Symptoms: The only symptom I remember having during my first trimester with Hazel is that I was extremely tired. Like, all I wanted to do was sleep. I remember being at work and just feeling like I could cry because I was so. freaking. tired. By the way, I don’t recall any of my friends with kids ever talking about this particular symptom and I feel like it’s sort of glossed over in the pregnancy books. Anyway, it wasn’t fun and I’m sure it didn’t help that my first trimester months were January-March. It was dark and cold and very dreary. Luckily I was able to rest a lot and the tiredness gradually went away in the second trimester. Everything else was good though. I don’t remember experiencing much, if any, nausea. Thank goodness!
Eating habits: I remember having strong aversions to vegetables, particularly lettuce. At the time I thought it was so strange, but I’ve since learned that this is somewhat common. Again, it was dark and cold during those months which probably aided in my desire for lots of comfort food. (Think mac and cheese and mashed potatoes). I tried not to worry about this too much. I knew I wasn’t eating great, but I did my best and hoped it would pass (it did).
Exercise: pretty much nonexistent. In general I am a pretty active person and try to fit exercise in on most days. However, those first few months of pregnancy were rough. I’d say I walked on a treadmill a few times per week, at most.
Some time in my second trimester- I think it was between week 24-27, I starting having cramps. They were very, very minor cramps, mostly in my lower back. I called my friend on the phone and told her what was going on. She insisted I call the nurse at my doctor’s office. I remember thinking that it was silly of me to call the doctor because I barely felt any pain. I did call and the nurse and she told me to come in to the office immediately, just to be safe. The doctor checked me out and then told me that I was going into labor and that I needed to go to the hospital right away. I was in complete and utter shock. In fact, I sort of snorted/laughed because I thought she was kidding. Stupid of me, I know. I was admitted to the hospital for about one week. The doctor’s were able to stop the labor with medication and I was released to go home on bed rest for the duration of my pregnancy. I tell you, that was the scariest time of my life.
They believed the reason I went into preterm labor was because I had a uterine fibroid that wasn’t in a good location and seemed to be getting bigger. Also during this time I failed my glucose tests and was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. This was another thing about pregnancy that I had never heard of! And I was so mad that I failed the glucose tests. I consider myself a healthy person and had been eating lots of fruits and vegetables during my second trimester. Remember, I was “saving” the junk for later. Arr. In any event, bedrest + gestational diabetes is no fun, let me tell you. I have to say, I experienced some really dark, sad days. It was beyond frustrating being stuck in bed or on the sofa. I was nesting and wanted to clean and organize. I wanted to cook. I wanted to do anything but lay down. My poor husband had his hands full, that’s for sure.
During that time my baby shower had already been planned. My wonderful doctor did clear me to travel and attend the shower. I basically just had to sit in a chair the entire time, but that was okay by me! I was so happy to be able to attend the shower and see all my friends and family.
I stayed on bedrest until week 34 when the doctor decided it was time for me to go back to the hospital. I was in the hospital for a week and then had Hazel by C-section at week 35. She was exactly 5 pounds and was beautiful and healthy. She did have a little jaundice so she ended up spending two weeks in the NICU. Looking back on it all, I realize how lucky I was to have the outcome that I did. Hazel is happy and healthy and had she been born any earlier I really don’t know how things would have turned out. I am so very grateful to my friend and the nurse who both insisted that I didn’t ignore those mild cramps.
I can’t remotely express how much I was looking forward to my maternity leave. I kept telling myself during those dreadful bedrest days that once Hazel was born, we would both be healthy and I envisioned going on lots of walks with her and just overall enjoying life. Unfortunately things didn’t quite turn out that way. The fibroid (which I referred to and will always refer to as the fibroid from hell) kept wreaking havoc on my body. I experienced lots of pain and a lot of the times I couldn’t even leave the house. My iron was very low. I could barely make it up my stairs on some days. And I was trying to care for my newborn and breastfeed her round the clock. It was rough.
Believe it or not, at one point I started to go into labor with the fibroid. My doctor said I was dilated to 5 cm. In the end, it took two surgeries to remove the fibroid from hell. Needless to say it took me a lot longer to actually feel strong and healthy again. My doctor’s do not anticipate me having any problems with future pregnancies since the fibroid is gone. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!