The pregnancy diaries: ‘I’m pregnant. Now what?’ – Introduction: Weeks 0-18

Hello, my name is Catherine and I‘m pregnant!

By Catherine Hudson, editor of FashTravels

Here, at FashBaby – a whole new kind of adventure hosted at FashTravels, you’ll find a weekly diary of my pregnancy journey. This first entry is to say ‘hello’ and tell you a little more about me and finding out we are ‘expecting’.

Surprise!

Pregnancy is weird* Aside from having something growing inside of you, I’m personally finding the whole act of being pregnant a little, alien. Sometimes, I like to think of it as a job. Y’know, alongside the ones I am paid for. Although the level of responsibility I’m feeling with this one is something new altogether. And nothing has yet surprised me more about pregnancy than the amount of admin that comes with it. That and the hormone surges, that is…

But before I delve into that little fun pot, I’ll tell you a little bit more about me, or, should I now say, ‘us’. I have worked in parenting media for around eight years, now, writing about mainly family lifestyle. During those years, I have sometimes felt broody. Especially back in the days when I oversaw a fashion cupboard that was stuffed with Baby Dior and Little Marc Jacobs delights: believe me, it’s very easy to romanticise ‘having children’ when you are holding a pair of Burberry baby shoes. But, working on photo shoots with actual children and not having the right partner to procreate with, very quickly put paid to any idea of actually trying to fall pregnant. Plus being single, and not managing pregnancy hormones, is unsurprisingly a LOT of fun.

Let’s do this

The change came about last year, when I found the right guy. Plus, my sister had a baby. She is the cutest baby in town, by the way, with the world’s best chubby rolls. So, after we moved into our first home, the contraceptive pills were thrown out with the empty moving boxes, and away we went – so to speak. We were very lucky to fall pregnant with this bundle after around three months… and I was in shock for the first few weeks. My other half has very much taken it all in his stride: buying me Dairy Milk multipacks, rubbing cream into my ever-expanding belly every night, (he’s upset if I ever do this task instead of him), and standing aside for my hormones when they start to rage. When he rang to ask if I wanted KFC bringing home, I cried. It was the most romantic thing he’s ever done. Note: Although he is calm on the outside, I do know that it hasn’t completely sunk in for him yet. He’s spoken to other dads and apparently this is common. So, let’s just watch this space.

What if my baby has four eyes?

I have given myself plenty of headaches over the past four months, as well as the naturally occurring ones that people tell me mean I’m ‘definitely having a girl’. The self-induced ones have usually been from Googling EVERYTHING. From ‘what is my bump supposed to look like at 8/9/10/11 weeks’ to ‘is that supposed to be leaking’ and ‘how can I not be grumpy when I am out with friends and everyone else is drinking alcohol’. Ah, Dr Google – one to be avoided.

For me, to be avoided, in the main, are the endless chatrooms and forums. I say in the main, because I have found a few friendly, supportive threads via the What to Expect When You’re Expecting and Baby Center apps, to chat about topics like, ‘I drank a glass of wine when I was unknowingly one week pregnant – will my baby have a small head?’ and ‘I scored an 11 on my carbon monoxide test and the midwife won’t believe I don’t smoke’.

BUT, you might want to be careful of getting too embroiled. If it’s your first baby, you will absolutely have a myriad of questions; from the inquisitive to the probably ridiculous. My midwifery team has a phone line that I can call if I am ever worried about anything, and they have been wonderfully supportive. This has proved, for me, a much more sensible and stress-free way of having my questions and worries resolved.

Call the midwife!

When I was five or six weeks pregnant, and experiencing terrible sharp stomach pains, the midwife on the other end of the phone line advised me to book into the early pregnancy unit. The official advice is, if you are feeling worried about anything then don’t hesitate get it checked out. One quick scan later for me, and I had been told that my ‘embryo’ had no heartbeat, yet, and that I had a bleed: bit scary to hear when you are in unknown territory. I doubt much would have prepared me for the words “come back next week to see if the pregnancy is viable”. Plus, I still hadn’t told many people and had to hide the fact I felt actual pain, as well as feeling quite sad, but ever hopeful. What was guaranteed now had a weird question mark hovering over it. Trying thinking of anything else except being pregnant? It didn’t work for me!

Happily, a week later, and there it was – our little bean, jumping away. The way my partner squeezed my shoulder made me realise it had just become a bit more real for both of us. We were already parents, in my mind at least, and the swell of love I felt for that jumping bean was like nothing I had ever experienced before. Wow. I’m a total cliché, already.

* I must prelude anything I write in this blog series as totally my own experiences and opinions. I’ve already learned to prefix everything I say in general conversation about pregnancy and babies with, ‘everyone’s different, but…’

You can follow me @fash.baby and @fashcatherine

Inside my baby brain…

Things I am not really enjoying hearing, this week

1 ‘Just you wait…’ – Also, ‘Nothing prepares you for [insert anything about having a baby, here]… I know it’s going to be hard work, and I love hearing advice and tips that aren’t prefixed with this. I am enjoying learning, and also loving buying all the cute babygrows at the mo; and the hard work is inevitable, right?

2 ‘Don’t find out the gender of the baby it will ruin the surprise!’ Um, please don’t say that. Note: being a tad defensive of your choices can come with being pregnant. Each to their own, and all that. Also, I am hoping finding out will help us bond with the baby and leave it feeling not so abstract a concept. I am also getting quite attached to boy/girl things and names, so quashing one or the other would probably be for the best.

3 ‘Can you call the electric company’ – That one’s just being said my partner. But, word to the wise, do not ask a pregnant woman to do a task that she already has on her ‘to do’ list. That’s called ‘waking the dragon’. Also, while we are here, don’t ever eat the last anything while around a pregnant woman. When I go to eat the last mince pie and find it isn’t there, there will be fireworks. And tears.

Things that have brought me joy this week

1 The congratulations we have received after announcing our news. Other people being happy for you renews the happiness you feel, yourself.

2 My 20-week scan being very, very soon. I know my baby is in there, but I can’t wait to see it again and hear how it is growing and that it is healthy.

Chinese takeaway food – Read, any fried or greasy takeaway food. Vegetables can get lost, unless coated in cheese. And yes, I am taking Pregnancare Max and attempting to change my feelings towards vegetables. Because, health.

Things I am loving this week…

What to Expect When You Are Expecting – First up, I have bought and read ALL the pregnancy books and apps, and all my back copies of Gurgle. And this is my favourite book by a mile. Not only does it have all the facts, week by week, it has a really good index where you can find everything from headaches to bleeding and emotional phases. Everything it says happens to me at the time this book says it will happen. What to Expect When You Are Expecting, £10.54, amazon.co.uk

The Big Fat Activity Book For Pregnant People – Careful reading this with a weak bladder, it is pure comedy gold. Loosely based on trimester, but designed to be picked up and played with at any time. My favourite page so far is the constipated kitten colouring in page. You’ll laugh at how on the mark everything is. The Big Fat Activity Book For Pregnant People, £9.99, waterstones.com

Pregnacare Max tablets – These give me peace of mind that as well as my attempts to eat healthily, the baby is getting essential vitamins (I love the word MAX!). I also took folic acid for a few months before I fell pregnant. Check with your healthcare professional on the right vitamins for you. And shop around for the Pregnacare Max, as I always find it on offer somewhere on 3 for 2. Pregnacare Max tablets£18.99, boots.com

Read my column every week here on FashBaby (a whole new kind of adventure) at FashTravels.com, to follow my pregnancy journey

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