It’s not all glow and excitement!

I’ve been working on a list of the pregnancy symptoms I’ve had to date for those who might be interested. Any new ones will be added to the regular blog.

 Tears on tears on tears. I’d be happy one minute, and crying the next. I remember apologizing to my husband for my odd behavior but explaining, through the tears, “I’m not sad. In fact I am really happy but I can’t stop crying.” I contributed it to feeling overwhelmed from having just graduated and moved several states away and looking for a full-time job. In reality, it was pregnancy hormones.

 Uncontrollable hunger/unsatisfied hunger. This started before I found out and comes and goes. I was in the kitchen with the pantry and maybe the kitchen door open. In a 5 minute span I had eaten pickles, girl scout cookies, and maybe chips? They weren’t cravings, I just couldn’t figure out what to eat and I was STARVING. My husband laughed and even said, “Are you sure you aren’t pregnant?” My response was typical, “Definitely. I just don’t know what I want to eat.” This hunger came back at the beginning of the 2nd trimester. I would eat several small meals throughout the day and then by the time I crawled into bed, I was in so much pain from hunger. Tips for this? String cheese or Ensure (I can’t drink anymore of these – too chalky – blech).

 Morning sickness. I had it for about 5 or 6 weeks non-stop in the first trimester. There were a few weeks before and after that period where I was nauseous and vomiting but it wasn’t on the daily. My sickness was always in the AM and then every couple of days I would get sick throughout the day and well into the evening. Looking back, I can say with certainty that it was because I woke up with an empty stomach. And then it was because I drank milk or orange juice. Or because I waited too long to eat. And then later, it was due to an 3 day long migraine. I remember job interviewing during this time. Hard candy, sprite, and graham crackers (you WILL get sick of all crackers!) were on me at all times! I was so nervous that I would get sick during the interview! I still get moments of queasiness here and there at 20 weeks but I have Zofran in my purse. I haven’t had to use it in a while, thank goodness.

Food aversions. Ha.Ha. There were only a few things that I hated (and still hate) but I had more of a problem of nothing sounding good when I was hungry which resulted in me hitting up whatever restaurant had the one thing my body wanted at that moment. My husband was concerned about how much we were eating out but let me tell ya – it’s going to happen. Do not think you can plan 2 weeks of meals early in your pregnancy. I went out and spent at least $100 on food that I didn’t even want near me for 3 weeks. So what have I avoided? Eggs. Chicken. Sushi. Milk (for a while). Water (I had to force myself to drink it – it made me sick). Pickles. Crackers. Red pasta sauce. And countless others. I don’t know about other women, but this didn’t last for me but when it was happening, you could not have paid me to eat any of that stuff… which leads me to…

Food Cravings, or what I like to call, ‘the only s*&% I would eat.’ mashed potatoes and gravy (particularly KFC), macaroni and cheese, oranges, watermelon, cantaloupe, salad, French fries, watermelon limeaids from Sonic, pizza, Chinese food, Mexican rice and refried beans, chips and salsa. That was all during the first trimester. The pregnancy books, websites, and e-letters all state that appetite goes back to normal after 12 weeks. I am happy to say, that while I am still avoiding chicken, eggs (I will actually pick out the egg from my McDonald’s breakfast burritos), & sushi, it is true. I will eat just about anything these days. Right now, some favorites are water (yay!), root beer (not so great, but at least most are sans caffeine), oranges/clementines, Gala apples, pasta, salad (all day, every day – bonus if it is from Texas Roadhouse, Golden Corral, or Panera), and still pizza. I try to get the veggies in there, like broccoli and carrots, and my salads are almost always with dark leafy greens, red onions, cucumbers, and peppers.

Migraines. This has been the worst symptom (read: complication) of my pregnancy. I have a history of migraines but pre-pregnancy I only got them about once every five or six months and would take 800 mg of Advil to get rid of them, easily. And then, mid way through my first trimester a strong one came on. I tried the Tylenol we had on hand and that didn’t work. Neither did cold/heat/dark rooms/increasing my water intake. I called my OB and she called in a prescription for Tylenol 3. If that doesn’t work, she said, head to the ER to see if something is wrong. I took the Tylenol 3s and 45 minutes later, they hadn’t helped. I headed to the ER where they gave me Benadryl and Reglan as well as fluids through an IV. It worked while it was in me but by the time I got home, I still had a slight headache. The second one came a few weeks later and after throwing up 4 times, my husband pretty much made me go back to the hospital where I got the same treatment. Finally, my OB put me on Fioricet. I was taking 1 pill each time I got a migraine (at this point it was once a week) which seemed to help. But then, around 16 weeks, they were happening every 1-2 days. After a six day migraine with no relief, my OB referred me to a neurologist. He recommended 400-500 mg of magnesium supplements every day (as a preventative) and 2 Fioricet pills each time I get a migraine. The magnesium hasn’t helped but the increase in dosage of the Fioricet does (*fingers crossed!*). One thing I have paid attention to during most of my migraines is my blood pressure. Normally, during pregnancy, the doctors are looking for high blood pressure when expectant moms complain of headaches (due to preeclampsia and such) but my blood pressure has actually been low. Though lower blood pressure is normal during pregnancy, I have noticed that when I have a migraine, mine is usually sitting around 90/51, while without one, my systolic number is around 100. The doctors aren’t concerned, though, so neither am I. It could honestly be a coincidence.

 Other not-so-pleasant-but-nearly-unavoidable symptoms: the usual gas, constipation, bleeding gums, irritability, weepiness, round ligament pain, interrupted sleep, congestion, and belly button pain (from my uterus moving up).

The best symptom? Definitely quickening and feeling those kicks get stronger by the day. I’m sure in a few months I will be complaining, but this is the calm that I need. The movement lets me know, without seeing my baby, that everything is okay.