I can not believe I am already well into my second trimester of pregnancy! It is surreal, exciting and terrifying all at the same time. The first trimester was a blur of surviving the nausea and anxiously waiting for each follow-up ultrasound appointment. I feel thankful that I have had three successful and healthy ultrasounds thus far and things are moving along right on track. I have to admit, only in the past week or so I have really begun to feel it's real. My stomach has started bulging out and it's becoming harder and harder to hide the truth!
I am going to try to remember as much as I can about those first 12 weeks now for a re-cap:
Weeks 4-6: As a result of my IVF procedure, finding out I was pregnant was slightly different than typical. I had my embryo transfer on July 5th and literally watched them insert the embryo that is currently wiggling inside of me. How strange! I waited 5 days before taking a home pregnancy test, knowing that it could be a false positive or false negative, since the IVF medications makes pregnancy tests less reliable. However, it was a positive! At this point, I wasn't even 4 weeks pregnant yet! I was thrilled but still cautious. I waited an agonizing 10 more days before having my first blood test which confirmed the good news!
Weeks 4 and 5, I actually had lots of bloating and nausea, however, I was still on many IVF medications and recovering from the whole process, which added to my malaise feeling. This was confusing because I then started to feel much better around week 6, which increased my anxiety.
Weeks 6-8: The first of my real pregnancy symptoms begin to really start these week. I began to have nausea randomly throughout the day where all of a sudden, I would feel sick to my stomach. I found chewing gum and ginger chews helped as well as eating lots of ritz and saltine crackers. I was usually feeling better by dinner time but then I frequently felt nauseous again after dinner as I was trying to fall asleep. Fortunately, I never actually threw up, but I frequently gagged and dry heaved. Awesome! These few weeks, I was also anxiously awaiting my 8-week ultrasound. It was such a relief to finally see a beating heart!
Weeks 8-12: My nausea started to decrease around week 9-10, which although is a fantastic feeling, it also begins to cause more anxiety about "why am I feeling better?" However, the extreme fatigue started to set in around week 9 and 10. I was exhausted and had to consciously think about staying awake. Fortunately, this week ended with our 12 week ultrasound! Everything looked great and it was so surreal to see baby moving around inside my stomach!
Weeks 13-16: Start of Second Trimester: I definitely started to relax more after the 12 week ultrasound, however, I still found myself often having to remind myself that I really was pregnant. Around weeks 13-14 my stomach started to be more noticeable and I dove headfirst into buying maternity clothes. I may never wear regular jeans again! Although the nausea and fatigue subsided, I was greeted with new symptoms of pounding headaches and heartburn. My OB recommended Tums and zantac which has been helping the heartburn and the headaches are starting to decrease. This week ended with our 17 week ultrasound which was the fetal anomaly scan. This ultrasound was really neat because they looked at every organ, the heart, legs, arms, face, kidneys, etc. It was really cool to see the four chambers of the heart pumping blood as well as the bones in the baby's legs. Everything looked good and baby wasn't cooperating to roll over so we get another ultrasound in four weeks to look at the spine. Baby was moving all around but I haven't felt it yet. I'm looking forward to that in the upcoming weeks.
JRA: Amazingly, everything has been good with my Arthritis and Uveitis. I have some aches and pains in my knees but I think it's from carrying more weight and trying to walk 2-3 times per week instead of Arthritis symptoms. Hopefully, as I get bigger each week, my joints will continue to be quiet.
More updates soon!