October 23, 2014 10 minute read
People often paint pregnancy to be the most beautiful, romantic, and blissful time of a woman’s life. I know my Instagram feed depicts my journey so far as being all cute bumps, bubble baths, romantic dates, and photo worthy cravings. It certainly has all that, but as most people know…what we choose to show the world is only half the story. So here’s my real first trimester recap covering weeks 1 through 13.
Fruit. All I wanted to eat were grapefruits for about 5 weeks. Grapefruit, strawberries, kiwis, apples, lemons, and cherries. Anything a bit sour or tart had a permanent spot on the top shelf of my fridge. I also had a brief obsession with blueberries. In fact, my first emotional outburst was over a dropped blueberry, I’ll explain later.
Orange Juice. This must go hand in hand with my desire for all things citrusy and sour. The more pulp the better (always), and it had to be ice cold.
Cheese. Grilled cheese, mac and cheese, cheese scones – you name it, if it had cheese in it I wanted it. This was odd for me, because my non-pregnant self doesn’t actually like cheese. Thankfully, this craving has subsided (although I did just make myself a grilled cheese for lunch today), but it was fun while it lasted!
Sour Patch Kids. I’m not going to lie, I’m still craving these. I used to have the worlds biggest sweet tooth as a kid, but over the years I’ve limited my candy intake. Mostly because my dentist would have a fit if I had to get one more filling. But this baby has me sending Aaron out for late night sour candy runs all the time. It’s a blessing (for me) and a curse (for my husband) that Shoppers Drug Mart is literally 30 steps from our apartment.
Chocolate Milk. It has done an excellent job of replacing my nightly glass of red wine.
Veggies and Creamy Cucumber Dip. Veggies on their own just sound revolting, but add a nice dollop of creamy cucumber dip on the plate and you have my mouth watering. I’m still eating sliced cucumbers, carrots, and cherry tomatoes like they’re going out of style.
Pickles. I know this is super cliché but baby likes pickles. I probably eat 2 a day, and there’s no signs of slowing down.
Fizzy drinks. Not sugary drinks, because I can’t stomach anything sweet right now, but fresh and bitter fizzy drinks are where it’s at. I’m talking Limonata and carbonated water with a hint of lemon. I’ve also been constantly thirsty, so these drinks seemed to quench my thirst more effectively than just drinking more plain water.
Salt. It’s the best way I can describe this craving. If it was salty, I needed it. Salt and vinegar chips, soy sauce, sea salted French fries – yumm. But I also craved things I couldn’t have. I wanted prosciutto, brie cheese, and salami all the time. I walked into a European Deli once and was nearly brought to tears by the delicious salty smell of all these things I couldn’t have.
Coffee. I think this is the most upsetting thing about pregnancy for me. If you know me, you know I usually drink at least two coffees a day – one of which is a triple shot Americano or Cappuccino. But as early as week 4 of this pregnancy I was completely off coffee. The worst part is that I know what coffee tastes like in my head (mmmmm) but then I go to take a sip and I have to immediately spit it out. It’s a sad world without coffee, but I’m learning to cope. Silver lining, I didn’t have ANY withdrawal headaches. Winning.
Chocolate. Almost as depressing as my coffee aversion is my aversion to chocolate. Especially dark chocolate. I thank God daily that this aversion doesn’t include chocolate milk, but I’m still a bit lost without my nightly dessert of ¼ bar of 80% chili chocolate.
Meat. I was completely off all meat for a solid 10 weeks. The thought of chicken (bleh!) made me quiver and the image of a raw steak sent me running in the other direction. My husband is an absolute carnivore, and since he makes most all dinners he was pretty upset about this aversion. Don’t worry; I’m back on (some) meat now.
Eggs. The smell of eggs made me gag. The only time I could stomach one was if it was covered with cheese, topped with crispy bacon, and placed in a buttered bagel. So if you could get me a breakfast sandwich we were golden, but place a solo fried egg on my plate and I was instantly queasy.
Salads. Leafy green salads, which were a former staple in my daily diet, were out of the question. Maybe if I’d thought about putting creamy cucumber dressing on them I’d have been more open to the idea. Thankfully this aversion stopped at the 13 week mark. Phew.
Cereal. This one was pretty devastating – my go to quick breakfast was usually a high fibre cereal mixed with granola. I think it’s just too sweet for me.
Bigger boobs. Seriously, my 32 B breasts grew to fit a 34 C cup in a matter of weeks! And they’re even bigger now – I had to go buy new bras pretty early on. Their extreme growth in a short amount of time explains why they were so sore during the first trimester. Putting on a shirt was a challenge, and don’t even get me started on tender nipples. I’ve been diligently massaging Weleda Wild Rose Body Oil and Avocado Oil (awesome for skin that needs increased elasticity) all over my changing body – just incase genetics aren’t the only factor to consider when it comes to stretch marks.
Achy Uterus. Why doesn’t anyone warn women about this before they get pregnant? Apparently pain from a stretching uterus is common, but it seriously freaked me out when it happened to me. I’m actually amazed at how I was (and still am) constantly aware of my growing uterus. I feel like I’ve felt every stretch.
I’m so thankful that I was never sick to the point of throwing up. Oh, I had nausea, and it wasn’t in the mornings but the evenings, but I was always able to keep my food down when I could find something appealing. I found that when I was hungry I would get nauseous, but I lost my appetite at night. So it’s pretty safe to say that dinner was a very real struggle between needing to eat because I felt nauseous but not wanting to eat because I had no appetite. This went on from weeks 7-11. Fun!
Or lack of, I should say. I started to clock an average of 10 hours of sleep a night starting at around week 6. When I started classes at UBC around week 9 I also began napping for around 2-4 hours in addition to my 10 hour sleeps. So my first trimester pretty much left me with no life. I also had no energy to workout, and that almost made things worse. So when I was on the couch feeling exhausted and nauseous I was usually on Amazon.com ordering prenatal workout DVDs to motivate me for that day when I would finally wake up and feel normal again (spoiler: my plan worked, I’m now working out pretty consistently again).
Ah yes, the aforementioned blueberry incident. Aaron and I had driven to a farm in Richmond to pick up a big box of blueberries for one of my cravings. When we got home I quickly rinsed them, placed them in a bowl, and parked myself at the dinning room table ready to inhale them all. In my haste I dropped one. This wouldn’t usually be an issue, obviously, but my hormone laden self must’ve thought this was the worst thing in the world because I burst into tears. Aaron, who was sitting beside me, started to laugh hysterically. It’s funny, I’ll admit it, but DON’T laugh at a pregnant woman. It only made things worse, and I probably cried for a good 30 minutes while Aaron sat there stunned (while also trying to conceal his laughter once he realized that it was making things worse).
In addition to that first outburst I’ve had a few moments where I nearly bit Aarons head off. All of which were situations involving food. Long story short, it’s best to stay away from me when I’m really hungry. There were enough occurrences to merit the creation of the symptom we call hangry.
Symptoms aside, the first trimester has also been filled with a lot of other change and excitement. We got to personally share the news with family and close friends. It was so much fun to see their reactions, which involved jumping on furniture, tears of joy, shouts of excitement, and lots of hugs.
We got to see our little babe at two different ultrasounds. The first, at 5 weeks and 5 days, showed our baby looking more like a cheerio (which we now know was actually the amniotic sac) – it was still cool! The second was at 7 weeks and 5 days and it was at this one where we got to see the heartbeat. Yes, I said see. Isn’t that unreal? We saw VDBeans little heart flickering away on the screen at 163 bmp. I think that was the moment that things became very real for us.
We got to hear the baby’s heartbeat after I used a home Doppler. Yes, I’m that pregnant woman. I can explain. At our 11 week doctors appointment the physician told us we would hear the heartbeat when they brought out the Doppler, and that they’d be very surprised if they couldn’t find it. Guess what? Couldn’t find the heartbeat. My doctor then backpedaled a bit and said that all was fine, our little babe was probably just hiding, and that we’d get to hear it at the 20 week ultrasound. HA! Yeah right. I decided to take matters into my own hands and got a fetal Doppler to try on our own. At 12 weeks we finally heard that little heartbeat on the second try. Loud, strong, and around 150 bpm. That is still a big highlight in my pregnancy thus far.
Now that I’m 16 weeks and 5 days into this crazy adventure called pregnancy, I can look back on my first trimester fondly. This pregnancy hasn’t been easy, it hasn’t been straightforward, and it certainly hasn’t always been photo worthy, but it’s been real, it’s been exciting, and it’s been uniquely mine.