Survived the first trimester.

Writing this post at 15 weeks, 2 days feels a bit surreal.  Things are happening.  For the first day, I am wearing an actual, official “maternity dress” at work, the baby bag that I ordered online has arrived, and we are within 7 weeks of relocating to a slightly-larger / baby-friendly (but still downtown) apartment.  Things are happening.

Things are happening at such a rapid pace that I am compelled to record what has happened thus far – both as a reminder to myself where we have come from as this miraculous process continues its exciting, surprising and sometimes scary twists and turns; also, as a reassurance to women in their first 14 weeks (and the partners supporting them) that it does change, it does progress, it does get better.

The Story (aka: “how we found out”

My husband and I were married on October 21 2011, at The Sylvia Hotel

It was an amazing day.  Friday evening wedding, surrounded by 75 friends and family…  We wanted it to feel like everyone got dressed up for an evening out and we just happened to get married in the process.  It was perfect.

Exactly one month later, I was at work and just had a feeling.  I ran across the street to the Rexall, picked up an HPT (which in this case meant Hotel Pregnancy Test as I snuck into the Hyatt to use the lobby washroom – classy.)  And sure enough, there was the bright blue cross.

I went back to the drug store, picked up some prenatal vitamins, an anniversary card for Ken (one month!), a copy of Dr. Seuss’ “Oh Baby, The Places You’ll Go” and a copy of “The Expectant Father” and wrapped it all up to take home.

Insert the tears here.  We could not believe how lucky, blessed, fortunate we were.  We know too many people who have tried so hard, truly longing for this and, all of a sudden, it feels like we have it all.  So blessed.

It was our little secret for about two days, at which time we chose to share the news with our home group from Church.  Our thought process was that in the worst case scenario, it’s always reassuring to know that we are in someone’s thoughts and prayers.

Family found out at about 7 weeks, during a trip home to Ontario (I had purchased a baby stroller charm for my pandora charm bracelet and just waited for the girls to notice), work found out at 12 weeks, Facebook  at 14.

The Details (medical nitty-gritty)

I was able to visit my GP about a week after the positive test, only to discover that she doesn’t deliver babies or work with pregnant women.  She didn’t send me for any sort of confirmation (apparently home-tests aren’t much different than the ones in the office), instead she did some quick math, assigned us a conception date of November 9 /due date of July 31, and explained my options from there on out.  In British Columbia, pregnant women have access to a wide range of options from midwives, doulas, and family practitioners to OB-GYNs, and really any combination of the above.  My family has a strong history of diabetes and I had recently tested consistently high for blood sugar (was able to control with a low sugar/carb and high fibre diet combined with regular exercise), so right away, the idea of a home birth / midwife-only was a little dodgy; unless a pregnancy shows high-risk or complication, OB-GYN’s have a lengthy wait…   After much thought and consideration, we chose to receive our prenatal care and deliver through BC Womens’ and Children’s Hospital (more on this in a later post).

  • Our first visit to the Family Practitioner who will deliver the baby was at 7 weeks 3 days
  • We have chosen to not participate in optional genetic screening for this pregnancy
  • Our first ultrasound was at 10 weeks 4 days (measuring perfectly, heartbeat showing 152)
  • Our first time hearing the baby’s heartbeat on doppler at the doctor’s office was at 11 weeks 4 days (160bpm)

The Scary’ish Parts (nothing to hide) 

The first six weeks were a breeze.  I looked good, I felt good, life was great, being pregnant was Awesome!  At 6 weeks and 1 day, the morning sickness hit – hard.  We were at the Metropolitan Hotel in Toronto the first time I vomited (again, classy!) and I continued to be consistently nauseous for the next nine weeks (up until two days ago).  Not every day was a puke day (though most were); however, I have never been so tired, queasy and generally out of sorts in my life.  I’m happy to share more about my experience with morning sickness, what worked, what didn’t, what I tried, what I avoided, etc.  Just shoot me some questions.

At 11 weeks, I started having some spotting.  Scary.  Not something we ever want to see  – it’s just too unnerving, but it happened.  After scaring myself with the ominous findings through the medical non-experts of Google, we called the Birth Centre’s 24hr help line.  We were reassured that brownish, light spotting is quite common throughout pregnancy and invited to come back in to hear the baby’s heartbeat. Two and a half weeks later, the spotting became bright red and a bit heavier.  I chose to head to the emergency room right away, was able to see the baby on the ultrasound machine in the ER unit, confirm that everything with the baby was fine and learn that “some women just spot”.  It doesn’t always indicate a problem that directly affects the baby, but it is always better to feel safe and stress-free, so I was encouraged to visit as often as felt necessary (So tempting not to go see the baby every day!).

Which brings me to today (15 weeks, 2 days)

Our next regular appointment with our Family Practitioner is tomorrow morning for a regular weigh in, check-in, hear the heartbeat.  I’m really hoping that the detailed anatomy scan (the “find out if it’s a boy or girl” ultrasound) will be scheduled following this visit.  The spotting has stopped over the last three days, as has the morning sickness, so perhaps the second trimester and the supposed “glow” and energy boost that accompany it are really here.

That’s our journey so far.  I plan on posting weekly updates regarding the pregnancy every Tuesday (that is the day that a new week starts in the prenatal dating) and will be discussing food, weight, clothes, relationships, purchases, everything.  Looking forward to sharing this experience and finding out more about yours.

Best of luck to you!

2 thoughts on “Survived the first trimester.

  1. Hello,
    I came across your blog through “The Bump” and as I just found out yesterday that I’m expecting (6 weeks today), I was very excited to discover this great resource!
    I started to experience nausea and “puke days” on Monday. It’s only been a week of waking up to nausea and trying to get myself to work…but hearing you say you experienced this until 9 weeks leaves me a little worried. Each evening, I “forget” how difficult the morning nausea was. Then I’m reminded. What are some strategies you used to handle this? My Dr. offered me something to help with the nausea but DH prefers to handle ailments naturally and I would like to try the same. Any tips would be most appreciated.

  2. Hi Amy – I tend to agree with your husband. My doctor also prescribed an anti-nausea medication (diclectin) but I chose not to take it. For me, what I noticed was that the nausea was worst when I was tired, stressed, too hungry or too full, but we can’t really live in a bubble, right?

    My experience was colder, scentless and bland was the easiest to stomach and keep down. Try to avoid drinking while eating, because it fills you up too fast, which can trigger nausea, likewise, laying down right after eating can be problematic, as can waking up with an empty stomach (keep saltines or some other bland/salted cracker by your bed and munch on them AS SOON as you wake up)

    I found that when it came time to drink, iced-cold water with a splash of lemon-juice to sour it up a bit (i just used the bottled 100% lemon you can buy in the produce aisle), sipped through a straw was the easiest thing to drink. Also, freezing things like grapes, watermelon chunks, pineapple chunks all worked well and kept me hydrated. Sucking on Sweet-Tarts also worked well in cars, buses, planes, etc.

    I also was taken off my prenatal vitamin (the iron content of prenatals can make nausea worse) and put on straight folic acid, which has no side-effects at all.

    The biggest advice from my doctor was that our bodies are in survival-mode for the first trimester. The baby is so small, that there isn’t much worry about the baby getting what it needs, it will be just fine with the nutrition it leeches from us; we just need to eat whatever will stay down. So listen to your body, if all it wants is consomme soup for 3 days, that’s all it likely needs.

    Best of luck! Keep in touch 🙂

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