What to Expect When You’re Expecting: Vanessa Aitchison
About to become a mother for the first time? Here’s an honest month-by-month experience from a gorgeous mum-to-be, Vanessa Aitchison, an HR coordinator for a multi-national management consultancy firm
Here we go again! We were not quite expecting to get pregnant with our second so soon but when we got the confirmation all the emotions started kicking in. I had a gut feeling that I was pregnant, however it was too early to tell, and we were flying back to Canada for a family holiday, so I would just have to wait to find out later on during the holiday. Once we got the confirmation from a pregnancy test a few days later I was very excited that I could share the news with my family in person, which turned out to be such a wonderful new experience as we never got to do it face-to-face before and even though it was quite early to tell people, it was worth it for the happiness we all felt. I was very excited and nervous all at once. How can we manage two children? Since this was my second a pregnancy I knew more or less what to expect and I started to prepare myself mentally for transformation my life and body were about to go through.
Once we returned from Canada, I got confirmation from my OBGYN that yes, I was in fact pregnant and we heard a strong healthy heartbeat which of course it is always such a relief to hear at each scan you go to. I thought I knew what to expect. I was wrong. This time I was feeling all sorts of pregnancy twists that I did not feel with my first. I felt very tired, full of mood swings, pounding headaches and struggling with nausea. All I wanted was plain and simple comfort carbs, it was becoming a conscious effort to try and eat healthy or even get to the gym as I was constantly excusing myself out of going. The struggle of coping with jet lag, the stressful hours at work and having 18-month-old girl was really impacting my family. I was definitely feeling quite different than my last pregnancy. This must mean I am having a boy, was my first thought.
It’s a girl! We found out the results of gender through the NIPT test, which was new for me, and I had not done for my first pregnancy. My doctor recommended this due to previous test results that came back with higher risk levels than usual. This was quite stressful on me and I had a lot of sleepless nights which included plenty of hours on google and scaring myself into the worst possible scenarios and outcomes. A huge sense of relief came over me when I found out the results had come back as normal. This was the calm I needed, to get rid of the constant headaches I was facing. Besides, finding out we were having another girl was the financial relief my bank account needed (we still have clothes from my first daughter with tags on, and I have not had
to buy one thing). Although gender was never a big deal to me to begin with for
both my pregnancies, this experience really emphasized the fact that in my opinion a healthy baby is all that ever matters. With that in mind I think it is natural to have some gender preference and I understand that some people experience their gender news differently.
Nothing fits. Even my old maternity clothes which I genuinely can’t stand to look at don’t fit as they are so worn in and over washed from the last time. I have a lot of wardrobe melt downs due to the fact I am in the in- between phase of “bloat or bump”, which could have easily been both as I was fully taking advantage of being in the second trimester stage and having left behind the nausea and headaches. This month really picked up socially and I felt that all the fun was starting to begin – the heat was beat; brunches and the beach BBQ parties were back on and this caused for even more FOMO (fear of missing out) and left me feeling gross in everything I was wearing as my gorgeous friends flaunted their best outfits. It was time to clear out my wardrobe and just face the fact that I needed clothes that fit and even though majority of maternity clothes are boring it is nice to go out and buy some fresh clothes that actually fit you properly even if only for a short time. Luckily a few more of my friends have also been pregnant since my first and we are sharing and exchanging our maternity and baby clothes which became quite fun and makes me feel like I have got a free new wardrobe.
This year we decided to not travel for the holidays, we just purchased our first house in Dubai and did a lot of renovations to it to make it ours, so we were extremely excited to move in and spend our first Christmas in our new home. It was quite relaxing having time off work and to be able to spend the days in the garden with my family and appreciate something that is ours and decorate it. Luckily my mom had come out for a long visit which made the holidays feel less lonely. My husband had his family over for Christmas too, so our new house is feeling homely and full which made the festive period fun again and brings back childhood memories with my sisters. I am feeling optimistic and trying to be as positive as I can to just relax and enjoy the rest of my pregnancy. I am well over half way now and the feeling of excitement is starting to overtake the feeling of the unknown and all that comes with it. Of course, I constantly battle through days when I just seriously wonder how my husband and I are going to manage it with two kids, but I also know I need to cherish each step along the way, and I am lucky with the support my family has. With reality checks constantly being thrown in my direction, it is important to really keep myself focused on delivering a healthy baby girl in April 2019.