Today is my birthday, and it’s right around what will be my baby’s half birthday (WHAT?!).
I am 14 weeks today!
What a difference a year makes. Last year, if you recall, I had some fun drinking adult beverages and then attempting to throw a very heavy ball down a hallway, all whilst dressed up in the clothes of the time of my origin.
A lot has changed since then, and I imagine a whole lot will also change in the coming year. I’ll look back on this time and wonder where all my freedom went, where all my time went, where all my sleep went. But I imagine I’ll also wonder how I ever got by without a drooling, pooping, screaming angel strapped to me. Weird.
I’d like to take this opportunity and do a little recap of my first trimester, since it came and went in a whirlwind of leaving jobs, packing, the holidays, the flu, and moving.
I think it’s interesting that nausea and vomiting are the only acceptable pregnancy symptoms that people seem to be allowed to ask about. Or interested in. And that those symptoms really weren’t a major issue for me, so conversations beginning with those kinds of questions are pretty much nonstarters.
I remember sneaking a copy of What To Expect at the shelter where I used to work before we started to try to get pregnant, and it was horrifying. While I knew on some level that pregnancy affected the whole body, I had no idea about the sheer range of potential side effects. Face skin turning colors?! Anal bleeding?! Eyes frickin changing shape?!
How come nobody asks me about my eyes and how they are doing, hmm?
I feel like my pregnancy symptoms started happening before the pregnancy. As soon as I went off birth control (that I had been on for the entirety of my adult life), I felt like a 13 year old kid all over again. My skin became greasy and broke out everywhere. Like, all the places. I usually shower every other day, but I quickly started having to shower every day to keep from feeling so hormonally gross.
Which reminds me – I watched the movie of What To Expect because it was on netflix instant view and I was bored and full of pregnancy hormones, and thank goodness for Elizabeth Banks’ character’s storyline. She struggled to get pregnant, felt horrible during pregnancy, and actually uttered the wonderfully descriptive term ‘bac-ne.’ (How does one spell that? It’s like ‘acne’ and ‘back’ had a baby, only this baby aint cute.) It felt validating to see a pregnancy experience that wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows and that I could partially relate to.
Once my pregnancy train left the station, I started feeling heartburn for the first time. It prevented me from eating a donut at work for about an hour, but I eventually prevailed. Soon after, I became so exhausted that I couldn’t make it through some days without taking a nap. I remember the first day the movers were packing up our stuff, all I did was stand there and watch, and at 3pm when they left, I felt like I had done all the work. An hour nap, and I still had no problem getting to sleep at night.
At that point, the flu struck and I couldn’t tell what was flu and what was pregnantness – I just felt like a zombie in pajamas. I only wanted comfort foods like ramen and PB&J. I slept all the time. Interestingly enough, still no vomit.
Once I was feeling fairly normal again, the completely random food aversions hit. Our first night in Portland, we were exhausted from driving all day (and being pregnant) and so we ordered pizza. I demanded no meat because that sounded pukey. Nevertheless, the veggie pizza arrived and, while it looked amazing, it smelled and tasted like barf. I forced a slice down and then passed out. A few days later, Brian cooked us up some veggie burgers and I thought I’d have to run outside to escape the stench. For the first time, their look matched their smell. Ralph.
What confused me through all these food aversions (that only happened at dinnertime) was that I couldn’t tell – was I hungry or was I pukey? The answer was yes, all of the above. I hated that this babe was ruining mealtime for me, and I am thankful that the phase didn’t last very long.
Heartburn continued, although it hasn’t been predictable or consistent like the bloating and constipation. Funny that people love to talk about food coming back up and out, but in the absence of an exit, it’s suddenly gross. I am no stranger to GI issues, as some of you know, but this was/is by far the worst batch of symptoms for me.
It was also weirding me out. Am I full even though I only took two bites of my cheesey blasters? Nope, it’s just gas. Am I starting to show? Uh-uh, it’s just gas. Did I just feel the baby?! Nope – gas.
I think the only other major symptom left is the constant peeing. Twice, sometimes three times a night. Like clockwork, too. And forget trying to laugh or sneeze and stay dry. My belly had better grow bigger faster, because now that I actually want to eat a horse, there’s no room for it with all that pee, poop, gas, and the reason we’re having this party in the first place.
I forgot to mention the one good side effect of all this – since getting knocked up, my migraines have all but disappeared. Thank you, first trimester gods, there is a silver lining.
As I already alluded to, the second trimester is treating me well so far. I’m told I need to enjoy it before the third, and I definitely plan to – starting by stuffing my face with a huge birthday dinner in a few hours and demanding that the bartender mix me up a mocktail so good that I am convinced it’s the real deal.