Wednesday, December 19, 2012

More on pregnancy: A few details I missed

In my last post I wrote about some of the lovely symptoms a woman may encounter during the first trimester of pregnancy. I realized a bit later that I missed a few things, mostly the side effects that are just annoying in the beginning but don't go away after the first trimester. Nope- they just get more obnoxious.

The breathing
You may not be aware of this, but pregnancy hormones also affect your lungs, increasing their capacity. What this means is that you might start breathing a bit heavier when you become pregnant. Or you may be like me and end up breathing A LOT heavier really early on. Seriously, I'd climb one flight of stairs and I'd be breathing like I'd just run a mile. I wasn't tired, I wasn't out of breath, but boy did I sound like I was. I was walking across campus with a coworker one day when she asked me if I wanted to slow down, "what, why?" I asked.

"Because it sounds like you're dying," she said. Oh.

Of course later on you start having issues breathing because you've got a baby kick-boxing your lungs. But that's for later.

The gas
When you get pregnant your hormones will also affect your digestive system, slowing the whole business down. When this happens you start to accumulate gas, which then needs to come out. Pregnant women start to sound a bit like one-person bands. One day, after burping for the umpteenth time after drinking orange juice I turned to my husband and said, "I burp after drinking orange juice, who does that?"

"My grandfather," he said. Excellent.

Fortunately for everyone around me, my gas tends to come out of my mouth, some aren't so lucky. When we got married, the best man's wife was pregnant and she stayed in our spare bedroom for the night before the ceremony. When we came back from our honeymoon a week later, the stench in that room was still bad enough to make your eyes sting. True story.

The peeing 
Even if you've never been pregnant, you've probably heard about how preggos frequently need to urinate. You might think that starts later in the pregnancy when the baby gets big enough to start pressing on your bladder, but no, it starts immediately. Sure, in your first trimester you'll probably only need to pee once every two hours instead of the once every half hour/10 minutes/5 minutes that you'll experience later in the pregnancy, but even peeing every two hours gets a little annoying. Given this you might be tempted to drink less, but that is not a good idea. First of all, you'll feel terrible if you don't drink, your body wants that fluid for a reason. In the first trimester you're building the placenta- which is filled with amniotic fluid, and you do not want your amniotic fluid levels to be low. Also, your blood volume doubles and water is pretty necessary to that process too. So drink up ladies, and stock up on toilet paper!

Fortunately you probably won't pee yourself in the first trimester. Nope, that bit of fun is saved for the second and third trimesters. Joy!

Laugh it up now, dude, the mood swings are coming for you...


  1. It's all so much fun isn't it? :) By the end of my pregnancy I knew every bathroom from one end of the county to the other! Love the gas story about your friend. Ha! I also used to love it when people would say things like "when you're pregnant you simply glow" Yeah, a lovely shade of green... Hang in there.

    1. Oh yes, I feel like a cop/criminal whenever I walk into a place now. Only instead of exits I'm canvassing the joint for bathrooms.

  2. I attended a riding conference with a friend who was pregnant at the time. One of the symptoms she was experiencing was a racing heart beat. I was scared to death that I was going to have to call 911 or drive her to the hospital, but she said that her doctor told her that she was fine (and she was) and that the symptom was normal. Have you encountered that one?

    1. Fortunately no, but then again I never really experienced any breast tenderness either- pregnancy treats every woman differently. Though my blood pressure has gone up, it went from "ask me if I'm dead" to just low.

  3. OMG, S. I am still laughing at your gas story! Sorry! HAHAHA! I used to roll my eyes at my mother because every single time we went into a store or restaurant that we weren't familiar with, she would immediately ask staff where the washroom was. Now, I do the same thing..... I have become my mother....YIKES!!!! :-)

    1. It was AWFUL, it took weeks to air out that room. I have no idea how her husband could stand it, he must have lost his sense of smell by that point or something.