Ok, so this blog comes a little late. I’m now 13 weeks and 2 days pregnant, meaning I’m well into my second trimester. That’s right guys!!! I’m pregnant! I can’t even tell you how relieved I am just share this news with all of you. I don’t know if you noticed over the past few months, but I kept talking on Instagram story.
So today, I thought I’d share an honest little recap of what my first trimester was like.
It took us almost 2 years to get pregnant and stay pregnant. Typing it out right now, that number doesn’t seem very long. I mean, most chapters of life—whether school-related, professional or personal—last longer than that. And I know that many couples battle to get pregnant for years and years and years, and a number like 2 might be laughable to them.
But I will say that those years were the longest of my life. We started out how most couples start out: “not not trying.” And when nothing happened, we started “trying trying.” You know: taking vitamins, altering lifestyles, etc. And when nothing came from that, we kind of just floated along, too scared to take the next step.
The darkest part of the journey, though, was my miscarriage last year.
Even though it seemed like the feelings of emptiness and complete and utter sadness would never fade, they did. After about two months, I started to feel a little more like myself again. But Iting and I both realized that we needed a break from fertility treatments. As much as it pained us to step away, we took several months off, and set out to enjoy life.
I won’t lie and say that during this time, things were just how they were before all of this started. But they were good. We traveled, pulled back from the social scene, and focused on each other. And then …
When we started up again, I think we were both in far more positive places than we’d been in even since the very beginning. We had new perspectives. That if we weren’t meant to have children, that the two of us were enough. Life had been wonderful before children, and if life continued on without them, it would still be wonderful.
But nine months later after my miscarriage, we were pregnant. Alhamdulillah. Maybe it was coincidence; maybe we were simply in need of a “hard reset.” But the pregnancy stuck.
When I did finally announce and explain why I’d waited so long to share the news, I was astounded by the number of women who reached out to tell me that they, too, had struggled or continue to struggle with pregnancy. And it seems that now, whenever I open up about my story, the woman sitting across from me has either experienced something similar or is close to someone who has–and wants to talk about it.
While pregnancy and miscarriage are so common, it’s sad that they’re such isolating and lonely experiences for most. That needs to change, and talking about it is the first step.
Which is the reason I’m sharing this story with you. It’s not to make you think I’m some amazingly strong person, or to make you feel badly for me. (Our story did, after all, end happily.) It’s to provide solace and hope to those who find themselves in similar situations.
First off, this pregnancy was completely unplanned and unexpected.
The first signs I was pregnant were about: I started feeling uncontrollably tired any any time I started exerting myself physically (skating).
The first time I found out I was pregnant, I did all the things you see in the movies: I sat on the toilet, staring at the pee test in disbelief for at least five minutes. I sat on the couch for an hour, reflecting on how significantly our lives were about to change.
So I went to the hospital and when the doctor called to tell me that the blood tests were indicating that I was pregnant (again), I didn’t do any of that adorable stuff. Instead, I mapped out a plan for protecting my little heart and preparing myself for another loss. Don’t tell anyone. (Besides Iting.) Don’t make any plans. Don’t get your hopes up. Focus on everything you’re already so lucky to have. Continue doing what makes you happy.
But it didn’t work. I was a WRECK. Understandably, the pregnancy was all I thought about, and I was constantly running to the bathroom to check if I’d lost it. Worry and fear replaced feelings of happiness and excitement, and all I wanted was to get to the second trimester, when the risk of miscarriage drops dramatically.
The first trimester of pregnancy is such an interesting time – there’s so much going on all at once. The excitement of creating a new life. The secret that you can’t wait to tell your friends and family. The anticipation of how much your life will change in 9 months time.
There’s so much fun – the positive pregnancy test, the first ultrasound and seeing your baby, sharing the news with loved ones. It’s undeniably an exciting time.
But if you’re one of the (un)lucky ones, it’s also a time of discomfort and frustration. Here you are supposed to be so happy and positive about this miracle taking place, and instead all you can think about is making it through the day. The weeks go by like months. The nausea…the exhaustion…the indigestion…the lack of motivation to do ANYTHING. Anything but eat, really. The carb loading, the couch potato-ing…somehow it doesn’t sound so bad when I write it – but it is. The physical discomforts quickly turn to emotional ones.
The experience can vary so much from woman to woman, and speaking to friends who have recently given birth I know that I got off very lightly with my symptoms, but it was still a pretty scary time for me.
I suspected I was pregnant fairly early – at about 6 weeks. Not too long after that, I started noticing that I was far more impatient and irritable than usual and that I just didn’t feel like my usual self. These feelings seemed above and beyond the typical changes that happen during pregnancy.
I did start experiencing some common symptoms:
Wow, I don’t think I’ve ever been so tired in my entire life. I’m usually someone who can’t sit still and never stops moving, but my first trimester definitely took my usual non-stop, go-go-go ways down a notch.
As I said, I was extremely fatigued in these first three months. My strength stayed relatively the same, but my stamina suffered. I started having a nap after lunch just because if I didn’t I would fall asleep at my desk.
2. SORE & GROWING BREAST
A few days later the first symptoms of pregnancy arrived – my breasts became more sore than they have ever been.
I was extremely nauseated from about week 6 to week 8 (I know that’s not that bad as some women have it for many more weeks with even worse symptoms).
As such, sometimes it was really hard to get in a good lift because all I wanted to do was eat something to ease my upset tummy. Thankfully I never vomited, and thankfully, I found some great remedies that really helped ease the nausea such as ginger candy. Plus, I began to feel very queasy in the mornings if I didn’t eat straight away.
I have been sweating a lot the past few days. Like a lot.
Apart from the physical effects, pregnancy took a toll on me mentally as well. I suffer from anxiety anyway, but I became extremely anxious that something would go wrong or I would somehow harm the baby.
I went from confidently striding around the streets not worrying about roots and stones or caring if I tripped to stepping cautiously along, I was so nervous that if I slipped over the baby would be hurt, or if I stood up too quick, or lifted anything heavy, or did anything at all really that I would normally do without thinking twice.
I would have to say that the toughest thing about the first trimester was just feeling exhausted. Sometimes the naps came first. On certain days I would wake up and return to work, other days I would simply stay at home. Either way I was always in bed before 8pm.
I would say from weeks 6-12 my priorities were as follows:
1. Get as much sleep as possible and take care of myself by eating well-rounded meals (proteins, fats + carbs)+vegies and fruits when I felt hungry plus vitamins, and stay hydrated.
2. EAT, SLEEP, WORK repeat.
3. Last but not least….EXERCISE. Get outside, breathe the fresh air and walk. Maybe even just make an effort to lay in the sun with your eyes closed. This saved me.
If you’re currently in your first trimester, and you’re finding life to be incredibly difficult, you’re not alone. It’s a time full of change, and it’s completely normal to doubt and question everything. My best advice would be to voice your concerns to your doctor, and find a trustworthy momma friend you can talk to. (Online friends totally count!)
I am now into my second trimester and I can feel a tangible difference in my energy, cravings as well as a shift in my priorities. I am feeling more and more like myself everyday.
￼I am looking forward to all the changes this pregnancy has in store for me and sharing them with you all! 🖤