By now you are likely beginning to show or at least your changing waist line is evident to you. One thing that a lot of people ask me is how I kept my weight gain to 25-30lbs with my daughter. The key is to eat healthy. There is no secret to it. You need approximately 300 extra calories during pregnancy and what you choose for your daily calories makes a difference. Remember, you are growing a human life inside you. You need to eat healthy. Plus, 300 calories is not as much as you think. It is about the equivalent of a piece of bread with a spread of peanut butter. The other suggestion is to try to fill up on lots of veggies and fruits. The fiber will help fill you and the vitamins and minerals are great for you and baby. I used a website called BabyFit to help me stay on track for my previous pregnancy and for this one. You enter in your daily foods, exercise and weight gain. It is a great way to ensure you are on track. Plus the nutrition portion also shows if you are getting the correct amount of proteins, vitamins, etc.
Genetic testing is another big decision that you and your partner will have to make around this time in pregnancy. It is entirely up to you what decision you make. Personally, I chose to do the testing because I would want to be able to prepare myself for anything. If I had a child with a disability I would love them and treat them the same as any other child. However, I do not want to find out on delivery day. I personally think for my own life, it would benefit me to prepare. There are many differing opinions on this and there is no right or wrong answer. If you choose to do the testing it will involve bloodwork (there are many, many different types and it will depend on your age and what test your doctor’s office uses) and a NT Scan at around 12 weeks. This test is an ultrasound where the space at the back of the neck is measured to determine your baby’s risk. They may need additional testing like a CVS or amnio if they are concerned. With my first pregnancy I was a nervous wreck until I received these results. It is a scary time and it is hard to understand what is going. It is important to remember that the bloodwork and NT Scan are not a yes/no test. It is essentially a calculation that they take based on the results and your age to determine a risk.
Old Wives’ Tales…. Hmmm.. Am I the only crazy person who is so impatient that I cannot wait to find out what I am having!?! I have tried everything (just like with my first pregnancy) to predict the gender of this little one. Here are my results…
- Chinese Gender Predictor- Got 2 different answers with 2 different websites… Also got different answers depending on if I put my estimated conception date rather than date of last period.
- Baking Soda Test– When I peed directly into the cup with baking soda it fizzled (boy) when I peed into a different cups hours later and poured it into the baking soda it did nothing (girl). Supposedly, if you pee on baking soda or mix pee with baking soda it will fizz like pop if its a boy and do nothing if it is a girl.
- Mother’s Intuition– I’m convinced it is another girl based on my pregnancy symptoms which are very similar to my pregnancy with my daughter.. However, I also thought I was having a boy the first time.
- Heartrate– This LO’s heartrate is also REALLY high (160’s-170’s) just like my daughter.. Typically means girl. Apparently if the heartrate is around 140 or lower it is a boy and any higher and it is a girl.
- 12 week ultrasound– Tech guessed a boy, but she said she was only a little over 50% since it is sooo hard to tell at that point.. Some ultrasound techs can take a pretty educated guess based on something called the “Nub Theory.” All fetuses at this age have similar looking genitals, but guess based on which angle the nub is pointing.
- Intelligender– I tried this with my first pregnancy and it was correct. This is another test using your urine and it will change color based on the gender of your fetus. It can be done anytime after 10 weeks!
**I am not claiming that any of these tests are accurate or are going to give you a definite result. They are called Old Wives’ Tales for a reason. They are merely for fun!**
PS—- I find out in less than a week what I am having this time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyone else doing crazy things like me?
After your first initial appointment with the nurse and bloodwork, they will likely schedule you for your first ultrasound sometime between weeks 9 and 12. This ultrasound is very important for many reasons. The primary reason is to make sure that your pregnancy is viable. They want to make sure that the fetus is growing appropriately and rule out a tubal (ectopic) pregnancy. Once this is determined, they can hear and see the heartbeat. You will see a flicker on the screen. This is by far one of the best moments of pregnancy. This takes away all of the fears and worries that many mothers have during the first trimester. They may even let you hear the heartbeat while they are scanning. It is truly a beautiful sound. With both of my pregnancies I was a basket of nerves until I heard and saw my little ones heartbeat during the first ultrasound. Once you know your baby is ok it makes all of the sickness and exhaustion worth it. Next the ultrasound tech will take measurements to determine the age of the fetus and a more accurate due date. They will also rule out the possibility of multiples. My first question after hearing the heartbeat is always… There is only one…right?!? Don’t get me wrong, multiples would be a blessing but also CRAZY! They will likely print out many pictures of your little peanut. Also a big bonus: Once you hear your baby’s heartbeat after 8-9 weeks your risk of miscarriage drops significantly. I still recommend waiting until at least 12-13 weeks before telling most people.
What is it like to be 9-12 weeks pregnant? Well… mostly the same as being 6-8 weeks pregnant except you may be more tired and more nauseated. Most first trimester symptoms peak around 9-10 weeks and begin to dissipate (for most people) around 12 weeks. If you are like me… then you may still be puking at 19 weeks! If you are starting to feel better or never felt sick and tired, consider yourself blessed. If your clothes are starting to get tight, consider getting a BellaBand. I bought 2 of these during my first pregnancy and I used post-partum as well. I bought a white one and a black one. Once you have your clothes on it just looks like a cami bottom. This will allow you to wear your non-maternity pants for much longer! This is especially helpful if you are at the end of a season and don’t want to buy summer maternity shorts when you will only need them for another week or two. You can also use the rubber band trick if you are desperate and haven’t had a chance to get a BellaBand yet. Just loop a rubber band around your pants button, feed through the button hole and loop it back around the button. This helped me when my pants were just starting to get uncomfortable.
Now I am going to share the lovely experiences of early pregnancy including the first doctor’s appointment. First let me start by saying that adjusting to a pregnant body is not as easy as one would believe in the beginning. WARNING: MAJOR TMI ALERT… The first few weeks are full of gas, bloating, lots of unusual discharge, sweaty pits and break outs. Both pregnancies of mine had me extremely bloated and gassy from the minute I found out I was pregnant. I remember thinking that I looked 3-4 months pregnant already! Don’t worry.. this goes away soon. Also, you will notice some increase in vaginal discharge. This is normal as well (as long as you are not bleeding). There are a lot of hormonal changes and your cervix is changing. This will cause your body to expel some excess fluid. You may also notice an increase in the need to urinate. I remember thinking this was an odd side effect for early pregnancy, but it has more to do with hormonal changes and less to do with an increasing baby size. Sweaty pits and breakouts… Ahhhh. I remember looking like hell in early pregnancy. Between the extreme exhaustion and increase in sweat and oil. My poor complexion was taking a hit. The hormonal changes caused me to constantly feel like I was hot and then cold and then I would be sweating bullets. Your breasts are sore and you may start to get nauseated. Sounds like fun, right? This is usually when you are moody as well. If it isn’t because of the hormones it is because you have all of these obscene things happening to your body! And you may feel like the last thing that you want is to be intimate with your husband or significant other. Don’t worry. This will also change.
Ok… First doctor’s appointment. If you call your doctor as soon as you find out they may bring you in for a preliminary appointment with a nurse. This is where the nurse will go over what you can and cannot do and what to expect over the next few weeks. They will also send you for blood work to check for a positive pregnancy and also to check certain blood levels like blood type, CBC, etc. They will also send you home with lots of pamphlets and brochures to read. These are fun and also tend to scare you a bit. Now is also a great time to find a great pregnancy book. Some of the classics are “What to expect when you are expecting” and “Your Pregnancy: Week by week.”
Ok… So you have finally waited (or not) until 3 days before your missed period. You decide to take another test. You wait the 3 minutes and “OMG… Is that a line??” You bring it to your husband/friend/boyfriend/significant other.. They decide that it could be a line.. but maybe not. Ugh… Indecisive… Not what you wanted. Unfortunately this means that you wait another 24 hours and test again… OMG! The line is definitely darker. 2 lines! You are pregnant! You are instantly elated. Then a moment of panic sets in. Are you ready for this? Are you excited? Are you nervous? The mixed emotions overwhelm you.. You think to yourself that a glass of wine would be nice right now.. Oh… wait you can’t have that anymore… hmmm.. What else can’t I have? You do a google search and realize that the list is ridiculous… You cannot have any of your favorite foods: Soft serve ice cream, lunch meats, soft cheeses, certain types of seafood, coffee, alcohol, etc. Bummer.. It is going to be a long nine months. Suddenly you have the biggest craving for a cold cut sub sandwich… hmmm.. Now it is time to sign up for pregnancy online community like The Bump or Babycenter.
POAS aka Peeing On A Stick… Oh the anticipation. After trying to conceive you will then have to wait… Many online communities refer to this as the 2ww (2 week wait). It is the absolute worst. I think we live in such an impatient world. We all want things immediately. We want immediate answers and instant gratification. This is one thing that you have to wait on, but it is worth every second. You may think oh my gosh I feel nauseated or bloated or I have a headache! I must be pregnant! Is this a symptom of early pregnancy?? You quickly take to google and find hundreds of discussion boards where people have asked the same questions only to realize that it means nothing… You still have to wait.. After a few days you think… AHA! I can try a pregnancy test! You run to the nearest drug store and stop… Why are there so many different types of pregnancy tests. There are Early Detection, Store Brands, kinds you pee on, kinds you have to pee in a cup first.. Wow… You opt for the 3-pack of early detection tests.(I highly recommend First Response Early Result 3-pack. Trust me.. you will need all 3! I have had the best luck with this brand of test showing pregnancy the earliest) You run home hoping that you can make yourself pee. You use the test and wait.. OH my goodness the anticipation is killing you! Many thoughts run through your head. I could be pregnant!!! I’m so excited! Oh crap! I have a wedding to attend this weekend.. Maybe I could wait a month… You look at the test.. It’s negative. Bummer.. You are instantly bummed out, but then you realize that it is way too early to tell. You aren’t even due for your period for another week. You make yourself promise that you are going to wait until at least 3 days before your missed period before you test again….
** Update for Pregnancy #3**
Well.. well.. well… I reminder when I found out (it was only 5 months ago). I was not due for my period for another week and I am a very regular person. It was the Friday before Labor Day (ironic huh?) and I was out of work and decided to crack open a nice craft beer. I took a few sips and instantly felt nauseated.. Hmmmm. I decided not to drink anymore and the thought of pregnancy crossed my mind but I quickly pushed it away since we weren’t trying and I wasn’t due for my period for another week. Saturday morning I woke up and got dressed to go grocery shopping and all of a sudden I felt this familiar twinging in my breasts. It was vaguely familiar to the feeling when your milk lets down. Hmmmm.. Should I buy a pregnancy test at the grocery store? I didn’t bother telling my husband at this point because I didn’t really think the likelihood was that high. I went about my day and bought my test and did my grocery shopping. My hubby went to the gym and I was about to have a playdate with my kids and me niece and nephew. I decided I wanted to know right then and there and proceeded to POAS (pee on a stick)……….. Next thing I knew there was 2 lines… ummmm what? Don’t get me wrong I was excited, but shocked. We weren’t really trying, but we knew we wanted a 3rd someday. I called my hubs at the gym and told him because I didn’t know what else to do. He said “uhh is that even possible?” Haha yes dear it is.
When you are trying to conceive you might think it is super exciting at first… then the reality sets in and it begins to feel more like a chore. Luckily for me I got pregnant on my first attempt with my daughter and my 2nd month with this pregnancy. I am not complaining because I know there are many of you who try for months or even years. I give you a lot of credit. Also, if you are still trying I hope you get your beautiful gift soon. I have several close friends and family members who have had difficulty trying to get pregnant. I would not wish this on anyone. It can be heartbreaking and frustrating. Trying to chart temperatures, cervical changes and monthly cycles is exhausting. It makes the beauty of trying to create a life seem like not only a chore, but a scripted job. I have heard so many stories of women who try for months or years and the minute they stop trying, they get pregnant. I am not discounting the many proven methods of conceiving, but I do encourage everyone who is trying to try to have fun and relax. Try not to make it such a task, enjoy it!