I spent the first three months of my pregnancy feverishly reading online pregnancy forums, trying to figure out if what I was experiencing as a first-time-preggo was normal or not.
There were things that I of course expected to happen, like nausea and fatigue, but some of the changes were just so damn weird, I was convinced there was something wrong with me.
But nope! Turns out everything I felt was completely on par with common pregnancy woes- they just happen to be less talked about out in the open.
As you go through this post, remember that each person (and each pregnancy!) is different, so these may not ever apply to you- and that’s okay! Pregnancy is a strange time indeed, and we all have our own versions of normal. :]
So, that being said, let’s dive right in to the 8 strange symptoms that had me thinking ‘what in the HECK is going on with me?!’:
1. there was NOTHING recognizable about my dietary needs
I had a plan for my pregnancy. I was going to stick to my 75% paleo diet as much as possible, and I’d simply add in white rice and a couple other starchy (yet gluten-free) items to make sure I was getting enough nutrients.
As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I made about two dozen healthy meals ahead of time, freezing each one so I could easily just defrost and go.
Literally 3 days after my meal prepping extravaganza, I opened the freezer to pick out my lunch, and I realized that all of my favorite foods suddenly seemed DISGUSTING. I nearly puked if I even so much as thought about them!
And unfortunately, it stayed that way for the next two and a half months. I lived off bread, potato chips, vegetarian microwave meals, margherita pizza, cold fruit, and ice water. I was about as far away from paleo, gluten free, or even remotely healthy as I could possibly get, and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.
2. my nipples hurt
Yep. You read that right. Not only did my boobs feel like anvils starting at about week 6, my nipples felt like they’d been rubbed with sandpaper and then put in vices.
You know that feeling when direct sun hits your skin after you’ve been majorly sunburned? It was kinda like that, but they also stung like crazy. And since avoiding clothing wasn’t really an option, I just had to walk around with burning, stinging, painful nips for about a month straight. And don’t even get me started on sudden temperature changes or having the water hit them in the shower! Uuuuuuuuuugh!!
3. bloating like crazy
I had a vision of what I’d look like as I went through pregnancy: I’d start out super fit with my flat tummy, and slowly over time I’d be able to watch this precious baby bump start to protrude just perfectly from my midsection
Lol. Fast forward to real life starting in week 7:
In the morning I had a normal stomach. But no matter what I ate, by the afternoon I felt SO. FRIGGIN. HUGE. Sometimes by the evening, it was even hard to breathe.
I actually had to start wearing maternity jeans pretty much from the get-go. Not because of my ‘perfect angelic bump’, but because of my uncomfortable belly bloat!
4. ohhh the depression!
People often say you can get ‘moody’ or ‘emotional’ during your first trimester. But typically it’s joked about like you just cry during sappy commercials.
Oh, no. Not me.
Hormones were constantly filling my mind with self-doubt, low self-worth, feelings of failure, and not-enoughness.
A few years ago, I went through a very difficult season where I was heavily depressed and suicidal, and the feelings I had during my first trimester were just as intense (minus the suicidal ideations, thank goodness). The difficulty this time around was that none of the tools I depended on did anything to ease the pain.
Basically, I just had to sit it out.
Thankfully though, I knew those feelings weren’t real. I kept reminding myself it was temporary and gave myself grace to just sob and let it all come through. I also had a great support system (including a wonderful and compassionate therapist) to comfort me when things got too overwhelming.
5. exercising didn’t feel good
This one was ROUGH for me.
Working out has always been a non-negotiable in my routine. It lifts my mood, it helps me think clearly, and overall it just adds so much joy to my life. Even when I start the day feeling sluggish, as soon as I start my workout, I immediately feel more perky and energetic.
But during my first trimester, it didn’t provide me any of those wonderful benefits. And sometimes, it even made me feel worse. No matter how much I modified, I’d feel sick, dizzy, and even more exhausted than when I began.
So I took advantage of the few days I felt well enough to work out, and the rest of the time I just waited (im)patiently for the feel-good energy of second trimester to hit so I could get back at it!
6. intense aversion to affection
I’ve talked about this one on my instagram before. This symptom snuck up in a way that felt so scary, because I didn’t know it could be attributed to pregnancy.
In a nutshell, I couldn’t stand my husband. My caring, doting, patient, nerdy, goofy husband… I was convinced we were a bad match and that we shouldn’t have even tried to have a baby together.
I wouldn’t dare let him touch me. I didn’t even want him anywhere near me, and I often thought, ‘what the hell did I ever see in this guy?!’
I snapped at him all the time, rolled my eyes at any attempt he made to joke around with me, and even told him I thought we made a mistake getting married. It was… bad.
After a long discussion, he gently suggested that maybe this was due to pregnancy. So I hit the forums, and sure enough, there were hundreds of women who reported the same thing. Some even separated from their partners throughout their pregnancies because it got so bad! One woman was even paranoid that her husband was stalking her, breaking into her phone to invade her privacy, and was all around convinced he was a bad man. As soon as she delivered her baby: POOF! It was like those feelings never existed.
Once we clarified where this came from, it made it much easier for us both to be more patient with each other. (And thankfully, it got a lot better in my second trimester).
7. i didn’t feel connected to the baby at all
(Ok so this one isn’t technically a symptom, but it’s a valid experience worth sharing–It also may be taboo, but really, when do I care about that?!)
Before pregnancy, I assumed I’d be thinking about the baby alllll the time. Proud, grateful, overwhelmed with obsession. I pictured myself meditating daily with one hand on my belly, celebrating our intrinsic bond.
But in reality? Most of the time, I completely forgot I was expecting! I actually had to occasionally remind myself that ‘oh yeah! There’s another person in here.’
And when people found out I was pregnant, they’d always ask me something to the effect of, ‘Oh my GOODNESS, are you so excited?!’ and I could never give them my honest answer which was ‘Not yet??? I actually just feel like shit most of the time…’
So instead I’d just smile reeeeal big, swallow down my morning sickness vomit, and say ‘oh YES! We are SO overjoyed!’ ;]
(Important side note here: This is not the same as me being ungrateful for my pregnancy! I’ve always known that it is a gift to be able to carry a child into this world, and I do not take that for granted. At the same time, we are all still human beings underneath our pregnancies, and all our feelings about this complex time are valid, welcome, and normal!)
8. OMG THE DREAMS!!!!!!
I had no idea pregnancy dreams were a thing until I woke up three days in a row thinking, ‘What in the hell just happened in my brain?!’
I felt like I had come out of a legitimate acid trip. The colors were vivid, the stories were intricate, and the sex….. Oh yes. There was lots and lots and lots of sex. (Super blushing as I write this, but it’s TRUE!)
I couldn’t believe this was typical, but after doing a quick google search, I found out it’s very common to have really strange, detailed, and sexy AF dreams in early pregnancy. Thanks, yet again, to hormones. Though it’s not a perfect consolation prize to the depression, it wasn’t the worst thing I could have experienced early on!
Unfortunately, they subsided in second trimester, but I did quite enjoy them while they lasted. ;]
Okay, that’s it for me! Moms, have you experienced any of these? Did you have any other super bizarre symptoms in early pregnancy? Tell me everythingggg!