I have been around a lot of pregnant women in my life. Whether it was a sister, cousin, friend, best friend or co worker – I have been exposed. My own pregnancy made me realize how much of it does not get shared which leaves many of us first timers surprised and wondering if what we are experiencing is normal. It’s odd to me that I can learn through a message board lessons that a dear friend is to embarrassed to share. Pregnancy is not luxurious. For me it’s full of discomfort and fatigue. I cant help but love it though. Knowing as my belly grows my daughter is in there. I have so much love in my heart for her already it makes it all worth it. Below is a list of things that I learned in my first trimester.
Symptoms start right away
I first had a feeling I was pregnant when I felt like I ran fourteen marathons by the end of one work day. To top it off I got one (just one!) nosebleed. I remember even telling my co worker, as a joke, I think my body is thinking it’s in false pregnancy. This comment came from trying for over a year and being on Clomid. One night I even woke up thinking I was having period cramps so I got up, took a Pamprin and went back to bed (hello implantation!). It isn’t always like the movies where you are hugging the toilet. Frequent bathroom breaks, gas, heartburn – they all happen in the first trimester. Who knew (not me)!
Bloating while on your period is nothing in comparison to bloating while pregnant
I felt like I looked and weighed 15 pounds heavier. My clothes are tight, but until very recently I had no baby bump. I had a fairly flat stomach before pregnancy so I thought it would continue to be until my cute little bump started growing. In reality you can look like you ate a bunch of donuts and that you are up a few pounds until your bump starts to take shape.
Ultrasounds aren’t at every doctor visit
If you are like me and are considered a low risk pregnancy – don’t count on seeing your baby every doctor visit. You have the initial to confirm the pregnancy and heartbeat and then the 20 week anatomy scan. I had my 16 week doctor appointment and found this out. Luckily my doctor could sense my disappointment and did a quick one so my husband can see our daughter move.
Pregnancy can cause low blood pressure
You always hear about high blood pressure, but I never realized you can get low blood pressure while pregnant. This can cause symptoms such as feeling faint, dizziness, feeling clammy and lack of concentration.
You can be generally uncomfortable all the time
I found out I was pregnant after I woke up and was generally uncomfortable. I knew something was up based on how I felt that last few days. Throughout my first trimester I was hot, then cold. I felt tired, but restless when I laid down. Bloating was no joke and my clothes began feeling snug before I could even announce my pregnancy to people. I became introverted and a big home-body. Even now at 17 weeks 3 days I prefer to not be out and about socially.
The first trimester was certainly an experience. Due to my low blood pressure fatigue is lasting well into the second. My bump is starting to form and I am counting the days until I feel my daughter move inside me. Pregnancy so far has been different then I ever could imagine, but I am so happy to be expecting it makes it all worth it.
Yesterday I spoke with my employer about my maternity leave. When it comes to boss’ I am very fortunate because mine is very family oriented and just all around super kind. However, I feel like I left the conversation feeling more concerned then when it started. This feeling had nothing to do with my boss. She is more then willing to give me the time I asked for (20 weeks). The concerned and uncertain feelings comes from how much I didn’t know about maternity leave in general. You have a baby, get unpaid time off work, come back and that is that!….WRONG! I have never felt more naive then I have in this pregnancy. I had no idea that I had to pay my own insurance premium after a certain amount of time. Now that I know it makes total sense; I just didn’t give that a second (or first for the matter) thought.
Currently I am hunting for childcare. Trying to find something within budget and that works for our schedules is proving to be a bit more difficult. I have so many concerns with being a working mom. Some of this stems from my own childhood and some stems from who I want to be as a mom. I would love nothing more then to be able to be a stay at home mom, but financially it makes no sense for my family. We are accustomed to living a certain way and I don’t want to give that up either (especially with the added expense of a child). I am at war with my mind and my heart and it is really hard.
Because I cannot be a stay at home mom I really want this extra time with my baby before going back to work, but I’m having a hard time swallowing the fact that I have to pay financially for this time. Sure I can cut my losses and just not get paid for that time, but to have my income not coming in and then paying is just not an idea I’m having an easy time with.
Monday-Wednesday I am gone from my home for 14 hours (commuting and work). Thursdays are a bit of a shorter day for me and I have Fridays off. This is another thing weighing on my mind. Can I really be gone for 14 hours half of the work week? What stress would that put on my husband? I don’t even know if his work will be flexible when it comes to childcare drop off and pick up. I keep telling myself not to stress about it. To enjoy my pregnancy and take this one step at a time. Have the baby then worry about work schedules. I am a planner and totally type A in regards to control so this is easier said then done. I am 16 weeks (as of tomorrow) and I feel like I have so far to go in my pregnancy, but I know it’s going to fly by and I don’t know if I can not obsess over this.
Is anyone else having a hard time grasping maternity leave? I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you are going to do or what you have done and how you are handling it emotionally.
The other day I was chatting with a friend about weight gain in pregnancy. Based on my height and body my doctor said ideally I should gain about 25-35 pounds. My non-pregnancy diet is pretty routine (during the work week at least) and for the most part healthy. I’ve tried to keep on the same track during my pregnancy with the occasional detour to whatever is going to satisfy my sweet tooth craving.
Based on the scale I’ve gained roughly 5lbs in my first trimester which puts me right on track. I’m short with hardly any midriff so 5 pounds on me looks a lot different then those who are taller. Already almost none of my summer clothes fit. During this conversation with my friend I mentioned how Summer time is so brief in Seattle I really do not want to spend money on a bunch of maternity clothes that I’ll just have to pack away in a month.
When I first found out I was pregnant I quit the gym. I lifted weights and because it took us so long to get pregnant I did not want to take any chances. My doctor says it is OK for me to do my routine workout just go lighter on the weights but I am afraid. For two years I worked out and ate right to get to my goal and it’s really hard to see something you dedicated yourself to go away in less then 4 months. My conversation was overheard by an acquaintance who just had a baby. She basically read me the riot act. “Your baby needs you fat, your baby needs you to gain weight, you worry to much, why do you care”..etc. First of all let me stress – I am happy to be pregnant! It’s not something that just happened for me accidentally or happened in a matter of a month or two. It was a long and emotional process for me. However, I am allowed to be frustrated as I try on my clothes and have none of them fit and I am allowed to worry that I am making the right choices for myself and my baby. This does not make me a bad future mama. I feel the media and society have this idea of what pregnancy should be – a glowing, expectant mother with a smile on her face who is emotionally steady, always put together and no insecurities or second guesses. I can only speak for the first trimester so far, but the reality is, my reality is, that you hardly feel cute, you look like you indulged on a box of donuts more then you look pregnant and if you can lift your head off the pillow you’ve conquered the day. I find myself being my biggest critic during this pregnancy and it’s all so new and foreign to me. Gaining a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy is very important. Why do I feel so judged when I still monitor what I eat and the amount? It’s definitely more then my pre-pregnancy self. Why is it anyone else’s business? Even if I wasn’t pregnant – why is my weight anyone else’s business?
The first trimester has been hard. As I head into my second I find myself a little more (emotionally) steady, a little more awake, a little more confident and feeling a little more like my old self. This weekend Seattle had a heatwave. I tried taking advantage of my new found energy and tried to walk as much as possible for daily exercise. I attended a wedding, had friends in town from California and strolled along Alki Beach. It was a weekend I needed: busy and full of people I care about. It was a nice reminder to take it all in and step back to see the bigger picture.
In March 2018 I started a blog that I was really excited about called Non Senza Vino. This excitement was met with difficulty as it was hard to give 100% of myself to it. I eventually lost all enthusiasm with it. Part of this loss of enthusiasm was because I found out I was pregnant in May of 2018. My first trimester robbed me of motivation and completely knocked me flat on my back in a deep snooze. Fatigue is no joke!
I’m currently ending my first trimester and find myself slightly more awake and slightly more motivated, but I still felt very unattached to my original blog. Pregnancy brings a lot of excitement, change and, for me at least, a lot of fear. I love my life and worry about how much it will change. I also didn’t have the most attentive parents and worry that I’ll somehow not show up for my children in the way they need me to.
This blog is a promise to myself to be present in the everyday with my family and my children, but still hold onto me. To grow as an individual but also as a family unit. I want to inspire and encourage others while enjoying life’s little moments. Thus the birth of This True Life. A way to ground myself while navigating through motherhood, marriage and whatever else comes my way.
The first 6 blog posts on this site were when it was Non Senza Vino. I decided to keep them because I still believe in their content and hope you enjoy them.