Pregnancy Diary – Week 9

After returning home from our honeymoon abroad, Jason and I decided it was time to start a family. We’d been together for nearly eight years, married close to three, and it felt like the right time. This being our first, I decided to document my experience trying to conceive, what I learned along the way, and my weekly progress growing our family one finger and toe at a time. This is my pregnancy diary.

Week 9

bump 9 weeksWeek nine started out much like week eight: in bed. Sundays seem to be dedicated to rest these days, as a week’s worth of work, social activities, and baby-making converge. Because of the severe exhaustion I’ve been experiencing, my OB/GYN wanted me to get a blood test to see if I’m anemic, and to check my white blood cell count to make sure it’s within the normal range (too high and it could mean I’m fighting off an infection, which would definitely be adding to my lack of energy). I got that test done this week, and everything came back within normal range. So, while it's a good thing there's nothing "wrong" that's causing my symptoms, it means I just have to slow down and endure.I continue to experience more and more new symptoms every week. This week’s onset of physical changes was particularly rough. First, the headaches started. I got a headache four different days this week. The first three were intense, but only lasted a few hours; the last one was intense, and lasted more than 24. I’ve successfully avoided all medications in these first nine weeks, outside of my inhaler when having an asthma attack. But this last headache was too intense to avoid: sleep, heat pads, and aromatherapy weren’t helping, so I finally took Tylenol.Now, I generally avoid all conventional medicines—pregnant or not—but there are some that are considered “approved” for use when pregnant. For headaches, Tylenol is approved. Those that aren’t, including ibuprofen (aka Motrin or Advil) and naproxen (aka Aleve), are not approved because they cause a decrease in amniotic fluid, and may cause the baby’s heart valves to close prematurely. That said, I’ve read that acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol) may increase a child’s chance of developing ADHD, according to a Danish study; regardless, I won't be using it regularly. But when a headache lasts 24 hours and is preventing me from sleeping, it’s not just hurting me anymore.The second uncomfortable symptom I experienced this week was round ligament pain. You may know this pain already. Have you ever sneezed hard and felt a sharp pain in your groin, running along the inside of your pubic bone? That’s it. Your round ligament is the sling that holds your uterus, which gets understandably more sensitive when you’re growing a baby. For me, the onset was sudden and intense. I stood up from my chair at work and it felt like my entire pelvic region tensed up. A wave of sharp pain radiated across my underwear line, and lasted for about 10 seconds. For the next day or so, I continued to experience sharp pains just inside my public bones; mostly on the right side, but sometimes on the left. I also felt a dull ache in the region, kind of like the soreness in your calf after you’ve had a Charlie horse. Round ligament pain doesn’t usually start until the second trimester, so I was a little shocked to have started such intense signs of it prior to 10 weeks.Outside of those two new symptoms, a couple existing ones have become unavoidably annoying—the most annoying of which is the fit of my clothes; specifically the fact that nothing is comfortable anymore. Weight gain and bloat (and likely the subtle spreading of my hips) makes everything hurt: my bras cut into my rib cage and cause even mild stomach discomfort to intensify; my pants are all tighter through the thighs, and any garment that cuts across my pelvis digs into my skin by the end of the day.While I don’t think I’m ready for maternity clothing just yet, it’s definitely time to buy some larger-sized jeans; bras too. Even with a two-inch extender in place, they’re still uncomfortable.My appetite continues to be a nuisance as well. I’m literally always hungry. Within an hour of eating, I’m hungry again. And not for just any kind of food: carbs. I’m craving bread, rice, anything to satisfy my hunger and settle my stomach. Cheeseburgers seem to be my food of choice. In fact, I had a real pregnant-person moment this week. Let me tell you about it, shamelessly.Leaving work before my blood draw, I was starving (per usual), so I decided to stop at In-N-Out on the way home. Now, I usually get a double-double and it’s plenty—but I knew it wouldn’t satisfy me this time. So, like any good preggo would do, I ordered myself a protein-style (lettuce-wrapped) cheeseburger for the 10-minute drive home—you know, protein style to keep it healthy—and my usual double-double and fries for lunch. I ate it all. That’s how hungry I am. I’m three weeks from my second trimester, and only a pound away from the five you’re supposed to gain in the first. Eating has become a real struggle—both frequency and type—so I’m hoping things settle down into the second trimester. I'm thanking my lucky stars that I still haven't gotten morning sickness!One last thing I want to touch on, is that I’m starting to have some irrational fears about death. I think most pregnant women do, when starting to fully realize the weight of starting a family, but it’s heavy on my mind. Jason is going to Chicago for a couple weeks, and one of the strangest things I told him to be careful about was choking. I told him he needs to make sure to chew his food slowly and completely before swallowing when he eats alone, and said I was going to be extra careful about it, too. I told him he's not allowed to explore the city in the dark, and can't go jogging into areas he's unfamiliar with (basically limiting his workout to the hotel gym). Outside of this trip to Chicago, I get nervous he won't return every time he leaves the house. And then I think about losing the baby because I’d be so distraught over losing him. And then my life would basically be over. Anyway, like my struggle to accept that I have to slow down, the mental side of pregnancy continues to be an unexpected challenge.SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

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