Baby Holland: The First Trimester

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If you follow me on Instagram you'll know we shared some big news recently. We are expecting our first baby. Whilst I know blog posts about babies wont be for everybody and I don't want to flood my Instagram feed about it, it's still something that I will only experience for the first time the once and were very excited about. I have also had a few women who are either in the early days and have found it helpful to chat or around similar due date to us and it has been a real comfort. I can't believe I'm well into the 2nd trimester now...

We had about 6 weeks of being pregnant pre-lockdown. Going through the biggest change to my body and our lives during a global pandemic hasn't been the easiest (but it hasn't been easy for anyone  regardless of a human growing inside you or not) like everything it has had its ups and downs. How many couples get to spend part of their pregnancy just the two of them? Soaking each other up and getting use to our situation, I've also appreciated being able to cater to my every whim (as I'm furloughed too) so I've been able to nap whenever I wanted, if I've felt sad and like I've wanted to be alone then I absolutely could, wanted to binge an entire series... like watching all of 'This is us' (so glad I had this to fill up a chunk of my time - I just need to find series 4 now!) we've also done lots of baking and cooking together and I've got my new hobby of needle crafting to keep me busy when I feel more motivated and creative. It's obviously been hard not having family or friends around us and I feel like certain experiences and milestones have been robbed from us like scans and appointments together, not being able to go on trips or holidays we wanted to fit in (Some of my 30th birthday presents from Matt as well was to go to Santorini and Berlin this month so feeling particularly rubbish about that right now) whilst I felt my best during my 2nd trimester and to really make the most of our alone time and make some amazing memories.

We knew we wanted to try for a baby this year and was really lucky and surprised by how it happened straight away. It was when we were away at the end of January in Helsinki and I had a small feeling that I might be pregnant (but didn't want to get my hopes up just yet) as we had been out for dinner and I had a glass of champagne... that evening back at the hotel I felt awful. I throw up and felt super uncomfortable all night but woke up the next morning and felt totally fine. When we got back and my period would have been coming up, I had really sore and heavy boobs and it felt different to my usual pre-period feeling and thought my body was trying to tell me something... I couldn't wait any longer and two days before I was due on, Matt picked up some early detect tests. I woke up at 3am that morning absolutely desperate for a wee and not wanting to ruin the results by not using my first wee of the day when it's most likely to show. I really wanted us to both be there whilst I did the test as well but needs must -  with butterflies in my stomach and palpitations rearing to go, I took the test - trying my best not to look as it takes 2 minutes and immediately it changed to positive but I wasn't sure if this meant it could change once the 2 minutes was up or what so just tried to wait it out. There it was some solid proof at 3am that we were pregnant... safe to say I struggled to sleep the rest of the night. I told matt by creeping back into bed and saying 'it looks like were pregnant' I think he was in a deep sleep as he didn't really respond properly and I didn't want to wake him so took myself off with a blanket to the sofa all wired up and thinking about everything. In hindsight I wish I had waited to tell him in a more eventful way but I had all this nervous energy I just had to release.

Telling people
Just a week after finding out ourselves we decided we wanted to tell our parents. It was important for me for my parents to know and have some support and be able to talk candidly to my Mum when I wasn't feeling my best. I'm really glad we did now with the impending lockdown about to commence in a few short weeks. It meant we got to see them in person, hug (wow who remembers human contact?!) and get excited. To me there was no downside in them knowing so early on as I know lots of people want to wait for the 12 week scan to check everything is okay but whatever the outcome I would want their love and support.

I told my best friend fairly early on as well as I was due to be a bridesmaid in September and we had even been to try on bridesmaid dresses already and knew this would not be possible for me to know how big I would end up being and by the time they got married I would be 8 months pregnant at this stage so would be very difficult to participate fully..

I also told a few work colleagues when I found out as I also get acupuncture from them so I would have either had to completely avoid having a session if I didn't want them to know. They also treat a lot of women for fertility/ pregnancy and I feel like they would have just been able to detect something had changed. I'm really glad a few people at work knew though as it made it easier when I was feeling so awful. I know it's a really personal decision of when you feel comfortable to tell people (or certain people) but I'd really recommend at least someone at your work knowing so that you can confide in them and have some leeway.

The first trimester
I probably started with 'morning' sickness from about 6-7 weeks. I was only ever sick a couple of times but basically from when I started feeling the nausea I had it constant with not really any let up, just waves of it being worse then at other times. From as early as 5 weeks I felt completely exhausted and zapped of energy. Struggling with anything other then going to and from work, walking seemed to be the only exercise I was getting and not even as much as usual as I wasn't going out and about like I usually enjoyed doing.

One of my biggest problems and worries during this time was that I was experiencing really bad groin pains. It started early at about 7 weeks as mild-moderate stretching and pulling kind of pain and I knew this was normal as my body was rapidly changing and accommodating, but then a few weeks later they were getting more and more intense. They would last for 30 minutes at a time and usually wake me up in the night. Matt would rub my back to get it to ease and console me as they would make me feel incredibly sick, sweaty and make my legs shake. After this particular bad one and after lots of googling... luckily I had no bleeding to accompany the pains but we called the midwife help team and was told that all was probably normal and given advice, but if it was to happen again that we should head to A&E even if for just for our own peace of mind. When it happened again we went to get checked out and was seen quickly for tests and an emergency internal scan at 9 weeks. It was the biggest relief to hear the technician say that our baby was there and all was good. We both got to hear the heart beat together for the first time and this was such a special moment and we will always remember that. We got our first photo of our small little jelly bean with the starts of legs and arms, it all started to sink in and feel pretty real from there.

Aversions and cravingsWhen the sickness really started to kick in I was on an exclusive diet of beige, fries, burgers, toast, crisps (I don't even want to look at a packet of pom bears anymore) I totally went of fruit and vegetables which I love, I usually have a pretty healthy diet and definitely eat my five portions of them a day. I did find that eating helped with feeling queasy even if I was eating less and had to be beige. I first noticed smokers way more, the smell of cooking - frying onions or melting butter made me feel awful. I stopped drinking caffeine shortly after finding out I was pregnant and then quickly I  went off coffee and the smell of it anyways. I've had a few cravings like really wanting coleslaw, salt and vinegar walkers crisps and I enjoyed Matt making me a grill cheese.

Week 10 and official lockdown started. I had pretty much been socially distancing by staying at home when I wasn't working because of how tired and rough I was feeling but of coarse the imposed quarantine, the not knowing how long it would last, feeling anxious about loved ones and the virus it was all a lot to take in.

Our 12 week scan was met with excitement and tinged with sadness. I hadn't been told and for some reason it hadn't even crossed my mind that Matt wouldn't be unable to come into the hospital with me let alone not allowed into the scan. I managed to hold it together enough but I felt a few tears every time I thought about it and I was waiting about 50 minutes for my appointment longer then should have so was distracting myself with a crossword book I had in my bag, I couldn't even face messaging Matt whilst he waited in the car for me, as it would make me well up and think about it all. I think it's pretty normal but I was really anxious for this scan as well even though I feel very lucky that we got to check everything was okay at 9 weeks and I'm so grateful we had that scan at that point too and Matt got to hear our babies heart.

Bump or bloat?
Ugh the bloating. Similar to that monthly bloat but feeling just that bit more unpleasant with everything else going on in my body. I started showing with a bump fairly early on for a first time pregnancy but I have a fairly small and narrow torso and I'm only 5ft 4 so once my uterus popped out of my pelvis it didn't really have anywhere to hide. Just as I was approaching the end of the first trimester that is when I found that my stomach felt more solid and a small bump was appearing.


Vegan scones

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During lockdown like a lot of people I have turned to baking which has been a long lived hobby of mine for years as it is. If I could have done social distance safe drop offs and shared with people (we don't have friendly neighbours or family/ friends in walking distance unfortunately) I would have baked so much more. I've made lemon and lime drizzle loaf, cookies, brownies, peaches and cream cake, pavlova so far and I would love to go for an afternoon tea as soon as it is possible again, so baking some warm scones topped with goodies was high on my agenda.

350g self-raising flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp caster sugar
95g vegetable spread/ dairy free butter
150ml dairy free milk

To serve:

Raspberry or straberry jam
Elmlea vegan double cream whipped
fresh fruit optional but great!


Mix the flour, salt, baking powder and sugar in a bowl. Rub in the veg spread until the dough resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Gradually stir the milk into the flour mixture until you have a smooth dough.

Heat the oven to 220c or 200c fan. Lightly dust your suraface with some flour, and gently roll out the dough until approx 2cm thick. Line a baking tray with some greasproof paper and using a 5 or 7 cm cutter, cut out the scones. Leave a 2-3cm gap between the scones.Brush the tops of the scones with a little milk, making sure it doesn't drip down the sides as this will cause them to rise unevenly. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool slightly but best served warm with your favourite toppings.


Bourbon Biscuit Brownies


In Spring social media was inundated with the simple bourbon biscuit submerged into brownie mixture and rightly so because it's bloody delicious. All hail that little chocolate biscuit which so happens to be accidentally vegan and what better time to enjoy a treat and get some baking done then the festive period.

I have a tried and tested brownie recipe which I have posted on here before when I made those other famous brownies of the slutty type. I even recently used my recipe to make two seasonal festive treats after eight mint brownies and mince pie brownies. 


Packet of bourbon biscuits
250g Plain Flour
350g Golden caster
65g Plain Cocoa Powder
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1 Tsp Salt
250ml Water
250ml Vegetable Oil
1 tsp Vanilla Extract


In a large bowl mix together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Next pour in the water, vegetable oil and vanilla, mix until all is blended well.

Pour the brownie mixture into a lined tray and place the bourbon biscuits on top and bake for approx 35-40 minutes.

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