I know I dropped off the face of the planet sometime last year and resurfaced today but I’m happy to share a few things in my life that kept me offline for a bit. Work and school have been insanely busy; I recently got promoted to Senior and I officially have just one more semester left of school! For those who are curious, I went back to school to try to gain my HR designation.
And… you’ve probably guessed it from this post… I’m pregnant and just passed the first trimester and I want to share my experience with other expecting mothers-to-be!
A little bit about me:
- 29 years old.
- This is technically my 2nd pregnancy but I’ve never given birth. I had an abortion at 19/20 years old.
- I’ve been on contraceptives (oral pills, depo shots, copper and hormonal IUDs) since I was 15/16 years. I had my hormonal IUD removed in August 2022.
Weeks 1-5 (How I found out):
About a week before taking the pregnancy test, my body temperature increased drastically and I needed to turn on the AC in winter just to sleep comfortably. I noticed how sensitive my nipples were to the point where I brushed them by accident and it was extremely painful. Since we were trying for some time, I remember reading that increased body temperatures and sensitive nipples were one of the early signs of pregnancy. This, in combination with the missed period, was what prompted me to take a test. Reflecting, it probably also explained my increased cravings for sugary bubble tea drinks.
I found out on “week 5” when I took my first pregnancy test on February 28th. Since my IUD was taken out, my periods have been very irregular despite tracking it. On my tracker, it predicted that February 16-22 was when my period was due; however, most of my periods came about a week later than what my tracker predicted so I waited a week and my period did not come.
From week 1 to 5, I had no morning sickness – in fact, I got lucky and went through the first trimester with no sickness at all! When I was first pregnant at 19/20, I also experienced no morning sickness. 2.5 weeks ago we got two adorable kittens so it was a win for me when we found out that pregnant women should not be scooping kitty litter! Hurrah!
Since my period was so irregular, the doctor suspected that I must be about week 5 based on my last menstrual date but sent me to get a dating ultrasound done around week 9.
Tip: If you’re like me and have irregular periods but want to know how far along you are, skip the Clearblue that estimates when you conceived. It’s not worth the extra bucks. Just get a dating ultrasound instead.
I had my first round of pregnancy blood tests done. They took about 5 vials.
Additionally, weeks 6 & 7 had constant bloating to the point where I felt very uncomfortable after dinner despite eating a normal portion size.
I also experienced some brown spotting that I suspect was due to sex based on the majority of the articles I read. It started the morning after we had sex and lasted about 1.5 days. Subsequently, there was no more brown spotting afterwards whenever we had sex.
One morning on week 7, I had pinkish light spotting in my urine and when I wiped. We didn’t think much about it and just let it be. The pink spotting never came back throughout the day.
The next morning, my urine was blood red so we rushed to the doctor’s. He reassured us that it was most likely just harmless bleeding and not a miscarriage since I wasn’t experiencing other symptoms such as sharp pains (it was also a relief when my manager told me that she also experienced bleeding in week 8 of her pregnancy!).
Around this time, I also got tested and treated for bacterial vaginosis. The doctor and I were thinking this infection was what caused the bleeding.
My constipation improved a lot despite coming off probiotics (the doctor advised against it since not enough studies have been conducted).
I also had another round of blood work done. This time they took 4 vials. In my first round of blood work back in week 6, it appears that my blood cells were twisted and professionals had reason to believe I may have thalassemia which is quite common in descendants from certain parts of the world including Southern China where my parents are from.
I work primarily remotely now but like to drop into the office occasionally. It’s about a 10 minutes walk to the nearest train station with most of it being a slight uphill. It’s disgusting how out of breath I get by the time I reach the station!
My dating ultrasound! Based on the length of the embryo, it put me back half a week so I technically found out at 4.5 weeks instead of 5. This also meant it pushed the estimated birth date from October 30th to November 5th, and that Week 9 became Week 8.5.
We also had a follow-up doctor’s appointment the next day. The blood work from Week 8 came back and I was told that I’m a carrier of alpha thalassemia (most likely a silent carrier as I don’t exhibit any of the symptoms). It only becomes a concern if both parents have thalassemia so they had Dan tested even though it was highly unlikely he was a carrier. When I told my parents, it turned out that my mum is a carrier.
Also… lighting crotch is intense, what the heck! I think this was the time when I noticed bits of pregnancy acne popping up around my chin area.
General soreness over my body and hip areas. Also noticed that I now sleep in more and sometimes go to bed as early as 8:30 pm. I don’t take naps throughout the day.
There’s also been some slight food aversion. I feel I didn’t have as bad a food aversion as some may. Toward the end of week 10, I found myself almost throwing up when I ate asparagus and eggplants. The sight and thought of eating shrimp officially turn me off despite it being one of my favourite kinds of seafood. I have been craving more fresh meals and fruits so an increase in fruits and salads.
I will also admit up until now, I’ve consumed raw salmon sashimi, salmon maki rolls, and beef tartar. I know it’s been advised against not eating rare or undercooked food but I genuinely believe that a high-quality restaurant offers high-quality dishes which limits my risks of catching an illness or parasite from consuming raw foods. I have cut back on my sushi intake but it’s a cuisine I adore and love. I highly suggest you do your research and consult with professionals as many cultures around the world still consume raw fish during pregnancy, Japan being one of them. Of course, I would not eat sushi from 7-11 or at a gas station. During the first trimester, I ate a small sushi portion about 4 times so once every month.
Completed part one of my Serum Integrated Test! Week 11 also brought some more uncomfortable discomfort around my breathing and chest area.
I also began experiencing symptoms of gestational sinusitis which is cold symptoms without the actual cold… some days are good, and some are worse. This would probably be the least fun pregnancy symptom I’ve experienced in the first trimester.
I ended up losing 5 lbs and now weigh around 120 lbs. For context, pre-pregnancy, I hover around 112-115 lbs and last month, I weighed 125 lbs.
An increase in appetite for sure!
I also kept my corticosteroid injection appointments with my doctor to help keep my keloid scar down after having it surgically removed in February. My doctor told me there are not enough studies done on the effects of pregnancy but the risks are very low considering the steroid injection affects only the area of injection.
I did, however, have to cancel my laser tattoo removal until further notice.
Got a midwife! I also had one awful night of nausea with dry heaving and about 1.5 days of a headache that wouldn’t go away. I read that some women develop symptoms in their second trimester and hope it’s not the case!
Unknown! We both want to keep it as a surprise so we’ve been looking at gender-neutral colours when shopping for baby things. Besides, who said pink was solely for girls anyways?
I’ve always wanted to create a successful career for myself and since getting pregnant, I passed on four opportunities to progress to a HR Manager. It’s not guaranteed I would’ve landed an interview or a job offer, but the fact that I can’t put my candidacy forward disappointed me. The risks are too great for me – I have paid maternity leave with my current company, and what if I don’t pass probation in the new role? If I do pass probation, I feel it’s very unprofessional to announce that I will be going on maternity leave (either 1 year or 1.5 years) in months if I pass probation in a managerial role.
Overall, my first trimester went breezy. I consider myself lucky since I know the first trimester is quite difficult for many. We picked out baby names, purchased some massively cheap baby stuff, and got some maternity clothes. I’m hoping in the 2nd trimester, I get back into a regular exercise routine as I only exercised twice during my first trimester, and both times were awful.