Friday, June 21, 2013

Pregnancy comparisons

In being nearly 9 weeks pregnant, I find that I am still incredibly aware of my own body and I notice all the changes. This isn't surprising, in that I felt that way during both of my prior pregnancies, but I guess, maybe I figured I'd be more "chill" by the time I hit my third. But apparently not.

This time, I'm dealing with an issue of high blood pressure having recently been diagnosed (okay, technically, they were staying away from an official diagnosis, hoping that it was temporary or something) with hypertension. My Nephrologist's hope that the changes in body chemistry when I got pregnant might cause my pressure to DROP did not happen and now, here I am, on daily BP-lowering meds. (pause while I go take my morning dose).

I've had 4 (including this one and the one that ended before 8 weeks) pregnancies and none have been the same. Prior to this one, i would have said that my first and third pregnancies were so very different because I had a girl and a boy and so of course my hormones did different things to my body! But this one? Well, it has to be either a boy or a girl (we've confirmed that it is, in fact, only ONE baby) and I guess I assumed that my symptoms (specifically my morning sickness) would mirror one of the previous experiences. Not so much.

With Fuss, beginning around 8 weeks until about 16 (and then occasionally, but not daily until 18 weeks) I threw up daily. Once in the shower before I'd had the chance to have my breakfast and at least once while at work. Every day. But then I'd feel better and only the extreme cases of a certain scent or other type of trigger would stir my stomach later in the day and that was rare.

With Little Man, I rarely actually threw up. Maybe a handful of times. But from 8 weeks until about 16 weeks, I just went about in a state of mild nausea from about 7am to 4pm. (this made it difficult for me to be interested in any food early in the day, a problem that as a mom, I already struggled with since the mornings tended to get busy and I was focused on getting us ready for the day and not eating breakfast. But I needed to eat or the nausea was worse. Vicious cycle.)

This time, my first bout of nausea started at 5 weeks. Before I was even sure I was pregnant. And since then, it's been a random smattering of violent retching - some days it happens rarely, if at all and is concentrated in the morning before I've eaten. If I stay on top of my meals and snacks, I feel fine for most of the day. Other days, it feels like my body is bound and determined to make me gag repeatedly until I'd almost BEG for something to actually come up. And this isn't all focused on the first part of the day - oh no, I can feel the need to make scary noises from my throat as late as when I'm getting ready for bed at night! It's always worse and more concentrated in the morning, but the random waves of it can happen any time and without any triggers I'm aware of thus far. Sure, when the dog made a mess on Fuss's bedroom floor I had to gag my way through cleaning it up and it was awful, but the other night I was picked up a Key Lime Pie from the local grocery store for a Family Dinner dessert and I randomly thought I was going to lose it in the middle of the bakery. No idea what caused it, since the idea of Key Lime Pie or chocolate cupcakes continued to appeal, even after I composed myself.

The headaches have started again. This could be, in part, due to the fact that I've cut back my caffeine intake noticeably, or it could be the blood pressure causing it, or it could be just the usual major changes in hormones. Who knows?

I'm wearing maternity clothes, but then, this is no big shocker. I remember buying my first pair of maternity pants at 7 1/2 weeks when I was pregnant with Fuss. I hate tight clothing, so the invention of elastic waistband pants for the eternally bloated and growing pregnant woman is a beautiful thing. My best friend had given me back the tubs of "our" maternity clothes just a month or so before I got pregnant (between us, this will be the 6th child, but we've never been pregnant at the same time, so we've just shared the clothes we've amassed back and forth each time we have a baby. Another friend or two have also borrowed, but these are primarily OURS.)

I'm tired all the time. When I was pregnant with Fuss, I was working out of the home full-time and I couldn't really rest during the day. I'd come home each night and pass out on the couch while my husband made dinner, wake up, have dinner, watch some TV and fall into a deep sleep wakened only by my persistent bladder.

When I was pregnant with Little Man, Fuss was still taking a daily nap and I, too, could get in some sleep while she slept. I took a nap almost daily. This allowed me to be a little more alive in the evenings when it came to hanging out with my husband. That made things a lot easier.

Now, I have one child who naps and one who doesn't. Occasionally, I can get a nap while Little Man naps and Fuss will leave me alone while she enjoys quiet time with the sole control of the Netflix remote. Often, however, she tends to come bother me every 15 minutes with requests for snacks or drink refills or hugs.  This makes me grouchy and I've been teaching her to be more independent with instructions like "if you can't get it yourself, you can't have it."

With my 2nd pregnancy, I didn't make it to 8 weeks, where typically my nausea begins. I was slipping on the occasional pair of maternity pants, but still fitting in most of my regular stuff. I don't remember if the tiredness had started yet, but I remember a feeling of this pregnancy being "off" from the get-go. Something wasn't right, so maybe I knew subconsciously that it wouldn't last, despite my cautious hope that it would.

I'm already playing the naming game with my husband this time. We have a name picked out for a girl (we've had it for a very long time now and we're still in love with it) but while we did have a boys name, I'm less in love with it than I was 3 years ago and I've kind of gone back to the drawing board. It's funny, because some of the names I'd rejected due to an increase in popularity I'm coming back to because I just like them so much now. We shall see.

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