There are countless things I wish I knew about pregnancy and postpartum life. So I’ve decided to start a series where I talk about these things. I am basing these posts around my personal experiences and I am not a medical professional. This particular post is Things I wish someone told me: First Trimester Pregnancy.
After I discovered I was pregnant I felt a weird spectrum of emotions. I was shaking and excited, worried and optimistic. 5 minutes after I saw the test results, I told Husband as he came in from walking the dog. His first words to me were, “Are you serious?” We weren’t really planning a pregnancy, but we eventually were so happy to be expecting a little one.I did very little research prior to becoming pregnant. I immediately downloaded 5 apps (some I didn’t end up using) and checked them religiously. Even with the information from the apps, these are the things I wish someone told me about the first trimester of pregnancy:
Cramping is totally normal
I was pregnant for maybe one minute and panicked when I started experiencing period-like cramps. I ended up in an emergency clinic because I was terrified I was dealing with an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy where the fetus implants somewhere other than the uterus; I hear it’s very dangerous and very painful). Turns out I was fine, I was only 4 weeks pregnant and I ended up cramping until I was around 10 weeks. The cramps weakened over time. I believe they were due to the uterus expanding. Didn’t mean, I didn’t freak out.
Spotting is also totally normal
Oh yeah did I mention I worry too much? When I was 6 weeks pregnant, in addition to the cramps I felt I noticed I had some brownish spotting. I hastily called my doctor on the weekend. That wouldn’t be the end of my panicking to my doctor and I’m sure he questioned why he didn’t drop me as a patient. Apparently cramping happens. Sometimes your body forgets you’re pregnant and tries to have a period. At least that’s what the nurse explained to me. I cried for days thinking I was having a miscarriage. Luckily that was the only time I spotted.
Counting in weeks is apparently news to everyone
I had to explain to Husband about 5 times why I was 4 weeks instead of 2 when I found out I was pregnant. And since we discovered I ovulated late, wouldn’t I technically be 6 weeks, since you count from the date of your last period? Nope, apparently not. Anyone other than someone who recently spawned a little one of their own couldn’t really grasp why I counted my pregnancy in weeks. You know those people who always joke when moms say their infants’ age in months? Those are the same people that laugh at you for counting in weeks. But not all months have the same weeks and a fetus’s development changes so much in a week. No one prepared me for having to do the quick math in my head when someone asked how far along I was:
“I’m 32 weeks”
But that exact conversation comes later.
Ultrasounds are not that common
I had a very rough pregnancy and had way more ultrasounds than your average bear. Most times, however, a woman might have 1-2 ultrasounds from her doctor in total. Maybe 3 depending on the practice. There are many private ultrasound companies where you can pay to have a longer session and get the photos/cd with all the bells and whistles. These ultrasounds are usually in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters, and I’ll get to that later, but if you have any ultrasounds in the first trimester, it’s usually the “dating” ultrasound. This visit is used to determine how far along you are and was helpful to let us know exactly when I ovulated. Taking place between the 6-8th week, some doctors opt to do this in the 12th week.
Morning sickness is not just in the morning
I was sooooooooooo lucky (sarcasm cannot be stressed enough) to have “morning” sickness everyday after 5 pm during weeks 6-10. Certain foods triggered it more, but sometimes it would come out of nowhere. I’d be perfectly fine and all of a sudden have to run to the bathroom. There were so many times I’d be out walking the dog and have to “pull over” in my poor neighbors’ yards. Luckily they understood.
The exhaustion kicks in earlyI was under the odd impression that I wouldn’t be that tired until I was in the home stretch. Boy, how I was wrong. I couldn’t keep my eyes open. This was my second clue that I was pregnant because it hit me so hard (the first clue was my very tiny breasts ballooning out of nowhere). I was hopeful it wouldn’t be debilitating but I remember going to sleep at 9 pm one night and waking up at 12 pm the next day. Rest up if you can.
I hope this helps any woman in the early stages of her pregnancy. If you have any more advice please let me know in the comments below! Be sure to follow all my social media (links on side and/or top of browser).
Happy days and see y’all soon!