MY FIRST TRIMESTER EXPERIENCE

oh baby.

The first trimester experience... boy did I experience it... and it alone was my form of birth control, a "one and done" type of deal. My first trimester was all about the symptoms. Isn't it for all women or no?! Let me know what your experience was like in the comments below :) Might give me hope to want to go through this again for a 2nd child haha.

SYMPTOMS

From week 1 to week 5 I felt great! I thought "maybe I won't experience the worst of it"... until week 6. Week 6 hit me hard. There was no easing me into what I was about to experience until week 20 (current). Let me mention first that after we found out the big news of #BabyPtacek, probably week 3 or 4, I started walking and being active; I wanted to start that healthy active preggo lifestyle. My appetite didn't change except for the fact that I became not as hungry as usual. The only difference may have been I was craving and eating more fruits. But THAT WAS IT! At this point, I haven't read anything on pregnancy, first trimester stuff and such, so I essentially didn't know when and what to experience except for the main symptom everyone talks about, nausea. 

WEEK 6--- When this unforgettable week came around, I became a totally different person!!! I didn't even know who I was. Before I tell you my symptoms, I am lucky enough to have started my symptoms on a Saturday rather than a weekday.

  • Of course it started with nausea! I have never felt so nauseous in my life AND not being able to relieve it. I was literally nauseous all day everyday- at least 1 hour after waking up till I fell asleep. My "morning sickness" was at night- although I didn't starting vomiting until week 8. So if I had to be thankful, it would be I had it at night during my bedtime routine. I carried a plastic bags with me- grocery and (don't laugh) black doggy poop bags- in bag. My work commute was long and every time I would burp, I felt I was going to vomit right there and then. Good thing that never happened! Nothing, literally NOTHING was helping me with my nausea- it was trial and error trying to find what worked for me for about 2-3 weeks. And even when something did seem to help ease it, it would stop working a week later. So for about 14 weeks, I've been on this trial and error phase! Crackers and bread did not, I repeat, did not work for me. As a matter of fact, it made it worse!!! I was prescribed medication to help with my nausea but unfortunately, that did not work for me. I still get nauseous every night, however, it's manageable. I've come to terms that I might feel sick my entire pregnancy.
    • Here's what worked with my nausea: 
      • Red apples
      • Bananas
      • Water with a slice of lemon (this worked for about 2 weeks then the lemon made me nauseous)
  • Heartburn... I've experienced heartburn before but nothing prepares you for pregnancy heartburn. At least not what I am experiencing.  If you've experienced "normal" heartburn then you know how uncomfortable and painful it can be. But not only am I dealing with acid reflux, I'm also experiencing another type of heartburn- the feeling that my food is stuck in my throat and chest. Both of these combine... I wanted to quit eating... If only that was possible. I was craving and hungry non-stop. Also, because I had to eat smaller meals, I ate pretty much every 2 hours- snacking a lot then having my main meals. But with the feeling that my food was stuck I literally had to wait 3-4 hours (if I could make it that long) to eat again, even if it was just a piece of fruit. I took TUMS to help with the acid reflux but after awhile the acid reflux became so bad that I was taking TUMS more than I probably should, so I stopped taking them; I was worried I might have ruined my baby's development. For about a few weeks until my next baby appointment I was dealing with heartburn with no help. Then my doctor recommended me taking Pepcid AC (please consult with your doctor on what medications/ over the counter medicines are right for you and baby). This was a lifesaver! I took 1 in the morning before eating breakfast and 1 and night before dinner. It most definitely helped with that food stuck in my throat/chest feeling and the acid reflux. Sometimes the acid would still leak but it wasn't as bad as it was before. There were some foods/drinks that the Pepcid AC didn't work for me, like oranges ( I think because it was too citrus-y ) and decaf coffee. But with trial and error, I learned what works for me- stand while eating and stand at least an hour after eating and green apples. 
  • Pregnancy fatigue. I've been tired and exhausted before but pregnancy fatigue is on a whole different level. This hit me like a ton of bricks- came out of no where. I would be falling asleep at my desk that my boss would ask if I was OK. Thankfully, they were understanding and weren't hard on me. To help keep me awake, I was drinking cold water, going to the bathroom and wetting my eyes with cold water and then taking 10 mins naps on my break and naps on my lunch. If I had free time in my day, I slept. Eat and sleep, eat and sleep. I stopped wearing make up because I couldn't fathom the idea of using 30-45 minutes just to  put on make up when I could still sleep.
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore breasts. This practically explains itself. This was actually my first symptom and the main reason why I believed I was pregnant!
  • I became very emotional towards the end of my first trimester, but when I was emotional... man was I emotional. I would laugh at myself because I would cry at the most simplest things, for example, hearing the word "family", I would cry a river for no reason haha. I cry most of the time but I'm actually really good at not crying in front of people. I'm mainly emotional when I'm alone.
  • Weight gain. Although in the beginning of my first trimester I was mainly eating fruits, I did gain weight and started to not fit in my clothes by 2 months. My total weight gain in my first trimester was 3 lbs.
  • Now to the good part... Cravings! Luckily I didn't and still don't have any food aversions. 
    • A cheesy chesseburger
    • Pizza
    • Pasta- mainly fettuccine alfredo but sometimes craved red sauce
    • Fruits- apples, bananas, grapes, plums, oranges (until I realized it gave me heartburn), watermelon
    • Cold turkey breast sandwich on wheat with mayo, lettuce, tomato, red onions, green bell peppers, salt & pepper, and vinegar.... Now of course I'm not satisfying this particular craving because of the deli meat. But I cannot wait until I can't eat this sandwich! This is my main craving! *drool*
    • Occasionally a ceasar salad but salads always get "stuck" in my throat/chest... so I stay away from it unless I absolutely have to have it.
    • Seafood- I also pretty much stay away from seafood because I find it difficult making sure this and that type of seafood is OK to eat during pregnancy. I didn't want to crave it more then come to find out it's on the NO list.

During my first trimester, I had went to the Emergency Room and got really sick. Let's talk first about my trip to the ER since I was 7 weeks pregnant at the time. I was already experiencing shortness of breath but on this particular day I was having much more difficulty breathing- I found myself struggling to catch a breath of air while at work and my heart skipping a beat. On top of that, I was having bad cramps on my left side, which pretty much felt like period cramps without the bleeding (thankfully!). I went to Urgent Care to get checked out before heading home and after an EKG test and chest X-rays, they couldn't explain why I was having those symptoms. The urgent care doctor wanted to rule out two possible outcomes but needed me to go to the ER. The two outcomes he wanted to rule out was the possibility of a blood clot in my lungs due to the heavy chest pain I was feeling and ectopic pregnancy- where the fertilized egg plants itself outside of the uterus. The possibility of an ectopic pregnancy scared me the most. Even though I wasn't ready to be pregnant, I couldn't imagine loosing my baby... After waiting many hours in the ER, blood tests and a vaginal ultrasound, the technician was able to find our baby in the right place, my uterus, and measuring at 7 weeks! Andrew and I went home with a peace of mind knowing our baby is still growing. There was nothing serious with me health wise just needed to take it easy on myself.

I got really sick in the middle of my first trimester and being really sick is not the business when you're pregnant. No scares here, but I wanted to give you ladies some advice, if you're trying (or not) to get pregnant, have some over the counter medicines that are safe for you and baby. Since we had just moved, our medicine cabinet was not filled with much. We basically had DayQuil and NyQuil, in which we learned after seeing an urgent care doctor, that those are not recommended for pregnant women. Please consult with your doctor on what over the counter medications are safe for you and baby :)


If you got this far... Thank you so much for reading! I know it might have been a bit long of a post but this is my first pregnancy and I wanted to pretty much include almost every detail I experienced. Also, trying to keep all this a secret until I was in the clear that a change for a miscarriage was low was really difficult- the internet became my friend ( I know I know, I shouldn't have been Googling but it's what I had until I was able to see my doctor ).

If you're currently going through your first pregnancy and maybe even your first trimester and are totally clueless and scared... you're not alone! I was and am on the same boat as you are :) One piece of advice, tell at least one person, preferably your mom or someone who is/was pregnant. You're body is already going through a lot, don't hold anything in. If you have questions or need to talk, it's best that you talk to someone :)

Next week I'm sharing our gender reveal party and #BabyPtacek's gender! :)

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CHEERS,

JACKIELYN KATE