There are so many joys in finding out you’re pregnant. After all, you’re growing a human. How amazing is that? Despite all the pleasures in creating your little bundle of joy, there are some not-so-fun symptoms to expect in your first trimester. Pregnancy can do weird things to your body, but take comfort in knowing these weird symptoms are totally normal.
I’m sure you know about this one. The dreaded morning sickness (or all day and all night sickness) For me, this started around week 6 and got better by week 14. Some days I could function through the nausea and others I barely got off the couch. My nausea got significantly worse if I was riding in a car. Even if it was just a short drive, I had to take water, snacks, and a bucket…just in case. I’m happy to say I never had to use the bucket! If you’re struggling with nausea, check out this post about relieving morning sickness.
Cravings can be sweet, savory, or just plain strange, but many pregnant moms experience this. I never did crave the iconic pickles on ice cream, but certainly wanted foods that were unusual for me. At first, I couldn’t live without green olives, fruit snacks, and Cheetos. Not my usual snacks, so I just blamed it on the hormones. Luckily, these eventually evolved into healthier choices, although I still have a hard time resisting sweets if they’re anywhere in the house.
Not only will you really want certain foods, you’ll probably also really hate certain foods. For me, this was cantaloupe. This normally sweet, innocent fruit turned into my biggest nausea trigger. I had to leave the room if it was anywhere within range of me smelling it. Another one of my aversions was the smell of grilling food – an unfortunate aversion during the summer when all the neighbors are grilling. The good news is that these aversions usually go away as your pregnancy progresses.
Sense of Smell
An amplified sense of smell is another interesting symptom of pregnancy. I felt like my dog – getting distracted because I would smell something I normally couldn’t smell. The downside of this symptom is that it can make your queasiness worse. Food aversions are bad enough without the heightened sense of smell to add to your nausea triggers. Common smells that disagree with pregnant women include food products, nature, normally avoided smells, people, pets, and chemicals. That list includes pretty much everything in anyone’s daily life. Sounds hard to avoid all of that, right? While the heightened sense of smell sticks around a little longer, the dislike of those smells tends to go away after the first trimester.
Bloating and Gas
Yep. You can blame the hormones on this one too. An increase in progesterone relaxes muscles throughout your body, including intestinal muscles, which slows down digestion and causes these delightful symptoms.
Another charming symptom of slower digestion is constipation. This can be helped by drinking lots of fluids and eating foods with lots fiber. If you’re still having trouble after adjusting your diet, talk to your doctor and they can recommend safe medications to relieve this discomfort.
Hormone changes cause your kidneys to produce more urine leading to the need to use the bathroom more frequently. I felt like I was always running to the bathroom. It gets super annoying at night when you wake up every couple hours to pee. This symptom, like a few of the others, eases up in the 2nd trimester, but expect it to come back full force as you get closer to delivery.
Do you feel like you always have too much saliva in your mouth? Excess saliva counters the corrosive effects of stomach acid, which can happen even if you aren’t experiencing morning sickness, to protect your mouth, teeth, and throat. So, if you’re waking up with a pillow drenched in drool, you are not alone.
Pregnancy has a tendency to make your dreams more intense. They seem more realistic and you wake up remembering every detail. Reasons for these vivid dreams range from hormones to the simple fact that pregnant moms have a lot on their minds and dreaming allows your brain to “let loose”.
All those hormones can have strong effects on your moods. At the beginning of my pregnancy I cried because the salsa jar lid was too tight for me to get off. I REALLY wanted salsa and not having it was unimaginably devastating. Not long after that I was doing an at-home prenatal workout and the instructor was SO supportive and encouraging that I cried happy tears because I felt so loved and encouraged. It happens. It’s normal. You just have to find the humor in it afterwards.
Pregnancy is such a wonderful thing, but it can be hard. Remember at the end of it you get to hold your beautiful baby and it will all be worth it. Embrace each and every moment of your pregnancy. It will go by faster than you think.
What other weird symptoms have you experienced?