5 Ways I Knew I Was Pregnant Besides the Obvious

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Well if you missed the recent news, we’ve got a big life update for you. I’m expecting, and baby number five is on his or her way! I'm 14.5 weeks and the bump is starting to show. :) We’ve always had a big family in mind, and five or six kids has been the basic plan for years. We've spaced all of our kids around two years apart. Within the last year we've known that as Baker is turning two this fall, having more kids meant getting pregnant again sometime soon. 

SWEATER // PHONE CASE // EARRINGS // NECKLACES


This time around has been similar and different from my other pregnancies. Similar in that my symptoms have been similar, different in that I'm more stressed and anxious this time around. It all comes back to fear, one fear being "How the heck am I going to do five kids? And run a business?" Mostly the business part. For the last six months, I’ve been in a really great place with work and with the kids. They are all old enough that we’ve been in a groove, and Soren and I have even been able to travel for work alone for the first time ever. A baby takes us back to square one again, and most of me loves that, but the pressure of running a company definitely feels more overwhelming than ever before.

I love being a mom and I love babies, but pregnancynot so much. As much as being pregnant is a blessing, it’s also hard. And since I’ve been through it 4+ times before, I remember everything I’m getting myself into again. I’ve blogged about it before, but my first trimesters are always really hard. Not because I get super sick, although I was sicker this time around, but because of how I feel in every other way.

Today I thought I’d share some of the things that gave me the hint I was pregnant before I broke down and took the test. These symptoms have come with every pregnancy, and they are why I don't love to be pregnant. While I don't really have and definitely don't want the nausea and morning sickness that some of my friends get, I have learned that there are less-often discussed side effects of pregnancy that are also really tough. I always experience these in my first-ish trimester, and I wish I had understood them sooner! Now they are almost more of a cue than anything else that I may be pregnant.

1. I get SUPER tired. Like ridiculously tired. My energy feels like it's been cut in half and I’m falling asleep on the couch at like 8:00 every night. I think that exercising and drinking more water helps with this, but I’m usually too tired to remember to do those things.

2. Caffeine makes me sick. I drink a fair amount of caffeinated Crystal Lite on a normal basis. I drink some in the morning and usually some in the afternoon. But when I’m pregnant, especially at the beginning, it makes me sick. I feel nauseated and queasy when I drink it. Diet Coke is suddenly gross to me too. So I’m super tired because I’m pregnant, and I’m even more tired because my extra energy source makes me sick. It’s lovely. 

3. Anxiety. I’ve never really struggled with anxiety at any other time of my life. But when I’m in my first trimester, I get stressed really easily. And it’s hard to function. It often feels like something is weighing on my chest and my stomach. I literally feel like giving up hope about anything and everything at random and at unexpected times of day. Every task seems insurmountable, and my heart races. If I do drink caffeine it tends to aggravate this even more. It’s the strangest, minute-by-minute existence. The days seem so long, and there are definitely times when it’s a moment-by-moment struggle. 

4. Depression. This goes with anxiety, but I lose a lot of motivation during this time too. I had never given in to the urge to get back in bed for the day until I was pregnant. And it's not only because I’m tired, but also because I don’t feel like I can face the day. I feel really anti-social and a general dislike of most people. That comes with a feeling of loneliness and a perceived lack of friendships. And I definitely have no desire to make new friends. Basically I’m my worst self.

5. Feeling generally not myself. The overall feeling from all of the above is that I’m not myself. I don’t like things I normally like. I suddenly hate all of my clothes, and I start making weird decisions about what to buy. I feel like my creative juices are just stuck. I feel like a jerk all of the time and a failure too. My abilities to get things done or do things well just feels absent. I’m frustrated with myself and my inability to shake myself out of it. 

I share all of that to say, the first trimester can be hard in so many different ways. It’s taken me six pregnancies to realize these things about myself. When I was pregnant with my first or second, I didn’t have the self-awareness to see all of these things as pregnancy symptoms. It just felt like a shockingly hard time of life. But at least now I know better. I know that once I turn the corner of my first trimester and start my second that I will start feeling more like me. All of the above symptoms will change into something more physical, like bigger varicose veins, restless leg syndrome, and a very motivated nesting period. I’ll have hope again and friends again, and I’ll even like people again. (Although that being said, I'm in my second trimester and I'm not exactly chipper and sunshiny yet.)

This first trimester has been extra difficult because of the move and the flood and summer with kids home in general. All of those things are hard. But they are even harder when your hormones are telling you all kinds of crazy and terrible things. So if I haven't seemed like myself here or on social media or in real life, this is why. I have so much empathy for anyone who deals with these things on a regular basis. It’s tough and it’s humbling.

Hopefully sharing these things helps someone else who may be wondering why they feel like such a meany or a downer or an extra-introvert while pregnant. It's not just you. I'm still here, still super blessed and super hopeful to be myself again soon. :)


12 comments

  1. So interesting! I'm so glad you shared this. I've only been pregnant twice (and my second ended earlier this year in miscarriage), but I'd never associated increased anxiety/depression with pregnancy...I guess I just thought of hormonal freakouts/meltdowns, which I never really got, but I definitely felt increased depression and anxiety. So good to know that so I can be better prepared for it next time.

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  2. Thank you for posting this! Your pregnancies sound like mine, and I didn't realize the anxiety and depression was not just me being crazy. I hope people start to realize mental health issues and emotional upheaval pregnancy can cause, and then women can recognize their mental health is important to monitor during pregnancy, just like it is postpartum. Good luck with the pregnancy, your little tiny bump is adorable. And thank you for being honest about the other ways pregnancy can be difficult, it is more than morning sickness and weight gain, unfortunately.

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  3. Kilee, when I was pregnant (my daughter is almost 7 1/2) I was soo tired. I would come home from work, eat dinner, and go to bed at like 6 on. This did not get better in my second trimester. I did get tired of people telling me I shouldn't be tired anymore! I also felt so stressed and emotional. Thanks for sharing that not everyone loves being pregnant even though we all love the end result.

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  4. I've been a long-time lurker on your blog, and one of the things that I really, really appreciate about you is your honesty. You definitely come across as someone who strives to be authentic, even when it doesn't feel "pretty," and I admire that. It's too easy for me to compare my insides to other people's outsides, and posts like this are a great reminder that we all struggle and we're all just doing our best. Thank you!

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  5. From a mama who had pregnancies that sound very similar to yours...hugs! πŸ’œ It's hard. And it doesn't matter how much you tell yourself, It's only a season; it's still hard.

    You got it! You're rockin it!

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  6. Congrats! Expecting baby boy #4 here, and so glad to be out of first trimester and finally on the home run! 28 weeks and counting! You look adorable in that picture!

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  7. I had all the normal symptoms for my first two pregnancies. When I got pregnant for the third time I started having some depression and anxiety, too. It's comforting to hear others have this experience since I just found out I'm pregnant again and have had random times each day like you described above where I just want to crawl into bed and not move. It's hard not to feel guilty about the mental state I'm in since I really am SO excited to have a baby, but the daily pregnancy struggle is not awesome for me right now. I hope you feel better soon! I tend to turn a corner around 17 weeks or so...

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  8. I suffered from anxiety/depression during my first trimester this time around, too. It's something I don't remember from my first pregnancy and it FREAKED ME OUT this time! I had PPA/PPD after my first baby was born, so I was terrified it was going to last! Thankfully, it leveled off when my hormones leveled off, but I still am more anxious than normal!

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  9. Not related to article but pretty please more nickel and suede models with glasses! So many people say big earrings plus glasses are too much and I'm trying to prove them wrong. Thanks!! And you are so cute when pregnant. I had theee babies and adopting our fourth- adoption hit me with crazy side effects similar to pregnancy. I thought I was losing it but I'm not the only one. Weird huh? 😁

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  10. I liked this entry a lot. I can empathise. I'm just in my third trimester, my third pregnancy. It's not been a particularly difficult one, and it's my last one. But I haven't been able to enjoy it much. I just feel tired, alone - not getting much support third time round - I guess everyone thinks a) she can cope and b) she brought this on herself - apart from my great husband and mother in law. I also have major body issues - I've always been body conscious, and tried hard to exercise, stay away from unhealthy food, and keep what I consider my ideal weight. But now I feel I look huge, almost none of my lovely pre-pregnancy clothes fit, I know it'll take time and effort to get (sort of) my old body back. I'm also due to have a third c-section, so that brings its own challenges. These issues may appear superficial to lots of people, and I know being healthy, and a healthy child, matter much more. But it's still hard when appearances matter to you. I just love clothes, and looking frumpy with milk spills is not my thing. I usually feel better around month 4 of a new baby, so I just have to hang on to that thought.
    I hope you are coming out of your first trimester 'funk' and I have to laugh seeing your little bump as that is pretty much how I look non-pregnant (and I am happy with that). I never got my stomach muscles back to how they were, LOL.
    Keep posting, especially pregnancy fashion, I think I can learn a thing or two from you! Can you do a post on nursing friendly clothes? And post partum clothes? I love your style, and would be interested in seeing what you do during those times.

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  11. Thanks for sharing this. I'm a few weeks ahead of you, 23 weeks now, and though my symptoms differ from yours (more throwing up, less anxiety), I completely relate with you on just not feeling like myself! It makes me more anxious for it to be all over, to get back to my normal energy level and just...motivation to be me and DO things. So weird what pregnancy does to us! I hope you find your groove again, soon!

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  12. Hi Kilee, if you aren't already doing so, you might consider taking an amino acid complex supplement and a good fish oil supplement. Especially with this being your fifth pregnancy, you may have a deficiency if you aren't supplementing. This can lead to symptoms of anxiety, fatigue , and depression , even in not-pregnant women. It can be a little know root cause of anxiety/depression for adult women . I recommend Trudy Scott's blog for more info. It's a great resource !

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