In many ways, this blog is my journal and not just a way of communicating with friends and others who have similar experiences. Therefore, I want to describe my symptoms so that I don’t forget the experiences of this pregnancy. This way, if I ever get to experience another pregnancy, I can make comparisons between that experience and this one. I wrote most of this partway through my second trimester and I’m finishing it up as I start my third, so I apologize if it seems disjointed.
In the first trimester, the first symptoms I noticed were constipation and sore boobs/nipples. I didn’t really start experiencing more symptoms until about 6 weeks. Then I experienced mild nausea and some fatigue. My appetite also increased and eating helped with the nausea. Unfortunately, the thought of salads, smoothies, and fruit (especially strawberries) made me feel really gross, but chips, green olives, and fast food were calling my name. These symptoms became more frequent and noticeable in the coming weeks until about week 9, then the nausea was more intermittent. Compared to what I have read and heard about from others, I had it lucky! I don’t think my boobs grew much, but my areolae got larger and darker. I have 2 freckles near one areola that are really dark now. I had some cramping, but I am trusting that it was due to my expanding uterus. I bloated quickly and was predominately wearing maternity clothes since 11 or 12 weeks. Baby brain started early on too. Two incidents stand out in the first trimester. First, I was at the mall and had bought things from a couple stores. I had my winter coat over my arm and as I was leaving a store, I panicked because I thought I had left one of my bags on the opposite side of the mall. I was tired and did not want to go back to the store, but I started walking quickly in that direction. Partway there, I realized that the bag in question was on my arm, hidden by my coat. Out of sight, out of mind apparently! The second incident involved taking my Toyota for an oil change. There’s this area of the city where a lot of car dealerships are clustered together. J drives a Mazda and without realizing it, I drove my Toyota into the Mazda garage, got out, and stated that I was a bit early for my appointment. The people at Mazda looked at me strangely and then said, “The is Mazda.” It took a minute to click, but they watched me as the “Oh, and I drive a Toyota” look dawned on my face. Feeling pretty embarrassed, I got back in the car, drove out of the garage and headed for Toyota. On the plus side, my nails are longer and stronger.
So far in the second trimester, nausea has been pretty much replaced by headaches and heartburn. The heartburn is less common, but headaches can come out of nowhere. I’ve always been an ibuprofen fan, but now I am limited to Tylenol. In the interest of taking as little medication as possible, I try not to take it even though it’s safe. I have taken it a handful of times though when I have particularly bad headaches. Unfortunately, I don’t find it helps. I experience other aches and pains too. I have definitely experienced pelvic girdle pain (often mistaken for sciatica) and round ligament pain. My stomach has continued to feel a bit crampy and like it is stretching out (which it is!). My lower back and tailbone also ache quite a bit some days, as do my neck and shoulders to a lesser extent. I have tried to exercise, but my calves absolutely burn after a short walk. I also experience tingling/numbing in my hands and legs more frequently than I ever have before. My appetite is still pretty high and I still love the junk. I think I am gaining far more than I should. My belly seems to be a combination of baby, bloating, and fat as I sometimes wake up with a fairly flat belly and I can suck in a fair amount (not so anymore). Baby brain is still present and I definitely feel like it takes me far longer to write a client report than it used to. I can’t concentrate as long and I definitely feel a bit mentally stunted. I seem to say “thing” a lot instead of finding the correct word. I seem to be getting more irritable lately too and a lot of it centers around a coworker who annoyed me prior to my pregnancy so I don’t know if my increased irritability is really due to pregnancy or reaching my limit with her. Other noticeable symptoms in the second trimester have included increased discharge (sorry for the TMI but sometimes it’s like someone squirted hand lotion in my undies), occasional nocturnal leg cramps, saggier boobs (they aren’t that big though so it’s not that bad), getting up several times a night to pee, and swelling in my fingers and feet (particularly on hot days). I even traded my engagement and wedding rings in for some silver and cubic zirconia knock offs (that I have to say, I love). Also, my feet are almost permanently sore now. I have apparently been snoring a lot lately, which I blame on pregnancy-related congestion, although I do have environmental allergies. Bending over has become laborious and now it is uncomfortable, sometimes painful to try to bend at the waist (lots of lifting with the knees, even for a dropped piece of paper). By far the best symptom of the second trimester has been feeling the baby kick, even if her daddy hasn’t managed to feel one yet.
Even though not every symptom or sensation is particularly pleasant, each is so very appreciated because they are signs of the life developing within me and my new role as an impending mother.