Meet Ashley. She is pregnant with her first child and will be sharing her experiences on the BCBits Blog throughout her 40 weeks. Follow her as she chronicles the joyful, exhausting and sometimes gross parts of pregnancy.
The thing about your first trimester is that your pregnancy feels sort of like a dream. At least it has for me. I wasn’t hit with morning sickness or strong waves of nausea, just feelings of being absolutely famished, coupled with constant breast tenderness. You’re not showing exactly, but you feel a little bit off. And if you want to keep your pregnancy to yourself, that means talking about how you’re really feeling to only a very select group of people. Plus, when you would normally have a glass of wine (or three) to blow off steam, it is now no longer an option.
The hardest thing for me has been hiding it from people who I love. Normally, I am an open book, but my pregnancy has been something I have instinctively been more private about. If, God forbid, something were to happen and we lost our baby, keeping conversations about our dashed dreams at a minimum is our strong preference. But I know my friends have started to suspect that we might be expecting. Luckily, we moved to the suburbs of Chicago at the end of August, so we were able to hunker down and hide out for the last few weeks of the dreaded first trimester.
The last few months had held a lot of changes for me and my husband. Not only were we newlyweds, but within a few weeks, we moved to a house in the suburbs from downtown Chicago, where we had both lived for the last 10 years, and learned we were going to be parents. Don’t get me wrong, these were all extremely positive milestones to be celebrated, but so much was happening at once that it was hard to absorb it all.
With the move came its fair share of stressors, mostly because our house was undergoing a complete gut renovation—and we had already moved in. Plus there were hundreds of heavy boxes that needed organizing. I was having to constantly remind myself to take it easy and not go into full on Type-A move organization mode. Put. Down. The. Boxes.
With the renovation, the move, work and the baby, we were starting to feel really overwhelmed. And the truth is that the first trimester is nothing short of terrifying. To start, you can’t actually see or feel the baby. Sure, your boobs have grown an entire cup size in four weeks and your jeans don’t fit, but that had really been the extent for me. I would look at my belly and wonder if what I was seeing was a bump, gas or last night’s cheeseburger. Was everything okay in there?
Then I got sick.
September is killer for me because of my unfortunate disagreement with mold and ragweed. While trying to order a pizza, I sneezed 11 times into the phone. By the end of the night, my nose was completely stopped up, I felt achy and feverish and a full on cold had set in.
Colds are terrible enough as it is, but this one was severe and I couldn’t take much to relieve the congestion—it’s one of those things they don’t tell you about pregnancy. Besides the illness part, being sick was nothing short of terrifying. Anyone who would ask how I was feeling or say that they were worried about me, was as good as dead because they would spark a deeper level of panic for our baby’s well-being. Had I brought this on myself because we were living in a construction zone? Could I have done something to take better care of myself? I wasn’t sleeping and every cramp and sneeze sent panic oozing through my veins that something bad was going to happen to our little nugget.
Once I could breathe again, I even noticed a little pop in my belly that was distinguishable from indigestion.
And then, just like that, the first trimester, our construction and my cold, came to an end.