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So, I’m Pregnant

It killed me that I couldn’t write about what was happening with the pregnancy in real time. So, I journaled here about the process up until today. My plan is to post as interesting things happen, like I did with the wedding. No one topic totally takes over, it’s just whatever is happening on the daily that gets written about. I’ll be posting a photo every month. I love seeing pregnant ladies and it will be cool for me to see how things grow and change. Other than that I don’t really have any plans with this whole shenanigan. Now, to catch you all up on things:

I spent the first week after I found out I was pregnant being really, really scared. I was pretty much terrified I would miscarry at work. I was terrified I would suddenly look down and see blood seeping through my pants and staining my desk chair, like some horror film. Every time I went to the bathroom I checked my underwear for spotting. Every time I wiped after peeing I felt relief when there was only the usual and nothing pink or red. I worried I would be grossed out and then maybe pass out at work (I pass out, this isn’t so very far fetched). Worrying about this made my panic spike so that even the littlest mention of blood or stories of anything gross gone awry sent me over the edge and into the bathroom to splash water on my face and take several deep breaths, telling myself, “I got this. Get it together Lauren.” It didn’t help that I did spot, twice, in that first week. And that I had pretty chronic discomfort, pressure, and cramping. I think for a first time pregnant lady cramping is the most ominous thing, even if the internet tells you it can be normal… or not normal. Really, it means nothing. That is the opposite of helpful.

Then one day as I was getting ready for bed and talking this out with Kamel who was hearing every fear, every irrational (or not irrational) thought, I realized: It’s gross. This whole thing is kind of gross. Mucous plugs and increasing the amount of blood in your body (you know, because eventually it comes out in a rather dramatic fashion), and the hormones make you constipated and/or gassy,  and the expanding uterus can give you horrible heart burn and/or make you pee every hour on the hour. It’s just going to be gross and physical and there is nothing I can do about it but ride this shit out. And then I started to feel better. And by the second week I knew that I was pregnant I stopped worrying every day about miscarrying because if I do, I do. It means the baby was broken, the chromosomes not so awesome and the body does a re-boot. It is what it is and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Except stay hydrated, don’t fall down stairs, and take my prenatal vitamins so my kid doesn’t come out with a third eye or 6 toes.

This is me 1 month pregnant:

And pretty soon I am 6 weeks pregnant. Just like that the little creature has a heartbeat (or so I read) and I feel like shit. I sleep 12 hours a day and I constantly feel like I have the flu. Making a baby is magic, but feeling housebound and like every single day is a massive chore – that fucking sucks. I am reading first trimester forums because none of my close friends have had kids yet and my mom says it will suck for many more weeks, so I’m trying to find the light at the end of the tunnel. It cannot be found. Ladies everywhere even complain about fatigue and grossness at 10+ weeks. I am so bloated at work I have to unbutton my pants secretly under my tank top. The gas pains are ridiculously painful and there is nothing I can do to stop them… except fart, of course… and that really doesn’t happen at work in a room full of people. Being pregnant at 6 weeks is indeed miserable.

At 7 weeks this happened:

And it was amazingly reassuring and very cool. Up until the point where we saw the blob on the screen and the feverish heart beat the only sign that it was alive or even in there had been increasing pregnancy symptoms (Oh, did you say migraines, constipation, acne, AND diarrhea? On top of feeling massively hungover on a daily basis? Weee!). So I was a little paranoid that it wasn’t even in there at all and I would have to go through this all over again seeing as how it was just a “Chemical” pregnancy. Thankfully, that did not happen. And now I have evidence of the blobby little face who is trying so very hard to kill me. At this point I really don’t have much fear of miscarriage. I know I’m going to write that sentence and then it’s going to happen because that’s what the universe does – it fucks with you. But I guess that’s also the truth. The midwife who did my ultrasound was pretty stoked about the strong heart beat and how everything was progressing. What I’m most worried about is having it die and then having all of these weeks of hell be for nothing. That would be a crushing blow. And yes, me me me. It’s all about me. I am trapped in the longest flu of my life. Yay baby, but fuck me (That’s what got you here in the first place. Yes I know.) I’m just counting down the weeks to second trimester. So far: 5 to go. That’s over a month. Knowing that makes me cry. I have several times so far because the difficulty of this has been overwhelming.

This is me at 2 months pregnant:

The baby is the size of a raspberry and it has fingers and toes and arm and leg joints and a facial features. I have not popped yet, I do not have a bump, I just have bloatation, giant boobs, extra lbs from carbo-loading on crackers and dry cereal all day, and my total inability to work out because I have 40% more blood in my body than I did 2 months ago and my cardio ability went from pretty awesome to zero in a matter of days. Literally. It’s very spooky to be one day working out in the mornings like it ain’t no thang and then two days later feel like you are suddenly (SUDDENLY! POOF!) 300 lbs and lose your breath walking up a flight of stairs. Talk about who-the-fuck-am-I?? For being as body-conscious as I am, I am doing pretty well as I watch the lbs tick on (yes, I’ve already gained weight, no you don’t have to, yes some people lose weight in the first trimester, obviously not me). I get that things are just going to happen and I have a very limited amount of control, so I’m doing my best. But the most difficult lesson for me in all of this? Realizing that my body no longer functions under my command. Things I thought I knew, are no longer true. Things I used to be capable of, just like that I am no longer capable of. I don’t really know or totally understand my body anymore. It’s been taken over by hormones (or as we say in my house Hormonies) and a foreign creature clawing its way to existence. It’s sort of like I’m not even here. Go ahead, make your human, I’ll just wait.

Then at 10 weeks we saw our baby move:

We now call it the dancing baby. And sometimes Kamel leans over to me and says, “We have a dancing baby!” and I say “Yup!” And that is the greatest. I’m still sick every single day. I have meds that help but I still feel hungover, I’m still massively motion sick at the drop of a hat, and I am still exhausted by simple tasks like … leaving the house. So I don’t. Sometimes we try but then we end up aborting the mission half way through. Sometimes I have windows of feeling ok. Mostly these windows are spent at work, sometimes I’m lucky and I get a few hours where I almost feel normal on a Saturday and I can run some laundry out to the laundry room or return clothes I’ve ordered online that have been sitting on my kitchen table for weeks. It’s really difficult to come up with viable content for the blog because I don’t do anything. And this makes me feel guilty and frustrated. And that’s why I took that week break – I mostly felt like I was failing.

I wrote these paragraphs as things were happening, as I said above. As the weeks ticked by, I wrote little blurbs about them. Now I am 11 weeks! And the baby is the size of a lime. So far there have been some really cool moments – ultrasounds, watching my body shift, learning weird factoids about the process – and sometimes there have been scary moments – sudden pain in my 10th week that could have been a bad sign but wasn’t, having anxiety about miscarriage, a moment when I was sobbing on the couch into Kamel’s chest about being really and truly afraid of labor/delivery – and the overall difficulty of being sick for such a prolonged amount of time. At this point, my eye is on September. I’m almost to my second trimester and I’m hoping and crossing my fingers a major part of the difficulty lifts for me.

31 Comments

  1. Talking from my lack of experience at being pregnant, but my experience at trying, I can totally relate to the sudden realization that we do not control our bodies at all.
    This was (still is) a big shock to me because I spent years studying all the biologic and physiological facts behind and yet it all remains a miracle… and completely out of our hands. It is what it is.
    I am so happy for both of you. Here is wishing you will soon feel better, I have a friend who ate acid gummy bears for the motion sickness and… my mom always gave us a lemon to lick for nausea (that totally works).
    And yay dancing baby !

  2. I am so happy for you guys! I know (not from personal experience with my own body, but with several ladies I love a lot) that pregnancy can be really hard physically and emotionally. Our roommate had her baby in June, and Lindi’s sister had our nephew on Sunday (eeeeeeee!!!!) and I watched both of them experience the joy and challenges of pregnancy. You can do it!

  3. I really enjoy how honest this is. Everyone talks about how magical and wonderful pregnancy is (and it is! It’s CRAZY that there can suddenly just be a baby!), but from what I understand, it can also be awful and uncomfortable and somewhat alien. So it’s somehow reassuring to hear, you know, what ACTUALLY happens when you’re preggers.

    Also, miscarriage? Probably my BIGGEST fear. Should I ever get knocked up, I will have to work REALLY hard to find ways to calm myself the eff down.

    Also – DYAAAAMN, GIRL! Look at that body!! Makes me feel like I should have gone for a run this morning… ;)

    • Ha! Ya know… I look at that first picture now and think: Look at me all tight and fit! But when I took the picture I was thinking “Ughhh so bloated! My body is ALREADY CHANGING” lies. Lies lies lies.

      I’m brewing a post about the body part of all of this – not the gross stuff but the weight and the change. It’s interesting, puzzling… also not what I’ve expected.

    • Just jumping in on the miscarriage fear here … and I wanted to let you know that yes, it’s a huge scary fear. Yes it sometimes actually happens. But if it does you do get through it. It’s terrible and brutal, but getting through it is totally doable.

  4. This is exactly what the first trimester felt like for me: fear at miscarrying, general grossness, overwhelming exhaustion, and the feeling that my body had been possessed by a tiny alien. I had thought pregnancy would be so fun! (Seriously, I had thought it would be fun.) The second trimester was where it was at for me – and I hope it brings you relief and calm as well. Congratulations to you and Kamel, I am so happy for you guys!

  5. thanks so sharing lauren. you are doing an awesome job moving through this. and i think you look greatin both thise pictures. cant wait to see and hear more as you move along in your journey. love you!

  6. Congratulations!! :) I’m really very happy for you!

  7. As a 39 weeks pregnant lady, I have to recommend sea bands for the nausea ($7-10 at Walgreens). I just kept those puppies in my purse and slid them on my wrists when the nausea hit.

    On another note, I really appreciate your realization that what happens when you’re pregnant happens and there is really quite little you can control. I miscarried in my first pregnancy at 11 1/2 weeks and it was devastating…then I had spotting and cramping in the 12th or 13th week of this pregnancy which was an emotional nightmare, but I realized, as you mention, that there’s only so much that you can do. I think this lesson is one that prepares us for parenting as well. We will do whatever we can to help our children make good choices and be healthy, but our ability to control things is limited in many ways. On the more uplifting side of that miscarriage, we wouldn’t be having this one in the next couple of weeks if the first pregnancy had turned out and we are so thrilled to meet Reese!

    So excited for you both and am looking forward to the daily record. Now that you’re outed, feel free to hit me up about pregnancy woes and fears….they are quite fresh in my mind :)

    • Second the rec for the seabands, when I was pregnant, they really helped me with the never ending nausea xx

  8. You are doing a rocking job!! and your honesty and candid sharing of pregnany thoughts and fears and happenings will no doubt help someone here on the blog :) keep trucking!

    ps: you look great!

    pss: I cant wait to dance with your baby :)

    • I second this. All of it!

      There will be MUCH dancing. =)

  9. Hi Lauren! Congrats! With the work out thing… I do a class called Barre (specifically with the Barre3 chain of studios) and a good amount of pregnant women do it on a regular basis. Its a great work out (but not cardio based) and seems to be compatible with pregnant bodies but also really kick your butt.

    Just a thought if you start feeling better :).

  10. Yea for honest prenant ladies! My sister in law just had her first baby, and we talked often throughout her pregnancy about how she was “really” feeling. Pregnancy scares the crap out of me…or maybe, having a child is the part that scares me more. Either way, the internet can be evil. So many different things will happen to you while you’re pregnant, and searching to find out what is normal and what isn’t can be a slippery slope of anxiety. I think if you listen to your body, it will tell you when something is wrong. Also – my brother bought this for my sister in law early on in her pregnancy http://www.amazon.com/Leachco-Snoogle-Total-Body-Pillow/dp/B0000635WI and she said it was the best thing ever for sleeping (until she got close to her due date, then, sleep was hard to come by). Now they even use it for the baby when they want to have him on the couch. It’s pretty awesome, so I just wanted to pass that tidbit along. Good luck with all of this – I’ll keep my fingers crossed that your uncomfortableness goes away sooner than later and you can resume feeling more Laurenlike again.

  11. Oh man, I’m at 13.5 weeks, and yeah you just described the last three months of my life! From the laundry list of unpleasant symptoms to the miscarriage worries–all of it! It was especially weird, being a person who loves long walks, suddenly being barely able to walk half a mile without having to sit down for a breather. Oh, and the bizarre food/smell aversions too–feels like it’s just underscoring the fact that your body has a little tenant now with its own preferences.

    I’m still waiting for the nausea/fatigue to subside, but I look forward immensely to any and all ultrasounds. Actually seeing the little booger squirming is one of the few things that makes this all easier to bear for me, haha. (And I will totally admit to having that same thought: “You’d better be alive in there, because I don’t want to do this all over again!”)

    Can’t wait to hear more about this journey! It helps to read stories from smart, funny women who are going through similar things.

    • Oh man. How often have I raged about the perils of being pregnant in San Francisco!! The smelliest downtown of all downtowns! The homeless smells, the people poop that I have to dodge on the street every morning, the barf piles, the compost bins out on the curb, the general sewer smell that seeps up on warm days on Market Street. Uggghhh I am constantly dodging/weaving and holding my breath!

      • Ha eeeewww. I thought I had it bad with LA’s car exhaust, but people poop/barf smell absolutely takes the cake! Best of luck braving that.

  12. Oh Lauren, I’m really happy for you!

    And having just gone through the rollercoaster of pregnancy and childbirth (Babymed is 7 weeks old this Thursday) I am so, so sorry. The discomfort of making a new human sucks. And people lie about it sucking, which is the worst.

    I remember these things helped:
    B12 supplements (I think the Solgar brand tastes best, it comes in a brown bottle) for morning sickness- turns out those fancy pregnancy pops are just a bunch of vitamin B.

    I lived on yogurt, apples, honey and bran for my first trimester. And bacon cheeseburgers, obviously.

    Second trimester is much more manageable. Especially with a good pair of shoes- I recommend something like this http://www.zappos.com/rieker-d7201-milla-01-black . I got a similar style after my feet started swelling and I got sick of teaching in my crosstrainers… around week 25? I wore them nearly exclusively forevermore.

    Anyway, second trimester. You’re almost there. And eventually you will have a cute lauren+kamel baby.

  13. OMG! I am so excited for you both!! I just saw Kamel’s post on Twitter and was like….can it be? I could barely read this slowly enough to actually, you know, *read* it. I hope it’s not totally weird to be so excited for people I haven’t actually met in real life… ’cause I’m super stoked for you guys!!

  14. Congratulations, this is all very exciting! (even though you have no idea who I am!)

    I am so glad someone else has said how freaking weird pregnancy is, I am not there yet (still a couple of years away) but I think it’s all SO weird….you grow someone else’s eyeballs, for heaven’s sake!

    Anyway, wishing you all the best, and hoping that second trimester comes along very quickly :)

  15. I read your blog regularly but not usually post – this one got me though. I am 18 weeks pregnant with my first, so only just ahead of you, and what you described here is so similar to my first trimester experience. The only difference is that I was blessed with a sudden decade in anxiety. But on the flip side, I caught every cold or flu that was going around – having a cold Plus morning sickness is not fun!

    The second trimester has definitely been better for me in terms of the nausea (it pretty much disappeared at 13 weeks), but I have ha a cold almost constantly for nearly 3 months now. I can’t take anything for it, and it’s not much fun.

    You are so right about losing control of your body. I struggle going for a walk now, I have gone off some food but can’t stop eating. By I have never loved my body so much – I love my baby bump, enjoy dressing to show it off, and don’t even mind when people comment on it. This surprised me, I have never had any body confidence and I thought I would hate the changes that are happening. But I really love them.

    Can’t wait to read about your adventures as you continue through your pregnancy. Good luck!

  16. Congrats! I’m 22 weeks pregnant this week and can totally relate to the general blah feelings of the first trimester. Constant nausea/occasional sickness, dead tired at the end of each day and the bloating! I feel like no one ever talks about the bloating and that your digestion now moves at a snail’s pace. Drives me crazy. Now that I have a bump that’s noticeable, I’m feeling more comfortable and I’m feeling our baby girl kick and move (!!), it’s so exciting. But in the beginning, I resented the whole situation a bit, how it threw my body for a loop, and then felt guilty for feeling that way. Thanks for addressing some of that. It’s not always sunshine and roses, though it is an amazing process. :)

  17. aww, lauren!! thank you for sharing all of this with us!! major hugs!!!

  18. See, one, now I feel terrible for sharing the gross BART tweet earlier today.

    Two, now I am reassured that I wasn’t totally insane and it’s just that I hadn’t yet caught today’s post. Whew.

    Three, CONGRATULATIONS!!

    (See, you’re not the only one who can be me me me ;D )

    No new mama I know has ever lost weight in her first trimester unless she was throwing up the whole time, and there were plenty of those that I knew, if that makes you feel any better ;P I’m not saying this is a scientific fact, just anecdotally, either way, sorta screwed. Pf.

    And so. many. new. mamas right now!! Amazing! Well, a lot of them are on their second (or third) round on the merry-go-round now so I’m well and truly scared of the whole thing, really, having heard all of their Real Stories, by now.

    If you need an ear, you know my number, and I’m happy to run you down anything you need. I’m close by. :)

  19. Thank GOD, someone else who hates this with as much passion as I do!
    I’m 8 weeks along, and I hate being so tired all the time, and the morning sickness that arrives at lunchtime and doesnt leave all day.
    I’m seeing my personal trainer once a fortnight, so I actually get some helpful exercise done, but other than that nothing
    And I also HATE not talking about this – we sorta want to keep peanut off the internet, but dang I want to talk about it…
    Yay for someone a couple of weeks ahead of me I can laugh at in preparation for doing it myself. :)
    (and yeah, I so reckon I am NEVER doing this again!)

  20. You are awesome. Thank you for being so honest (and also hilarious). I haven’t watched the videos yet, but can imagine that seeing those ultrasounds would have been the best thing ever <3

    September is only 2 weeks away, I hope the gross nausea eases up soon xx

  21. Congrats, Lauren! Happy to hear your happy news.

    According to your reports, I am concerned I have been first-trimester pregnant for like 15 years! ;)

    Hope you feel better soon!

  22. I’ve only recently come across your fabulous blog – and have been in love since first read! I am so excited for you both! CONGRATULATIONS!

  23. I don’t really comment often, but really enjoy your writing and points of view. A couple of weeks ago I meant to write to commiserate on feeling derailed, saying I totally understand going through slump periods, changing priorities, yadda yadda….but this! This is such a larger and more exciting kind of derailed! Huge congrats to you and Kamel. Wishing you energy, calmness and lots of peanut butter cookies in the coming months.

  24. YOU look so pretty, CONGRATULATIONS love you guys!!!

  25. Hey Lauren!

    Thanks so much for posting this, even 1 year later. I’m almost 8 weeks pregnant, have no idea what it’s supposed to feel like, have no friends with kids, feel terrible most of the time and have just cried all over my desk at work. I thought, where can I go to find out if this is normal when I remembered you’d posted a first trimester post.

    Yay! Thanks so much, I have all te stuff you mention, the tiredness, hungover, rolling sickness, cramping (so scary!). Just glad to know its all normal and i won’t die (overreaction much?)

    A x

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Who the hell is she?


Lauren

I am a writer living in Seattle and I believe that life is a grand adventure and only boring if you believe it to be. Plus! You don't need money to have fun.

I live with my husband, a photographer by education and a maker-of-video-games by trade, and a baby named gabe in an apartment on the hill.

I am romantic about most things and I cry... about almost anything. I tell stories to entertain you, I spread stories to keep you in the loop. I am not a grammar freak, but I do know how to spell it. I am exceedingly proud of my scrambled eggs and I really could eat an entire pan of cupcakes. If I met me, I would be my best friend. I tend to be irreverent.

If you would like to chat with me or see what else I'm up to you can follow me on Twitter (betterinrealife), on facebook, or email me at betterinrealife at gmail.


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