My pregnancy, on the whole, was pretty standard. Once I found out I was expecting, I downloaded a pregnancy app that gave me daily advice on what I might be experiencing or feeling. It also had weekly updates on the size and development of my little munchkin.
To this day, I still remember excitedly looking to find out the next fruit my baby was equal to in size.
We’d been trying to conceive for a long time, and after many failed attempts, we could hardly believe it was true. We were finally going to have a baby!
I found out I was expecting a little later than some. Maybe it was because I didn’t want to see yet another ‘not pregnant’ message appear. Perhaps my hormones didn’t come rushing in until a bit later than some. Whatever the reason, I was almost six weeks into my pregnancy when I took that final test and our lives changed forever (in the best possible way).
I’d had many months of experiencing pregnancy symptoms but for some reason this month was different. My sense of smell was beyond heightened, my boobs were hurting, I no longer enjoyed my favourite foods. As for alcohol, it sent me running to the bathroom to throw up.
So I took the test and there it was. Confirmation that our dreams had finally come true.
What followed in the next few days and weeks was not so fun.
I was expecting to have some morning sickness. What they don’t tell you is that it can appear at any time of the day or night, and that it comes on so suddenly, making it to the bathroom in time is a mission.
But I wasn’t prepared to have such excessive morning sickness. It was so bad, I couldn’t eat or drink. Even water came straight back up.
The doctor advised eating ginger biscuits to settle my stomach. They only made it worse.
After a couple of trips to the doctor, I was diagnosed with hyperemesis gravidarum, or extreme morning sickness. I was prescribed two types of tablets and sent on my way
During the course of the next four months, I endured two trips to the hospital with dehydration, as well as week after week of simply lying on the sofa, unable to move, eat or drink without vomiting.
I have to say, those first few months were not fun at all. Yes I was excited about being pregnant, but I was also terrified that everything was going to go wrong. That something bad would happen to our unborn baby, or worse, that I’d end up miscarrying.
Now I know that many women have it far worse but these were genuine fears.
Eventually though, around the 22 week mark, something changed. I was able to eat small amounts of food.
I remained on the tablets until my 39th week of pregnancy, gradually weaning myself off them.
My diet became vegetarian which was no bad thing as I really needed as many vitamins as I could get. I tried meat and fish on a few occasions but even the thought of eating either made me run to the nearest toilet.
It wasn’t all bad though. With every passing week my belly was growing and I wore my gorgeous baby bump with pride.
We found out we were expecting a baby girl and we couldn’t be happier. Finally we could start buying clothes and decorating the nursery!
I stocked up on the essentials like vests and sleepsuits and then came the fun part… shopping for bows, headbands, shoes and tutus!
When it came to choosing a name, we hit a bit of a stumbling block. I would shout out all of the names I could think of but Greg didn’t like any of them.
So we decided to each come up with a list of names, first and middle, then swap. We both ended up with very similar lists and eventually narrowed it down to Alice and Chloe.
Over the next few weeks we tried out the names, mentioning them to our families too. It was decided. Our baby would be named Alice Charlotte Yates.
But something wasn’t right. I couldn’t imagine an Alice Charlotte. Which sounds silly right? You never use your middle name anyway.
I had a niggling feeling though that the perfect middle name was at the back of my mind. Then one day it came to me. Mae. It sounded classy, traditional, and really pretty. After suggesting it to Greg, it was final. Our princess would be Alice Mae.
Now all we had to do was wait for our beautiful baby to make an appearance.