Yes, we are pregnant!
Falling pregnant is a blessing and the ability to bring forth a child is the most rewarding feeling, however pregnancy can be very challenging for some women. It is not only what you see on Instagram and in the baby magazines, with moms showing off their “glow”.All women experience pregnancy differently, and while we may share similar symptoms it’s never the same.I’m writing this post in hindsight as in my first trimester I was too sick to even type, and let alone think of anything coherent to write, and during my second trimester I barely found time or energy to get down to my writing. I wanted to share my experience so hopefully some of you relate to me. As usual I am not afraid to say it like it is so be ready to get a no-holds-barred account of what pregnancy related illness has been like for me:
My first 4 months were less than perfect, and I definitely did not have the “pregnancy glow”, truth be told I scared myself when I looked in the mirror in those initial months. The most scary thing for me was the fact that I didn’t even know this is what happened during pregnancy, I had no clue that some women got so sick, I guess I only saw the nice part of pregnancy on social media and expected mine to be that way from the beginning. I remember telling my mum why didn’t you warn me this would happen, and her response was she forgot after all this time, I know now that as a woman you do forget these bad parts once you start to feel good and actually have the baby. When I was trying to survive those initial months, I told everyone I would never fall pregnant again, now if you ask me, i will tell you I can’t wait for the next baby.In the initial stages you will go through many physical and emotional changes,but I am proof it does get better with time!
My early pregnancy complication:
My initial excitement turned to panic when at 8 weeks I started experiencing light spotting with mild cramps. This eventually become medium level bleeding which caused me a lot of anxiety and fear. I was admitted to hospital in Johannesburg, and seen by the first (OBY/GYN) who was available, he is now the (OBY/GYN) I am choosing to deliver my baby with. He did a thorough check and advised that I had a placental abruption that caused a huge blood clot in my placenta. If not treated immediately it could lead me to miscarry, as the blood clot would restrict oxygen and nutrients to the baby. I was immediately admitted and given strict bed rest orders as well as increased dosage of progesterone to help melt the blood clot and repair and strengthen the placenta. The progesterone caused a host of its own symptoms from constipation to extreme nausea, which made my normal pregnancy symptoms worse which was beginning to rear its ugly head!After 5 days in the hospital there was improvement and the blood clot started to melt away and was not as big as my first scan. I was discharged and given orders to continue with bed rest and the progesterone. Thank God, that situation was averted and the blood clot eventually absorbed into my body and was not a threat.
Due to me being the poster child for bad pregnancy symptoms I have listed it below as point format with a timeline so you can keep up as it’s a long list!
Symptoms I experienced in the first and second trimester:
- Smell Aversions specifically to perfume, air-freshener any detergents,make-up, smell of my dog’s fur etc. Thankfully, I can handle my dogs smell again.It comes in waves and still knocks me out on some days, even as I near the 3rd trimester. Week 5-Curren
- Swollen breasts and tenderness It still hurts like hell! Breastfeeding pain is inevitable I see. Week 4-Current
- Nausea This was extreme nausea like I have never felt before, I had to constantly take deep breaths to get relief. No anti-nausea medication worked and absolutely none of the conventional remedies everyone tells you to take worked either. Please don’t talk to me about lemon and ginger biscuits! Week 7-18. The nausea unexpectedly comes back at times now as well.
- Severe vomiting (Hyperemesis Gravidarum) This is an actual medical condition and not just the occasional morning sickness. It’s a severe case of excessive vomiting. I vomited almost everything I ate and drank all day everyday for this time. It was not morning sickness, it was “all day and night sickness”.Throwing up bile in the morning whilst you struggle to brush your teeth without gagging is not fun, particularly when you stand hunched over wrenching in pain. Needless to say, I lost a lot of weight and was constantly tired and weak. My throat hurt so bad, and felt raw from all the vomiting. It got so bad at one point projectile vomit was a thing, and I would throw up everywhere, the bed, kitchen, car, the mat right next to the toilet etc! You get the drift. For me, this was the worst pregnancy symptom and affected me physically, mentally and emotionally.From week 9-15.From week 16-18 it was less severe and happened sporadically.
- Constant bitter metallic taste in mouth My own saliva made me want to gag. Speaking of gagging I sounded like a frog, and would involuntarily gag (croak) at times.Week 7- 20.
- Sore muscles and body spasms As a result of lying in bed on my back for long hours, my body specifically my back was full of painful muscle spasms. Week 8-14
- Light and noise sensitivity I hated bright light and loud noises.I didn’t like listening to music or watching tv. I could not write any blog entry or read. I would lie for hours on the bed staring at the ceiling. Week 10-14
- Pregnancy Acne My acne erupted at 8 weeks and has never cleared up since. My face, back and chest now have acne scars that I will tend to after pregnancy. Its pointless now as the breakout hasn’t cleared up yet. So no beautiful skin for me! I’m so grateful there a thing such as make-up and foundation! Week 8-Current (25)
- Round ligament painThis is pain you feel in your lower belly and groin as the uterus expands.Week 14-Current
- Lower back and feet pain It’s not easy to relieve as sitting, walking and standing exacerbates it for me. This is due to the increased weight as baby grows, and a back injury I experienced in my lower back when I was younger. I get a daily massage from my hubby and that helps. I also try to adjust my sitting position and try to stretch and take breaks between activities, the pain is always there but you learn to get used to it.Week 22-Current (25)
- Frequent urination Yes, the urge and need to pee constantly is pretty standard in pregnancy, this symptom is a given for all women. I experienced this early in first trimester and throughout my second trimester and I’m sure it will get worse in the 3rd trimester. I get my cardio for the day as I run to and from the loo throughout the day and the night, might I add! ~Cue the sleepless nights!
- Fatigue and exhaustion This is on and off depending on the day I have had, small activities tucker me out these days. By the end of a long work day I’m exhausted and need the bed. I can fall asleep standing at times. Week 20-Current (25)
- Heartburn and indigestion This feels like acid being poured down my throat!I get heartburn from anything I eat or drink really, I will say it doesn’t stop me from eating whatever the heck I want though. I just have a lot of Gaviscon (liquid suspension to curb acid and indigestion) and it seems to be helping me so far. Week 20-Current (25)
So yeah, this is what I have experienced for the past few months.I start 26 weeks today and before you know it I will be entering my third trimester after 27 weeks. Since I mainly listed my bad symptoms here in this entry, look out for the follow-up entry where I discuss how I dealt with the pregnancy blues and illness and how I am able to stay positive through this time. In the beginning, when my symptoms were at its peak, I was very depressed and did not enjoy my pregnancy at all,now I feel so much more positive and happier about this process.It’s not all doom and gloom, in the second trimester most women begin to enjoy the pregnancy as you get a voracious appetite,and start to feel your baby move and kick inside. You start to enjoy dressing the bump and planning all the special events during the pregnancy. It’s a process so expect to go through the good and the bad. Just remember you are a superwoman for carrying and growing a baby, and you are stronger than you know, If anything this whole process has made me realise how strong and resilient women are, this is definitely not child’s play (excuse the pun). I have a new-found appreciation for all mothers and see myself and them in a whole new light! This is God-given blessing and he gave it to us women because he knew we would be able to handle the good,the bad and the ugly with utmost grace and love.
Thank you for reading!