First 20 Weeks of Pregnancy

Talking about the first 20 weeks of pregnancy for a first time mom.  Symptoms, Mood, Weight, Ultrasound Pics, Doctor Visits and more discussed! 

I wasn’t sure if I was going to make these types of posts.  And then I got to thinking more about it and felt it would be fun to look back on one day.  Instead of documenting every 1 or 2 weeks, I’m doing Weeks 1-20… and then probably 20-30 and then 30-40, or something like that.  I guess time will tell as I’m facing new experiences.

So here we are..  I’m in Week 24 now but we’re going to just discuss the first 20 weeks for now.  We’ll save talking about how baby is now participating in zumba classes in my belly for another post.  I guess we can get the stats and dates out of the way first.  We had sex on October 14 to make the baby (hello TMI).  Yes, I know the exact date.  My Doctor never believes that I know the exact date but I know because we were working hard on a job and only had time/energy to do the sexy dance once during my peak ovulation week.  You know how they tell you in school it only takes once to get pregnant?  They’re telling the truth.   My ovulation was peak on October 15.  Before trying to get pregnant I had no idea you could track your ovulation with test strips.   I would highly recommend them, even if you aren’t trying to get pregnant as it’s pretty wonderful to really start to witness how amazing your body is and how in tune we can get.  If you’re trying to conceive I’d also suggest using a app (I used Ovia) that tracks your period, symptoms, etc and lets you know when you’re most fertile.   We took a pregnancy test on October 29, which would be DPO (that’s days post ovulation) 14.    It was positive.   So calendar speaking, we found out around Week 4 we were with baby (to make things more confusing the first day of the last menstrual period becomes the date from which pregnancy is counted to start even though conception occurs about two weeks later.)

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Did I have pregnancy symptoms before knowing we were pregnant?
One thing I noticed is that when you are trying to get pregnant you think everything is a symptom, especially when the Internet tells you that every way you are feeling could be a sign of pregnancy.   I had a small line of blood one day, it didn’t exactly look like what Google image tells me that implantation bleeding would look like (yes, I looked up pictures).  What I wrote in my journal is: “Slightly nauseous, not overbearing but very subtle gaggy.  Also feeling a little cramping, different feeling than the usual period, more “pulling” feeling if that makes sense at all.  I guess it does make sense though because Google tells me that right now that “the ball of cells that will become your baby is burrowing into your uterine lining.””   So those were my “possibly pregnant” symptoms.   

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So now that you guys know my full cycle and dates  (we’re friends here so it’s cool with me) we can talk about what’s happening.

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Me and Baby Girl (5 weeks old) voting. It didn’t go as planned but I can tell her that she was with me when I voted for the first woman on the Presidential ballot in history.

 

First 20 Weeks Pregnancy Symptoms
So here’s where the post might become a little boring because I haven’t really had any symptoms.  It got to the point midway through where I got scared that I wasn’t feeling anything.  A ultrasound made my worries go away that everything was in fact ok and it was totally normal that I wasn’t having any symptoms.  I got really lucky and didn’t have morning sickness at all, I didn’t throw up (still haven’t) once while being pregnant.  I didn’t have any food aversions or smells that made me gag.  Again, I was fortunate because I know so many ladies go through this and it sounds horrible.

One of the earliest symptoms I experienced was a sudden feeling of being out of breath quickly.  This started at around Week 9.   My walks around the city would quickly change my breathing and cause me to walk slower.    I wasn’t huffing or puffing but I could definitely feel a change in how I was breathing.   Also at night the hot water in the shower caused a change in my breath and caused me to get tired pretty quickly.  There were a few nights where I got out of the shower, sat on the toilet for a few minutes to gain energy back and then request (nicely) that Matthew come blow dry my hair for me.

I had a few mood swings, mostly they came when I was hungry which quickly lead to grumpiness (like the Snickers commercial).  I had one not so proud episode of throwing a deli sandwich at Matthew in the car Upstate when he said something to me that I didn’t like.  After throwing the sandwich, I cried dramatically for about 30 minutes while rolling down my window during freezing temperatures while we drove back to NYC.   About an hour later Matthew stopped and bought me a grilled cheese sandwich and french fries and I stopped crying and started talking again.   It was one of those moments where I am not extremely proud of it, but it’s extremely memorable in what happens when a woman is hormonal and hungry.

I want to give a shout out to prenatal yoga, I’ve been going 2-3 times a week since Week 14.  It’s really made me feel good, has helped my flexibility and just gives me time to connect to baby while hearing about what other expecting Moms are going through.  I would highly recommend prenatal yoga if you’re expecting.  NYC ladies, here’s where I go.
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Movement
I started to feel the baby around Week 18/Week 19.  It first started with the littlest kicks.  When it first started happening I would grab Matthew and say “I think that’s a kick!”.  It was pretty amazing to finally be able to feel her move.  As a first time Mom I think I was on the earlier side of feeling her move but without symptoms it made me feel a lot better knowing I could finally feel her and know she was ok.

I guess I wasn’t completely lucky so far because at around Week 18 I started to get Braxton Hicks contractions.  Many women don’t get these until their 3rd trimester but I got them early.  I got the first one when I woke up one morning and my stomach turned into a rock hard ball for about a minute.  I had no idea what was happening and thought maybe it was the baby.  My Doctor confirmed it was Braxon Hicks and that it was totally ok that I was getting them early on – in fact it was good because my body was just getting ready for delivery.   I get one about 1-3 times a day.   It’s also fun to grab your partner’s hand and place it on your belly during a Braxton Hick contraction so you can watch their reaction when they feel how hard it is.

Feed Me
I was definitely more hungry in the first 20 weeks.   My childhood love of Chef Boyardee Beef Ravioli came back and I seriously have it at least 5 times a week for lunch (I buy it in bulk!).   What’s a girl got to do to get a Chef Boyardee sponsorship? Around Week 12 I was really into grilled cheese sandwiches with pickles, preferably made for me at midnight while in bed.   I’ve always loved grilled peanut butter and pickles sandwiches but I craved it more during this time.   I found myself wanting Apples and applesauce more often – especially for breakfast.  I am not a big breakfast eater so I’ve been relying on applesauce to get something in my belly when I don’t really want to eat.  I also want to eat donuts every single day but try to limit myself to 1-2 a week (it’s a cruel world). 

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Body
In the first 20 weeks I gained 7.8 pounds.   My scale automatically uploads my weight into a chart so here you go – you should ignore the big jumps because those are when I weigh my cats (lol) under my account.
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And in pictures… I know the last picture is past Week 20 but it’s all I have.  I started with wanting to document every week but I quickly got over that. 
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I haven’t noticed any significant body changes except that my belly is getting bigger, as well as my boobs.  I guess those are significant though, eh?    I find pants annoying to wear, even leggings, so I started to wear them under my belly instead of over it.  I want to try to make it as long as possible without having to buy “maternity” anything (even though I did buy a BellaBand so I could keep wearing jeans occasionally).  Weirdly enough I’m probably the most confident I’ve been with my body in a really long time.  There’s something about a growing belly that has me wanting to wear more form fitting dresses to show off my girl.  

Acne sucks.  I’ve had real ups and downs with acne in my life but throw in hormones, pregnancy and basically no acne products to safely use and you have a mess on your hands.  In the beginning I broke out pretty badly, and I wasn’t feeling so great about myself, but I finally found a routine that works and my skin is clearing up (knock on wood).   I’m going to do a whole post on this eventually, just give me some time because it’s a emotional subject.
 

Doctor Appointments
Week 9 – This is the earliest my Doctor will see patients to confirm pregnancy.  We confirmed that yes, we are pregnant! We got to see the baby in a ultrasound.  I also got some very pricey blood tests done for a family prep screen.  (PIC OF ULTRASOUND)
Week 13 – Got ultrasound and NT scan (nuchal translucency) done. Also got a quick blood test. (PIC OF ULTRASOUND)
Week 14 – General Visit with Doctor.  Doctor sees me very 4 weeks for now.  She went all over all test results with us (everything was ok!).  She also let us listen to it’s heartbeat.
Week 18 – General Visit with Doctor.  More blood tests.  Got to listen to it’s heartbeat again.
Week 19 – Anatomy Ultrasound… it’s a girl! (PIC OF ULTRASOUND
I also found out during this time that I currently have Placenta Previa, this is when where the placenta lies low in the uterus and partially or completely covers the cervix.  Right now I’m partially covering the cervix.   Pressure on the placenta can cause internal bleeding  so I’m on a few restrictions – watching what I lift and no sexual activity for 10 weeks.  Although I freaked out a bit when they told me about this (and even more when the Doctor then called me at home to discuss more) because they said if the placenta does not move I will need a C-Section, I have calmed down a bit after talking to some other Moms online and in yoga class.  None the less,  I’m following the doctors orders because when they mention words like “internal bleeding” and “possibly fatal” you should probably listen.  I go back at Week 29 for a followup ultrasound to see if the placenta has moved and then to discuss where this will leave us in terms of delivery.  Fingers crossed.  
Week 20 – Followup with Maternal Fetal Specialist from a year ago, was kind of a waste of time.  Specialist didn’t really know why Doctor sent me.  I didn’t either.  

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Eventually I will do a “How much does it cost?” to have a baby post and list my appointment visit fees because the price of American healthcare is insane.

Apartment Living / Where’s the Baby Going to Live?
Ok so we’re having a baby but where’s it going to sleep? Where’s it going to live?  Where am I going to store it’s beautiful printed onesies and colorful socks at?  Where the heck is a stroller going to go? These are all questions we asked ourselves.  We live in a loft space where over the years we turned into sections.   We tore down a storage closet/room and moved my desk/shooting area out and completely made one side of our apartment a complete dusty mess while we build the baby a nursery.  Matthew is in heaven – he loves construction and building.   I’m excited for the nursery but I’m kinda over living with dusty floors and not being able to easily shoot pictures for recipes.  Good news – it’s almost done!  

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How’s Dad Doing
I asked Matthew how the first 20 weeks were for him.  “Every day was a mystery, expectations were high because this was all brand new.  We started planning large term changes in the apartment.  I was excited to start construction.  Pamela was less excited to start the mess.  I felt excited, I started to think about all the things I could do with this bugger.”  Thanks Matthew.

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Well that’s it for now… Stay tuned for Week 20-30 in a few weeks!  

 

10 Comments

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  • First off, Pamela – CONGRATSSSS!!! I gotta apologize as I missed your announcement post – am so thrilled for y’all – and wow – no morning sickness is the best – my morning sickness became afternoon and evening sickness as well – enjoy your journey, lady, looking forward to reading more!

  • It such a great news to hear that you’ll have a baby soon! A great blessing indeed. The struggles and probably pains that you feel right now is just going to be temporary. Once the little angel comes out, you’ll just realize that everything is really worth it.
    Keep yourself healthy (like most of the time) Pamela! Remember, it’s not just about you anymore since the little angel needs to have good pampering from the inside.

    Oh, how about a baby shower? (Hope it’s not too late to do that here in your blog) Hahahaha

  • Wow, congratulations Pamela – such an exciting time for you and your husband!! Having a baby and being a mom is one of the most special experiences as a woman. Your life will be forever changed (busy but all for the better). Wishing you a healthy, smooth pregnancy and look forward to seeing pictures of your cutie pie when your little one comes.

  • The first is always the most exciting.. everything is so new.
    Enjoy it.. other pregnancy’s aren’t the same.
    And a baby takes up like zero space.. it’s all the stuff that comes with it that takes up all the space.
    Many congrats.

  • Definitely share the cost of having a baby. I don’t think many people realize how much prenatal care costs and how obnoxious it really is.

    During my first pregnancy (with a girl), I lost my mind because I rolled over in bed to get a tissue and pulled the covers off my husband who complained about it. I needed a tissue and I was pregnant and sick…couldn’t he chill out for 3 seconds? I didn’t talk to him for most of the day. So you’re definitely not alone in your mood swings.

  • I have a 6 month old girl 🙂 She refuses to sleep in a normal bed because she startles in her sleep and it wakes her up. she sleeps in a baby swing in our room. her doctor is fine with that he has a baby too and had to do that. Also a change table as close as possible to a sink is awesome because washing your hands while and after changing a poopy diaper while you’re by yourself is really nice. And you can’t leave the baby out of arms reach on a change table. if you’re going to breast feed or want to try, make sure you go to a class and/or try to visit a la leche league support meeting in your area. Breastfeeding isn’t supposed to be painful but I didn’t know that and didn’t know what I was doing and it was painful. You pretty much have to teach baby how to nurse and its hard to do if you don’t know yourself. Also nursing pillows – I didn’t get one but they seem very nice. Hope this is helpful for you or anyone reading this.

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