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?

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