my first trimester experience

Jessica DeBano

If you’re reading this, you know by now- I’m pregnant. I’m probably somewhere sleeping, on the verge of nodding off or complaining about the newfound pain in my lower back. Adam’s nearby, probably teasing me about how I sound when I gag (it’s not cute). 

Let me just say, this hasn’t been the most pleasant, joyous 12 weeks of my adult life. In fact, its been quite the opposite. I signed up for a cute belly, and that’s it! That’s all I signed up for. I wanted to keep my small frame, and just be ‘all belly’. But that’s not really working out. Can someone please tell that to my double chin because I don’t think it got the memo. Over the last 3 months, I’ve been sick (more times than I count), I’ve cried (not happy tears), I’ve whined (Adam told me to knock it off), and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’ll never go through this again. Some of us just weren’t made to house babies. Puppies, though, that’s a whole different story. But for those of you who are curious, or are thinking you’ll be ‘all belly’- please read on. This has been my 3-month pregnancy experience.

Weeks 1-3: I found out I was pregnant during the third week of February. Specifically, on Adam and I’s 3rd year anniversary. Some anniversary present, right? We weren’t trying to get pregnant, but we weren’t really doing a great job at not trying. Either way, life’s funny. And life nearly killed Adam that day.

I was working in Anchorage earlier that week and was anxiously awaiting the arrival of my period. The same period that is NEVER late. I never suspected I would get pregnant because I had been off of birth control for almost 2 years and we never had a ‘scare’. But to ease both of our minds, I wanted to take a test. My boss needed to get some things from the grocery store so I sneakily ventured off to ‘the aisle’. You know, the aisle where they house the embarrassing products like lube, yeast infection cream, and… pregnancy tests. I’d never purchased a pregnancy test before, but being the savvy saver that I am, I quickly chose one based off of price alone.(Sorry EPT, you’re name brand and about $8.00 too overpriced for my budget). I didn’t want to bring home any evidence back to the bosses house so I took the first test in the bathroom at Fred Meyer’s in Midtown.

I sat there praying ‘Please, please- I do not want to find out I’m pregnant in a Fred Meyer stall.” 

Someone must’ve heard my prayer because the test was negative. (Phew.) I told Adam about the negative test and my stealthy behavior. We kind of laughed about the whole thing. Me? Being pregnant? Yeah, right. He told me that either way- positive or negative, it was going to be okay and we’d make it work. Little did I know I was going to need that support a few days later.

Week 4: It was Friday, February 23rd when I saw those two infamous pink lines. It was 7:14 a.m. and I had to leave for work, but not before I spent the next 37 minutes crying like a complete baby. I mean, SOBBING. I’m not sure if I was scared, sad, or angry. But that’s 100% how I reacted. (Future baby, if you’re twelve years old and reading this– I’m sorry but you scared the living shit out of me). Arms flailing in the air, hands trembling, and the tears were uncontrollably streaming down my face. I felt so dismal. Happy Friday!

The next few days/weeks were kind of a blur. One second, I’d be crying, the next I’d be staring off into space. Never once did I feel “happy”. Sure, at times, I’d feel excited but my excitement was quickly trumped by guilt. How could I feel even an ounce of excitement, when I felt like I had let everyone down. Adam, my step kids, my bosses, my parents… everyone. Even, Reggie! I felt guilty for putting everyone in this situation. A situation only Adam & I knew about. A baby was the last thing I thought anyone needed or wanted. And really, around this time Adam wasn’t much of a shoulder to lean on. He was scared, and disappointed in himself- mainly because of his kids. He wasn’t sure how they’d react or if they’d be upset at him. (Update: They weren’t upset, like at all. They were beyond thrilled to hear the news at week 12.) Still, I understood where he was coming from and I did my best to silence his badgering thoughts.

Week 7: After the past 3 weeks of self-doubt, negative thinking, and more sad tears, I caved. I knew the only way I would feel better is if I got it off my chest. At 7 weeks pregnant, I made some calls.

  • I told my boss (who was ecstatic). “We’re having a baby!” “What a blessing!”
  • I told my mom (who was shocked) “Really?!” “Oh my god, I’m so excited!”
  • I told my best friend (who was more excited than I was) “Why didn’t you tell me sooner!?”
  • I told Reggie (who can’t speak English) *Blank stare but very compelling, loving look*

Mentally, all of their support made me feel better. But physically, I was a walking corpse. It all hit me on a Sunday night, precisely at 8 weeks.

Week 8: Nausea and food aversions started. That night we had planned on eating *Deluxe* Macaroni & Cheese (classy, I know), but I could barely get my fork to pierce the noodle before I was gagging into my bowl. Nothing sounded okay, and food just seemed displeasing altogether. The next morning, the following morning, the morning after that, and the rest of the mornings to come I would puke upon waking. I would gag in my sleep, to the point where it would wake me up.

Upon waking, I’d try to eat. For the next 4 weeks, I survived on Honeycrisp Apples and Orange Gatorade. Two things I never ate/drank before conception (thank you, hormones). Every day, I’d eat about 4 apples, and a 6-pack of mini-sized Gatorade. I know the sugar in those drinks are insane, but with all the puking- it was more important for me to be consuming some fluids, than none at all. Water made me gag, scratch that- everything made me gag. My mid-wife (lol, I have a mid-wife) prescribed me a combination of Vitamin B6 and Unisom sleep tablets. Magically when taken together, they combat the all day nausea. They helped; 80% of the time. And that’s only if you remembered to take them!  So many days were spent being sick to my stomach wishing I had remembered to swallow those damn pills the night before.

Out of nowhere, I was just so tired. I started going to sleep earlier and taking frequent naps during the day. Thank you to my bosses for letting me catch some zzz’s in my office. I stopped going to the gym because I was so sick and way too tired. Weeks 8-12 were spent commuting between my desk and my bed. I neglected the laundry, stopped cooking dinner, and let’s just say all cleaning went by the wayside. Thank you to Adam for picking up the slack, folding the laundry, and making me dinner (a.k.a frozen Eggo waffles). He did a great job keeping the refrigerator stocked with apples and Gatorade.  We tried to go to Safeway together once, but that didn’t work out. I was gagging in every aisle (I could not tolerate the smells). He handed me the keys and said ‘go wait in the car’. I obliged, gladly!

Week 9: Still sick, still extra tired. Still trying to remember to take my Vitamin B6 and Unisom before bed. Laundry has invaded

Week 10: Sickness and fatigue, continue. Around this time, I started to gain a “little” weight because I wasn’t cooking my own meals or working out. Such a fun time in my life. Adam got me these wristbands called “Sea-Bands”. They use acupuncture to push a pressure point in your wrist that relieves morning sickness. They weren’t a great fashion statement, but I wore them- day in/day out.

Week 11: More pukes, more sleeps. People started to notice my weight gain. Close friends told me that people had been commenting on my recent weight gain. I didn’t feel like I had gained that much weight (5 lbs to be exact), but they said it was because I was so slim to begin with- that it was noticeable (was that backwards compliment? I’ll take it!). They pressured me to start telling people. Which meant, reminding Adam that we still needed to tell the kids…

My lower back started to hurt. BAD! Initially, I thought it was my bed. I’d been sleeping in my bed for 2+ years, how could it just now be starting to kill me? Turns out, it was those pesky hormones. In early pregnancy, the body is being flooded with progesterone. Among other things, this hormones allows the ligaments in your body to loosen up to prepare for the growing fetus throughout pregnancy resulting in the lower back pain that I was experiencing. By the end of the day, I could barely walk. Again, this is not what I signed up for!

Week 12: The week finally came when we were going to tell our kids! But not before we found out the gender. My work had planned a “gender reveal” birthday party for me. Much to my surprise, even Adam made it! (He’s not the most social butterfly in the garden). On Friday, April 20th on my 28th birthday, we found out we were having a beautiful baby girl!!

I wasn’t nervous to tell the kids until the actual moment finally came. We brought them into our bedroom and sat them down in our bed. Adam said, “You’re getting a baby sister.” Cue, the screams of joy! My step daughter was jumping up and down for joy, saying she always wanted a baby sister. My step son was in pure shock, but said he couldn’t wait to tell his friends at school. What a huge sigh a relief!

Around this time, I started to feel better, too! I got my energy back and was able to take back some of my normal routine. I started to work out 3x a week, actually cooked dinner 2 nights in a row, and got caught up on laundry. I haven’t worn my Sea Bands in 3 days, and haven’t had morning sickness either (fingers crossed). It looks like we are well on our way to our second trimester… and guess what?

I’m finally excited!

 12 Weeks pregnant. 12 Weeks pregnant.






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