I am beyond grateful to be pregnant. I thank God everyday for this tiny life growing inside me. However, pregnancy isn’t all strong finger nails, thick hair and glowing skin. I am documenting the ups, the downs and the “glow” (guys, it’s sweat), through my 40 weeks of pregnancy.
I found out I was pregnant at 3 weeks 4 days and it started out on the highest high. We had a few obstacles to get around while trying to get pregnant (endometriosis, PCOS and crazy wild hormones). Needless to say, we were both on cloud nine and in complete shock that not only was I pregnant, but without medical intervention. The only symptom I had at that point was sore boobs and around four weeks I cramping started. I knew cramping was a normal symptom of pregnancy but I was on edge for the rest of the first trimester. I took it very easy, got lots of rest and walked on eggshells. In retrospect it was silly and I totally could have continued my normal activities but I needed to do what I needed to do to keep my nerves at bay and stay sane-ish.
5 weeks 3 days. This day will forever be ingrained in my memory. This is the day morning sickness started. While it was a great reminder our babe was healthy and growing like a weed, why can’t your body just send you a note to remind you? Or maybe shrink your thighs? Mother Nature is funny like that. My sweet reminder lasted the remainder of my first and well into my second trimester. I am convinced a man named it because how many women are just sick the morning? I was sick morning, noon, night and would even be woken up by it from time to time. Luckily I was clued into the Unisom/B6 trick pretty early which helped take the edge off. And shout out to new BFF simple carbohydrates, I gained the appropriate amount of weight while being so sick, thanks girl.
Our first doctors appointment was at 8 weeks 5 days and I was a nervous wreck. I could finally take the biggest sigh of relief after seeing our little tiny miracle on the screen, flickering heart, kicking legs and all. The feeling was indescribable and I wanted to ask if I could take the machine home with us. Everything checked out perfect and we decided we could finally tell our parents. My dad’s birthday was the same week as our appointment and we decided this was the perfect time to tell them. We invited my them over for a drink (water for moi!) before heading out to dinner. We handed my dad his gift and inside the big box was a bottle of wine with a baby carriage and “January 2018” written on the label and next to it was a framed picture from our ultrasound. Neither of them could figure out what it was and at one point my mom said, “oh it’s a picture of an owl!” After what felt like 3 hours they put it together and burst into tears and laughter so excited for their first grandchild. An owl though?
Sometimes I have to take a second and laugh. The way I pictured pregnancy, what I thought I would do, what I would look like, how I would feel, versus reality is night and day. In my imagination, I assumed I was glowing. My skin had never been better, my hair had never been thicker, nails were strong as steel. I snacked on carrots and celery and continued to workout everyday because #strongpelvicfloor. The reality is, this isn’t my reality. I swear I blew up the day I found out I was pregnant. The bloat, the bloat is so real. But also the rest of my body and as much as I want to blame it on bloat, its not. Imagine if Pamela Anderson and Dolly Parton had a daughter…hi, my name is Birkley. I had a client tell me recently, “Wow, that is going to be a well fed baby!” My skin has never been worse. Pre-pregnancy, I very rarely had a blemish and there hasn’t been a day since I found out I was pregnant that I have been blemish free. Also- what are veggies? I had such a terrible time with nausea that if something sounded good, I ate it. Nothing specific or in particular other than if it was a carb, I was eating it. I keep telling myself all of this means I am going to have a dreamboat of a newborn, right?
Probably my favorite memory of the first trimester was getting the results from the genetic testing and an added bonus, finding out the gender. My doctor went over the different type of tests that were available and we decided to go with Panorama (read about it here). At nine weeks a mobile phlebotomist (yup, as amazing as it sounds) came to my house, took a few viles of my blood and was on her way. About a week and a half later we had the results and our sweet babe was absolutely perfect and… a BOY. I was in shock. It’s all a blur but I might have called the medical assistant a liar since I was positive it was a girl. She was “stealing my beauty” to put it nicely, I was sick as a dog, The Ramzi Theory said girl, the Chinese calendar said girl and I could go on and on and on. All of the gender predictors pointed to girl. Just as memorable, this was also the week my bank account lost a lot of zeros and I started shopping. There are days I still have to pinch myself, I can’t believe I’m pregnant with a healthy baby boy.