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  • Writer's pictureTo Become A Mother

"All of a sudden I became very aware of how I looked compared to other pregnant women"

Updated: Jul 7, 2022

With an erratic menstrual cycle, Caroline Johansen, founder of To Become a Mother, suspected it could take a long time to get pregnant. It was therefore to her great surprise when she discovered two faint lines on the pregnancy test only two weeks after trying for a baby. Here you can read about Caroline’s pregnancy: how she ate her way through the first trimester, why she was relieved to be induced and how she felt about her pregnant body.


How did you discover that you were pregnant?


I’d been feeling extremely emotional over the weekend but put it down to a really bad case of PMS. However, on Tuesday, when my breasts suddenly looked huge (a PMS symptom I’d never had before), I started to wonder whether anything else could be at play.


My partner and I were extremely happy but also a bit shocked when two faint lines appeared on the test I’d dug out from the back of the cupboards. We had only been “trying” for a few weeks and, given the irregularity of my menstrual cycle, we’d expected it to take a while for me to get pregnant.


How would you describe your pregnancy?


The first 12 weeks were definitely the hardest. I was always nauseous unless I was eating - so I ate all the time! I couldn’t stand any vegetables or fruit and the smell of coffee and my husband’s after shave sent shudders down my back. I also had this horrible metal taste in my mouth, the same taste you can get when you are ill. I brushed my teeth and tong scraped obsessively but it didn’t help.


As soon as I was over the first trimester my nausea subsided and started to be able to enjoy my pregnancy. I had an anterior placenta and struggled to feel my baby’s movement. It was a constant worry throughout the second part of the pregnancy, especially the last couple of months. I was induced at 39 weeks because of my baby’s reduced movements and I remember being relieved that I would no longer be solely responsible for him.


What did you miss the most during your pregnancy?


I missed a glass of crisp, dry white wine. There are a few good non-alcoholic spirits on the market but I was not able to find a non-alcoholic wine that was drinkable.

I also missed being able to sleep on my back. Despite my best efforts to go to sleep on my side, I used to wake up on my back in the middle of the night, terrified that I would have cut off the blood supply to my baby!


Did you exercise in pregnancy?


I am a vivid exerciser and was able to carry on exercising throughout pregnancy. I did a programme specifically tailored for pregnancy and some online pre-natal Pilates classes. Before I got pregnant, I always worked out in the morning before breakfast. However, pregnancy made me ravenous in the morning so exercising before breakfast was out of the question!


How did you feel about your pregnant body?


I started showing really early on and received quite a few comments about how big my bump was. I had never reflected on the size or shape of pregnant bellies previously, but all of a sudden I became very aware of how I looked compared to other pregnant women. I remember googling how big one “should” be at a given week, feeling upset that I looked nothing like the pregnant women on Instagram. I wish people would think twice before commenting on pregnant women’s bodies.

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