Friday, November 1, 2013

First trimester experiences ... yep, we're pregnant!

WE ARE PREGNANT!  WOOHOO!  We've been talking about it for a couple years and kept delaying, so we decided once we moved and settled in we would likely start working on a baby.  Our 5th year anniversary is February 14th and our present will be the baby!  We're due February 19th.  :)

The first trimester:
Around the date my period should start, I started having PMS.  I get this dull ache in the stomach plus periodic, horrible, sometimes bend over sharp pain that lasts 5-30 seconds.  I usually get this for 1-2 days then 1-2 days of calm before the actual period starts.  Well, this lasted for 5 days, so on the 6th we bought 2 pregnancy tests.  I took one that day around noon using the pee-on-stick method which looked positive.  I took another the next morning around 4:30 am using the pee in a cup then dip the stick in method which also looked positive.  It was Sunday and Father's Day, so we announced it to our parents.

After learning we were pregnant, some of my other symptoms made sense.  The week prior to the PMS, I noticed crazy mood swings, particularly in the morning like I woke up on the wrong side of the bed each day.  I'd wake up and feel down or grumpy.  This lasted about a week then the cramps started.  I also broke out on my face with acne worse than the normal period acne.  Another thing I noticed was not being able to make it to the next meal.  I would get hungry about halfway between like the pre-paleo days.

The PMS continued.  I could only sleep on my back.  Sitting was very uncomfortable and would trigger cramping.  After a couple days of this, I was feeling concerned.  My Mom had an ectopic pregnancy before, so this was in the front of my mind.  We went to a walk-in clinic to confirm the pregnancy and to see about the cramping part of the PMS.  They confirmed I'm pregnant, but did diddly about the cramping.  The doctor walks in with the urine test results going "I know what's wrong!" and looking at me like I should know.  He finally says it's because I'm not eating well and I'm burning ketones.  His solution was for me to eat more carbs/sugar.  /facepalm

The PMS continued for weeks.  I felt very tired and had a hard time concentrating.  We called the midwives to request their services.  Apparently, it's hard to get in with them.  While waiting to find out if I was selected we got in with an OBGYN.  We saw her for the first time at 7 weeks and she had us get an ultrasound because of my concern about the cramping.  The dull ache and low/mild cramps are normal during the first trimester, but sharp cramps should be looked in to.  The ultrasound showed everything looked OK, but I did have a tiny bleed spot.  She said it should just absorb into me, but if I notice any bleeding to contact her.  I had no bleeding and the next ultrasound at 20 weeks showed no bleed spot.

Pre-paleo I would wake up in the night a lot with horrible poop cramps.  This started happening again around the 2nd or 3rd week of the pregnancy.  It calmed down and went away after a week or two.

I was very motivated to eat well for I think the first half of the first trimester.  I was drinking bone broth, eating salmon, organ meats, avocados, etc.  I was trying to get in each day as much nutrient dense foods as I could per the recommendations of Wellness Mama, The Primal Parent, and The Better Baby Book by Dave & Lana Asprey.  Well, that came to a halt about half way through the first trimester as the extreme nausea started.  The OBGYN prescribed some medicine that had B6 in it, but we didn't fill it.  What got me through the nausea phase was: eating small meals throughout the day so I didn't get hungry as getting hungry made it SO much worse, sucking on ginger chews, and nibbling on slices of mozzarella cheese.  I only vomited one day during the first trimester.  It was a stressful day and we were running around town early in the morning trying to find a notary to notarize the papers to sell our house in the states.  I think between the stress, the car ride (I got motion sickness a lot before being pregnant. Being pregnant just upped the nausea level.), and being pregnant my stomach just could not take it.  Luckily I was carrying around the little doggy poop bags, so I managed to contain it in that and not all over my husband's car.

I didn't just have morning sickness.  I had all day sickness.  It would come and go in severity throughout the day.  Fun, eh?  It didn't help that we lived in an apartment.  Our neighbors below us would cook the most horrible smelling things (boil bamboo???) and it would drift up into our unit.  Our neighbor next to us smokes cigarettes and pot.  Every time he would go on his balcony, he would start hacking up a lung and would smoke.  I would have to run and close the windows and balcony door multiple times as it would come inside.  I already had a sensitive nose prior to being pregnant, but the pregnancy nose?  Ugh.  The nausea lasted a little into the second trimester as it slowly died away.  I do still get nauseous sometimes, but I believe it's mostly from anxiety and car rides.

Sitting hurt and still does.  Sometimes I can sit Indian style and recline a bit and manage to be OK for a while, at least until I stand up then my tummy aches a bit.  We set up my desk as a standing one again.  I used to have it this way before moving.  Standing was much better, but then my ribs right below my right breast started hurting.  Some days it hurts all the way around the side and to my back.  My shins also start hurting.  Haven't figured out how to solve this dilemma yet.  I have a cushioned bar seat to sit on, but my tummy protests right away.  I end up standing back up and dealing with the aches until I attempt to sit again.  Rinse and repeat.

Sleep?  Good luck with that.  Stomach was uncomfortable and would give me a horrible crick in the neck.  I've read to sleep on your left side.  I couldn't sleep on my right any more as something would hurt a lot: belly, knees, hips, ribs.  I mostly slept on my left for a while, but then the pain in the knees, hips, or ribs started and would start earlier and earlier so I was miserable all night.  I used all our spare pillows to put around me and between the legs, but it didn't help.  I ended up pulling out the wedge pillow and moving to the couch.  Yep, I sleep on the couch with my dog at my feet and/or my cat on my lap (he'd prefer to be on my chest or belly).  I miss my husband a lot.  Sometimes, when I wake up in the morning and there's just an hour to a couple hours left before we have to get up, I'll move to the bedroom and sleep on my side just to be near him.  Sleep is very important, so do what you can to find a comfortable or at least tolerable position and don't be afraid to try the couch!

Cravings?  Nothing really crazy like you hear about and nothing I just HAVE to have right away.  I craved sushi, so we went to a sushi place and I only had the California roll since it didn't have raw fish.  I was satisfied after that.  I craved ribs next.  We ate SO much ribs over the next week between Tony Roma's and the Saskatoon Rib Fest.  I still have no desire to eat ribs again.  I craved cheesecake, but it's not gluten free.  We ended up finding out about a gluten free dessert place and I was able to get my cheesecake fix there.  A gluten free restaurant opened in town.  We went there on my birthday and they happened to have apple pie as the special that day.  O M G it was amazing and gluten free!!

Aversions?  Red meat, particularly steaks, which is usually my favorite started tasting really weird and gross.  We ended up not eating it much for a while.  We cooked our first a week or so ago and it didn't taste so bad, so I think we're going to try another this week.  Hamburger is hit or miss.  I think the miss is mostly when we go out to eat with friends and family and just go with a bunless burger, most of the places use the same premade patty that is just absolutely disgusting.  Eggs fried in butter.  We have this for breakfast every morning, but I had to start cooking mine separately in coconut oil (husband can't stand eggs in coconut oil) as the smell would just kill me.  The worst has been the thought of eating salmon.  Just the thought makes my stomach churn and makes me feel like vomiting.

Sounds like a lot of complaining, eh?  I have not once regretted being pregnant.  The symptoms bite big time, but although my body feels like crap most days, my mind and spirit are happy and very much looking forward to meeting the baby!