Disclaimer: Obviously every pregnancy is different and I am a complete newbie at this ‘being pregnant‘ thing, so this is something that is relevant for me. But that’s not to say that I’m the only person who has experienced something like this either.
Symptoms can hit hard and fast
It felt like I had every symptom under the sun before I took the pregnancy test. In fact, I can remember saying: Please let me be pregnant so I can stop feeling like such a crazy person. I have thought I was pregnant before, but there was just something that felt different this time.
That, and the nauseating gut feeling I had. I was feeling nauseous, tired, bloated and emotional within two or three weeks of conceiving. It was pretty instantaneous. The first trimester definitely doesn’t play around.
It’s okay to say ‘no’
I’m glad I’m a distance student, otherwise I would have started skipping lectures. Some days the last thing I wanted to do was see people, so I would say ‘No’ and I wouldn’t feel bad about it. At all.
Naps are important
I have never experienced an urge to nap like this before. I thought I had been tired before I became pregnant, but it doesn’t even come close.
Whenever I said that, I got the ‘Just wait until you actually have the baby!’ line from other people. Real comforting. Thanks. I had to nap every day of the first trimester (and into the second trimester). I would wake up early (ish) to study in the morning and I would end up having a nap from 12-3pm. Daily. I would nap in my car when I was at work. I would feel like a zombie if I didn’t have my nap. So believe me when I say naps are important. If you need to sleep then sleep! You’re growing another person. Listen to your body.
You’re allowed to indulge
I never threw up in the first trimester, but I felt incredibly nauseous all. the. time. Because of this, I thought it was a miracle that I managed to stomach anything at any given point of the day. Bread and cheese? Yes. Bagels? Sure. A hot chocolate? Why not? My ‘cravings’ aka ‘I need it NOW’ foods came on pretty quick (as did my aversions). I lived on bagels and cream cheese for the first few weeks of pregnancy.
Hormones are stronger than you. Accept it now.
The first trimester is an absolute roller coaster. I would find my emotions swinging between happy and sad on the daily. Sometimes several times a day (or hour). It didn’t take a lot to make me cry. Example: I cried every time a judge turned their chair on The Voice. Yep. Beyond that, there is an incredibly strong protective instinct that swept through my body when I found out I was pregnant. Needless to say, any discussion regarding my ‘options’ went down badly. To put it mildly. Apparently this was my ‘maternal instincts’. I was surprised to find out that I actually had them in the first place.
Pregnancy can be incredibly isolating (if you let it)
Most of my friends were supportive and excited about my pregnancy, but there were a few that were, well, less than pleased. Needless to say, I haven’t spoken to them in weeks and weeks. I do miss talking to them, but I feel like it has simply been too long. The opportunity to repair the friendship has passed. The other thing I started experiencing was the exclusion factor. People assumed I didn’t want to do something because I was pregnant. A blogger mentioned this the other day. I’m still me. I’m just pregnant now. Let me live a little before I have another human who is crying and pooping all the time!
‘Control’ is a thing of the past
You are going to cry. You are going to crave weird things.
I almost ate cat biscuits the other morning. You will sleep a lot. You will pee a little every time you sneeze. Get used to the idea.
It’s not just you anymore
This really hit me when I went to my ‘official’ dating scan. (I technically had two.) I finally saw that little bean on the screen and I think my heart dropped through my stomach and onto the floor. I had been having every pregnancy symptom under the sun (and then some), but it only become really real when I saw it on the screen and was told there was a perfect little heartbeat. It all seemed a bit ‘up in the air’ until that moment. Before and after that moment was a constant fear. Was everything alright? Was I alright? What if I had done something really wrong?
Shock: I had been drinking the week before I found out.
Do not Google the worst case scenario
Just do not do it. It will keep you up at night and the last thing you need to be doing is losing (more) sleep. If you have any concerns then talk to your doctor or midwife and ask them to give you the honest, blunt truth then move on. Address it if it becomes an issue, but do not put any unnecessary stress on yourself.
(But it is a good place to turn when you have a silly question)
You will not be the first person who asks silly questions and you definitely won’t be the last. I have definitely had a few ‘Is this a symptom or am I crazy?’ moments. That is when I condone turning to Dr. Google. Another one was: why is my stomach so hairy? Seriously. So much hair.
It’s okay if you aren’t immediately attached to your baby
I found out I was pregnant when I was four or five weeks pregnant, which is considered to be relatively ‘early’. My immediate feelings were shock and terror, mixed with a bit of ‘oh shit’. Needless to say, this pregnancy was a surprise. I can now say that it is a very happy surprise. I am ridiculously attached to this tiny human that is using my insides as a punching bag. It did take a few weeks to get to this point though. It was ‘real’ at eight weeks. Relief came at my first trimester screen when I saw a healthy baby bouncing all over the screen. Proper attachment hit me with full force when I started feeling the baby kick and move around. I finally understand why people are so proud of their children and would go to the ends of the Earth for their babies.
It feels so weird to say that I love this little person I have never met, but it’s nothing short of the truth. This pregnancy has been a challenging roller coaster of ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. 106 days until my due date (more or less) and I am so ready.