So I’m a bit late. And I skipped February, because all February was last year was sleeping and anxiety. March marked the end of the first trimester and the first time hearing the Bug’s heartbeat on the doppler. At exactly 14 weeks, on March 3rd, we heard the steady whoosh of her heart beating. It was an amazing high. From one minute to the next I went from a ball of anxiety to relaxed. I’m big on numbers. I love data. I knew that hearing a heartbeat after 12 weeks meant that my risk of miscarriage had dropped to less than 1%, and for someone with the potential for thyroid problems that is a really big deal.
The first trimester ended with a bang, also known as a 9 day long migraine. The only thing I’ve found that works for my migraines is ibuprofen, a big no-no during pregnancy. I muddled through taking hot showers, ice-packing my head, drinking tons of water, and when absolutely desperate, taking benadryl to sleep it off. I stressed a lot about even taking benadryl, but finally came to the conclusion that the stress hormones from the migraine weren’t doing the baby any favors either, and benadryl, being a Class B drug, was just about the safest option that I knew would work. That was the last migraine I had until after Darwin was born. In other words, after the first trimester, my body loved being pregnant. Until August brought with it record heat, but that’s for another post.
Everyone kept telling me to look forward to having more energy in my second trimester, but to be honest, I could have happily slept through most of my pregnancy. Not because I wasn’t well, but because I was so tired! I often took off work early to nap on the couch, and was regularly thankful for a job where I could make up the hours in the middle of the night when I was unable to sleep. And I did. Several times.
It was also in March that I started noticing Braxton-Hicks contractions (at 15 weeks, to be precise). My understanding had always been that those happened only towards the very end of pregnancy, so it was a surprise when I starting feeling my uterus tighten into a hard little ball, then release. It wasn’t often or regular, so I wasn’t worried, but it was an odd sensation that would sometimes leave me feeling a little nauseated. My midwife confirmed that was what was happening and that it was a good sign for oxytocin reactivity. I would confirm that when I was laboring for so long, 25 weeks later.
As you can see from the photo below (14 weeks), I started out underweight and was not yet showing. Also, I was too tired to get a haircut.