Weeks 13-16 – The weeks ‘Peanut’ became REAL
So after quite a miserable start to being newly pregnant, this trimester was the bit I was looking forward to the most….it’s known as ‘The Honeymoon Period’ because you are still you, not too visibly heavy yet, you can still do all the things you normally would without the sickness or aching, and you get to see your baby for the first time with your 12 week scan, or ‘The Dating Scan’.
I was told to drink loads of fluids ready for the scan – this pushes the baby higher up so they can get a good shot. I was expecting to see a chicken nugget shaped object with not much character or detail……. MAN was I pleased with this …….
So here is Peanut at 12 weeks. Isn’t she marvellous?! I was so surprised at this little baby shaped looking thing. And when we listened to the heart it was a good solid, strong beat and showed every sign of being very healthy. I was relieved!
I was now feeling my baby’s movements too, at first it was almost un distinguishable from a bowel movement – but after a week or two it felt more like someone drawing circles on my tummy with the tip of the finger (from the inside though!), then they felt like taps, then the taps became more obvious and she started wriggling too.
Pretty soon, I was able to tell a range of movement – little tap = a punch, big fat tap = a kick, wriggles = general squirming, and lengthened tap = a push!
I was also experiencing some ‘Braxton Hicks Contractions’ which at first just felt like someone had trodden on my whole womb area! I looked this up and apparently it’s totally normal, like practise contractions to prepare you for the real thing, but for Peanut, it was also a sign that she was about to let out an almighty hoof!
Random side effects that don’t normally get talked about are bleeding gums – at first I thought I might have a problem with my teeth but I later learned that this is actually very common in pregnancy and I guess this is why pregnant birds get free dental care! So if this is happening to you also, take advantage of that! I also had bleedy nose – not a full on nose bleed as such, I just found that I need to blow my nose more than usual and noticed upon inspection (oh come on…we all do it!) that it would often come out red (nice). This too is also very normal and quite common, as well as being able to taste a metallic flavour in your mouth a lot.
Food wise – Peanut craved nothing but BIG MAC’S! I’m a quarter pounder with cheese girl myself, but Peanut had to have the Big Mac’s! Highly nutritious stuff….again, don’t take this as a recommendation!
Body & Baby Info
Weeks 17-20 – Stress at work
I felt slightly at ease about going back to pole lessons for the new year, knowing she was alive and well, and even looked forward to getting back into my stride.
Classes continued as normal for me, however I did start getting in some help to limit my activity a bit, just in case. But at this point I could still go upside down and do all my usual pole stuff. The only thing I stayed away from was the ‘Death Lay’ and trying out anything new.
The ‘Death Lay’…well, as best as I could do it on the day…again I would definately NOT recommend this move when pregnant!
Although my energy levels were on the up and the sickness had totally gone, other areas of my health were not so great, particularly stress at work.
This trimester, I pretty much fell out with people a lot. NOT because of the hormones (or hormines I called them!), but more because there were some issues in the ‘Pole World’ and I seemed to be getting it from all angles, facing a lot of flack from peers and fellow pollers in the industry.
I guess my mistake was that I took the attitude that ‘Even a dog has courage to bite back when it’s being attacked’. Pole world is pretty demanding sometimes, and I found that I was constantly having to defend myself and worrying about what other people think of me – I suddenly realised that you JUST CANNOT please all of the people all of the time, and NOW was a very important time in my life to feel happy – so you gotta DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY.
Why am I mentioning this on here? Well, because it got to a point where running my own business and trying to constantly appease people – instead of doing what I really wanted, was starting to become a mental burden, stress levels went up, sleep became difficult and I had some really high blood pressure readings at the maternity appointments – I fell straight into the ‘high risk’ pregnancy category.
LIMITING YOUR STRESS LEVELS IN PREGNANCY IS VERY IMPORTANT.
Becoming too stressed and raised blood pressure can cause problems in pregnancy, such as restricted growth, or pre-eclampsia. All in all, it’s not good for you or baby, and now that I was in the ‘High Risk’ category, the medical officials doubled my appointments to keep an eye on us both.
I decided in the end I had to distance myself from all things ‘local pole community’ as it was ruining my business, and at my health’s expense! I needed to stay calm and focused, for peanut.
Since limiting my stress levels, my pregnancy got a lot easier and my blood pressure lowered and I was able to move forward with my business, which really paid off as my mind was cleared of the junk and Peanut and I came up with some of our best ideas ever!
Other than that – I was in good shape, I could still handspring and shoulder mount, invert – the only things I stayed away from was any holds that I felt I had a slightly unsafe grip like scorpio’s, gemini’s, hip holds etc…. for fear of falling randomly!
Body & Baby Info
Weeks 21-24 – Baby Genius!
Turns out I am having a baby genius as well! – during this time was one of the best times I have had for new and exciting business and pole ideas! I felt super creative and super productive and made some very drastic changes to my classes, my pricing structure, my website, my products AND services….all for the better.
My business has always been very important to me, IT’S MY ONLY JOB! and now it was even more important that it is to be providing for my little one. So preparing for my maternity leave and making lots of fabulous plans for my return was top of the agenda and I really enjoyed it!
On the other hand, I started getting what is commonly known as ‘preggo brain’! it’s basically memory loss, general confusion and loss of ability to co-ordinate oneself properly! People would ask me in class what time their next class would start the following week and I would stare at them blankly going ‘errrrrr…..’ – and then one of the other girls would answer for me! Another preggo brain classic was whenever I was demonstrating ‘Ankle circles’ in the warm up I would twirl my wrists etc….
Peanut developed a perchante for Bonkers by Dizzee Rascal by the way – booted every time it was on in class.
So – it was about time we had another scan – ‘The Anomaly Scan‘! This was the one we had been waiting for, the midwives are able to see a lot more on this one – like checking on the baby’s growth, measuring the bones, checking for health risks, functioning organs and of course….determining the baby’s sex!
This is Peanut at 21 weeks…
Ok, this picture is slightly less impressive, but she is brilliant all the same, and at this point, in perfect health! Due to the nature of the last few weeks I was very eager to hear this news, I just wanted to KNOW that Peanut was ok and that my work and pole and stress levels hadn’t had any detrimental effects, but she was GREAT! And I say SHE, because at this scan, we found out I was having a baby girl!
From the picture, it would seem that she has my chubby cheeks already, and Daddy’s cute button nose. I am hoping the giant cranium is a storehouse for some serious brain power…. I reckon I might be on to something here as she has come up with all my best ideas so far! Maybe she could work for Tefal one day?
Body & Baby Info
Weeks 25-27 – The Weeks Pole Got Tough
Being as this is a slightly longer trimester, I have split it as there just seemed to be so much happening! About how the Trimsters are split: The truth is….. ‘THEY’ just don’t know where the division is! Some say 26 weeks is the start of the third trimester, some say 28 weeks, some 29…..NO ONE really knows for sure!
Pole started to get tougher in these weeks – I remember loosing my shoulder mount at this point, and although dancing in class was still great, after class I ached like someone who had never polled before! maybe even worse than that, it was pretty rubbish. Mostly I felt aching in the lower back and hips, so I knew it was preggo related, not random pole injuries, so I invested in a bump strap and employed help to demonstrate the moves in class at this point – and generally tried to do less, but allow my verbal teaching points to take over.
This worked well and to be honest HAVING to rely on the strength of my verbal instruction made me even more experienced as a teacher, and better at my job ultimately!
But again, the pole withdrawal got to me, and guess who’s UK tours I was missing this time? Only Pantera, Miss Suzie Q and Alethea Austin! An all too familiar feeling of physical dread came back. BUT I pushed it to the back of my mind, not much point whining about something I can’t change right now, and this just made me more determined to plan ahead a bit better with lessons – I realised my original goal were a bit too optimistic, and decided to shave one course off before my maternity leave – originally I had planned to teach until I dropped.
What did cheer me up though is now we had the all important info we needed to get on with preparing for our baby – we’re having a girl! So we decided on a name – she was to be called Millie Mackintosh. I organised a ‘Bump Shoot’ with my photographer buddy Andrew, and we started work on a room for Millie. Things got really exciting, and I started to look forward to spending the next few weeks focusing on HER rather than pole. But that’s all in the ‘Third Trimester‘ section of this blog!
Body & Baby Info
* Limit your physical activity a bit – if it’s proving too much
* Limit your stress levels – if there’s things/people/events bothering you and causing you un-necessary stress, CUT THEM OUT OF YOUR LIFE
* Do what makes YOU happy – a happy you makes a happy baby
* Get a bump strap
* Do a maternity photo shoot – How many times in your life will your body look like this? Capture it, even if you feel like a hideous moose.