Seeing as I'm about to enter my 3rd trimester later this week (what?!), I figured I better document some of this stuff while I still have half a brain. For years, all our time and energy was spent on actually getting me pregnant. So I never really had time to be concerned with what being pregnant was actually like. I mean, that's the easy part. Right? Well, it's a lot harder than I gave anyone credit for. I'll still give you the stink eye if I hear you complaining about being pregnant, but I get it now. It's NOT so easy. It is wonderful, but it's not a walk in the park. So here are just some of my notes on my experience thus far. This is really more for me to look back on, but maybe you'll find it interesting too.
- The 1st trimester was a bitch. Physically, I felt like shit. Emotionally, it was very tough the first 8 weeks. We were cautiously optimistic that this little guy would stick, but it was still scary. I spotted on and off in the beginning and was just completely nervous that things were going to go south. Saying the words "I'm pregnant" wasn't in my vocabulary yet. People were asking me about future plans and about the baby and names, etc, etc. And all I could think was, "I have no freakin' clue. I'm seriously just trying to stay pregnant right now." I was finally able to relax a bit and get excited around 10 weeks, when we officially graduated from the RE and were released to my OB. Since then, time has flown by. And right around 13.5 weeks, I suddenly felt better. Second trimester is definitely where it's at! And it's much easier to get excited about baby stuff when you feel good. So I've tried to pack in all the planning and doing and whatnot while I'm feeling good.
- I get asked all the time what cravings I have. Truthfully, they've been rare. I really don't eat much differently than I did before, with the exception of Moo Goo being thrown completely out the window. First trimester, it was about whatever I could tolerate. I couldn't handle cooking meat or eating much of it. Dairy didn't sit well with me. A lot of things were just gross. Eating in general became a chore. I always thought I'd be a fool for milkshakes when pregnant, but they made me sick. So not worth it. I had to keep crackers on me at all hours. I had a sleeve of saltines by my bed. The hub would wake up to me snacking on crackers at 3am. It didn't usually take much, but once a hunger pang hit, I HAD to eat. If I didn't, I'd eventually vomit. I did have periodic cravings during the 1st trimester... potatoes being one. The hub went out at 4am in search of a baked potato for me once. And there was a week or so where I HAD to have country food. And overall, I have quite the sweet tooth. Which is odd for me - I'm usually more into salty stuff. The hub said he knew I was pregnant when I totally crushed his cherry icee that he got at Target one day. I usually hate those things - way too sweet for my (normal) taste. But OMG it was delicious. So yeah, I know I'm eating too much sugar. Whatever. But really the only "must have" thing that has been consistent from the beginning is... my daily poptart. Strawberry. Unfrosted. And it's usually consumed IN bed around 6:30am. The hub is my morning poptart delivery boy. Once again, something I'd never normally let myself eat. I mean we're talking totally processed, sugary, empty good-for-nothin calories. But oh.... they hit the spot. I haven't really had any aversions to anything during the 2nd trimester. Once my nausea went away, I really could eat whatever with no problem.
- My Snoogle is my best friend. I've always been a good sleeper. But having an alien growing inside your belly makes good sleep more difficult. And I moan and groan a lot trying to get comfortable - just ask my husband. I ordered this pillow around week 15 and I can't sleep without it now. It's probably going to come with me to the hospital. I still sleep fairly well, but lately I've been waking up around 3am or so and not being able to fall back to sleep. So I'll sit there for 1 or 2 hours thinking about stupid stuff. Like a couple of nights ago I seriously laid there and wondered when Elena and Damon were going to finally kiss on Vampire Diaries. They're certainly leading up to it... and I still like Stefan, but he's all crazy now. And Damon is just wicked hot. I'd still like to see him and Spike duke it out. Buffy could kick Elena's ass. Damon and Buffy would be hot. When is Damon going to kiss Elena? Yep, deep thoughts at 3:30am. And I've also had CRAZY dreams. The hub and I have always been good at remembering our wacko dreams and we'll often wake up in the middle of the night and share them. His are always about aliens attacking. Mine are usually about being late for class or being chased by someone. But pregnant dreams? OMG. Some seriously crazy shit. Like one dream had my parents trying to convince me to eat grilled tarantula legs. High in protein!
- I really do pee all the time. I never really thought this would be a big deal. Because I drink a fair amount of water normally, so I'm always running to the bathroom anyway. No big adjustment, right? Well it's a little different when there's a little booger doing the cha-cha on your bladder. I can seriously go to the bathroom and while I'm washing my hands, realize I need to go again. If I could get away with it, I'd seriously consider wearing some Depends under my maternity leggings.
- Feeling Sam kick is pretty much the coolest thing ever. Bladder stomping aside, feeling and seeing our little guy wiggle around in there is crazy awesome. For one thing, it's super reassuring. Early on, I hung on to every ultrasound appointment. Being "special," we got a lot of them. And it was a huge sigh of relief to see a healthy baby dancing around in there each time. But now that I can actually feel his movements, I don't need the ultrasound so much. Don't ge me wrong, I LOVE them when we get to do them. But they are much less frequent now and I'm OK with that. A nice punch in the side from Sam tells me he's still doing just fine.
- Weird skin issues? I've actually been lucky so far with this one... I've heard of people having horrible breakouts or getting dark spots and such. Well, knock on wood, but so far my skin has actually been great. It actually looks better than I remember it looking in a long time. But I have had severely chapped lips. Which is weird. I've always dealt with dry lips - especially in the winter. So I always have lip gloss or chapstick or something on them. And at night I've got them smothered with Carmex or something. But at the very beginning of this pregnancy, I got a really dry area just outside my lip on the top right side. It wouldn't go away. And little by little, it has migrated all the way around my lips. And will NOT go away. Most days it's no big deal. I just keep Vaseline on them. But some days, if it gets particularly irritated, they get very red and burn like hell and it looks like I just got collagen injected. Sexy! But hey, if that's my only real skin affliction, I'm A-OK.
- Weight-gain has been pretty consistent so far. I started out ahead of the game - I was already up nearly 10lbs before I ever got a positive pregnancy test. Fertility drugs and all. So it's hard to say exactly where my starting point was. But I'm approaching 27 weeks and am about to hit the 25lb mark. I have no issues with gaining weight and getting a big ole belly. I just don't want to overdo it. So I definitely monitor it. My belly obviously has the bulk of the weight, but my butt and boobs have their fair share too. Everything seems to be where it should be for now, though. So no worries. I have had really swollen ankles, or prankles, as I like to call them, on occasion. But those seem to come once in a blue moon - it's weird. Generally, I haven't had much swelling yet. Yet.
- I think that 2nd trimester energy is starting to fade. During the 1st trimester, I was worthless. I would literally sleep through the entire weekend. Keeping my eyes open was nearly impossible. The fatigue is no joke. Second trimester, however, has been great. I still get tired at the end of the day, but I generally have a LOT more energy. And I'm trying to take advantage of that while I can. We've still got some painting projects in the nursery to finish up, so I'm trying to squeeze those in before I can't move as easily. I'm not that huge yet, but moving has already gotten difficult. Bending over is really tough. Getting down on the ground and back up is tough. And I get winded very easily. I feel like I have a lot of energy to get things done, but I tire out quickly - especially lately. So painting involves taking a lot of breaks. I'm anticipating having to slow down a lot in the coming weeks. But for now, there's too much to do!!!
- Overall, I think everything is going great. Sure the first few weeks were tough, but I'd do it a million times over. I'm enjoying being pregnant. I love seeing my big belly in the mirror. It's still so surreal to see that big bump there. Wow - is that really me? And I'm big enough now that strangers have started commenting. Which is weird - because it catches me by surprise sometimes. Like this weekend I was grabbing a video at a Red Box and the guy next to me in line goes, "Do you know what you're having?" Well my first thought was, Yeah, I totally reserved the new X-Men movie online before I got here. No stupid, he means your belly. "Oh yes, we're having a boy!" Not sure I'll ever get used to this.