Keeping it Real: 10 Surprises of Early Pregnancy (and the 15 Week Bump)

Hi everyone, I’m about 15 weeks into my first pregnancy now, and I’m actually starting to feel like it’s a real thing. It’s funny,  I have a lot of friends who were always so excited about being pregnant, but to be honest it has always completely freaked me out.  I’ve always had trouble explaining how much it freaked me out or why exactly, but it did.  This has nothing to do with my desire to have kids- I have always loved children and wanted to raise a family of my own. Pregnancy just kind of seemed like a scary but necessary thing that would happen at some foggy point in my life to result in said children.  I tried not to think about it too much (I know that’s not really cool, but just being real here). Maybe because of that, there have been a lot of things in the past several weeks which superseded some of my old expectations about pregnancy or just plain surprised me.  Since reading about other people’s journeys has helpful for me, I wanted to share with you all. 1.  The BIG surprise (and a bonus)! When we first got married, we both agreed that it was a good idea to wait between 2 and 5 years to have children.  Ideally, we wanted to wait until were settled somewhere semi-permanent, having both finished our academic goals and with stable jobs.  Well we’ve been married two years, but are not yet in that financial/lifestyle place that we wanted to be when we started our own family. However, God seems to have had other other plans! I cannot describe my full range of feelings when the test came up with two lines, but panic was definitely part of the mix.  Shortly after I shared the news with Dane though, God started working on my heart.  I’ve realized how silly and selfish it is to worry about this not being part of my plan, and how much of a blessing it is to be trusted with this little person who’s part of Dane and part of me.  I’ve also come to realize that if I had waited until I was ready to have kids…it might not have ever happened (given my pregnancy phobia and high-expectations for “being ready”).  So my first two surprises were… 1. Hello, baby!  2. The way God is teaching me to trust His timing (and that’s still a work in progress). 2. The weird feeling of being pregnant before people knew and keeping it a secret.  I kept thinking that everyone must secretly know. I sort of felt like a spy with a secret identity. Even though my body looked exactly the same for probably the first 10 weeks, I kept being paranoid that I must be giving off some kind of loud signal. 3. Telling people. We waited until week 8 to tell family/some friends and until week 13 to tell everyone else. A lot of people wait until the end of the first trimester because the risk of miscarriage goes way down, and some people announce it right away. I think there are good things about either way, but  I personally recommend telling people whenever it reals real to you and your spouse (or whoever).  I told just a couple of family members right after we found out, and -while it was great to have them in the know-it was also strange how it was real it was to them before it was real to me yet. I think it’s just easier for other people to picture your life being totally different than it is for you to do so! This wasn’t bad or anything, but it did make me feel kind of embarassed… Like, I hadn’t quite wrapped my mind around it yet, so I felt like I was pretending. I don’t know, probably a lot of it is because I’ve never been pregnant before. I’ll probably do the exact same thing next time! 4. Morning sickness, cravings and food aversions.  I kind of always pictured myself throwing up all the time while pregnant. I really, really, really hate throwing up, so I got super lucky this time. I have still had “morning sickness” (more like “never know when its gonna hit sickness”) which feels kind of like right BEFORE you throw up.  Weeks 8-10 were the worst, but what was so weird about these waves of nausea was how disgusting most foods sounded when I was feeling sick, except for like ONE thing, and if I ate that thing I immediately felt better. IMMEDIATELY.   I never realized cravings could work that way. I always just kind of thought you wanted something really bad, and I never thought you could physically feel bad until you eat that thing. At first it was mac and cheese…ONLY MAC AND CHEESE. Cravings have since included healthier stuff like Virgin Marys (Tomato juice with olive juice, Tabasco, Olives, Lemon), Subway style sandwiches and salads, avacados, yogurt, cottage cheese and beef.  We’re on a food budget and live far away from anything, so I haven’t sent Dane out for anything just because I want it. But….there have been times when I wanted to. The by FAR weirdest AVERSION? COFFEE. Anyone who knows me knows how completely crazy that is. I’ve been the Lorelai of coffee since I was 15 years old. Some of my friends kindly stocked me up with decaf when they found out I was pregnant. I just haven’t been able to handle it.  The nausea has been much better lately, so maybe I’ll try again soon. 6. The lack of crazy pregnancy emotions.  I’ve actually been very….chill…for the most part.  As an emotional person in general, this has been a huge surprise for me. I always expected to get sort of psycho when pregnant, but if anything I feel more calm and maybe just more tender about certain things. 7. Body changes. It’s been hard for me to watch the number on the scale creep slowly upward and feel my jeans get tighter. This is mostly because I just got into pretty good shape in the past year through lots and lots of Zumba and very careful, healthy eating. I’ve always had to work hard to stay in average shape, but it’s weird to be eating healthy (well, aside from the mac and cheese stage) and teaching several fitness classes a week and still be expanding. I haven’t gained an unusual amount, and I realize that this is a normal and healthy thing. However, it’s still been hard for my self-esteem.  Mostly because I’ve yet to reach the “Hey everyone, I’m pregnant” look.  I tell myself occasionally that my arms and legs are still going to get toned with my workouts, even while my middle is getting thicker. And the fact that my husband is super excited about me starting to bump-out is very sweet. I’m excited about the bump that’s starting to show too, and I think it will make the body changes easier to be happy about. Also, my hair is growing super fast. 8. The growing addiction to Web sites like thebump.com and whattoexpectwhenyoureexpecting.com. It’s almost impossible to NOT Google stuff daily, things like, “Is it normal/okay to…….during pregnancy?” These sites are dangerous  for someone with ADD who attends grad school online. Many hours have been lost. 9. These Web sites are also dangerous because they reach no conclusions and make you feel incredibly paranoid about EVERY. SINGLE. THING. YOU. DO. Generally, they are very good about freaking you out for no reason and/or making you feel bad about yourself.  People on these sites are also many times very STRONGLY opinionated and SCARY. Also, you can’t stop reading the forums. I want to stop, but I can’t because of item #8. Also, people in general are a lot more opinionated about you and your life and your plans when they know you are pregnant. Like, whoa! 10. Speaking of this, the way people have treated us. Friends and family have been so unbelievably kind since we shared our news. I’ve been near tears so many times over the generosity of others over the past few months. People have helped us out with any number of things: from heartfelt congratulations to maternity clothes to money to offers to help with house stuff. It’s been pretty amazing. It’s also reminded me that even though I don’t feel like I’ve got my life under control, God’s got it under control. He has us where he wants us, and that is a very sweet feeling. Also, since I know it’s how I got my Facebook friends here anyway ;-)…..at about 15 weeks, my “bloat” is kind of starting to look like a bump! I feel like it’s going to start bumping much faster from here on out. photo What were some of your first trimester experiences or surprises? Blessings! -Katie

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One thought on “Keeping it Real: 10 Surprises of Early Pregnancy (and the 15 Week Bump)

  1. I was able to keep Hope a secret, but when I was pregnant with Atticus everyone knew right away because I ordered decaf coffee and everyone at Inman Perk immediately knew. With Persy I had a coffee aversion, but it went away as soon as she was born.

    Speaking of cravings, with Hope and Persy I craved milk and citrus fruits. With Atticus I craved Atlas sweet tea. I had one everyday and cried when they were closed. Since he has been born that craving went away!

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