It’s hard to find the words to describe the misery of the first trimester. When you can find the words, it’s hard to muster up the energy to push them out of your mouth. At the time of writing this, I’m in my 9th week of pregnancy – right in the thick of it. All the gross that accompanies the miracle of new life (which, I promise, is not lost on me). My husband comes home from work and asks how I’m feeling. I simply say, “Fine” or “Okay” or maybe even “Bad”, but only because.. whew…I just can’t. This article is for every time you wanted to accurately and graphically describe how your first trimester self really felt/feels, but couldn’t convey the message to your spouse. Let’s delve in before the spawn-regenerating side effects make me lose my resolve.
Nausea/”Morning Sickness” : Not just for mornings. In fact, mornings are my best time of day. My yuck really starts kicking around noon, peaking at 3 or 4, and tapering off until bedtime. The first trimester stomach is always angry and discontented from sun up to sun down. Here’s the tricky part: you can’t ever discern if it feels starving or terribly too full. Either way, food rarely sounds appealing. We just eat because we know that not eating makes the angry stomach angrier. You know that feeling right before you throw up? Kind of dizzy, stomach flipping around, lump in your chest/throat. The biggest “tell” that you’re about to vomit is your mouth starts watering like crazy. Well, in the first trimester, you exist in a state of right-before-barfing so the mouth watering never ends. I get so sick of my own spit. After a couple weeks, I just started spitting out my saliva in the nearest receptacle. Or just the ground. It drives my husband nuts because it’s so uncouth. Sorry, I can’t stop it.
Lazy : First things first, three cheers for the husbands who pick up the slack during the first trimester without complaining about it. I have one and he makes the first trimester bearable. I don’t know what happens, but a flip switches during the first 12-ish weeks and I don’t want to do ANY thing. Honestly, I just don’t care. I am not motivated to cook or clean or leave the premises. I pretty much just want to stay right here on this couch and wait out this 12-to-14-weeks wave of nausea. The thing I least want to do? Make dinner. Handling raw meat makes me queasy and, as stated earlier, dinner prep hour is when my nausea is the worst. I’m super sorry about this, family – at least I know in my heart that my normal-functioning self would be appalled at my lack of concern for all things domestic…but like I said, right now I only care about making it through the first trimester.
Exhaustion : Parents are tired. Every one of them. We thought we were tired in college. After the first couple months at home with your first child, you realize that parenthood involves a new level of exhaustion that you didn’t even know existed. During the first trimester, we human incubators are temporarily elevated to an exhaustion level of even thinner-stretched energy. That’s why Lazy happens so easily and thoroughly.
Sensitivity : It must be some survival instinct God gave us, but first trimester senses are scary-sharp. Most notably, our sense of smell is so sensitive that we can’t shampoo our hair without gagging (nausea trigger). Speaking of shampooing, I’m typically one whose shower water cannot be hot enough. In the first trimester, hot water on my face might as well be water boarding. It’s torture. Actually, any temperature of water that isn’t precisely my exact body temperature at that moment is unbearable – hypersensitive to touch and heat and cold. Just tread lightly is all I’m saying.
Friends and family, in conclusion, we’re cranky and tired and sometimes flat out mean. We’re super sorry. Better luck in the second trimester for all concerned parties. Rest assured, I am the most concerned.