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First Trimester Rewind: Weeks 4-8

September 20, 2011

4 Weeks

Overview:  This was the official start of pregnancy land and the official start of me feeling quite crumby ALL THE TIME.  I wasn’t hit with horrible morning sickness right away, but the fatigue and headaches blew me away as soon as the HPT was positive.  If I wasn’t curled up in bed drooling and snoring, I was holed up lying on the couch trying to ward off the throbbing pain in my head.  Let’s not even mention what a huge emotional mess/disaster I was!  I swear to you–I cried when I came home and there were dishes in the sink, I cried when my husband didn’t make dinner as planned, and I cried when (insert pretty much anything under the sun).  I’m sure it was a mix of hormonal imbalance coupled with the minor shock and stress of knowing that everything was about to change.  This was also the first week that I experienced pregnancy related bleeding–at this point my doctor told me it was likely implantation bleeding and that since it wasn’t heavy and light brown in color I shouldn’t be concerned.

Symptoms:  Fatigue, severe headaches, bloat, moodswings, implantation bleeding, sore and growing breasts.

5 Weeks

Overview:  The headaches and fatigue continued on into this week and though my mood was stabilizing I still had my moments of crazy.  Also, on a positive note, the light spotting I had experienced the week before seemed to be subsiding.

Symptoms:  Fatigue, severe headaches, bloat, moodswings, implantation bleeding, sore and growing breasts.

5 weeks, 3 days pregnant-slightly bloated and extremely exhausted

6 weeks

Overview:  This was the week that many fears and uncertainties began to settle in.  Not fears of whether I would be a good mom, nor fears of what it would be like to go into labor, but fears that perhaps something could go wrong and we wouldn’t get to meet our little baby that was busy growing inside me.  This was the second time that I experienced bleeding AND it wasn’t like the first time.  This time the blood was bright red and very similar to what it would look like if I were to have my period.  It scared the hell out of me!  I was not ready for anything negative to occur and received mixed reassurance from the stories I read online.  Some women experienced this as a normal symptom of their pregnancies while others saw this as the first sign of miscarriage.  So, as soon as I freaked myself out enough we decided to call the doctor and they schedule us for an emergency ultrasound to confirm that there were/weren’t any issues.We arrived at the hospital later that day and were both eager and nervous–this could bring us either good news and reassurance or bad news and dread.  Because it was so early on and I wasn’t told to fill my bladder I had the joy of having a transvaginal ultrasound to view our tiny peanut.  The tech moved the wand around and eventually we caught our first glimpse of our baby (AKA fetal pole) and could even view its teeny tiny flickering heart on the screen.  The tech was even able to let us hear the flickering heartbeat and it brought a sense of comfort and joy to us both, but I was still filled with concern–we still had to wait to hear back from the doctor.  Fortunately, not too soon after we heard some reassuring news that everything looked good and at that point seeing a heartbeat was a good sign–in most cases once the heart beat is detected the risk of miscarriage drops significantly.  We left the hospital with happier thoughts, the first photos of our little nugget, and with words of advice to take it easy and avoid any strenuous activities.  So I did just that, I laid off most physical activities and did my best to give myself all the rest I needed.  I wanted to know that I was doing (or at least feel like I was) something that could prevent anything negative from happening.

Symptoms:  Fatigue, severe headaches, bloat, moodswings, bright red bleeding, sore and growing breasts.

6 weeks, 1 day–our first view of lil’ locket

6 weeks, 2 days-just up from an evening nap and ready to sleep again

7 weeks

Overview:  The fears and uncertainties continued on into this week when I experienced another scary bout of bleeding.  This time, was even worse than the last (heavier and with visible clots)–I was scared and hoped to get the same reassurance from my doctor as I had the last time.  Unfortunately, they said that since I had just had an ultrasound and since my next appointment was coming up soon they saw no reason to see me until the following week.  I wasn’t experiencing cramping or enough bleeding to offer any additional concern since the last visit was positive and they said that if I was experiencing the start of a miscarriage there was nothing they could do at that point to prevent it.  They told me to contact them if things worsened or if I began to experience cramping and to continue to take it easy.  I hung up the phone without the reassurance that I had hoped for–I was concerned and dreaded every moment that I went to the bathroom and saw blood.  Fortunately things didn’t worsen and the bleeding eventually stopped again.  But this left me anxious, could I be sitting here thinking everything is fine when in reality my baby isn’t okay?  I found it very difficult to feel excited about being pregnant this week.  I didn’t want to look at baby clothes and nursery ideas–I was afraid that it would all be a waste of time.  We were still a week away from our next appointment and I had no idea if our little nugget’s little heart was still flickering and no way to know if everything was progressing as it should be. 

Symptoms:  Extreme fatigue, severe headaches, bloat, moodswings, bright red bleeding, sore and growing breasts.

8 weeks

Overview:  This week brought back some ease on the worry front, but also brought some new not-so-fun symptoms.  Yup, I began to experience my first bouts of morning sickness and even though it wasn’t the standard example of morning sickness (i.e it didn’t occur in the morning and I wasn’t vomiting constantly) it was there and it was not fun to deal with.  It began on a road trip up to visit my family for the 4th of July weekend and at first I was convinced it was mere motion sickness/related to the heavy food I had eaten along the ride.  I felt miserable for the latter half of the car-ride and ended up hacking my gut out at a rest stop while my hubs stood outside shouting in to see if I was ok.  Umm, no honey, you can hear me puking, I’m not okay!  And, to make matters worse, there was a random (yet adorable) stray cat sitting in front of our car and my lovely husband had the great horrible idea to bring it with us and take it to a shelter.  I pleaded with him to just leave it be, but his pity for the cat won and I forced him to hold it and to not let it touch anything ( I even went as far to make him shower and wash his clothes before he came near me again).  Toxoplasmosis is no joke and I don’t think my husband even thought about it when he initially picked up the pathetic critter.  Anyhow, we arrived to my mom’s house and I finally decided I felt comfortable sharing the news with my brothers so we let them know and they were all very excited.  We spent the weekend relaxing (i.e napping 75% of the time) and sharing stories of what was to come.  Oddly enough, I felt comfort in feeling the woes of morning sickness and with my decreasing lack of appetite I had reassurance that my baby was causing this and that it was a good sign (some statistics show that moms with morning sickness are more likely to carry full-term).  And, then I experienced more bleeding the day after a long walk and yet again I was a bit panicked.  I did my best to stay calm this time because it was very minimal and only lasted for a couple of trips to the restroom, but as an added precaution I curled up and rested on the couch for the rest of the day.  I still felt the anxiety and fear that something bad could happen, but was relieved to have my next appointment where I was finally able to get some answers.  I mildly dreaded this first official appointment because of all the bleeding I had experienced and had to try really hard to push any negative thoughts to the back of my mind as we waited to meet with the midwife.  Soon enough I was getting my second ultrasound and saw that wonderful little heart flickering up on the screen and breathed a huge sigh of relief.  The tech told us that the baby was measuring on target and that everything looked good and she handed us another snapshot of our little nugget.  We then went back to the midwife who informed us that the baby looked good and that additionally, the subchrionic bleed that was there a couple of weeks ago was not visible in the recent scans. Subchrionic what?!  I sat there in shock…I wasn’t told that a bleed was present in the first US.  I’m still a bit mystified in why they didn’t inform me of this seemingly important bit of information.  But, it was good news, the bleed had resolved itself, which could explain the larger amount of bleeding and clotting I had experienced the week before.  Another positive to the appointment came up after my internal exam…apparently I had a small cervical polyp which could also easily explain the bleeding.  I felt a huge amount of reassurance after leaving the appointment–I had an explanation for the bleeding and was put at ease with the new knowledge.  Our baby was growing and its tiny heart was still beating.

Symptoms:  Extreme fatigue, severe headaches, bloat, moodswings, bright red bleeding, sore and growing breasts, nausea, decreased appetite.

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