I’m starting a series on this blog based around my own experiences as an expectant mum (HOW GROWN UP) and as a pre-& post-natal qualified personal trainer.
This first post is more about my own experiences in the first trimester but coming up are my tips on how to exercise in your first 3 months of pregnancy as well as some workouts you can do yourself.
With all the early pregnancy tests that are about now, women are finding out earlier and earlier that they’re pregnant which isn’t necessarily a good thing as it can prolong the first trimester worrying. I found out I was pregnant about 10 days before my period was due which meant that I couldn’t relax until I was over that first mini obstacle of actually missing a period.
Unfortunately I’d had a devastating miscarriage towards the end of last year which started a few days after my missed period so once I got past that point with this pregnancy I definitely breathed a big sigh of relief.
Weeks 4 -6 were a doddle to be honest, I was just ravenously hungry 24 hours a day and bursting with this big secret that I was sharing with just the hubby. I had to have pre-lunch sandwiches as well as constant snacks but apart from that I felt pretty good. I was just about managing to keep up my exercise schedule with 2-3 sessions each week plus a swim and some lengthy dog walks. I did notice that my bedtime was creeping earlier and earlier (which was great because bed = life). At the end of week 6 we had an early scan to put my mind at rest after the miscarriage. There is nothing quite as life-changing as seeing a little heartbeat on the screen and knowing that it’s growing inside your body. There were many tears from both of us.
The day that I turned 7 weeks was when it all went a bit tits up. For 2 weeks I could hardly eat as I felt horribly sick all day everyday. Any food that I thought I might have fancied turned my stomach after a few bites so I survived on water, melon and plain tortilla chips. A delightful side-effect of pregnancy is the incessant bloating, even when your stomach is completely empty. Needless to say exercise was very limited to Pip’s local daily walk and that took everything out of me. Along with daily naps I was in bed asleep by 8:30pm every night and sleeping solidly until 7am the following morning.
At 9 weeks, having lost half a stone in weight, with the help of some Sea Band acupressure bracelets I started to come round and began to eat again which was a welcome boost of energy. However, my taste buds have changed and food is still a bit of a constant battle. Here’s a current list of everything that I’ve gone off that I previously loved:
Anything with onions in
Green vegetables, particularly broccoli
In week 10 I started some early morning shifts at the local gym which meant getting up at 5:15am a few mornings a week. Needless to say, by 1pm I was often asleep on the sofa and still going to bed at 8pm. First trimester exhaustion is like no other tiredness I’ve ever experienced (yet. I know when the little one arrives it’ll be on another level). I did manage to start working out again which felt brilliant. However, I limited it to some light weights and plenty of stretching and pelvic floor & core strengthening. Whilst you can continue exercising as you used to during your early pregnancy, I hadn’t worked out in over a month so I didn’t want to cripple myself straight away. Also, my heart rate increased much quicker than normal during a workout so I kept my rest periods long and weights light.
Weeks 11 and 12 continued in much the same way, sometimes feeling nauseous, sometimes being ravenously hungry but always being exhausted. My 12 week scan however was a huge high point as we got to see the little bubba doing somersaults and waving at us. Obviously, there were a lot more tears.
So all in all, the first trimester has been a bit up and down and my body is slowly starting to feel like it doesn’t belong to me anymore (I’m looking at you boobs, why couldn’t you have grown like this when I was a teenager?!). Now that I’m nearly at week 15 my energy is coming back in fits and starts so I’ve started to work out again but I’m being sensible and listening to my body.
Despite the moaning, I feel incredibly lucky and privileged to be able to go through this journey as I know many women can’t who want to. I also know how life-changing a miscarriage can be and how no one really speaks about their experiences of it until you mention that you’ve gone through it.
The little bean that I lost will always be in my heart. If you’ve been through or are going through something similar and want to talk to someone then please feel free to reach out to me. It really helped me to talk to people who’d been through the same experience as I felt that they understood so thank you to everyone who listened to me through that tough time and shared their own heart-breaking stories with me.