Hot Dogs and a Dying iPhone: The First Trimester

It’s so strange the ways that each pregnancy is different, isn’t it?  Even in the first trimester with this baby there were a few things that were similar to my other pregnancies, but a few other big things that were extremely different.

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When I was pregnant with Jayce and Hannah in the first trimester I felt like food was my biggest enemy.  I needed to consume unholy amounts of saltine crackers in order to keep myself vertical.  Bland food was my only weapon.  In Edinburgh I was sick (feeling) all day aside from when there was ginger ale in my mouth.  I would take two cans to work every day, pour them over ice in a travel coffee mug, and take tiny sips all day long.  The second that the drink passed from my mouth into my stomach I was queasy again.  Not great.

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But this time my body was like, “Give me all the avocados!!” or “Orange juice will not do, I want full-sized juicy oranges!!”  I seemed to pay for this an hour or so later, when the presence of real food in my stomach instead of just a toasted bagel drove me to the bag of pretzels to keep the nausea under control.  But in between I wanted meat, fruit, vegetables, and real food.  I craved food with flavor.  One day I texted Chris a picture the at lunchtime of toast with mashed avocado, two fried eggs on top, and a generous sprinkle of pepper and sea salt, with the caption, “It needed some bacon but tasted like heaven.”  I would eat a regular salad, or pizza, or whatever and declare “This is so delicious!!  Isn’t this delicious? This is the best that we’ve had in a long time” and Chris would just shake his head at me.  I wanted apple juice ALL THE TIME, and then only apple juice with ginger, and then I couldn’t stand the taste of the apple juice with ginger and tried to make everyone else in the house drink it.

Pregnancy is so weird.

Overall I tried not to think about my mild nausea, afraid a little bit that it was a sleeping beast, but for the most part it passed without ever fully rearing it’s ugly head.  It was persistent but never all encompassing, and never so bad that I was actually getting sick.  Aside from a hot dog at Lego Land and a warm taxi ride home, but that could have had nothing to do with pregnancy whatsoever.

Actually I take that back.  I never would have eaten a hot dog if I hadn’t been pregnant.

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The fatigue, however, was so relentless.

I know that people always say that in the first trimester you will be more tired than you have ever known.  That your body is (basically) using the same amount of energy to do fifteen different things that you are unaware of, in addition to whatever you are choosing to do.  It wears you completely down.  On two different occasions I fell asleep while we were eating dinner, and one of those times I continued to sleep for the next hour and a half.  When I fell asleep we were all eating and when I woke up the kids had been bathed and were in bed. Pregnancy fatigue doesn’t mess around.

I have always had trouble slowing down when I’m pregnant.  I think it is natural to not understand just how much you need to back off, particularly at first when everything doesn’t look so different on the outside.  My problem is that I say to myself, “Instead of 7-10 things on my to-do list, I will only have 3-5 things.”

That did cut back on my daily workload and expectations a little.  But the problem was that sometimes I could only finish one item from that list that day, and it took me all week to get through those 3-5 things.  It was fine and understandable, but also frustrating.

I drove myself crazy sometimes because sometimes I would set out on a very simple errand and it would completely wipe me out or leave me feeling really shaken and sick.  Literally taking the bus to one store and then coming straight home was too much.  I remember sitting in the changing room at H&M one afternoon for about twenty minutes, trying on no clothes, but just sitting and eating an apple so that I could muster up enough energy to get on the bus and go home.

I felt a bit like my old iPhone, which, in the end, I would plug in to charge overnight, and an hour after I unplugged it the next day was completely dead and needed to be plugged right back in.  Or I would charge it for three hours in the afternoon and the battery would only be at 25%.  That is what I felt like those first eleven weeks or so.

And that is the end of me comparing my pregnant body to a dying iPhone. 🙂