Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Baby Story... First Trimester

(The coffee cup I had earlier on the day I took my first pregnancy test...  
Interesting, huh?)

I really should have just titled this entry "Ugh."  Yeah...  I would be happy to never re-live the first Tri ever again!

It wasn't long after finding out that we were pregnant that I noticed just how TIRED I was - all the time.  I had been visiting a dear friend the weekend before and couldn't figure out why I wanted to sleep so badly...  Totally not my usual self!

(But it all made sense a couple of days later!)
And that was just the beginning...  I hesitate to write about this time period for me, because I know I had it easy compared to many.  Every time a new symptom arose, I looked it up in my pregnancy books or online and was reassured that this was just part of the ride.  So I didn't really get nervous or upset...  Just took a break.  When my midwife would ask how I was feeling, I would look at her and grin, "textbook, really."  She'd laugh.  All was fine - just not fun.

Our daily mantra was, "one day at a time."

But that doesn't mean it was easy.  Fatigue set in big time - making work really hard.  Concentration was tough.  I felt nauseous 24/7.  I'd get really hungry...  Try to eat...  And then realize I couldn't...  And would get frustrated.  And the cycle would continue within 20 minutes or so.  (If I never eat another saltine or drink ginger ale again - it will be too soon!)  I had quite a few headaches (until I realized that a little caffeine went a long way to prevent them).  My boobs hurt so bad that showers were painful some days!  I couldn't eat vegetables - which drove my hubby nuts.  I got very short of breath and taking walks or exercising became hard to do.  And the smells!  Oh dear Lord...  Our dog wanted to be in my face and up close all the time - and she stunk!  Her breath, her fur...  I couldn't take it!  I couldn't go near our kitchen for weeks - every smell set me off.  Poor hubby had to cook and clean the kitchen that whole time - I wanted nothing to do with it!  Even opening the fridge, looking for the ginger ale was a struggle... 

The only things that tasted good consistently those early weeks were oatmeal, cereals with almond milk or yogurt, banana smoothies, and water with a splash of lemonade or vita water mixed in (and it had to be COLD).  

Life just changed so drastically, I didn't know what to do with myself!

(Feeling good enough to go to our God-daughter's dance recital!  This was one of the first outings when I realized smells in large groups of people - like theatres - was going to be an issue...  Ewww..!)

We had decided early on to keep the news to ourselves until we were past the 12 weeks mark (mostly because we had so many unsuccessful pregnancies in the past).  It just felt like this was "our journey" until things looked a little more promising...  But let me tell you - I think that made for the loneliest 6 weeks of my life!  Not feeling well.  Being excited, yet unsure at the same time.  Trying to keep up our social life - yet, ending up letting my hubby go do things without me due to the whole fatigue thing...  I just felt lonely.  And that was completely unexpected!  No one talks about that stuff - and it came as a complete surprise to me when I felt like I should be "flying high" with excitement.

And I'm sure part of that was the hormone fluctuations...  Funny, I kept reading message boards about women crying over the silliest things and thinking, "Geesh!  Glad I'm not having THAT happen!"  Ha ha ha.  Then my first silly cry came...  I was on my way home from a really long day at work, followed by a coffee date with my sister, and was tired.  Bone tired!  And hungry.  Ravenous!  But since I left work late, I was stuck in rush hour traffic...  And thinking about what I wanted for dinner...  Nothing sounded good, until I thought of soup.  From Panera.  And then that's ALL I could think of!  Yep, that's what I wanted.  But...  I would have to drive out of my way to get it.  And I would have to get out of the car.  And go in a restaurant.  And that would take FOREVER in this traffic.  And my belly was bloated - and all I wanted was my sweatpants!  And yes...  I started crying!  Right there in my car - in rush hour traffic.  Oh brother!  I called my hubby.  Explained my need for Panera - and before I had the sentence out of my mouth, he said, "broccoli cheddar soup in a bread bowl?"  Yep.  "On it!"  He had it home before I pulled in the driveway...  And I'm pretty sure I shed another tear out of sheer thankfulness!  (He's a good one - I couldn't have made it through those weeks without him!)

Oh dear...  The things we do when we're hormonal!

(Another good day...  Heading out to a Saints Baseball game!)

...Another favorite story from the first Tri, involving food of course, is about needing some Punch Pizza.  We had spent the morning at the zoo - fresh air, a new gorilla exhibit, and a bit of a walk.  Perfect!  Then we had to stop at my parents' to pick up their dog for the weekend.  No big deal - but I hadn't packed enough food to munch on between locations...  Uh-oh.  By the time we left the zoo and had a twenty minute drive to my folks' house, I was starving.  But I couldn't decide for the life of me what I wanted...  Nothing sounded good.  I asked my hubby for suggestions, and he mentioned pizza (because I'll ALWAYS eat pizza!).  Then, I got all excited because I knew there was a Punch Pizza in my parents' town.  So we decided we would stop there after a quick stop at Mom and Dad's.  Well, the "quick stop" ended up taking about an hour...  We rushed over to Punch, Mike went in and ordered my pizza while I waited with the dog...  When he came out, we traded - he took the dog, I sat with the pizza box on my lap - and ate HALF the pizza while riding in the car!  Ohmygoodness...  I felt like such a gluttonous pig.  But it was so good.  Ha!  I'm sure our kid will hear that story many times - the hubby has never seen me devour food like that!  We laughed the whole way home in the car...  And I took a picture of the momentous occasion:

Speaking of food, everyone always wants to know the cravings...  Well, mine were all week-long adventures.  First, a week of only wanting Panera mac and cheese.  Like, every day.  (Have you tried it?  It's delicious!)  Then, when the thought of that made me want to hurl, we moved on to Chipotle tacos...  Every day.  Once I got sick of those, onto Bruegger's Bagels (plain bagel, veggie cream cheese, cucumber, and tomato).  By the third day I ordered that, the guy behind the counter tried suggesting a different cream cheese "to mix things up a bit."  I laughed at him and told him to give the pregnant woman what she asked for!  And then, of course, Punch Pizza.  Yum.

Other than that...  Every midwife appointment went well through the first Tri.  Every test came back "normal."  We saw and heard the heartbeat on a couple of occasions - always exciting!  And I got one "impromptu" ultrasound (unfortunately, when Mike wasn't with me) - at 12 weeks, I went in for the genetic counseling appointment and when they did the Doppler to let me hear the heartbeat, my tummy was growling so loud we couldn't hear anything!  So they decided to take me in for an ultrasound "real quick."  I got to see the baby doing just fine, with a strong heartbeat - and totally kicking and punching its arms!  It was fun to see the movement - even before I could feel it!

(Celebrating my mom on Mother's Day...  With a BIG secret!)
Oh!  One other question I've gotten a lot - I am considered a mother of "advanced maternal age."  (Oh good grief!)  So, it was recommended to me to consider genetic testing.  After lots of research, conversations with my hubby, and prayer - I decided to go ahead and do it.  The newer tests are very un-invasive with practically no risks.  It's a simple blood test - they can extract the baby's DNA from the mother's blood.  How cool is that?!  And, it's 99% reliable for Down's Syndrome and Trisomy 18.  It also tests several other things within 90% accuracy.  We could have chosen to test for gender disorders as well...  But chose not to, simply because the test results would have told us the gender of the baby - and we chose to not know.  (Well, the hubby didn't want to know, anyway...!  That's another story for another post...)  Why did I want the tests?  Well, if something was wrong with our baby - I'd want to know.  I'd want to educate myself on doing what's right for this little person - and prepare ourselves for what would come.  I'd want to be prepared.  That's it.  Luckily, all came back normal...  A huge relief!

So, that's the first Tri in a nutshell.  The next post?  How about Revealing the News!?  That made for some fun conversations...  And I've got a video to prove it!

Things I am thankful for today:

1.  The space - and time - to write these stories down.  Fun to think about!
2.  So far - a healthy pregnancy!
3.  Prenatal yoga classes - the best thing ever.
4.  Cool breezes.
5.  Cherry Coke.
6.  The hubby started a new job yesterday!  Assistant Parks and Rec Director for our little city.  Pretty awesome.
7.  Finding that the baby moves every time I play music or go to a concert - that's pretty fun!
8.  Eating breakfast with the hubby before work every morning, now.  It's lovely!
9.  All my "mama" friends that have been responding to my requests for advice - all kinds of great tips coming in!
10.  Loving life.


Beth said...

Oh you poor thing...My cravings with Lindsay were Baby Ruth candy bars...Laura...nothing...couldn't stand toothpaste...Lydia it was crushed ice and root beer! Tri 2 will be better...maybe!

I had amnio done with Lydia because i was way advanced age ....and they couldn't get the sample so had it twice! ugh!

Beth said...

Oh you poor thing...sounds kinda rough! But you made it! Hang in there!

Megs said...

Toothpaste! Yes - it made me gag for weeks! Ick ick ick. (I forgot about that one!)
BTW - 2nd Tri has been a breeze! I'm kind of sad it's almost over... :)

Carol E. said...

There was a Taco Bell one block from our house. When we took walks I could NOT go past Taco Bell. Barfy smell!! Eww! And rich foods with lots of butter. Get me away! Otherwise, I had easy-breezy pregnancies.

Cheryl said...

I loved being pregnant even though it was over 35 years ago... yikes! You positively glow, Megan, and look fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. It makes me feel closer to you. Congrats to Mike on his new job! Hugs and much love to you both...

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