August 4, 2016

Pregnancy | First Trimester Thoughts

I never gave much thought to what it would be like being pregnant before actually getting pregnant. I of course knew what the biology entailed, and I definitely spent far too much time reading and researching how to optimize our chances of conceiving, but I didn’t spend much time actually thinking about the magnitude of what I was embarking on for nearly ten months. Sure, I knew there would likely be morning sickness, fatigue, and an assortment of many other random symptoms and ailments, but I just didn’t spend much time focusing on these things. And it’s probably a good thing because if I had, I might have just said “Hell No” to getting pregnant.

We got the double line confirmation after a couple days of me feeling….”off”. There is really no other good way to explain it, I just didn’t feel quite right. Since we were actively trying I figured I would test, despite it being a few days early. Fun fact, we found out on March 5th. For the first few weeks other than constantly feeling super thirsty and exhausted, I had minimal symptoms. No nausea, no sore breasts, minimal bloating, no food aversions, and no heightened sense of smell. All was fine and dandy. Pregnancy was ridiculously awesome and easy…until I hit about 7-8 weeks.

WARNING! Most everything you are about to read is basically me complaining about how miserable I was. There is no sunshine, no rainbows, and no adorable kittens. If discussion of nausea irks you, stop reading now. If complaining irks you, stop reading now. If you want to imagine pregnancy as this beautiful amazing perfect thing, you know the drill, STOP READING NOW. Anyways…

Right as I was about to embark on a week long pre-booked vacation to Disney World with my family the severe nausea began. The timing couldn’t have been worse. I powered through the trip, and greatly enjoyed my time, but I have to admit it was extremely tough at times. After I returned and as the weeks progressed it only worsened. No specific food aversions accompanied the nausea, rather I had an aversion to all food. The idea of eating anything made me want to curl up and cry. For a couple weeks I tried all the tips in the book; ginger candies, lemonade, Preggie Pops, saltines, ginger-ale, greasy food, no food, healthy food, Unisom. You name it, I tried it. Though I never actually vomited, the nausea was so severe that most days I could only choke down the equivalent of one meal (worth 600-800 calories…on a good day). Soon I started to lose weight. I finally broke down and asked my new doctor for help and walked away with a prescription for Zofran. Knowing the potential risks, in addition to being a bit averse to any medicine even when I wasn’t pregnant, I did my best to limit the frequency I took the medicine. When I did take it, I would reserve it for work hours so I could be productive. It would of course help, but the minute it wore off (right around 8 hours with relative consistency) the nausea came back in full force. Most days it was so bad I couldn’t even take my prenatal vitamin, which ultimately forced me to switch to the chewable ones so that the baby wasn’t missing out on its needed nutrients. The worst of the nausea hit at about 12-14 weeks and lasted until I was nearly 18 weeks (yes, even into the second trimester). By the time the nausea had finally subsided I had lost 10-12 pounds.

Family Disney Trip

Best idea I have ever had was to go to Disney World with my family when I was 8/9 weeks pregnant. 

In the middle of all this, around weeks 7 and 11 I had my first two OB/GYN appointments and we got to see the tiny little blip/bubble of a baby on the ultrasound and receive confirmation of a heartbeat. My due date was calculated and set for November 20th (which means we will have something extra to be thankful for this Thanksgiving). Despite the fact that I felt like I was slowly dying, the doctor repeatedly confirmed everything was going smoothly and that the little sprogling was getting everything they needed to survive and grow. It was pretty neat seeing it up there, in front of us, and definitely made it feel just a little bit more real.

I know the majority of pregnant people experience morning sickness, so I am not alone. And I know it could be a lot worse. I never actually threw up (how this happened, I am not sure), nor did I ever have to go to the hospital. Additionally I had an amazing partner who was willing to pick up the extra slack (attend to our three dogs and two cats) and take care of me when I was sick in bed and unable to function. All that being said there were many moments in that first 18 weeks where I couldn’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. I even told Shiraz I wasn’t sure if I would be willing to go through this again for a second child (which has always been our plan). As time wore on eventually the good days started to outweigh the bad days and the nausea slowly subsided. By the time I hit 18-19 weeks I would feel good more often than not, with the not more than likely occurring at the end of the day when I was home and could crawl into bed to sleep it away.

While the nausea was the worst of my symptoms, I of course experienced numerous other symptoms during the first trimester; severe bloating hit around week 7/8, extreme fatigue was constant from the start, I had constant constipation (which of course only exacerbated the nausea), my breasts became tender and started to grow around week 9/10 (by the end of the first trimester I had already gone up a cup and band size), my skin broke out like I was 13 again and going through puberty, and my hair grew like a damn weed (which is great when you have long hair, and awful when you have a short pixie cut like I do). The one symptom I didn’t get, which I fully expected to, was the hormonal mood swings. I suspect this may have been because the severe nausea caused me to become lethargic and relatively depressed for nearly three months straight (it was so bad at times that I couldn’t even muster up any excitement over at the upcoming baby), basically making me incapable of any emotion outside of self-pity and apathy.

While the first trimester and a half was hell (there is truly no other way to describe it), I made it through and am now feeling significantly better at nearly 25 weeks. Of course the second trimester comes with its own issues and grievances, but that’s for another day (and then there is the dreaded third trimester in which you are officially at beached whale status). I am thankful that I am no longer curled up in bed 16 hours a day trying to keep the nausea at bay. I am lucky I have such an amazing partner/husband who took care of me and let me wallow in my misery and sleep away significant portions of the day while he took care of everything. And most importantly, I am supremely grateful for a healthy baby (thus far).

firstbabypic

One of the first “pictures” of the baby(@ roughly 11.5 weeks pregnant).

August 2, 2016

Guess Who’s Back…Back Again…

Over the last six or so years I have started and stopped so many blogs that honestly it has become a little ridiculous, and maybe a bit embarrassing. I have tried everything from a style blog, to a geek niche blog, to a lifestyle blog, to most recently attempting to blog about our newlywed life. As you can surmise, I would eventually grow bored, disenchanted, or extremely busy and thus, stop blogging. Why this is, I don’t know. Perhaps it’s that I put too much pressure on myself, or set my expectations too high, or have a lazy side that always rears it’s ugly head. Who knows if this time around will be any different, but I am going to give it a go….yet again. Ever since we found out I was pregnant I have had A LOT of thoughts rolling around in my head and I need a way to get them out. Thoughts about life, thoughts about pregnancy, thoughts about what the future holds, and thoughts about what show I should next binge watch on Netflix (apparently Stranger Things is the way to go according to everyone I know).

Additionally, my husband and I have a lot of family and friends who live far away but want to stay involved and know more about what is going on in our lives, particularly since we are procreating. This blog will serve that purpose and make it easier to connect with those we love and make them feel as though they are with us.

This blog will definitely be more of an online journal. I intend to write about anything and everything going on in my life, and the lives of our family. That could be politics, an awesome restaurant we checked out, updates on pregnancy, or how our dogs keep eating and destroying all of our furniture (true story). Some posts may be short, while others will be long and verbose. Sometimes there will be nothing but iPhone pictures (or if I remember to use it, amateur pictures from my DSLR), other times it might be a wall of text. To keep the pressure low I am not going to set a schedule for when to write/post. I will do so whenever I have something to say or it strikes my fancy. And there likely will never be a cohesive theme for this space except for whatever is going on in my/our lives.

If you decide to follow along and read my random thoughts and updates, that’s totally cool. If you don’t, that’s cool too. Welcome to my little corner of the Interwebs. Enjoy your stay.

From Our Engagement Session (March 2015)

Photo by Dana Todd Photography.
From our Engagement Session in March 2015.