Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Your Online BFF's Guide to First Trimester Pregnancy

Disclaimer:  The information included on the Online BFF's guide are meant for enjoyment only.  They are the equivalent of a chat between IRL BFFs over coffee and vanilla scones.  Not only are they not meant to be taken as medical or psychological advice, or in the place of medical or psychological advice, they are strictly meant to be taken "as a grain of salt".  They are from my heart to yours to keep you entertained until your next girl's night out.  Love, Your Online BFF.

Pregnancy, the First Trimester

Let me start by saying that if you are in the first trimester of your pregnancy, Congratulations!!!!!! And bless your heart.  This is such an exciting time in your life!!!!!  But don't feel bad if you, well, feel bad.  It is quite possible that you are a pale, queasy, gassy, moody, version of your former self.  It will probably change for the better very soon, but until then please know, that I love you.  I think that you are beautiful.  You are doing a very hard thing.  Hang in there.  One day soon you will perk up and pink up.  People will tell you that you are radiant.  They will give up their seats and open doors for you again.  They will even bring you gifts.  But for right now, when all of the main development of your baby is happening and no one can tell that anything is going on inside of you, you are just going to have to hang in there. 

Here are some of the things you may be experiencing:

Swollen and/or tender breasts

This is often one of the very first symptoms of pregnancy.  Pretty self explanatory.  You will know it when you see it and it can be a tell tale sign.

Frequent urge to urinate

This was so bad during the first few weeks of my fifth pregnancy, that I went to the doctor for what I thought was a bladder infection.  Turns out that hCG, which is what makes that pregnancy test stick turn pink or into a plus sign for positive or whatever, was the culprit.  I would still get checked if I had that frequent urge to go with very little to show for it, but I say this just so you know how bad it can get.  Oh, and just a heads up, this one may come back for different reasons later in the pregnancy.  Think about how kids enjoy trampolines.  Enough said.

Gas and Bloating...and Constipation

Another early sign of pregnancy is gas and bloating.  You may be a week or two late for your period and think, "What did I eat to make me this miserable?"  Blame it on the extra progesterone that your body is producing.  It relaxes your smooth muscles, including those in your GI tract.  And if you are nauseous and not drinking enough water, you may get to experience some constipation as well.  Some lovely mamas to be end up in yoga pants a month before they even start showing thanks to this symptom.


Oh, Nelly.  This one can really throw you for a loop.  Or you may not experience it at all.  In three of my pregnancies it was so bad that I stayed on the couch for too much of the day hanging on for dear life from weeks 8-12.  I was nauseous from week 6 until week 14, but I just really could not function when my hCG was peaking there in the middle.  My first pregnancy was better and my fifth was the best, peaking relatively mildly between weeks 8-10 and getting much better.  So not only does it vary from person to person, but from pregnancy to pregnancy.  The good news is, that although you may feel like barfing all the time, you may never actually end up vomiting.  But then again, never mind.

Near Narcolepsy

Progesterone can make you very tired as well.  Maybe it relaxes the smooth muscles in your eyelids.  (Kidding.)  But do not be surprised to find yourself suddenly taking catnaps for no reason.  During one of my pregnancies, I would get up and shower before the morning sickness kicked in in earnest, feed my children, and then fall on the couch for a few, just to rest my eyes.  If you know my kids, you know that was not a great idea and something I would normally never dare to do when they little and at the 'tearing up the house in mere seconds stage'.  But during that pregnancy for some reason, the urge to snooze was just so strong that I made friends with PBS Kids television.

Increased Libido or Decreased Libido

The unique combination of estrogen, progesterone and hCG flowing in each mom to be can create some pretty, um, unique results.  And that's all I have to say about that.


These extra hormones can make it obvious to you just how mean your husband, sweet MIL, friends and innocent bystanders really are.  And how sad the news on television is.  And how unjust government policies are.  And how defunct your local homeowners association is.  And just let them suggest that your hormones may be making you a little moody......

General Ugliness

I wish I had better news.  But nausea, vomiting, waking up at night to go pee, showing a hair trigger temper and flatulating all day just may leave you feeling and looking less than your best.  Some women even get acne.  I'm not naming any names.  Or making any confessions.  I am just saying.  But wait, I do have good news!  By week 12, many of these symptoms have all but subsided.  During your second trimester, you may be a glowing vision of energetic magnificence!  The embodiment of feminine beauty.  And it is this first trimester that makes this possible!

It also makes possible your sweet, precious, little bundle of joy!  Once this baby is born, you will never regret a minute.  As I was finishing this article, my 3 year old, who was supposed to be napping called me in for wipe duty.  There he sat on the potty, not a stitch of clothing save the socks at the end of his little dangling legs and  the bull  horn crown from El Torito last night atop his little smiling face.  It is all worth it, dear friend.  You can do this!

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