Mighty Mommy has delivered seven babies and will soon be a grandmother. Here are ten pressing questions on the minds of today's pregnant women that they scramble to have answered. This episode covers five questions concerning the first trimester. In Part Two, we tackle five more questions related to the final stages of pregnancy.
I love surprises! That wasn’t always the case though, because back in my twenties and thirties I was a real planner and felt the need to be in total control of where my future was going.
Coincidentally (or not) it was in my late twenties that I struggled with infertility for over five years. Let’s just say that this pivotal time in my life afforded me the opportunity to find out, in the not-so-easiest of ways, that planning and scripting my life would not necessarily turn out the way I had intended.
My original plan after marriage was to spend a couple of years building my career, traveling, and creating our dream home. Then, we’d begin a family—probably three kids—and the rest would be history.
Well, that sure didn’t happen! Five years after trying to start a family, we finally became the blessed parents of a beautiful baby girl through the amazing gift of adoption. During that time without kids, we enhanced our careers, traveled quite frequently, and bought our dream home. I also spent that time obsessed with becoming pregnant and didn’t enjoy my existing circumstances as much as I should’ve because I longed so much for a baby.
That was the start of when I began to embrace life’s surprises! Shortly after our adoption I gave birth to seven more children, we moved from our dream house to my former childhood home so we could be closer to our families, I stepped away from my career, and after 25 years of a mostly good marriage, became divorced.
Because I was now getting good at going with life’s flow and not staying attached to any outcome I thought I had to have, I was able to truly live in the moment and appreciate what was happening in the “now”—not the past or future.
So, getting back to how I now love surprises, I was given quite an amazing surprise this past year for my birthday. My daughter and her husband announced they were expecting their first baby—my first grandchild—on Christmas Eve of this year! I was not only pleasantly surprised but so excited I could think of nothing else for weeks after the announcement!
My daughter was super thrilled as well, but she was full of questions that she needed answers to and a tiny bit embarrassed to ask her doctor, because she didn’t want to seem like she was a pesty patient.
Thankfully, she felt comfortable asking me, veteran mom of seven trips to the delivery room, and I was only too happy to answer them for her.
Pregnancy is one of the most miraculous times in a persons’s life. Every pregnancy is different (something I’m absolutely qualified to state!), as are a woman’s labor and delivery experiences.
Here are five questions my daughter, now eight months pregnant, and I have discussed and are happy to share with other expectant moms who have a lot of unanswered thoughts on their mind. I’ve combined Mighty Mommy experience and professional expertise in the responses. We will cover the following five questions in this episode, which mostly affect the first trimester.
- What Early Pregnancy Symptoms Are a Concern?
- Prenatal Vitamins: What if I Forget to Take Them?
- Pregnancy Emotions: Pre, Post-Partum Blues—Are They For Real?
- Pregnancy Digestion and Gas: What the Heck?
- What’s Up With These Constant Leg Cramps at Night?
Next week's episode will focus on the urgent questions moms-to-be have regarding the later stages of pregnancy, like the final trimester and labor/delivery.
Let's jump in.
1. What Early Pregnancy Symptoms Are a Concern?
The early stages of pregnancy are very surreal. You’ve seen the positive result on your home pregnancy test, possibly had it validated at your doctor/midwife’s laboratory, but it’s still so very new, you’re not quite sure what to expect next in these very early weeks.
Though your belly has not started blossoming, there are many other symptoms starting to take place, most of which are not a concern. Please note, however, that you should always check with your healthcare provider for any medical concerns. Here are common symptoms that might cause concern—but don't have to.
- Spotting (minor bleeding) and cramping of the uterus. This is very common in early pregnancy, and in fact, happened to me with all of my pregnancies. WebMD explains it perfectly, “After conception, the fertilized egg attaches itself to the wall of the uterus. This can cause one of the earliest signs of pregnancy—spotting and, sometimes, cramping. That's called implantation bleeding. It occurs anywhere from six to 12 days after the egg is fertilized.”
- Tender Breasts. Plain and simple—your boobs are most likely going to be very sore and sensitive as they prepare for their biggest job ever—feeding your newborn.
- Change in Color of Your Vagina. This is not one of those topics most women discuss—the color of their private parts. Why would you even need to know this? Not to worry—a blue vagina during pregnancy is a healthy vagina! “Known as Chadwick’s sign, it’s caused by increased blood flow down below. Unless you’re literally looking for it, you may not even know that it’s happened since it doesn’t cause any discomfort. Regardless, the blue or purple hue should disappear shortly after you give birth.”
- Sharp Pain in Abdomen. I remember how scary and uncomfortable this pain was, and my daughter expressed how much she was concerned about it. Many times, this pain is referred to as Round Ligament Pain. This ligament supports the uterus and stretches during pregnancy. According to AmericanPregancy.org, “any movement including going from a sitting to standing position quickly, and even laughing, or coughing that stretches these ligaments quickly can cause a woman to experience pain.” Thankfully, this pain should only last for a few seconds.
2. Prenatal Vitamins: What if I Forget to Take Them?
One of the first regimens in your newly pregnant life will be to start taking prenatal vitamins. These important supplements are not absolutely essential for your health, but they can be a big asset for it. They are formulated especially for pregnant mothers, with high levels of essential nutrients such as folic acid, which can help prevent birth defects and complications. I was always a firm believer in taking prenatal vitamins, even though they really caused me an upset stomach during the first trimester. We’re all human, so don’t be surprised if you forget to take your prenatal vitamins from time to time. If that happens, don’t sweat it.