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Things I didn’t know about Pregnancy (1st trimester)

Updated: May 1, 2023

Time has already flown by so quickly. At the point of writing this, I’m in my 2nd trimester just shy of 21 weeks, already at the halfway mark! If you saw my first post about my pregnancy, I was mostly sharing about my feelings upon first finding out that I was pregnant. This post would be a bit more about sharing some things which I didn’t know about pregnancy!

Pregnancy has been….more challenging that I thought it would be, to be honest. I was always excited to be a mother. I guess I never thought much about the process though, HAHA. After the first wave of excitement and joy of finding out that we were expecting, I was struck by the debilitating exhaustion of the 1st trimester. I’m so thankful for the circuit breaker as a result of Covid-19, which gave me the best excuse to stay at home, and remain horizontal for most of the day, while my body spent the first few months growing baby’s placenta.

While many people focus on morning sickness as a pregnancy symptom of the 1st trimester, that really isn’t just it. Also, every woman is different, and every pregnancy is different. Some symptoms were entirely new to me, and I decided perhaps i’ll share what I went through, so that perhaps you could relate to it when it’s your turn.

Symptoms I didn’t know about pregnancy:

Morning Sickness

Does not necessarily mean vomiting. And it doesn’t mean that if you don’t vomit, it’s all flowers and butterflies either. I didn’t vomit at all during my entire 1st trimester, but what I experienced was constant nausea that worsened throughout the day, peaking in the evening around dinnertime. Morning sickness for me was a total misnomer, being constantly uncomfortable during the day, and not being able to stomach any food due to the discomfort in my tummy.

Gas

Normal people burp and fart. When you’re pregnant, it increases in intensity and frequency. It’s pretty gross, I know. You probably might not want to read this, but it’s worth knowing that it happens A LOT during pregnancy. Because food stays longer in the digestive tract when pregnant, this produces gas. And you really do need to get it out! For me, burping was hugely repulsive when the taste of my food emerged hours later, causing me to err toward the side of caution, opting for “safe food” that tasted as bland as possible (and nope, that didn’t even include porridge). Relatively, coming out through the rear end was typically a more palatable (albeit disgusting) way of getting rid of the gas. When the gas didn’t, or couldn’t, emerge, I had one of the worst experiences of bloating and twisting in my intestines, which sadly I don’t have a remedy for.

Sensitivity to smells

When my mom told me that she hated garlic during her pregnancy, I couldn’t quite imagine how that would feel (because she’s a huge garlic-lover, and so am I). In my pregnancy, one of the first symptoms that hit me was my acute sense of smell. I felt like a dog, literally, being able to smell scents from a mile away, and boy, they were not pleasant at all. From garlic in all forms (fried, raw, hidden in the depths of food – unfortunately Asian food uses A LOT of it), to coffee and even hand soap, I detested smells with a vengeance. Even till now, I’m still really sensitive to most of these smells and I can’t quite tolerate most food. Which brings me to the next point.

Symptoms don’t necessarily go away after the 1st trimester

For most lucky mamas, they do. Unfortunately for me, that has yet to be the case. To be honest, I’ve kind of forgotten how it’s like to feel normal, to enjoy eating garlic chips or garlic oil as I used to. While my nausea has pretty much left me (thank God!!!), but I wonder if my stomach will ever feel normal again. I get really bloated, really easily these days. Which means that meals are often limited to “snacks”. Anything too oily, too flavourful or too filling gives me awful indigestion and leaves me regretting hours later when the taste of food makes a reappearance in my burp as mentioned above.

Ptyalism

Another symptom that I never knew of, and has not quite gone away fully yet is excessive saliva production – ptyalism. Wow, there’s such a thing? Typically linked to morning sickness, it was a rather annoying symptom at best, and downright repulsive at worst, especially when I didn’t want anything in my mouth or digestive tract. I do feel that citrus-flavoured water does help to minimise the discomfort of that though.

Dysgeusia

A related symptom was Dysgeusia – this strange taste that I had in my mouth whenever I had a proper meal. Somehow a mostly carb-y diet didn’t really trigger this much, but whenever I had a proper savoury meal with protein and vegetables, I’m left with this odd taste in my mouth once I stop eating. It manifests differently in everyone apparently – while I don’t quite feel like it’s sour/metallic like what’s described when I Googled, but mine is more like a feeling like there’s a layer of something on my tongue, which is rather unpleasant as well.

Anyway….moving on!

One of the best things now that I’m my 2nd trimester is that my energy levels are back. From going to bed at 9pm and spending the next 12hours in bed, plus an afternoon nap in the 1st trimester, I’m back to my active self in the last few weeks and I’m really enjoying it! Also getting back into teaching physical classes, and I’m loving connecting with people once more, especially fellow mummies (new & to-be!). If you’d like to do a Pilates class with me in my mini home studio, do drop me a mail, I’d love to hear from you!

More about 2nd trimester as it goes along! If you have any requests/questions about pregnancy (I’m a first time mummy here, so I share purely based on my own experience only!), feel free to leave a comment below. Catch you soon!

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