I am so excited to finally share this with all of you! It’s official; I can shout it from the condo-tops- I am with child! I have been for over 15 weeks but it’s been a big secret. It’s also been the strangest secret I’ve ever had to keep. Everyone kind of knows that when you get pregnant there are some things that happen to you. Maybe you’ve read some stuff, but I want to tell you right now, nothing will properly prepare you for the first 3 months of creating a human, especially when it’s all top secret.
If you’ve followed me for a little while, you’d know that I know a fair amount about pregnancy and about babies. I am a Preconception Nutritional Therapist and a Doula. That means I’ve spent a lot of time reading about pregnancy symptoms and how to prepare your body for a healthy pregnancy. I had a pretty good idea what I was getting myself into when my husband and I made the decision to have a baby. However, in all my reading I never stumbled upon any articles or blogs that described any of the psychological phenomenon that I’ve been experiencing.
If you want to check out how I prepared myself for pregnancy, you can grab a free copy of my 8 Step Fertility Checklist Here:
It has been truly incredible and almost indescribable, but I’m going to do my best to tell you what the first trimester has been in comparison to what I was expecting.
The moment I knew I was pregnant **which was through a dream I had in which I felt a zap that meant I was definitely pregnant** I went completely inward. Maybe you noticed that I virtually disappeared off of social media and stopped sending out anything new. There was something that happened inside of me that redirected all of my creative energy towards this little baby I am making. It left absolutely nothing for me to put out into the world for my followers- and I was and still am completely okay with that. For the first time ever, I felt no obligation whatsoever to create anything, because I knew I was creating something WAY more important than any YouTube video or Instagram post could ever offer.
I have really come to believe that the first trimester isn’t talked about enough. In 12 weeks you are basically creating an entire human and you grow an entirely new organ (the placenta). After 12 week, the goal of your little fetus is to mature all of its new systems and grow bigger, but all the most formative work is already done. When we imagine the difficult part of pregnancy we automatically think about the last couple months when ladies have a big old belly and their feet hurt etc. While that is definitely also a trying portion of creating a human, there is SO much going on in the first trimester too that you don’t ever hear about.
Let me tell you a bit about it. I’ll start with morning sickness because that’s what most of us imagine when we think about the beginning of a pregnancy. Morning sickness is this strange feeling that can best be described as nausea, and some women actually do get sick and throw up. Luckily, I did not ever actually get to that point, I was definitely very nauseous but that wasn’t it. It’s not really just nausea; it’s this feeling of being taken over by some alien force. I honesty felt like a zombie for quite awhile. Some days I wasn’t exactly nauseous, but I was simply repulsed by everything. Everything was more overwhelming that it should have been. It was as though my senses were turned up to level 10, and it was a lot to handle.
It’s totally true about smells as well, you can smell everything and it’s not pleasant. I could smell the Tabasco on my husband’s pork chop from across the room and his cologne suddenly grossed me out too. I stopped posting on Instagram because I couldn’t handle cooking and I definitely had nothing that I felt was “post-worthy” in my diet. I will share more with you about my nutrition during my first trimester later on.
The fatigue is also so real. I think this part really surprised me. I was nearly knocked off my feet and it makes perfect sense, but no one really tells you. It takes a hell of a lot of energy to make a new human! It can be compared to running a marathon, literally. They say your body is expending more energy at rest than it would be if you were running a marathon.
Okay, so I’m supposed to be feeling like a zombie and barely keeping my eyes open and you mean I’m not supposed to tell anyone what’s going on with me AND I’m likely expected to keep up the same amount of productivity in my day to day life? HA.
I feel for you ladies who work in offices and in situations where you have a lot of coworkers you need to be around on a day-to-day basis. I feel incredibly lucky that I could hide out at home or around other ladies who just had babies for the majority of this trimester and that I had the ability to tell the people that mattered what was going on with me.
The nausea and fatigue were probably almost the heaviest hitters, and I’m still on the physical stuff! I was also super surprised by how breathless I became. About a week after becoming pregnant, I noticed that after walking up a hill I felt like I had just done 20 minutes of cardio in the gym. I was huffing and puffing and I couldn’t believe it! I thought that only happened later when you get tired from carrying around all that extra weight. But no! Your body starts to produce a ton of extra blood and your hemoglobin doesn’t catch up quickly enough. Therefore it’s harder for your body to re-oxygenate; hence, breathlessness. Walking up stairs is TOUGH hahaha and I am a pretty fit girl!
Another big surprise was the having to pee constantly. I was under the impression that only happened when your baby got big enough to squish your bladder. However in the first trimester, your body produces a ton of progesterone and that causes your kidneys to become highly active which sends you running to the bathroom constantly. Most nights I have to get up 2-3 times to relieve myself. I think this is Mother Nature’s way of sleep training YOU right from the beginning!
A few other things that happened that also surprised me were just how big my boobs got and how quickly that happened (I think it was about a cup size in a week), how dizzy I can get, and my lack of interest in any meat (even chicken).
So, while all of this physical stuff is going on you also have this huge task of absorbing the fact that YOU HAVE A HUMAN IN YOU! That’s kind of a big deal. It’s sort of a huge thing to process.
Okay so you pee on a stick, and you get the two lines and it’s like okay, I’m pretty sure that means I’m pregnant. Then you go get blood work done and it comes back positive (we did it twice to make sure the hormone levels were doubling as they should be) and then you’re like okay well that means I’m definitely pregnant. Then we went and had an internal ultrasound done because we had the help of some reproductive technology in our conception, and that also confirmed the pregnancy. So now, we’re at more than triple confirmation that it’s really true. But let me ask you this- if someone told you everyday that you had a human growing inside of you, how many days would it take before you really truly believed it?
I know, you have all these symptoms to corroborate the pregnancy, but do you really tie it all together and believe it? Does it sink in and do you digest it, process it and assimilate it? Maybe some people do, but this was a lot for me. I don’t even think I really still believe it! And let me tell you, I’ve wanted to be pregnant for a long time. I’m one of those women who always wanted to be a mother. Ever since I was a little girl that was one of the top things on my life’s to-do list. But still, it’s really mind blowing to look down at your belly and imagine the whole world of activity just beneath a few layers of tissue.
I would say it wasn’t until we had our 12 week ultrasound and we saw that little boo kicking around and sucking on it’s perfect little hand that I really believed there was a real little soul in there. I’m still astounded when I look at my belly and I’m really not even showing yet.
So there’s the processing of the fact that you are doing what you are doing, and then there’s this whole other layer of thought- I am becoming a mom. Woah. Boom. Explosions. Life changing. Self-perception changing. Society’s views of me changing. Waaaaaaa. Woah.
I was walking through the mall the other day and looking at all the models in the store windows thinking, these women are not moms. Even if the models are moms themselves, these women are not what the media portrays as moms. Then I had this feeling like none of this was meant for me anymore. None of this super-cool, sexy, stylish stuff was for me anymore. I’m a mom now.
Now don’t get me wrong here, I don’t think a mom can’t be sexy, cool, stylish etc. It’s just that, that’s not really what is being projected by the majority of what we are exposed to in movies, magazines etc. If you are a mom who is those things you are either put on a pedestal because you are going “against the grain” and other women want to as well but it’s too much to juggle OR you are a mom who is those things and you are bashed and torn down from every possible angle because it must mean you’re a bad mom.
Yikes. I’m about to enter those waters. I’m about to enter that space where nothing you do can possibly be right. Where you constantly battle your conscience, the messages that are pouring in from all sides and the desire to be true to yourself.
There is a HUGE mental battle in the mom-space to be the best mom possible but maintain a sense-of self. I feel like that might be the biggest fear of all moms, especially moms who decide to stay home with their children. Society does not appreciate the magnificence of being a mother, and the incredible importance of that job. It tells us the only way we can be valuable in this world is to have accomplishments that come with a dollar value. We feel that in order to be important we must use our brains, be the cleverest, be the smartest and to play on the same playing field as men. Society is encouraging us to be lovelier versions of men, but when we become moms we do more than double that.
It’s like we have to prove our womanhood all over again when we become moms and that is a really strange feeling to have and I’m not even IN IT yet.
I feel like I’m about to join a club where all the support that I need is from other moms, and yet there is this under-tone of constant disapproval within that very group. It’s kind of scary!
I know most women say that they think it’s awesome for women to have the choice to stay at home with their kids. I also think that secretly, deep down they would never make that choice because they wouldn’t feel valued by society. It’s just deeply engrained in us that mom-work is not “real-work”. In my opinion, our society’s biggest problems have come alongside the downfall of the family unit. And who is that has historically been the person who glues a family together? Mom.
I’m not entirely sure how we can change these perceptions, but I think a lot of it comes back to the devaluing of femininity and feminine energy. I think femininity is completely misunderstood and often linked with weakness whether consciously or subconsciously. I know for a long time I thought I had to be more a like a guy in many ways to be a better woman but I’m currently doing the work to reprogram myself.
Part of my journey is to dive into and honor my feminine energy and respect the power that is inherent within that. I feel like the world needs more women to ditch the masculine pissing contest and figure out how to really support other women and especially other mothers.
*As a side note, men can have a dominant feminine energy as well. Men can also stay home with the children. Both should be equally accepted. My point is here is mainly about women, their sense of self and how motherhood is viewed by the majority.*
I don’t know how this is all going to play out in my life but it just seems to be another hugely scary part of pregnancy- all of the unknowns (probably just a small intro to the crazy uncertainty of parenthood). What I do know is I’m ready for this. I’m ready for the surprises and the challenges. I’m ready to share all I learn along the way- and hopefully to become a part of a movement to reclaim the respect that motherhood deserves.
Ps. If you are in the process of trying to get pregnant, if you are considering it within the next year or two, or you’re already pregnant- I want to meet YOU! Come and join me and a group of supportive women in my private Facebook community Radiant & Ready with Milli Fox. Click the title of the group to come join!