Pregnancy Symptoms: 12 Trials of the First Trimester
The first trimester of pregnancy is a thrilling time. You go from independent woman to mummy-to-be in the flash of a pee stick and your life is turned up on its heels in a whirlwind of baby-gros, your days spent dreaming about your future new family life amidst panic you’re sure to be a sh*t mum. First trimester is when everything kicks into gear and hormones go through the roof, it’s the superlooper, that bit of the ride that’s scary as heck and full of WTF moments.
With my own first trimester journey now at an end (yay, I’m 14 weeks!) I’ve found myself looking back at the super crazy symptoms and feelings I’ve encountered along the way so far. Throughout the past three months I’ve been writing a pregnancy diary and making notes on my daily experiences, so this post has been slowly in the making. One thing’s for sure, pregnancy’s hormones have a lot to answer for!
So here’s my run down on the most frustrating things you’ll encounter or think and the oddest things that can (and did, for me) happen during the first trimester of pregnancy.
1. All about the boobs
It’s certainly a lot about the boobs anyway. But for every woman boasting a new ample bosom, there’s someone (ie: me) crying over their mega sensitive nipples, deep structural aching and boobs so heavy and painful it hurts to take your bra off at the end of the day.
2. It’s not called morning sickness for a reason
Oh the lie! If only it were confined to the top end of the day. No. It’s all day. Every day. And if you’re not physically sick, you’re spending every waking moment on the cusp of nausea, reeling at the smell of your OH’s deodorant spray, retching at the thought of normal food, and experiencing motion sickness for the first time in your life.
3. The wind beneath your wings
One minute it’s trapped and painful, the next you’re farting like a whoopie cushion. It’s gassy and it hurts and you can’t find anything you trust to be safe that relieves it. And it’s your first bump – a bloated belly bump.
4. Poorly with nothing to show for it
No-one knows you’re pregnant because you have to wait for the 12 week safe point to share the news and you don’t yet have a ‘proper’ bump to show for it. You’re feeling rotten but no-one really cares, so basically you’re ill without the sympathy.
5. You can’t tell anyone you’re pregnant… but do
So you know you shouldn’t yet tell anyone, but you tell your Mum cos like, you need that emotional, relational support. And your sisters cos they’ve got your back. Oh and when that friend confides she’s early days pregnant of course you have to reciprocate and spill the beans too. “I’ve just told so-and-so, just so they know…. for support”. Then it’s a case of avoiding every man and his dog until you’ve had your scan because you just know you’ll keep letting the cat out of the bag way too soon.
6. Twelve Weeks? More like Twelve Lightyears
Time takes on a new measure once you’re pregnant. Every appointment is a lifetime away, the time spent waiting for your first scan, drags. Oh, and I was 4 weeks pregnant forever.
7. Aversions and cravings
Wanting a certain food probably seems like a craving when the rest of the menu makes you bork. Everything you normally like tastes weird and the thought of a square meal is mental invitation for a retch. I’ve totally gone off a lovely cup of tea (bleugh) and the roast chicken dinner I started out craving now makes me nauseous. On the flip side, cheese single sandwiches and Cheetos are so underrated!
8. You Will Cry Over Spilt Milk
High flying hormones create emotional episodes and tempers blown out of proportion over the slightest drama. Sometimes you just have to cry about the queue coming out of the toilets, other times you’ll be so depressed you’ll spend whole days mourning something you haven’t figured out what yet. Then your rabbit nips you and that means she hates you and you’re totally a failure. And yes, the world does end when I can’t find any nice pants!
9. You’re always tired and sleep is never long enough
Not just tired, but completely heavy limbed fatigued. Daily chores like washing your hair is too exhausting and nap-times are your new best friend. You’re so zonked out you’re collapsing onto the sofa and crawling into bed at every opportunity through daylight hours. Sleep forever you may, but it’s not wholly satisfying. You wake up and you could still curl up and go back to sleep.
10. Pregnancy doesn’t like you
The constant tiredness is draining and the nausea renders you redundant. You can not deal with this sh*t. If you’re this terrible at coping with pregnancy what good will you be as a parent?! Seven weeks in and you’re still not on top of it, so you decide pregnancy’s not for you and the baby ought to just arrive already so you can skip this bit. That makes you a really bad Mum doesn’t it? How shameful to deny the natural course of bump to baby bonding. Shame! Okay I feel guilty for thinking that now.
11. You Look Gross
Heard on the grapevine about a pregnancy bloom? Not yet, anyway! If you’re not one of that (surely they don’t exist) few, you’ll soon discover glorious cystic acne erupting all over your face, brittle and super frizzy hay-stack hair (that’s also greying profusely but you daren’t dye it) and skin that feels itchy even if it looks normal. The ‘Rudolph red nose spot’ appears to be more my type of pregnancy glow.
12. You’ll have the most ludicrous dreams
And possibly one of the more bizarre pregnancy experiences of all time. From the exciting to the frightening, sleepy time is now more traumatic than ever before. Alongside the nightmares depicting miscarriage and my deceased Dad, there were the decidedly more… exotic dreams. Full on graphic scenes to rival the seediest porno, with the added finale of an actual orgasm. Although I’ve heard some women enjoy this pregnancy benefit, not everyone is as lucky, and like me, wake up to a tummy cramp. Lovely!
And then you feel a flutter…. was that little bean? And all the gross, sicky, tired stuff pales to nothing. Happy second trimester!
I would love to hear about your first trimester experiences! Did you get the crazy dreams or maybe you had some insane cravings? Spill the beans in the comments below.