Jun 102013
 
Strange pregnancy food cravings, eh?

Strange pregnancy food cravings, eh?

I am lying in bed at 8pm trying to write an article about pregnancy symptoms without falling asleep. “Well, that’s fitting,” grins my husband, Colin. Too true. So let’s get right to it so I can snooze! Here are:

12 odd symptoms from my first four months of pregnancy:

1. Sneezing. Seriously?! For reasons of increased blood flow and volume, pregnant lady noses get puffier and sneezing happens. What a silly symptom!


2. Not looking pregnant. It is highly inconvenient to take 6 buses a day like I do and be 4 months pregnant, but just look a little randomly chubby. No one gives up a seat to a randomly chubby gal like they would to a pumpkin-bellied preggo. Apparently for a first pregnancy, it’s normal to not “show” until 5 or 6 months! As my father mused upon learning this fact, “Sheesh– This makes me realize that so many people I talk to each day could be pregnant, and I wouldn’t even know!” Mysterious women… 🙂

Now I spot mothers and babies faster, like this duo in the Arboretum of Boston.

Now I spot mothers and babies faster, like this duo in the Arboretum of Boston.

3. Food hatred in months 1-3. The stereotype of pregnant women is that we crave crazy stuff like pickles and ice cream on a bagel or something, but the most shocking and common pregnancy food symptom is actually food aversions: suddenly hating a food so much (often one you used to love) that you will throw up if you even smell it. For the first three months of my pregnancy (oh that notorious first trimester), the only thing I could eat was bland bread products and dull dairy. Vegetables made me ill to even look at, which was sad to realize on the day Colin cooked us two quarts of veggie stew. Even my beloved avocados became evil. Nooo! This was particularly terrible for me because I am known for eating EVERYTHING. Suddenly becoming a horridly picky eater, my identity was shattered! Luckily, I’m back now to avocado (and general all food) love.

4. BUT, if you don’t eat, you throw up or pass out! Meanwhile, despite feeling crazy nauseated, there’s a counter-intuitive first trimester pregnancy trick: The only way to feel less like throwing up is to eat. (Something about the stomach acid.) This is why you see early-stage preggos with packs of bland crackers on hand at all times, nibbling like rabbits without pause. Now that I’m out of the first trimester and into the second, I don’t get nauseated, but I turn dizzy and incoherently, abusively irritable if I don’t eat every 90 minutes. Luckily, Colin has the metabolism of a 14-year-old boy and has mentored me on how to pack snacks in a daily “feed bag.”


5. Crying at dog food commercials. Yes, this happened. Ditto for ads involving the armed forces, telephones, and of course, families. Colin has gotten seamless at passing the tissues.

This dog, wearing a hat and flower corsage in the Arboretum, almost made me cry.

This dog, wearing a hat and flower corsage in the Arboretum, almost made me cry.

6. Changes in personality and interests. I am snappier and more of a jerk now than before. (Partly because I’m constantly hungry and tired!) I also feel less motivated in some pursuits, and more in others. In Colin’s words, “It’s suddenly really unpredictable what you’ll need and want at any given moment!” This puts me in mind of a fabulous recent New York Times article called “You Won’t Be the Person You Expect to Be.” Read it if you get the chance! It’s about regular people, not preggos.


7. Extreme fatigue. I am very tired: a kind of tired I’ve never felt before, which stretches from head to toe and bears a dreamlike inescapability like gravity. Our fetus is eating all my nutrients and slurping my energy! And yet I still suffer from…

8. Foolishly thinking you can still do everything like before. As I lugged my giant backpack alone through Toronto, Canada for the TBEX Travel Blog Conference last week, I muttered amid gasps for air, “Wow– It was pretty dumb to think I could keep the same pace of solo travel as before incubating life.” And yet I’m still saying “Yes” to opportunity after opportunity because I don’t want to miss out! And emails begin piling up in my Inbox…

We're all growing things in different ways, and it changes us!

We’re all growing things in different ways, and it changes us.

9. Love for glowing screens. Given my level of fatigue and hunger for information about this crazy process, my iPhone has become a dear friend, as has Internet TV. Nearly every pregnant woman I know now has the iPhone app that compares your fetus’s size each week to a different fruit or vegetable. (We’re currently at Turnip!) I’m also lapping up mindless iPhone games like Candy Crush Saga and TV shows like “Scandal” and “The Mindy Project.” I felt guilty about this until I read an online message board with an all-caps message by a woman with two toddlers: “First time mothers, if you feel like resting and watching a show, DO IT, because once your first child comes, that won’t be an option. For those of us without the luxury to rest, please take it and enjoy it!” Don’t mind if I do.

10. Superpowers. You’ve heard that pregnant women have a heightened sense of smell? Well get this: My nose is now able to tell if someone has been drinking any alcohol in the past 24 hour hours because they now exude a metallic odor to me! This was not pleasant to realize on a Saturday morning Zumba class when all the other ladies were sweating out their Friday night debauchery.

11. Not horridly missing the things you can’t do.  I’ve addictively ingested coffee every single day for ten years, but in my first trimester when I decided to give caffeine up (not mandatory, but recommended), it was surprisingly easy. Same goes for quitting alcohol, sushi, soft cheeses, green tea, deli meats, hot dogs, and all that. I’ve enjoyed them all my life and will do so again, but 9 months is a tolerable time to shift things around in the name of building a human.

Yay for the zany journey of creating life!

Yay for the zany journey of creating life!

12. Need for my partner. I am an extremely independent woman, having traveled around the world alone for a year. And yet– oh, Biology, you sneaky thing!– I really, really need my husband to be nearby as often as possible now! When he leaves for something, I feel a little “ouch!” in my gut. This makes me wonder how intense it must be to be pregnant and not have a steady partner nearby. Sometimes Colin says, “I feel like I’m not contributing enough!” and I reply, “You have no idea how much you’re helping, just being here!” It makes a huge difference.

There you have my 12 most jarring pregnancy symptoms so far. Are they as odd to you as they’ve been for me? If you or someone you love has been pregnant, what would you add to this list? They say every woman is very different… I look forward to reading your comments.

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  37 Responses to “12 Strange, Funny Pregnancy Symptoms of Months 1-4”

  1. Atleast am not alone at this..

  2. I know this is an old article, but I’ve got a few questions… I’m not really sure but I think I might be pregnant. I’ve been moody, had constipation/diarrhea, terrible heartburn no matter what I eat, I’ve been tired and hungry but not hungry at the same time. Minor symptoms are gas and dizziness. I’ve also been constantly bloated and have gained a few pounds. What’s also really strange is I’ve gotten a minor case of athletes foot but I’ve never gotten it in my life. I’ve heard of a few pregnant women getting it for the first time around conception.

  3. This blog is entertaining and so relevant even though im only 8 weeks gone! Thank you!

  4. now i am 23 weeks pregnant , but have not any physical change on my abdomen . is that common or not ?

    • Hi Rose. Thanks for reading and for your comment. I’m not a doctor, so definitely ask your doctor soon, because that’s an important question. I’d say I started to “show” (have a clear baby bump) at about 20 weeks.

  5. Want to know more crazy pregnancy effects? Here are 20 funny pregnancy symptoms from my THIRD trimester: http://www.aroundtheworldl.com/2013/09/22/funny-pregnancy-symptoms/ !

  6. This is a very amusing read, especially smelling your Zumba buddies’ Friday night debauchery! Made me laugh out loud!

  7. I love this caption on your photo “We’re all growing things in different ways, and it changes us”. We started blogging as a way to give back and to make the planet a better place for our children. I think everyone should “grow something”. Whether a garden, a tree, an animal or a human being, I believe growing something is what connects us to the bigger picture and fosters respect for one another and the world we live in. Thanks for making another enlightened loving human being.

  8. You are so funny! I love your symptoms and your way of sharing it. So familiar- almost all of them, especially the dependent, needy part and being overly-emotional and sappy. I was addicted to Blue Bell vanilla ice cream sandwiches, but when I started ingesting 6 a day, Kobi stopped buying them. You’re doing great lillie! GAbi

  9. Brilliant news! Isn’t crazy what being pregnant does to your body? And that wee person inside rules the roost before it even appears. It’s worth it though… although I’m never doing it again! 🙂

  10. Ha ha, so cute! A very well written and funny post. 🙂

    Wish for you a continued healthy pregnancy and look forward to reading more about your experience along the way.

  11. First – congratulations!!! Second, oh, this brings me back. I had the strangest pregnancy; other than a couple of things (being tired to the bone in the first 3 months, and an insatiable desire for peaches) I felt completely normal. Well, normal except for the watermelon-sized tummy ;). It’s wonderful how we’re all so different.

  12. This made me laugh…and a little apprehensive since we’re trying to start a family, but the good news is I’m already a picky eater 🙂

    • Good luck! There’s a fantastic app called Fertility Friend if you haven’t heard of it already. And don’t stress too much about symptoms or the tough parts of being pregnant. It’s worth it, right?

  13. Congratulations on your preganancy. I just want to say I really enjoy reading your blogs. Your happiness and joy shine through!!! Thanks for sharing your lifes journey with us!

  14. Been there. crying over the lamest commercials. craving saltines (!). the only thing that made me feel better was to swim, it really helped my back pain. Love this!

    • I haven’t tried swimming yet, but hear it’s the best pregnant exercise, tied by nice long walks!

  15. Lillie, Congrats on your new life! And great funny story even though I’ve never been pregnant I totally enjoyed it. I loved the part about your superpower nose. That must have been disgusting, but it was funny to read. My mom had the craziest sense of smell. Had to be careful to avoid her after doing anything the least bit naughty. 🙂

    • Glad this is a worthwhile read, even for those without a tiny human inside their torso! Funny about your mother’s superpower. 🙂

  16. Since you’re tall, it’s going to take a long time to show… Even when I was really showing, I think people still didn’t know. Especially men! They’d rather not give up their seat (because who really wants to do that anyway) than risk insulting a non-pregnant woman.

  17. I must be honest, that part about giving up avocados was the scariest thing you’ve ever written! OH, THE HUMANITY!
    Best,
    Fellow Avocado Enthusiast

    • Thank goodness I’m back to eating them. Praise the second Trimester for the return of food love!

  18. Hilarious read! I’ve never had too much to do with pregnant women (now I know it’s because they hide and play CandyCrush) and I don’t have kids myself but just like Sally, I can definitely relate to some symptoms – yay hormones… And next time I witness a chubby woman on the train/bus who is constantly sneezing, I’ll offer her my seat:) All the best for the rest of the pregnancy!

  19. ….this is why I just can’t right now! Give up vegetables?! Cry when I see puppies?! I teach little ones, and they’re enough for me at the moment! And go get those seats on the bus – they’re for the pregnant mommies for a reason! Hope you’re enjoying the journey, Lillie!

    • I am enjoying the ride, despite my kvetching. 🙂 I was really ready for something new, even if the something new is a bit strange! And keep in mind that every woman has very different symptoms. For all we know, you could feel fine the whole time!

  20. I must have missed the announcement that you were pregnant. Congratulations and hope your symptons ease up soon so you can get back to those avocados!

  21. This is lovely and funny, and also (to agree with the above commenter) you sound like me right before my period, but unfortunately for nine months. Congratulations and thank you for sharing even more of your wonderful adventures!

  22. Additionally – heat aversion? That’s stayed with me post-pregnancy.

    Re: public transportation – some lady yelled at me to get out of the priority seating on a bus when I was 9 months pregnant. I raised my eyebrows and stood up, and everyone laughed, and I ended up back in that seat. 🙂 (To be fair, it was winter and I was bundled up – but I was a BIG pregnant person.)

  23. Irritable? Constantly eating? Prone to crying over commercials? It’s possible I’m pregnant… and have been for the past 10 years.
    Oh, and you’re first comment about the buses reminded me that in Japan when you’re pregnant you can get a little pin to wear on public transport so people know you’re pregnant and they give up their seat. Basically a “baby on board” sticker for yourself. I’m surprised they don’t have those in the States — but I guess we don’t take public transport as much as they do in Asia. Maybe you could make one for yourself? Something that says “I’m not chubby, I’m pregnant. Now GIMME YOUR SEAT.”

    • That pregnant pin detail from Japan is AMAZING!!! We need those here, stat. But given how sneaky some of us Americans are, it could begin to be misused…

      Regarding having the symptoms before, I’ve always been ravenously hungry and tired, but this definitely brings it to a new level! 🙂

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