July 10th, 2014. 16w 0d.
***This is obviously a pregnancy-related and detail heavy post.***
***If you’re not in a place to read this right now, then this is your friendly warning.***
I know that there are those who probably want to know some of the down ‘n dirty details of this pregnancy, and those people are about to be either 1. very happy, or 2. very grossed out.
Here comes the TMI, ladies and gents.
I’m guessing we should start at the beginning. In the first days, I didn’t feel like I was the walking embodiment of the miracle of life or anything. The fact is that my only real “symptoms” were pretty much exactly what I would have been feeling had Aunt Flo not missed her bus that month.
Breast tenderness, check. Wee bit o’ cramping, check. Bloating, check. Fatigue, check. Normal stuff.
The only things that were different from what I’d usually experience happened well after I’d confirmed the pregnancy with the doctor’s office and eleventy thousand peesticks. One was a very real and apparent need for food in the morning. I was never nauseated per se, but if I didn’t get something – even liquid – into my stomach shortly after getting out of bed, I’d have a killer gag reflex and just feel sort of woozy until I rectified the situation.
The other fun little gift was far less talked about in the world of early pregnancy symptoms, and came in the form of an ungodly amount of cervical mucus. I’m talking flash flood warning levels here. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooo GROOOOOOOSSS.
I had a couple of teensy bouts of not-quite-spotting that were like beigey-orange mucus that happened at random times, and of course these occurrences sent me into anxiety spirals from which there was little escape. I was constantly terrified in that first trimester, and things like this didn’t help.
And while we’re talking about gross things that have evacuated my body, let’s talk about gross things that refuse to evacuate my body. Around 9 weeks, the doc told me to start taking an iron supplement, because I was slightly anemic. No biggie, and I figured I’d work on upping iron in my diet as well. Ever since then, I’ve basically been on Poop Watch 2014. It’s like a blessed event when it does happen. I figured out that cherry season (thank you, Michigan!!) is my friend, so that’s been helping. Prunes? No sir. Apricots are just overkill, and we shall never speak of the events that occurred after my last consumption of that devil fruit. Just let it go.
Around week 9 or 10, we went on a trip to California for a wedding. In wine country. Where the vegetarian menus were composed of lovely delicious things covered in OMGDANGER!! soft cheeses. So that was an adventure, ha. Flying was a little nerve-wracking for me, as I wasn’t sure if I’d suddenly develop debilitating nausea on the plane, or if flying would cause me to spot… or worse. It all turned out to be fine, however, and I managed to have plenty to eat at the veggie-events.
Sometime around 1o or 11 weeks, I dug the home fetal doppler I ordered a year and a half ago out of the bottom of my hope chest. It had never even been opened, sadly. I watched numerous videos online of women finding their babies’ heartbeats at like 9 weeks, so I was confident that I could do it, too.
I was wrong. I failed the first time I tried, and gave up on the grounds that it was too early. Maybe a week later, in a fit of frustration, I tried it again, and was surprisingly, almost immediately successful. It was such a great sound to hear – one we hadn’t heard since Jelly Bean’s first ultrasound at 7 weeks.
I’m now a pro at using the doppler at home, and while I know I shouldn’t abuse it, I often listen to baby’s heart before bed as reassurance that he or she is still in there, growing away. I think that once I’m feeling regular movement, I’ll need the doppler less and less… Until then, it’s my crutch, but it’s helping my anxiety like you wouldn’t believe.
So really, that was it for the first trimester. The fatigue got worse for a while, and then it got better around maybe 11 weeks. The weird morning gaggy thing disappeared sometime around then as well, so I’m guessing that was the beginning of my transition into that fabled Second Trimester Honeymoon Phase that people talk about.
Oh, wait. I mentioned the bloating earlier, but didn’t go into enough detail, clearly.
From about 7 weeks until probably 12, I was so bloated that my pants wouldn’t button – granted, many of them were getting a bit snug before my uterus started to expand, but still… It was ridiculous and nothing I did changed it. I was dressing to hide a bump that no one knew about yet. I felt like it was obvious to EVERYONE, although the handful of people that knew later on never said anything.
Around 12 weeks, the bloating faded a bit, but by that point my uterus had started its ascent into my abdomen. By 13 weeks, simply unbuttoning my pants was no longer a comfortable option, and zipping them was becoming laughable as well. I picked up a Bella Band around 14 weeks, and that’s helped a bit…
Yesterday, just shy of 16 weeks, I bought maternity pants.
Shit’s getting real up in here, folks.
Honestly, I think this little front-pudge looks like more burrito than baby, but I can tell that it’s on its way to a discernible bump. Soon. Very soon.
As for the next few milestone moments, what I’m looking forward to most is a tie between finding out this little Bean’s gender, and feeling regular movement. I’ve noticed a few odd sensations at inconsistent intervals that have felt a bit like rolls I guess, but I have no clue if that was baby movement or sluggish bowel movement. It’s a little early for that quite yet anyway, as I hear many don’t feel movement until after 20 weeks.
What will be nice is that we should be able to find out baby’s gender before the 20 week anatomy scan. I had a cervical procedure many years ago, and because of this, I’m being monitored by ultrasound for cervical shortening every two weeks from 16 to 24 weeks. My first scan in that series is this Friday, and they’ve said that there’s a chance they’ll be able to tell the gender then.
I’m trying not to get my hopes up, but I’m really, REALLY hoping this kid cooperates and shows the goodies. I NEED TO KNOW.
So anyway, that’s about it. I’m not really letting myself get carried away with all the weekly updates and bump pics and that kind of thing because it’s not really me, and because I’m just not in a place yet where I feel I can let myself go with that kind of completely unbridled excitement.
I did check out a due date website that emails me things I apparently need to know, and they say that Jelly Bean is approximately the size of an avocado this week.
…Which is appropriate because if one more person asks me what we’ll name this kid, I’m going to tell them Avocado because it’s gender neutral, walk away, and leave them to wonder if I’m serious.