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First Trimester Symptoms: How Pregnancy Turned Me Into a College Frat Boy

Seeing that it took me three long years to get pregnant, I vowed that once I did get knocked up, I’d be grateful for all of it. Even the anxiety-panicked-I’m-having-a-baby-for-reals moments, the bouts of queasiness, the fatigue and everything that you read about when it comes to first trimester symptoms.

And now that I’m one week into my second trimester (yay!), I feel like I can reflect on the experience (and I have the desire and energy to do so at last!). I’d read so much in pregnancy books and heard from so many friends that first trimester symptoms can be a real challenge to endure. So, I expected to feel not so great. But what I wasn’t expecting was to eat this, five times a week.


And actually, go ahead and just remove the potatoes and kabob from the plate. That only happened once. For two full weeks, I pretty much wanted to eat nothing but hot dogs.

Hot dogs.

This may not be that weird for the common person. But ask anyone I know, and they know that — despite my cavewoman-like ability to cook and eat pretty much any meat — hot dogs are not my jam. I probably eat one a year, if that. So the fact that I was, by myself, going through a package of a hot dogs a week and refusing to share them with my husband wasn’t just strange, it was was downright hilarious. Of all the things I could crave! (You know I got the Trader Joe’s all-beef nitrate-free ones though — some things never change.)

Confession: at one point — probably around week 10 — I decided that the gluten-free-bun-to-hot-dog ratio just wasn’t right. So I did what any pregnant lady who is starving yet can stomach only one thing does: I put not one but two hot dogs in the bun double-decker style, smothered (and I mean smothered) it in mustard, and called it a delicious, delicious meal.

I pretty much had no hot dog shame.

So, yeah, that was a fun first trimester symptom! Others of note? Pretty much anything that would remind you of a college frat boy. These include but are not limited to: farting, burping (especially during workouts!), puking and feeling really hungover (minus the kegger, of course), napping a lot, sleeping in late, craving carb-filled junk food and cursing like a sailor*.


My nausea was off and on most days from weeks five to 10, with things easing up a little each week after that. Same with fatigue — some days it felt like I was walking in water instead of air and something like checking my email felt like a Herculean feat of endurance and sheer will. (Thank you, Erin, for listening to my moans and groans on this — and inspiring me that if you can do it THREE TIMES, I can do this, too.) And, you know, there’s nothing like passing massive amounts of gas that make even the dog walk away from you. (True story.) And don’t even get me started on the constipation (this was made worse by the progesterone pills I had to take until week nine) …

My first trimester pregnancy symptoms were pretty textbook. Cravings, food aversions, the whole GI tract “situation,” but at the risk of sound totally and absolutely corny and cliche, it has all been so, so worth it. Granted, minus a few headaches, I’m feeling much, much better now, but all of those things were just a sign that my body was doing something amazing and pretty darn incomprehensibly complicated and magical. And for that, I’m incredibly grateful.

I am really just along for the ride. My only job now is to sit back, see what happens and take care of myself and my baby as well as I can. My intuitive eating and working out is at a new heightened level — and you know what? When the baby demands that I act like a college frat boy and eat two hot dogs off the grill, well, that’s just what this girl has to do**.

What kind of first trimester symptoms did you/do you have? Anyone else feel like you were more like a frat boy than a lady? —Jenn

*This one actually isn’t a first trimester pregnancy symptom at all. It’s just something I do. Something I’ll need to work on in the coming months as little ears will be around …

**Don’t call the baby police on me. I swear I still ate lots of fruits and veggies and continue to do so!

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