As I slipped in in my Death Star Cake post, I’m pregnant! Doctorate Housewife is slowly morphing into Doctorate Housewife and mom! I meant to come clean earlier, but somehow time passes both incredibly quickly and ridiculously slowly when you’re pregnant (or is that just all the time). Without realising it I’ve somehow gone from this…To this…
I’m in my 5th month. Now squarely in the second trimester I think I’m ready to give you my thoughts on the first. For those of you that want to stick to DIY and desserts, feel free to skip this post. But I know I really appreciated reading other blogger’s experiences before I got there myself. So here’s hoping this helps somebody…
First of all, I found that there’s a lot of things they don’t tell you. And there’s a lot of things you hear ALL the time. There are the myths…
- If you’ve talked to anyone that’s ever had it, you know that whoever named it had a strange concept of “morning”. All the time nausea would probably be a better term, or maybe car sickness without the car?
- Eating for two – yeah right! The truth is that for the first trimester baby is tiny with an equally tiny caloric need. It’s more like eating for you plus an apple. Now if you’re stuck with “morning” sickness, you might not feel like eating anyway and lots of people lose weight their first trimester. But if you’re counting on using this time to eat all the cake and ice cream you can get your hands on, you might want to think again =(
Then there’s the counterintuitive…
- There are a couple of reasons for the all day nausea. One is hormones – can’t do much about that, though sleep is supposed to help. The other is blood sugar. Baby starts to panic when it gets low and you start to feel sick. Feed baby and the panic goes away. Avoid food because you’re nauseous and before you know it you’ll be throwing up. And then you really won’t want to eat, but you’ll probably need to all the more.
- Movement. Long gone is the recommendation of bed rest for the frail pregnant lady (unless you have a specific medical problem). Keep moving. If you have an established workout routine (and your doctor hasn’t given you a reason to stop) keep it up. You’ll end up slowing down, but don’t worry- just keep moving. It’ll be good for you and your baby, help you keep your weight under control, and hey birth is a pretty intense endurance event, you might just want to train for it. For me, it also helped with morning sickness.
- People say get all the sleep you can now. Easier said than done. Shortly after I learnt I was pregnant, baby started waking me up every 4 hours to eat. I suppose I should be grateful as it probably kept me from throwing up in the morning, but it didn’t do anything for getting a good night’s sleep. Happily that stage only lasted a week or two and now I get up at least once a night to use the toilet.
And then there’s the all too true…
- More trips to the loo. Yup, baby is now taking up space that other organs were used to occupying. Your poor old bladder will be compressed. And something about the hormones will also make you feel like you have to go more than you actually do. So count on more trips to the little girls’ room. Plus you really should be increasing you fluid intake for at least 2 reasons: 1. your body will be doubling it’s blood volume over the next couple months, scary! 2. Those lovely hormones that help keep your uterus from expelling the baby too soon also slow other things down or keep other things in… if you know what I mean. Getting all the fibre/water you can will help you stay “normal”. It gets better in the second trimester as you start growing out and your bladder gets a bit more space. But the bigger you grow the more compression becomes an issue. So there you go…
My tips to keep morning sickness at bay…
- Movement – when I started to feel sick, going for a walk or even a run helped me feel better (at least most of the time)
A 5k I did with my mom and sister at 13 weeks
- Raisins and dried fruit (still keep a bag in my purse)
Raisins = a quick bit of sugar and an extra dose of fiber, score!
- Eating something (usually raisins) before sitting up and getting out of bed in the morning
What I wish someone had told me:
- Go buy maternity jeans, just do it right now. Sure you fit into your normal clothes, but the button, oh the button. it’s just so uncomfortable. And then there’s the bloating. Sure, you haven’t gained weight, but the bloating is making that button even more uncomfortable. Go get (or order online if you don’t want to be caught in the maternity section just yet) a pair or two of pants with the low elastic waist. No one will notice, but you’ll be infinitely more comfortable! Plus if you consider that you’re going to be pregnant for 10 months and then there’s the period of getting your body back, these pants will get at least a year of use. And if you have more than one kid, 2 or more years worth – definitely worth the money (and if you’re looking for a deal try Old Navy or Gap online sales. Also if you’re tall, they have some styles with extra length.)
- Your rib cage is going to expand and it’s going to feel weird, like it’s opening. For me it was a definite couple days of weirdness. Is that a common thing or is that just me? Comments welcome.
Books I’d recommend:
Expecting Better- it puts some science and statistics into that list of do’s and don’t’s that you’re inevitably going to get handed at one of your early doctor appointments.
And now my experience of pregnancy symptoms…
USUAL SYMPTOMS –
- Nausea, check! – Even before I knew that I was pregnant my stomach was off. I thought it was my impending period, but of course Aunt Flow never showed. The nausea became pretty constant, but varied in intensity. Most of the time it was mild but annoying and if I ate or moved I could get it to subside. But sometimes when food didn’t come soon enough or I was too tired or baby was just going through a serious growth spurt, I just had ride it out. Happily though I only threw up once.
- Food aversions, check! – With the dawn of the nausea my normal hunger signals went away. For the first month I didn’t really have any aversions, but my sweet tooth seemed to disappear. After that chicken (which I normally love) and salmon and eggs all started to seem pretty unappealing. I still ate them sometimes, especially if someone else had made the for me, but they totally turned me off. Salmon is starting to smell good again and I’m back enjoying eggs. Chicken is still hit or miss. Also bitter cooked veggies (like broccoli) seemed just too bitter. That’s also better now.
- Food cravings, kinda – not quite the middle of the night, must have ice-cream and pickles thong of movie lore, but peanut butter and banana has been a real staple. It might be because of the B6 and potassium in bananas, the former of which is known to help with morning sickness and the latter is good for energy. Fruit in general, and strawberries in particular have tasted amazing!
- Tiredness, yeah buddy! – Weeks 8-10 were killer. Making it through the day without spending most of it on the couch and still going to bed at 9 was a real challenge. As promised in all the books, I’ve gotten a lot of my energy back in this second trimester, but I definitely don’t feel back to normal.
- Bloating, check – just get ready to feel huge and swollen all the time. I’ve upped my water consumption, but it only helps so much. There’s a lot going on in the pregnant body and it’s not without its side effects.
- Um tenderness… – Yes the girls, but also muscle cramps and soreness, joints loosening and a general feeling that your body is being taken over for another purpose. Well I guess it is… But it’s a good cause 🙂
- Stretch marks, not so far! =)
- Acne, nope! – I’ve been lucky. My skin has been pretty clear, which is good because a lot of acne medications are off limits to the pregnant crowd.
- Beautiful thick shiny hair, not really – My hair looked perpetually dirty for a week, but apart from that it’s been pretty normal.
UNEXPECTED SYMPTOMS –
- Tail bone – I’d swear my tail bone has shifted. So almost right from the beginning it was uncomfortable to sleep on my back, which I suppose is convenient because you’re not supposed to anyway.
- Sore gums – actually this is totally normal, just not something you’d expect from common pregnancy lore. Apparently pregnancy is a time when you have to be super careful about your dental hygiene.
- Nose issues – friends of mine got seriously stuffed up. So far my nose has been dryer and I’ve had a couple of minor nosebleeds, but nothing serious.
- Turning blue – I have pretty pale skin. In the winter it can even take a purplish hue. With the added blood volume, I’m looking a bit like a smurf, though I think I’m the only one that notices.
Wow, reading back over all of that it sounds kinda scary, but actually I’ve been pretty lucky. Growing a human isn’t an easy task, but it’s pretty cool. Hubby and I are super excited!! (We found out on our anniversary – how cool is that?!)
And now you…
What do you think of my first trimester recap? Is this something you want to read more of/see more of (bump pictures) or should I stick to the standard Doctorate Housewife fare of DIY, desserts, and fitness?
Have you been pregnant? How does this mesh with your experience? I’d love to hear all about it!