The First Trimester
99% of the people who read my blog are also social media/real life friends, so you already know the news… WE’RE PREGNANT! We’re expecting a baby in April 2019, and it is not physically, emotionally, humanly possible to be more excited than we are. Of course, as I do with everything, I wanted to document all the details about this experience. If I don’t take pictures and write about something… did it even really happen?
Finding out was wild. I woke up on the morning of August 15th and immediately took a test, because I just had a weird feeling I was pregnant. The test came back negative (like, stark white, no hint of a line negative) and honestly I breathed a big sigh of relief. August 15th was the day we said goodbye to Henry, and there was no way I could deal with both emotions simultaneously. I tossed the test (and I didn’t even mention anything to Jeremy) and we had one of the hardest days of our lives together thus far.
When we got home from the vet, I drank a massive glass of water and decided to take another test – literally less than six hours after taking the first one. I can’t explain why, other than intuition. Jeremy was napping on the couch as I took it, and I put it on the counter and walked away. Though I felt pregnant, I was logical and figured there was no way I’d get a positive after just getting a negative. When I walked back in and saw the faintest second line, I lost it. It was very faint, but it was there. I actually took a picture of it and sent it to my editor at Romper (who is a guru regarding all things pregnancy) and she confirmed – that’s definitely a second line! Even so, I decided to just keep it to myself because I didn’t want to give Jeremy even more emotion to deal with on that day, especially considering I wasn’t even totally sure myself.
The next morning, Jeremy woke up around 6 a.m. for his morning dog walk, and as soon as I heard the door shut, I was in the bathroom taking a 3rd, 4th, and 5th test. Yes, I know I’m insane, but I wanted to take three different brands just to really know. I think the last time I had so much nervous energy in my body was at the starting line of my first half marathon… except honestly it was way worse that morning in the bathroom. I paced while the tests processed, and then went back into the bathroom to take a look: there was a second line, a plus sign, and the word “Pregnant” on three different tests. Holy moly.
I’m crazy. Have I mentioned that? The day Jeremy and I decided we wanted to grow our family, I ordered a Toronto Maple Leafs onesie from Amazon. I figured that, whenever I found out I was pregnant, I could give him a onesie to surprise him. I grabbed the onesie out of my hiding spot, along with one of the pregnancy tests, and waited for him to get home from the dog walk. I also sneakily set up my laptop on the kitchen counter so I could film his reaction… have I mentioned I document everything?
When he got back, I did my best to act casual while my heart was pounding in my ears. I told him I had a small gift for him, and handed him the onesie. He held it up, and said, “Aww,” in a voice that clearly conveyed, “I’m not sure what this tiny thing is, but thank you?” When I realized he didn’t understand, I slapped the pregnancy test on the counter. He understood it then!
The First Appointment
We had our first appointment on Friday, September 14th – almost one month exactly from the day I found out. If you’ve been pregnant before, you probably know how agonizing that wait is. I knew all of the risks of early pregnancy, and was downright terrified that something would go wrong. I actually went to a lab and paid for not one but two blood tests to check the levels of the pregnancy hormones in my blood, and took about 10 more urine tests in the interim to see if the lines were getting darker. I was crazy! We were just already so in love with this poppy seed-sized little being, and I couldn’t stop worrying about all of the “what ifs.”
I Googled “What to expect at your first doctor’s appointment?” about a dozen times, and repeatedly read that I would most likely get an ultrasound, blood test, urine test, and so on. I couldn’t wait to have a medical professional finally confirm everything. I know it sounds nuts, considering I had almost 20 positive pregnancy tests in a bag in my bathroom, but it just feels surreal prior to the first appointment.
Jeremy and I were giddy walking into the room at the women’s hospital, but that changed real quick when I discovered I wasn’t getting an ultrasound. Before I even realized what was happening, I was sobbing to a midwife. “I’m so anxious! I cannot wait any longer to know if there is a real baby in there, and I’m losing my mind wondering if it even has a heartbeat.” Without missing a beat, the midwife responded, “Absolutely. I understand. It’s not OK to feel this anxious. I will get you scheduled for an ultrasound first thing Monday.” How amazing was she? At that moment, I knew with certainty that we were at the right hospital.
That Monday was our wedding anniversary, and that first ultrasound the best gift we’ve ever gotten. Jeremy was holding my clammy hand, and he squinted his eyes looking at the screen. “I’m not even sure what I’m going to be looking for,” he said. The second the technician put the wand on my stomach, there was no mistaking it. There, right in the middle of the screen, was our tiny little babe. Even better, a flickering light showed a strong heartbeat. Hearing that sound, on our anniversary no less, was the best moment of my life.
I actually feel guilty when other women ask me how I felt during my first trimester, because I felt so… good. At least, good as first trimesters go. I had a bit of mild nausea for a week or two (and lived on plain pasta and bagels), but I never threw up, missed work, or lost sleep. Compared to the horrendous morning sickness many expectant mamas have, I hit the jackpot. My only strong symptom was fatigue, but I’m fortunate enough to work from home and I can realistically schedule a nap into most of my workdays. I am incredibly lucky with how easy my first trimester was.
As a blabbermouth who loves to share all her business on social media, the hardest part was not screaming our big news from the rooftop. I’ve been dreaming about becoming a mom for so long, and I’m not one to keep exciting news from… well, anyone. Jeremy and I had decided that we would keep it to ourselves until we received the results from our 13-week genetic testing and were into the second trimester. I received the phone call from our genetic counselor while I was on the elliptical at the gym, immediately started crying, and our announcement was posted before I even finished my workout. I was just so thrilled and eager to get it off my chest!
I still wake up some mornings and can’t believe this is real. I’m so excited to document the rest of this pregnancy, and soon enough, motherhood.
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