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First trimester exhaustion, blues and doubts

Rachel O'Reilly

A daily challenge I faced was finding ways to connect with my baby. Connect in a way that kept me excited while believing all is still well with the growth of this little embryo. Each day I would wonder, are you still in there little June Bug?  Are you growing and will you really be my baby come June 2017?

I found it hard to stay patient and trust all was going well with my body and my baby’s growth. I kept reminding my husband that we have to be cautious and not get too attached because it was still so early, and anything could happen. I would give him the statistics of miscarriages for first pregnancies, and he’d tell me to stop thinking that way. I didn’t intend to be negative, I just wanted to stay careful, and keep a safe distance just in case we’d be confronted by any sort of disappointment. I started to feel guilty about keeping a safe distance and not letting myself get too excited. And, often, I would ask myself “when will I start feeling love and admiration for this little being?”

The signs of my first trimester appeared like clockwork, with minimal challenging symptoms. Did I feel nausea? Yes. Maybe for a week or so. Did I feel exhausted? Yes. To say I slept a lot is an understatement. However, I could get through my day-to-day activities and 9 straight hours at the office with relative ease, but as soon as I got home I would pass out. After sleeping for hours, my husband would ensure I ate dinner and made it into bed with brushed teeth and a washed face. And then we’d do it all over again the next day. I made up for years of lost sleep in just the first 3 months of this pregnancy--it was actually amazing! All of this rest felt mostly guilt free because it happened during our coldest months of fall that lead into the craziest rainy winter we’ve seen in years. So, not going outside for a workout, or not making it to my yoga class because it was dark by 5pm was okay with me. I'd find myself being disappointed here and there with my lack of physical activity. But, rest was what my body needed (there was no choice in the matter really), so I let it do just that.

Finally my 12th week hit and we had our first prenatal meeting with our midwife, which meant we were going to attempt to hear the heartbeat of our growing baby for the first time. For weeks and weeks, I couldn’t help but want that day to just hurry up and arrive already! When our midwife came into the room she prioritized listening to the heart beat before everything else. It took some time but once she found it, and we were able to give my husband some time to distinguish the difference between my heartbeat and the baby’s on the doppler, we both were in tears. It was the best feeling finally knowing it was true. We were really having a baby (le swoon).

How did you stay patient and trust everything was going well with your body and your baby’s growth?  What are/were some of the biggest fears and challenges you faced during your first trimester?