After trying to conceive for a few months, my husband and I found out we were pregnant with our first baby on Halloween of 2015. It was literally the most joyous, yet terrifying, discovery of my life. It was joyous for the obvious reasons and terrifying because, well, helllllooo motherhood!
Is this real? Am I going to be a good mom? Holy crap I’m going to be a mom. There is a baby inside of me. Is it a boy or girl? Is it healthy? Am I doing everything I am supposed to be doing? I can only speak for myself, but I had these thoughts and a million others that hit me almost instantly.
I also had a lot of fear about the first trimester. I was truly hoping I would be one of the “lucky ones” who wouldn’t be affected by morning sickness or exhaustion. I wasn’t so lucky, but I don’t think I was entirely unlucky either. I was able to finish up student teaching/graduate with my bachelors (FINALLY) and PCS (military life) to a different state. All in all I would call it a success! I did, however, learn quite a bit along the way…
#1. Morning sickness– This is a freakin’ joke. It is all day, people! A friend of mine described it best; it is like nursing a hangover that doesn’t go away. You may never even vomit, but you will feel like you need to. All. Day. Long.
Okay, but seriously it wasn’t that bad, y’all. I learned to live with it more or less, and I figured out how to manage it to a certain degree. The trick is to always carry snacks with you. Plain boring snacks.. Im talking Rice Chex, Saltines, multigrain bars.. you get the idea! It is truly mind over matter (or at least it was for me). You feel nauseated… but instead you’re going to eat. I believe the most important thing is to just have something in your stomach. Carbs were my best friend. Oh and mints, lots of mints. I don’t think I taught a single lesson without a mint in my mouth.
#2. Cravings– Pickles and ice cream, anyone? I fully expected to have the weird and intense cravings that everyone talks about. I was honestly disappointed when they never came! I would have loved to want to eat something… anything!!! For weeks I just ate (sometimes force-fed) anything that I could stomach. Usually this consisted of bland rice, baked potatoes or bagels. When the moments came that I wanted a burger or even just a bowl of soup, I jumped on them! Eat what you can!
#3. You can’t have that– Speaking of eating whatever you can… yeah you can’t. This is the one thing that still bothers me today. I can deal with not drinking alcohol… but living without cold lunchmeat sandwiches, brie cheese, blue cheese, bagged salad or even the sprouts that they put in pho, is just messed up. I always knew of the typical things you can’t eat/drink when you’re prego, but geezzzz the list is so much longer than I ever expected. And it’s random! It also varies greatly from Dr. to Dr. I had a nurse who actually told me cold lunch meat was fine and to enjoy a glass of wine a couple times a week (which I have yet to do). Then, I go to a Midwife who advises against that. I figure that it’s better safe than sorry.
#4. The truth comes out– Everyone who gushed to you about how wonderful being a mother is before you conceived will start to tell you things (aka the truth) that will scare the shit out of you after they find out you’re pregnant. Don’t worry though; there is always a “but” at the end. “You will never sleep again, and your boobs will literally bleed, and you should just not look down there for a few weeks, BUT it is so worth it, girl.” Hahaha But really, wouldn’t it be wonderful if it were all rainbows and butterflies? Just remember, people mean well! Crazy part is… I can’t wait to experience it all! Bring it onnnnn!
#5. The first ultrasound– The first ultrasound is such a unique experience for everyone. I had to change Drs (I actually switched to a Midwife) at around 10 weeks because I moved states. This meant that we couldn’t get our first ultrasound until 12 weeks. We were MORE than ready to see our baby and hear a heartbeat. I remember I was almost bracing myself for bad news. I learned that it is truly normal to worry throughout pregnancy, but after the first ultrasound I felt a lot of that worry fade away. It is the most amazing this to see and hear. I have never felt so thankful in my life.
The most important thing to remember through the first trimester when you’re tired, nauseous and worried about everything is that you are making a baby! It’s a big deal! Listen to your body and do what you need to do to get through it! You will turn a corner in the second trimester where you’ll find your appetite (and yes, cravings) and energy!