Friday, August 4, 2017

Second and Third Trimester SYMPTOMS

I've been thinking about this post for so long that I'm ALMOST to the point where I don't even want to write it anymore...BUT I DO! I do want to write it, I just think it's not going to be as thrilling as all the other horror blogs and listicles about pregnancy symptoms.

It's fairly well documented that beginning pregnancy comes with an influx of hormones that make your boobs grow, your intestines slow down, get everything all tender, make it hard to sleep, give you a permanently stuffed up nose, cause your gums to bleed, and cause that dreaded "morning" sickness, which can actually be "all the time" sickness. This time can also exacerbate or totally alleviate mental health issues. Some women struggle with feeling worse because hormones and some people all of the sudden feel amazing because hormones. These hormones can bring on acne or alleviate acne. These hormones can bring on asthma or alleviate asthma. These hormones can bring on arthritis or put it into remission...the same goes for allergies and autoimmune disorders. However, unless you're suffering from a new and interesting ailment, most of the easy-to-digest listicles aren't going to tell you just how complicated pregnancy symptoms can be. Also, despite the fair amount of documentation and whining among pregnant ladies, most people don't tell you exactly WHY these things are happening.

"First trimester" pregnancy symptoms are caused because your body is growing the placenta. Once the placenta is fully formed, it takes control of the hormone production.

Prior to the development of the placenta, your body was working overtime to give your body enough hormones to GROW AN ORGAN! Yes, your body creates an entire organ that will become life support for your baby. AN ENTIRE ORGAN. If you just started developing gills so that they could help you breathe water, you would be fucking amazed, right? If your body suddenly grew an organ that processed air into food, you would be fucking amazed, right? Well, be fucking amazed, because a pregnant woman grows an extra organ and it provides all of the life support for the human she is growing. Y'all, biology is amazing. (And if you attributed biology to a god, then that deity is amazing for sorting that shit out.)

Here's what all these convenient listicles and whiny message boards also fail to mention : The placenta is usually fully formed by around 10 weeks. What happens after ten week is that many women suddenly feel better and are completely confused as to why. The baby is too small to feel, food tastes good again, and it hasn't been 12 weeks, so what is up with the end of the first trimester???!!!!!

That whole trimester situation is bullshit.

I don't know who created it or why, but they didn't have a solid foundation in math. Many of the "first trimester" symptoms tend to disappear at about ten weeks because the placenta is formed and it's making the hormones and your body is no longer a hormone making machine. OBVIOUSLY, the exact timeline varies per women, but the limbo between "first trimester" (10 weeks) and "baby moving time" (medically speaking, 23 weeks) can be VERY weird for some women, because the symptoms are gone, but you can't feel the baby, and what the fuck is happening, right?

I mean, you're still growing a baby, and you're still actively growing TWO ORGANS!!! Throughout your entire pregnancy, your uterus, which always exists inside you, and the placenta are constantly growing. Girl, you're fucking amazing, you are growing TWO FUCKING ORGANS!!!! You know who is entirely incapable of ever growing two motherfucking organs? MEN. Those fuckers can't grow extra organs, they just get hard and shoot sperm up in someone. Women are the only humans who have the ability to grow two organs and that is fucking awesome science or a miracle, depending on your personal belief system. (It's also why we've been oppressed since forever, which is some BULLSHIT if you ask me. We should be the queens, reigning down power over puny men who can't grow extra organs because they are lame and have penises.)

Ok, lest someone call me a man-hater, I digress.

So what you really have when it comes to growing a baby is :

1. Growing the placenta
2. Growing the uterus, placenta and baby to term
3. Delivering the baby and placenta
4. Allowing the uterus to shrink back to it's usual size.

That's not three things and the math doesn't divide them into 12-ish week sessions either.

So what about second and third trimester symptoms?

The nasty truth is, "it varies immensely by woman". You could continued to have morning sickness or never have it and suddenly crave food you've never ever wanted to eat before (no one can explain cravings, but some pregnant ladies will tell you they are real). You could go into remission for your autoimmune disorder. You could greatly struggle with anxiety or depression, even if you've never had it before. You could have other weird shit happen like :

tingly feet
bleeding gums
mouth sores
restless legs
heartburn or acid reflux
change in vision
change in skin texture or color
change in size and consistency of boobs

The list could go on and on.

The tingly feet happened to me, and it was scary as fuck. Go on and Google "tingly feet". You're gonna be hit with a whole lotta peripheral nerve damage, which is a side effect of diabetes. But if you keep digging, you'll find that tingly feet can also happen due to hormone fluctuations, which is basically your entire pregnancy.

Hormones fluctuate greatly throughout pregnancy and even during breast feeding, and hormones can cause a LOT of weird shit.

So yeah, you could feel like shit throughout your entire pregnancy, be constantly sore and bloated and exhausted, or not. You could develop a new allergic reaction or food intolerance. I mean, there's so much that could happen and no one can tell you exactly what can happen or when it will happen...and lots of people aren't writing about all the really weird shit, because there's just no guarantee. There are a lot of symptoms that it seems every woman tends to suffer from and are fairly well documented and then there's everything else. And worse, the symptoms can come and go, making you feel like a fucking crazy person who has peripheral nerve damage and mouth cancer. (That was a fun weekend for me.)

So what is a gal to do?

If symptoms become extremely painful, limit every day functioning, or persist for more than a week, talk to your doctor. At the end of the day, it is most likely your body is having some hormone fluctuation, but if you wanna be sure, your doctor will know. Only you can know what is severely painful for you. Only you can know if some weird symptom has gone on too long. Because you know your body better than anyone, especially better than any pregnancy blog, so you are the one who should make the call about your body. Don't be embarrassed to bring things up to a doctor. It's literally their job to guide you through your pregnancy safely. You can always call your mom or your sister or your aunt, but what if they didn't experience what you did? Or worse, what if they decide your moment of anxiety is the perfect time for them to lay down on you their horror story? That shit is never helpful.

Conclusion : Pregnancy is FUCKING AWESOME. Your body is an amazing fete of science or a miracle or both! You will get through it, but weird shit can happen. Try not to worry too much and also maybe don't Google EVERY weird thing you feel. (Or do, I'm not the boss of you!) Symptoms vary woman-to-woman and even day-to-day and no one has the master list of what you might experience, so know your body and consult your doctor if you're concerned.

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