What can I really say about the second month of pregnancy? I’ll lay it out bare from the get-go. Weeks 5-8 have been the hardest and most challenging time both physically and emotionally. So far, that is! I felt constantly unwell, unproductive and really struggled to get off the couch to do… anything really. From being hit with morning sickness to the anxiety of waiting for our first ultrasound, here’s what happened in month two!
Bumpdate: Weeks 5-8
So if you remember in the last bumpate, I’d just had my first doctor’s appointment and was having a hard time controlling my anxiety. I felt like my heart was racing constantly, even palpitating, and I knew it was triggered by the medical appointments. I found that repeating mantras really helped me to get it under control, like: This is a new pregnancy and a new beginning and today I am pregnant and that is all that matters right now.
48 hours after my first blood test, I went back to get my HCG levels checked again. In early pregnancy, your HCG (the pregnancy hormone) levels are supposed to double every 2-3 days. If they’re low or don’t rise fast enough, it’s not a good sign for the pregnancy. With my last pregnancy (the one I lost to miscarriage), my levels were in the normal range but were on the lower side. So I was pretty anxious about getting these first results.
When I called the doctor to find out the results, I was flooded with relief. Not only were they increasing as they should, but they were SUPER high. As in three times higher than my last pregnancy and high enough for those online HCG calculators to tell me that a had a high chance of multiples. Whoa! Please just let there be one healthy, strong baby in there, I thought!
My doctor had wanted me to go for an early ultrasound to ‘put my mind at ease’ that things were developing as they should. But this is what I’d done last time (I’d gone in at 7 weeks and the baby was only measuring 5 weeks 5 days with no heartbeat yet). Then, they’d told me that all we could do was ‘wait and see’. Obviously, we know how that story ended. This time, the thought of an ultrasound made me sick with worry so I delayed booking a little while longer.
In week 5 I started to feel noticeably more tired and felt the first waves of nausea come on. It wasn’t until week 6 though that it hit me like a truck. Suddenly, I was struggling to keep my eyes open past 9pm. Sometimes I had to crawl into bed even before the sun went down at 8pm. I’ve never felt so exhausted in my life as I felt in weeks 5-8. Everyday tasks now felt like they took a superhuman effort, from working to cooking to packing away the dishes. All I wanted to do was lay around on the couch and watch Netflix. Poor Ben had to do everything around the house! I was so grateful not to have to turn up at a workplace every day. I don’t think I could have done it. To all those pregnant women dragging themselves out of the house each morning in the first trimester: RESPECT .
The nausea well and truly hit from week 6 too. In my last pregnancy, I kept thinking, shouldn’t I feel more pregnant? I didn’t have many symptoms at all. Let me tell you, this pregnancy is a whole different ball game. If I didn’t eat something as soon as I got up in the morning, I’d feel sick all day. Sometimes I even needed to raid the fridge for a midnight snack. If I allowed myself to feel hungry at all, I’d be nauseated all day. Also, I found that I had to eat small meals because big meals made me feel sick. On the bad days, just walking down the street or driving the car jiggled my stomach so much that I felt like I could be sick. But while I felt very queasy in the first trimester, I never actually vomited, which I’m so grateful for!
Ordinarily, feeling sick isn’t such a nice experience but I actually LOVED feeling ill. Am I total weirdo? It was just so reassuring to feel nauseous, like I knew something was happening in there. On the days that I didn’t feel as bad, I’d worry that something had gone wrong. But then the next day I’d be hit with it again and would breathe a big sigh of relief.
While my high HCG levels and the morning sickness comforted me to a certain extent, my anxiety crept back with a vengeance in week 6. It was around this time that our last baby stopped growing and I was so worried the same thing might be happening and that my body might not realise like last time.
Week 7 was quite the challenge because it coincided with a media event in Sydney I’d committed to. I was so apprehensive about going because I was feeling so awful! I knew that it would be a really intense event and I just didn’t know where I’d find the energy. So I tried not to think about it too much and tried to just take each day as it came. Who knew, I might have a good day? But… it turned out that I didn’t. It was so tough. I felt so nauseous all day and I hadn’t been able to eat as regularly as I needed to.
I’d also been feeling claustrophobic around people, like everyone was in my personal space. Pregnancy does such weird things to you. It was especially bad at the Sydney event in which over 300 people attended! Needless to say, I was absolutely wrecked by the end of it. I did make some incredible connections though so I’m definitely glad I went. When we got home, all I could do was rest and lie around (although that doesn’t really sound too different from usual, does it?)!
A new symptom that popped up in week 7 was a sudden urge to pee all the time. Like, constantly. All night long. One night, I had to get up six times. SIX TIMES! The baby isn’t even big enough to be pressing on my bladder so I don’t know what that was all about.
Leading up to week 8, I was a bundle of nerves. Ben and I both were. I’d booked my first ultrasound at exactly 8 weeks when I thought there would be the highest chance of hearing a heartbeat. Even though you can sometimes hear the heartbeat a few weeks earlier, you can’t always, and I just desperately wanted to avoid the ‘could be too early, let’s wait and see’ line. Since we’d never had a positive experience with an ultrasound before, we were pretty superstitious going in too. We even walked a different route to the clinic than we did last time. Totally ridiculous, I know. Like that would influence anything!
To be honest, I was prepared for the worst as I walked into the ultrasound room. I knew there was a possibility that there wouldn’t be a healthy baby in there. But I was strangely calm and even felt quite detached from it all. On the flip side, I was also bracing myself for the possibility of there being more than one in there due to my crazy high hormone levels. I had no idea what to expect.
As soon as the technician put the wand over my belly, there it was. Within seconds we could see the flickering of the heart and I instantly knew everything was okay. All the measurements were done and the baby measured exactly where it was supposed to: 8 weeks exactly. A perfectly-sized little raspberry. And there was only one baby! We asked her to double-check but nope, just a strong single one in there. We were amazed by how much we could see already – the head, the heart and its little arms and legs. All we had seen on ultrasound in the last pregnancy was just a small blob so it was incredible to see how developed this baby was by comparison. The heart rate was strong too: 165 bpm. They say that after you see the heartbeat at 8 weeks, the risk of miscarriage drops to only 2%.
We left the ultrasound on cloud nine, just so happy and relieved that everything looked so good. We’d made it past where we got last time. We could breathe again (for a little while at least).
That’s it for my weeks 5-8 pregnancy update! Keep your eyes peeled for the next bumpdate on month three and read about our genetic testing, a terrifying pregnancy scare and whether or not we find out the gender!
In the meantime, if you have any recommendations for any books, blogs or products you think I’d love, please leave me your recommendations in the comments.
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