(Yes, this blog has been neglected for quite some time. I was VERY sick until about week 16, had no energy until about week 20, and am just now starting to catch up on everything. Week 23 officially starts for me tomorrow. We found out last month that we're expecting a baby girl, she's measuring about 4 days ahead, and she thinks mommy is a punching bag.)
So, I love love love the fact that I'm incubating this little baby. I love the fact that WE created her, I'm sustaining her life, and she's our daughter. I love that the love of my life and I have been given this chance to start our own little family. I have NEVER. EVER. been this ridiculously happy in all of my life.
There are some things "they" conveniently edited out of health books and everyone else forgot to clue me in on. I'll just run through them in case there's some innocent, naive, first-time pregnant woman out there who's looking for some guidance/reassurance/advice:
- Morning Sickness: As many women quickly find out, the term "morning sickness" is misleading. Vomiting, queasiness, dizziness, etc. are not restricted to the morning hours only. Oh no. It can strike at any time. And WITHOUT warning. Usually when I am going to throw up I get hot, my vision gets blurry, and I cannot imagine rushing off to the toilet or trash can. Now, a few times I'd get light-headed right before actually puking, but usually I had no warning. Which meant getting sick could happen at any time/place. And that thing about sickness ending when your second trimester starts??? Not always the case. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but I was still throwing up a couple weeks ago and I still have days where I feel ill. But for the most part, the worst was over by about week 16.
- Heartburn/Acid Reflux: I think prior to being pregnant I had heartburn twice and acid reflux never. During my first trimester I got heartburn all the time which would make me feel like I needed to throw up, which in turn only aggravated the heartburn more. Now in the second trimester I have acid reflux almost daily, usually at night. I've read that laying on your left side helps to reduce these two things (supposed to help improve circulation to your heart), but this rarely if ever seems to help me and makes sleeping difficult.
- Pregnant Sex: I really had no desire for sex for quite some time. Between puking several times a day, feeling like I was going to puke, resisting the urge to puke, going home after fighting this all day at work to IMMEDIATELY get in bed to keep the urges at bay and being very EXHAUSTED (if you've ever had mono you know what's it's like to sleep a lot and want to go back to sleep as soon as you wake up and never.ever.never feel rested), I VERY RARELY IF EVER wanted to have sex. Honestly, there were a couple of good days during this time. But I was more worried about getting up and moving around or using my energy to find something that I could actually eat than pouncing my husband. My drive went up quite a bit after the sickness disappeared. It's funny how much you can miss feeling semi-normal (I have yet to feel like my old self, seeing as how I now have a pound and a half, foot-long child poking me in weird places...more on that though...). Now sex is just...uncomfortable. I'm not that big and Baby is often hiding towards the back, which makes me just look like I've gained a few pounds, but it's still not the same. Sex is just as intimate, I love it, it's just different. It's definitely trial-and-error and, I'm assuming, will be from here on out. I can only get bigger which will REALLY make things interesting.
- Getting Kicked In the Ho-ha: Yea, I get it. There's a very small child tossing around inside me. It's really not something you can EVER imagine feeling. It is incredible, nay, indescribable. Especially when you can feel yourself getting kicked/punched in the va jay jay or rectum. Not something you thought about, huh? Me neither. But, logically, yes I should have assumed this would happen. And, so far, I haven't exactly gotten used to this. I talked to another woman online about this and she said her son used to scratch her, like he was trying to get out. Um. Ouch? Please let me not experience that one.
- Gotta Go! GOTTA GO!: I used to be on Detrol cause I had bladder issues. Like having to go 15 times a day. Long car rides have never been my friend. It's been manageable the past 5 years or so, at least enough for me to go off the medicine. BUT OH MY GAWD. That urgency is NOTHING and I do mean NOTHING like this. One swift kick from my darling little one and running to the bathroom is like getting to the finish line in a marathon. Pants without buttons or zippers are my choice of attire. And while I haven't exactly peed my pants yet...I've been THIS.CLOSE after sneezing or being kicked or just not getting to the bathroom in time. "They" tell you to drink more water. Psssh! This is ludicrous to me. I would live on the toilet if I tried to drink what "they" recommend. Since becoming pregnant I have become very intimate with the bathroom at work and home. I know to leave a little bit of toilet paper hanging down from the roll at work or else it takes a magician for it to ever come back around. And I leave the top part of the toilet seat up at home at night for fear of peeing on it.
- Cramps and Other Weirdness: Yep. Did you hate those period cramps? Well, you may not get rid of them! In fact, there's a little something called round ligament pain that feels like your insides are trying to become your outsides. Remember growing pains? Remember how much they hurt? Yes? These are worse. I thought something was wrong. I couldn't stand up straight and my back was in considerable pain. Went to the doctor. No infections. No contractions. My hips were stretching and my organs were shifting. Yeeeea. Talk about some pain. But totally normal.
- Weird Dreams: Very, very weird dreams. Some times it's people chasing after me, my mom driving a semi-truck to Vermont, and other ones I can't remember (or blocked out of my memory cause they were so messed up). But a lot of my dreams are of my husband having an affair. Say what you want, psychoanalysts. I know he's the father of my baby and NO I don't think he's going to leave me or is currently cheating on me. I feel secure in his love for me and our child. Maybe my subconscious isn't on board, but don't go too deep on this one. Mostly I'm just annoyed with these dreams cause I wake up feeling so sad and dejected and that is not the way to start the day.
- Oddities: Headaches, bleeding gums EVERYTIME you brush your teeth, really hard boobs, extra hair on your stomach, weird taste in your mouth that doesn't go away, forgetting things ALL THE TIME, ungracefully falling/tripping/knocking things over/running into things, EXCESS (and I do mean EXCESS) discharge (that doesn't smell cause if it did, that would be a different story), crying over EVERY commercial even though they're not sad, heart racing faster and/or skipping beats, bloody nose EVERY DAY, craving sugar like it's going out of style, veins that show up everywhere, leg hair that grows so slow (but that's a good thing!)...
A couple of other things that aren't really "complaints" per se, but just ones I thought I'd mention.
- Belly Sleeping: I honestly cannot fall asleep without being on my stomach. Eventually I will not be able to do this. So, I sleep with a pillow or two under my head and another one under a bent leg. This keeps pressure off of my stomach and is almost like sleeping on my side, but still close enough to being on my belly that I can try to sleep (sleep that is disrupted by those WEIRD dreams, peeing several times, readjusting to get comfortable, dogs that need out at 4 am)
- Falling: down the stairs...while it hurts like a mother trucker, can leave your left ass cheek with a 10 inch bruise with colors you've never seen and the rest of your body crying out in pain (broken or bruised rib, tailbone, calves, neck...as if the round ligament pain wasn't enough), there's not too much to be concerned with (unless you've fallen on your stomach or broken a bone or twisted something, etc.) I knew it probably wasn't a big deal, but when I hadn't felt the baby move for about12 hours, I started to freak. Doctor was out of the office so I got sent to Labor and Delivery where they hooked me up to a monitor for over an hour. The baby was moving so much the nurse had to keep moving the monitor. Chances are, your baby is just fine. Even though you're freaking out, it's okay. And always call the doctor for reassurance. But your little babe is safe and snug inside you. I'm assuming my fall and subsequent cursing/screaming scared my little one to the back and that's why I couldn't feel her. But she's perfectly okay and mommy is still in the process of healing. Reminder: wipe off your shoes if you're coming inside from the pouring rain and don't go down the stairs with BOTH hands full.