Since I was already well into the second trimester by the time I started this blog, I figured I would take this opportunity to step back and recount my experiences with the first trimester of pregnancy.
The journey began in late February, and it began in a pretty unremarkable way: with a grocery-store-bought pregnancy test. Perhaps I jumped the gun a little with it, since I was only a day late at that point, but the thought of waiting even a few more days to confirm or rule out the suspicion was too much suspense.
I’d actually never taken a home pregnancy test before in my life, so I was a little paranoid that I would screw up on the instructions somehow. I ended up carefully arranging everything and then using my cell phone’s stop watch to make sure I was following every step for exactly the right number of seconds. I was too nervous to even glance at the test as the numbers were counting down… but when the allotted number of seconds had finally passed, the result was pretty clear.
Pregnant or not pregnant? Not much room for misinterpretation here...
Since the test had conveniently printed the key right there next to the result, leaving no question as to what one line vs. two lines might mean, all I had to do to break the news to Joe was show him the positive test. (Which was lucky, since I was actually pretty speechless after just seeing it myself.)
The first pre-natal doctor’s appointment wasn’t until midway through March, though, and the span between that and the positive test result was kind of like limbo. I certainly didn’t feel pregnant, and I was reluctant to mention it to even close family… because if it turned out the test had been wrong for some reason, that would just be awkward.
But I made the recommended dietary changes right from the beginning — definitely no alcohol, limited my intake of seafood due to the mercury concerns, and went cold turkey on caffeine just to play safe. (There are a bunch of other little things, which I’ll probably compile into a big post about my experiences with diet and nutrition during pregnancy later on.)
When the first doctor’s appointment finally came, it was so exciting to see the tiny bean-looking thing in the first ultrasound pictures, and I couldn’t help but get a bit teary-eyed when I heard the thrum of its little hummingbird heartbeat for the first time. Every appointment since then has been something I’ve really looked forward to, especially the ones that involved ultrasounds — I just love looking at how much the little guy (or girl?) has grown from one shadowy image to the next.
From left to right: 7 week ultrasound, 9 week ultrasound, and 12 week ultrasound.
In other respects, the first trimester almost made me feel like I was cheating at the whole pregnancy thing. I had zero morning sickness, for instance — which made me feel especially lucky given that my mom had it really bad with both me and my siblings, to the point where she actually ended up losing weight in the first trimester.
Then there was all the guilt-free snacking. For a few weeks there, it seemed like I was constantly, ravenously hungry, so I would make sure to bring little things to work to munch on. At the time, a few of my co-workers were evidently trying to watch their eating in preparation for swimsuit season, so I hope there wasn’t too much resentment at the sight of me sitting at the next desk stuffing myself with everything from fruits and vegetables to chips and chocolate.
I suppose the worst thing I had to complain about was some generalized, usually childbirth and parenthood-related anxiety and moodiness, which I assume was caused and/or amplified by pregnancy hormones. Oh, and also some minor… shall we say, digestive malfeasance. But drinking a tall glass of
lightly sweetened motor oil prune juice on two or three occasions was more than enough to set that right.
I did end up gaining weight at a pretty good clip, probably because I got constant insatiable hunger instead of morning sickness, but it was within a normal healthy range and the doctor wasn’t concerned. It made a noticeable difference, though, and even though it was too early to really look that visibly pregnant, by about week 12 or 13, those maternity pants with the stretchy waists were starting to look awfully appealing.
Anyway, I think all that about sums up my experiences with the first trimester of pregnancy — only two more to go! And to anyone reading this who’s gone through pregnancy, I’d love to hear any stories about your experiences with the early stages. Any similarities or differences with mine? Did it get better, or worse, in the second and third trimesters? By all means feel free to share in the comments!