'My first symptom involved... stairs.' 6 things no one tells you about early pregnancy.

Pregnancy is wild. In the first 12 weeks alone your little one grows from just a few cells into an actual (albeit very tiny) fetus, so it’s no wonder it’s exhausting. You’ll be so tired that naps are broken down into morning nap, afternoon nap and pre-dinner nap. The nausea will vary from none at all (for the lucky few) to full-blown hyperemesis gravidarum (more commonly known as the thing Kate Middleton had).

It’s tiring work, and sure, your partner might be a little over the mood swings but there is no better excuse than, “I grew a human heart this week”.

Watch: Things pregnant people never say. Post continues below. 

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I’m almost halfway through my first pregnancy, so here are six things I wish someone (anyone) had told me about the first 13 weeks. 

1. Stairs are the enemy.

This was probably one of my earliest pregnancy symptoms. I honestly couldn’t walk up more than 10 steps without panting and feeling lightheaded. At 18 weeks, I’m still struggling but it’s not my fitness that’s the problem, it’s my body making more blood! In a normal pregnancy a woman’s total blood volume increases by approximately 40 per cent (can be anywhere between 20-100 per cent). With all that extra blood to pump it’s no wonder you’re feeling faint.


Image: Supplied. 

2. Morning sickness is kind of comforting.

Nausea really sucks, and morning sickness is a really silly name for something that happens 24 hours a day, but when I had troughs in the nausea I actually panicked. Feeling like microwaved lettuce was a reassurance that everything was as it was supposed to be and the pregnancy was progressing. Of course there are plenty of women who have perfectly healthy babies and have no morning sickness at all, but for me, it was a comfort. 

3. Carbs are the only food group.

All I could eat in my first trimester was bread, potatoes and dry pasta. I think I went through half a loaf of bread every day. My go-to meal was toast with vegemite and a punnet of cherry tomatoes. Delicious. 


4. It’s the longest eight weeks of your life.

We found out we were pregnant at four weeks, so I thought waiting eight weeks to be “in the clear” would be a cinch. Apart from keeping it a secret from friends (I’m a terrible liar) I was so unbelievably anxious for the health of our bub. I spent most of my time hanging out with Dr Google and taking additional pregnancy tests. 

Listen to Mamamia's pregnancy podcast, Hello Bump, where Monique Bowley and Bec Judd walk you through the 12 months of pregnancy. Post continues below. 

5. Cramping is totally normal.

In the nearly two years it took us to conceive, getting cramps was a very clear sign that my period was on the way. So when we finally did fall pregnant and I started cramping, I was absolutely terrified. Cramping can be a sign of miscarriage but it can also be a normal part of the stretching and growing of your uterus. Don’t even get me started on the first time I felt round ligament pain, I audibly screamed when the sharp pain shot down my groin. Again, totally normal. 

6. You’ll probably renovate, or move house, or start a business.

This isn’t strictly a first trimester thing but it's certainly worth mentioning. Almost everyone I’ve spoken to took on a gargantuan project when they were pregnant. Perhaps it’s nesting, perhaps it's insanity but there’s nothing like pregnancy to light a fire under your tooshy and make you finally take on that project you’ve been avoiding.

Feature Image: Supplied.