50 Brutally Honest Things that Happened in My First Trimester
Pregnancy can be pretty polarising. It freaks a lot of people out, while others think it's magical. I thought it would be so beautiful to have this little baby growing inside of me – and in many ways, it was – but the reality was not at all what I expected.
I was constantly looking up weird symptoms online to see if I was dying or losing my mind. So, here’s a list I compiled of some of the nitty-gritty details mom probably left out.
1. I had a ton of energy for the first 3 weeks
2. I got a false negative on a pregnancy test (an expensive one, not some no-name brand)
3. I gained a few pounds
4. Then, I lost a lot of weight by the end (I went from 146lbs to 136 – a weight that didn’t look healthy on me at all)
5. I grew fur (like not body hair, real fur that’s too fine to shave but super weird to look at)
6. I no longer liked meat (this from a typical carnivore)
7. I felt isolated because of Covid
8. I felt isolated because of our decision not to tell people until that standard 3 months
9. I felt isolated because I was the first in our friend group to have a baby
10. Food was no longer attractive to me (I’m normally always eating)
11. I became afraid to eat
12. My husband and I no longer ate meals together because I couldn’t stand being near his food
13. I hated the smell of food
14. My diet was mostly just plain white bread
15. I stopped exercising
16. Because of this and not eating, my body shape changed a lot (think of the soft, noodle-y flesh of an old lady)
17. I had low self-esteem
18. I stopped being able to feed my pets because their food grossed me out
19. Not a big lover of cooking generally, I was totally unable to handle a lot of foods (particularly raw meat)
20. I threw up… a lot (I’m talking named-my-barf-bucket-Theo a lot)
21. I had huge eye bags and dark circles (invest in night cream STAT)
22. I slept about 13 hours each day
23. Naps were a requirement, not a luxury (like literally fall-asleep-at-my-desk tired)
24. I felt an immense sense of guilt for lying to everyone when they asked how I was
25. Yet at the same time, I felt angry people didn’t notice I was suffering
26. At times I thought I was dying because my physical body felt so terrible
27. My clothes didn’t fit anymore (too big)
28. But at the same time all of my bottoms killed my stomach (pro tip: just fuck it and get those maternity pants early)
29. My stomach was constantly sore which made sitting, standing, sleeping, etc. challenging
30. I would have cramping (minus the period plus the nervousness for baby)
31. Headaches I’ve had all my life disappeared (heyo – one super positive one!)
32. I was super congested the whole time
33. My anxiety was better, my depression worse
34. I cried… a lot
35. I hardly ever walked or even got out of bed because I was so uncomfortable and weak (thank goodness for working from home due to Covid…?)
36. At work I was distracted and overwhelmed
37. The summer heat made me nearly faint from a minute or two outside
38. The sun on my skin made me sick
39. I hated myself for being lazy and not accomplishing enough during the day
40. I hated myself for looking ugly and sick
41. I hated myself for being physically weak and always having to ask my husband to do (literally) everything for me
42. I wondered if all my symptoms were just psychosomatic
43. I had insomnia at weird times in the night
44. I couldn’t wear bras
45. For the first month, my boobs ached so much I would tear up moving in bed
46. My boobs got hard
47. I had weird, milk-like discharge (ew)
48. I rarely felt well enough to have sex and no position seemed comfortable
49. Which also made me feel relationship strain
50. I developed an eye twitch (it’s okay, you can laugh)
If that isn’t birth control for uncertain future mamas, I don’t know what is.
I know the list is pretty bleak, but for me, one of my biggest emotional setbacks during pregnancy was that no one told me what it would really be like. I know everyone’s experience is different, and that recollection of pregnancy and childbirth fades and softens over time, but I really would have benefitted from a bit of a reality check.
Everyone had pulled their punches before I was pregnant and at the beginning to an extent that left me confused and angry once I was in the thick of the first trimester. The whole experience was littered with extremely mixed emotions – I was so happy to be pregnant but also so miserable because of how I was feeling. I felt an overwhelming sense that I was ungrateful for this so-called gift and cognizant of all the women who struggle to become pregnant, yet I couldn’t stop the feelings that come along with being so unwell on a daily basis.
People will say “oh it will pass, the second trimester is better,” but there’s no sugar-coating the fact that 4 months is a hell of a long time.
That being said, hang in there. Everyone experiences pregnancy differently and eventually it does pass. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
My advice would be to try to be kind to yourself – it can be a hard road but for me, it was so worth it in the end.