Risky Baby Business – Question #1: Are You Sure There’s A Baby In There?

Much of pregnancy is a balance of worry and hope, whether we want it to be that way or not. Every pregnancy is different – some are full of movement and nausea, others filled with cramps and mood swings, still others have almost no symptoms at all.

Those are the pregnancies we’re going to talk about. Just like in real life, it’s the quiet ones you’ve got to worry about. Kind of.

There are several things that categorize the first trimester:

  • Extreme fatique
  • Excessive urgency to pee
  • Menstrual-like cramps

Then there are the more disruptive symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Food sensitivity or cravings
  • Migraines
  • Dizziness
  • Muscle cramps

What do first-time mom’s do when they have a walk in the park? When the symptoms and the baby are quiet and they just feel a little tired?


Yep, that’s right. They worry their little pregnant faces off because no news doesn’t FEEL like good news.  They can hear all day long that the baby’s fine and busy growing, or that some babies are quiet and they will still worry themselves sick.

But going back to one of my first Risky Baby Business posts, you’ve just got to hand this pregnancy over to your higher power and trust that, if this baby is healthy and developing well, things will work out.

God’s in charge of the pregnancy, you’re in charge of the Zen.

One of my hopes in starting this column before my book was all the way finished is to generate some discussion and to (hopefully) alleviate some new-mommy stress. I had a friend send me a note (see below) just this last week. It really made my day to be able to be a sounding board for her, even though she’s in the wait-and-see mode.

I know how scary it is to feel like you’re adrift with no one to talk to about the crazy worries bashing around your brain. New mom’s just want to have a home for the hormonal rollercoaster of feelings.

Here’s the note:

Can I share a secret? I’m 6 weeks pregnant. 

Why can’t my mom know? Because last year I got pregnant for the first time, so excited that i told her at 9 weeks, and she in turn told EVERYONE.  Then, there were complications, baby wasn’t growing, then stopped growing,  and I had to terminate the pregnancy.  At any rate – it SUCKED. I am still getting sympathy looks from all of her friends and neighbors and family members.  And some of them have stopped talking to me all together.  

What does this have to do with my bad day today?  Well the fatigue finally got to me and I succumbed to the call of a nap.  Probably more so because all of last night and this morning I have NOT been feeling the inner belly string pulls.  This is what happened last time.  They just kind of vanished.  

Anxiety has taken over.

I only just started feeling the string pulls this last Friday, and they were pretty steady all weekend.  Coupled with nausea and gross heart burn.  And then suddenly all symptoms stopped (all except the fatigue and slight dizziness). 

Your blog helped me a little last night BTW – I tried to relax and meditate. It worked for all of 10 min – but my brain and body are constantly searching for those inner symptoms. 

Tell ya the truth, it’s making me a little crazy.

I assured her it was normal to be feeling a little crazy. Then, I told her to get lots of rest and to take care of herself so she could be confident that she was doing her part.

I also encouraged her to get busy. It’s much harder to worry when you’re busy. I applied for a job when I was pregnant, rather than stay home contemplating the “what-ifs” in my pregnancy (which were numerous).

Whatever it is you get busy with, do start a project of some kind. I don’t know that I’d have made it through the entire 42 weeks without a pile of work to keep me occupied.

Here’s another fact that will hopefully cheer up my pal. For most women, getting pregnant is one of the most difficult hurdles to clear. We talked about this in last weeks post and the comments were AWESOME. (I’d particularly recommend you look at Sonia Madeiros’ comment – I’m considering doing a post on it, it was so fabulous. 🙂 ).

I’m going to talk more about this waiting game in the next few weeks. It is one of the very hardest things, in my opinion. It’s really hard to describe how it feels to wait to see whether your baby is OK, but I’ll do my best.

For those of you who have been pregnant (husband or wife) – what do you remember as the first symptom you had? If you were pregnant multiple times, was there one thing that told you for sure that you were pregnant? For those of you who want to be pregnant, is there a particular symptom you worry about when your time comes?

I love to hear from you! Please do leave a comment if you have time, or click the button in the upper right to subscribe to More Cowbell and Risky Baby Business. I hope you’re having a great weekend!


About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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25 Responses to Risky Baby Business – Question #1: Are You Sure There’s A Baby In There?

  1. K.B. Owen says:

    Love this series, Jenny! I have three boys, and it was a long time ago since I was pregnant, but one thing I remember vividly with the first two was that about 2-3 weeks before a pregnancy test confirmed I was pregnant, I got all flushed for no good reason (no exertion, embarrassment, etc), and stayed that way for hours. Then it went away. I’m wondering if that was the time of conception. Never talked to a doctor about it, though.

    I remember worrying about the baby moving – alot. You hear those nightmare stories about the 2nd and 3rd trimester baby deaths, and it starts playing with your mind.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Ooooh, I’ve never heard of the flush! Your body temp does increase when you’re pregnant but I’ve never heard of something like a niacin flush. I’ll have to ask around…

      BTW, thanks bunches for the compliments and feedback!


  2. With the first three, the smell of brewing coffee sent a sudden nauseating surge through me, weeks before a EPT. Number four was completely different in that I had two false negative EPT results and developed what I can only call a lactose intolerance before I finally had a positive result. I required an ultrasound to determine how far along I was and if it was one baby or two. And the lactose intolerance lasted until my third trimester.

    I worried about morning sickness, friends who’d gotten pregnant before me had bad cases of it, even had one co-worker who had it so bad she actually passed out two or three times a week her first trimester…yeah, that freaked me out. Thankfully, aside from the coffee thing I didn’t suffer with it. What I did get plagued with was heartburn and insomnia. (No one warned me about those.) No matter what I ate, from about 5 months on I’d get heartburn. My sister swears celery helps but it didn’t do anything for me. The insomnia usually hit around 7 months…prep for those middle of the night feeds?

    But the worry I had with all my pregnancies was the movement. The horror stories abound about an active baby suddenly stops moving, expectant mothers waiting too long to call about it, etc. All my boys were extremely active so if they were quiet for more than an hour or two I’d start worrying. Of course that got worse as the pregnancies advanced. Even with my logical side saying, there’s less room of course he can’t move as much.

    Love this series Jenny!


    • Piper Bayard says:

      Interesting, Raelyn. I was extremely lactose intolerant with my son, and it turns out he is unable to drink cow’s milk without getting violently ill. He’s fine with goat’s milk, though.


      • I’ve actually heard that before Piper. In fact that was my main worry when I was told by his doctor I needed to supplement my nursing with formula due to his size (just shy of 10 pounds at birth). We monitored him closely and thankfully he’s not lactose intolerant.


      • Jenny Hansen says:

        I hadn’t heard about there being a connection before, Piper…that’s amazing. And my God, you must have had challenges in toddler-hood! My sister is allergic to soy so 27 years ago we went through the ringer with her when she went from breastmilk to formula. Food allergies were just starting to be discussed at that point in time. There is so much more research on that now.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thanks Raelyn! My heartburn got so bad by week 15 that I had to go on Protonix but that’s where being pregnant in this day and age is a GOOD thing…the doctors weren’t aware until the last few years that Protonix doesn’t pass through the placenta. It used to be they’d just tell you to eat Tums (which doesn’t do diddly against baby heartburn).


  3. Piper Bayard says:

    Hi Jenny. This blog makes me think back to the days before the EPT sticks. Women didn’t know if they were pregnant or just late for at least two or three months. Honestly, almost every woman I know has had a 5 – 10 week miscarriage, and it had no bearing whatsoever on whether we would have healthy pregnancies after. Some just don’t take. How much stress and disappointment would we have been spared? I think we have too much information sometimes.

    First symptom? With my son (my first), I knew the instant he was conceived. I just knew. Then the nausea set in at about three weeks. With my daughter (my second), I was hit with nausea the third week that prevented me from eating normally until well after she was born. I had morning sickness so bad with her I had to have a prescription just to hold down water. They say that the worse the morning sickness, the more the child is like the mother. She looks like me with mahogany hair, but in personality, that is dead on.

    Thanks for a great blog.


    • My SIL had a doctor ordered ultrasound at 6 weeks to confirm pregnancy. I was completely flabbergasted. A young, healthy woman with no history of problems…why? And then she was told it was too soon for an accurate reading!

      I agree we often have too much information.


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Thank you, Piper, for adding so much to the comments section by sharing your experiences. I have many friends who had those early miscarriages go on to have 2, 3 and 4 healthy wonderful children.

      While I sympathize with wicked nausea the duration of a pregnancy, i think that’s hilarious that wives tale panned out for you. I like thinking of a mini-Piper in the world. 🙂


  4. Thankfully, the pregnancy that brought my daughter was pretty much uneventful other than morning sickness, and it wasn’t all that bad. I’m enjoying this series, though. It should be very helpful to anxious young mothers-to-be.


  5. Jenny – you rock. Nuff said. I’ll be using your blog as a resource, hopefully sometime this year :))

    I’ve heard of back pain in the first few months of preggers, is that true? I hope not, I already have sciatica issues… I can’t imagine combining that with MORE back pain! I always figured back pain would be associated with the last trimester when there is a full load up front. Right?

    Oh the fears of pregnancy 😛


    • Jenny Hansen says:


      Thanks kindly…you rock too!! As far as back pain, my blessed hubby rubbed my back almost every night but i also went to a chiropractor. If they have a table that will accommodate pregnant women, they can treat you all the way through a pregnancy. Be careful about making sure you go to a very good doctor who has treated pregnant women before.

      I would have had WICKED sciatica without Dr. Poole. He always made sure my hips were in line, as well as the rest of me. When you’re pregnant you release the relaxin hormone which increases your risk of spinal/hip misalignment. Your hips have to be able to flex so you don’t die in childbirth but there is a trade off.

      Good luck!!!


    • Louisa Bacio says:

      I had sciatica with my pregnancies. For some, it’s how you carry and where the baby “rests.” I came across some exercises to help relieve though. Literally, on all fours and slowly rocking the pelvis — kind of moves the little one away. Don’t remember if they were online or in books, but there out there!


  6. Louisa Bacio says:

    Since we went through infertility, I knew the *minute* I got pregnant. Unfortunately, we lost my first pregnancy, which made me super-super paranoid with the next two. I made friends, online, with others who had the same experience and nine years later, we still talk.

    It’s said often, but every pregnancy is different. Biggest symptom for me was being tired … all the time! And the cravings were different with both, too. For the first it was cucumbers, and I never liked them until then (and guess what my older daughter likes?).

    Great column, Jenny.


  7. The first symptom I had was the morning sickness. In baby#1 I had morning sickness all day every day for 8 months straight…yeah, that sucked lol With baby #2 I only had it the first trimester – as soon as the 2nd trimester hit, it was just gone…so wonderful!

    Thanks for a great post, Jenny!


    • Jenny Hansen says:

      OMG…8 months of morning sickness! You and Piper – I don’t know how you stood it. One of my friends who was pregnant with twins had it so bad, she had to take drugs for chemo. Supposedly, if your mother had morning sickness, you will too.

      p.s. You’re welcome, Kate…thanks for stopping by! 🙂


  8. Sometimes, that’s why people are delaying telling others. Miscarriage is a tricky thing.


  9. Aww! Thanks for mentioning my comment. I love this stuff. 😀 And your series is so great!

    When I was pregnant with my daughter, the first symptom I had was…*ahem*…stinky pee. Seriously. My pee smelled weird. Then, I got nauseated and dizzy after smelling the combination of coffee and banana at work. *shrug* When I was pregnant with my son, I didn’t have any symptoms right away. Didn’t even think I was pg until the test showed positive.


  10. Pingback: Risky Baby Business: When Pregnancy Goes Awry | Jenny Hansen's Blog

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