Oh, and allow me to introduce you to your sciatic nerve. It is, quite literally, a pain in your ass. And a pain down the back of your legs. Trust me, you’ll know it when you feel it. Some women are prone to TERRIBLE sciatic pain throughout their pregnancies, which is caused by your expanding uterus putting pressure on the nerve. Some women only notice it occasionally, or only during certain times in pregnancy. (I had it from about week 18 on, but some women get it right away.) There’s not a whole heap you can do about it, other than lie down on the opposite side of the pain if it comes at night. Keeping your legs uncrossed and your feet supported during the day can help a little too.
At this point you should definitely have a prenatal visit scheduled, and you may have had it already. (Mine is tomorrow. Whee. Yay. Etc.) Your first prenatal visit will probably consist of a pelvic exam, lots of questions about your family’s health history, a urine test (pregnant ladies are AWFULLY prone to UTIs, on top of everything else) and some blood tests.
The blood tests will check your pregnancy hormone levels, but will also tell your doctor all sorts of other things: blood type, blood count, Rh factor, immunity for rubella and chickenpox, and will be screenings for Hepatitis B, HIV and syphillis. You and your partner’s ethnic backgrounds and family histories may also lead to a recommendation for further genetic screenings (for stuff like sickle-cell, cystic fibrosis and Tay-Sachs).
Needless to say, it’s all just terribly fun. But at this point, “uneventful” is definitely what you want out of your prenatal visits. If you’re about 10 weeks along at your appointment, you’ll probably be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat with the doppler, but no such luck right now. Thank you, come again.
Oh Yeah, THIS:Wow. WOW. I really had forgotten what a cavalcade of misery the first trimester can be. Nauseated but hungry. Tired but unable to sleep. Pudgy but not pregnant-looking. In pain from a variety of complaints and suffering from a weakened immune system but forbidden from taking most over-the-counter remedies. Moody and cranky and irritable and weepy.
Maybe THIS is why I swore Noah was going to be an only child for all those months. Huh.
New This Time Around:The only one who had to suffer my moods and general crankitude (besides me, of course, for oh! how I suffered) last time was Jason. Who, frankly, was a big boy and could deal with it and probably deserved it a little bit. This time, there’s a little two-and-a-half-year-old here who doesn’t understand that Mama’s head hurts or that she really needs some privacy in the potty or that she’s just really, really tired. I’m snapping at him, I’m impatient with him, I’m serving him the same damn inoffensive pizza snacks for every meal because they’re the only cooking smell that doesn’t make me sick. And I feel terrible about it, which is awesome, because I clearly wasn’t feeling terrible enough already.