5 Surprising things I learned during the first 15 weeks of my pregnancy
Like many men and women, when I thought about my future, it in large part included children. I have long had a passion and soft spot for the joy and innocence children bring to the world. When I met Efren, we did not have the luxury of waiting several years before having children; Efren is 7 years older than me, and by the time we met I was already 25 (I wanted to be done having children by 30). So we decided after two years together we would go for it and live life as fully as we could-both agreeing we wanted an active lifestyle and to take our little everywhere we possibly could! I will be the FIRST to admit this pregnancy thing is not what I expected, here’s 5 reasons why:
1. The symptoms hit HARD and FAST.
My first sign of pregnancy was an increase in urination…increase is an understatement. I was racing to the bathroom every hour (or less), and 3 or 4 times overnight just one week after implantation-before my HCG levels were even high enough to give a positive pregnancy test! By week 4 my breasts hurt to an almost unbearable level, they also had increased one whole cup size by week 6. I was also incredibly bloated, by pants stopped buttoning basically immediately. For a little prospective, I was as big as 7 weeks as I am at 15 (just due to bloating). By week 5 the nausea hit hard. I gained ten pounds by week 7 because all I could eat was bread. By week 11 the nausea hit harder, I spent half my day trying not to throw up. By week 12 the dizzy spells hit. I also experienced gestational gingivitis, new stretch marks, and crippling round ligament pain by week 10. I am SO SO uncomfortable alllll thhhheee ttimmmee.
2. There are many negative feelings.
My pregnancy was planned, due to this I thought I would be overjoyed and love all that came with the pregnancy; I was very very wrong. I was taken-aback by the negative feelings that flooded my body. I was struggling with a wide range of symptoms and was about 9 weeks pregnant when I moved to a new state (which only made everything worse). Luckily, I was not working after the move which allowed me the freedom to rest when needed and have complete control over my schedule. Additionally, right before I found out I was pregnant, my general practitioner alerted me she suspected I had Fibromyalgia (a chronic neurological sensory disorder, which causing pain and fatigue). I had had symptoms for about 22 years and no one put the pieces together. She ran a number of tests and right about then I moved out of state and had to reestablish care. I am in pain daily, it even frequently wakes me up at night, and the fatigue is absolutely debilitating. Imagine being so tired, that just steering your car is HARD…. these symptoms (on top of all the normal pregnancy symptoms) had made pregnancy exponentially more difficult. I found myself regularly questioning if I could handle taking care of a child when some days just taking a shower required more energy than I had–even when I had slept all night and done nothing all day.
3. Time goes so fast, and so slow
This was my first pregnancy and my first time living out on my home state. When I moved, I lost health insurance–but I could not apply until I was physically in the new state. This meant by the time I was seen for the first time I was 2 days shy of being 14 weeks, 6 weeks past the “normal” first visit time-frame. When I called the insurance company to injury about providers I was literally told to “google it” because they no longer sent out booklets with provider information. I was new to the area so had zero knowledge of the area’s birthing sites reputations, nor did I know a single person to ask. When I called the clinics, they asked me what I was looking for and where I wanted to deliver…this was my first pregnancy and I didn’t know the area, so all I could say was idk. When I gave the response of “idk” they said, “well, you should figure that out because you will want to establish care with a clinic that is affiliated with the place you want to give birth”. Let me remind you I was already 13 weeks pregnant at this time. I had to make a lot of decisions quickly based on next to no knowledge, I was forced to go with the flow — if you know me, you know that I am a hard core planner. So here we are, 17 weeks pregnant and my OGBYN is going on leave in one month, so I have to again pick a new one.
4. Negotiating a new job while pregnant, presents a whole new set of challenges
I graduated with my second degree in May, got pregnant in May, moved out of state July 1st, and started job hunting in August. We had to decide whether I would go back to work after the baby at all, and if yes, when and if no, what would the next 5 years look like? We planned on me staying home after the baby, but as we all know, plans can change. This being my first pregnancy and only my 2nd job in the last 6 years I was presented with the challenging choice of when/if to tell potential employers about my pregnancy. When I began interviewing, I was only showing a small amount and was still able to hid it, and legally I did not have to disclose my pregnancy. Ultimately, I decided to be upfront and honest with the mindset of: if they were not child/family friendly, I didn’t want to work for the company anyway.
5. Maternity clothing are difficult to find.
I live in place that has 4 drastically different seasons, ranging from 100 degrees F to – 70 degrees F. This meant I would need maternity wear for summer, fall, and winter — and I would be wearing them only 2 months at a time. It seemed crazy to pay upwards of 50 dollars for one pair of shorts/pants when I was not going to be able to wear for even 6 months. Not to mention I would need some professional wear for the new job. I began looking into maternity clothing and found two things to be true: 1) maternity clothing was much harder to find than I anticipated; 2) second hand maternity clothing stores are virtually none existent. I looked at a handful of generic retail stores (think burlington, tj maxx, walmart) and only found Target had ANY maternity clothes at all. Of course there was 1 or 2 trendy clothing stores that solely sold maternity wear, but again, not paying $50 for one piece of clothing. Next, I started looking into places to carried second hand maternity clothes and found only 1 within a 100 mile radius!