We all know to expect morning sickness, but there are other early pregnancy symptoms no one tells you about. I’m just starting the second trimester and now that I’ve made it through the first three months, there are some things I wish I had known about the first trimester. Sure, we hear about the common symptoms, but there are other things that are mentioned in passing that were a much bigger deal than I ever thought they would be for us pregnant ladies.
And honestly, working fifteen years as a teacher, I have been around a lot of pregnant women. I have heard more labour and delivery stories than I care to remember, and I know that I already knew a lot about pregnancy before I became pregnant. And yet, I was caught by surprise so I thought I would mention these pregnancy symptoms no one tells you about since they may catch others by surprise too. Forewarned is forearmed as they say…though I doubt that really applies to pregnancy as each pregnancy is so different.
The Fatigue is Extreme
I had no idea how exhausting the first trimester would be. I knew of course that I should expect to be more tired, but this wasn’t just tired. This was mind numbing fatigue. All I wanted to do is sleep. In fact, there were days I took two naps plus my full eight plus hours a night. I don’t know whether the fatigue was exaggerated by the fact that I was hospitalized twice during the first trimester, but the fatigue was extreme. This is one of the pregnancy symptoms no one told me about. I am currently on a leave from work, and I have no idea how I could possibly have worked with the fatigue I was experiencing. Like, literally no idea. Especially since teaching requires a lot of moving around and assisting kids with every little thing from tying a shoe to holding a pencil correctly.
The Nose of a Bloodhound
So, we have all heard about pregnancy nose. How your sense of smell becomes more sensitive. Or, you find certain odours particularly unpleasant. I knew a woman once who had a fantastic sense of smell and during her pregnancy she was constantly wrinkling her nose whenever she had to get near the garbage can in her classroom. However, even though we all teased her about it, I had no idea that I would develop the nose of a bloodhound! I don’t have a great sense of smell, but suddenly I was sniffing out the oddest things. Even my husband agreed that I was smelling things that even he didn’t immediately pick up. And with the nose of a bloodhound came nausea. Another pregnancy symptom that no one tells you about, and this is a huge one in my opinion! It’s bad I tell you, very bad.
Delicious Food is Suddenly oh so Gross
Honestly, this was completely unexpected. Your taste buds change. Food you loved, you suddenly meh about. I didn’t get cravings, but for a while all I could tolerate was fruit and potato chips. Everything else was either entirely disgusting or just blah. I completely lost interest in eating—in fact, I wasn’t even that hungry which is strange because “you’re eating for two” but even now, at thirteen weeks, my appetite is skimpy. I’ve had to make changes to my meals to accommodate my pregnancy taste buds. I used to always have oatmeal with peanut butter. Now, oatmeal is disgusting. It’s just clumpy and yucky and tastes like wet sand dust. I want nothing to do with it so instead I am eating a gluten free sourdough bread with peanut butter. Again, an annoying pregnancy symptom no one tells you about. Instead, they are always asking if I have cravings *eye roll.*
Constantly Full Bladder
So, this wasn’t entirely unexpected. We all know babies like to sit right on mama’s bladder, but I had no idea that the frequent need to visit the loo started in the first trimester! I thought it started later in the pregnancy when the baby was bigger, not when it’s still a wee embryo. Yes, it starts even before the baby is a fetus! And it’s darn annoying let me tell you. You feel perfectly normal, it’s hard to even believe you are pregnant because nothing about your body hasn’t changed and you may not even be experiencing pregnancy symptoms yet, but that baby is applying a hell of a lot of pressure on your bladder. Totally unexpected, and yet this is another pregnancy symptom no one tells you about. I don’t know why because this is a big deal. This does tapper off in the second trimester but I expect it’ll start again later in the pregnancy.
Being pregnant hasn’t been an awful experience for me so far. Sure, there were some pregnancy symptoms no one told me about I would have liked to know about, but I have been lucky enough that I can keep food down. And these symptoms, while surprising and frustrating and upsetting to deal with, only lasted a few weeks and then were gone. Thankfully. Though I still have no appetite and food still tastes weird. If it hadn’t been for my high blood ammonia, I would have had a very nice first trimester, but life throws us curveballs and that is just one I had to contend with.
However, I will say that I have heard many women say they love being pregnant and that is something I cannot understand. Even before I became pregnant I thought that was odd. Of course, I am so so happy to be having a baby. It is a dream come true for me, to be a mom. A dream that for many years I had acknowledged might not become a reality, but now it is becoming a reality and I am so excited and happy. But I don’t love being pregnant. My body is changing too fast, there are so many little things that are uncomfortable, and I want to tell you that it is okay to not love being pregnant. Loving the fact that you are pregnant is enough. Enjoy the special moments of being pregnant, like telling friends and family, seeing the baby move on the ultrasound, feeling the baby move (haven’t experienced that yet, the baby is still too small) and any other moments that move you. But you don’t have to love every moment of being pregnant. If you do, great, but you don’t, that’s fine. It’s a natural state, but not one that agrees with every woman, and it’s also hard. So cut yourself some slack if you are not love with being pregnant, because neither am I.
Share your thoughts or pregnancy experience in the comments below! I’d love to hear your feedback.