Hello all! I’ve done a LOT of reading since finding out I was pregnant, and I am still surprised at the overwhelming amount of information out there. One thing I constantly looked at, even before I started having consistent symptoms, was what to expect from my body each trimester. So I’ve thought long and hard about different symptoms I had and decided to write about it in the hopes that it may help someone! So let me just get right down to it:
First Trimester symptoms
- Fatigue – I’ve heard and read that this is a common symptom. Fatigue hit me around Week 6 and didn’t leave until I was close to my second trimester. This kind of fatigue isn’t the kind you can push through. I can remember waking up, walking to the restroom (for the umpteenth time), and when I got back to the bedroom I was tired again, like I had just run a marathon. It was hard to slow down, especially being a teacher and starting the school year, but I made myself take it easy and was able to get through it.
- No appetite– I was blessed in that instead of being nauseous, I just lost my appetite. I only got nauseous if I didn’t eat something. So I ate very small meals and snacks throughout the day, and didn’t try to push it.
- Cravings– I never got cravings like you see in the movies, where the woman goes berserk needing a certain kind of food in the middle of the night. I did, however, smell BBQ a lot at work for no reason. I’d be walking around the classroom, teaching even, and would get this crazy whiff of BBQ chicken or BBQ sandwiches. I never HAD to have it, though. I also wanted potatoes the entire first trimester. It was a safe comfort food I could count on, so everywhere I ate I would order mashed potatoes, or French fries, or home fries, etc. I also did NOT want coffee. I’m a coffee drinker and I love the smell of it, the taste of it, the richness and flavors of creamers! So when the thought of coffee absolutely made me shudder in abhorrence, I knew my body was telling me what was good for the baby and what was not!
- Bloating– Even though I didn’t look pregnant, I felt like I did! The bloating was crazy at the beginning. My clothes that I had been able to wear just a week earlier suddenly was snug and felt constricting. One time around 12 weeks I took a picture after I had eaten a big meal. My stomach was sticking out so far that I looked pregnant from the bloating, but I didn’t get a bump until my 2nd
- Emotional – I didn’t have too many situations where I just completely lost it for no reason, but I do remember watching the live Disney version of Cinderella and crying at the part she walks into the ball (even though there were plenty of other sad or sappy parts to cry at). Let me explain that I am not an emotional person. My husband cries way more than I do in movies, and I just like to have a grip on my emotions at all times. There was another time when I had just found out I was pregnant, we were watching a TV show and in the first 10 minutes a couple who were going to get married was attacked and the bride to be was killed. I bawled for about 15 minutes over it.
- Sensitive Breasts– I knew this was coming thanks to my sister and cousins who have had babies in the past 5 years. This started the week before my missed period and didn’t wear off till towards the end of my 2nd trimester, but has come back again. The worst part was being cold, whether I was getting in or out of the shower or my house was a little chilly. Keeping my chest warm and covered and wearing comfortable bras was a life saver!
- Intense Thirst– I didn’t realize how thirsty I would be! I chugged water and only WANTED water, which is not normal for me.
- Frequent restroom trips– My husband and I were about to travel Texas and had a 14 hour drive ahead of us when I took my first pregnancy test that showed a faint positive. Once we began to travel, I had to stop to use the restroom every hour and a half. It was miserable. Everyone I had talked to about pregnancy warned me about the frequent restroom trips in the third trimester, but no one had mentioned that it happens in the first trimester as well.
- Sciatic nerve pain – very early, maybe around 9 weeks I began to experience pain in my back. This, again, I thought wouldn’t come until the second or third trimesters when the baby was bigger. My nurse reassured me that it was normal, and that even though the baby was tiny, my uterus was growing.
- Super sense of smell– I had heard this would happen, and thankfully nothing I ever smelled made me vomit. However, I couldn’t microwave anything, not even leftovers, because it all smelled metallic and made me sick to my stomach. I picked up on faint smells everywhere!
- Indigestion – This one hit me early and has never left. It didn’t turn into acid reflux until my second trimester. I had to go on medicine to be able to handle this.
- Constipation– I also knew this one was coming, which was weird because I have IBS and lean on the looser side of things. So the hormonal changes that caused the constipation was welcome, but it took some regulation to get used to it. I recommend Raisin Bran every day or every other day.
- Gag reflex– Although I never got sick, I did have a terrible time with my gag reflex. It had no rhyme or reason. I’d just be walking in a store, getting ready for bed, or talking to a friend and have the sudden urge to gag. The only thing that helped was keeping Jolly Ranchers or some kind of mint handy.
- Cramps – As my period approaches, I usually get cramps a week before, then I don’t cramp as badly when mother nature hits. This time, I didn’t cramp before my missed period, but boy was I bent over holding my stomach at times because it was so bad. I normally have bad cramps but they can usually be helped with menstrual medications or I can tough it out. There was no toughing these cramps out. I was hurting the worst I’ve ever hurt, to the point my husband started to get concerned. These sharp pains lasted the first 3 or 4 days of my missed period. After that, they tapered off into more of periodical uterine cramps throughout my trimester.
The most important thing to remember is this: Every woman’s body is different. Not every woman experiences the exact same symptoms. My mom didn’t remember uterine cramps early in pregnancy, but all of my cousins who recently have had babies did. I was the only one of my cousins to experience frequent urination in the first trimester. Two of us four cousins gagged for no reason, the other two never had that. I’m the only one who has had indigestion and acid reflux the entire pregnancy. Some were more emotional, and some were more nauseous.
So just remember after reading about all kinds of symptoms, yours may vary across the board. You may have less or you may have more. If you have any concerns over a symptom, please contact your doctor and just ask. I felt so silly calling all the time, but then I realized that this is my first baby and I’d rather be safe than sorry.
Good luck on your first trimester symptoms! And congrats on your new baby! Thanks for reading!