Sunday, December 28, 2014

The First Trimester: Feeling Happy, Excited and Nauseated

Hello, and welcome to your first Trimester! Although it's a very happy and exciting time, I'll warn you... it's not all fun and games here. I'm currently 10 weeks pregnant and most of the time I feel like a cancer patient, except instead of losing weight, I'm gaining. All kidding aside... I feel very blessed to have a little life growing inside me and I already can't wait to meet the little fella (yes... cliche alert!... I already think I'm having a boy). HOWEVER, that being said, I'd like to take this time now to describe, in extreme detail, just how awful I feel and also share tips and tricks I've learned to help you survive this "wonderful time in your life".

Let's start off by discussing FOOD

It's a love-hate relationship at best right now. Every day is a new food craving partnered with a corresponding & opposite food aversion.  The really messed up part is that today's food aversion could very well be the food you were craving just yesterday! Let me elaborate... for example: I was craving pineapple last week. So, I bought a big, delicious, ripe pineapple and ate a crap load of it. The next day, I was completely repulsed by the idea of eating pineapple and a few days later threw out the remaining pineapple out of shear disgust. Super! 

Most of the day I feel hungry but at the same time I'm completely grossed out by food. An empty stomach is when you're most likely to feel the most nauseous and it's probably the worst time to try to eat. But eating will help the nausea. At first water was too hard on my stomach so I drank Gatorade which seemed to sit better.

At first, when I was about 4-5 weeks pregnant I was craving the typical "pregnancy foods" like pickles, ice cream, McDonald's Cheeseburgers and potato chips (*note: my nausea didn't kick in until week 6). Now, at 10 weeks all that stuff is a big turn off! I can barely eat anything that's overly sweet (like cookies or chocolates), or anything deep fried, or meat, ugh! It's all super gross-balls for me right now. But by tomorrow it could all change. My husband can't keep up with the daily changes so now everyday he just asks if I'm still eating: "hard boiled eggs on toast", or "all bran cereal with skim milk", "cheese & crackers" or "baked potatoes"... all of which I am currently tolerating pretty well. The absolute worst offenders for food right now is: chicken, salad/lettuce, garlic, onions, fried eggs, fish, beef (any kind of meat really), hot food (as in temperature), chocolate, coffee and anything that has a super strong odor. 

Which brings me to my next topic...

Sense of SMELL!

Ok, so if your reading this article from another part of the world I can probably smell you right now. I can smell the coffee in Brazil. If you quit smoking in 2003 you probably smell like an ashtray to me. It's not a myth about pregnant women having an enhanced sense of smell and I seriously feel so bad for dogs right now. Their sense of smell is a million times better than humans. Life must be so awful for them. An enhanced sense of smell is believed to be a large part of what makes pregnant women feel nauseous. It's the fact that everything stinks. My kitchen is the worst place for me to be right now because I can smell all of the food in the fridge, the disgusting food decomposing in the compost (even though there's only 3 things in it), the disgusting garbage and even clean dishware smells dirty to me. I literally have to hold my breathe every time I open the fridge door. My husband normally has a really keen sense of smell but he says he doesn't notice anything 'off' meanwhile I'm constantly ranting about how gross our house smells.

To cope with the overwhelming odor of everything I started closing my bedroom door and opening the window for fresh air. When I feel nauseated and overwhelmed by 'kitchen smells' I can go to my bedroom and it's cool and smells like fresh air. Also, having a hot bath with nice smelling body wash or bubble bath can be a nice escape and relaxing.

I used to LOVE coffee! I was one of those crazy coffee lovers. I was so addicted that it was the one thing I would never give up for Lent and I always felt so guilty that I would never surrender that one thing for Baby Jesus, but I figured he'd forgive me every year anyway... so I guess we're cool. But NOW, I cannot stand the smell of fresh brewed coffee or the taste of it... it's on the worst offender list. And it's so putrid to me that I don't even miss it or feel sad about it. The closest I can get to drinking coffee is instant decaf coffee but that's only when I'm trying to 'trick my bowels' into having a poop.

Which brings me to my next topic... (*TMI Alert*)


Or lack there of I should say. I used to have great poops! Sometimes two or three big, healthy cattle cookies a day! Life was great! NOW, I'm lucky if I can squeeze out one crusty, little chicken nugget every 48 hours. Whether it be due to the progesterone that slows down the intestinal tract mobility or all of the iron in the prenatal vitamins... there's definitely been a big 'hold up' at the poop factory during this pregnancy.

Through trial and error over the past 5 weeks I have just recently been having better success in this area. Here are a few things I've done to help out my Pooper:

1) I started eating all bran cereal everyday for breakfast
2) Instead of just eating soda crackers for nausea I've started snacking on baby carrots and dip as
    well (more fiber)
3) Drinking more water and fluids (aim for 1-2 liters a day)
4) I've opted for a lower iron multivitamin paired with a separate folic acid vitamin (which my
     pharmacist said was fine)
5) Orange flavored Metamucil in plain, cold water or mixed into a fruit smoothie
6) I started walking more (sometimes twice a day)

I think suffering from constipation was also contributing to my nausea. When you think about your gut being full of rotting, 4 day-old turds how could you not feel like gagging???

Which brings me to my biggest, most annoying problem thus far...


Oh Lord, the nausea! I think I'd rather have severe pain than nausea. I haven't thrown up YET... but, I constantly feel 'on the verge'. I can't imagine how bad it must be for women who throw up constantly and even have to be hospitalized with dehydration. I must seem like a total 'complainy-pants' to you guys who have suffered worse. I'm still going to complain though. What's the point of having your own blog if you can't rant every now and then?

So, I basically feel awful everyday. Morning sickness is a LIE! It should be called 'All Day" sickness and for me it gets worse as the day goes on. The evenings are the worst. I find as much as I don't want to do anything, getting out in the fresh air and going for a walk is always really helpful. Another great, enjoyable escape from feeling nauseated is a Big... Long... Delicious... NAP! (Haha! I know where you thought I was heading with that build up, but... no!  It was a penis that got me into all this mess and I'm not having anything to do with it for while ;)   

I find peppermint candies are great for a quick fix. Lemon water with ice is also quite refreshing. A lot of articles say ginger tea or ginger candies are helpful but I find the smell of ginger too strong right now. As soon as I wake up I drink a big glass of cold water and eat a few soda crackers which really helps counter the build up of acidic gastric juices. Brushing your teeth after meals helps because sometimes the lingering taste of food in your mouth can become really gross and bitter. There is an acupressure spot on the inside of your wrist that if you push hard into it it's supposed to help with nausea. There are bracelets you can buy specifically for it that have little balls that press into the spot. I have yet to try those out but I'd like too!

Another trick is not letting yourself get hungry. I have to eat every hour or two just to keep the nausea at bay. When I go to work or if I know I'll be out of the house for a few hours I have a little bag of snacks with me and water. I find that really helps! I have honey-oat granola bars (which aren't too sweet), clementines, apples, yogurt with granola, cheese and crackers, water and juice boxes. I feel like the official Snack Lady. It's the winter season here in Canada so they all keep really well in the car. The key is small, frequent meals/snacks. 

My doctor prescribed me a medication called Diclectin which is used for treating nausea in pregnant women. I did my own research on this drug before taking it and it's labelled as "Probably Safe" which, when you're pregnant, really doesn't make you feel safe at all. I've taken it for a few weeks and am now trying to take it more sporadically only when I feel I really need to. I figure the less medication I take while pregnant the better but, if I can have some much needed relief from nausea here and there I'll take that too! The medication doesn't completely take away the nausea but I find it definitely does help. It's a long acting pill so you take it at bedtime to help for the morning nausea (and it also helps you sleep) or you take it in the morning to help with afternoon/evening nausea.

Let's talk about Boobs!

My boobs are two things right now... Huge & Sore! One week after finding out we were expecting I had to go out and by a new bra because I immediately went from C cup to a D cup! Yikes!

Not only are my breasts gigantic, but they are sooooo sore! It's like constant pre-menstrual boobs. Big and sore and constantly in the way.  My aunt sent me these great Marilyn Monroe Sports Bras with removable cups that are super comfortable. She said later on in her pregnancy it helped for her to sleep with the sports bra on because having 'the girls' all willy-nilly all over the place was more painful. I also have a more bust-minimizing sports bra that I used to wear when I was exercising but now I wear it more regularly when I want to feel like I have 'normal' sized boobs OR when I want a bit less jiggle and bounce! Everything in moderation right?

Weight Gain

Soooo, I'm currently in this really awesome phase of pregnancy where I'm not my normal weight (I've gained about 5lbs) BUT... I don't look pregnant either! So, I basically just look like a women who let herself go and ate too many Christmas cookies and drank too much Eggnog over the holidays. Great! As a typical women, even at a 'healthy weight', I typically thought I needed to lose weight and tone up most of the time. So I have to keep reminding myself that I'm pregnant, and a small amount of weight gain at first is OK. Unfortunately, I read this one article that said you shouldn't gain any weight in your first trimester, and after further research I see now that that's complete Horse S*@t... but the words still haunt me to this day lol.

Here's a better depiction of Healthy Pregnancy Weight Gain:

My regular jeans no longer fit properly and are very uncomfortable. At first I would just keep squeezing myself into them thinking to myself, "It's too early on to be gaining weight!". Until I read a great article about another woman's experiences during her first trimester. She encouraged other pregnant women to stop trying to fit into their 'regular clothes' and just go out and buy a pair of pants that fit properly and allow yourself to feel comfortable. The writer even suggested that first trimester women should get a pair of stretchy maternity pants... which I did! And it's been amazing! So comfortable! I think it also helps reiterate the fact that You Are Pregnant... and you're just going to get bigger so get used to it! lol  I also went to Old Navy and found the 'Sweetheart boot cut' jeans I normally wear and bought a pair in a size 10 (my regular pair is a size 6). They are still a bit too big, but they are comfortable and I have some room to grow in them still!  It's amazing how much better you feel when you're wearing clothes that actually fit!

Well, there you have it! I hope you find this blog post both entertaining and informative. Best of luck with baby making OR (after reading this article) deciding to adopt instead!

What did you find helpful during your 'queasy' first trimester?


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