The first trimester can be the most exciting time in your life as well as the most nerve-racking. The initial news of your pregnancy comes with great joy, but many women find that their worry doesn’t quite fade away.
For those that have gone through infertility treatments, getting through the first trimester may be a very trying time. The average fertile couple trying to conceive will typically get a positive pregnancy test shortly after a missed period and will be seen by an OB-GYN a few weeks later. For the infertile couple, the first pregnancy test will come just two weeks after conception; it will be followed by at least one more blood pregnancy tests 48 hours later. If the numbers rise correctly, an ultrasound will be scheduled for the patient to determine if there is a fetal pole and yolk sack. As you can imagine, each step in this process creates great anticipation for the couple. Once the initial ultrasound confirms everything is developing correctly another ultrasound may be scheduled a few weeks later. Most infertility patients do not return to their regular OB-GYN until at least 8 weeks in pregnancy.
For us, the initial news of our pregnancy was surprising and exciting. It was hard to believe that I was actually carrying another life, completely surreal. In the very beginning, I didn’t experience too many early symptoms, which often made me question if I indeed was pregnant. A home pregnancy test was a quick reassurance that I was pregnant, and I have to admit is was fun to see those “double lines.” Since I was on a progesterone regime, I was required to insert a compounded progesterone cream twice a day for the first 11 weeks. Even before our positive pregnancy result I did notice a brown-flecked discharge. I did wonder if it was “old blood” from implantation bleeding or irritation from the applicator. (Early on, I did convince myself it was implantation bleeding, this is when I was searching for some sort of sign.) I remember searching endlessly on the Internet for early pregnancy symptoms wondering if I really was experiencing anything super early on, or possibly it was simply wishful thinking. About 5-6 weeks into the pregnancy I began to notice the fatigue and nausea. The worst time of the day for me was evening. I would feel very tired, nauseous, and not much sounded good to eat. I quickly learned that orange juice and fruit seemed to hit the spot. I was so glad that evenings were my worst time; this allowed me to get through the workday. I did have a few bags of Saltines at work to keep on hand, but was never “so sick” that I couldn’t teach a lesson or work with the students. I kept up my weekly acupuncture treatments until week 12. I do wonder if my fatigue and nausea would have been worse if I hadn’t been getting the acupuncture. I have had terrible skin problems and I’d like to think that I typically have great skin. My forehead is constantly broken-out and I resemble a prepubescent teenager. I am hoping my skin begins to look better in the weeks to come.
All in all, my first trimester has been great. Of course there were the evenings, I was so sick of lying on the couch, but I knew it could be worse. I’d gladly take all of the terrible symptoms in order to be pregnant; I’d go through anything! As the 1st trimester is coming to an end, I am feeling better and better each day. I am really looking forward to the renewed energy that I keep hearing about in the second trimester. We are both looking forward to finding out whether we are having a little girl or little boy…that will probably be sometime in mid to late July. Looking forward to what the next 13 weeks hold in store and hoping that a little “baby-bump” pops out soon.