Saturday, August 29, 2015

A First Trimester Summary

So much has happened since we found out we were expecting. I know we have awhile to go before baby Jemily is born but it still feels like time has passed so fast - it's hard to imagine that I've reached the end of my first trimester. For awhile, I wondered if we'd ever get to this point! My fear that things wouldn't go well prevented me from blogging throughout the first trimester and now I kind of regret it - I wish I had documented how I was feeling at each stage.

A rather lengthy recap of my first trimester - more for my own record keeping than anything else. Apologies for the boring details!

  • Week 4: The positive pregnancy test feels totally surreal. I called the doctor right away to schedule my first prenatal appointment. It was scheduled for week 9 - I was told that doctors typically won't see expecting moms earlier than that because there's not much to see in the ultrasound when the baby is so tiny. I'm sure the high probability of miscarriage in the early weeks plays a part in the timing as well. While the latter is a bit unsettling, I understand that these are the realities to keep healthcare costs affordable.
  • Week 5: I experienced some spotting a few days in a row. I called the doctor and she ordered two blood tests for me to measure my hCG levels. I had some mother friends give me tips on how to demand an ultrasound at week 5 but I felt like there wasn't any point to doing so. If something was wrong at this point, it's not like an ultrasound could save baby Jemily. 
  • Week 6 - My hCG levels doubled over 48 hours, so my doctor told me not to worry about the spotting. What a relief! Strangely enough, we weren't all that anxious about this. Thank God we were able to remain relatively calm during this time.
  • Week 7 - Still feeling great. Jeff and I started to wonder if I'm really pregnant?
  • Week 8 - I was hit with a nasty bout of food poisoning that finally made me feel pregnant. I spent three days bedridden and eating minimally. I felt tired and bloated all the time and food aversions started kicking in. All the normal foods I used to eat were no longer appetizing.
  • Week 9 - We finally got to see baby Jemily! Baby looked like a little gummy bear in the ultrasound and the heartbeat was a rapid 185 beats per second. The doctor confirmed that everything looked great, much to our relief. I didn't gain any weight but I was rounder and more swollen than usual. 
  • Week 10 - I survived a 12 hour flight to Taiwan! I took advantage of the great food and cheap shopping. I needed to find looser, more comfortable clothes since none of my pants fit anymore. It was fun to revel in the good news of Jemily's impending arrival with family in person. 
  • Week 11 - I got hit with either a nasty bout of food poisoning again or heat exhaustion (or both!) in Taiwan, the day of the big typhoon. Being pregnant was really rough at this point - luckily, I recovered after only a day in bed. My limited time in Taiwan is too precious to waste in sick in bed.
  • Week 12 - We got an ultrasound and the technician predicted with 80% confidence that Jemily is a boy! I had no idea we could find out any indication of gender so early so this was an unexpected surprise. We also got the results back from a battery of blood tests I took in Week 10 (7 vials!) and got the good news that so far the Down's Syndrome and Trisomy 18 risks are very low. Feeling so blessed!
  • Week 13 - This week's doctor's appointment was pretty anticlimactic. We didn't get to see Jemily, we just got to hear his heartbeat, which was 156 heartbeats per second. They confirmed that the gender guess during the week 12 ultrasound is usually pretty accurate. My belly also gets bigger as the day goes on, only to shrink back down in the morning. My post-dinner belly looks ridiculously large compared to how I look when I first wake up! It's kind of fun to have a belly, if only I weren't trying so desperately to hide it at this point, since I'm still in the first trimester.
Our little gummy bear at week 9

TL;DR - I can't believe we've made it this far! We're still in disbelief that this is really happening but it's starting to sink in a bit more with each passing day and week.