Thursday, January 31

The stuff I didn't know

For your information, the main pregnancy line is the vertical one in the circle. I took a negative one once and it was a very strong horizontal line. For whatever reason, it doesn't matter how faint the horizontal line is.
Before I became pregnant, I basically knew nothing about the whole pregnancy process. I knew you had to go to the doctor frequently for check ups and that there are three trimesters and that your belly grows quite a bit. I knew a little of stretch marks, certain sleeping positions, forbidden foods, and about birth and labor. 

But I truly did not know much else. I have been the first of my friends and cousins to be married and the first to have a baby. So everything that is going on is pretty new to me. It always annoyed me when moms would refer to their baby's age in terms of weeks or months ("Oh, he's 18 months." Can't you just say a year and a half!?). And the weeks system was confusing to me at first. I wasn't sure how many weeks a typical pregnancy is (now I know it's about 40) and I did not understand why everyone counts by weeks. 

Now I do. 

FYI, for the weeks thing, it's because the baby changes and develops so much week by week (it seems to happen so fast!). It's fun to follow, too, because most of the websites compare the baby to a fruit size and explain what their body is developing this week (like for week 13, the baby forms its own unique fingerprints and if it's a girl, she already has over 2 million eggs in her ovaries by now! So cool!). They go by weeks also because doing so helps you to determine which trimester you're in (in a few days I will be at 14 weeks! My second trimester!!!!) and you can sometimes even see dramatic changes in your body week by week. 

For example, I feel huge. Physically, (and literally) I don't look huge, but my body is just not used to the toll that pregnancy takes on a person. My belly (and really my whole torso) is extremely sensitive to pressure. Translation: I've been wearing my pants unbuttoned for three weeks or wearing them low like a hoodlum. I mentioned this in an earlier post, but some girl who must have felt sorry for me even pointed out that my pants weren't buttoned. She probably thought I was a complete weirdo to forget something like that but I definitely did not forget. Anyway, apart from that, I have a bunch of other symptoms...for instance:

  • I get hungry very frequently. Even when I don't feel hungry, my stomach starts to hurt, correcting me because--according to the baby--I am in fact starving. Right now, I am actually so full of food (a.k.a. the Chicken Scampi from Olive Garden and chocolate almond ice cream) that I feel like my belly is going to pop. I don't want to eat so much, but I swear the baby twists my stomach in its little fingers until I do (that's sort of what it feels like). As far as cravings, I don't really have any, just a number of food aversions that haven't gone away yet. I am mainly repulsed by anything that smells strongly (or makes the fridge smell). 
  • Speaking of which, everything smells terrible. I can smell everything the moment I step in a room. The fridge and trash are the worst offenders. Anything that goes bad smells ten times worse than it would otherwise. When I do the dishes, I have to pour soap all over everything to cover any smells. And then try not to breath. 
  • When I pee, I pee a LOT. And it is much more challenging to hold it for a long time. TMI? Get used to it. Being pregnant helps a lot of personal boundaries fade. I'm not sure yet if they're permanent. Also, apparently I'm dehydrated even though I drink like two and a half water bottles daily.
  • Ugh, let's get this one over with. So far the symptom I have hated the most is definitely the breaking out. I've never really had to put up with this much before now so it's particularly distressing to me (plus, where the heck is that stupid pregnancy glow that's supposed to happen?) but recently it's been getting much better and I'm hoping the second trimester will eliminate it completely. I cope by washing my face a lot (well, more than I have in the past) and using this great little scrub my doctor prescribed. It's a lifesaver! It stings like mad but it's so worth it. I also try combining lots of other skin clearing stuff. 
  • I am exhausted. You thought you were tired going to school and work full-time? Try adding full-time pregnancy to that. I never was a nap taker (and I'm still not, though not by choice), but I could easily fall asleep were I to lie down at any point during the day.
  • Sleeping is a challenge. I thought I would sleep extra soundly because of my extreme exhaustion, but (believe it or not) my body gets in the way. You are not really supposed to sleep on your back because it is bad for circulation (the baby needs blood!), I can't even imagine attempting to sleep on my stomach, and picking a side to sleep on is a constant battle. I keep a little pillow between my knees for cushion but find myself flipping over multiple times during the night. I wake up a lot--only for a minute or so, to roll over and adjust my pillow, but it is super annoying and does not help for getting a restful night's sleep. 
  • I get dizzy often. This is my own fault, I stand up way too fast when I'm supposed to take it easy. But it's hard when you change from your normal habits to having to baby yourself a lot more. 
  • My back gets so, SO itchy. Usually it's the belly that gets itchy, and I anticipate that that will come, but for now my back is driving me crazy. I am constantly scratching it (or attempting to like a monkey). It must be the change in circulation or something, but whatever it is, I can't wait for it to end! 
  • I already have what they call "pregnancy brain." What is that, you ask? Well essentially, it is when one does random/absurd things (or when one cannot do normal things) for no tangible reason. This includes getting upset over tiny things and blowing up (followed by a flood of sincere guilt), crying over ridiculous things, doing something many times without realizing you're doing it (like unlocking the car 80 times with the key fob), forgetting to finish things (I put this mainly because I just did exactly that with this bullet, accidentally abandoning it), and starting to say things in a very incoherent way. I do the last one at work all the time. And on the phone. And with Dalin. It's really annoying because it feels like I can't control my speech. 
  • And a new one--drooling. Thank heavens no one has seen this. I would be mortified. But when it happens I usually laugh because it comes out of nowhere and so far I've been the only one present to witness it. 
There are a few other things that happen...but I can't really talk about those here. You can ask me privately though if you're wondering. But they aren't for men--I mean the public to read.
You know, I just realized that many, if not all of these things are very much like a baby itself. I mean, babies eat and pee a lot, they often sleep poorly, many get baby acne, they don't have much control over their brain, and they drool. So apparently, to make a baby, you have to become a baby. Who knew? Oh, and I just read the most LOVELY thing about pooping while giving birth. It happens to something like 90% of women. More things to look forward to.

But overall, (despite my complaints, which are more admissions of the truth from my point of view) I love being pregnant. I love when Dalin rubs or touches my belly with so much tenderness and I love the moments when I can lay in bed alone and share a private moment with my future son or daughter. I  cannot wait to meet him or her! I just know that however wonderful I keep imagining it to be, it's going to be a zillion times more so.

Now, do you have any advice for me? 
Or perhaps a question or two about what I'm experiencing? (I'll do my best to answer anything you throw at me, especially because I wish someone had given me the same opportunity)

P.S. My wonderful and thoughtful husband just brought me my favorite treat--chocolate almond ice cream with milk in a glass. There's just one problem but I didn't have the heart to tell him--I just ate a huge glass of ice cream and milk before I picked him up from class. Oh well. I'll just have to force it down ;)


  1. Wait... this does not sound fun at all! Except for the part where Dalin brings you ice cream :) I always pee and eat a lot so I guess that wouldn't be much of a change haha

    P.s. I never ate ice cream with milk until you mentioned it to me a few years ago. Now I always eat it that way! :)

  2. Oh this sounds so familiar! It does get better. However, the acne is come and go through all 9 months usually. And the "glow" that they talk about? I'm pretty sure like, 1% of women get a good glow. Most women get the greasy skin glow. Put lots of lotion on your back - my skin has dried out like crazy since being pregnant. That may be it for you too. Oh, and sleep will probably get better. I was just like that for what felt like forever, but I'm sleeping much better. Lots of pillows help, and keeping the room cooler and sleeping with blankets. Unisom helps too if you really need sleep. :)

  3. Since you live at Wymount, you are drinking and showering in what is called "hard water". This does not help your skin either. This pregnancy and last pregnancy, I have been pregnant in the winter. Combine the dry air of the winter season with hard water, and it's a perfect recipe for dry, itchy skin. Try putting lotion on after your shower all over your body. My favorite is setting up a "spa environment" in our room, and my husband can rub the lotion on my back while giving a massage. It's wonderful. You will get used to the sleeping - it wont necessarily go away, but you do get used to it. In fact, I remember thinking my last pregnancy that I was grateful for it! Let me explain - since I had trouble falling asleep sometimes, and I would frequently wake up to go to the bathroom, or to adjust myself, I realized at some point that perhaps this is the Lord's way of preparing me for a baby! When Mary came, I was already VERY used to waking in the night, so feeding her was a breeze at night. Perhaps it's not such a bad thing if it makes the transitions to having a baby easier! Lot's of weird things will happen to your body, but I guess it makes perfect sense - you are making a human being! Woah - that in itself is AMAZING!!!!

  4. try drinking 7 water bottles a day. thats a gallon (usually) and will keep you hydrated but have to pee a lot more. and just try to enjoy it:) before you know it you'll have a 3 1/2 year old and wonder how they got so big. i went to church with dalin and always saw him take such awesome care of jensen. hes going to be such a great dad:) congrats on your pregnancy!


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