Weeks 1 and 2
Although most pregnancy logs start at week four, my pregnancy really did start at week one. As my sister likes to say, I’ve basically just had a year and a half long pregnancy already if you count all of the months I’ve spent in fertility treatment! I’m incredibly lucky to have had extra Day 5 embryos from the IVF round I did in February, so I did not have to go through the entire IVF process again .
These two weeks were the easiest. I was put on estrogen tablets twice a day with an increasing dose as the days went by. Because I had a miscarriage, I had also seen a miscarriage specialist who added a ton of new medications to my regimen including a blood thinner, baby aspirin, and a steroid. In an IVF cycle, you are being very closely monitored and are likely at the doctor’s office almost every other day. In a frozen cycle you only go once on Day 1 and then again on Day 14 to see if you are ready for the embryo to be transferred! The two weeks were actually a pretty nice break from seeing doctors.
BABY: is now the size of a chia seed!
Week 3 is when most people start thinking about testing early. Here is everything you need to know. It takes the embryo 5 – 10 days to implant in the uterus and it is physically impossible to generate a positive pregnancy test before then. Once the embryo implants, your body starts producing HCG immediately (which is the hormone detected on a pregnancy test.) However, it takes about two days for that HCG to metabolize through your kidneys and show in your urine. SO, if you do the math, there is absolutely no reason to test before. You’ll just be wasting your money on pregnancy tests… and BTW, they are so expensive!! If anyone is actively trying, and likely blowing through lots of tests, I recommend buying these online. They are one of the most accurate at at detecting the lowest levels of HCG, and for some reason, if you buy them online they are half the price as in store. Plus, you don’t have to deal with the awkwardness of checking out with a dozen pregnancy tests to the 16 year-old part-time dude at the Duane Reade register.
BABY: is now the size of a poppyseed!
The day of the blood test, I actually woke up feeling calm and excited, but it wasn’t long before anxiety set in and I remembered that I still had a relatively high risk of miscarriage until we see a heartbeat at the six-week mark. With respect to early pregnancy symptoms – I didn’t really have many. Maybe some mild cramping when I thought hard about it and really focused. I’m also someone who has been hyper-aware of everything going on with my body from all of the fertility treatment. Everyone says this, but it is true, no two pregnancies are the same, so do not feel discouraged if you don’t have any very early symptoms!
I actually can’t even remember why, but I also started a gluten free diet this week. I read somewhere that it helps keep inflammation down and once my doctor confirmed I was (rationally or irrationally) sold.
SYMPTOMS: (basically) NONE… besides anxiety…
Weeks 5 – 6
BABY: is now the size of a sweet pea!
I was absolutely psycho these weeks because this is when my last miscarriage happened. I was on the phone with my miscarriage specialist almost every day and we were monitoring my bloods every other day. For the record, this is not recommended!
This week, I added in Intra-lipids therapy – aka an I.V. filled with soy, eggs (and a ton of calories) that allegedly helps counter your natural killer cells. This is a very controversial, and pretty costly procedure. In my mind, my doctor recommended it and I wanted to try absolutely everything I could to prevent my chance of miscarriage. I’ll never know if it was this specific treatment that allowed this pregnancy to progress, but if I deliver a healthy baby, it will be worth it.
Hearing the heartbeat at week six was surreal. I’m pretty sure Jason and I won’t believe the baby is real until we meet him or her in person, so neither of us cried. I think the doctor’s were confused that we were so unemotional!
I had dinner with another couple who we did not know that well. I made Jason get to the restaurant 15 minutes early with me so I could order a “mock”arhita (WHICH I DO NOT RECOMMEND) and go unnoticed.
SYMPTOMS: Started to feel a little weird with food. Was not so into meat or fish. Started to feel tired by 8pm. Concocted a GF waffle recipe since that is all I wanted to eat. Also started dreaming of pizza and was so bummed that I couldn’t have any.
BABY: is now the size of a blueberry!
Well hello morning sickness!!
This steroid I was on potentially minimizes the effects of morning sickness and pregnancy fatigue. If that is the case, then I feel so bad for all the women who experience full blown morning sickness because it definitely sucks! Unlike many friends I spoke to, I actually felt the best right when I woke up in the morning. I had the highest energy, and the lowest nausea. For some reason, about an hour after breakfast, that icky sick feeling set in – almost EVERY. SINGLE. DAY, and didn’t go away until I went to sleep. Sleep was also odd. I swear, I could have slept all day but then had major insomnia at night. Actually, I wrote some of my favorite blog posts during my sleepless nights between 2 – 3am (remember, What is a Hedge Fund?) I feel way to guilty complaining about any of this though…
My advice for any new mamas to be out there – treat yourself to relaxation! In the beginning, I tried pushing myself to make plans with friends and get out. I finally succumbed to the fact that I was beyond exhausted and found way more pleasure sitting on the couch watching movies than I did at a long dinner with friends (sorry friends, I still love you!) It’s only a few bad weeks anyway (apparently…) and once you’re able to tell people in the second trimester (if you are superstitious like me) they’ll understand why you’ve been MIA.
SYMPTOMS: Major food aversions
REMEDIES: Lots of GF crackers, gingerale (tried ginger gum, it didn’t help!), Rice Chex all day every day, GF pasta and eating constantly. If I went more than 2.5 hours between snacks I felt sick! I also felt sick if I ate too much so had to keep the meals pretty small. I believe they call that grazing 🙂
FAVORITE PART OF THE WEEK: Binge watching Seasons 1 – 3 of Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix. I mean… when Izzy cuts the L-VAD wire.. OMG.
Weeks 8 – 9
BABY: is now the size of a cherry!
“Graduated” from the fertility clinic!!! Literally felt like I ran a marathon.
Also had an interview for a new job I was thinking about taking. I had a major anxiety attack when I found out the interview was from 11 – 1pm. First of all, my nausea kicked in at 11am sharp everyday and I had adopted eating habits similar to an 8 year old and was not sure how I’d be able to look at a salad – let alone eat it – in front of someone I was trying to impress. My solution was to down a bag of gf pretzels on the walk over and I stuck a bottle of gingerale in my bag just in case!
SYMPTOMS: All I wanted was a bagel, which I wasn’t eating due to my new gluten free lifestyle. Tried some Gluten Free cookies, they were not good. Settled on spending $30 to Postmate a GF bagel from Sadelle’s (they are seriously amazing.) Also started having a second breakfast at 10am sharp.
BUMPDATE: A little bloating is beginning!
Weeks 10 – 12
BABY: is now the size of a plum!
These weeks were pretty uneventful. I spent a lot of my time counting down to the end of the first trimester. I tried making plans to meet friends to distract myself but any activities past 7pm were just so challenging! I started feeling SO lazy, I wasn’t working out, I wasn’t seeing that many people, and I was also in between jobs. I was still binge watching Grey’s Anatomy episodes and am embarrassed to say what season I got to!
I finally gave in and ate a croissant and breaking my GF diet, which immediately replaced breakfast number 2 every subsequent day.
SYMPTOMS: Still had morning sickness and felt very ready for the exhaustion to subside. Suddenly also started feeling itchy — everywhere. My legs, my sides, under my arms (!?) why.
BUMPDATE: My clothes still fit fine but things are starting to feel tight! Not ready for those maternity pants just yet but am very much enjoying my stretchy Rag and Bone Simone pants