Pregnancy Quirks

My husband learned a lot about pregnancy; his words were "I didn't know it was so complicated."  My response was that it's not necessarily complicated, but every pregnancy is different.  That's why pregnancy books are so long and there's about a jillion pregnancy forums where women try to find out if bad breath is normal in pregnancy.  So to entertain your curiosity, here are some of the points of my own experience of pregnancy.

  • Wanted: starchy foods, bread, American ice cream, salt and vinegar chips (1st trimester), juice
  • Didn't want: chocolate (whole pregnancy), tomatoes (1st trimester), water (1st trimester)

I never sent my husband out in the middle of the night to bring me juice . . . though I could have.  I mostly just felt a lack of appetite in the beginning of the first and third trimesters and increased appetite in the second trimester.  During the first trimester, I wanted bread and ice cream and comfort foods like mashed potatoes, but it wasn't an all-consuming craving, just a "taste" as Czechs would say.  

  • low energy in the first two months (slept nearly 10 hours a night and needed it)
  • slept okay most of the second trimester
  • the third trimester began a cycle of good sleep night, bad sleep night
  • no regular napping
  • pillows required: 3 (two to keep the head high enough, one between the knees)
Morning sickness: none

Motion sicknessnauseous on the commute during first trimester

Super nose:  definitely (but mostly in the first 1/2 of the pregnancy)

First baby movement:  felt at 18 weeks

  • elbows: somewhere in the middle of the pregnancy, I started to find my elbows quite itchy, decreasing my tolerance for fitted 3/4 length tshirts (aka every pregnancy tshirt I bought).  Perhaps I just gained a lot of weight in my elbows?  After the brith, I became convinced that in fact I did gain weight around my elbows.
  • dreams: my usually-vivid dreams became more vivid in pregnancy.  At first (I think thanks to ISIS) I had lots of nightmares -- witnessing beheadings and executions.  Then I had absurd pregnancy and birth dreams (my baby was twice born Korean, once the baby disappeared into an eggshell after birth and then was reborn, another time I had a pocket like a kangaroo and my Korean child felt free to climb right out and was a mini adult like Jesus in Renaissance paintings).  Other dreams I think helped me build confidence about the actual birth and breastfeeding after.
  • baby on the right.  Baby loved to be on the right side.  She chilled on the right side most of the time.  When she did occasionally rotate and kick me on the left, I was left speechless.
  • pregnancy brain: so this phenomenon isn't uncommon.  It became increasingly difficult to maintain focus or to recall the myriad of daily things I wanted to get done while teaching. At one point, it was as if all students' names dropped out of my head and I called almost all female students by a single Indian name (no matter if they were Indian, Czech, or Korean).
  • stuffy nose, like constantly
  • Spiderman! spider veins and leg pain
Generally, the pregnancy was great. I wrote the first version of this post at 37 weeks + 1 day, and I was still mobile and feeling pretty energetic.  While I was still teaching, I would definitely get tuckered out (especially month 2 and month 7), but was able to hold on to the end, and even absurdly taught ceramics the last few weeks (yes, hauling around 10 kilo bags of clay woo-hoo!).

My university psychology professor told us that the lifestyle choices we were making in college would affect our future pregnancies.  That was one statement that kicked me into gear regarding diet and exercise choices.  I can now say, about 8 years later, that I believe it was healthy lifestyle choices that led to a rather comfortable pregnancy and birth.  As evidence, I give a photo 4 days before Ella was born taken on walk through the Opava arboretum.  The day before the birth, my husband and I enjoyed a long leisurely walk in Hukvaldy.


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