So what else has happened since the New Year?
I finally had my first ultrasound!!
Obviously, you know there is a baby in there because you haven’t had your period and you have all this weird stuff happening to your body… hungry all the time, tired all the time… But there’s nothing quite like SEEING it to suddenly make it all the more real!
She put that tool on my tummy and, presto…there it was! I was surprised by how much definition it had already. I was expecting one of those highly pigmented blobs where you wouldn’t actually know it was a baby unless somebody told you. Yet this had the distinct shape of a head and a small little body underneath. And the technician pointed to where the two arms and two legs had formed. I was surprised, too, by how it made me feel. Tears of joy instantly swelled in my eyes. To actually see the life I was building was, frankly, magical.
I have also officially begun my second trimester! A HUGE call for celebration! Cue: balloons and confetti! While my first trimester was certainly no walk in the park—with all the cramping and the constant fatigue—I had virtually no morning sickness. So, honestly, I feel like I got off lucky comparatively. I know it could have been far, far worse.
At work once, a pregnant customer and I were relating experiences and when I told her I was ten weeks in (which I was at the time) she was like, “Wow! You’re awfully peppy for ten weeks!” (Inside, I was like “really… ? I don’t feel peppy!”) I took it not only as a great compliment, but also as a reassurance that all those days I didn’t feel full of life and I had zero energy were completely normal.
All of that is just to say that I am very glad to welcome this new phase, affectionately referred to as the honeymoon trimester. I am told my energy levels will return to normal and I won’t have to pee every twenty minutes (dear god, yes please!) I am over the moon to be able to get back to my daily exercises… when you become accustomed to working out, your body misses it when it’s gone. I am also excited to watch the baby bump grow! I already have a little one, though it’s my understanding that many don’t at this stage yet. I, however, am very short and, as my midwife explained, that means that what little growth there has been, has nowhere to go. But it'll be exciting to watch it develop into something that is unmistakably a baby. For now, it just looks like I've eaten a lot of food (which, let's be honest, I have!)
As this chapter closes, I think it calls for some reflection. When you speak to most about their first trimester (which is one of the worst) you understandably hear a lot of the negatives: exhaustion, nausea, achy breasts, etc etc.. And as I have discussed in previous posts, there is nothing wrong with sharing these. To share our hardships is part of what sisterhood is about! It helps us validate them knowing that we do not suffer alone. BUT, as usual, I feel like there is far more emphasis on the negative versus the positive. And that has its repercussions, too.
So here are some of the positive takeaways from my first three months:
I notice that I laugh more. Like considerably more. I’ve always been a giddy person, but these last three months have been FILLED with laughter. I have been extraordinarily giggly and happy. I’m sure that, in part, this is due to just the overall happiness and excitement I feel in regards to this big life change. But, I feel like it’s more than that, too. The kind of giggly laughter I get into is refreshingly childlike; almost as if I had stayed up all night and was punch-drunk tired. So it leaves me wondering if this is maybe as a result of a hormonal shift… Either way, it has been an absolute delight for me and all around me. Certainly, one of my favorite changes that I have noticed.
I also smell things more intensely. For some, this is a negative as strong smells then lead to strong feelings of nausea. But, personally, I really enjoy it! I like the enhancement of my senses. It makes me feel kind of like a superhero.
Since I am an overall pretty active person, this first trimester has been a humbling experience in that it has forced me to slow myself down to an entirely new pace. But, as a result, I have gotten a lot more time to take care of me! I have gotten very into the ritual of a nice, luxurious bubble bath. I add some ylang ylang bath salts, different essential oils (avocado oil is one of my favorites) and I usually enjoy some sort of face mask while I have a relaxing, long soak. The extra down time has also meant that I have been able to catch up on that big stack of books I’ve been meaning to read for forever. And, having a new puppy, I have gotten a lot of great bonding, one-on-one time with her.
While I miss working out on a daily basis, I have been enjoying our daily walks with the new pup. Yes, even in this bitter cold, which has surprised me too! There are woods near our home and they are absolutely lovely this time of year, shrouded in a thick blanket of snow and silence. We like to go off the beaten trail, a new direction everyday. And, while it’s not the same as a rigorous stint on my exercise bike, at least it’s some movement. More importantly, though, it's something I have had the time and the mindset to thoroughly enjoy.
These are just a few takeaways from the past months that I thought were worth sharing. As you all know, there is just far too much focus on the negatives of pregnancy. And this experience is scary enough without those reminders!
As usual, please share what your first trimester experiences have been. What positives were there for you?
Photo by Helena Lopes from Pexels
Sorry I’ve not posted in a while! A LOT has happened since the new year began!
My husband and I decided, after much debate, to adopt a dog! We had been all set to get one before we found out that I was expecting and that gave us pause. After we found out, we went back and forth on the issue for weeks… was it wiser to get one now, before the baby, or to wait until after?
Certainly, many weighed in with their opinions. Most were of the opinion that it was best to wait. We would have enough on our plate with a new baby. Which is a very valid point! One that we took under great consideration.
But, eventually, we decided that if we waited until after we had the baby, we wouldn’t have the time or the energy to train a dog for a very long while. And I’m an impatient person!
So we decided to adopt a slightly older puppy. She’s 5 months and already housebroken. A Siberian Husky, Newfoundland, and German Shepherd mix. By the time the baby comes around, the puppy will have grown comfortable in her new home. She’ll be trained and well-acclimated and we’ll be able to raise our child with a dog from day one. Which is something I, personally, think has a lot of benefits (I was born into a home with a giant German Shepherd.)
Honestly, I am so happy we decided to go this route. I think it was the right decision for our family. Not only because having a dog adds SO MUCH LIFE and beauty and laughter to a household... But, also because, given how labor-intensive a new dog is (which is to say VERY), I cannot imagine taking on this extra workload with a newborn in the house. There is just no way that I would have the energy or the patience to train a dog as a well as care for my new baby.
I’m sure other people feel differently, but I think every family should make decisions based on what is right for them.
I will write more very soon. But for now, I just wanted to send the update that I am still here. Still posting. And still keeping it positive!
Do you have any strong opinions about getting a dog while pregnant or waiting until after? If so, please share! Let’s start a dialogue!
I'm Kelsey! Proud Iowan native, world traveler, writer, wife to the most incredible husband, and now soon to be mother