Pregnancy First Trimester - Everything You Wanted To know

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Pregnancy First Trimester - Everything You Wanted To know

The first trimester of pregnancy is the most difficult and overwhelming.

The first time you find out that you are pregnant can be jittery, scary, full of excitement, happiness all rolled into one. If you've been trying to get pregnant for sometime, the first sign of pregnancy on that little pregnancy test strip would make you doubt yourself and head over to test again (and maybe again just to make sure!)
I tested 3 times just to be sure that I wasn't under an illusion of some sort. I was thrilled beyond explanation and the moment I shared this news with Mr Husband was something we'll remember forever.

How To Cope With First Trimester oF Pregnancy


Then came the first visit to the doctor, and since we'd read-up a lot about pregnancy, we got the hCG  blood test before we went to see the doctor. She did a basic checkup and told me my first scan would happen at week 6. She told me to relax and think positive (owing to my past history) and sent us home. I went to work while Mr H went home to give the news to his family.

When I came home in the evening I was tired and decided to rest. By night I found I was bleeding. It was a ghastly experience since I had seen this before and knew what it could mean. But I tried to remain calm through my tears, and went to the nearest hospital in emergency. The doctor there did an IVS* and told me it was too soon to tell what is going on, gave me a few injections to stop the bleeding and told me all I could do was pray and take the medicines. She told me to keep my thoughts positive. And so I tried my best.

A few days went by before I again saw blood. Mr H was at work at the time and I couldn't stop worrying. After about an hour in emergency I was told the baby was fine and again given a few injections to stop the bleeding. I was put on daily injections. Even though I heard the baby was fine I couldn't control my tears because I was tired, tired of worrying about what all could go wrong. Not this time I prayed.

Another week went by before I again ended up in emergency. With God's grace the baby was still doing fine, we could hear his heart beat which was reassuring. The cause of my bleeding was that the placenta had slightly detached from the uterus. My pregnancy was declared a high risk pregnancy and I was on complete bed rest for the entire first trimester.

I slowly got used to fearing more blood but being grateful when there was none. All the scans so far were IVS which for me were traumatic for they are invasive and extremely embarrassing.
It was the normal ultrasound with 3D imaging that I got done at 2 months time which brought back a sense of relief. This was the first time I was seeing my baby with a faint silhouette. The radiologist tried to move the baby around to get a good look and do all the measurements. I was finally getting a sense that all this was real. I was going to get through this. The baby was doing fine, the cause of my bleeding was clear and a low lying placenta was declared. This meant no exertion at all.

I was left to keep lying down in my room with  the TV, my laptop and phone as company. There were days when I felt lonely as sharing your innermost fear only makes people laugh at you or spite you in the name of being overly concerned. I couldn't swallow basic things like chapati, hated the smell of anything cooking, and could not bear the slightest amount of chili in my food.

But I made it through this immensely difficult time all thanks to the continuous support I got from my family. I started working from home and gradually became prepared to head back to office. At this time I had a fall. Due to dizziness after a bath, I fell badly on my back taking the shower curtain down with me. I hurt my shoulder and hip but what I was worried about was having hurt my baby. It was a very difficult day, but God was kind enough and my baby appeared fine in the ultrasound. I couldn't thank my stars enough. I knew now that God was going to make this miracle come true.

In a few days time I rejoined work which is my catharsis. Friends and co workers were extremely supportive and just being out there helped me recover mentally and physically. I was not exerting myself, had my work area set up to keep my feet up for the long hours and life slowly retuned to a more sane and happy state.

Now after this long story about my first trimester here are a few learnings I had which I hope can come in handy when you get pregnant.

1. Be prepared to visit the doctor and follow her instructions. Do not ignore any sign of danger. Any odd vaginal discharge mandates a visit to your gynaecologist. Remember early treatment can save your baby in case of an emergency situation. So don't ignore anything that doesn't feel right.

2. If nausea is a problem speak to your doctor. Mine gave me medicines that ensured I would not vomit. I was already losing a lot of weight.

3. Eat whatever you can keep inside, don't worry too much about nutrition at this point. Starving yourself is not the solution. Since I was not able to eat anything healthy like daal and chapati, I ate whole wheat bread with cheese or plain butter. Thankfully I was able to drink milk. Occasionally I would have a pizza, strange cravings come during this time and all I craved was the exotica pizza from Pizza Hut. Eating outside food is not advisable so keep it to the bare minimum. Avoid all processed foods as they contain preservatives. Coffee and alcohol are taboo and you will find a lot of information on the internet about what you should and should not eat.

4. Do not consume pineapples or papaya. These are the only things normally asked by doctors to avoid. I was asked to avoid all sour things as well as these two. This meant no nimbu paani or fresh juices as well. This made things more difficult for me but I survived.

5. Make sure your bathroom is non slippery. Invest in a good bath-mat as well as a non slip shower mat. You do not want to take any chances here. I ordered the mat seen below online and it was well worth the money.

Non slip shower mat
Non-slip Shower Mat

6. Your old clothes should fit you for the first month but you will notice your bras getting tighter as you enter the second month. If your cup size is the same don't buy a new bra just yet. Instead buy a few bra extenders. They are very cheap and help you save big bucks on those expensive bras.

Bra extenders
Bra Extenders

7. Try to keep your feet up as much as possible. Buy a foot stool for work and get yourself a few cushions to raise your feet while you are sitting in bed.

8. Stay positive! Easier said than done. Your husband and family might be pampering you from their side but you will be more sensitive to any remarks they make at this time. The hormones in your body are not just working on setting up your womb but are silently playing havoc on you emotionally. I had times when the slightest joke made by Mr H would bring me to tears and I would hate him for not understanding my plight. As they say, a man and a woman have a baby but it's the woman who is pregnant!!

Listen to soothing songs, read books, watch TV, spend time with friends; whatever keeps you happy.


9. Don't worry if you lose weight. When you get pregnant you prepare yourself for weight gain but if you have nausea and difficulty eating, you might end up losing a few kilos instead. This is all normal and nothing to worry about so long as your doctor knows.

10. The belly - don't expect to see a bump just yet. If you are skinny you might notice a small bump by the second month but mostly it is noticeable only to you. My bump started showing early because I was always bloated. But again it wasn't something others would notice.

11. Sign up to a few good online resources for pregnancy. I downloaded 2 apps on my phone which provide a plethora of information and help you connect with pregnant women from across the globe. These are BabyCenter and WhatToExpect

Remember each pregnancy is unique so listen to your body. Whenever in doubt and you feel something is not right, talk  to your doctor. A lot of people will have a lot of advice to give you. Take it with a pinch of salt, do your own research and discuss things with your doctor.
If you have any questions please do comment below and I'll try to answer them to the best of my knowledge.

Wishing all moms-to-be a pleasant first trimester!

*IVS - intra vaginal scan

19 comments:

  1. Oh wow those first few months were tough for you. I’m glad you’re okay now. Lots of great tips. I never heard of the pineapple thing!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! The pineapple thing might be specific to India, not sure, but too much pineapple is believed to induce labor like symptoms because of a chemical in the fruit

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  2. Congrats. First months are my feared. Glad you have a flexible work environment as the constant health needs would only add stress if not! Keep us updated 👍🏼

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Bailey, itsitrue, flexible work environment does help take off some stress

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  3. Congratulations! I hope things go more smoothly as you progress <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes next few months were better, stay tuned for rest of the stories

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  4. Sounds like it was pretty tough, hope things are going better now!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. First trimester was the hardest, emotionally more than physically

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  5. Those bra extenders are genius!!! I need to keep these in mind for when I find good deals on smaller band bras!

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  6. Sorry you had a difficult first trimester. It’s all worth it in the end!

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    Replies
    1. Absolutely! Holding the little bundle of joy makes it all worth it!

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  7. As hard as it is, thank you for sharing your experience! I hope things are balancing out and the remaining time will be easier on you.

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    Replies
    1. Im glad you found this useful, yes rest of the time was easier to some extent

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