There was a moment there where I thought I might be one of the pregnant women who doesn’t get morning sickness. I’d made it to week 6 with none of the nausea—only the extreme fatigue and headaches to contend with. But then, wham, it hit me. I woke up on the morning that marked 6 weeks and 1 day of pregnancy feeling queasy. I went downstairs, took a few sips of the glass of water I always pour myself first thing, and promptly threw up in the kitchen sink. A few minutes later, I was throwing up again in the bathroom downstairs. I felt better by nighttime, but the next morning things got worse. I was sick 4 times while getting ready to go to our first doctors appointment. I couldn’t keep anything down—not water, not saltines, not blueberries (a very bad idea, I admit). I held a plastic bag in my lap as we drove to our appointment, and then again on the way home.
I made Daniel stop at one of our favorite delis for a late afternoon lunch. All I wanted was a cold turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, mayo, and extra pickles, but of course, I couldn’t have deli meat. I settled for a chicken cutlet sub with provolone, lettuce, tomato, and pickles. Thankfully, it hit the spot—aaaand continued to hit the spot every other time I ordered it over the next month.
The nausea was strong and present from week six through week 12. I’d feel it first thing in the morning, wait for it to fade a little after breakfast (actually, having saltines next to my bed helped a lot), and experience waves of it all throughout the day and night. My savior might have been the combination of Vitamin B6 three times a day and a Unisom tablet before bed—a remedy my doctor recommended to help with nausea. That really seemed to help, and I know that because on days when I forgot to take one or both, I felt especially awful.
And while the nausea was hard to handle, at least I can say that I had somewhat expected it. What I hadn’t expected was how intense the fatigue would be. The only other time in my life when I felt such crushing exhaustion was when I got mono my freshman year of college. Every activity I did—from walking downstairs to make breakfast to blow drying my hair—made me want to, NEED TO, lie down. I’m not much of a napper (naps always seem to make me feel sad and lonely for some reason), so this utter lack of energy made me feel so, so bad and left me wondering if I’d ever accomplish anything ever again.
Thankfully, as with the nausea, the fatigue phase passed too, and by the first few weeks of my second trimester I was feeling more myself again.
I’m not sure exactly what the breakdown is of when I gained what (I’m only really aware of the total amount), but I’d guess I gained around 12-ish pounds in my first trimester. I attribute a lot of those pounds to having so many food aversions that left me craving only very specific, very calorie-dense foods. The emotionally tricky, and somewhat triggering, thing about gaining weight for me at the beginning of pregnancy was knowing that I had already gotten pregnant at a higher weight than I’m usually comfortable being. After our wedding last September and our honeymoon in mid-October, I was basically in gaining mode. Not really bingeing, but not really making healthy choices either. When I got that positive pregnancy test back in December—after the rush of joy and excitement settled—I thought of the fact that I would be starting this journey 15 pounds heavier than I wish I were. I remember thinking, man I’ve really backed myself into a corner weight-wise.
But the anxious feeling I had about gaining weight didn’t last long—partly because I was too sick to obsess about anything and partly because of this odd, newfound sense of acceptance that settled over me around two months in.
Cravings / Aversions
Cravings: orange juice, pickles, tart/sour flavors, sherbet, and POTATOES.
Aversions: coffee, SWEETS (the shock of my life, believe you me), chicken, vegetables
Daniel should receive a Nobel Peace Prize simply for being the most loving, nurturing man. The very first day we knew we were pregnant, he was on Amazon ordering books about fatherhood, pregnancy, child-rearing, and the like. Within a week he’d read two of them, subscribed to parenting blogs, and daily began reading the r/Parenting subreddit. He looked into the youth sports cut-offs in our town, knowing that our baby would be born in late August/early September. One night I looked over at him in bed, his laptop perched on his belly, and saw that he had googled, “what to do for your wife in the first trimester.”
Throughout those first twelve weeks, he was endlessly reassuring—quick to calm my fears that I could lose the baby at any moment, happy to listen and talk me through any emotional wave or odd physical sensation. This man is a natural-born caretaker and a complete giver and he’s proven that to me a hundred thousand times already—it’s evident in the way he cares for and heaps love upon my parents’ pug, Dee Dee.
I loved Daniel more than life itself before all this, but now I’ve reached a truly clinically insane love level. If I love this baby boy even a fraction as much as I love his dad (and I mean, how could I not?), then my heart could potentially explode and without question my son will someday need therapy for all the over-the-top smothering I did.
*Note: I’m 24 weeks now (not far from my third trimester!) so I’ll be sharing my second trimester recap soon! I’m thinking of talking about what I decided to register for—would that be interesting? Regardless, I’d love to hear about your pregnancy journey, so please share below!