So by now the body I’ve had my entire life has well and truly changed and taken on a role all of its own. Growing a wee human will do that to you! And at 21 weeks there’s definitely no confusion about whether I’ve been over indulging in all things edible or whether in fact I am growing a baby. Thank goodness it’s the latter!
But I’ll be honest and say those first few months were hard work. Between the all-day nausea and watery mouth feeling that left me unable to eat or enjoy my favourite foods and the extreme tiredness that left me sleeping for hours each afternoon, it’s fair to say there was no glow. And I mean I had NO GLOW what so ever. I felt terrible. So to all of the ladies out there that have experienced a similar feeling early on, don’t worry I know how you feel! And to all of the ladies out there growing a bubs with a glow – go you! Enjoy the sparkle – you are very, very lucky.
Despite my lack of glow, there were a few things that saved me over those first few months and they were cheese, bread, potatoes and salt. Yep, even as a nutritionist I couldn’t stand vegetables and even things like milk or plain water. I tried my hardest to eat well and I did most of the time but I often turned to humble plates of cheese on toast, homemade wedges or even oven fries with tomato sauce for a satisfying meal that I could enjoy on those days when I just wnated to crawl into bed and sleep for the rest of my life. Yes sauce and oven fries - I even had to venture from the comfort of bed just to buy them! And yes my plate was devoid of any other colour. Just for a few weeks.
I remember one day even buying a bag of Proper Crisps and portioning out a bowl to eat for afternoon tea because the thought of anything else just made me want to be sick. This babes sure does love carbs!
Smoothies were out in the first trimester but fresh fruit was definitely in. Cherries were a real lifesaver and I could eat bowls of ice cold cherries straight out of the fridge all day. While I didn’t eat nearly enough vegetables for a few weeks; I certainly made up for it with fresh fruit.
The key with this new restricted way of eating was moderation. I didn't eat a whole packet of chips when I needed something salty, just a few small handfuls. I didn't eat a whole loaf of bread when I was craving something simple, just two slices toasted and topped with buttter and sharp cheddar. Eating these foods in this portioned way when I felt like them meant I didn't feel worse once I'd finished and that's important. I was also conscious of trying my best to nuture this little one with what I was nuturing myself with. After all, it only receives the nutrients you feed it! Small amounts of food every few hours worked for me which is something I've continued doing into my second trimester. You don't want to see a pregnant lady get too hungry - 'hangry' takes on a whole new meaning!
Thankfully, from about 16 weeks I could enjoy all of my favourite delicious and nutritious foods once again but cheese and bread have remained staples on the menu as well as homemade wedges but now I can enjoy them alongside lean protein and plenty of salad. Meals and I now have a lot more balance. Thank goodness I feel so much better!
Exercise has also changed dramatically. I’ve traded in my high-intensity tribe classes for gentle walking, hiking and swimming. I’m also just about to give pregnancy yoga a whirl – time to limber this baby body up! One thing that has been consistent throughout my whole pregnancy thus far is that the baby and I are both happiest when we’re near the ocean or in the water. When we holidayed in the Marlborough Sounds over Christmas, it was the only time I didn’t feel sick during that first trimester. There’s something so special about the wonders of nature and ever since then, I’ve made a real effort to venture seaside whenever I can.
Over the next few months, I hope to share with you some of the joys and challenges I experience while creating and growing this wee human along with a few things that have helped me through different stages. But, I certainly take my hat off to all of the mums out there – you are truly inspirational and especially those that are growing a wee human while taking care of other wee humans!
Poor Hank (our pooch) often wondered why I was sleeping when I’d normally be walking him but he couldn’t really voice his concern to me and I’m so glad he was patient. He is now being rewarded with lunchtime walks to the river for fresh air and a dip. I'm not quite sure he understands that he's about to share the limelight with someone else shortly though!
I’ll leave you with two of my favourite pregnancy snacks – a crunchy apple straight from the tree with two slices of Mainland Noble Cheddar or crackers topped with cheese, chutney and avocado with a glass of sparkling water. Perfect for mum and bubs! We've seriously gone through so much cheese over the last few months that I should have invested in a cheese factory myself! But, it's delicious and nutritious and the baby's bones are just as they should be :)