Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Top Ten Thing I Wish I Would Have Known: First Trimester

In the last few weeks, a handful of friends have found themselves knocked up.  As was I, most are panicking as pregnancy has gone from being a wish to a reality.  I don't envy them at all.  I absolutely hated the entire first trimester of my pregnancy. 

The following is a list of things that I wish I would have known before I got myself knocked up.  They are all things that I really should have known, in hindsight.  But when you are thinking about having a baby, you aren't thinking about the crappy stuff.  You are thinking about giggles and cuddles and cute little baby socks.   I assure you, the first trimester has none of that fun stuff.

  1. Early pregnancy feels a lot like the worst PMS ever.  I swear, I was absolutely positive that I would start my period at any second because I was a crazed hormonal bitch complete with crying and cramping and bloating.  I had terrible PMS as a teenager, and have been on birth control since, so I kind of thought that this was a symptom of being of the pill, rather than a sign of early pregnancy.  Nope.  I was so terribly grouchy and crampy that I even partook in a few glasses of wine the weekend before I found out, something which is definitely haunting.
  2. Your body really doesn't need time to get the pill out of its system.  I got my BFP about 6 weeks after I stopped taking birth control.  I was pretty sure that I'd messed something up and it would take me forever to get pregnant because I'd been on the pill for so long.  Nope.  (BTW, I will never ever ever ever miss a pill!)
  3. You don't have to be ovulating to get knocked up.  Confused?!?! Let me clarify.  Because I was so convinced that there was no way I could be ovulating so soon after stopping birth control, I started doing the daily pee sticks to find out if I was in fact ovulating.  DH and I had decided to stop trying to prevent pregnancy, but we weren't going to get all crazy about getting knocked up either.  We had sex the day before ovulation, not during, which I now know is a very good way of getting knocked up.
  4. Its common to have a meltdown instead of being happy when you get your BFP.  I felt terrible for a long time that I was so miserable when I found out I was pregnant.  I felt overwhelmed.  And I felt like I was giving up my freedom.  Well duh.  I knew that going in, and still decided to have a baby, and still was upset about it when  I found out.  Since then, many friends have told me that they felt the same way.   I think it must have more than a little to do with the flood of hormones you experience, and, lets be honest, its an overwhelming experience.
  5. Morning sickness is a complete misnomer.  Before I got myself knocked up, I pictured morning sickness to be kind of like it is in the movies.  I figured I'd go about my day until I felt suddenly ill, I'd puke and that would be the end of that.  Bullshit! I was nauseous all day, every day, from the moment I woke up, to the moment I fell asleep.  And I was dizzy all the time.  I pretty much just wanted to die from about 5 to 13 weeks.  But no vomit.  Nope.  None.  I even tried to make myself puke a few times, and nothing.   
  6. Maintaining a healthy diet is much much harder than I thought it would be.  Because of the nausea, eating was incredibly difficult.  One would think this would prevent me from gaining tons of weight early on, but it had just the opposite effect.  I couldn't eat meat (or even smell it for that matter), or veggies without wanting to die.  Pretty much all I could stomach was fruit, sourdough bread by the loaf, and sugary foods (ice cream, doughnuts, an entire pack of chips ahoy cookies).  I don't normally even like sweets, but I couldn't put them down.  Forget about the all organic diet I had planned on following.  It was all crap, all the time.
  7. Everything stinks.  Meat. Chinese food. Students.  Perfume. Cigarette smoke made me want to die.  And you can't tell anyone that you are being tortured by this new, overwhelming sense of smell because then they will totally know you are knocked up.  Suffering in silence doesn't help.
  8. You will have to pee all of the time.  I had no idea that a baby no bigger than a pea could make me pee so much.  The first and third trimesters are the worst, and let me explain why.  As you can see in this ultrasound your uterus and bladder are next door neighbors.  Even this tiny change in size causes pressure on your bladder, increasing the number of times you have to go.  My doc explained that at some point early in the 2nd trimester, your uterus kind of pops over the top of your bladder, providing some relief until baby is significantly bigger.   
  9. Everything makes you cramp.  Having to pee.  Having to poop.  Having gas.  Having sex.  Having an orgasm.  Sneezing.  All of a sudden, you'll feel like you are starting your period.  This made me constantly worry that the baby was going to fall out.  It didn't.
  10. Did I mention that you will be a raving lunatic?  Though DH will disagree, my mood swings have subsided quite a bit since the first trimester.  Most of the time, I was pretty sure I hated him and I was trapped in a terrible relationship that I would have to now stay in because I was having this baby.  And there was crying.  Lots and lots of crying.  One time I cried because I couldn't eat anything except for PF Chang's, including anything from the countless similar places closer to home.  I felt bad making DH go get it for me, so I didn't eat.  And I then I cried about it.  Not just a little.  A lot.  Sobbing.  Hysterical.  To the point that I couldn't breathe.  DH pleaded with me to just let him go get me the damn food.  He would have gone anywhere at that point.  But nope, that made me cry more.  The worst part is that you know how crazy you are, but you just can't do anything about it. 
If you still want to have children, you are a braver woman than I.  I don't think I ever want to go through that again, but I'll tell you if its worth it after Bug makes her appearance.  Hopefully she'll be neat freak and clean up after me as soon as she can walk.  She'll later become a wealthy lawyer so that she can support mommy and her love of expensive cabernet savignon.  Then, maybe it'll be worth it. 

Luckily, like clockwork, right at about 13 weeks, it all got better.  The sun was shining, birds were chirping and I didn't want to stab DH anymore.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.   And soon you will forget just how terrible early pregnancy can be. 

But for now, you have been warned.

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