Friday, September 16, 2011

Pregnancy: Weeks 1-10

Every Friday, I'd like to post a weekly update on my pregnancy.  My "turnover" day for the week is Sunday (does that make sense - every Sunday I "turn" a new week), so posting my recapped thoughts for the week on Fridays seems like perfect timing.  I've only written a couple of these: this one I'll post today (which is super long and covers ten weeks) and one from 13 or 14 weeks.  I might go ahead and post that other one soon (maybe early next week?) so I can hopefully catch up to real time.

I should maybe stop for a second and mention that this blog is probably going to turn into a "pregnancy blog" to some extent in the next 6 months.  I realize this doesn't interest some people in the least, and I get that.  But this is a major, major, exciting thing happening in our lives right now.  To say that it doesn't consume so much of my time/energy/thoughts/prayers would be a complete lie.  And for that reason, I'm going to write about it.  Just like I wrote about the other stuff that consumed my time/energy/thoughts/prayers before I had this avocado-sized person in my uterus.


Monday, August 8, 2011

I've been wanting to write weekly posts documenting stuff like symptoms, weight gain, cravings, food aversions, and just general feelings about my pregnancy...but I haven't yet.  I think part of it was the worry that I might miscarry, but part of it was definitely laziness and procrastination (I have 40 whole weeks to write about this thing, right?).

Well, as of yesterday, I'm 11 weeks along, so it feels like a nice time to look back on the oh so pleasant first 10 weeks.  I'll hope to do these updates weekly, moving forward - but since I haven't done that yet, enjoy this mammoth recappage of the past 10 weeks of my life.  (Well, actually the past 8 - not sure if everyone knows, but the "40 weeks" of pregnancy start on the first day of your last period, so there are technically two weeks that you're retrospectively considered pregnant, even though during those two weeks, your body was not pregnant.)

Early Symptoms?
I've been meticulously charting my cycles for more than a year, so in the time between ovulation and when my period was due (2 weeks), I was looking out for any sign I might be pregnant.  I'll say I had mild heartburn a couple of the nights before bed, and ravenous hunger a couple of the days, but both could be completely unrelated to the uterus (and could've also just been PMS-related).  Two things were noticeably different from my past pre-period 2 weeks, though: 1) I didn't really have any breakouts on my chin like I usually would with PMS; and 2) usually my, ahem, "girls" would be super sore starting one day post-ovulation, and with this cycle, the soreness didn't set in until maybe 2 days before I would've had a period.  I also had one of the most painful acupuncture appointments of my life.  But other than that stuff?  Nada.  All the movies where women wake up and puke their brains out before they've even gotten a positive pregnancy test was not at all similar to my experience.

Symptoms After the +
Oh so many started to set in a couple weeks after I got a positive...
-Major food aversions
-Extreme, unbelievable, uncontrollable exhaustion - this has been the biggest symptom I've experienced.  Every afternoon, there comes a point in my day when I can't do anything because I'm so tired.  Like, tired in the way you feel when you have the flu - just total body exhaustion, no matter how much sleep you've had.  This was especially bad in my early-week workouts - I would start to exercise, and just feel beat, like there was no way I could possibly do even close to what I did before.  I would finish a workout and feel done for the night.  There were a few nights I fell asleep on the couch at 8:30.  I would go to bed between 9 and 9:30.  Thank the good Lord I've regained some energy in the past week.  I still go to bed in the 9 o'clock hour, but whatev.
-Peeing at least once, but sometimes twice per night.  I never did this before - and honestly, especially on a get-up-twice-in-one-night night, I don't understand where all the pee is coming from!  I don't really drink that much before bed...
-General nausea, but no puke.  Especially when I don't eat for awhile, I get a general feeling of blah.  I'm so thankful I never threw up, and I seemed able to control the nausea a little by meticulously planning meal and snack times during the day.  Also, and this could be total nerdiness on my part, but I tried to mentally overcome the nausea - like, if I could take deep breaths and mentally be in control (saying in my mind, "you are fine, your stomach is fine, you will not throw up"), I felt like it actually helped a little bit.
-Bad hypoglycemia when I wouldn't eat enough (especially if I was out in the sun).  This disappeared once I learned I needed to eat all. the. time.
-A constant stuffy nose.  Unknown whether this is pregnancy-related, or related to the fact that I've started eating dairy again - or maybe both!
-And "the girls" - wow.  Some major growth (and I thought I was doing just fine in that dept. pre-pregnancy); major, major soreness; a feeling of heaviness; and a couple other things I'll just keep to myself. :)

Weight Gain
Thus far, at 11 weeks, I've gained 3 pounds.  It's hard to think that 2 of those haven't gone straight to my chest.  The other one?  Well, see the "food craving" part of this post.

Showing Yet?
When I wake up in the morning and look at my stomach, it looks no different.  But for some reason, after I start eating food, I feel like it protrudes for the rest of the day and doesn't go down until the next day.  My pants will feel normal in the morning, but by the afternoon, they feel tight.  No clue about this phenomenon.  Also, just for the record, my thighs are getting bigger.  I can tell by the way they look.  And I think my face looks a little chubbier than before.

Food Aversions
This has been a huge problem for me.  You guys know how much I like to eat healthfully.  Well, one day, maybe a week after the + preg test, I was eating my usual lunch (an apple and a salad), and I was almost brought to nausea. The salad disgusted me.  The apple was so sweet I couldn't tolerate it.  And with that, I started to have some major troubles in the eating department.  Things I've been repulsed by uninterested in eating:
-Apples (although, I started eating these again a couple weeks ago)
-Wilted spinach, or any kind of green
-Oatmeal (this has come back, though)

Food Cravings
In a way, I feel like a huge jerk.  The first 10 weeks of your pregnancy is so important for baby's development.  If you would've asked me before actually being pregnant, I would've said, "no way will I eat unhealthy foods while pregnant - I'll force myself to eat vegetables if I have to."  Um, no.  It didn't work like that.  All I wanted to eat was unhealthy restaurant food for probably 6 weeks.  I had things like french fries multiple times (usually I eat them maybe once every 4-6 months?).  Restaurant veggie burgers.  Fattening sandwiches at lunchtime.  I also had a lot of frozen yogurt with sugary toppings and on a couple occasions bought some individual servings of ice cream from the grocery store.  So my cravings were generally for restaurant food.  I didn't have much interest in cooking.  But also some specific things...
-Quaker Oat Squares
-Open Pit bbq sauce
-Ketchup (despite being "the Queen," I usually greatly limit my ketchup consumption since it's so high in sugar and sodium)
-Spicy foods
-Whole wheat pasta with sour cream, parm, and salt & pepper
-Mexican food!  Oh my gosh - can't get enough!
-A strawberry/orange/banana smoothie
The cravings for "bad stuff" are dying down a lot.  I'm able to eat healthier now.  Fruit has actually become a bit of a craving - so I'm trying to eat a ton of that.  They also come and go pretty quick.  I was in the grocery store the other day, saw a can of whipped cream, and had to have it.  But the can is done now, and I'm not racing to the store to get another - they're totally fleeting in nature.

General Mentality
The whole time I've been pregnant, I've felt extremely grateful that I was actually able to get pregnant.  The first maybe 9 weeks were filled with fear of miscarriage.  That's gone away for the most part.  But has been replaced with the fear of an unhealthy baby.  I'm terrified of this.  And I'll hear a news segment about birth defects or see a severely disabled person and think "I'm hearing/seeing this because God is trying to prepare me for what's to come."  I realize it's a little irrational, but I can't help myself.  I look at all our friends with healthy kids and think, "statistically, our baby will be unhealthy because no one else in our group of friends has an unhealthy kid."  Suffice, I'm praying hard for a healthy little baby.  I'm also really worried about Jonathan and his health and/or the chance he'll be hurt or killed in some kind of freak accident.  Maybe the pregnancy brain is a worrying one?

Anyway - I think that's about all - the past 10 weeks in one blog post.  Hopefully if I can stay on top of these updates every week or so, the next post won't be quite as epic.


AmyBethJames said...

It is so fun reading this and reliving my own early pregnancy days. For a while all I wanted were warm, bland comfort foods - mac & cheese, baked potatoes, and french fries! I once started eating a box of cheez-its in the grocery store because I physically couldn't wait until I finished my shopping to have some! My midwife always told me that (within reason), don't freak out about just eating what you can tolerate in those early weeks. Your baby is a miraculous little parasite that sucks everything it needs from you no matter what. She said that's the main reason to take a prenatal vitamin, because you need those nutrients that your baby is (adorably) stealing.

The exhaustion is astonishing, isn't it?! I hadn't done anything and yet I felt dead on my feet. For me at least, that seemed to vanish almost overnight. It's kind of cool, in a way, how your body basically directs all its energy and resources into building that little person!

Oh, and the stuffy nose IS a pregnancy thing, actually called Pregnancy Rhinitis.

It is difficult to assuage those fears during pregnancy. I don't know if it helps you one way or the other, but I chose not to have any of the prescreening done. I figured it wasn't going to change the fact that I would continue my pregnancy and I didn't want to be unnecessarily worrying about things I couldn't change. I remember feeling a little overwhelmed about what to do when they offered those tests so this was just the decision we came to after talking to some other moms who'd been through it both ways. I will be praying for your healthy baby too!

It's so weirdly wonderful and fascinating, being pregnant. I really enjoyed that time. I hope you continue to as well! Can't wait to read more. :)

Claire said...

Jackie, I think the one thing (of many) that I've learned about you from this blog is that you are quite the worrier. :) Try to relax (easy for me to say) and enjoy this very special time in your life. I know you and Jonathan will have a lovely, healthy baby girl or boy. I'll keep checking back for your updates. Can't wait.

Pregnancy week by week said...

Actually it is the time of first trimester and it makes the pregnant lady so tired and stomach upset and so on. So take care of your-self.