Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Pregnancy: Month 1

I promise I won't be sharing weekly updates or relaying that anything happened on X weeks, Y days, because seriously, no one gives a fuck about that level of detail, including me. Symptoms and feelings change on a daily basis, but not in a way that there's anything to share daily or weekly. It's a pretty normal pregnancy so far, same as anyone else's. I thought a monthly post might be reasonable, though, as there's still something to be said for sharing one's own journey (even through normal circumstances), and it does impact my running, relationship, etc., all things that I do talk about on the blog. 

I got the first confirmation that I was pregnant essentially by accident; after the chemical pregnancy the prior cycle, my primary doctor offered to have me come in to do a blood HCG test to make sure it was dropping to zero. However, since I got a blank home test within a couple days, I wasn't concerned and decided not to. But when I went in to do a routine thyroid check (which happened to be at 10 days post ovulation), the HCG lab request was still file, so they went ahead and did it at the same time. My doctor emailed me the next day - thyroid is fine, and by the way you have HCG present... Poor Abe then got the news by me stumbling downstairs half asleep after reading that email, hazily telling him that I'm pregnant, a couple days before he thought I'd be doing a home test. 

I did a home test the following day (day of missed period), and got a faint positive, and then a stronger positive two days later. I followed up with another blood draw just to confirm things were going well and it wasn't another chemical, and a week after the first test it showed a strong increase.

No bump
Official weeks: 3 - 7 

(Ovulation, i.e., the actual start of pregnancy, occurs at the start of week 3 per the "official" counting. Not to worry, I have a ranting post about that in the works.)


Confirming pregnancy (blood tests and home tests). 

First quasi-appointment with my midwife's office, which I went in for at 7 weeks  - it's a fairly big clinic so twice a week they have group sessions for new pregnant patients. You see a nurse individually to be weighed and check in on some medical history, but then are in a group with a nurse advisor to go over the basics of how the clinic runs, who you'll see and how often, general dos and don'ts of eating and medicine, etc. 

When I happened to be 6 weeks pregnant, my employer announced a new policy to provide two weeks paid parental leave! Still next to nothing compared to most of the world, of course, but that's a pretty big perk for a US company to give. For birth mothers, this ends up covering the two week waiting period before our company-paid disability kicks in for the next 4 weeks (or 6 in case of C section), so it's nice that at least the physical recovery portion of maternity leave is fully paid without using PTO. Since this was a very planned pregnancy, I also bought a supplemental disability policy that covers the full 3 months (less just one week waiting period), plus I have sufficient PTO accrued to cover the last six weeks anyway, so I'm more than covered. (I'll actually be double paid for most of it, which will be helpful to put towards medical expenses! I think we'll actually end up making a profit on having a baby.)


During week 5, started getting sore boobs. I also started getting what I'd argue is possibly the most annoying symptom (almost on par with morning sickness, ok maybe not really, but it's freaking obnoxious) - being freezing cold! Apparently everyone forgets this by the time they're burning up in the third tri (I'd never heard anyone mention this as a pregnancy symptom before!), but everyone in forums where I've discussed this that are currently or recently in the first tri seems to have experienced this. It can potentially be an indicator of poor thyroid function during pregnancy (but because I have a history of that, it's being monitored and is currently fine), but it's also apparently just common in the in the first tri - the hormones that keep you hot later on haven't fully kicked in, but extra blood flow is going to the uterus and thus not flowing as quickly to the extremities. 

At the end of week 6, morning sickness started. Definitely one of those things you keep waiting to happen, as confirmation that the pregnancy is going well, and then really realize you should be careful what you wish for. I've been taking the over-the-counter option of Unisom (the tablets, not gels, FYI - the two versions have different antihistamines as the main ingredient, and it's doxylamine, in the tablets, that's anti-nausea), and it helps lessen the severity a lot.

Mental health

During week 7, after about a week of nausea, I had a few days where I was in a bad mental state. It was starting to feel like the onset of a period of depression, but it ended up lifting fairly quickly, and I think it was just from feeling the initial weight of wow, I'm feeling so crappy and have no idea when it's going to end and what in the world have I gotten myself into?! Having a history of depression, I'm on high alert for any signs of depression during or after pregnancy, but it can be challenging to distinguish between normal hormonal impact or just the stress of dealing with the various aspects of the pregnancy itself, versus standalone depression or anxiety.


For the first couple weeks, I was constantly starving, eating all the time. Then the morning sickness kicked in, and I was eating all the time to keep the nausea down. Once I started feeling sick, nothing really sounded horrible, no true aversions to speak of, but next to nothing actually sounded appetizing either. Every once in a while something in particular would sound amazing - Burgerville, or pizza, or a Frappuchino. I try to take advantage of anything that actually sounds good, and eat whatever else is around and not too unhealthy the rest of the time. Next to no vegetables, though.

Purchases & gifts

I definitely walked down the baby clothes aisle at Target a couple times, but so far have resisted actually buying anything. 

Weight gained: +5 pounds. 

I swear a good chunk of this is bloating/water weight - it seriously jumped up from my pre-pregnancy weight to this over just 2 or 3 days during week 6. A couple pounds is also just normal tax season gain - less time for exercise and more junk food readily available. I know my eating habits once the morning sickness started have been less than ideal - the few things that are appealing on any given day tend to be carby and fatty, and definitely don't contain vegetables, but not 5 pounds worth of less than ideal. I don't think.

It's leveled off since, so I'm not terribly worried. I'm not saying it's not something I think about on occasion, especially given that it is adjustment after working so hard to lose weight, but I know it's for a good reason (even to the extent the good reason is "the baby wanted ice cream" and not for perfect pregnancy nutrition) and that I have to be able to accept that much of this is no longer in my control. (Though, of course, I should be trying to eat well and exercise just for general health of me, the pregnancy, and the baby.)


Despite the extra weight, my clothes still fit, so yay.

Currently reading

I finished reading What To Expect When You're Expecting, which I'd started while TTC. I'm the type that likes to gather much more information than I know I'll need, knowing I won't retain it all, but at least I'll remember, "oh, yeah, there was something about X in the chapter on..." and be able to quickly look it up later if needed. If too much detail or a slightly fear-oriented approach would freak you out, then I wouldn't really recommend it, but I did like the comprehensive nature. 

I'd previously read Expecting Better (it's a pretty quick and easy read), and have used that as a reference already.

Upon recommendation of a friend, I downloaded the Ovia pregnancy app. For recalling what's going on at any given time, it's nice to get reminders in small tidbits. Plus, one of the theme options for size comparisons is "weird but cute animals", and there's a handprint comparison - the baby's hand is about the size of a pinhead right now!

Most surprised by

How not nervous I was. Not to say I didn't think there was any risk of losing this pregnancy, but in the cycle I had my chemical pregnancy, something felt off from the beginning. I couldn't even think the phrase "I'm pregnant" without feeling like I was jinxing it - I didn't even tell Abe until a few days after first seeing a positive home test. This time, it just felt "right", for lack of a better word, from the beginning, and I couldn't wait to tell people. 


  1. UM WOW! WOW WOW WOW! Congratulations!! Did I miss something on the Tweeter?! This is fantastic news. I have news of my own coming up on social media, but it's not public yet, but this is fantastic. Best of luck in the coming months!

    1. It was on instagram!

      Looking forward to what your news is!

  2. Congratulations! So, I guess this means no spelunking on Vancouver Island any time soon ;)

    Excited to see where this fantastic news leads your life.

    1. Ha, yeah, not for a while!



Please join in the conversation!

Please note: Although I'm trying to keep the commenting as wide open as possible and not requiring logging in to one of the profile options, there have been reports of glitches and comments disappearing while trying to post under the Anonymous option. I would recommend logging in if you have one of the profiles, or at least copying your comment to paste back in if something goes haywire.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...