[I began keeping track of my thoughts and feelings on a weekly basis throughout my first trimester. As a week would end I’d open my post and record my thoughts. Sometimes they were good, sometimes they were dark. And that my friends, is the first trimester in a nutshell.]
3 weeks 6 days – HOLY SHIT I CAN’T BELIEVE IT FINALLY WORKED! Is this real? It has to be real. How can this finally be real? How am I supposed to keep this to myself?!?!?!?!?!?!
4 weeks – This is so exciting. This is so terrifying. Everything will be fine! Everything will end in disaster. Tell everyone! Tell no one. Research statistics of miscarriage. Freak out. Look at kids everywhere and remember that healthy babies make it from 4 weeks to their mother’s arms every single day. Calm. Panic. Calm. Panic. Wash, rinse, repeat.
5 weeks – We’re doomed. There’s no hope. I feel like I’ll be the 25%. I don’t feel as bad as everyone else does. What’s wrong with me? Why is my apt so fucking far away. Get angry. Why does this have to be my dirty secret? Why am I supposed to hold this fear in, possibly lose this baby and then suffer in silence? Why can’t we get pregnant, tell people, and if something bad happens have everyone know this is something that happens? Support one another. Why must this be my own personal hell? Because we don’t like to feel sad thoughts? Fuck this shit. Contemplate telling the world and making people join in this struggle with me.
6 weeks – Calm descending. We made it through week 5, we’ll make it through week 6, and 7, and 10, and 14 and 26, and 32, till we’re holding this baby in our arms. Revel in the nausea, the newfound exhaustion people have been saying will come. Cuddle in with these symptoms because they mean the little bean is ok. We’re going to be ok.
7 weeks – A morning of the normal nausea turns to content nothingness in the afternoon. Terror spikes. It will be back tomorrow, these things can come and go. Wake hopeful (weirdly enough) for the nausea to return. Feel fine. Let the terror sink in. Maybe we wont make it after all. Mark it in the baby book! First frantic call to the doctor to check that I’m not crazy. Continue to feel like crap one day (cue emotional stability) followed by a good day (cue emotional panic). Obsessively count down the days till the first ultrasound. 8 days, 7 days, 6, 5, 4… please be there blinking happily and healthily little bean. Please be there.
8 weeks – After thinking of nothing else for the last month, it’s finally here. The first ultrasound apt. Instead of excitement, feeling utter panic and dread. (Clearly being off my anxiety meds is not helping in the sanity department these last couple weeks.) She turns off the lights and rubs the warm jelly on my stomach. The wand touches my belly and I’m barely breathing as she looks for the baby. “There it is…” And I see it. My baby. Happy and healthy. I see the heart beating, a rapid flicker and when I ask if that’s the heartbeat she says, “Sure is!” and I lose it. My body shakes and the tears flow and the picture is lost. Our baby is here, and healthy, heart beating away.
The only thing that isn’t stable are my emotions. After trying to go completely free of my anti anxiety meds I throw my hands up. No one should live with this much dread. After talking through the pros and cons medically for both me and the baby I decide to return to a small dose of my medication. No one should spend the night before their 8 week ultrasound sobbing into their pillow for 30 minutes because they’re sure the baby is gone. This is too long of a journey for my head to be so dark. Hope things get brighter.
Baby’s ok. Try to hold onto that.
9 weeks – Content. Finally. Finally a week in the first trimester without that feeling of terror sitting in the bottom of my gut every second of every moment. The first week where I didn’t start my morning with checking Glow Nurture, followed by refreshing my daily miscarriage statistics web page. The possibility is still there, buried in the back of my skull, but it doesn’t pull me down at every moment of every day. Maybe it’s being back on my tiny dosage of anxiety meds, maybe it’s seeing the baby’s heartbeat last week, who knows. All I know is it feels like a corner turned. It’s still a scary ride we’re on, and life has a horrible way of reminding me we’re not out of the woods this week with someone else’s horrible news, but at least today in this very moment I don’t feel like the ground is crumbling beneath my feet. Progress.
10 weeks – Got another look at our little baby this week to check on a subchorionic hemorrhage that was first spotted in the 8 week ultrasound. I’ve had no spotting through this whole pregnancy which is great, and although there are definitely some scary things online, well, about any topic, I am trying to listen to my doctor and my nurse and not stress. Their level of concern is about a -10, so I’m trying to hover as close to there as I possibly can. We’ll get to see the little munchkin again at 12 weeks to look at the bleed, so I’m hoping for a decrease. The doc says this should resolve itself by 20 weeks. Here’s to hoping!
In other non-scary internal bleeding news, this week my morning sickness has left the building! HALLELUJAH! The fact that I can go through my day without feeling like I need to crawl under my desk is a welcome relief. When I got to week 9, still feeling like shit and my friend told me I only had to hang on another month I thought I’d lose it. The ability to like food again has been mood altering. The other night I made dinner. Like real dinner with steps and stirring and baking and deliciousness and I felt like myself again. Thank you little baby for giving me some of myself back. Appreciate it kiddo. Keep up the good work.
See also in week ten, bump watch! I feel like we’re getting close to the real deal here folks. Instead of my weekly headless picture of my bump for my Nurture app Adam got in on the action this week for a full body number. Guess this means I have to start actually thinking about what I’m wearing in these pictures if I’m going to be showing them to the world… Oh boy.
11 weeks – The bump is in the building! It is getting hard to hide this thing from work now. There are only so many flowy tops a woman can wear in a row before it starts to become super obvious you’re hiding something. People can speculate though, I’ll be going full public once the results of our Panorama blood test are back and we know baby is safe. Until then, more baggy clothes please! Although I’m hiding it from work, the appearance of a real live bump finally has me feeling like this is real. I love this little bump already and I can’t wait to be rocking a full blown round belly for the world to see. Now that I’m feeling better and starting to show and we’re getting so close to exiting the first trimester I can’t help but feel amazed we’ve made it this far. When we were in those early weeks it felt like time had begun to slow to a crawl, and now here we are almost at the 6 months to go mark and I feel like the race is really beginning.
[entry updated later the same day after writing the above section] At 11 weeks 6 days we went in for another ultrasound, once again to check on the hemorrhage first spotted in the 8 week apt. Hours before the apt I got a call from the doctor’s office that our Panorama blood work was in and the baby is 100% perfectly healthy. The amount of relief and excitement I felt upon hearing that the tests came back negative was other worldly.
At the ultrasound we collected a sealed envelope that also contained the sex of our little baby. Putting it in my purse was like slipping a hot coal in my pocket. All my earlier talk of wanting to do a gender reveal, bla bla bla was out the window. I wanted to rip that sucker open right then. At the apt the baby was super active in the ultrasound, jumping around and waving its little arms and the best was Adam’s wide eyes. I live with this day in and day out, so it’s funny to imagine how strange this all must be from Adam’s perspective. The best was after another big jump Adam saying under his breath, Don’t hurt yourself in there little one. OH! And even better, my subchorionic hemorrhage healed itself and I no longer have to be considered a specialty patient. As my doctor said, “Now you’re just another of my boring o’l pregnant patients.” Yes please. I’ll take it.
Finally we got to head home and take a seat with our envelope. THE GENDER REVEAL. I had originally wanted to do some kind of reveal that we filmed we could send our parents, but now I’m glad I didn’t seeing as when Adam opened the paper to reveal the words, “Congratulations, it’s a GIRL,” I actually said, “Really? Huh. You sure?” This whole time I’ve been convinced I was carrying a boy. Boy dreams, looking at boy nurseries, imagining a world of mud and dirt and a tornado toddler, footballs, trucks and all things boy. And yet, instead we’ll be bringing a little lady into the world. As time goes on and I think about life with a daughter I’m completely warmed up. I can already imagine how Adam will be putty in her hands, and I can’t wait to explore the world through the eyes of a little girl. What a week.
12 weeks – Cloud nine. Week 12 has just been cloud nine. Simple as that. I feel great, food is back to being this wonderful thing in my life and no longer my enemy, I’ve got my tiny little bump to rock proudly, I know I’m having a baby girl, we found out she’s healthy and my hemorrhage is gone, work finally knows why I looked so tired for two months straight, we got to announce our excitement to social media, and I’ve honestly just been so stinking happy. This first bit was full of so many ups and downs, and I’m just looking so forward to moving into my second trimester.
I know there are no guarantees in life, and sadly I have real world examples to remind me of this, but I’m being hopeful. Hopeful that my baby girl and I will continue on this journey together happy and healthy, and sometime in about 6 months or so someone will place her on my chest, I’ll look into her eyes and know we made it.
I can’t wait.