Pregnancy is a special experience. Mothers who have 15 children would probably still find differences with each pregnancy. After all, every baby is unique.
Keeping a pregnancy diary, I thought would be a great place to record these precious memories. Unfortunately, it didn’t come into action until my second trimester. I would nevertheless like to pick my brain and write about what my first trimester felt like.
Faith in Uncertainties
The first 3 months were both exciting and at times, completely unreal. My tummy didn’t show very much and the baby was yet too small to feel any fetal movement.
I would say that those months were a test of faith. You can’t see or feel the baby, but you know that he/she’s there. The risk of miscarriages during this period is also highest. This time tests whether you and the baby are both healthy, strong and up for a full-blown pregnancy.
To my surprise, my baby is more resilient than I imagined and could make it through some pretty scary events.
One of my thrills is to see my body change. First was getting fuller and bigger breasts. Woohoo (coming from a small-chested Asian)! Then, it was the butt. Let’s just say I had to put away a few pairs of shorts in storage.
How I would tell that my baby hasn’t miscarried in the earlier days, was to test whether my boobs stayed full. If they didn’t shrink to the original size, the baby’s still there!
My appetite was poor in the first semester, so by the second month, I had lost 1 kg from my pre-pregnancy weight. Fortunately, I wasn’t on a weight loss streak. By the end of the third month, I had gained 2 kg and was happy to see a glimpse of a bump.
Aches, Stretches, and Exhaustion
In the beginning, I could feel my back and shoulders ache more than usual and my womb stretching. That stretching was an inner pulling like an overly stretched pizza dough, uncomfortable but bearable. I used to reach up to hang the laundry and found that difficult for awhile. This all cleared up in the second trimester.
Apart from aches, I had strains in the funniest places. One of my top pregnancy muscle strains were on my butt. Getting butt strains are hilarious and PAINFUL! Sitting wasn’t bad, but it’s when you get up and walk, OUCH! It does go away, but the worst part was that most people couldn’t comprehend, “What the heck is a butt strain?”
Well, if you get one, you’ll know. And you won’t like it.
Then, I was just tired. My adjustments were from doing 5-6 activities and meetings a day to choosing only 1-2 to do, so I won’t be running around exhausted. This all changed in my second trimester when my energy level came back.
Morning Sickness and Heat
Everyone’s different when it comes to morning sickness. The only thing I can say is “THANK GOD!”
Well, also thanks to mom and grandma for passing on their genes, I had almost no morning sickness. The only times I would feel the urge to vomit was due to the 38°C and 90% humidity of southern Taiwan. I was also creating so much heat from being pregnant that I couldn’t go without aircon (and I rarely used it in previous summers).
I’ve read that morning sickness means a healthy baby with strong yang element in Chinese medicine. Kudos to moms with morning sickness, your baby’s doing great! So, I guess my baby’s a bit yin, and I’m perfectly happy with it.
Morning sickness really has to do with hormones produced during pregnancy and how both mother and baby react to them. Another factor could be genetics. My mom and grandma never had morning sickness, so I was lucky.
I have no idea if pregnancy made me absent-minded or I was always a bit tipsy. Sometime in my second month of pregnancy, I got up at around 4 am thirsty for a glass of water. I filled the cup, drank it and came back to my room with the mug. When I put the mug back on my dresser, the next thing I heard was a loud CLANG!! sound and the mug was severed on the floor. A gushing pain rushed through my body and my big toe was bleeding excessively – the result of a 350 grams mug traveling at the speed of gravity is lethal.
My husband woke up, half-asleep, took my feet and lifted it up, pressing my toe hard with a pad of tissue. I couldn’t remember much, except me laughing and crying at the same time. It HURT! And the pain didn’t go away, so for the next 30 minutes I was just somewhat in deliriousland. The only thing I could do was pray in unintelligible language because it hurt too much.
My black toe
During the whole process, I thought it was hilarious. Who in the world goes and deliberately drops a heavy mug on their toe? I wish I had taken a picture of the culprit. That evil mug!
Basically, I couldn’t walk for 2 days.
The most worth mentioning factor that got me through my first trimester smoothly was having the full support of my husband. When I was exhausted, he did the dishes, brought home food, cleaned the house and hung the laundry. Although he already did these chores gladly before I got pregnant, he took extra measures to make sure I felt comfortable.
His words were always encouraging and positive. After taking care of the house by himself, he would say to me, “You are working so hard, are you doing ok?”
What? I didn’t do squat, but he made me feel being pregnant is important and enduring work. What he believes is true. Being pregnant and taking care of baby and me is extremely important.
On better days, I helped out in the house more, but there were also times that I couldn’t do anything.
Friends and family also made me feel like a princess. Growing up very independent, I have never been so cared for before.
Truly, I cannot imagine being pregnant alone. I am grateful to have a wonderful husband and people around me to help me through this challenging time.
Happy Baby, Happy Mother
While there are the not-so-glorious side, honestly I am filled with joy throughout my pregnancy. Completely humbled by the fact that a life is growing in me, I couldn’t stop smiling, praising God and loving my baby. It’s a miracle!
These massive physical and hormonal changes are telling me that I am becoming a better home for the little one. Everyday, I am testing the limits of what I can and cannot do in my new body and finding satisfaction in the little things I can accomplish.
All in all, I am honoured to be pregnant and to become a mother. What an adventure!
Knowing that my baby is healthy at each check-up is a reassurance that all’s going well.
People often ask me, “How is the baby?”
I would always reply, “HAPPY!”
If you have any imagination, you could pick out the portrait of my little baby at 10 weeks. He/She is a good-looking one!