Hello Baby // My First Trimester Diary Second Time Around...

January 06, 2021

Hello! It's been such a long time since I've blogged, I really wanted to do more since Freya arrived but then came the year of the pandemic and lockdowns, she turned from a baby into a toddler right before my very eyes and suddenly needed chasing after, lots of cuddles, milk, storytimes, a million park trips and the never ending cycle of cooking and scrubbing of the high chair along with trying to fit bits of work in where I can so it's pretty much been about survival rather than having much time to think about blogging. {Plus Instagram pretty much is a blog these days right where I'm sure you see enough of us?!} But now I'm pregnant again! Eeeek! And it's winter, and she's pretty good at taking a long lunchtime nap now and I'm not *so* exhausted anymore where I feel too sick or need to just close my eyes for the five minutes I get at the end of running around getting everything done so it's been nice to log back into this space. I'm typing this from my bed, it's a cold grey January day just after Lockdown 3 has been announced. I wanted to document this time, for me and the future baby to look back upon {I've set a precedent with Freya's pregnancy story that I don't want to start that classic second child not as many milestones documented off already ha} and because that first trimester is so so lonely - especially this year with lockdown after lockdown. You're full of crazy symptoms but probably haven't told many people yet, you're googling everything, trying to tick the weeks off and wondering what's normal and I'm always so happy when I get messages - still 2 years on - from mama's saying how helpful the pregnancy blogs were first time around. So this will probably be a little samey to Freya's pregnancy story but I wanted to document it all nonetheless and share this special journey so far... 

*just to note - please don't take any of this as anything other than my personal experience, I'm certainly no medical expert and every pregnancy is so individual and different so please don't worry if you have a very different experience. Just sharing my personal perspective xx 


This baby was very much planned although it was slightly complicated in that because I was still breastfeeding Freya up until late September, my periods or cycles in general hadn’t showed any signs of returning. I asked on this post back in the summer asking other mama’s when theirs had returned, for most it was when their baby started weaning or sleeping through the night. I read SO many articles about it but didn’t want to have to choose between stopping feeding Freya just for fertility reasons, something we had both loved so much. I was trusting that she still needed me right now and that my body was obviously naturally spacing my fertility for a future baby? We weren't in a great rush for a second baby at all, in our heads our ideal age gap has always been between 2-3 years but I just wanted to know it would be possible and know where I was cycle wise if we did want to start thinking about it. In the end, it was right for us for a number of reasons to start reducing Freya’s breastfeeding down really gradually over a couple of months and I could tell she was ready. From around August time we reduced it, just leaving the pre bed feed in the end until she was more than happy to replace that with a sippy cup of cows milk and a cuddle with her bedtime story. Ben and I had been *not-not* trying for a baby since early in the summer {and both taken vitamins to prepare} but not really had any signs of ovulation and now I had finished feeding I wondered how quickly my body would kick back into gear hormone wise. It’s such a big shift! Luckily it only took a couple of weeks but the post feeding blues in the meantime were completely REAL and I felt so unlike me for about a week in total. I couldn’t sleep, I would lay awake at night with insomnia, my heart and head racing, I would break down in tears sobbing - despite reducing our breastfeeding really gradually as I was so aware of post weaning depression. Freya, bless her was totally fine and didn't even ask for the boob anymore, in hindsight it was such a great age to wean her as she didn't make me feel like it was the wrong thing to stop and I think forgot about it almost right away! Amongst all of this, I was looking out for ovulation signs and tracking it with ovulation sticks {I swear by these cheapies from eBay in a bulk bag so you can test lots - AD/affiliate link}. 


Without getting too personal, I know my body pretty well and the signs to look out for so took a test and saw - after months of wondering when I would see anything again - a positive line! It got darker and then peaked. I didn’t know for sure if I had ovulated or not. Could it be a practice run after months, well over 2 years in fact, of my body not needing to ovulate. But we treated it as if it was real and then I was into that two week wait! I had heard of so many women who had fallen pregnant in their first month after fully stopping breastfeeding, you’re meant to be extra fertile. It would be a huge bonus to not have a period for years. But I didn’t want to get my hopes up too much, if I hadn’t ovulated or indeed we hadn’t been lucky enough to ‘catch’ that first egg then at least I’d have a bit more of an idea cycle wise for the next month. It’s weird, I already have one incredible baby, we feel like we’ve won the lottery by having her. But again, like last time, once you think/hope to become pregnant again, if your personality is anything like mine, it does become something you can't stop thinking about. Maybe it’s just me. I didn’t really expect to feel like that again so much for our second but I guess once you’ve decided to try again, you start hoping it will happen quickly and just want to know when it's likely to. All the while whilst knowing that it’s such a privilege to have one baby and to be able to try naturally at all. I know sadly so many are not in that position.

The two week wait came and around 8 days after that positive ovulation test, my boobs were really really tender and sore. They hurt when I was running which I never really get and around 8/9 days DPO they started leaking some milk despite me not having BF for a few weeks - and even when I was feeding they hadn’t leaked for months. A few days after I started waking up in the night, felt really hot and then had some brown spotting. All the while, I obviously hoped these were good signs but my hormones were all over the place so I didn’t know if it was just my cycles coming back in general or anything to get excited about. Then, at the exact same point DPO as with freya, I had this weird lump come on my nipple. I’m not even going to say TMI anymore as if you’re reading this you’re likely to be a woman experiencing similar so 🤷🏻‍♀️. I decided to take a test a couple of days early. I didn’t know when exactly to expect a period/ positive test as although I had the date of the positive ovulation test, that only tells you the surge before ovulation and not when exactly you did ovulate/conception occurred. Again, using cheapy but accurate pregnancy tests I started testing and saw the faintest second line!!! Eeeeek. I didn’t want to get *too* excited yet, although did immediately send a photo to two of my best friends to get their thoughts, and then the days that followed were waiting for the next day to take another test with that FMU {first morning pee}. It wasn’t getting a lot darker so I was a bit wary. I then took a clearblue early response test which did show as pregnant. And then a day or so later, bought a clearblue weeks test which showed 1-2!!! It suddenly felt like it was really happening. 



The very first test. Squint to see a very faint line!


A few days, and lots of tests later, a strong positive on Clear Blue and then a 1-2 Weeks test.



There wasn't a grand announcement to tell Ben, he kind of knew each stage as it happened. But on the day that the first really positive looking positive stick had happened, we went for an evening walk and saw the most incredible full moon rising, the kind you see and stop to marvel at it. Ben said I should take a photo of it which I did 💫🥰 it felt like a good omen, the confirmation of something special. {photos never do the moon justice on an iPhone}


The next couple of weeks felt a bit surreal without many symptoms. Plus this time I had a toddler to chase after and not much spare time to even think about anything else. It was lockdown 2.0 by this point so a good excuse to hide away for a bit and not have to make excuses about not feeling great. 
Here are some notes I scribbled down from the first few weeks;

2-4weeks pregnant;

Positive clearblue test. Eyes burning tiredness. Boobs aching, whole chest felt heavy?! Just so so very tired. Oh god pregnancy with a toddler. Suddenly need to wake up around 1am to pee, goodbye sleeping through the night 😂

SO thirsty!! Hot.

5 weeks; 

I fainted one morning as I got up. Pretty scary and my head felt fuzzy all day from it. Exhausted every afternoon now. In bed by 8pm! Not excited by food anymore but not feeling sick yet.


Each week I took another clearblue weeks test to check that it was going up which thankfully it did to 2-3 and then 3+ which was a nice reassurance thing at that time where you have no idea what's actually happening inside. 


Around 6 weeks; 

Then the nausea came. Oh god the nausea, I had it with Freya but looking back it was so mild. This time was the worst I’ve ever felt - I mean across the whole of my life. It was all consuming, went on for weeks and just made me so miserable. There was nothing that I craved. Instead almost everything was a huge aversion. It was so hard having to cook/ think about food for Freya. The fridge, the smell, I didn’t even want to see food on Instagram. If ever there was something that would make me decide 2 children is all we ever dreamed of {and a good reason to not have anymore when I no doubt dream of pregnancy again in the future this feeling is one to remember!}. It was so hard for Ben to know exactly how it felt. Friends who had had similar described it as a constant hangover. What I'd fancy would change from day to day so it was impossible to plan ahead. I’d do a weekly food shop then have to put things in the freezer I couldn’t bare to cook/eat. I normally have a huge sweet tooth but didn’t want chocolate, cake or ice cream. We normally always eat the same dinner together as a family but often I'd get Ben to sort something for them both or go to the chip shop! I normally try to cook a big range of nutritious stuff for Freya but all of a sudden I just didn't want to think about food at all. Sorry little one!
Things I had eaten became a gross memory - even those that I used to LOVE. I was never actually sick, although came really close a couple of times but the nausea was awful enough. It would come in waves throughout the day, I tried ginger like everybody says in various forms but nothing helped. Well, eating did but only if I could find something I could stomach which changed each day. I had to go to the our allotment one day just to get out of the house which made me feel sick and then as I came home, cried because I couldn't face going in. Even memories from that time of things we did make me feel sick now. Anyway, I don't want to get OTT about it as I know so many others have it so much worse and I'm so sorry if you're suffering badly/have suffered as it really is so miserable no matter how happy you are to be pregnant. 

I cried many times. Partly because lockdown was hard and then mixed with feeling like that too. But also because I was so sad not to be able to enjoy this pregnancy so far. This is very likely our last baby and I know just how magical and incredible pregnancy is. Of course I was so happy, beyond happy but miserable from it too. I felt sad I probably wasn’t giving Freya my all anymore. I was a miserable wife! It was a really tough time. But weirdly I was kind of glad for the symptoms too, nausea at this stage can be a good sign your hormones are strong pregnancy wise? {but please don't worry if you don't have this symptom as I just read it's not actually proven! Not sure where I heard it from}

Exhausted, sick but happy. 


I called my GP and had my booking in appointment a bit earlier than last time, this time at 6 weeks I think partly as I didn’t have a date to put down for a last period. It was all so different this time around with the Covid protocols and was done over the phone this time but thankfully with the same, wonderful, midwife I had throughout with F so that was really special. I then went in for booking in bloods/samples and got to see her in real life which was lovely. All of my appointments will be at the hospital this time instead of my GP like before and unfortunately Ben can’t join but obviously that’s understandable to minimise risk. 



We sent a photo of Freya in this Sister sweatshirt to close family & friends that we wanted to know - regardless of what would happen - to get their support. We'd told them early on with Freya and so it felt even more imperative this time around in case we needed some help with Freya/food drop offs etc. It was funny as my parent's didn't get it straight away and my Brother took lots of nudging on our family Whatsapp group to realise. Ben's Mum got it straight away. And a couple of people thought it meant we knew we were having a girl already until they realised that Sister would mean Freya would be a sister regardless of it being a girl or a boy! It was a shame in a way to tell everyone via WhatsApp but still so nice to have it out in the open and share everybody's excitement with us.


It's been really special to see her be obsessed with babies and dolls since the summer when she found my old doll at my parent's house! I know she's too little to understand what it means but she gives the biggest beaming 'yes' if you ask her if she wants to be a big sister and we can't wait to see her with the new baby in a few months time! Everytime we go out and she sees a buggy she'll shout 'baybeee' and has to give her dolls milk or a dummy or get them dressed. I so hope the age gap is ok jealousy wise and that I'll be able to spread my time enough to the two of them! 


7 weeks - 
I booked a private early scan. Partly because I was unsure of exactly how far I was date wise and partly because it feels like such a long wait to 10 or 12 weeks at that time. And also because of that anxiety to make sure things were ok? Despite being lucky to have a healthy pregnancy last time, I felt more anxious this time, maybe because miscarriage is talked about a lot more now - which is definitely a good thing, it shouldn't be taboo in any shape or form and is so important that women can share and not be alone but I guess sometimes you just keep some sad stories you've heard in your head. It was hard to know exactly when to book it for as I really wanted to hear a heartbeat and knew I'd feel anxious if it was too early - I'd be in the same boat as if I hadn't had one! They're not cheap either so it's not like you can keep going back. I took an educated guess and on the way there picked up a shiny, lucky {so I hoped} penny. Ben was allowed to come in for it as long as we both wore masks and had our temperatures checked before going in. It was an internal scan as it was before 9/10 weeks but thankfully we saw what we'd been hoping for - a tiny bean and a beating heart! Hi baby. I had tears rolling down my face, I don't think I'd expected to feel as emotional as I did thinking that we'd been through it all before but actually I realised just how much we love Freya and therefore what this tiny little bean will grow into. It's just so incredible. 


A blurry little bean sized baby! And a beautiful special sunset that evening.



Insomnia still going. Only had a full nights sleep once or maybe twice since finding out. Awake for an hour or 2 almost every night. Waking up at midnight needing to pee then finding it hard to go back to sleep and getting really hot!  

I had maybe one day a week where I'd wake up feeling really faint and find it hard to get up. It was so much harder this time around not being able to stay in bed past 6am when Freya often wakes up. In the end she got a big treat getting to watch a few episodes of the Baby Club or Hey Duggee in bed with me as I just couldn't face getting up yet. My parents were a huge help one day a week looking after her as part our childcare bubble which meant I could get a bit more rest - I savoured those days so much.

extra cuddles & screen time at this point

I tried to exercise when I felt up to it but definitely not as much as last time around. Way too tired and it's harder to find the time with a toddler and motivation with no classes to go to with covid. I've recently discovered The Bump Plan for pilates which I'm loving to try and maintain some core stability and a strong back {especially as I'm hauling a toddler around this time too}. And I'm still running - for mental health benefits more than the fitness side but not sure exactly how long I'll feel able to this time - depends on how far I can go without needing to pee! I just find I'm better exercising if I've had breakfast first now, I get way too hungry if not. 


9 weeks. Cravings kicked in. THANK GOD. Had a few days feeling better. Less tired, bit more energy. Then did have sickness kick back in again {which although you don't want, when it goes you kind of panic a little as that's really the only way you can tell you're pregnant at this stage!}. This time around all I wanted to eat were cheeselets, ice cold cranberry juice, turkey meatballs and I'd often wake up craving croissants! Suddenly I wanted to eat chocolate again - WAHOO! 



Woke up with a nosebleed for the first time in a couple of years! Googled it and it's a common pregnancy thing as your blood volume expands and likely why I've been feeling so faint often too - I have low blood pressure at the best of times and often found my body craving salty things I guess to try and counter that? 

Gagging on vitamins when trying to take them. Reminds me of my first pregnancy.

Counting down to 10 week harmony scan. We decided to book the Harmony Test again like we'd had with Freya and I was keen to find out the gender from it this time earlier than we did with Freya. It includes a scan first before the blood tests and like all scans, I felt nervous in the lead up to it just hoping the baby was growing at the rate they should be and that everything would be ok. It was so weird going into London for the first time properly in months and whilst I'd always been cautious Covid wise - rightly or wrongly I'd never really been that worried before but now I was carrying a baby, suddenly it seemed like something I just really didn't want to have any extra risk of getting so we literally went to the hospital, grabbed lunch & came straight back instead of making a day of it like we would have done normally - especially being toddler free for a rare occasion! And hello baby, it was incredible just how much they grow and develop in these first few weeks, it was so different to the image we'd seen at 6/7 weeks. They moved my due date forward by a few days and we got told that the blood results would be back in 5 working days. 


I've had a bump pop out so much quicker this time around than with Freya! Partly from a lot of bloating in the evening for the first couple of months but aside from that, a definite bump too. It's really special to see it pop out and rediscover my maternity clothes from first time around - from about 8 weeks this time I couldn't face my tight jeans or any tight waistband anymore so comfy jumpsuits were much more favourable! Even lots of my pyjama bottoms would feel too tight in the night all of a sudden. HELLO old friends my maternity jeans!



Mama.

12 week scan. I had my date through for the 12 week scan and a letter which said partner's wouldn't be able to attend. Although slightly disappointed, we felt lucky that Ben had got to experience every appointment and scan with me for Freya and that we'd been fortunate enough to have those two private early scans so accepted it for what it was at this crazy time pandemic wise. But as we got closer to the date, miraculously the NHS guidelines changed in that partners would now be allowed for as much as possible but only if the hospital felt it was safe to do so. So Ben could come to the dating scan after all. We had such a lovely sonographer, she really did make it special and all was well. My due date got moved forward again {which Ben thinks can't be technically right - we know when I ovulated so surely the date moving is only because the baby must be fairly long as we're both tall as he thinks otherwise it was conceived before it was possible to be? He's concerned that when it comes to the actual due date, if I go overdue and get pressured for induction that it could just be the off measurements? Anyway I'll just take the new due date with a pinch of salt and I guess in my head treat the original one as a bit more of an accurate one? But as we all know babies aren't likely to come on their dates and it's just a rough time to plan for anyway! But it was nice to advance - by almost a week now! - in all the apps/for appointments etc}.


13 weeks - By this point I was feeling so much better and although had been going to bed around 8pm pretty much every night since finding out I was pregnant, from about 13 weeks I finally started to sleep a lot better so had a lot more energy again. And it was so nice to actually feel really hungry and want to think about food again. Especially over Christmas! I'm still not massively into sweet stuff after dinner anymore which the old me would find alien. And my cravings vary, I don't need my twice or three times daily icy cranberry juice anymore but then sometimes only apple juice will do. Over the last week or so I've been super hungry and needing to go and get a bowl of cereal before I can go to sleep! We had such a lazy Christmas which has been so lovely but it's a bit daunting with this latest lockdown and winter/January ahead trying to entertain a toddler without any classes we can go to. It looks as though most of this pregnancy will be shrouded in ever changing Covid restrictions with appointments over the phone, so very different to the first time. I know how fortunate we are though and to be growing a baby - pandemic or no pandemic really is the greatest gift. I just hope that by the time the summer comes things will look very different for us all. It's so fun to be going through the pregnancy at a similar time to Freya's timeline - not planned at all but great in terms of clothes/knowing roughly what to expect at what stage and I really loved having a summer baby before so it's all we know. But then my Sister in Law is due in just a couple of weeks and I keep thinking how cosy it would be to have a newborn in Winter to snuggle up so obviously anytime is super special. I really hope from now on I can properly enjoy this time, especially if it is our last pregnancy and I'm already sad at how fast it's going this time around whilst also being so excited for all that's to come.  



We actually already know the gender already but haven't told anybody yet {luckily Freya's not at the age to spill secrets ha} but I'll save that tale for another day. It was really special to find out. 




Thank you so much for everybody's kind messages since we've shared our news. 

If you're new around here and want to read my pregnancy posts from the archives you can find them all here... 

R <3  xx

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