The first trimester of pregnancy is such an interesting time – there’s so much going on all at once. The excitement of creating a new life. The secret that you can’t wait to tell your friends and family. The anticipation of how much your life will change in 9 months time. There’s so much fun – the positive pregnancy test, the first ultrasound and seeing your baby’s heartbeat, sharing the news with loved ones. It’s undeniably an exciting time!
However this time around, the first trimester was not fun and was really hard for me. I was not expecting it because my pregnancy with Arlyn felt like it was a BREEZE during the first two trimesters, but this one was rough because I was sick all the time! The nausea…the exhaustion…the indigestion…the lack of motivation to do ANYTHING. I lost weight in my first trimester because I couldn’t really eat anything. I couldn’t work out at all so I am sure some of that weight was muscle loss. I basically just wanted bread or tortillas for about a month between weeks 7-13. Then, the physical discomforts quickly turned into emotional ones…
I hadn’t even considered the fact I would feel so badly this time around. I didn’t know it would take me away from my daughter and husband at all. It wasn’t Arlyn’s fault that her mommy was sick, had zero energy, and not always fun to be around. I felt like I was failing her. I had trouble playing with her for long periods of time and had even started crying a time or two while she was playing babies and wanting to crawl all over me. I don’t think she quite understood but I saw confusion in her eyes. Here she is, my sweet baby girl, trying to cuddle me and play but all I could think about was how uncomfortable it was for me to be sitting on the floor with her. It often felt that being at work was easier than keeping after a toddler – and work isn’t easy. In due time- I found myself able to power through it. I knew it wasn’t forever and that it would pass, and only helped to stay positive.
Blame exhaustion, hormones, mom guilt, whatever, but it gets really hard to balance your own comfort and your family’s needs. It also can be very confusing to be both excited to be pregnant and feel miserable being pregnant at the same time. I obviously wouldn’t trade being pregnant for anything and yet, there are times I’ve wanted to throw up my hands and surrender…or run away from my own body.
I remember also breaking down in tears because all I wanted was to want chicken, turkey burgers, steaks, hummus and veggies. Hell, EVEN A CHEESEBURGER! It’s like I knew I liked all those foods, I knew how delicious it all tasted, but the thought of it made me sick to my stomach. Like, throw up sick. It’s kind of hard to explain, but if you’ve been pregnant before you likely know exactly what I’m talking about!
Remedies? Well in my opinion, the foods you crave, or the foods your body feels it can “tolerate” just may be what our bodies need at that particular time. I believe in mindful eating. So if my body thinks the only thing that sounds good is a bean and cheese burrito, then I’ll take that as maybe my body needs extra fiber, fats, energy to continue growing a baby, and maybe even to gain some weight! Maybe it’s to soak up the hormones that make us want to vomit every other minute. Feed your body what it can tolerate during this time in your pregnancy, and don’t think too much of it. Trust me- it typically goes away after the first trimester! But remember, that bean and cheese burrito doesn’t necessarily have to be from Del Taco- you can get the same types of foods made with REAL ingredients that are healthier alternatives!
Back to being sick: the way I would explain it to my husband, Chris, or anyone else is that I felt like I constantly had a hangover but I never got to enjoy the fun part the night before…. ya know what I mean!? That would be the best way I can describe my first trimester: one long hangover. I kept questioning myself, “what did I get myself into?” At times my “hangover” felt like the worst thing ever and all I wanted to do was lay in bed all day and night until it passed, but every now and then I would forget all about the pain, the nausea, the constipation, and the exhaustion.
Those times were during our visits to our Doctor when we would get to see our little baby!! That baby, our baby, makes everything worth it. I remember our first ultrasound appointment around 7 weeks. I was so nervous because I know that sometimes doctors don’t see the baby and see just an empty sac. I remember holding my breath, terrified that i wouldn’t see a baby or hear a heartbeat. But then I saw this little nugget appear on the screen with a fluttering heartbeat. I immediately teared up in relief and disbelief! It was incredible! This is what makes feeling miserable SO WORTH IT!
That being said, I will be honest- I always feel such a sense of relief when we see the baby at those appointments, and as soon as I leave the doctors office, a little panic sets back in. All i wanted to do is see the baby again and if you’re wondering, that is exactly what being a parent is like. Constantly worrying about your child/children. Or at least that’s what it feels like it’s been for me.
Why the worry? Well, I am human… but I am also a high risk pregnancy, due to the fact I have Ulcerative Colitis. Women with a disease like mine have higher rates of complications during pregnancy, so I go see a perinatal specialist who keeps a special eye on the development of baby and I, as well as an OBGYN who also keeps a solid eye. Most women with UC go on to have successful deliveries, and healthy babies- which I have had before! So I wasn’t AS worried this time around, but the paranoia is still there. I am currently on bed rest/house arrest to ease my body into remission and stop the flares. I have been having a flare up for over half of my pregnancy, bleeding and all. I am hoping this extra rest and not working will keep my body strong to fight it down!
Benefit to high risk? I get to see the baby 2 times a month! Average is about 3-4 ultrasounds per pregnancy. I’ve seen baby 10 times and we aren’t even in the third trimester yet! Since we see such experienced doctors so often, we found out in the first trimester that baby was a BOY, at 12w5d!
So I guess my point in this blog entry is to share more of my journey, and share that pregnancy has been a lot harder so far this time around than I thought it would be. There have been many tears. MANY. Tears of joy and tears from pain and tears from I have no idea what! But when something extraordinary happens in your life, it seems fitting that the road to get there wouldn’t be an easy one, right?
So I hope you all continue to share this journey with me. Share in the good( our tiny miracle), the bad (sickness) and the ugly (the constipation). Yep – I went there!