LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Here are just a few of the things I've been feeling and experiencing so far in my first trimester:
Exciting. Unbelievable. Shocking. Is this really happening? Denial. Scared. Exhilarating. Anxious. Empowering. Exhausting. Hungry. Hungry again. Still hungry. Blessed. So incredibly blessed. And hungry.
The first trimester of pregnancy is a journey, not a sprint. It' s a beautiful journey, filled with bright colors and heightened senses. It's also a day-by-day -- better yet -- grueling marathon, that at times knocks you down and leaves you for dead. So many ups and downs, highs and lows, unforgettable
moments, and ones you'd like to sprint past faster than a 40-yard dash. For me, my first trimester of pregnancy has been filled with all of these things. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Life will never be the same after I saw the double lines on a pregnancy test. I felt like I was starring in a movie. The director turned the lights on full blast, the cameraman panned his camera around my husband and I, in slow motion of course, and we celebrated our joy, while soft music set the mood. Mushy, I know, but it's a moment I'll never forget. My advice to trying parents: enjoy this moment when it comes, because the next three months
will be wonderful, but equally challenging.
As they made the turn for home, some of my mommy friends told me they were up all night "going pee." Third base, or their final trimester, was filled with nonstop trips to the bathroom to urinate. To my surprise, this is also an unwelcomed nuisance in the first trimester. Blame it on the pregnancy hormone hCG, which increases blood flow to your pelvic area. This change in your body also increases blood flow to your kidneys. Since your kidneys are now working for two, they strengthen and flush out toxins faster, resulting in frequent urination. Your uterus also plays a role in constant potty breaks. As your baby grows, your uterus puts pressure on your bladder, and, you got it, you go to the bathroom more. Doctors say this normally dies down in the second trimester, and picks back up again when the finish line is in sight. For me, it seems to happen more at night. I'm up several times at night sharing stories with the toilet. My doctor told me to stop drinking three hours before I go to bed, and lean forward when using the restroom as it helps empty the bladder.
As you can imagine, my potty pains don't leave me much room to sleep. Early pregnancy is EXHAUSTING! This shouldn't be surprising, I mean, hello, a baby is growing inside of me. Its life-support system, primarily the placenta, develops by the second, and this is a lot of work for moms-to-be. Your metabolism is in overdrive. Throw in low blood sugar and blood pressure, and it's the perfect recipe to wear you out. My doctor suggested a six-meal-a-day plan. Small, but frequent meals, to keep these numbers up, and give me energy. Either way, this is a good chance to take care of yourself. Take an extra nap, let your partner rub your feet, spoil you, and take care of you. Milk this stage, before you're even more exhausted milking your baby.
Call me blonde, but I assumed the dreaded "morning sickness" that three out of four women experience in the first trimester happened in the morning. Nope, not the case. This phenomenon can hit you any second of the day -- morning, noon, or night. Some mild, some so excruciating you want to crawl in a hole and hide. This normally starts around the fourth week and peaks between weeks seven and 12. Whether it's daily vomiting or constant nausea, "morning sickness" is annoying. No one knows for sure why most pregnant women get sick, but doctors attribute it to a handful of things. For starters, your hCG levels are rising, and your body is changing. Your estrogen levels are on the rise, your uterine muscles are stretching, and your body is growing. Throw in sensitivity to smell and taste, which are common in the early weeks of pregnancy, and doctors say these things can put an otherwise healthy belly into overdrive.
If you're newly pregnant or know someone who is having a tough time because of "morning sickness," here are some of my secrets that have made my life easier during my darkest days spent hovering over the toilet.
1. Saltines. A few crackers every day went a long way.
2. Lemon d rops. My doctors told me lemon helps sooth the stomach, so it was all lemon, all the time for me. I drank lemon water, and ate the d rops daily.
3. Peppermint. Doctors also say the sugary treat not only opens your nostrils, but eases stomach pain.
4. Water. At times, it was the only thing I could keep down.
5. A lot of people suggest Ginger ale. I'm not a fan, but some people swear on it.
Thanks for reading my latest Jones' Journey post. Check back soon for more, and feel free to share ideas you'd like me to cover!
Previous Jones' Journey installments:
+ Week 2: What is Lauren thankful for during pregnancy?
+ Week 1: Lauren Jones is expecting a baby!