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Is Every Pregnancy Just Different, or Does This Mean I’m Having a Girl?

Taylor Hengen Newman

I remember feeling pretty amazing throughout my first pregnancy. I was definitely extra hungry, and I may have felt a touch of nausea once or twice, but I went to yoga classes and the gym, attended late-night birthday parties in Brooklyn bars (I didn’t drink, obviously), conquered rush hour twice daily, and generally went about my usual routine while growing my baby bump. I do remember feeling a little emotionally out-of-whack in the very beginning, sitting at my computer at work and thinking, “I just have to sit here and look like I’m busy; then no one will know how crazy I’m feeling right now.” That strategy worked, and the crazy passed pretty quickly. For the most part, my first pregnancy – first trimester included – was a piece of cake.

This time, I’ve felt like my normal self on an emotional level, but physically? Not so much. I haven’t thrown up – knock on wood – but I’ve been generally seasick every day since about three or four weeks in. Hunger registers almost immediately as nausea, so I’ve been eating like a pig (I’m okay with this), but I only feel better for a little while before I feel gross again. The gym, and yoga? Ha! Not happening. I’m seriously dragging. Rush hour isn’t a problem this time, as I mostly work from home, but I also have a part-time massage therapy job at a swanky downtown day spa. I got hired just before getting knocked up, and – after some deliberation -- I’ve already let the cat out of the bag on the pregnancy front there. I’d planned to wait until the end of my first trimester, but since massage is such a physical activity, it just made sense to tell my managers, up front, that I’m pregnant. They’ve all since made a point of telling me not to hesitate to ask for extra breaks if I need them, and to make sure I put my health first. (It’s a very mama-friendly, mama-populated workplace. I feel lucky.) I haven’t had to ask for special treatment yet, but I’m glad they know what’s up if they see me looking kind of green in the face.

I know there are good reasons for keeping pregnancy a secret through the first trimester. I didn’t feel like doing so this time, but I also have a whole new appreciation, this time around, for the mamas who do. I’m functioning, but certainly not anywhere near my 100% -- I usually have a lot of energy -- and if my friends, family and coworkers didn’t know what’s going on with me right now, I’m sure they’d be starting to worry. I am, of course, just fine – I’m just pregnant! -- and despite feeling funky, I’m also very happy that there’s a little baby in my belly making me feel sick. But I’m relieved not to be hiding it, and I’m looking forward to turning the corner onto the second trimester in a few short weeks.

I’m surprised by how different this pregnancy is, already, from the last. I mean, sure, maybe I WAS tired last time, but I didn’t have a three-year-old to run around after, feed, and bathe before I could pass out at 9 PM… so maybe I just didn’t notice? Or maybe every pregnancy – like every kid – is simply unique. I’ve heard rumors that nausea in pregnancy often indicates the baby is a girl. I can’t help but wonder if that’s going to be the case with this one!

What were some similarities and differences between your pregnancies? Any major differences between carrying boys and girls? Did you have any nausea, tiredness, etc., or did you feel pretty normal in your first trimester? At what point did you decide to share your big news? Did your physical symptoms influence this decision at all? I look forward to hearing about your experiences!

PS. I was recently interviewed by (an awesome website full of empowering info for parents). Check out the video and share with anyone you know who might be hitting up against a wall without a clear way through.