Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pregnancy: The First Trimester

Adam and I decided to try to get pregnant this summer, but I have to admit something weird. I've always been surprised when I reach should-be-(somewhat)attainable goals. I know this cements me as a supreme worrier, but that's how I am. For instance, when I was 8, I just *knew* that I wouldn't be 16 and I definitely would never be 23. It made me sad, but I was pretty stoic about it. Then, lo and behold, I was 16! and 23! and much older!

Another example: After my college relationship fizzled and I saw how dreary the dating world was, I was pretty sure I wouldn't ever get married. Certain events that occurred in the fall of 2007 cemented my feeling that I wouldn't want to ever condemn a person to a lifetime with me. Luckily, therapy helped with those feelings! Fast-forward a year and I meet Adam. Add another year, and I'm engaged. 5 months later, I'm married--to the most fantastic, caring guy out there. Wonders never cease!

So, finally, I've just always thought that I might have trouble getting pregnant. There is no basis in genetics in my family for this weird thought. Also, I haven't been diagnosed as having anything permanently wrong with my reproductive parts. I was just *sure* that I wouldn't be able to get pregnant.

All of that to say: Geez, I'm one lucky lady. I've got a supportive husband and a healthy body.

So, we found out fairly quickly. I missed my period, and took a pregnancy test the next day. I kinda had a hunch, and, yep, the test was positive. It was a weird, surreal moment that was mostly happy. (Hey, I'm going to admit that I was pretty bummed that I couldn't enjoy wine for quite some time. Sigh. The baby better appreciate my sacrifice!) Anyway, I was only about 3 weeks pregnant at that time. We took another test at 4 weeks and, yep, still pregnant.

Whoa! It says "pregnant!" That's the first pregnancy test I ever took!

Here, Adam takes a pic of me taking a pic of the test!

So, I called the place (Shenandoah Women's Health Center) that I wanted for an OB. My normal doctor is not an OB, so I knew I'd have to go elsewhere, and a friend had recommended this place. They told me that I could make an appointment, but it would have to be after I was 8 weeks pregnant, since that's the typical amount of time where doctors start to see pregnant women. To me, that was a little frustrating--I wanted a professional opinion and to ask questions and everything. I guess I kinda felt like I "caught" the pregnancy super-early, so I should be rewarded in some way. I'm such an idiot. So, long story short, appointment made for 8 weeks along.

Week 4: Odd tugs in my abdomen, it was like painful stretching. I told my sister (a nurse), since I wanted to know if I was experiencing something that I should be worried about. She laughed, and said there were lots more weird things to come. Even now, my twinges at 4 weeks seem like pleasant memories...

At 4 weeks and 118 lbs....sigh, I will miss this body. Though I plan to get it back!!

Week 5: Nothing new. I traveled to the Biltmore Estate with my Arboretum coworkers, so we could examine the gardens. My coworkers found out when I had to refuse to do the wine tasting at the Biltmore; it was easy to diagnose because they know how much I love wine!

Week 6: MORNING SICKNESS! This sucks. So hard. I don't want to have any more kids after this. Seriously. Severe nausea, throwing up, hating every food and every smell in the world. It is THE WORST. I seriously do not know why people think it's so amazing and adorable to have morning sickness because it is horrid. I'm not going to pretend I'm the first person ever to have morning sickness, but I'm not going to pretend like it isn't that hard. It's wretched and debilitating and miserable.

Week 7: Even worse. Had to have an emergency appointment at my doctor's (2 weeks early). Adam took me there, and they immediately did an ultrasound to check on the baby since I hadn't kept anything down for days. Luckily, the baby could be seen, the heartbeat heard, and everything looked good! Yay! What an amazing thing to see and hear the little person growing inside me--also, totally weird!! So, that was happy. The doctor was super-nice, and gave me prescriptions for a couple of nausea medications. (Thank you, modern medicine! I had tried ginger, peppermint, everything under the sun!) Then, they hooked me up to an IV and gave me a bag of fluids. I started to feel a little better during the IV, and could even eat (and keep stuff down) the rest of the day. Also, I had lost about 5-7 lbs, so, yeah....things had been rough.
On the plus side, we told our parents and siblings. Adam kept telling his family I "wasn't feeling well" and I could barely talk on the phone, so we just wanted to get the news out on the table and be honest. Plus, we had a nifty picture to show!

Baby Copeland at 7 weeks! plus heartbeat! 154 bpm!

Week 8: Thank you nausea pills. I've reduced my dosage because I don't feel as bad all the time. However, I still don't really care for food. I mean, I can eat now and that's good. But food doesn't taste that great and I'm still nauseous and feeling lousy. I feel like I'm never going to like food ever again, which makes me sad. I'm back to my pre-pregnancy weight of 118. So that's good.
Exhaustion, still here!

Weeks 9 & 10: Nausea still here, but it has decreased a bit more. I haven't taken my pills for awhile because, as long as I eat something every 2 hours or so, the contents of my stomach stay down. Still, I hate food; I hate the smell of food; I hate thinking of food and/or smells. I'm sad and feel like I'll never like food again. :( Every now and then, I still throw up. Also, almost everyone who came into contact with me between weeks 6-10 found out that I was pregnant. Other teachers, my department head, friends, students....and they "found out" because I told them. Or because they saw me puking in the restroom. Classy, huh? Hence, we decided to tell friends and make it facebook-official a few days earlier than planned because, well, if my students knew, then friends should know!

Week 11: Had a little spotting, which was NOT fun. It wasn't bright red blood, which was good, and we were able to talk to my doctors on the phone rather than going into the ER or the office. They determined that it was normal because it didn't last very long, but yikes!

Week 12: Had another check-up. Everything seems to be going along fine, and we got another look at the baby and the heart and all that jazz. I have gained a whopping 2-3 lbs during the whole first trimester, so that tells me that this nausea needs to go AWAY so I can keep food down. However, I do have a little pregnancy bump and much larger breasts than usual. So I guess the poundage is being distributed properly? Oh, I'm still feeling nausea (it's worse in the evenings, which pretty much ruins any dinner plans). I threw up so violently on Friday, that my throat still hurt on a Sunday. Hmm, yeah, not so wonderful. I've had to start re-taking my nausea medications.

Me, at week 13 (because I got lazy and didn't take a picture earlier)

Our baby at 12 weeks! Just hanging out in utero. :)

Overall thoughts: Pregnancy is almost exactly like the worst hangover you have ever had. One, you're responsible for the conditions that caused it. Two, you feel nauseous, dizzy, tired, crummy, over-emotional, scared, and grumpy. (Or at least I do!) Three, you pray to whatever source you can to stop making your body rebel against you. However, there is one major difference from a hangover: This hangover-from-the-underworld NEVER ENDS! At least, for me, it's lasted for more than two months. Not fun. I would also like to file this complaint: When you tell people that you're pregnant and have morning sickness, they usually cluck their tongue and say "You poor thing....but it's all worth it!" or "Well, morning sickness means a healthy baby!" And then they go about their day, perfectly healthy and happy, while you go about your day trying not to die of lack of food/nausea and trying not to be disgruntled with the way your body is actively working against keeping any nutrients down. For me, pregnancy (at least in the first trimester) has not been fun or cute or adorable. I am hopeful, though, that the second trimester will bring relief and more happiness. Please, please, let the nausea go away!

I do have the best husband in the world. He lets me languish on the couch and brings me food and drink, caters to my whims, comes with me to the doctor, and just is the best, most supportive partner you could ever imagine. I'm so thankful to have him....and Mr. Oliver, who cuddles up next to me on the couch and comes to check on me in the bathroom.

All that said, I'm glad to be pregnant and happy to be giving life to a little human who will share genes from a handsome, athletic, brilliant, adorable specimen of manhood (Adam Copeland!) and me. I just hope that my body stops killing me with this nausea. Sorry if my brutal honesty has been too much for you...I promise to not whine about my pregnancy too much. But, wow, it felt good to get this off my chest!