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The First Trimester of My Third Pregnancy

The First Trimester of My Third Pregnancy

As soon as I discovered my pregnancy with my third child, I began documenting my journey. Here I share the first trimester of my third pregnancy.

Week 7

April 5, 2017

Today I am six weeks and six days into my pregnancy with my third child, meaning that I am at the end of week 7 of pregnancy. I must admit that I am a bit surprised. My husband and I had discussed possibly having a third child sometime in the future but not necessarily any time soon. Because I am still breastfeeding my toddler son, my cycles have been a bit wacky. I did not get my first postpartum period until a few days before my son turned two. I am also used to longer cycles, ranging from 32 to 36 days in length. When day 36 rolled around last month, I was unconcerned.

By day 44 on Sunday of this week, however, I was starting to get a little uneasy. I also experienced a moment of nausea. At first I thought that the cheese stick that I had eaten for a bedtime snack was not sitting well. Then I realized that my period was late. I decided to buy a home pregnancy test the next day. I was sure that I was just having a super long anovulatory cycle as a result of extended breastfeeding. But I wanted to make sure for certain.

Positive Pregnancy Test April 3

On Monday, I picked up a pregnancy test at the Dollar Tree. While my daughter was in her swim lessons, I headed to the bathroom to take the test. The result immediately showed up as positive. I was in a bit of a shock, to say the least. On the way home from dinner that night, I stopped by Walmart to pick up another set of tests. As soon as I got home, I took another test. The result again immediately showed up as positive. The next morning, a third test also immediately showed up as positive.

Second Positive Pregnancy Test April 3

Because my husband had a big business meeting on Tuesday, I waited to tell him until that evening after he came home. I was picking up toys when he walked into the living room. I simply said, “Remember how quickly we conceived the other two?” My husband looked at me and replied, “You’re pregnant?” He was excited, which I expected since we had neither been actively trying to get pregnant but not working too hard to avoid a pregnancy either.

Positive Pregnancy Test April 4

With both my other kiddos, I found out much earlier that I was expecting. I must admit that I was surprised when I realized that my third baby was already the size of a blueberry in length. Tiny hands and feet were already emerging from the limb buds that formed from my embryo last week. My baby’s heart is also now beating even more rhythmically at between 100 and 160 beats per minute! Time to get moving on setting up my first prenatal checkup with my midwife.

Week 8

April 11, 2017

Today I am seven weeks and five days into my pregnancy, meaning that I am nearing the end of week 8 of pregnancy. Measuring just over half an inch long, my third baby is now the size of a raspberry in length. My embryo is looking more and more human every day, with fingers and toes developing on the hands and feet that appeared on the limb buds last week. My baby will also soon have a recognizable human face. Although I am not showing yet, my uterus has grown from the size of lime to the size of a grapefruit. My biggest sign of pregnancy so far — as with my other two pregnancies — is nausea.

When I was pregnant with both my daughter and my son, I experienced almost constant queasiness. I should have realized that I was pregnant almost a week before I took the first home pregnancy test. During both of my other pregnancies, I had a terrible time brushing my teeth. I would gag and dry heave whenever I tried to floss, brush, or rinse. I started gagging again two weeks ago, which I chalked up to being ill at the time. My son and I both had some sort of virus that resulted in stuffy noses and plenty of nasal drainage. When I gagged while brushing my teeth, I figured that I was simply choking on the excess mucus.

Then the night before I took my first pregnancy test, I had just finished eating a cheese stick when I started feeling extremely nauseated. At that moment, I realized that I had not had a period in over a month. I decided to pick up a pregnancy test the next day. That first positive result was an ah-ha moment. I was feeling queasy — not because I was getting over a respiratory virus — because I was expecting my third child.

So far I have not thrown up yet, but I do have occasional moments of intense queasiness. I cannot identify any triggers other than brushing my teeth. Sometimes I just feel nauseated. Yesterday, for example, while sitting on my couch with my kiddos after lunch, I started feeling extremely queasy. I asked my daughter to bring me my box of Sour Patch Kids. I discovered during my first pregnancy that eating sour-sweet foods helped relieve the nausea. The same trick worked when I was pregnant with my son and has so far worked this time around too.

Because I lost weight during the first trimesters of both my other pregnancies, I have been making a concerted effort to eat more each day now that I am expecting another baby. I am also still breastfeeding my toddler son, so I am trying to consume enough calories and drink enough fluids each day. Together the pregnancy and breastfeeding mean that I need about 600 extra calories on top of my regular caloric needs each day. As of last week, I weighed approximately 108 pounds. I started out at 120 with my daughter and 112 with my son. I am now trying my best to eat a little more each day so that I do not lose any more weight and might even gain a few pounds before my first prenatal checkup.

Week 9

April 19, 2014

Today I am eight weeks and six days into my pregnancy with my third child, meaning I am at the end of week 9 of pregnancy. Overall I am feeling pretty well considering. My baby is now the size of a grape. Measuring nearly one inch long but weighing no more than a fraction of an ounce, he or she is starting to look more and more human every day. Although I am not really showing yet, I have gained a few pounds and my waist is slightly bigger as my uterus, which is about the size of a large grapefruit, continues to grow inside my abdomen. When I found out that I was pregnant, I weighed only 108 pounds. I am happy to say that I am up to 113 pounds, so my efforts to eat more each day paying off!

My first appointment with a midwife is scheduled for three weeks from now. I originally contacted the same midwife who had assisted with the birth of my first two babies. I loved her and was pleased when she said that she would be my midwife again. However, because of my extremely fast labors (4.5 hours and 2.5 hours), she suggested that I check out a new midwife to the area who attends homebirths. Instead of being an hour away, the new midwife is about 25 minutes away. I agreed to meet with the new midwife to see if she is right for me. I will be twelve weeks and one day along at my first appointment.

As I reach the end of week 9 of pregnancy, I continue to experience some nausea throughout the day. Certain smells are my worst trigger. I am having some problems with dirty diapers and dog poop. I have to turn on a fan and work quickly whenever I change my son. If a dog has an accident in the house, I gag and dry heave horribly while cleaning up the mess. (The dog then gets sent to the crate for a timeout.) Bending over is also a trigger. I have to be careful about bending at the waist. The motion makes me start dry heaving horribly. For example, when I put my laundry away, I have to squat down to put things in lower drawers rather than bending over.

I am also starting to experience some additional pimples on my face. When I am not pregnant, I use face washes and lotions that contain salicylic acid to keep my skin clear. However, because the potential harm of salicylic acid — which is related to aspirin, a chemical known to cause harm to developing baby — has not been well studied, I prefer not to use the acne fighter during pregnancy. As soon as I got that first positive pregnancy test, I put away all my acne facial cleanser and lotions. I am now using plain old gentle facial washes and lotions, so my skin is starting to break out a bit more. Pregnancy hormones can also add to acne woes, but I would rather err on the side of caution. I can deal with pimples for the next seven months.

Week 10

April 26, 2014

Today I am nine weeks and six days into my pregnancy with my third child, meaning I am at the end week 10 of pregnancy. At a little over one inch in length and weighing no more than a quarter of an ounce, my baby is now the size of a kumquat and is officially a fetus (rather than an embryo). I am still not really showing much. However, when I suck my tummy muscles in, I can detect a little bump in my lower abdomen rather than a flat stomach. My scale read 109 pounds today, so I must have been quite bloated or retaining water when I weighed myself last week. I am still trying to eat more each day so that I do not lose any weight like I did with my first two pregnancies.

My biggest complaint remains tummy troubles during pregnancy. I still find myself suffering from occasional queasiness and nausea. I can say that I have not had as much morning sickness this time around as I did with my daughter or my son. I have thrown up twice, both times due to the stench of dog poop. I also started gagging when my kiddos and I visited the big cat room at our local zoo. The smell usually does not bother me, but I found myself covering my nose to keep from gagging. As with my first two pregnancies, my sense of smell has increased, making me sensitive to more odors than usual.

In addition to a bit of nausea and vomiting, I have also suffered from two pretty nasty headaches this week. The pain comes on when I stand up after laying down. Both times the headache hit in the morning. As soon as I got out of bed, pain seared through my head, making me want to throw up. I can to lay back down immediately and rest until the pain passed. Stretching my neck around seems to help a bit too. Mostly I just lay down with my eyes closed and beg my kids not to play too loudly right next to my head.

Finally, I have been feeling much more tired than usual. As with my first two times around, fatigue during pregnancy has been inevitable. Growing a new little person does take a lot of energy, and now I am growing a new life while chasing after two other small children. I look forward to Fridays because my kids and I typically have nothing penciled in on the calendar on Friday. I am also looking forward to this summer. My daughter will be taking a break from many of her activities including Partners in Reading, swim lessons, karate, and tumbling, meaning that my kiddos and I will not have to run around as much.

Also causing some of my fatigue is that I am not sleeping well at night. I often find myself waking up at least once to visit the bathroom because of the more frequent urination associated with pregnancy. I am also having trouble sleeping because of my allergies. When I am not pregnant, I take Flonase daily to combat my nasal allergy symptoms. I prefer not to take the steroid medication while pregnant, instead relying only on Benadryl. Depending on the severity of my symptoms at bedtime, I take either a half or a whole 25 milligram pill at bedtime. While the antihistamine does take the edge off my worst symptoms, I still find my head filling with fluid when I lay down, which makes breathing — and thus sleeping — more difficult. But I have come to expect some serious tiredness during pregnancy, so I am not all that worried — more annoyed, really.

Week 11

May 3, 2017

Today I am ten weeks and six days pregnant, putting me at the end of week 11 of pregnancy. My third baby is now the size of a fig, measuring between an inch and a half and two inches in length from crown to rump. Although many women find that morning sickness begins to ease up as the end of the first trimester nears, my queasiness continues. I have also been experiencing some other symptoms common to the third month of pregnancy.

While my nausea has not been as bad this third time around as with my first and second pregnancies, I still often feel queasy and have trouble finding foods that settle my stomach. My nausea is usually worst around bedtime. If I do not eat something, I feel absolutely horrendous. Finding foods that ease my queasiness is often difficult. Luckily a bowl of cereal with milk or a chocolate pudding seems to do the trick. Once I eat, I usually feel a bit better. The hard part is getting myself to eat. Nothing sounds good, and the thought of most foods makes me feel ill. However, to avoid losing any weight like I did with my first and second pregnancies, I have been making myself eat no matter how little I feel like eating.

Although I am barely showing, I have found that some of my denim bottoms no longer fit. I generally wear elastic-topped leggings, which I find most comfortable for wearing around the house and out and about with my kids. However, on Monday, I decided to wear a denim skirt over my leggings. I must be growing a bit in the middle because I could not comfortable button the top of the skirt. Fortunately my sweater was long enough to hide the fact that my shirt was unbuttoned! I have also been picking up a few new dresses from thrift shops to wear this summer. I prefer airy clothing during the hot months anyway, and dresses work extremely well for me during pregnancy.

My problem with a hypersensitivity to smells also continues. I dread dirty diaper changes because I do not want to throw up on my son. Luckily my daughter is quite willing to help me out. She runs the bag of dirty wipes to the garbage can and then runs the dirty cloth diaper to the diaper pail in the bathroom. She also tries to help me out by showing me how not to breathe while changing a dirty diaper! All in all, my pregnancy is progressing quite nicely. I am quite eager for my first prenatal appointment at the end of next week. I am excited to hear the heartbeat for the first time and finally grasp my mind around the fact that I am actually expecting my third baby.

Week 12

May 10, 2017

Today I am eleven weeks and six days into my pregnancy with my third baby, meaning I am at the end of week 12 of pregnancy. My baby is now the size of a lime, measuring at just over two inches in length from crown to rump and weighing about half an ounce. Although my risk of miscarriage drops considerably at the end of the twelfth week, I am still a little nervous that something bad might happen. However, I am eagerly awaiting my first prenatal appointment on Friday afternoon.

As for symptoms, my nausea and queasiness continues. While on a weekend trip to Madison last Sunday, I actually threw up while brushing my teeth. As with my first two pregnancies, oral care has become a huge trigger for me. I try my best to floss, brush, and rinse, but I am not always successful. Sometimes I am unable to brush for a full two minutes or rinse for a full minute. Strong stinky smells also continue to trigger my nausea and vomiting. Luckily the weather is starting to get warmer again, so I can open the windows of my house to keep any nasty smells aired out.

I have also begun experiencing another annoying symptom of pregnancy: skin problems. Although I am 32 years old, I still get pimples all the time. When not pregnant, I use facial washes and lotions with salicylic acid. I avoid the ingredient during pregnancy, so I have been having more breakouts. This past week I had a huge painful pimple on my cheek. My forehead is also all bumpy with constant breakouts. My face is also a bit redder than usual. I keep applying moisturizer throughout the day, but the redness continues. Due to hormonal changes and extra blood flow, facial redness during pregnancy is not uncommon. If anyone comments on my bright red glow, I could always blame too much time in the sun, especially now that the weather is finally getting warmer!

Speaking of people noticing my third pregnancy, while at the bank the other day with my two children, a woman that I went to school with asked if I was expecting my third. Her question caught me off guard because I did not think that I was showing yet. However, my bitty baby bump was obvious to her, especially since she has known me for years. I have also been very tiny my entire life, so even the slightest bulge in my abdomen is a bit obvious. Once I mentioned the encounter to my husband, he agreed that I was definitely showing already. So much for keeping my third baby a secret for much longer!

Week 13

May 17, 2014

Today I am twelve weeks and six days into my pregnancy with my second child, meaning I am at the end of week 13 of pregnancy. I am at the end of the first trimester, and my baby is now the size of a peach, measuring about three inches in length from crown to rump and weighing just about one ounce. I currently weigh around 111 pounds, which is less than at the same point during my first and second pregnancies, but at least I did not lose any weight this time around. Most excitingly, my family and I attended my first prenatal appointment with our new midwife last Friday!

Although I had initially planned to go back to the same homebirth midwife who attended my previous two pregnancies, she suggested that I contact a new homebirth midwife who lives about thirty minutes from my house. Because of the speed of my first two labors (4.5 hours and 2.5 hours), my original midwife worried that she would not get to my house on time for my third baby. I thus set up an appointment with the new midwife. She is a CNM (certified nurse midwife) who began her nursing career working in the Labor and Delivery unit and who continued on to earn a Master of Science in Nursing in Midwifery in 2004. She has worked in the area since that time and has recently begun attending homebirths. She come highly recommended from my original midwife.

Hearing the heartbeat for the first time is always quite exciting and definitely brings me a sense of relief. At 160ish beats per minute, the baby appears quite healthy for developmental age. Bubbles, as my toddler son has begun calling his new little brother or sister, was also quite active at the appointment. My daughter was also excited to hear the new baby. The midwife even let her help with the fetal Doppler for a few seconds before the baby somersaulted away again.

In terms of pregnancy symptoms during week 13, my nausea is still about the same. I cannot tolerate strong stinky smells. Dirty diaper changes are still a pain. I have to work fast and hold my breath to keep from throwing up on my son. Luckily my daughter is a big helper. She runs the dirty diaper to the bathroom for me. I am also still having trouble brushing, flossing, and rinsing my teeth. Some days are easier than others, but my gag reflex is still ridiculously hyper-sensitive at the moment. All in all, thought, I am feeling pretty good about this pregnancy, especially after hearing the heartbeat for the first time!

References

Hale, Thomas W. 2012. Medications and mothers’ milk, 15th edn. Amarillo, Texas: Hale Publishing.

Image Credits

The First Trimester of My Third Pregnancy © 2017 James and Heather Johnson
Positive Pregnancy Test April 3 © 2017 Heather Johnson
Second Positive Pregnancy Test April 3 © 2017 Heather Johnson
Positive Pregnancy Test April 4 © 2017 Heather Johnson

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