Chris and I aren’t ‘old’ but we’re not spring chickens either. We finally decided that we should leap into this parenthood adventure after many years of putting it off. We’ve been married almost 12 years (coming this June), I’m 33 and he’s 34. Not that I couldn’t have gone on with life with just two of us and the ability to adventure into places without a child in tow, but we thought it was worth the time to go ahead and see where this trail led us.
Without going into too many details, it was on the fourth month of heading down this path that I got the positive pregnancy test. I wasn’t expecting it either. During the Fall I began reading all sorts of trying-to-conceive (TTC for short) blogs and You Tube videos. At first I was very laissez-faire about it all but then after reading and realizing you get a very short window of time to conceive when you ovulate that I began to think harder about this process, especially since we were on the older side. I bought a thermometer to start charting my temperature in the morning before I got up and looked into opk tests to see if I could figure it out my ovulation schedule. I did buy some of those tests and after using them reliably one month I gave up on them as it was very difficult to see or get a result. With those test two lines appear but the line you want to develop, the one that identifies the luteinizing hormone must be darker than the control band. So, sometimes I’d stare at it and wonder if it was the same strength as the control band, darker or lighter, and then get frustrated.
After a one month trying to figure those out I pretty much say ‘eff it’ and decided I wasn’t going to worry about figuring out my ovulation for a few more months and would let December and January be months for me to bust my ass and lose some weight. I was about 15 lbs over my ‘I feel good about myself’ weight and 25 lbs over my ‘I’m a badass thru-hiker’ weight. I figured if I could try to lose 7-10 lbs and that would be great, so in December when the day length and temperature outside turned against me, I went to You Tube and found some great videos to workout to. I was doing great for most of December, working out 3-4 times a week, most weeks.
It wasn’t until the weekend before Christmas that I began to think about Flo coming to visit and so I got prepared as I really didn’t think I was going to be pregnant. Since getting off the Pill she hadn’t arrived at a steady date but was always within a day or two of a ‘regular’ cycle date so when she didn’t show up at first I wasn’t all that worried. Then Christmas Eve came and by the end of the night I was really thinking something was up, but I gave it another day to get worked up. Christmas Day came and Chris and I drove from my parent’s house over to his mom and step-dad’s house and along the way I looked for drugstores that might be open but chickened out telling Chris I was late. Most of this was because I didn’t know if I wanted to take a test and then tell everyone at Christmas (my parents came over to help my mother-in-law cook Christmas dinner as she was recovering from having surgery for breast cancer that was detected very, very early—thank goodness!). Plus, what if I was just later than normal?
At this same time I was pretty tired and my bladder seemed to need to be emptied often, which both of those stuck out to me. And in the effort of leaning towards that I was pregnant I refrained from having wine at Christmas, which made me a little sad. Of course I thought back to a week or so earlier and our work Christmas party when I had a really good wine-buzz going on (I Googled later to make sure I hadn’t really screwed up, but it seems lots of people drink and don’t know they are pregnant and there’s typically not a problem as long as one stops immediately upon finding out. *phew*).
So the day after Christmas came and Chris and I went over to his dad and step-mom’s house for our celebrations with them and I kept trying to come up with ways to figure out how to tell Chris because I was still chicken. It ended up working out that he was going to this golf game thing with his step-dad, his step-dad’s son-in-law and grandson. Since that gave me about three hours of free time I opted to see if my friend Stephanie, who is pregnant with her second, was available to drop by and see. On the way I detoured to Target and bought the fancy pregnancy test that blatantly told you ‘Pregnant’ or ‘Not Pregnant’ and then gave you the weeks estimator. I wasn’t going to play around! I debated taking the test at my friend’s house but her dad was visiting and then it was hectic so I opted to hit up a Starbucks on the way back to my mother-in-law’s house.
I headed for the bathroom first up, peed on the stick, put the cap back on, and then went to order a coffee. While I was waiting for the barista to call my name I peeked inside my purse and it said ‘Pregnant 1-2 weeks’!! I smiled and got really giddy! Holy crap, it was real! After I got my coffee I went back to the truck and debated how I was going to tell Chris. There was no way I was going to be able to wait until we got home the following day so I opted to go to Michael’s and buy an empty bracelet box and put the test in there. I’d give it to him when we went to bed that night.
So I went back to the house and spent the next several hours with the secret all to myself. It was surreal. When we were finally in bed that night I told Chris I had another present for him and handed him the box. He was excited and later told me that he thought I’d gotten something really nice that I hadn’t wanted to give it to him in front of everyone else. Really nice, indeed! I think the look on his face at first was a mixture of confusion and disbelief which morphed into stunned and then probably excitement mixed with panic. I’m not sure what he thought, but since I hadn’t given him any clues that I was late he really was taken by surprise.
Anyway, I told him that I’d decided I didn’t want to tell anyone yet and then later we decided not to tell anyone until I was closer towards the end of the first trimester. I didn’t want to tell people and then miscarry and have to say ‘oh, just kidding’. And since we live four hours from family it would be relatively easy to keep under wraps unless people came to visit. We finally told all of our family when I was at the end of 9 weeks as I went back to DFW to attend a baby shower for my friend Stephanie. I told her and my friend Michelle at the same time, swearing everyone including family to secrecy for at least another week until we could get to our first doctor’s appointment, and for the fact we hadn’t told anyone at work yet.
So, I guess that’s ‘The Story’ of how this adventure began!
First Trimester Side Effects
I was feeling pretty decent up until some right after our trip to Austin in early January. I was still drinking coffee but limiting it to the two cups that are recommended as the limit but eventually it was just one cup and finally I stopped as it started making me feel worse mid-morning. And then the nausea set in. I’d be sitting at my desk and it would become unbearable, a horrible mixture of hunger and nausea, which caused me to make a run to the Dollar General a block or two down from our office. I ended up making another trip to Dollar General on another day before realizing I had to bring more food and some Ginger Ale to work to take the nausea edge off.
I have to admit that I know I did not/do not have all-day sickness (because that’s really what it is) nearly as bad as some women. I rarely hurled, and if I did it was mostly in the very early morning before we’d left the house and some smell or gag reflex would get to me. It still does, I’m not over that yet, but it is easing up some. I found that I could control the nausea to some extent if I nibbled on something continuously, such as eating peanut butter crackers slowly (1 every 15 minutes or something like that), or just making sure I ate a snack every two hours.
And then the feeling of starvation came. Like, feed me now or I’m going to eat my hand! That’s when I decided that I couldn’t continue being vegetarian. I really wanted to, I attempted it for as long as I could, but I began craving meat and since many vegetables were becoming unappetizing to me I knew I had to have more. So, I told Chris I wanted to start eating meat but we had to buy the good stuff—we’re still working on finding the best stuff out. Chicken is just about impossible, even the ‘free range’ stuff isn’t actually free range. We still haven’t made it to the farmers market to check out what is available there, but hopefully soon we can. But, we did buy some buffalo meat and some grass-fed beef as well as some sausages made locally over in Chappell Hill near Brenham. Also, at this same time eggs, which had been my morning breakfast staple for a long time now, were unappealing to me. I was losing protein sources other than dairy and beans, I just didn’t feel I could keep up with being vegetarian daily. Does that mean we eat meat every day now? No. I’m just more flexible with it now.
One of the first outward signs that helped me really ‘get’ that I was pregnant was the changes in my chest. It was like one day I was fine and the next day I’d bend over and suddenly my bra couldn’t contain the girls any longer. I bought four new bras. And then a month later I bought two more bras in a bigger size than the four I’d just bought. And from what I hear this is only the beginning.
Acne was another odd change. I don’t usually break out and after giving up foundation and powder in highschool, I really stopped breaking out much. Makeup was the culprit for me and even hiking on the AT and FT didn’t lead to much of an acne problem. But over the last month or so I’ve had more zits than normal on my face and chest. I hear this is a fun side effect of pregnancy.
Staying up until 10pm became impossible and I’d be ready for bed at 8 or 8:30, sometimes a little later, other times earlier. Naps were a must, especially on weekends. Sometimes I’d come home from work and take a short snooze before dinner, other times I’d try to rest for 20 minutes during my lunch break at home, always wishing I could curl up for longer. I do have to say that I’m glad this tired/feeling like crap period has happened during winter when I feel less guilty about being a giant bum and not outside enjoying my yard. It has given me the ability to just relax and watch tv, surf the internet reading pregnancy stuff, or read a few books.
Wow, this is getting longer than I thought….
I was going to talk about blogs, You Tube, movies, and books that I’ve been finding of interest, talk about birthing this kid, and then some of the products I’ve found helpful so far, but really at 2,000 words and counting this post is getting too long. So, I’ll have to write that post later on this week.
There will also be some nature/outdoor posts in the near future as Chris and I have plans for some exploring this weekend.