I found out I was pregnant at three weeks. Not only did I have no symptoms, I felt great. Energetic, my digestion was good, I was happy and upbeat… I naively thought that after all my struggles to conceive – I ended up getting pregnant via IVF – I was getting thrown a bone! I would be one of those lucky women who didn’t have any pregnancy symptoms. Fast forward to two weeks later and I was hugging the toilet for what seemed like all day, every day. I couldn’t even drink water without throwing up and I felt nauseous all the time. I was also constipated and couldn’t think of ANYTHING I WANTED TO EAT. Literally if you told me I could eat 100000 cookies and nothing would effect my health, I wouldn’t have wanted to. I was not only grossed by everything, I was scared to eat because everything was making me vomit.
I’m just out of my first trimester and things are a bit better, but still not great. I don’t feel nauseous all day or vomit all the time, but still at least for a few hours a day I feel weak and unwell. I’m also perpetually constipated and the thought of eating fiber crackers or anything else that might help makes me nauseous. Even drinking water – I usually drink 2-3l a day – is a struggle. How is it that no one talks about how awful first trimester is! You’re also tired all the time – mentally and physically. There were times when I would go out to Whole Foods, for example, which is about 6-7 minutes walking from my apartment and I would have to stop to rest half way. I worked out every day throughout my first trimester (which makes me luckier than many), but I barely did anything. I would go to my Barry’s Bootcamp classes mostly for mental sanity and I definitly didn’t, and still don’t, have the energy to run.
When I asked my friend who recently had a baby why she or no one else warned me about how truly exhausting and miserable first trimester can be she told me “you think first trimester is bad, let me tell you – no one talks about what a massacre child birth is!” She went on to tell me that she doesn’t even want to tell me because she wants to have more kids and thinking about what she had just gone through – as happy as she is – might put a wrinkle in that plan.
Another reason people don’t talk about this is that most people keep their pregnancy a secret for the first few months so by the time they do tell people they are out of this tough phase and are on to the next set of pregnancy feelings. Maybe I’m more open because of my struggles with fertility and IVF, but I wish it was more acceptable to be honest about early pregnancy so we would all be more sympathetic and helpful in these difficult times. This journey from IVF to pregnancy has taught me how most of us really don’t know the basics of how our bodies work! Everyone says that after 14 weeks things get better and you get your energy and appetite back…I can’t wait:)