Observations from pregnancy + FAQ’s
So, I’m obviously not the first person to be pregnant. (SHOCKER) But I do enjoy documenting my life, and since I’m the first in my close circle of friends maybe others would like to read about my journey. I may not have anything particularly unique or enlightening to say, but I know I’ll be glad I took the time to do this. And hey, even though I’m not the first blogging pregnant lady, every pregnancy is different. So there’s that.
I’m 17 weeks. Or 18 weeks. You know I’m actually not sure. You see according to the calendar I’m 18 weeks, two days. But the first couple ultrasounds we had dated the pregnancy about 5 days sooner. So according to the sonographer, I’m 17 weeks, 4 days. But then on Friday the doctor said I’m 18 weeks. So…….uh. I guess it doesn’t really matter. It’s not a huge difference and the baby will come when he/she comes regardless of the date I’m “due.” So you know, sometime in the middle of January. We’re having our mid-pregnancy ultrasound in a month (about 21/22 weeks), so maybe then we can sort out this due date thing once and for all!
I cannot believe we’re nearly halfway through this thing. Of course I’m panicking. Duh. Have you met me, Internet? Halfway through and the the only baby items we have are a few gifts. I’m getting anxious about getting the nursery put together, but I knooooow we have plenty of time. I’m trying to stay calm. We did do some cleaning out and organizing today and it felt glorious. I’ve been happily sighing all afternoon.
For the most part I’ve had an easy pregnancy so far. I felt tired and nauseous in the first trimester, but I only threw up once. There were many days though when all I did was lay on the couch. It felt like a hangover every single day. Some days I treated it like a hangover by watching Netflix and eating greasy food. Unlike a hangover, these things did not make me feel better.
I was 15/16ish weeks before I noticed a difference. I’m still very tired, but I can definitely eat a wider range of food. Smells, while still intense, bother me less. Apparently the second trimester is the best one.
The biggest perks so far: thicker hair and the longest, strongest nails I’ve ever had.
The not so fun things: feeling crummy, which is less so now. Also acne. I’ve never had super clear skin but it’s waaaaay worse now. And also BACK ACNE and ARM ACNE. Yup. Apparently it’s pretty common in pregnancy to just break out all over your body. Also, I have to pee all the time.
I’ve been all over the place emotionally. I’m an emotional person already (as my sister says I “feel all the feels”), and it’s not unusual for me to cry at sappy commercials or movies, with or without pregnancy hormones. What’s different now is that sometimes I don’t know why. While I’ve always experienced emotions fully, I can usually pinpoint what exactly is making me happy or sad. But now I seem to be irrationally angry or extremely upset over very small things or sometimes nothing at all. I can’t seem to control it. I used to think I had a good handle on my feelings and could keep them in check (after years of work and self-awareness) or at least not let the negative ones consume me. I don’t know how to control this pregnant version of me, and sometimes I will say or do things that I hardly recognize. I am very irritable and easily annoyed, especially at work. Nothing else this pregnancy so far has made me feel less like myself than the mood swings. I’m just lucky everyone around me seems to be patient and understanding. Thank you. I hope someday I’m back to normal.
The other major changes I’ve experienced are how I approach exercise and what I am able to do. Turns out, not much. In general, everything is harder. My doctor cautioned me against running early in my pregnancy. I think perhaps he assumed I was running six miles in the heat at an eight minute pace or something. He did not realize I was actually talking about a slow jog in the mornings (slightly cooler) at more like a 12 min pace. He seems to have a very cautious style, so while I am of course taking his advice I’m also listening to my intuition and my body.
Everything I’ve read says running is fine to continue to do during pregnancy if you were a runner before. I did run a 5K at eight weeks pregnant, and it was very hard. It was the slowest I’ve ever run a race and I was very winded. The shortness of breath is common though and even speedy runners slow down during pregnancy. Even so, some women athletes continue their training throughout their pregnancies. I quickly learned I would not be able to maintain my same workout regimen (no half marathon for me this year, no surprise).
The furthest I’ve run since my 5K in June is a mile and a half. And when I came home from that run dizzy and exhausted and had to lay down on the linoleum in the kitchen for 20 minutes, I thought maaaaaybe this wasn’t such a good idea. (My husband also wasn’t too happy).
Since then I’ve tried to stay indoors. I swim once a week, go to prenatal yoga, lift (very light) weights, and take the dog on long walks in the evening. I will occasionally run — mostly on the treadmill, although there have been a few pleasant mornings I have run outdoors. I am always sore the next day. After ONE mile. It’s bizarre and has me scared I will be starting back at square one after I have this baby. I know it is what it is and it’s all worth it and blah blah blah, but I’ve worked really hard to get where I am. Running is also the number one way I manage my stress. The other workouts have been great, and I really enjoy swimming, but it’s not the same. Running is my meditation. BUT what is important is a healthy mom and a healthy baby. So I’m focusing on getting a half hour of moderate exercise in a day….in whatever form that exercise may be.
And now that I’ve written all of the words, I’d like to address some of the common questions I’m asked often.
Are you having any cravings?
Sort of. Not really. I did crave vegetable juice for several weeks, and there was a period very early in my pregnancy when all I wanted was sherbet. But nothing too weird. No pickles and peanut butter.
Food aversions have been far more prevalent than cravings. I have’t been able to eat eggs and I can’t even stand the smell when my husband makes them. I used to have an egg sandwich every day for breakfast, so it’s been weird not doing that. I also walked into a Chipotle at six weeks pregnant and nearly vomited from the smell, so I haven’t been able to eat Chipotle either. (I hope that goes away. Srsly. If this kid ruins Chipotle for me I maaaaay resent it a little. Just kidding. Kind of.)
If someone mentions something delicious though, I have to have it. I won’t be able to get it out of my head and no other food will compare.
Do you know the sex? When do you get to find out?
We could find out at our mid-pregnancy ultrasound in September. But we have decided to not find out and be surprised at delivery (more on that later….a whole blog post on that later).
Have you thought about names? Do you have any picked out?
Yes and Yes. But no, we aren’t sharing.
Have you thought about a birth plan?
Yes, and I have some ideas but nothing fleshed out yet. I’ll likely be blogging about this too down the road. Right now we are planning on a hospital birth and thinking about hiring a doula.
Above all else, I’m trying to cherish this short time in my life. Things are changing. I can’t run like I used to, and I occasionally don’t feel like myself. But this is just the beginning of much bigger changes to come. Mostly I just want to enjoy the journey.