One of the amazing things about pregnancy is the variation of effects it has on different women. Some sail through the first trimester with barely a blink while others, like our future queen, suffer terrible morning sickness. When querying whether one pregnancy symptom I was experiencing was “normal”, my consultant merrily listed off around twenty common symptoms experienced by pregnant women ranging through all sorts of aches and pains and general complaints. Basically anything goes when it comes to the effect of pregnancy and there seems to be more variation than commonality.
Equally, different pregnancies can have different impacts – a woman who sailed through her first can struggle with her second or vice versa. Future performance cannot be predicted by past events.
(This seems odd to me – surely pregnancy is the same process approximately, so why so much variation, both across women and for the same woman with different pregnancies? It’s lucky that there are clear indicators of pregnancy – like the hCG levels and the growing bump, otherwise more of us would get quite a shock after nine months of random unrelated symptoms. Imagine if heart attacks were so varied in their symptoms!)
Notably my belly is expanding, but given my belly was always prone to a bit of expansion post Christmas dinner and given its general lack of stomach muscles, even this doesn’t seem beyond normal. Other than that, the nausea and various aches and pains although slightly unusual in the way they exhibit themselves (I don’t spend that much time retching when not pregnant), the volume of bodily complaints seems no larger than normal. In fact, if you ignore a deadly bout of man flu in January, I have actually felt healthier than usual – less colds or headaches, which is good seeing as I’m limited to paracetamol as a drug of choice.
Some mornings I have to look down and see my belly to remind myself I am actually pregnant. And physically, my main limitation seems to be access to toilet facilities at regular intervals rather than actively not being able to walk as far as I could. Admittedly I try to limit myself (by not hiking up volcanoes for example) so as not to bring on premature labour but I would probably be fine. I am still doing the hundred metre dash to the bus after all, just at less than the speed I would have done it during the Olympics last year.
Given that pregnancy is supposed to reduce your immune system, I can only really assume that my robust health is down to the copious vitamins I am ingesting, my vitamins of choice being:
- Pregnacare Original – all-round pregnancy vitamins, recommended for the first trimester but I’ve been taking them throughout just for fun
- 1000 milligrams of Omega 3, 6, 9 – fish oils which are good for brain development and babyworld cites a study that showed it helped reduce eczema and egg allergies (that very common allergy). You need to be careful to get some that don’t contain borage oil though which has been linked to birth defects and premature labour
- 25 micrograms of vitamin D – at my booking-in appointment my vitamin D levels came back low so they recommended a supplement. They’ve never referred to it again, but I’ve kept taking it – like sunshine in pill form, vitamin D is good for regulating levels of calcium and phosphate, the former of which helps produce strong teeth and bones
Alternatively or additionally, it may be due to the small increase in fruit and vegetables in my diet (all plans to eschew bad foods from my diet and become a lentil eating, whole foods type having gone a bit to pot). Or perhaps it’s the tomatoes that are doing it.
Whatever it is – long may it continue!