Trimesters and Tribulations

September 17, 2008 at 12:49 pm 10 comments

Why, hello there, Internet. I didn’t hear you come in. Sit down, why don’t you, and make yourself at home. I’d really like to spill my guts to you about a bunch of work- and family-related stuff that is still forefront in my mind these days, but…I can’t. Those things are just off-limits for the ol’ blogosphere, and that’s that. I’m trying to be mature about it, but I think we all know how those efforts usually pan out.

I wonder if they have some sort of direct deposit program.

I was totally tempted to make this another “Cheers & Jeers” entry, because that’s basically the easiest and fastest way to throw everything I’m thinking and feeling onto the page (very therapeutic; I highly recommend!), but I’ve decided to save that level of “phoning it in” for when my ankles are the size of cantaloupes and I can no longer tie by own shoes. As it is, I’m still fully capable of self-shodding…although the pants that are usually so loose I can take them off without unbuttoning them now fit me perfectly, due to being held up in the front entirely on the power of my suspiciously-beer-gut-looking Baby Gut.

Oh my God, y’all, I felt the Coors move!

Anyhoo, as I’m now in my 11th week (morning sickness: YOUR DAYS ARE HAD BETTER BE NUMBERED), I thought I’d take this time to share with you my first trimester experience, and how it did and didn’t measure up to what I expected/feared/bribed sweet baby Jesus not to let happen to me. Or, more specifically:


– Or –


– Formerly known as –


First up,

Ways in Which the First Trimester Was Totally How I Expected It Would Be:

  • I felt sick.
  • My boobs hurt.
  • I got really bloated.
  • I was a complete emotional mess.
  • I went to the doctor, and they totally told me I was pregnant.
  • People are giving me tons of unsolicited advice; none of it consistent.

Ways in Which the First Trimester Was Nothing Like I Expected It Would Be:

  • I felt sick. No, like really sick. As in, the totally expected nausea would pass, and I still felt like like I had been hit by a bus full of Mad Cow disease. I was under the impression that after my cute little bouts of pregnancy nausea subsided, I’d feel fine until another one hit. This was not so much the case. HOWEVER, I am 100% fully well-aware that my morning sickness was NOWHERE NEAR the legendary tales of 24/7 vomiting we’ve all heard (this weekend, I received my first face-to-face version of, “I don’t want to scare you, honey, but with my second pregnancy, I was sick the entire 9 months.” OH, BLESS YOU FOR SHARING, kind friend!), so I don’t want to make too big a deal over the sickness I experienced. It was just…different than I expected. More all-encompassing, I guess. And with food aversions so strong it would take several court orders and a signed note from Jesus before I ever agree to share a room with [*gag*] detestable lobster again.

Get the fuck away from me, you disgusting son of a bitch.

  • My boobs hurt. SO BAD. All the way down into my armpits. To the point where I had to hold them with both hands whenever I went down the stairs, even if i was wearing a bra. And I am just shy of a B-cup, my friends.

Well, not anymore. Hey HEY hey!

  • I got really bloated. As in, so bloated that at times it’s hard for me to take a deep breath without feeling as though I’m in direct danger of splitting myself open. As in, I could easily fit a 6-month-old fetus, the collected works of Shakespeare, and my car keys in there. As in, I spent a lengthy amount of time this weekend in front of the mirror, watching in awe as my belly spilled out over my belt. I may have pretended to be Fat Elvis for a few minutes.

Don’t judge. Remember: I can’t drink.

  • I’m a complete emotional mess. This one I really didn’t see coming. I mean, yeah, I expected to cry at re-runs of the Golden Girls and to get bent out of shape whenever the cat didn’t show me what I deem to be a sufficient amount of post-feeding affection, but…those things didn’t really happen. What did happen was more psychological, I guess. I just felt so completely different physically that I started to feel completely different emotionally, and I didn’t expect that. I think it was mostly an effect of the sickness and fatigue, but it just felt like SO MUCH EFFORT to think and act like “myself” that I just couldn’t do it. So, naturally, I felt like some weird, gagging, constantly-napping version of me…which is to say, not like me at all. It freaked me out. I started to doubt I’d ever feel normal again, if I’d ever enjoy all the things I used to, or if being pregnant and having a baby was morphing me into a person whose major daily accomplishments included being able to take her own dirty dishes to the sink without needing to lay down first. I guess I knew in my head that this weird mental funk wouldn’t last forever, and that pretty soon I’d be excited about decorating the nursery and picking out names instead of spending my days hunched over my keyboard at work, counting the minutes until I could hunch over the sectional at home…but knowing this and believing this are worlds apart, my friends – at least for me. I’ve started to come out of the haze over the past week or so, and I’ve had actual consecutive hours of feeling like myself. I know Brad is as relieved at this as I am, because I don’t think either one of us wants to spend any more time with Bizarro Alternate-Universe Jive Turkey than we already have.

Bizarro evil twins are never fun. And often hairy.

  • I went to the doctor, and they totally told me I was pregnant. AND I WAS. LIKE, THERE IS A BABY IN MY UTERUS, FOR REAL. This one is still sinking in. Most of the time I feel as though I am being tricked by the universe, in an elaborate scheme involving wacky hormones, skipped periods, incompetent medical personnel and faulty ultrasound equipment. Because…is there REALLY a baby in there? REALLY? I mean, I guess I know there is, but this whole situation still feels to me like some sort of illusion I’ve concocted so I have a good excuse to take naps and eat lots of cheese.

OK, it’s been a while since I’ve seen Brigadoon, and I remember it as being a place that only appeared to you if you believed in it or some shit, but…no. I just read the plot summary online, and there’s like, a covenant with God involved, that, if broken, will cause all the inhabitants to disappear forever into the mist. Who the fuck thought this was a good idea for a musical? “Everyone I know and care about might vanish into the mist for eternity…and I think it might go a little something like THIS!”

  • People are giving me tons of unsolicited advice; none of it consistent. Yes, I expected this one, but OH MY GOD I didn’t expect it THIS EARLY and SO OFTEN and FROM PEOPLE WHO KNOW ME WELL ENOUGH TO TRUST THAT, YES, I UNDERSTAND I NEED TO EAT WHEN I’M HUNGRY. Don’t get me wrong: I like it when people share their pregnancy experiences. I’m totally new at this, and it makes me feel good to hear that I’m not the only woman on earth who needs a nap and a feeding every two hours, and I never tire of hearing how this crazy process is totally worth it, and how at the end of it all I will get a wonderful little baby and the heavens will split open with a chorus of hallelujahs. I even like some of the advice, but it’s really all in the delivery (ha!). When I hear, “What was really helpful for me was…” I’m all ears. But as soon as you start with the “Here’s what you need to do…” I’ve already tuned out and am busy calculating how many jars of pickled okra I can buy and still be able to pay the gas bill.

This baby is going to come out in a Ball jar full of brine, I just know it.

Now, if you’ll excuse the lack of a clever segue, I am bursting to share that I just got back from my 2nd prenatal appointment, where the midwife tried (and failed) to find the baby’s heartbeat with an ancient Doppler that looked like a Fisher Price radio (at which point she said, “Now, don’t worry – this machine is terrible,” but I was too busy NOT BREATHING to respond). But the upside of nearly shitting my pants at the silent Doppler (which, seriously, looked like the bastard child of a Commodore 64) was that I got an impromptu ultrasound. Little Spats (I can’t remember which one of you suggested that nickname for the little turkey-in-basting, but I love it) was present and accounted for, with a lively heartbeat to boot. He/she was looking much bigger than just 3 short weeks ago – proof that all those bowls of Frosted Mini-Wheats and 10pm inhalations of beef jerky are doing the trick. The midwife tried 3 or 4 times during my appointment to get Spats to show us a little softshoe, but no matter how many deep breaths I took or how many different places she nudged and pushed, he was snoozing away and not to be disturbed. “Well, he won this round,” the midwife said, as she flipped off the ultrasound machine. It was at this point, Internet, that a little tear sprang to my eye. As a person who has spent her whole life pressing the snooze button, who considers naps her religion, and who drives her husband crazy on a regular basis with her inability to be woken the fuck up, I started to feel the real connection between myself and that little black and white smudge on the screen: THIS IS MY BABY.

I love you, you lazy little peanut. I’ll always let you sleep in on the weekends.


Entry filed under: And you KNOW THIS!, Thanksgiving.

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. 4th Reader of Said Turkey  |  September 17, 2008 at 1:13 pm


    Ok, now, here’s what you need to do… (hee, sorry, just couldn’t resist).

    Seriously, though – I heard once when I was pregnant that the foods you like/crave when pg are foods that the baby will like. For me, that might actually have been a true urban legend. With my daughter, all I could eat during the 1st trimester was apples and Mcdonald’s chicken nuggets (which totally gross me out at any other time in my life). And that’s what she liked for the first three years of her life or so. With my son, I still had morning sickness but could eat almost anything when I wasn’t sick, and he will eat almost anything.

    So, keep stocking up on that pickled okra. That may be Spats’ favorite meal when s/he starts eating solid food.

  • 2. MLE  |  September 17, 2008 at 1:30 pm

    It was meeeee! Hooray for Spats Turkey!

  • 3. kristin  |  September 17, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    Well. That was a remarkably funny summary of what sounds like something that may not have been so much fun to experience.

    But you know, I’ve heard it’s all TOTALLY WORTH IT when there’s a real live baby in your arms. Not that I would know this from personal experience or anything (HELLO UN-REPRODUCTIVE SYSTEM–HINT HINT), but that’s the word on the streets.

  • 4. SF Reader  |  September 17, 2008 at 2:31 pm

    You’re so smart to write all this down… I really wish I’d woken myself up long enough to write down what it actually felt like. I know it was pretty extreme… but, honestly, now that I feel human again I’m like “what? pshaw. It wasn’t that bad… was it?” then I look at Bill and the look on his face makes me immediately duck my head and put my tail between my legs and say “I take it back! I’m sorry, sweetie. Thank you for putting up with me!” Kudos on being able to stay awake long enough to document the experience, my friend! You’re a better woman than I.

  • 5. The Constant C  |  September 17, 2008 at 3:18 pm

    I am sending you an email tonight. I swear to Gawd. (Free to not await said email with bated breath.)

  • 6. Sara  |  September 17, 2008 at 3:22 pm

    It’s totally normal to cry at reruns of The Golden Girls, especially when it’s the one where Sophia’s son dies or Rose tells some really crazy St. Olaf story and they all just want to die.

    No, I’m not pregnant, why?

  • 7. shelli  |  September 17, 2008 at 4:19 pm

    heh – we like to call it “ass-vice”

    And sorry to say, but all babies/toddlers/teenagers are in this fucked up realm of the “baby ethosphere” where they all secretly communicate with one another to ruin our lives by waking up at the ass crack of dawn on weekends, and oversleeping longer than your alarm clock’s last snooze button on weekdays.

    I’m just saying…

    But I think the assvice starts this early, so you can start your catalogue of sassy replies. It’s FUN! 😉

  • 8. Husband of Said Turkey  |  September 17, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Argh! I can’t believe I missed an appointment with an ultrasound! I was informed there would be no ultrasounds this time!

    I can’t express how thrilled I am to find out that there will soon be two people in my house who don’t want to get up when I’m freaking out about being late in the morning. (I really am thrilled, actually. That wasn’t sarcasm, for a first.)

  • 9. Leah  |  September 18, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    I, for one, am glad to know yet another real live person who actually experienced a crappy first trimester the way the books and the websites and the teevee shows say it’s supposed to happen. After a first trimester during which I felt disturbing normal (minus The Bloat) I seriously thought that everyone had been lying to me all this time. Sore boobs? What? I’m supposed to feel sick? Really? So thanks for restoring my faith in humanity and for confirming that, yes, I am just a freak. (A lucky freak, but still a freak.) Cheers to the start of your second tri (and my third)!

  • 10. Kay  |  December 30, 2008 at 1:06 pm

    Okay, brining comments aside, I just thought I would pass on that, as a person that is pathologically afraid that pregnancy is an airborne illness, I generally don’t get too wrapped up in the baby mumbo-jumbo. (And I feel comfortable posting that since you’ve freely admitted you once shared my neurosis) BUT, with that having been said, I sincerely think that the end to this post was one of the most adorable and touching commentaries on the whole sicky-icky-gross process of pregnancy, parenting and motherhood i’ve ever read.

    Well done 🙂


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