I’ve procrastinated too long to blog about a couple of major milestones: proposal, ROM, wedding and honeymoon (if you see no hyperlink for the event, it means I still haven’t blog. LOL). So let’s get the ball rolling on this pregnancy with my first trimester pregnancy journal (before I give up on myself)!
I actually kept a private pregnancy journal throughout my first trimester so let’s dig those notes up for my blog! Honestly, I found it quite unfortunate that first trimester is usually treated like a top secret when all I wanted to do was share the good news with the world. But I kinda get it after my first prenatal appointment. You wanna be sure it sticks first; very much like how you take time to introduce your new boyfriend to the world.
Now, let’s dive into the frequently asked questions.
When Did We Find Out
9 May 2020! I have missed my period for a week and thought that if I were pregnant, it’d be nice to tell my family in person so I did the test before going home for Mother’s Day celebration. Nerve-wracking! I contemplated the test since the day I missed my period because I was afraid it’d be negative. I knew I’d cry if it’s a negative because I’ve tried real hard (you know what I mean?).
How Did We Find Out
Short answer: home pregnancy test (like most of the expecting parents these days). The test line appeared immediately when I did the test! I was totally surprised as I thought it’d take a while. The test line was much darker than the control line so I got confused if it’s positive or invalid — never gotten a big fat positive before. I asked RK to check for me and he said, “Maybe you’re pregnant. Good job.” Good job? This dude…
How Did He React
As I just mentioned, he said, “Good job.” 😑 I was tearing from all the nerves and confusion but that boy was just as calm as when I told him I had cancer 4 years ago. Fine. Fair enough. He’s just cool as a cucumber.
Anyway, we decided to be a little skeptical still at that point and to test again the next morning with another kit. Just wanna be sure. I’m sure all the expecting parents who ended up testing with multiple pregnancy kits or pulling out the Clearblue pregnancy test understand. Hehe.
How Did We Tell Our Family
Since we were heading home that day itself, I decided to prepare a quick pregnancy reveal “kit”. I basically just put the big fat positive pregnancy kit (which RK kept reminding me has my pee on it 😒) in a box and passed it to my mom at home. My sisters were around and they somehow decided to record the unboxing; they had no idea. My mom’s reaction: completely clueless. She didn’t know it’s a pregnancy kit when she saw it and actually asked, “what’s this?” My sisters decided to peek and they were the ones who shrieked in excitement and told my mom I’m pregnant. So apparently, she didn’t use any home pregnancy test during her era. #generationgap
As for RK’s family, we wanted to let the family know that weekend itself in conjunction with Mother’s Day so RK told his mom over video call the same night. His dad was already asleep so we missed him. After our second pregnancy test to validate the pregnancy the next morning, RK sent a screenshot of our pregnancy key dates, including estimated due date (EDD), in the family Whatsapp group!
When Is The Baby Due
Jan 2021! It’s first week of Jan’21 actually so it could be a Dec’20 baby even. Let’s see.
Being a millennial, one of the very first things I did was download pregnancy apps. I went through the articles and the forums, wanting to learn all I can about being pregnant because I was pretty much clueless! But my oh my… There were so many moms who tried so hard to conceive that they should earn a diploma for trying to conceive. There were a lot of horror stories in there too, which sometimes made me just wanna close the apps. It’s a wild ride.
Anyway, I needed some advice on what I actually have to do next so I confided in a few parent friends for advice. They said to schedule a check up with doctor! Er OK!
The First Baby Check Up
21 May 2020. By now, I have already told my oncologist during my routine check up that I am pregnant. But I actually haven’t got it confirmed by a doctor so I scheduled one in Week 7 of pregnancy. Honestly, I was scared to schedule it any earlier because I was afraid that I’d be too early in the pregnancy to even see anything.
During our first baby check up (so so so much excitement!), we saw baby for the first time via the ultrasound machine! It was a relief because I’ve been reading too much about some false pregnancy or whatnot. Good to hear it from a doctor that we were indeed expecting. We didn’t see a heartbeat then so you bet my goal was to see a heartbeat in the next appointment.
Trivia: RK didn’t see the baby even though he was in the doctor’s room because he was sipping his coffee while I got my ultrasound done behind the curtain. His reason: coffee was getting cold and he couldn’t take off mask to drink in front of doctor. Plus, he knew there’s nothing to see in this appointment yet. 😑
Anyway, during the same scan, besides the fact that we didn’t see the heartbeat yet, there was another disappointment — a bigger disappointment I would say. Doctor discovered a 6.4cm complex cyst in my right ovary. It looked like a giant next to my little 0.5cm baby! To say that I was not worried or frustrated would be a lie. In fact, it dampened the thrill and excitement of our first baby appointment. Doctor spent quite some time explaining the worst case scenario of the diagnosis: open surgery in second trimester with risk of miscarriage.
As we left the doctor’s office, I prayed that it’s harmless and for baby to grow faster.
This was when I understood why most expecting parents prefer to go through first trimester in private. It’s so scary and worrying.
That first baby appointment was done at a private hospital. The doctor advised us to get a check up at government hospital because in case this turns into a complicated pregnancy, we should go to a government hospital instead — due to better expertise and much lower cost.
We went to PPUM and two klinik kesihatan (government clinic) in the same afternoon but didn’t get to see anyone because the pregnancy was too early. PPUM needed a referral letter but klinik kesihatan didn’t want to write me a referral letter that early in the pregnancy. I did get appointment at klinik kesihatan to come back towards the end of my first trimester though. Seemed like it’s a waiting game.
However, this anxious expecting mother didn’t want to give up. I sent my reports to my oncologist at PPUM and asked him to write me a referral letter to the gynecology department of PPUM. It worked!
I went to PPUM again to book an appointment for a second opinion on the cyst and managed to see a doctor in another visit. Same advice: monitor until Week 16. If it’s still there without decrease in size, PPUM will offer to remove the cyst via surgery in second trimester. Oh the stress of waiting.
First Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms
After the first 2 days of excitement, symptoms started bothering me. I didn’t want to complain because I wanna embrace the blessing. But I couldn’t wait to feel better either.
Nausea (gag reflex and vomit). I have to say that in comparison to other expecting mothers, mine was a mild case. I only vomited twice through my first trimester. And I am not calling it morning sickness because it’s misleading — early on, it happened in the morning, then it shifted to later hours (sometimes right before bedtime).
Insomnia but can’t sleep in. My body clock was in a mess.
Constipation, followed by diarrhea and bloating. I hated this. It was so uncomfortable. Some days I felt like my tummy was going to explode from the bloating.
Fatigue (sore body). So so so tired. I felt like I was waking up after a vigorous hike the previous day. My daily activity in early first trimester was doing nothing. Thank god I was jobless then and we were in MCO! I slept all day sometimes. Unfortunately, RK cannot relate at all.
Vivid dreams. My nightmares have been the most trivial thing to a menstruating person but it’s a nightmare to expecting mothers: spotting blood on panty. The fear of miscarriage was real. To give context, 10-25% of pregnancies end in miscarriage and 80% happen in the first trimester.
Food aversion but no craving. Cooking made my nausea worse so I used the opportunity to cook less (yay!!!). Actually I don’t even remember what kind of food made me feel bad; perhaps it’s just the heat and stuffiness in the kitchen, and my own cooking. As for pregnancy cravings, I didn’t have any! I had mini cravings for my favourite food but that’s more likely because of MCO than the pregnancy.
Adhesion colic. This is not a pregnancy symptom but a long overdue side effect of my colon cancer abdominal surgery 4 years ago. Omg the pain… I spent so much time and money trying to figure out what was causing me so much pain, just to also find out that there’s nothing I could do about it. The best case scenario was the pain would resolve by itself. The worst case scenario was I could get a bowel obstruction and need emergency surgery. It was a dreaded 4.5 weeks before the pain miraculously disappeared. Phew!
What Else Happened in First Trimester
I bought a new dress and started taking bump photos! Is this normal? LOL. Buying dress and planning a bump photo template was one of my earliest to-do items. In fact, I think that’s the next thing I did after downloading pregnancy apps…
I changed my phone wallpaper! I dug out a childhood photo that I like and starting using it as my phone wallpaper, hoping that if I were to look at my cutest photo, baby would look cute (like me? 😜). Unfortunately, I have never seen RK’s baby photo so I don’t even know if he was cute. Too late to worry eh? 😆
I consulted a TCM doctor! RK insisted that I was weak and needed lots of nourishment so he made me go to a TCM doctor. We went to Eu Yan Sang TCM Clinic for pulse reading and consultation. Doctor said I’m all good! She prescribed red dates tea. That’s all. LOL. And the consultation was only RM20. So cheap!
We bought baby’s first onesie! So we decided during our premarital course that baby would be nicknamed “Giffy” because during our reading, RK read “giraffe” as “giffy”. As we were walking around Parkson one day, we saw a giraffe onesie by Tiny Button and bought it! Giraffe-themed also meant that it’s another yellow-themed, consistent with our wedding colour. And it’s gender-neutral.
I got my pink book from Klinik Kesihatan! I was so eager to go for my first appointment at Klinik Kesihatan because I was anxious about the cyst issue. Week 11 finally arrived and I was at the clinic at 7.30am for my first prenatal check up at Klinik Kesihatan! I did urine test, blood test, ultrasound and doctor consultation and it costed me RM0! It was free. I even received free prenatal vitamins. What?!
I went for a hike! I was 11 weeks pregnant when I went hiking at Taman Tugu during RMCO. That was my first hike during pregnancy and very likely the last hike as well. My adhesion colic became too much to handle after that. Hiking is definitely one of the things I miss most while being pregnant.
I got a job! I started my career break in Mar’20, not knowing that MCO would hit and grounded me home. It was a blessing in disguise as we managed to conceive in Apr’20 but RK quickly wondered if I would ever get back into the workforce. Honestly, I thought no because I was jobless and pregnant during a pandemic. But I guess baby luck was on daddy’s side. I tried looking for a job anyway and surprisingly got an offer right away.
We went for a trip! The end of the first trimester coincided with RK’s birthday so we went for a food trip to Ipoh; the place where he proposed 2 years ago. But oh man… The weather was so hot, especially with the mask on. I sweat so much and felt like fainting a few times. Not the best idea.
I booked a delivery slot at PPUM! At Week 13, I got my first prenatal appointment at PPUM and was given a delivery slot to book too. Weee~! It seems that PPUM is a popular place to deliver due to their low cost and high expertise so I was definitely thrilled to have a slot booked so early on, especially during this COVID-19 lockdown baby boom.
I passed my first sugar test (GMTT)! A glucose tolerance test is usually conducted between Week 24 and Week 28 to screen for gestational diabetes. I have family history of diabetes thus I was asked to take the test in Week 13 as early screening. Phew. I hope I pass the second test in third trimester too.
That’s it for my first trimester pregnancy journal! Let’s see if I can continue the pregnancy journal into the second and third trimesters!