Sunday, April 12, 2009

The First Trimester

The first trimester of pregnancy was largely uneventful for me, but in the spirit of all of the pregnancy books I read, and all the pregnancy blogs, I feel the need to share what they don’t tell you about pregnancy.

1) Morning Sickness- Ok, so maybe they do tell you about morning sickness, but what they don’t tell you is that you don’t feel better after you’ve thrown up. You don’t stop feeling sick, ever. I can count the times I actually threw up during my pregnancy (thus far) on one hand (three, unless you want to count that week I had the flue, which I don’t, cause I didn’t know I was pregnant yet, and I really did have the flue). I felt sick all the time though. I always felt queasy, it just wouldn’t stop. For me though, it wasn’t so bad. Eventually I got used to feeling sick, and I didn’t really notice anymore. I adjusted to new patterns to help me feel better more of the time. Certain foods had to be avoided, and I had to eat the minute I was hungry. I had to get something on my stomach before I got out of bed, which was weird, but if I didn’t let myself get hungry, I felt a lot better.

2) Teeth- This was/is/will always be the hardest thing to adjust to for me. Being pregnant means your gums are more sensitive for some reason, which I can deal with, but it also means morning sickness. Sticking a toothbrush in your mouth while trying not to vomit… it’s not easy. I’m fanatical about my teeth though. I brush (twice), floss, and use mouthwash first thing in the morning and right before bed. I also do all of that anytime I get ready to go anywhere in the middle of the day, whenever I feel like I need it, and anytime I take a shower because I don’t feel clean unless I’ve stripped whatever may be on my teeth as effectively as possible. I had never eaten prior to brushing my teeth in the morning, but sadly, unless I wanted to spend every morning gagging over the sink, my routine needed to change. I had to wake up, eat a cracker or something, go downstairs, eat breakfast, let the food settle, and then brush, floss, and mouthwash. Even then, it was still a struggle to get that toothbrush in my mouth. Your gums bleed randomly, which also doesn’t help the nausea. It’s disgusting, and I hate it. I can’t wait until my teeth turn back to normal.

3) Cravings- I knew to expect cravings, heck I looked forward to sending the husband out for ice cream at three in the morning. I’ve had four cravings thus far. Olive garden breadsticks, a cookie, and a chocolate frosted donut at Krispy Kreme. Right now I’m craving pizza from a very specific restaurant. Cravings aren’t that much fun. I have to have whatever I’m craving. I will be sad and irritable for days until the craving is met. I wasn’t prepared for that. If I get what I’m craving, great, it’s no big deal, I’m happy. Otherwise… I’m not. When I wanted Krispy Kreme, they were closed. I was sad until morning, really sad, and irritable. I decided we couldn’t afford to go to Olive Garden, and pretended this was ok for days. I acted happy, but inside I was devastated. Luckily, my husband is an amazing man, and surprised me with a nice dinner out two days after I mentioned I wanted breadsticks. (He kept offering to take me, and I kept saying no, because we needed to watch our spending.) It’s strange being able to rationally say, “No, I shouldn’t eat this.” But being unsatisfied until I get it. It’s just strange.

4) Aversions- I didn’t know about this one. My first trimester I didn’t want to eat anything. Soda was gross (which is good, because I don’t need it, but oh, the caffeine headaches) I had to have bland foods, nothing with any flavor. It wasn’t that eating something else would make me sick, it’s just that I had no will to eat anything but crackers, meat, and cheese for three months. The good thing about aversions paired with morning sickness is that you lose weight. I lost eight pounds my first trimester. The doctor assured me it was normal, so I wasn’t concerned.

5) Being tired- I was always ready for a nap. Enough said.

6) My worst symptom. Spotting- I spotted a lot my first trimester. This scared me a lot. I had to quit my job at the preschool (well I asked my boss if I could work the hours I had agreed to when I was hired, as opposed to the new crazy hours I had been given when the other teacher quit. She said no thank you, you can work it or quit. I chose to quit, and now they don’t have a three’s class because the night teacher for some reason wasn’t willing to work 24 hour shifts, and got the same ultimatum) and told to take it easy. I think that worked out the best actually. I would have rather not been spotting because it was frightening, but once I got more rest all the other symptoms got much easier to handle. I didn’t feel as sick, I wasn’t as tired and my headaches were gone.

I visited my doctor three times during my first trimester. There are no words to express how much I love my doctor’s office/insurance company. (Kaiser Permanente, an insurance company and medical group, love them.) I was given a binder full of information on pregnancy that complimented the million books on pregnancy I now own. I love to read, and when something makes me nervous I read about it to feel better. The only thing I didn’t read was the delivery chapter of any one of those books. Delivery was not something I wanted to think about yet.

My favorite pregnancy books were Baby Laughs, and The Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy. No one could tell I was pregnant unless I told them, so for the most part we kept the news to ourselves. My friends and family knew, and that was enough.

We made the decision to close the business. On the last day of my first trimester (April 4th) we announced we would be closing at the end of the month, and began to make arrangements. While this was a sad and emotional decision, once the decision was made my stress level plummeted. I had time to grieve my business, but life was easier without having to wonder if we could possibly get through another month without the business supporting itself.

I felt like I was at a turning point. All the pregnancy books said the second trimester would be easier than the first. I was nervous about the third trimester, but that was months away. Oh yeah, one other thing they don’t tell you about being pregnant….

Time flies until month 9, but more on that later.

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