Obviously every pregnancy is different, so it’s been interesting to see how this one has been for me so far. It’s also crazy to think that a future pregnancy could look completely different from this one. I wanted to share a few thoughts, symptoms, and experiences I’ve had to date, just to document them, mainly.
(Here’s a shot of the bump and me — and Fulton — this morning, at 26 weeks, day 6):
My main symptom (and the most annoying one, for sure) has been heartburn from the start. I’ve become quite the Tums connoisseur (pro tip: they now have a chewy cherry version that is pretty darn delicious), and have tried Zantac as well but felt like it was making me dizzy. I’m going to give Prilosec a go next to see if that can help the heartburn without bringing any other unwelcome symptoms with it. I now have lots of sympathy for people with heartburn, and don’t wish it on anyone! It seems like it would be a relatively benign symptom, and though it doesn’t necessarily get in the way of everyday life in a meaningful way, it’s definitely zero fun and pretty painful.
Other symptoms (none of which have been as consistent as the heartburn) have included: a clicking jaw (not painful), dizziness (but I think this may have been tied to the Zantac), intermittently clogged ears (not painful but super annoying), and stuffiness/congestion in general (might have something to do with the time of year as well). I’ve been so thankful that my symptoms (at least so far) have been very manageable and nothing’s been too extreme. I’ve been able to keep my normal routine, for the most part, and am still sleeping really well. That makes me feel more like myself during this time of lots of change!
I didn’t expect to be longing for pickles and ice cream or anything, but I did think I’d start to notice some food aversions or preferences or something. Surprisingly, that hasn’t really happened. During my first trimester, I definitely noticed an increased penchant for all things carbs (cereal, oatmeal, bread, pizza — you name it!), but after that initial 12-week period things kind of went back to normal as far as the types of food I wanted to eat. Something that totally shocked me was discovering that my sweet tooth — which is normally pretty intense — has decreased during pregnancy. My cravings, when I have them, are for salty, savory things like popcorn, soup, and cheese and crackers rather than for cookies, brownies, and chocolate chips. It’s very strange. (I still like sweet stuff for sure, I just don’t feel like I NEED it like I do when I’m not pregnant.)
Luckily, I haven’t yet run into any foods (or food smells) that have made me feel sick. I’m able to eat just about anything without issue, and can handle and prepare food without a problem, either. Whew!
I’ve upped my intake of foods like eggs because they’re high in choline, which helps with neurological development. I’ve also tried to get even more protein than usual. I’m toying with trying liver because it’s high in protein, iron, choline (basically a pregnancy super food), but haven’t pulled the trigger just yet…
I haven’t felt extra hungry, really, but have tried to start eating smaller meals throughout the day since it’s easy to get full really fast — especially at the six-month mark! That helps keep my blood sugar more consistent throughout the day as well.
I’ve had a few sweet friends give me some maternity items, which I’ve been SO thankful for, and have found a couple of other good sources to supplement those hand-me-downs as well. So far, Stitch Fix has been my most reliable source for maternity pieces — especially maternity pants (which have to be the most comfortable pieces of clothing on the planet, aside from maybe leggings). Beyond Yoga’s maternity offerings are my go-to for Pure Barre maternity clothes (I especially love this tank). Other finds that have worked well for me so far are LOFT and Macy’s (I love the Jessica Simpson maternity jeans I just snagged from there!). I’ve been making lots of my non-maternity pieces work, too, which has been nice. Pants are tricky, but leggings still are totally doable (both my workout and daily wear pairs), as are sweaters and things like open cardigans (I’m loving those these days in particular). I feel lucky to be pregnant this time of year.
I’m obviously new to this whole having a baby deal, and more than anything I want our birth experience to be one I feel good about once it’s over. It’s important to Kevin and me that we arm ourselves with as much information going into the birth as possible so we feel like we can be advocates for ourselves and our baby. For us, that means surrounding ourselves with a strong support team and beefing up on knowledge in the months leading up to our due date.
We’re currently taking a Bradley Method birth class, which we’ve really been enjoying, and I appreciate the holistic viewpoint the class takes. The class focuses not just on labor and delivery but also on pregnancy nutrition, ways to deal with pregnancy symptoms, breastfeeding, infant care, helpful stretching exercises, and more, and I know at the end of the 12-week course we’ll feel so much more informed about what to expect and our birth-related options.
We’re also working with a doula practice, meaning one of the three doulas at the practice will be with us throughout the birth process. I’m looking forward to having that consistent presence — especially from someone who has experienced a couple hundred births versus my zero — with us in the hospital.
Finally, I’m trying to soak in as much information as I can on my own about pregnancy, birth, and infant care/behavior. Most of that research has come from podcasts (I love listening to accounts of other women’s birth experiences) and online reading. Right now, Kevin and I are on the hunt for some good infant care books. Any suggestions from parents out there?
I guess you never know what to expect as far as mood and emotion during pregnancy (thanks, hormones!), but fortunately I’ve felt pretty much like me throughout from an emotional standpoint. I tend to be steady in that regard, and so far pregnancy hasn’t changed that state. (I have cried a couple of times — both instances related to maternity leave being so short in the U.S.) I’ve been glad to feel like me emotionally while physically so many changes are taking place.
My main emotion is excitement. I can’t wait to meet this tiny human and discover who she is and what she’s like. I wonder about her constantly, and hope so many good things for her and her life — that she’s smart, kind, loves to laugh, is curious about the world and the people around her. I love that we just have to wait three more months to start that process of getting to know her.