Four Things I Learned in My First Trimester
Some Experience and Advice from One to Another...
As someone who is in their 14th week of their first pregnancy, I can readily and easily say that this has been one of the most confusing, exciting, yet terrifying and stressful times of my life. Ranging from horrible morning sickness, to only eating potatoes, to complete meltdowns over silly things, I’ve experienced quite a few things in my first trimester. Some of which, I was and was not prepared for. So, I’ve decided I’d share some of the wisdom I’ve gained in the past weeks to those who might feel just as lost as I did and still do.
1. You will vomit at one point or another.
If you’re one of the lucky ones who somehow escapes getting sick altogether, or has literal morning sickness then is able to go about your day, I hope that luck stays with you. But 80-90 percent of women experience nausea and vomiting during their pregnancy, so I implore you to prepare in any way you can. There are ways you can prepare for what's to come, like buying Saltines and broth ahead of time for you to have (or attempt to have) when you just can’t keep real food down.
2. If you feel like you need to go the hospital, go.
I was told by my mother and my husband that my nausea will soon wane and I will be able to eat and live my life again. That was around nine weeks, when morning sickness is supposed to be around its peak, and I had already been sick for about three weeks by then, keeping what seemed to be the bare minimum down. Then, around 12 weeks, I still wasn’t better and I was hearing the same crap I was told at nine weeks. I was becoming overly concerned for my health, especially since my retching, became more violent and hurtful to my body. At one point I broke down and made my husband take me to the ER, where they gave me fluids and ran a urine sample and took blood to make sure I was alright. I promise, the doctor will not be aggravated by you going in. Even if for some ungodly reason they are, you’re trying to ensure your safety and health, which obviously has declined.
I put off going because I didn’t want to be that pregnant patient that makes it seem like she can’t handle some puking and I regret it. Listen to your body. If something feels wrong, and you can’t contact your OB\GYN, go to the hospital.
3. You probably won’t feel like yourself for quite a while.
Just before I found out I was pregnant, I was leading a pretty busy life. My husband and I just moved, I was about to look for a second part-time job, I was in the middle of a term in college all while still playing the role of housewife. Then I found out I was pregnant and literally everything changed. I no longer could work two jobs due to my husband and I being concerned for the strain it may have. I reduced my online classes from two down to one and I was out of work for two-and-a-half months due to morning sickness.
As you can imagine, I also was not cooking, cleaning, or even really getting out of bed. Even now I still don’t completely feel like myself, but I’m getting there. It wasn’t like me to not be active and to lay in bed and sleep all day. But I literally could not do anything else. You may very possibly be feeling the same way, maybe under different circumstances. Either way, when the hill of your first trimester is behind you, you will feel like yourself again. Perhaps not completely, since your body is changing in ways it never has before, but for the most part your spark will return.
4. Support is everything.
If it wasn’t for my husband doting on me during my first trimester, it probably would have killed me. He was there for me as much as he could be—whether it was comforting me as I threw up at 3 AM when he had work in a few hours, calling me when he got off work to see if I needed anything as he made his way home, and just all around being so supportive and loving to me and the little bundle of cells growing in my belly.
My mom was a huge support too, cleaning my house for me sometimes, keeping me company while my husband was at work, cooking for us (even though my husband primarily ate rather than me), and like my husband, offering a shoulder when I needed it. It doesn’t matter who you rely on – mother, father, sibling, aunt/uncle, friend, spouse...
The support is so crucial to surviving one of the hardest times of your pregnancy. Even if you’re not sick, it’s still important to have someone to confide in when you feel not-so confident about becoming a parent, or when you have other worries. Being pregnant changes you in ways that are near impossible to explain, but knowing you have someone who will listen and try to understand anyway goes a long way.
I hope this has helped you in some way, shape, or form and let you know that if you’re experiencing anything I talked about, then you are not alone. Better days are soon to come, if so, and there are many support groups you can join to talk to others who may have experienced some of the same things you are/have and can bring you peace of mind. Good luck, and congrats on your little one!