The first trimester can be miserable – and not just because of the physical symptoms. It can feel scary and isolating. And, IMHO, like your brain is going gangbusters and you’re trapped in a bubble with your thoughts swirling around making you dizzy because you can’t tell anyone yet and oops, you just gagged again.
You’re supposed to feel overjoyed and excited and #blessed, but even when things are going smoothly, it’s also kind of the worst.
4 weeks pregnant: Every morning, I convince myself to wait another day before I pee on the stick. I cave on the third day. I pee on three more sticks, duh, and then send my husband straight to Walgreens to get THE ONE THAT SAYS THE WORD PREGNANT ON THE SCREEN. Despite the planning and wanting, we skip over the joy part and go right to the terror.
The midwife wants to do bloodwork. It’s scary, then it’s OK, then it’s scary, then it’s OK but still so early it’s scary anyway.
It’s the holidays. I’m about to turn down wine, and if I don’t tell my parents, that will. So we tell them in the same breath we remind them it’s scary-early.
I ask my husband 29 times a day: Do you think it’s in there?
5 weeks pregnant: Now I start the part where I’m hyper-aware of everything my body does. Googling size by week. Too afraid to download an app and jinx it. Am I showing? Of course I’m not showing. It wasn’t like this last time. Was it like this last time? I forget I’m pregnant. I’m not ready to admit it.
6 weeks pregnant: I tell daycare. I don’t wanna, but I gotta. They’re so excited and I swear them to secrecy. They don’t know if they’ll have a spot when we need it because someone who might have been less scared called two weeks ago.
Also, I have the burps. Also, I hate barbeque sauce. I love cold marinara sauce out of the jar and ate 32 ounces of it one day. I love milk. I like melted cheese. Get all sweets away from me. And the smell of Olive Garden just about drove me to the toilet.
7 weeks pregnant: I’ve Googled miscarriage risk by week so much it just pops up when I open my browser. Are my pants a little tight??? I think I fell asleep at my desk at work. I might quit my day job as I’m now working fulltime as the smell police. I’m OBSESSED with the smell of our fridge. Have never gone through so much baking soda. Speaking of smells, I think the dog smells my weird hormones. He’s clingy. So is the toddler.
8 weeks pregnant: Feeling my crappiest. Someone save me. I’m eating plain noodles for dinner. Until I NEED A CHEESEBURGER. My poor, poor husband agreed, while burdensome, going out for burgers would be for the best.
Ultrasound! We finally saw you. The second you looked human-like (OK, OK, more like a circus peanut) on the screen the world disappeared and all I could do was grin. Of course right after the ultrasound we were terrified and wondering what we’ve gotten ourselves into.
9 weeks pregnant: My single obsession this week is how I’ll make sure to get to the State Fair (I’m due partway through) and, if I absolutely can’t, who will bring a bucket of cookies to the hospital? How will they transport cheese curds???
10 weeks pregnant: I hate food. Don’t make me look at it. Don’t make me open the fridge. I felt so bad I cried. And then I cried because I felt guilty for feeling bad because I really don’t feel that bad. Morning sickness is a lie. Evenings are the worst. But, wait…VIETNAMESE FOOD. It’s my savior. It’s my everything. I need pork banh mi and I need chicken pho and I’m literally eating them for every meal.
11 weeks pregnant: Already?! Also, I downloaded the apps and now I want to delete them all because they’re telling me I should start feeling better and I. Do. Not. Feel. Better. OMG. Shut. Up.
I’m getting anxious about the genetic screening stuff. I literally sat in bed in the glow of my phone and wrote out what I’ll say or think or write if things are not OK in there. Is that crazy? That’s definitely crazy.
12 weeks pregnant: Test results are back and they’re good. My pants still fit but I can tell the high-waist ones are working hard. I don’t look pregnant. I look thick.
I guess we need to tell some people at some point. We start with the toddler. She’s head over heels. We tell more family. I figure I better tell my boss.
It’s all fine. But it doesn’t feel real.
13 weeks pregnant: We decide we’ll casually tell some friends. We lose steam pretty fast. So do my pants. I cave and round up some maternity clothes, but I stubbornly refuse to wear them. They’re for emergencies only. I do snatch up some used baby clothes and do the whole routine about how tiny they are. But I still can’t believe that they’ll have a tiny body in them relatively soon.
14 weeks pregnant: All of a sudden, my collection of pregnancy apps welcomes me to the second trimester. I realize I ate a whole plate of normal food. The fridge doesn’t smell. I’m not sucking in my stomach.
I made it. We made it! I’m exhausted and grateful and finally allowing some joy to creep in. Here’s hoping my first trimester amnesia will kick in, stat. And that all the other mamas coming out of the fog this week somehow felt the others of us in the thick of it together.
Now to order another bowl of pho.