One is the Loneliest Trimester that You'll Ever See
There are a lot of emotions that you might go through when you find out that you're pregnant. For me, being utterly and uncontrollably sad was not one I thought I would have to deal with. However, with much of life comes the unexpected and my first trimester of being pregnant was just that.
Once I found out I was pregnant, I went through a complete range of emotions. Of course I was ecstatic - I've wanted to be a mother for a really long time. I keep joking that I've rented other peoples children for so long that it was finally time to own. I was absolutely overwhelmed though. All of a sudden, you've become a different person. The minute I found out I was expecting, changes had to take place - no more glasses of wine after a hard day at work, sneaking that extra donut might have an adverse effect other than just a sugar high, and OMG all the plans that I felt I needed to make IMMEDIATELY. Instantly you've become a mother and your life changes.
Physically, I was exhausted. I mean the sleeping for 15 hours a night exhausted. On top of that, I had what I'll call reverse morning sickness. I was fortunate enough that I never threw up but if I didn't eat every 2 hours I became extremely nauseous and would dry heave. Pretty awesome, huh? Usually I love eating but I had no taste for anything. I was basically force feeding myself bread and butter every two hours. I'd even have the Hubs wake me up in the middle of the night in order to eat - I called them my Night Feedings. It was horrible.
Then there are the changes that you don't expect. I found out I was pregnant at about 5 weeks and we decided not to tell anyone until I was 12 weeks. Pretty standard timetable but that's almost 2 months of keeping the biggest secret of my life! When I went out with friends, I had to lie about why I wasn't drinking, pretend I wasn't pregnant. I'd sometimes just sit at dinner and zone out thinking about how much I wanted to tell everyone. As someone who takes pride in being open and honest with friends, it took a toll on me. I eventually turned down most invitations. I spent a lot of time by myself.
One of my little joys was watching my bump grow and sending pictures to my mom. We told our parents before the 12 week mark and I ended up talking a lot to my mom which really made us closer. That was absolutely a silver lining! The second pic is of me at a 6am feeding - I would keep snacks and meals next to the bed so when I woke up nauseous, I could just reach over and shove something into my mouth.
I also had the worst pregnancy paranoia. Despite wishing I could tell everyone that I was pregnant, I would flat out refuse to talk about the baby sometimes because I was so paranoid that if I did, something bad would happen. I insisted on waiting to make plans about anything involving the baby for fear of jinxing it. The Hubs would tell me that I should just tell a couple close friends but then I would think "But what would I tell them if something happened to the baby?" and I would have these horrible thoughts about how incredibly devastating it would be if I had a miscarriage. It made me feel like the worst, grossest human being in the world.
So here I was, feeling alone, watching cooking shows in the hopes I would get enough of an appetite to eat a piece of toast without gagging, unable to talk to anyone, and having incredibly awful thoughts. Of course I talked to the Hubs but not only did I not want to overwhelm him more than he already was, he was working so hard - picking up extra shifts at work, getting things in order so we could move, dealing with picking up the extra slack around the house because I was sleeping so much. I felt like I was already enough of a burden, I couldn't add more to the pile.
I know that a lot of this was hormones. I know a lot of this is just what happens when you have a baby - morning sickness, being tired and irritable - those are just part of growing life inside of you. I never once hated Baby but I did hate the process. I simply could not have predicted the mental side of things though. I've been a part of the baby culture for a long time and I'm a trained Postpartum Doula - I knew about postpartum depression but I'd never once heard a mom talk about the utter sadness that can accompany that first trimester. The second trimester comes and you tell people and there's excitement all around. You start showing and people can tell you're having a baby and not just bloated from a big lunch. Third trimester comes and plans start moving, nurseries get put together, bottles get set up.
It's tough for me to talk about because there are some dark moments in my first trimester. However, I wanted to share my story in the hopes that it helps other mamas to be that might be struggling with the loneliness, the overwhelmingness, the fear that might come with the first trimester. You aren't alone and even though you might feel like you're on an island, if you just venture to the other side, there are people who will listen. I will listen. Anonymously send me an email if you need to talk but don't want to share your name. I will listen. It only gets better and being able to talk to someone would have made all the difference to me.
Mamas - did any of you struggle with the first trimester blues? How did you deal with them?