Back home in Guernsey, the tiredness was all consuming. I’ve never known tiredness quite like it; it was all I could do to get through the day.
Prior to the pregnancy I was a night owl and thought nothing of staying up until midnight and beyond. But now I was finding that I absolutely had to be in bed by 9.30pm, it was unheard of and quite a shift for me. I didn’t know how I was going to get everything done, but I had little choice, my body was telling me in no uncertain terms that it absolutely had to rest!
The morning sickness showed no immediate sigh of easing either. I had researched the condition on the internet and had initially been heartened to read that for many morning sickness can peak about week 9, but here we were approaching week twelve and I still felt terrible.
It was incredibly challenging, especially with my heightened sensitivity to smell. I struggled with the smell of the cottage despite cleaning everywhere, even behind and under all the furniture, but still the smell persisted! I also developed an aversion to my usual loved aromatherapy oil scented candle, even the slightest whiff of it was enough to make me feel sick.
As for the fridge, well I developed an absolute aversion to this too, so that it was challenging having to get something from it - crazy isn’t it, imagine feeling sick every time you go to your fridge. Needless to say cooking was also a trial of sorts, to the extent that I stopped doing it and E lived for a while on anything that was easy to just put in the oven.
Fortunately, my Mum made him lots of meals so it wasn’t like he suffered nutritionally – in fact he probably benefitted as she is a much better cook than me. The worst thing was being in the office because at that point no one knew I was pregnant and the smell of my colleague’s lunch was often stomach churning. It didn’t help I was sitting at a desk near to the kitchen.
As for my lunch, all I wanted to eat was cheese and tomato baguettes and Dorito crisps. I know I keep saying it but it truly was the strangest thing because I would absolutely never usually eat anything like this and had to ignore the fact I was consuming all these E numbers and additives and just surrender to my body’s rather strange cravings, let alone all that unhealthy fat.
I appreciated that women often put on weight when pregnant, you’re growing a baby after all. But I didn’t want to use that as an excuse to “stuff my face” as others had told me they did. Not only did I feel this was unnecessary but I wanted to stay fit and healthy in preparation for the birth and for life with a baby. So I was challenged a little by all these cravings for junk food, but had to just go with the flow of it for now.
The most disconcerting thing was not knowing how long this was all going to go on. The online pregnancy forums were full of terrible tales of sickness the whole pregnancy and I knew this had been the case for friends locally. I couldn’t even consider this. I’ve no idea how those women coped and I have every respect. The thought of this sent me into a minor panic and I took comfort in the fact my Mum had not suffered sickness throughout the whole of her pregnancies.
The only saving grace was the fact I wasn’t actually vomiting and there was some respite from the sickness in the late afternoon and evening. However, I found that yoga teaching was probably the only time I felt truly ok, simply because I’d be focused on the students and therefore completely unaware of my own discomfort. Plus, I had no choice but to just get on with it.
Still, the Thursday morning classes those next few weeks were tough. I felt really sick and absolutely had to eat something before teaching and yet this was a challenge simply because I had conditioned myself never to eat before yoga; it’s not something you’re encouraged to do as it can lead to digestive issues. Pregnancy was truly testing me in terms of the rules and limitations I had created in my mind around food and yoga.
One of my students said she knew that I was pregnant simply because of the way I looked, all pasty, pale and yucky – I guess you come to recognise this when you’ve been through it yourself a few times. I know I didn’t look my best and my body was certainly changing shape and that in itself was challenging because I didn’t want people knowing that my bigger boobs and increasing waistline were signs of pregnancy.
Still the 12-week threshold when we could finally announce the pregnancy was soon approaching and with that an appointment with the midwife and the 12-week scan. I was aware that the natural approach to pregnancy forgoes the scans, but with the recent miscarriage scare, I felt I needed the comfort of seeing the growing foetus on the screen. It was all very exciting, and as grateful as I was, I really hoped the sickness would ease soon…