Thursday, October 11, 2012

The One About the First Trimester

Since I am coming up on my third trimester, (what, already? Sheesh!) I thought I would give you a little look into my life as it pertained to the first trimester. 

Over the last few years, I have seen my share of pregnant women and have heard their stories. Many heart-wrenching miscarriages, women lit with new-found pregnancy only to lose their little light in a few short weeks myself included. Many successful pregnancies, now with little ones who are one, two even three years old; walking, talking and doing what toddlers do. I have heard stories of post-partum depression, premature births, divorce, of such debilitating sickness during pregnancy that they refuse to go through it again.

The beauty of pregnancy and birth is that everyone experiences it differently, whether it is a sad or happy occasion. The women own their stories and I own mine.

The first trimester was just that, trying. It was one of mixed sensories (I don't think sensories is a word but I am going to coin it now. It means anything combination of things being felt emotionally, physically or spiritually. If there is another word...comment below and I may decide to start using the correct one instead of my made-up jargon. Preggo brain is real, people): joy, hope, fear, anxiety, nausea, fatigue, dreams, realizations...the list goes on.

The one that stands out most is nausea. While I only had morning sickness a couple of times the nausea was unrelenting. From around 8 weeks until 12.5 weeks, the sick feeling plagued me. I was prescribed Zofran which causes constipation which, surprise surprise, causes nausea. I tried pickle juice, lemon heads, lemons, ginger tea, candied ginger, preggie pops, oyster crackers, saltine crackers, ginger ale... Women at work would look on my green self with pity, offering any old wives tale remedy that they could remember from their Great Aunt Roberta. Ackerman strived every day to make sure I had some sort of food that wouldn't make my stomach turn. Our poor baby was raised on bean burritos from Taco Bell that first trimester. Maybe we should rename her Lolita. He was my hero in those last weeks of the first trimester. Patient, understanding and most of all kind.

Fear was also a strong presence. At around eight weeks, we attended a friend's wedding. During the reception I went to use the facilities (peeing becomes a ritual) and I noticed some spotting. I felt numb. This isn't happening again. Not now. You can't have this one too. You can't. Ha. Like I could really tell God that He couldn't have a life He created. I calmly told Joseph and we left immediately, post-poning a trip to Myrtle Beach to see my family. I went home and laid on my left side, I covered my stomach with my hand to hold the baby in place and drank water. I prayed. So hard. Not this one. TMI ALERT: I called my midwife and she asked if we had had sex the night before and we had. That is what caused the spotting. The relief was so great. Selfishly, I had made up my mind before we knew we were pregnant that if I miscarried again that we weren't trying again. Little did I know that a few months later, one of my good friends would miscarry her second time and then a few months after that, she would miscarry for the third time. I've learned a lot about strength, faith and trust through her. 

These first few months went by so slowly like a five minute car ride when you were a child; never ending. I didn't want to get excited about baby. We got to see our little one at 6 weeks old, a little string bean with a heartbeat. Then the nausea came and the tiredness ensued and I lived the next five weeks in slow motion. I didn't want to plan a nursery or buy any clothes. We told those around us and that was it. I felt like I was holding my breath those months, I couldn't relax. I just wanted to wait and wait we did. 

But then it did end. The nausea lifted and the magic 12 weeks passed and I had hope that this baby would live. The world sighed and I sighed along with her. 

The second trimester has been a completely different experience and while I have had a few complications and have experienced the usually aches and pains that come a long with pregnancy, I feel amazing. But more on my second trimester later.

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