This really can happen…

Have you ever watched the show I didn’t know I was pregnant?  I’ve seen it a few times but it always drives me nuts.  How can someone not know they are pregnant for an entire gestational period???  How could someone sit down on the toilet and push out a baby???

I was reading the newspaper yesterday and came across this article: Shocked Ottawa woman gives birth at home not realizing she was pregnant.

So, clearly, these things actually happen.  But, as someone who is pregnant for the third time, I find it really, really hard to imagine.  I know that some people have extremely irregular periods so may not notice the absence of a regular menstrual cycle.  I’ve read that some pregnant ladies spot throughout their pregnancy, so thinking you are getting a monthly period is plausible.  And I accept that many women don’t get any sort of morning sickness (myself included with my pregnancy that ended in miscarriage).

But how someone can carry an eight pound human inside them without knowing kind of blows my mind.  At 22 weeks pregnant (where I am right now) the average weight of a fetus is less than one pound.  And, even with a baby that tiny inside of me, there is no way I look anything but pregnant.

Perhaps (maybe?) I could convince myself that the movement I’m feeling inside my belly is gas or some other digestive disorder if I didn’t know any better.  And with an anterior placenta, it definitely takes longer to feel things.  But by the later days of my pregnancy with Littleman, I could actually see parts of his body popping out against my belly – an elbow, a heel, etc.  If I didn’t know I was pregnant, I would have completely freaked out, thinking that my organs were trying to escape or something.

My apologies to anyone who has been through this – I don’t mean to make light of it.  In fact, if you have been through this, I’d love to hear about it.  It is absolutely fascinating to me.  I suspect that most of us would absolutely love to stop by the bathroom and pop out a fully developed surprise baby.  If it meant not having to stress about heartbeats and ultrasounds and epidurals or dealing with fatigue and nausea and waddling, then it sounds pretty good to me!

11 weeks

I missed my 11 week symptom check-in yesterday because I was feeling like total crap all day.  We’re on vacation this week, which means I can get more rest and don’t have to pretend I feel good for the sake of my work colleagues.  Unfortunately, I feel pretty shitty most days so haven’t been able to totally enjoy being on holidays.

For the past few days, I’ve been reeling from the news of my sister’s pregnancy.  I think it’s finally starting to sink in.  I’m hoping that the next couple of weeks go by quickly and that I’ll feel a little more relaxed (and able to process everything) once I’m into the second trimester.

Symptoms-wise, things haven’t really changed much this week…

Nausea:  The nausea has been pretty intense this week.  It will hit me at any time of the day, so I can never really plan accordingly.  Some mornings are ok, others are pretty bad.  I feel pretty consistently bad every evening though.

Vomiting: None to date.

Food cravings or aversions: I was dying for this cream cheese/jalapeno dip that my sister makes.  She brought it to the farm on the long weekend and I gobbled it up.  I made another batch for our friends who came to visit.  Soooo good! 

Aches and Pains: I still have randomly sore boobs.  Last night the left one was throbbing, but sometimes they feel relatively normal.  I’ve had a headache for the past two days, which is major pain (no pun intended!)  Tylenol is useless, so I’m just getting used to dealing with the pain.

Fatigue: Still really brutal.  We had a rough week of Littleman being up in the night every couple of hours.  Luckily, being on vacation means I can nap during the day.  I feel exhausted pretty much all the time, whether I nap or not. 

Other:  My stomach/bowel issues seem to be getting better and I’ve definitely been more “regular”.  I’ve started to notice that I’m getting quite bloated these days – especially by later in the day.

10 weeks

Double digits!  I can’t really believe I’m 10 weeks today.  What a rollercoaster this has been so far.  After the craziness of last week, I really tried to stay positive this week and so far I’m feeling good about how things are going.  Being positive doesn’t come all that naturally to me (I’m a chronic worrier) so I’m pretty proud of myself right now!

In the last week, my symptoms have really kicked into high gear and my evening sickness morphed into more of an all-day sickness.  My belly has been pretty bloated, enough that D and I actually argued about whether or not I was “showing.”  I say it’s just really bad bloat but he thinks it’s too big to be bloating.  Obviously, I’m right.

Nausea:  I feel OK when I wake up in the morning.  I eat something small before I leave for work and then have a bigger breakfast when I get to my desk.  Mid-morning is when the nausea has been starting this week.  Afternoons and evenings are pretty bad too.  I always drink a ton of water, but I’m starting to notice that, by the afternoon, sipping water makes me gag a bit.

Vomiting: None to date.

Food cravings or aversions: No real change here.

Aches and Pains: The boob pain has actually let up a bit.  They still look pretty swollen and veiny but aren’t as excruciatingly sore as they were a couple of weeks ago.

Fatigue:  Killer.  I’m so tired all the time.  It doesn’t help that Littleman is getting his molars and has been up a million times in the last couple of nights.  I really need to sleep through the night. 

Other:  My bowel issues continue, which is a total pain.  I actually bought myself some baby food prunes the other day but haven’t been able to get up the courage to try eating them.  My skin is pretty bad again this week, especially on my chin.

9 weeks

I think it goes without saying that this has definitely been the most stressful week of my pregnancy.  After the spotting episode followed by the gushing blood and subsequent subchorionic bleed diagnosis, I’m ready for a break.

On a positive note, the pregnancy symptoms have really kicked up a notch over the past week.  Whenever I feel like shit, D reminds me that this is exactly what I was like during Littleman’s pregnancy.  After living through a first trimester virtually symptom-free, only to lose the baby, I’m nothing but thankful for feeling horrible right now!

Nausea:  My “evening sickness” seems to have begun and I feel generally nauseous most evenings.  It usually begins after (or during) dinner and often I have to get up from the dinner table to lie on the couch.  I do get random bouts of nausea throughout the day as well, mostly when I start to get hungry.  “Morning sickness” is such a stupid term.

Vomiting: None to date.

Food cravings or aversions: I’ve mainly been interested in white/beige foods these days.  For example: fries, chips, mac and cheese, bagels… No particular aversions.

Aches and Pains: Boobs are still very sore, although it seems to be more off-and-on this week.  Either that, or I’m just too focused on the other stuff to notice as much.  I’ve also had some minor cramping which, I suppose, could be related to the bleed or to my bowel issues (see below).

Fatigue:  Full on fatigue has kicked in and I’ve been in bed before 8:00 p.m. most nights.  Luckily, D has been around to take care of Littleman (who now stays up later than Mommy!)  I’m a little worried about this coming weekend, when D starts night shift.  Oh well, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. 

Other:  I’ve been alternating between constipation and diarrhea, which has been pretty uncomfortable and has left me feeling quite crampy.  I’m sure my diet isn’t helping that situation, so I should probably try to eat a bit better.  I did, in fact, go down to the food court at lunch time today with the intention of buying a salad.  Instead, I came back with rice.  Oops. 


Morning sickness and miscarriage

Both before and after I got pregnant for the first time, I read a number of reports stating that pregnant women who suffered from morning sickness were less likely to miscarry. Some examples of what I read:

  • The absence of morning sickness is associated with an increased risk of early pregnancy loss.
  • One study noted that women who had no nausea or vomiting during their first trimester were more than 3 times more likely to miscarry than the women who did have morning sickness.
  • Another study stated that morning sickness lowers the risk of miscarriage by almost 70 per cent.
  • The longer a pregnant woman had morning sickness symptoms, the lower her risk of miscarriage.

The early days of my pregnancy with Littleman were plagued by nausea. From midday until late into the evening, I felt miserable and could barely eat. And when I hit the second trimester, I was disappointed to find that the nausea continued to hang around for another month or so.

As my second pregnancy progressed, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was any truth to those studies. I anxiously awaited that horrible feeling of sickness and the inability to stomach anything more than bread-type products. As much as I hated feeling nauseous all the time, there was definitely something comforting about it. It meant I was pregnant!

I hit six weeks, then seven, eight. The morning sickness just wasn’t showing up. I felt fine. I was tired, but I was eating. No food aversions, no throwing up, nothing.

I knew that miscarriage was always a possibility. I knew the stats. But, as much as I worried about my lack of symptoms, I don’t think I ever actually thought miscarriage would happen to me.

When my 12-week appointment finally rolled around, Dr. P asked me how I was feeling. “Fine,” I told him. I did tell him that I was nervous about not feeling sick. I reminded him about how I felt the last time I was pregnant and told him that I was worried about the lack of morning sickness.

He told me that he only worries when symptoms disappear. Since I never had any morning sickness, I was just lucky. That reassured me. Then we heard the baby’s heartbeat and saw the ultrasound. All was good. And I was lucky enough not to have suffered any morning sickness!

After losing the baby a couple of weeks after that appointment, I can’t stop thinking about whether or not it was a fluke or if the lack of morning sickness was a sign of trouble.

Now that I’m pregnant again, I’m hyper-aware of any pregnancy symptoms (or lack thereof). Will my minor nausea kick into higher gear? If so, will it stick around long enough to make me feel safe? If not, will I be able to enjoy feeling decent or will I constantly worry about what it may mean?

I guess I just have to wait and see.