Pregnant & Posting: 9 weeks

I think I feel more pregnant this week. It's amazing the impact that something the size of a grape can have on a person's body & life.

My not-morning-sickness has kicked itself up a notch. For the most part, I feel fine until early afternoon and then start to get really nauseated. This feeling often continues through dinner, making trying to find something I can eat a real chore. With my last pregnancy, I had nausea pretty much all day but it was less severe than what I find myself facing this time. And then there are the random scents that set off the nausea (and occasional vomiting) at other times. That's always a (not) fun surprise because I often can't predict which smells will be a problem.

I'm still tired, though I'm less tired than I was with my last pregnancy. Some days I can actually manage without a nap. (During my previous pregnancy, I could not make it through a day without a 2 hour nap in the afternoon.) This time though, I realize that when I start to get tired, I also get more anxious and my nausea will increase. I've had more anxiety with this pregnancy than I would have expected. I tend to be a worrier in general and have dealt with some anxiety in the past. However, since I conceived I've been far more anxious about this pregnancy. I often find myself thinking that there is something wrong with me and the thoughts are more common when I'm tired. Studies indicate that anxiety can be a common thing for pregnant people. Pregnancy and/or parenting have a big effect and bring added stress to people's lives and the hormonal and physical changes can alter things too. This is something I'll be talking to my care provider about during my next appointment. I'm also considering prenatal massage, as I have read that it has been shown to be helpful in reducing anxiety. (As a note, for anyone considering massage during pregnancy, it is important to see bodywork practitioners who are trained and certified to work with women during pregnancy.)

Like many people who have some kind of ongoing health issue, I've found that pregnancy aggravates things that are already underlying. In my case, the result is fairly mild. I have eczema (a skin condition where I get dry, itchy patches). I've had it since I was very young and, in my case, it tends to be aggravated by major hormonal changes (puberty was a nightmare). It generally has a minimal impact on me now unless something else triggers an outbreak. However, pregnancy for me seems to be a key activator. I have to moisturize myself constantly in an attempt to prevent any problematic areas (which would then require treatment with prescription medications to control them).

Beyond that, it is still not obvious that I am pregnant unless I've told you. My clothes might be fitting a smidgen tighter, but I don't "look pregnant." With my first pregnancy, I wore all of my regular clothes until I was probably 3-4 months along. At that point, my pants were becoming uncomfortable (even though I still didn't look very pregnant at that point) and so I switched to a maternity pant. Anecdotally, I've heard from many other women that the change to maternity pants happens sooner in subsequent pregnancies that it does in the first. I'm not sure if this is due to abdominal muscles that are familiar with the stretching necessary for a pregnancy or if you just realize how darn comfortable those elastic waist pants are and want to start wearing them sooner. (Yes, I realize that pants with an elastic waist are not fashionable in general, but they might some of the most comfortable things in the world. Besides, they make plenty of fashionable maternity pants and skirts these days where you would not even realize they have elastic unless you saw it or somebody told you.) I don't know how long I'll stay in my regular pants, but they fit for now.

My partner and I told our families about our upcoming addition this week. Outside of our family and a few friends, nobody knows (except for all of you, of course). It's not obvious just from looking at me and I haven't felt the need to out myself to the world just yet. It is a personal decision about when to share the news with the world. Many pregnant people choose to wait until after they've reached 12 weeks (when the likelihood of miscarriage decreases). Others may wish to share the news right away. I'm not sure when I'll start telling people, but eventually it will feel right and I'll let the cat out of the bag!