Over the past few months I’ve been posting a few Pregnancy Stories where real women share their real pregnancies…
The beauty of this series is that ever pregnancy is so very different. I don’t know about you but when I discovered I was pregnant I couldn’t get enough of reading about the subject and talking to other women about their experiences. I wanted to find out ALL there was to know. The truth is that nothing can really prepare you for the journey you will embark on in pregnancy. It’s a roller coaster of emotional and physical changes that can be hard to keep up with! Just when you think you’ve got things sorted, something will come along to derail you!
To showcase that every pregnancy is unique, just as every baby is, I’m sharing the stories of a few different pregnancies on my blog and today’s story is from Nicky Lubbe who is expecting her first baby on 5 Feb 2018!
What age were you when you decided to try for your first baby? Have you always known you wanted to be a mom? Was there a catalyst to help you make the decision?
I was not that little girl who dreamed of her wedding day or having babies. Although I did have dolls, I was far more interested in playing outside in the dirt with my brother! I was on the fence about whether or not I wanted to have a children for a long time. I first started having serious thoughts about having a baby around the age of 34. My boyfriend, Kevin, and I have been together for almost 7 years now. He is the first man with whom I felt I actually wanted to have children with. I guess age was the catalyst in our situation – I’m turning 38 in November and Kevin is 52!
How long did it take you to fall pregnant?
We didn’t fall pregnant “the old-fashioned way” because Kevin had a vasectomy in his mid-thirties. We started fertility treatment at Tygerberg Fertility Clinic in April 2015 but then delayed until May this year to try and get the bulk of my studies done. (I’m studying a BA degree part-time and hope to write and pass my last exams this year.)
Did you have any difficulties falling pregnant? What helped you in the end?
Fortunately, I do not have any infertility challenges, nor does Kevin. I fell pregnant in our first attempt through ICSI (intracytoplasmic sperm injection) at Tygerberg Fertility Clinic!
Did you intuitively “know” when you were pregnant? What signs/ first symptoms did you have to indicate you were pregnant before taking the pregnancy test?
After the embryo transfer, I had to wait 10 days before going for a blood test to confirm whether or not I was pregnant. I didn’t feel any different in the days leading up to the test, but once the pregnancy was confirmed my boobs were so tender that had I not known I was pregnant, it would have been a dead giveaway!
I’m a firm believer that you become a mom the moment you fall pregnant because from that moment on so many sacrifices need to be made for the good of your developing baby… What changes did you make to ensure that your baby had the best possible start in life?
I don’t eat meat, so making sure I get all the vitamins and minerals I need to stay healthy is really important to me. I am a pescetarian (basically I’m a vegetarian who eats seafood occasionally), but I also eat cheese, dairy and eggs which means I’m not vegan. Before I fell pregnant I was taking a Folic Acid and B12 supplement specially formulated for vegetarians. But when I fell pregnant I wanted to make sure I was getting ALL the good stuff for the baby! I felt so overwhelmed reading the labels in the supplements aisle. Do you know how many options of prenatal vitamins there are!? And because I’m pescetarian, I wanted to make sure I got the best option for my needs and my baby’s needs. I happened to first read about Chela-Preg right here on Becoming You, and when I visited my local pharmacy later that week, the vitamin specialist also recommended it to me! That sealed the deal for me and I’ve been taking Chela-Preg ever since.
Other changes I’ve made include slowing down at the gym (no more intense Grid sessions!) and I’ve also given up soft cheese and sushi. The “change” that bugs me most though is having to eat well-cooked eggs… Yuck! I don’t enjoy overly runny eggs, but I despise them well-cooked!
How did you experience your first trimester? Your second trimester? Your third trimester? Did you feel the same throughout your pregnancy or struggle in different ways in the different trimesters?
To be honest, I’ve had a wonderful pregnancy and have enjoyed it very much so far. I’ve not felt nauseous or overly tired. Maybe it’s because I am still getting regular exercise, taking a good prenatal vitamin and generally taking good care of myself. Maybe I’m just one of the luckier ones! My only niggle was suffering from headaches in the first couple of months, but that has subsided.
I must admit, I do feel calmer about my pregnancy now that I’m in my second trimester – the first trimester was a bit stressful in terms of waiting to get far enough along in my pregnancy for it to be deemed “safe” with less chance of a miscarriage. I also found the first trimester to be a bit surreal because although I was pregnant, I didn’t look or feel it. It took some time getting used to the idea that I was (finally!) on the road to being a mother!
The second trimester has definitely been more exciting, like feeling my baby move for first the first time, going baby shopping, deciding on nursery colours and considering names!
Did you struggle with any pregnancy related problems or issues? How did you overcome these?
Yes, in a manner of speaking. The “problem” I encountered was not knowing what to expect throughout the cycle of fertility treatment. There is little to no “local” information available online or first-hand accounts of South African women going through fertility treatment (particularly at a government institution). And because I’m a details person, not knowing what to expect was very stressful for me. I decided to share our journey online in the hopes of helping other couples who are in a similar situation – because it’s confusing, overwhelming and a very emotional process. (Read Nicky’s blog here: Pickled Ginger)
How have you enjoyed this pregnancy?
This is the first time I’ve ever been pregnant and it’s wonderful! I’m fascinated by the fact that I am growing a human being as I go about my daily business – It’s mind-blowing what our bodies are capable of!
What advice can you share to women who are thinking about falling pregnant or who are newly pregnant?
If you are planning on falling pregnant, start taking Folic Acid or a supplement that includes Folic Acid as soon as you can! I love the fact that Chela-Preg is available in trimester packs specifically formulated to support the growth of your baby through the various stages of development. It set my mind at ease knowing that my baby is getting exactly what she needs when she needs it!
And though I haven’t noticed any stretch marks yet, I think the sooner you start using something to help your skin stretch the better! Also definitely take bump photos throughout your pregnancy!
Come back in a few weeks time to read the next Pregnancy Story, but in the meantime why not strike up some conversations around the topic on social media using the hashtag #MyPregnancyStory or leave a comment below! Better yet, if you’d like to share your own pregnancy story the drop me an email at email@example.com.