When I think back to the first trimester… oh lordy. There were days that I didn’t feel pregnant and then there were days where it was a constant reminder. Highs and lows would come as fast as the weather changes in Ohio. It was a rollercoaster ride of emotions.
Bloat: Oh my, that was not fun. I’ve never really had any body image issues so I was really caught off guard when they started emerging within the first couple weeks. The bloat just made me feel like a blimp and so unattractive. Some would say, that’s just the baby making room. I know they were just being nice but I knew that the baby was still tucked in snug behind my pubic bone, so my pants not buttoning had nothing to do with the baby taking up room. When my best friend was pregnant and not feeling so hot, I remember her saying, “I think the belly will help.” I now knew exactly what she meant. The swollen face wouldn’t be so bad if I had a cute bump to go with it but I knew that was still weeks away. My body was being completely taken over and it wasn’t as easy to deal with as I had always thought it would be.
Emotionally: Pre-pregnancy, I would consider myself an emotional person. I wear my heart on my sleeve. Throw the pregnancy hormones into it… woah. I can remember mornings that I would cry the entire way to work. It could be a song on the radio or looking in my rear view mirror and thinking “soon, I’ll see a car seat there.” I also had a fuse the length of a toothpick. Poor Ryan. I don’t think it happened very often, although he may feel differently, but some things would just set me off. I met with a good friend the other day and she described it as “pregnancy rage”. It felt so good to talk with someone who has been in my shoes and can truly understand what it’s like. It makes me feel less crazy.
Fatigue: Naps, naps, naps. This became a daily must have after work and around 2 o’clock on Saturday and Sundays. I would get home from work around 4:30pm, sleep until 6pm and want to go to bed around 8:30pm. I felt like I had so much to do but zero energy to tackle any of it. I do not know how mom’s of multiples do it. I kept thinking, “I’m so tired and can take a nap, but if I had a 2 year old running around, I couldn’t do this!” Someday I will be there and will figure out the balance but right now it seems exhausting (which I’m sure it is).
Sleep: Didn’t exist weeks 5-7. Decided to come back into my life weeks 8-10 and then promptly back out 11-13. I would wake up in the middle of the night and be wide awake. My mind would be racing, thinking about anything and everything going on in our lives.
Appetite: Someone give me a cheeseburger! I would literally think about cheeseburgers daily. I was always hungry. Even after eating a meal I would think about what I would have for a snack in an hour or two. It was crazy. I kept crackers on the side of the bed at night as hunger pains would rear their ugly head around 2am. I am very thankful for my appetite through those early weeks. I know some women who couldn’t keep saltines down and I never had any bouts with morning sickness or sickness of any kind.
I made sure to make wise food selections during that first trimester. Everything and anything greasy sounded aaaamazing. However, I knew that was not in the best interest of myself or the baby. So snacks were primarily fruit and a lot of my lunches were salads that were loaded with yummy ingredients. Now, of course Frisch’s played a role and the occasional chili cheese fries from Skyline, but I did keep them to a minimum. I didn’t gain any weight the first trimester, which is okay. My midwife recommends anywhere from 0-2lbs for the first trimester.
Those early weeks were also a time of incredible worry. I was so thankful to feel great most days but sometimes I wished I had morning sickness. Some kind of reminder that I was pregnant, that there is something cooking in there. I remember a huge sigh of relief once we saw the little peanut at 8 weeks on the ultrasound. Statistics show the risk of miscarriage goes down significantly once you hear the heartbeat. At 12 weeks, another sigh of relief once we saw our little man jumping around. Since there isn’t the reassurance of a kick or flip yet in those early weeks the worry on some days seemed really overwhelming. I prayed a lot for everything to be okay and for God to calm my nerves.
When I look back, I have truly loved being pregnant so far. What an incredible journey it’s already been and I’m not even half way there yet! I can’t wait for the jab of an elbow or the kick of a tiny foot that is to come. I am glad to report a lot of the 1st Tri symptoms are fading away. My energy is back (yeah!!) and sleep is apart of my nightly routine again. The other day a friend referred to the second trimester as the “Golden Trimester”. I’m starting to see why. I feel like Leah again and have this super cute bump to look at everyday!