1st Trimester Symptoms

WARNING:  Serious case of TMI in this post.  Read at your own discretion.  Also, if you’re having thoughts about someday having children but aren’t yet decided, skip this post for your own good.  It’s better if you don’t know what’s to come.  Plus, everyone’s pregnancy is different.  This was just my experience.

The first 13 weeks of pregnancy was a pretty miserable experience.  Think of your Sunday morning hangover, and now pretend that it doesn’t go away for the next 2 months.  Yep.  That about sums it up.

I was lucky enough to not have the “puking” kind of morning sickness.  Instead, I had all day nausea that was appeased only by carby, bland, and overall bad-for-me-and-the-baby type foods.  I ate a LOT of fast food and toast.  My cravings toward the end of the 13th and 14th weeks were for pasta with red sauce and a never-ending supply of Fruit Loops.  My tastes changed in more ways than one.  First off, I’ve never been a fan of red sauce, but now I craved it on pastas and pizzas instead of my usual white sauce.  Not only that, but giving up coffee came rather easily because the taste, and then the thought of it, made me ill.  Now that I’m in my 2nd trimester, I am drinking it again occasionally because the new pregnancy symptoms include endless headache, and the only cure I’ve found so far, without turning to drugs, is a small cup of coffee.  Smells affected me as well.  I couldn’t wear my perfumes or body sprays or use any type of hair sprays.  I asked Trav to ease off his cologne.  I pulled out all the Wallflowers in every room of the house, hid the candles, threw all of my Bath and Body Works hand soaps in the laundry closet and replaced them with Dial soap.

When I wasn’t stuffing my face and avoiding nausea, I was sleeping.  During the weekends, I could generally make it until noon, and then I was passed out for the rest of the day.  I stopped going to the gym.  I used to be a warrior princess in combat class, but one evening I walked out half way through class and drove straight home to bed.  It felt like I had secretly been fed Tylenol PM. and the drug never wore off until around Week 11 or 12.  (I seriously am appreciative of my husband for picking up the slack in housekeeping and grocery shopping during this dark period.)

Another fun side effect of pregnancy is that I constantly have to pee.  I haven’t slept a full night through in months without having to get up at least once to go the bathroom.  On the flip side, my prenatal vitamins give me a lovely case of constipation even though it has a stool softener in it.  So if you add up a poor diet, overeating, fatigue, and no BMs or puking, I started gaining weight early on.  It’s very annoying going on to forums and hearing other pregnant women complain that they haven’t gained any weight yet, or worse, they have lost weight in their first trimester.

The final thing I learned about the joys of pregnancy in my first trimester is that my immune system is weaker.  According to what I’ve read, my baby is considered a foreign object, and if my immune system were working at full capacity it would be fighting off this unknown alien.  So thanks to lower immunity, I run a higher risk of catching the flu virus.  Yay, me!  Which is exactly what happened.  I rarely get sick, and I never get the flu, so imagine my surprise when it knocked me on my butt for several days.  I don’t take sick days, and I had to call out for an entire week of work.  The first day, I waited until the evening to take Tylenol because I was so afraid to take any OTC drugs.  The packet my doctor had given me of safe to use OTC drugs also cautioned that it’s wise to avoid all medications in the first 13 weeks.  The next day I took another Tylenol but was worried to take anymore for fear of killing my baby, so we finally called the doctor who ended up prescribing Tamiflu, but recommended I also continue taking Tylenol to try to lower my fever.  By that Friday, I was finally able to brush my hair for the first time in days.

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