here is referring to me at all point, thought I’m d only one, blame myself for not being strong like other women but with what I’m seen here, I now know I’m not alone in this at all, happy for u for scapin through, I hope to also join u soon…thank u, thank u and thank uuuuuu

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    1. Oh I’m sorry that you are feeling rough but I’m so glad if it’s helping you to know that everyone feels that way. It’s the feeling like you’re not strong like other women that’s the hardest bit – but remember that we are all strong and taking time out to rest up or sit in bed and watch TV and scoff ice cream doesn’t mean you’re not strong, it means you’re normal! Really hope you join me soon in trimester two – it’s lovely over here! 🙂 x

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  3. Thank you for voicing everything us first-tri mummies are going through! I thought I wasn’t being strong enough either – why is it all so unspoken!? But really, this is great. I look forward to nodding along and agreeing with your future posts 🙂 Hoping to feel better soon too (currently 11+3). Take care!

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    1. Hi! Thanks so much for your comments! Oooh you definitely have the best yet to come then! And presumably your scan in the next week too – exciting! Best of luck with it all x

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