13 weeks

by Karen on June 4, 2010

If you’ve noticed my absence (or my complaining when I do post), then you already know that the first trimester has been challenging for me. Between constant nausea, extreme fatigue, and a long list of other completely normal but annoying symptoms, I’ll be happy to say goodbye to the first trimester next week.

After watching all three of my sisters go through difficult pregnancies, I should have been prepared for the worst when it comes to symptoms. We have a long history of rough pregnancies. Despite my discomfort, I take comfort in the fact that all of my symptoms are normal, and all of them are indicative of a strong, healthy baby in there.

I think one of the most surprising things for me so far has been how completely pregnancy has overtaken my life. I guess I always imagined it being something in the background, especially for the first few months before you start growing. But nope. Even without the nausea (which has rendered me pretty much useless on some days), I’m surprised at how much this baby has already changed my life.

For starters, my motivation seems to have taken a permanent vacation. I used to work 50 hours a week and maintain this blog, and I still had time for personal projects and housekeeping. These days, I barely have the energy to get up and get dressed, let alone tackle a mile long to do list.

The most surprising pregnancy side effect so far? Spelling. I don’t use spell checkers. I’m the person everyone asks when they need to spell a word. But the pregnancy has somehow overtaken the part of my brain devoted to spelling and left it useless. The other day, I genuinely forgot how to spell the word “tomorrow.” After typing “tommorrow” and “tommorow” I stared at it for five minutes before I finally gave up and asked Tony how to spell it. He looked at me like I was a pod person.

I’m also having trouble with the part of my brain that manages any information that isn’t necessary to my immediate survival. Facts, trivia, and even current events that used to be easy for me to remember have disappeared.

I’m hoping the baby brain is a temporary side effect.

I also wasn’t expecting to start showing this early, but I’ve already got a bump. That runs in my family, too. I think it’s a combination of short torsos and the way we carry babies. I just hope that showing early doesn’t mean I’ll get ridiculously huge.

I’ve almost made it through the first trimester, though, so that’s something to celebrate! I had my second prenatal appointment yesterday, and I heard a strong, healthy heartbeat at 150 bpm. The doctor had no trouble finding it, but she did struggle to count the beats, because my baby won’t stay still. She said that’s another sign that he or she is strong and healthy.

In the beginning I had a strong premonition that I was going to have a boy. Now as the pregnancy goes on, I feel any certainty I had about that fading. At this point, I have no strong feelings one way or the other. So I’m definitely looking forward to finding out sometime in July.

To my pregnant readers, or those of you who’ve been pregnant before, am I crazy to blame my spelling problems on the pregnancy? What kind of crazy things has pregnancy done to your brain?

Previous post:

Next post:

{ 7 comments }

1 M June 4, 2010 at 10:07 am

Congratulations! Sorry that the first trimester has been so tough. Don’t expect though that it will all magically go away the moment you hit the third trimester. It may go away gradually. Crackers, gingerale. I also tried acupuncture which was fabulous for nausea. As for the brain thing, yes, it goes away somewhat. But when you have a child you are inevitably multi-taking, always thinking about baby’s/child’s welfare that the ability to focus just becomes different. Not bad, just different. Good luck..

2 J June 4, 2010 at 10:27 am

I’m still in the thick of the first trimester (10ish weeks) with my first, but luckily feeling pretty good. Mostly, I’ve just been exhausted- I don’t know how you managed to get around Europe!

I have experienced baby brain, too! For a while, I had a hard time coming up with words, and my husband would just laugh at me. Lately, it’s been losing track of dates. It’s annoying, when I’m used to being sharp & having lots of energy! It’s a weird feeling.

3 Kacie June 4, 2010 at 10:33 am

Being pregnant and being a mama does crazy things to your brain! You may forget how to spell your own name if you’re tired enough. Seriously.

You are doing well and I’m glad you’re getting out of that icky first trimester!

4 Marguerite June 4, 2010 at 11:16 am

What amazed me was the difference pregnancy/being a mom had on my emotion levels. I’ve never been an emotional person, in fact before having my daughter I could go months or years without crying. Now a touching song on the radio or a stupid hallmark commercial and I’m bawling like a baby and wondering what the heck is going on.
.-= Marguerite´s last blog ..The 6th Month =-.

5 Anne June 4, 2010 at 5:26 pm

This is my first time reading your blog, but I thought I could contribute to your post here. I’m currently 32 weeks and 5 days and I wish I could say with confidence that it will get easier. But, alas, my first pregnancy I was sick the entire time.

There has been research that there is no such thing as ‘pregnancy brain’ but I honestly believe there is. With each pregnancy it was not expected of me to remember birthdays, certain things that happened the day before or the correct time for an appointment. Even something as simple of creating a list of doctors in our area for my hubby slipped my mind. Im very forgetful, I was with all of my pregnancies (this is the 3rd to date). I never had a real problem with spelling but than again, I don’t stress over my spelling right now, assuming that most people will just attribute it to being a mom of two toddlers plus being pregnant. Im too tired to worry about spelling right now! Haha.

6 Leigh Ann June 7, 2010 at 12:17 pm

I had to giggle as I read your post. Not in a make fun of you sort of way, of course. ;) But in a “I so understand” sort of way. I’m 8 weeks and in my previous life was Ms. Productive. Now, I’m doing good to get out of bed. I love when friends say that they are jealous of all the sleep I get. I just smile, but the truth is…no matter how much sleep we get, we still don’t feel rested! It’s amazing what a small thing inside of us is capable of doing! Hang in there! And thanks for sharing. :)

7 Ang June 7, 2010 at 1:20 pm

I’m laughing at how similar our pregnancy symptoms are! I’m 12 weeks today (BTW, at my appt Friday my baby was also had a heartbeat of 150 bpm). Besides the constant vomiting, fatigue, and total lack of motivation (my house has NEVER looked so bad) I’m also having problems with basic spelling. My first few weeks of pregnancy I was finishing my spring semester of grad school & typing my final papers. The red lines of the Word spell checker appeared under all of these words, and not the big, complicated grad school words but very very basic words. I would stare at them and not be able to figure out why they were wrong, so I feel your pain!

Comments on this entry are closed.