There is nothing glamorous about the first trimester of pregnancy. Let’s just all agree to agree on that before we proceed. The first trimester is about as glamorous as that LAST agonizing month (which I’m fairly certain contains 2,646,513,544 days, amiright?), except your body is still mostly yours…mostly. From the outside looking in, anyway. This being my second round, and our kiddos only being 19 months apart, I have to laugh…oh how quickly I’d forgotten, my friends. How quickly I’d forgotten.
- Let’s start first with the hormones. HOLY HULK, THE HORMONES!! I have known instantly with BOTH pregnancies what no test confirmed for me until weeks later, thanks to the hormones. First pregnancy? Sparing the details, let’s just say…after a rough day, my husband found me hiding out in our master shower, where I’d been sobbing for a good hour, and wound up crying for another hour after telling him how stupid he was for offering me a tuna burrito. (I still stand by the validity of my final tears because tuna on a tortilla is, in fact, disgusting.) You want to witness a true ugly cry? No. No you don’t. Especially not about canned fish in your shower. This pregnancy? Told my husband how much I hated him on the day of our son’s 1st birthday party, and I SWEAR the voice of Satan came out of me when I said it. I don’t even know WHY I said it! Because hormones. That’s why. I hope every woman is lucky enough to have a partner to handle these hormones like a champ. Those peeps are the real MVPs in this journey.
- Next is the full body takeover. I was fairly sick the first 13ish weeks with our first one, but this one has surprisingly been easy on me in regards to puke-fests (KNOCKING ON WOOD NOW). Acne though? Yeah, I’m pushing 30 and have zits in places I never would’ve let myself imagine. My neck and chest look like a pepperoni pizza, and my face varies from flaky as a pastry crust to slick as the grease on aforementioned pizza. It’s disgusting. Oh, and I feel like EVERYTHING about me stinks. Lotion, deodorant, perfume and even laundry detergent has been changed. If you get a whiff of me and I sincerely DO smell, I’m sorry…to my super-Spidey charged senses, I smell better. Especially after that 3rd shower of the day that I just took.
- Naps. You’ll want soooo many of them. Then, at around 10 weeks or so, you just won’t sleep at all. Everything will hurt as it stretches and moves to accommodate your growing babe and changing bod, and you’ll be exhausted. Quite literally running on fumes, yet you can’t seem to shut down. Your BFF coffee? Traitor. Useless. I think it gets better in the second trimester, but I’m so tired that I can’t seem to remember…
- Which leads me to “pregnancy brain”. It’s for real, y’all. I’ve read some fascinating studies with ‘actual medical research’ blah blah blah and man, I feel SO MUCH BETTER knowing that I’m not simply failing at all adulting that requires any future planning. Learn to write anything of importance down because it does NOT get better. Plus, after you have the baby, it simply turns to “mom brain”. Also a legit condition, and equally as horrible. You’ll eventually forget you were ever any other way, tho, so it’s cool.
- So, the bloating. This wonderful symptom is why a dear friend of mine refers to this trimester as “the burrito stage”. It’s the time when you want to shout at anyone who looks at you, “I’M PREGNANT, NOT CHUBBY”, because it looks like you just ate a few too many burritos over the weekend and haven’t quite recovered. You know, like how your pants don’t fit quite the same, but you don’t have a round enough midsection to hold up maternity wear yet? Fortunately for me, I own every color of leggings. Unfortunately for everyone else…I own every color of leggings. Tip? Long flowing tops, long tank tops, cute/comfy shoes and juussttt the right flair of accessories will be your bestest friends for like, ever. Did I mention open front sweaters and scarves, if it’s a cooler season? They’re perfect postpartum, too. I only mention this because eventually, you won’t want to shop. Or leave the house. Or try anything on. Really, you won’t even want to wear clothes toward the end. So stock up now my friends, you’ll thank me later.
- Hair. I just don’t really want to talk about it. Hair I have, hair I don’t have, hair I CANNOT GET RID OF! Case in point: I do not have that “gorgeous pregnancy hair” everyone raves about. Like, I seriously got jipped on that deal. Oh, and no matter how many times I shave my legs, I can’t seem to succeed in getting it all. However–remember those “accessories” I mentioned above? Make sure a lipstick you love is included in that investment, if you make it. It’s amazing how often you can get by with a messy bun if you’ve got a popping lip color to redirect the attention of anyone you might encounter. Cute headbands and dry shampoo should also be on hand…I mean hair. Just trust me. I’m a hairy Italian/Mexican pro.
It’s not that I was an uber confident, radiant beauty BEFORE pregnancy, but when you become a size foreign to you-in a BODY foreign to you-it can genuinely start to drain what little self-assurance you once had. There are only so many times your husband and mother can tell you that “you’re so beautiful”. I mean, it’s their job, right? Rest assured mamas, this stage shall pass. You will soon have your emotions (moderately) back in check, your adorable belly will be the topic of conversation in the most random of places, and you will learn to carry any extra weight with grace. Embrace it, girl. In a few months, this burrito stage will be long forgotten…again.