If you recently discovered you are pregnant and were not planning for children, you may be sitting in front of your computer wondering, “WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON WITH MY BODY!?” It is a tremendous change that few will understand and can make you feel entirely isolated from everyone around you. It is a very lonely feeling that can rarely be explained to those who have no clear understanding of what pregnancy really is or what it does. It isn’t simply a baby growing in your uterus. In fact, no part of pregnancy is simple. Most days it feels like nothing but pure luck if you are even able to make it out of bed. The life is literally sucked out of you. However, that is normal. The best way I found it described was a section in What to Expect When You’re Expecting by Heidi Murkoff in Chapter 19 – Fathers Are Expectant Too. (After all, I am going to be playing the role of mom AND dad to my child so why not read this section as well, right?) This is a good way to explain it to other people who try to compare their exhaustion to yours; it shuts them up pretty quick and has them use that noodle of theirs they probably don’t exercise enough.
Exhaustion. If you think YOU’RE tired at the end of the day, think about this: Your spouse expends more energy lying down on the sofa building a baby than you do bodybuilding at the gym. Which makes her a lot more tired than you’ve ever known her to be – and a lot more tired than you can even imagine. So pick up the slack. And your slacks. And the trail of socks and sneakers in the hallway. Beat her to the vacuuming and the dusting and the laundry and the toilet cleaning.
Let us not forget the many other troublesome symptoms. Hold out, ladies, once you make it to the second trimester things will once again seem ALMOST normal. Only almost because you’ll start to find your abdomen bulging slightly more every day and finally begin to feel kicks and flips and find yourself crying less. You are still hormonal but it is not nearly as bad as it was in the first trimester.
However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves quite yet. After all, that seems to be a lifetime away when you’re doing what you can to get by and forced to take everything one day at a time. The emotions can be overwhelming. Especially if you are like me and many other women who had to also cope with depression. This is also very normal; it can also be common in women who were trying to become pregnant. You’re creating a new life and half the worries of doing so do not seem real or fathomable until that PT pops positive. It is difficult going out on a day-to-day basis forced to paint a smile on your face and appear excited about a pregnancy you may now be feeling unsure of. I learned quickly that if you showed anything but absolute joy about your pregnancy, you are thought of as a monster in some people’s eyes. Literally, a monster! You are not! You are only feeling normal emotions that come with pregnancy. I cannot stress that enough.
Emotions can be a wild ride at this point. I found myself crying ALL. THE. TIME. I would literally wake up crying. You will never find yourself crying more in your life then in your first trimester, at least I didn’t anyways. Hopefully, your pregnancy is considerably drier than mine was at the beginning. For two weeks straight before I knew I was pregnant I cried every day, looking back now at those dates that wasn’t long at all after I conceived. Possibly a week at most; I felt symptoms immediately. I blamed them all on PMS, sure that I was going to start in the next week or so. When my friend never came, it only got worse. There are times these emotions feel uncontrollable. Just standing at work, icing cupcakes and out of the blue, BAM, a flood of tears that must remain hidden from your boss because she does not know you are pregnant yet and she still has not put you on the payroll and the last thing you need is to lose your job over pregnancy. Just wait till you’re in class though, crying your eyes out over nothing in particular and two seconds later find yourself being woken up by your professor.
Most days this feels endless and is not all you will feel throughout your first trimester. Be sure to go throughout your day reminding yourself that it WILL get better and don’t forget to turn to your supporters that DO understand and/or comprehend what pregnancy REALLY is. Having someone to turn to will feel, some days, lifesaving.
Stay tuned for the exceptional symptoms of your upcoming second trimester. Look forward to a new world of problems to worry about: proper footwear to support the swelling of your feet, what bras are most comfortable to wear, why are my clothes shrinking, and many more.
**ATTENTION: Please speak with your doctor about your depression so s/he can assess if further action must be taken before it becomes too serious. Do not forget to mention any feelings, desires, or thoughts of suicide, however slight. These could be signs of pre-partum depression. Make yourself health for baby, even if it is an unexpected pregnancy. A child may be an accident but they are never a mistake.
P.S. Shows to avoid while in the early stages of pregnancy to prevent flooding your current occupied space: anything involving a pregnant woman. 1: she will NEVER be as big as you feel. 2: her labor is only a fraction of how long yours will probably last and it’s just scary to watch if you’re already afraid of going into labor. 3: she’s always full of energy. This list could continue. Raising Hope is a funny show to watch though, even though *SPOILER* her mom dies but you don’t see her enough to become attached and she’s a murder anyways. Only watch comedies.