Saturday, September 27, 2014

How coffee stole my pregnancy symptoms

The first 12-15ish weeks of my pregnancy, I really didn’t have many symptoms. According to every book, website, blog, human being, and brochure out there, thousands of pregnancy symptoms that one could or should be experiencing were sailing right past me. Heightened sense of smell, sore boobs, fatigue, nausea, mood swings, food cravings, food aversions, bloating, constipation, etc. I would tell people I feel great! I feel just like myself except for the part where everyone is constantly asking me how I am feeling and trying to keep me from overexerting myself. (I was not good at changing my lifestyle to accommodate baby brewing, but that’s another story.)
I believe that coffee is to blame (and to thank) for me being pretty comfortable during my first trimester. To coin a new word, I’m a coffeeophile. I love my coffee. I had read and been told that caffeine has to be limited when you’re pregnant so as soon as I found out, I dropped from a full 8-cup pot in the morning and 2 cups in the afternoon after work, to none at all. Maybe you can infer that my body was in a minor state of shock from the sudden reduction in caffeine. One of the main things I’ve heard women discuss about pregnancy is how tired it makes them. The lady who does my nails told me she didn’t want to get pregnant again because she doesn’t ever want to feel that tired again. Well, all I noticed was that suddenly I wasn’t quite as chipper at 5:30 a.m. as I used to be, but by the time I was ready for work, it didn’t bother me all that much. I would really begin to drag around 3:00 when my second round was due, but once again, it didn’t occur to me that it could be pregnancy making me tired. I still don’t know if I had a magical first trimester or if the cold turkey drop of coffee overshadowed baby-growing fatigue.
The second way coffee stole my pregnancy symptoms is the constipation. Ready for some TMI? I’m a person of routine and rituals…when I feel like it, but my morning routine is one that I treasure. This is why coffee was such a hard loss at first. I would get up and my husband would already have the coffee pot automatically set to brew from me. I pour a cup, walk out with my dogs on the back porch, take a couple sips and start maniacally calling the dogs back in as fast as possible because it’s my turn for the morning potty break. Like clockwork I was so regular, sip coffee, go to the bathroom… So, maybe you didn’t want to know that, but you can see that when I eliminated coffee from the routine, I also eliminated the ability to, well, eliminate. Or did I? I know that constipation is an issue throughout most pregnancy due to the growing uterus and from all the hormones we are producing as a small person-factory. For the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy, I was also taking an extra dose of progesterone each morning and night as a precaution to help keep my baby stuck in their tightly since I had miscarried the first time. So for all I know, coffee has nothing to do with my regularity…or does it?

When I hit 12 weeks and no more progesterone suppositories (messy buggers, those!) we celebrated. Well, we didn’t celebrate the end of the suppositories so much as we celebrated my birthday. It happened to coincide the same weekend so we took a quick trip to the beach. Oh, the beach. I don’t have to go to the water to be the happiest clam on the shore. I love to sit on the balcony and drink. Coffee!  My fast was over. We made a pot of coffee, went out on the balcony to survey our weekend kingdom, took a long-missed sip and BAM. I was in the bathroom for the next 20 minutes and for much of the rest of the weekend, but let me tell you… I have never had a better trip! Coffee was immediately reinstated, is a much lower quantity than previously consumed as a regular part of my morning routine and I’ve felt great ever since ☺

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