Thursday, January 23, 2014

My Common and Uncommon Pregnancy Symptoms

You know about the nausea. And the fatigue. But there are other symptoms that I have experienced over the past 6 months that I wanted to describe a bit more to prepare all of you trying to conceive folks! Please feel free to chime in and leave a comment on how you experienced pregnancy symptoms. I'm fascinated by how different people are.

Pre-Positive Test:
I always thought I would know I was pregnant before getting a positive test because everything I read online led me to believe you were exhausted, had sore boobs and were moody. False, false and false. I had NO signs of anything except an impending period. I was spotting prior to my period starting as per usual and didn't feel any different, despite being late. Don't be fooled into thinking your body will start acting pregnant before you have confirmation.

As soon as I peed on that stick (all of those sticks) and saw the positive, the two lines and the "+", things changed. 

Discharge: Two days post positive test, I recall telling my husband "ummmm I'm really, ummmm....well, you know, "down there." Discharge is the right word. So much so that I was running to the bathroom in between actual bathroom trips to make sure I wasn't bleeding. So.much.discharge. That hasn't stopped, by the way. You're welcome.

Discharge Part 2: I'll just say this-seeing brown blood isn't always a bad thing. It is normal. And in most cases, if it isn't followed with a lot of red bleeding or heavy cramping, there is nothing to worry about. Worrisome? HELL YES. Stay calm. Alert your doctor. Rest your pelvis.

Cramping: I was so happy when THAT went away. I had a decent amount of cramping. It worried the heck out of me. I was constantly googling and reading message board postings of women who experienced cramping. This stopped around week 14 and changed to more of a stretching feeling in my hips. It was never as bad as period-like cramping but it was there nonetheless and laying in bed was the only thing that helped take it away.

Nausea/Vomitting: My sister said she only threw up once in both pregnancies (or once in two pregnancies) but I remember she was nauseous throughout the first trimester during her first pregnancy. I wasn't so lucky on the barfing front. I threw up at least once a week from week 6 to week 16. One glorious week, I barfed 4 days. It would only happen once a day and always in the morning. Luckily, never at work. Do yourself a favor and eat three crackers before getting out of bed if you feel this way. For me, eating solved the problem. I know for others, eating makes it worse. I'm sorry if you are in the latter camp. I can't imagine not being able to eat. Ginger ale and crackers worked for me and I kept a sleeve of saltines in my car, in my desk, in my nightstand and in my purse. 

Fatigue: Hello, 6:30 bed time. Okay, I'm lying. I once (and thrice) fell asleep on the couch at 5:45 p.m. It was August/September and still light outside. I told my husband that I read that my placenta was taking all of my energy in order to grow. He asked "when is your placenta done growing because I'm getting lonely." I couldn't sleep enough. It would hit at 1:30 p.m. everyday. I would fight through it, be fine for a few hours and I would find myself completely useless by 5:30. I always wondered what pregnancy fatigue felt like. Now I know. It is "I can't possibly be awake one more second" tired.

Gagging/Puking while brushing: No one told me about this. NO ONE. I'd be brushing my teeth in the morning, afternoon or night, minding my own business when I would start to gag and more often than not, throw up right into the sink. What a waste of breakfast that was. Forget trying to floss. Are you kidding me? This was a daily occurrence until well into my second trimester. I finally realized the other day that it wasn't happening anymore and I even managed to floss my teeth without a major gag-fest. So gross but so true. Beware.

Cravings/Aversions: Other than a mac & cheese stage, I don't feel like I ever craved any food or felt disgusted by any food. I'm a sugar addict and the first three weeks after getting the positive test, I barely ate any candy. I wasn't turned off from it, I just didn't crave it like I normally do. That went away. My weight gain shows that. I could handle raw meat with ease. I didn't want pickles. Ewww. I have a sensitive sniffer anyways so smells always bother me. This common symptom was a fail for me.

Big Ol' (Sore) Boobies:   My first LOL pregnancy moment was when the lady at the maternity store told me that I wasn't a C cup anymore. WHATEVER. I rocked my old bras until last week. Sidenote: I should have replaced them a long time ago. Back to the start, my boobs were sore. Not horribly sore but sore enough where I would squeeze them several times a day to ensure that they still were sore because that meant I was still pregnant. (The first trimester is a complete mind game.) My husband would catch me massaging my mammaries and while I'm sure he didn't mind, he still gave me a puzzled look every time. Eventually the soreness went away, but I transitioned to staring at my naked chest to see if they were growing. My current D cup suggests the answer was yes. The next 13 weeks (and 6-12 months) should be interesting.

PEEING ALL THE TIME: For reals, I once kept track of how many times in one 8 hour work day I went to the bathroom. It was 9 times. And I wasn't chugging water either. Normal amount of water intake folks. NINE BATHROOM TRIPS. I still go every chance I can. The last thing I want is to get stuck in my car and need to pull into a shady gas station. I use the staff bathrooms at nearly every single school I visit for work. I'm now at the lovely point (this started about 4 weeks ago) where if I don't pee, I can feel my uterus getting tight. And that scares me. So I relieve myself whenever a clean bathroom is near.

Shortness of breath: Its that thing when you are walking up the stairs at work and you straight up can't breathe. It feels like an elephant is on your chest. Walking becomes a chore. And no, this didn't happen at week 27. It happened at week 20. It passed, thank goodness but that was a doozy. Expect to gasp for air at some point and feel completely pathetic for taking the elevator one flight with the other lazy bones you work with. 

Moody/Emotional: My name is Michelle and I'm a Leo. I'm an emotional mess 24/7/365. Old episodes of Full House can make me cry. The Cheerios commercial or the Trident commercial or God forbid.....a Google commercial send me over the edge. Table for One: Hot Mess, Reservation Michelle. Do I think I have been overly emotional during the last 6 months? Hard to say. This pregnancy is a miracle so when I relive telling our families or imaging meeting my daughter, I cry. Okay, I bawl. But that is normal behavior for me. Moody? I don't think so but my husband might have something different to say. But he better not because I'll kick him.

Stuffy nose/sneezing: I've had a stuffy nose for, ummmm, 28 weeks. The entire pregnancy. I have heard this is another wonderful side effect from increasing hormones. I've also been a sneezing machine and it isn't even allergy season (yet!). Such a strange symptom but it has been ever present for me. 

The funny thing about pregnancy is that everyone is different. There isn't a formula that is standard. My cousin didn't have any morning sickness. I can't even imagine how that is possible! So far, I am stretch mark free but not really worried about seeing the stripes appear on my body. I already have them on my hips from getting fat at 23 years old.

Which of these symptoms did you experience? Did I leave any common symptoms out? As I head into the third trimester, what should I expect? I already can barely put my shoes and socks on!


AngieM. said...

surprisingly i STILL remember my PG symptoms. lol

- nausea/vomiting ENTIRE..yes ENTIRE pregnancy. like pop blood veins on face was lovely.
- severe headaches (1st trimester only)
- extreme craving for ALL of the FRUITS! covered with lime/salt/hot sauce (entire PG)

- completely grossed out with pizza, the smell alone would make me vom. to this day, i have to want it realllly bad..and that doesn't happen often.

that was pretty much it. :)

Christy said...

I had no idea about the discharge until I took a test and realized that's what that was all about! Wait until you are towards the end and your mucus plug (ick, gross, it needs a better name) decides to come out...It was quite the experience of grossness!

Some of my symptoms were:
+Exhausted (like more tired than I've ever been in my whole life)
+ Hungry ALL THE TIME. (I ate LOTS of cereal...once at 3am!)
+Constipation the whole pregnancy, no matter how much fiber I ate (TMI..sorry)

I love reading about how everyone's pregnancy experiences are different!