To be fair…I missed the first trimester. I found out I was pregnant when I was 11 weeks. The only giveaway, in hindsight, was a sudden motion sickness…which I put down to my husband’s driving. Everything else I attributed to stress – feeling run down, feeling a bit tired…all routine attributes of a high stress job. But THEN, when the big reveal came – well then all the symptoms came at once.
The carsickness was unbearable – like a two-day hangover on a choppy ferry crossing. I became hungry all the time, but felt nauseous every time I ate. That didn’t stop me eating though, so I walked around in a permanent state of hangry, bloated, nauseous confusion.
And cravings? No real cravings (except for crisps, but it’s impossible to tell if that was a new craving or a craving I indulged) – no, the most devastating part of the cravings was the opposite of cravings – the things that started to repulse me. And it was only one thing. One simple, beautiful thing. Tea. TEA! Our most basic human right. Ruined. I still can’t really drink tea properly – as the girls can attest by my half-full mugs littered everywhere. I can’t tell if it’s the milk, the milk and water balance or my body just playing tricks on me, but for the moment, tea is out – no tea and biscuits, no tea and cake, no tea and chats. Coffee is obviously out, as are fizzy drinks and there’s only so much sparkling water you can drink. Very sad.
Tiredness also hit me like a tonne of bricks. It obviously didn’t help that I was moving house, moving office and doing a major business overhaul in the midst of all that, so the tiredness was slightly compartmentalised, but when I had a spare moment, the tiredness would flood the system and all of a sudden I might just stop talking in the middle of a sentence. Or forget what I was talking about. Or just sit down in the middle of making dinner. I was cycling for a while, but what previously would have been a breeze became an Olympic sprint that I had done no training for. Sometimes I would start crying at the sheer physical exhaustion of it. I could compare it to the week after a festival, where you walk around in a deep fug all week, but it’s not really like that because you know you haven’t been to a festival. Nor will you be going to one for the next 9 months. Or the 12 months after that.
No more drinking, no more partying, no more festival-ing. TBH, I don’t find that a big sacrifice and I hardly ever think about it, but every so often, you’ll hear a song on the radio, or you’ll be invited out for cocktails, or you’ll hear about a party and you’ll have a small ( but sharp) pang of longing. And then – POOF – it’s gone. Because you’re thinking about crisps again.
Are you putting on weight? Do you have a bump? What does a bump look like? What does your bump look like? Are you full? Are you bloated? Are you constipated? Are you bursting to go for a wee? Your body goes through a lot of changes, and the changes can be damn weird. The overriding feeling is a lack of control…particularly as you don’t see any outward physical changes for a while. It’s a little disconcerting, but as above, it’s so easy to be distracted by crisps that you stop…sorry what was I saying?
I think the first trimester is the time that a lot of people start “Getting Organised” – selecting the hospital, getting the books, thinking about the birth, the names, the schools etc etc – but you know what? Each to their own. I’ve had a pretty manic first trimester and my goal is to just relax and enjoy the next one – take it easy, and take the admin in my stride. There’s no right or wrong way to “do” pregnancy – there is just one way – your way.