The first trimester of pregnancy can be either amazing, or one of the worst experiences of your life. For me, the beginning states of pregnancy fell into the latter category, and though each was terrible for different reasons, I lived to tell the tales. Of all the things your first trimester feels like, the one most fitting is "not a damn thing like I imagined" because, for me, that's painfully true.
Looking back, maybe I had a false image of pregnancy before I actually experienced it. I knew there'd be some non-flattering parts (hovering over a toilet in the morning comes to mind), but I held tight to the images of glowing celebrities wearing flower crowns and beautiful veils, as if the growth of a human isn't rearranging my insides. I guess I expected it to be all baby bump and presents, and not so much swollen feet and mood swings. I was way off the mark.
Once I was, indeed, pregnant with my first child, I got the wakeup call of a lifetime. Not only did I lack that whole "glowing" thing, I didn't have flower crowns or a veil. Everything I knew about pregnancy was a lie, especially everything I was told about the horrendous first trimester. It didn't feel "amazing" or even "good," it felt like the following:
Like A Tilt-A-Whirl I Don't Want To Ride
My earliest memories of my very first trimester are dizzying. Literally. The day I had an inkling something was "off," my partner and I were in the car and I had this sudden, sickening feeling (which turned out to be morning sickness). It was so strong and abrupt, he had to pull the car over so I could dry heave into a restaurant trash can. Super romantic, right?
I took a pregnancy test immediately after that car ride and, surprise, I was knocked up. You'd think all this "fun" would fade as the pregnancy progressed, but it didn't. The dizzying feeling remained, along with the nausea, and I realized pregnancy was a ride I wouldn't be getting off any time soon.
Like A Trip To The Home Improvement Store
Along with the trash can heaving comes an intimate relationship with all the toilets of the world. My toilet. My neighbor's toilet. All the home improvement store toilets. My pregnancy makes no discrimination. When it's time to release the kraken, no toilet is safe.
Like The Worst Flu Of Your Life
The first trimester isn't just about vomiting every two seconds. I also experienced flu-like symptoms throughout most of it. Fever, chills, nausea, and an overall sense of fatigue followed that positive pregnancy test, and they were relentless. There even came a point I couldn't keep pills down and had to switch to — wait for it — suppositories. Jealous yet?
Like One Continual Doctor Visit
Through the early weeks of my pregnancy, I got to know my doctor better than my own mother. I'd already had polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) but, at this time, it wasn't officially diagnosed. I was just in a lot of frequent pain, meaning I had regular visits to ensure my pregnancy was on track. I think I spent more time in the stirrups than I spent actually making the baby.
Like A Game Show
My first trimester was filled with never-ending questions and quizzes, like, "When are you due?" and, "Is it a boy or a girl?" and "How are you feeling?" and definitely "Do you have a name picked out?" The inquisitions were never-ending.
Like An Alternate Reality
Every Friday night my partner and I were invited out with friends, something we'd done all the weekends before the pregnancy. When I Was in my first trimester, though, going out was, er, different. No alcohol. No late nights. No fun.
I started to imagine another version of me living it up those wild weekend nights, just as I had so many before, while I stayed behind to develop new and totally weird food aversions.
Like A Secret Experiment
Just as with the suppositories, my first trimester felt like different versions of a top-secret experiment where I was the only subject. The doctor put me on the nausea medications, my family recommended herbs, and my partner suggested yoga. I really just wanted to flop onto the couch until this part was over.
Like An Occasional Celebration
Don't get me wrong, the first 12 weeks aren't all bad. I mean, for me they were, but I guess I experienced sporadic joy with the first a sonogram and hearing that first heartbeat. Hold onto those when it feels like you're dying. Those moments make the discomfort worth it.
Like A Slow Death
It's a little harsh, I know, but I think the first trimester feels like you're dying.Rest assured, you're probably not dying, and it's totally normal to feel so awful. My sickness lasted well past the first trimester (through the entire pregnancy, actually) so it's hard to only be mad at those 12 weeks. Although, they were the actual worst.
On the bright side, your first trimester is so rough because another human is taking you over, from the inside out, Rogue One style. When I put it that way, all of the above doesn't sound so bad.