Since I’ve been silent until last week about my pregnancy, I wanted to write out a full recap of the 1st trimester and what I’ve experienced! In fact, this week, all my posts are going to be baby talk. Baby talk, body talk, and belly talk. But don’t worry–I still love food (I think) and books and photography, so I promise that eventually I will branch back out and write about something different. In fact, I have a few recipes ready to go (Heidi’s Drunken Noodles, an awesome Black Bean Soup, and I’m putting together a post on an amazing pizza crust that Erica shared with me)–but this just ain’t the week for ’em. So if you’re a dude, you’re just here for the food, or baby talk makes you want to pull your hair out and shout “Shazzam!”, well . . . I hope to see you back around here next week! Go forth, be happy and prosper, my son.
But as for the rest of you! Let’s dive right in, shall we? Here’s what all went down (and it’s a looooong post, so grab your coffee and feel free to take a potty break):
-I thought I was scoring big with a complete lack of morning sickness . . . And though I’m thankful that my first 2 months were so normal in the bodily sense, this initial lack of sickness was a big part of the reason we chose not to extensively share our news until the first trimester was over and done with–I was concerned by this lack of symptoms. What did it mean? That maybe nothing was actually happening?? That this whole pregnancy thing was just a figment of my overly active imagination? Some kind of psychologically induced placebo pregnancy?
– . . . up until week 9. Starting week 9, the sickness began. It tapered off about 2 1/2 weeks later, but now that my second trimester has kicked off I’ve unfortunately had a little relapse (ugh–more about that Thursday, with all the gory details). Thank heavens it’s (supposed to be) almost over, because those 2 1/2 weeks and this little recurrence have been no fun. And the sickness wasn’t “morning” either–it was all day, any day. Some days it was better, and I only felt like throwing up a few times and for a few minutes at a time, then it passed. But a couple evenings when it was particularly bad, I was reduced to a helpless pile on the couch, not wanting to eat, sipping club soda in a last ditch effort to calm the beast of my stomach, and crying because I felt so helpless. My husband was a champ through this, and with his compassion and humor it turned into quite a bonding experience. That doesn’t mean that I would willingly relive it though! Let’s just make that clear.
-Bloating. I’m sorry for that hideous word, and I told myself I’d never use it, but it was a huge part of the whole “not feeling well” thing. Basically, I would eat a fig newton and a handful of peanuts, and minutes later feel like I had just eaten a 5 lb turkey and two whole pies. With a whole can of whipped cream sprayed over everything. Blech. Apparently digestion slows down so that nutrients can get to the baby . . . so that’s good. It just doesn’t feel good. Plus, it meant that I could pooch out my stomach so that it looked like I was something akin to 7 months pregnant instead of 2 or 3. Scary stuff.
-Purchases: I thought I was going to be able to say that we had purchased exactly zero baby things. Zero baby books, zero maternity clothes, zero baby furniture, zero, zero, zero. But . . . then I came across this adorable little fleece jacket for 99 cents at Salvation Army.
Look! It says “cuddly”!
And some adorable little grey Gap legging thingies.
With knee patches!
And an adorable Old Navy striped onesie . . .
. . . also with precious little knee patches.
So the truth is that we’ve bought 3 things. But! Rummage 2012 is coming up in May! I anticipate that more than a few purchases will be made there.
–I juiced! Every weekday morning, right before my devotional, I down a glass of that green veggie liquid. Though I started right before finding out I was pregnant (the morning of The Day, specifically) and meant to do it anyway, I love the thought of all those micronutrients strengthening my little one. Go carrots! Go celery! Go spinach, go ginger, go cucumbers! I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.
-I’ve been faithfully popping those vitamins. Well . . . except for the days I forget.
-I’ve kept my diet pretty much the same. I’ve cut back on coffee, but that’s mostly because once I started juicing, I lost the taste for more than about 1 cup. Let it be known that if my taste for that second cup returns, I’ll totally go for it. I’ve done a lot of reading and have decided to do my best to eat healthily, remain physically active (Pilates! yoga!), and not worry about the rest. I don’t want to obsess about this and that when my gut tells me that my dietary choices during pregnancy are mostly common sense. Eat your greens. Don’t over-indulge in anything. Eat regular meals. Don’t binge on the thing you’re craving even if you really feel like it. Everything in moderation. You know, that kind of stuff.
-Cravings: Nothing much until week 9. And then, all of a sudden and with no seeming explanation, I really wanted lasagna–my friend Carrie’s recipe with the goat cheese and the fresh mozzarella and the fresh basil and the rich sausagey tomato sauce. I get food impulses all the time (being a food blogger and food-blog-follower, this is kind of inevitable), but this was different. I rarely crave heavy cheesy things, but oh man–all I could think about was this melty, decadent lasagna. Then, that weekend, I severely desired that Naked juice called “Mighty Mango.” It was 10pm, and I thought “I could just go to the grocery store right now and satisfy this itch.” But it was dark . . . and I was tired. So I bought it the very next morning instead. And it was heavenly. Since then, I’ve wanted fries. Fries, fries, fries. Slathered with mayo and ketchup. And hot, buttery white rice. And boxed mac and cheese.
-Food aversions: sadly, many of my favorite things are anathema. Fried eggs . . . ugh! Thai noodles (which I normally love) . . . can’t look at the stuff. Popcorn . . . not feelin’ it (shocking! Seriously, do you remember my history with popcorn?) That Bacon and Kale Skillet I made for so many weeks in a row? The mere thought of it makes me retch. Most of these aversions started in week 10, soon after the sickness began. I’ve started thinking that things are way over-salted when my husband claims they’re perfectly seasoned. As a food blogger and food lover, not being able to trust my taste buds is really wigging me out, people!
-Weight gain: I weighed about 132 last fall at a Dr’s appointment (and yes, that was the last time I weighed myself since we don’t own a scale). And at my end-of-12th-week appointment (and after a huge lunch of eggplant stew, garlic potatoes, and a mountain of white rice), I weighed 133. . . . so pretty much the same. “Hooray!” you might think. But no. Apparently gradual weight gain helps avoid stretch marks and other unseemly things, so dangit! I need to start putting on some pounds, people. Let’s get this thing moving!
This may very well be the last time in my life that my stomach is flat. I’m slightly terrified by the fact that in 6 months, my body will be forever changed. But I’ve heard the sacrifice is worth it! So don’t let me complain. Help me help myself.
-Fatigue! This hit on a Thursday. March 2nd to be exact, the second day of my ninth week. I noted this day because though I’d been feeling tired before, it was nothing crazy. Nothing out of what might be normal to feel after a hard, long day. But on that Thursday, everything changed. It hit, and it hit hard. I was miserable . . . but glad to at least be experiencing a sign that somewhere, something was going on inside.
-Names! We’re talking about them. We’ve agreed on a girl’s name–three in fact–and one boy’s name that I was skeptical of at first, but to which I have been won over.
-Clothes: I still fit ’em. Though I’m convinced my butt has grown about 5 sizes, that must be mostly emotion speaking since my pants are still fitting in a normal way, and the scale confirms that not much has changed.
-Boobs. They are totally not the triple D size that I was counting on. Having never experienced this whole “nicely sized chest” thing, this is one of the things I’m quite excited about. Alas . . . still nothing to report. And when there is something report, I probably won’t talk about it because that might be unsavory. So basically, the time I don’t talk about my chest area being its usual unassuming self, you can privately surmise that its volume is meeting all my hopes and dreams. I want to experience cleavage, at least once in my life.
-Week 11, occasional dizziness started. I almost passed out after church as I was talking to my friend Beth. And I’m not talking about a little faintness–I’m talking about a down-on-the-ground am-I-dying type of feeling. This precipitated the earlier-than-planned spreading of the news in our church, because of course then I had to explain to Beth, etc. etc.
-Patience: it was hard not to tell. Especially when I was feeling exhausted and started having pregnant-brain at work. I wanted to say to my boss: “It’s not that I’m slacking! I’m pregnant!” But getting that first appointment at the end of week 12 to confirm everything was a-ok before telling him was essential to me.
-Which brings us to pregnant-brain. Which is entirely different than my regular brain. I think that at times, the entire contents of my cranium may have been taken by aliens, replaced with a version that hasn’t been Beta-tested, and then returned when I was sleeping. Then taken again sometime during my morning coffee. Then returned. It comes and goes, and you never know when it’s going to hit. The first sign of this, in week 8, was at the grocery store. I had the pen and the list. I went over to pick up a red onion. I crossed it off the list. I picked up a bag of kale and a bag of cucumbers. I returned to the cart and to my husband, all set to cross off “kale” and “cucumbers” . . . and the pen was gone. I retraced my steps three times. I had the vague, disquieting feeling that I had actually set it down amongst the vegetables . . . but I couldn’t remember. In the space of 2 minutes, that pen was adios, muchachos forever. Generally, my brain seems to have slowed down. I’m not as efficient around the house. It takes me longer to cook. It takes me longer to clean. Sometimes I have to talk myself through accomplishing a task–out loud. Like a crazy lady. Oh well.
-Housing and transportation: we’re moving at the end of August. We’ve loved our apartment (the burglary not so much, but oh well), but the so-not-soundproof nature of our ceiling and floor, the lack of laundry facilities on site, the general grody oldness of the bathroom, and the terrible parking on our street have convinced us that we want to have this little one elsewhere. And we want to get a car. Not to use daily–we’ll still be good, green-as-possible citizens and use the El and buses of Chicago–but for trips to see family with the baby it would be quite nice. And to have on hand for emergency hospital stuff. Like, um, when I go into labor. Yup. (And come on–is that really going to happen to me? Really? I don’t think so.)
-Appointing a new photographer. With my love of photography, it’s important to me that there be pictures of the process–and of my soon-to-be growing pregnant belly. As the person who wears the photographer’s hat in our household, I’m forcefully passing the camera into my husband’s hands and appointing a new family photographer. Before he took the above pictures of me, I tested the light and the background on him. “Here, turn to your side like you’re showing me your pregnant belly!” I commanded.
He’s more than willing to let me order him about and show him all the settings on the Nikon, and puts up with my bossiness with utter grace. Thanks babe!
And thanks, friends, for all your kind and encouraging comments, and the awesome stories you’ve shared. You’re already making this process more joyful for me!