10 THINGS THEY NEVER TELL YOU ABOUT THE FIRST TRIMESTER

When you hear about all the things you experience while pregnant the focus is almost always on the second and third trimester, with the first trimester getting completely ignored a lot of the time. A lot happens in those 12 or so weeks and I was pretty much in the dark as to what to expect so here is a list of the things I wish i'd known about! 

I would also like to briefly mention that I really hope this post doesn't come off as an 'i'm not crazy grateful to be pregnant' post. I am crazy grateful of every second that i've been lucky enough to experience pregnancy. It's a complete honour and I don't ever take it for granted.

Here goes... 
1. You will feel exhausted. Seriously Bone tired.

I didn't realise how much making another human would take it out of me. For a good 10 or 11 weeks I napped every day when I got home from work and at least twice a day at the weekends. When I wasn't napping I was day dreaming about napping. When I wasn't day dreaming about napping I was talking about napping. My bed time moved forward about 4 hours till 7pm. Thank goodness it wore off at about week 14 as my productivity was serioouuuuslllly low.

2. Morning sickness is really ALL DAY sickness.

One thing for sure is that I was totally unprepared to feel so sick - all day, every day, for weeks. I knew that morning sickness was likely but no-one mentioned to me that it so rarely just strikes in the morning and it can feel relentless after a few weeks. Eating became a total chore of trying to find something that I could stomach (anything beige would usually be okay) and then feeling sick as soon as I managed to actually eat it. Sending out all my love to those women who have to struggle with HG. I can't imagine how hard that is. 

3. You might not feel glowing at all

Pregnancy glow my ass. I felt tired and looked even more tired. Even with all that napping. Suppose I should just get used to those dark circles eh?

4. Bloat McBloaty 

I really struggled with bloating between 5 and 10 weeks which meant I was in maternity trousers really quite early on.  Anything I ate bloated me and some days I legit looked huge compared to normal. Again, this started to ease off the further along I became and the bloat was replaced by baby. 

5. Weird freaky dreams

Vivid. Sometimes scary. Sometimes hilarious. Always bizarre. Who knows why this occurs but prepare yourself for some frequent WTF moments... (this one is still my favorite yet)

6. What's that smell?

Things smell more strongly and totally different than they did before you were pregnant. I felt like one of those sniffer dogs at the airport and everything and anything would set me off. I vividly remember walking to work one morning and the lady walking in front of us was eating a banana. That day I hated the banana smell. I wanted to grab the banana right out of her hand and chuck it in the bin. But then the smell of a bin on the street could make me gag. So yeah, it was annoying to say the least. 

7. Your boobs WILL be unbearably sore 

My boobs were and still are huge compared to before I got pregnant. It's been great in many respects but they were rock solid and crazy sore for weeks. I even had to go buy a bra that didn't hurt when I wore it. After about 11 weeks they kinda eased up in terms of soreness and 
8. Am I actually even pregnant?

Much of the first trimester is a strange experience. You know that you are pregnant, but you don't look pregnant. You don't even feel pregnant most of the time. You can't feel the baby move yet and you will likely convince yourself that the baby has simply disappeared / never was there in the first place. I certainly did. Up until we had our dating scan at 8 weeks and I saw him up there with his tiny beating heart that feeling was constantly there.

It's an odd and confusing time.

9. All the secret keeping 

Most women decide not to share the news that they are pregnant until they are in the relative 'safety' of the second trimester. For us personally, we decided to tell our family and closest friends earlier at about 6 weeks which meant that keeping the pregnancy a secret didn't really come up *phew*. I can't imagine how tough it would have been if we were back at home and waited till 12 weeks to tell people... and anyways, my sister and best friend would have caught on straight away!

10. It's overwhelmingly magical too

Last but not least... the whole process is overwhelming. But in a really good way. Life changed the second we did that first test and the last six months have FULL of love, wonderment, gratitude and excitement. I've said it before and i'll say it again.. I wouldn't change one second of the whole journey. 

SEPTEMBER SELF-CARE GOALS

I'm writing this post in utter disbelief that it's September already. September means we're coming home. September means that we're only a few months away from meeting Baby Parsons. September is when everything changes for our little family again. 

Over this past year i've learnt a lot about myself and one of those things is that I need to seriously up my self-care regime when there's a big change coming. I find the stress of moving house, let alone moving internationally, incredibly tough. As I think most people can relate to, it's at times like these that it's easy for the little things that help (like meditation, eating well, being outside, yoga etc) to slide off my to-do list and be replaced by the mindless activities of eating crappy food, scrolling on my phone for hours and watching too much tv.

With so much uncertainty and transition happening this month i'm going to really try and create a safe and supported space for myself. Here's some of the things i'll be doing:

Really enjoy the rest of our time here in Chicago. We've only got 18 days left before we move back to the UK and I want to really love every moment of it. This city has become so special to us; we spent our first year of marriage here, discovered we were pregnant here, worked awesome jobs and met some gorgeous people here. I'd hate for the last two weeks to be spent lazing on the sofa stressing about how much stuff we have to take back with us. Time to get up and out!

Read more fiction books. Not just pregnancy and baby books. Getting lost in a brilliant story is one of the best feelings, especially when combined with a candlelit bubble bath and Ben Howard playing. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! 

Practice my HypnoBirthing Pregnancy Relaxation meditation daily. I find that on the days i've listened to the relaxation track that I always feel more relaxed and the occasional thoughts that I have about giving birth on the lines of "oh my god, I can't possibly do/survive/manage that" are much easier to quiet.

Practice yoga more. Since I've been pregnant i've really not enjoyed yoga very much... it's been a case of "i'm feeling achey so lets do a few stretches".

Treat my skin better. Now the random breakouts have subsided a little it's time to get my skin care regime into nourish mode. All my skin has tolerated the past few months has been the Kiehls Midnight Recovery Cleansing Oil, Lush's Tea Tree Water and Lush's Cosmetic Lad moisturiser. That's it. Nothing else. When i'm home it's time to start introducing back in a serum, eye cream and night oil on to of the daily self-massages with my body oil to try prevent stretch marks! I know this may seem like such an odd & not-important thing to focus on but i've always found that spending time looking after my skin and body an act of self-love.

Eat nourishing foods. Less sugar, more whole foods.

What are the ways that you look after yourself in times of change?

23 WEEK BUMP UPDATE

^^I'm so very elegant^^

How far along: 23 weeks + 1 day 

Days until due date: 118

Baby's development: Baby Boy Parsons is about as big as a grapefruit now. He's 11 inches from head to toe and weighs about 500g.

My bump: Growing day by day which I totally love. My belly button is on its way out though. It's gone very flat, very wide and very weird-looking. It freaks me out a little if I’m honest! The sooner it pops the better.

Stretch marks? None still thankfully! I ran out of my Clarins Tonic Oil a week or so ago and as it's much more expensive over here i'm gonna wait till we're home to repurchase. I bought the Honest Company Belly Balm as my interim tummy stretch mark preventer and i've been pleasantly surprised! I still favour my Clarins oil as it sinks into the skin quicker and well, ya know, the smell...but the balm feels super moisturising and luxurious too. I'm thinking the perfect combo is the Clarins in the morning and the Honest Balm at night. A lady can never be too moisturised after all. 
Cravings: Does ALL THE FOOD count?

Sleep: It's gotten a lot better the past few weeks. The dreams are still bonkers and the toilet breaks annoying but the "wide awake at 3pm for a couple of hours" episodes have thankfully dramatically improved. 

Best moment this week: The other night as I was listening to a pregnancy relaxation track from here I could feel Baby P moving around more than I ever have before. I had my hands resting on my tummy and every kick, punch, swirl, ripple and pop was really pronounced. I called Ben in straight away and it was just such a magical moment to share with him and the baby. 
I've never been so grateful in my entire life. 

Worst moment this week: The breathlessness is getting silly now. I know it's completely normal during pregnancy but it feels so odd to have to pause and taking a breath if i'm walking and talking. Or going up a flight of stairs. Or even a couple of stairs. It's kinda ridiculous. 

Miss anything? Nothing, except everything that i've mentioned in my last updates

Mood: I can't wrap my head around the fact that we head home back to the UK in just 19 days. I flit daily between being utterly over the moon excited about it and then completely devastated that we have to leave this gorgeous city that's become Home. It's likely the hormones making it worse but it's a complicated and confusing time for this pregnant lady.

On the whole though am feeling happy, relaxed and very much enjoying this stage in my pregnancy. 

A FEW LITTLE LOVES

♥ Two of my favourite people are getting married next year which makes me SO HAPPY...my Sister and my bestie Richard. And i'm in both weddings which makes things extra special. 

♥ I've only got two more weeks of work left over here and feeling all sorts of feels about that. I've grown to really love the team i'm working in so if they could move to the UK that would be great. 
♥For my birthday Baby P gifted me an Instax Fuji camera and i'm obsessed. There's something really special about having instant physical photos and I've decided when i'm back in the UK it's time to get creating photo albums. 

♥ I think about the food that i'm gonna eat when I get back home for a good 80% of my day. Feeling pretty thankful that I can blame the upcoming gluttony on the baby.

♥ We're off to mooch around the Baby Show in Chicago this Sunday and I just literally booked us tickets for the London Baby Show in October too! It's all baby, baby, baby....

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Love, 
The Parsons 

CURRENTLY / 3

Thinking / That I got seriously lucky when I married Ben. It was my birthday on Sunday and for the whole weekend he looked after me like some kind of dreamboat husband, especially as I spent much of the weekend homesick and weapy! I'm talking cuddles when ever I wanted them (which was 90% of the time), cups of tea and treats on tap, Sunday night trips to get donuts (in the rain), breakfast at my favourite spot and then I was spoilt rotten with presents from him and Baby P. 

So. lucky. 

We got dressed up and went out for dinner on Saturday night to celebrate and it was just so bizarre to think that was my last birthday before we have Baby P. 

We took ourselves to GT Prime for steak and we could not recommend it highly enough. The food was absolutely delicious, the atmosphere lovely, the service was on point and did I mention the food? Straight from Heaven. 

Happening now / Bum on sofa, candles twinkling and watching David Attenborough. 

Wearing / Pj's. Well actually Ben's Pj's because comfort is THE ONLY GOAL these days my friends. 

Reading / This article. Which basically blew my mind. The possibilities of No.

21 WEEK BUMP UPDATE

Reaching the halfway point and getting out of the 'teens' feels like such a big milestone in this pregnancy! It's the one that i've been looking forward to the most since we found out we were pregnant those many moons ago. I mean, I feel like i've been setting myself little milestones since we found out (reaching 12 weeks, then the start of the second trimester at 14, feeling him move for the first time) but getting over half way was the big one!! 

How far along: 21 weeks + 1 day 

Days until due date: 130

Baby's development: Baby Boy Parsons is about as big as a carrot now. He's 10.5 inches from head to toe and weighs about 360g!

My bump: Bump is still growing and has started to take on that nice round, pregnant-belly shape! I'm rather thankful that i've not reached that stage where people look at me and realise that i'm pregnant rather than just bloated or chubby. I'm now getting strangers congratulate me and ask when i'm due which is lovely. 
^^ A true representation of how I feel most of the time ^^

Stretch marks? None yet but I noticed a varicose vein on my boob the other day. Odd. Loving the bigger boobs though. 

Cravings: Nothing really – I can’t manage to eat big meals so am enjoying lots of little snacks and *trying my hardest* to keep them as healthy as possible. 

Sleep: Don't even get me started on the weird pregnancy dreams. Last night I had a dream that I was in a plane crash, my teeth fell out and that Ben looked like Frank from Always Sunny (image below for those that don't watch it)...
Safe to say I definitely didn't feel rested when I woke up this morning. 

Best moment this week: Having our mid point anatomy scan which I can honestly (and so very gratefully) say was one of the wonderful experiences of my life to date. I was really quite nervous beforehand but the moment that we saw him up on the screen I felt all that anxiety dissolve away and be replaced by pure love for this little boy.

He was laying upside down with his head in my pelvis and his feet up by my tummy button and I couldn't get over how much he was spread out over my tummy now. For a good portion of the scan he wouldn't move from on his side to help out the Sonographer get a picture of the left side of his heart that I was given 10 minutes to dance and jump around the room like a lunatic to get him to move. But nope... the boy was comfy and not moving for nothin'. We all had quite the giggle over that and eventually she got the shot. 
Worst moment this week: The anxiety leading up to the scan. That and the constant toilet breaks in the night. Bored of those already. 

Miss anything? All the British food that i'm gonna stuff my face with when I get home next month! That and our loved ones back in the UK of course...  

Movement: Much more frequent and noticable! I feel him moving around a lot more now (mainly when i'm relaxed at home and resting) and even though my placenta is located at the front some of his kicks can be felt by Ben when he has his hand on my tummy. He's obviously kicking pretty hard. I will say that even though it's the oddest and bizarre feeling it's also the best. Once I got used to it that is. 

Mood: Up and down but mostly up. We're both so excited about getting home and sharing this experience with everyone that it's all we talk about now. That and the plans we have for his nursery. And what baby swag we're excited to get. And what he might look like. And how crazy excited we are about meeting him. And how much he's loved by everyone already....yeah, there's a lotta baby talk around these parts these days.

A FEW LITTLE LINKS FOR THE WEEKEND

Obsessed with this podcast at the moment. The perfect preparation for parenthood.

Day dreaming about living in this apartment, visiting this place and napping here

Looking forward to reading this book

Ozark. One episode in and i'm hooked. 

This is the only diaper bag that i've found that I remotely like the look of. 


I spent a lot of time lately diving into the depths of The Public Domain Review and this essay was my favourite. Mary Toft and Her Extraordinary Delivery of Rabbits. What a title.