More Complaints about the Blessings of the First Trimester

If it isn’t enough that Mother Nature cursed most of us the need to empty our stomachs of all nutrition the first trimester, she blessed us with a few extra treats.  Like bone-deep, night-of-the-living-dead exhaustion.

I once read a theory that said that women were sick and tired in the beginning of pregnancy because it made them take better care of themselves as though they truly were sick.  I think I would prefer a coma instead.  I don’t know one mother who is able to baby herself when pregnant.  Maybe someone rich with a nanny, cook, and maid, but that’s not us.

I don’t remember being this tired with my other two pregnancies.  But I could have been.  With Tornado E, I was doing my time as an opening cashier at Home Depot.  (Ah the job opportunities for those blessed with a creative writing degree.)  Every morning I was up around 5 am to make it to work.  I’m not a morning person, and it was hard on me.  When I was pregnant with Tornado S, Tornado E was waking up in the middle of the night to cry, plead, and beg until he was in bed with us.  I gave in every night to find myself kicked, punched and shoved towards the end of my bed.  See, my pregnancy exhaustion could easily be cloaked by my every day exhaustion.

I do remember Tornado E watching more television in those early pregnancy weeks than any other time.  It’s happening today.  I feel like a horrible mother as I lay on the couch, trying to keep down breakfast, trying to get the energy to dress the boys as they slowly become television zombies.  My one shred of hope is that this is just a drop in the bucket in the large scheme of things, and I actually do pretty well with lack of sleep and a newborn.  (Knock on wood.)  It doesn’t ease the guilt though, so I usually drive them to my parents house so that my brother, the favorite Uncle M, can run them out in games of tag, wrestling,  hide-n-go-seek, swimming, soccer, and every thing else a favorite uncle can do when Mommy is just too weak.

And if that isn’t enough to feel like you just drank a bottle of Nyquil and that your breakfast would like to make an encore appearance, I have this horrible taste in my mouth.  It’s like something foul crawled in mouth and died in the back of my throat.  It makes me sick just to think about it.

I remember walking behind an MA at an appointment when I was pregnant with Tornado E.  She asked how I was doing.  “The usual.  Sick.  Tired.  Hey, I have this horrible taste in my mouth that I can’t get rid of . . . ?”  “Oh.  Lots of patients complain about that.”  Thanks that was so very helpful.

I found that cheap breathe mints, wintergreen flavor, was the only thing that kept the taste at bay.  I chewed on them constantly for a month or two in the other pregnancies.  This pregnancy, between the vomiting and dry heaving, my stomach is so tender it hates the thought of breathe mints.  I’m chewing on ice instead.

My prayers now end with “And Dear God, if it is in Your infinite wisdom, please get me the HELL out of the first trimester tomorrow.  Even if it isn’t in Your infinite wisdom, release me, I beg of you.  Make me horribly fat in the first week of the second trimester.  Give me swollen feet.  I’ll deal with stretching ligaments, pimples, even a few extra stretch marks.  JUST GET ME WELL.  For the boys, of course, so they have a better mother.  Amen.”

Well, it’s only a few more weeks.  Right?

But then my mother says I’m “dwelling” on it which makes it worse.  Right.

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It’s Got the Official Stamp

I spent an hour waiting in the freezing cold waiting room.  I get it.  No pregnant woman likes the hot September weather, but I get cold easily during the first months.  Soooo, I’m brining a sweater next time.

And how crazy is it that they found my chart from eight years back?  Yeah, weird.  Yes, in the end, I had to change ALL the information.

Apparently, I’m not eating enough carbs. 

Since it is eight weeks, with an April 18th due date, I assured my mom, who was begging to go, that all they would do was a Pap and a breast examine, and I want NO ONE else to witness those.  Besides do I want to look like this is my first rodeo?

But, this new doctor is all about high tech.  When the nurse assured me that next time would be my Pap but to strip off my bottoms and slide under the “sheet.”  And I use the term “sheet” Very Loosely as it’s more like an oversize paper towel.  I wondered what the heck was going on.  I actually I was a little worried.  Trauma from when I was six and had to have a Pap-like test because I had wiped myself so hard that I got toilet paper up there.

So when the doctor came in, introduced herself, and lubed up the ultra-sound, I was a bit nervous (because those things are cold, hard, and icky) and excited because really even though I was chattering with cold, I couldn’t help but keep eyeing the machine.

There is was.  The bean.  A centimeter.  The tadpole.  Just lying there, growing, beating it’s sort of heart.  All I could think of was, well, at least it’s not some horrible virus or cancer.  Because the second before, my doctor assured me that morning sickness got to be it’s worse at 10 weeks.  Thanks, doc.

Words of Wisdom: Morning Sickness

My mom owns the Better Homes and Garden Baby Book, published in 1943.  I am always quite interested about . . . let’s call it Modern History.  I am amazed how much our society has changed in sixty/fifty years.  My favorite example is my copy of a reprinted Betty Crocker Cookbook, where in the back it suggests lying on the kitchen floor to take a quick nap with a cartoon illustration of a woman actually lying on the kitchen floor as though she passed out from the wrong cleaning fumes.  It’s hilarious.  So far I have only skimmed the first part of the book, and I would like to share one of my favorite passages.


Although one-half to two-thirds of all expectant mothers have experienced nausea, especially in the first months of pregnancy, doctors today feel that much of the morning sickness in early pregnancy stems from a psychological rather than physical cause.  They believe that it results from the deep emotions that are aroused when a woman becomes aware that she is pregnant.  Some doctors think, too, that the fact that many women expect to be nauseated and vomit when they’re pregnant may account for “morning sickness.” (pg 39)


Now you can understand why I am filled with deep emotions when I read this as I am not sure whether to laugh or cry.  I can guarantee you that my morning sickness was not due to a psychological cause but that for some reason I couldn’t keep anything down for several months and that fetus Tornado E despised Baja-style tacos.  Since my mother and my grandma never had morning sickness (which I do believe just shows that life is just unfair and this is not genetic), I did not expect to have morning sickness.  But I had it in abundance, getting worse with Tornado S’s pregnancy.


Obviously the passage was written by a man and those “doctors” were men too.  Before you think we’ve moved on, let me assure you my husband came home one day to tell me that he thought my morning sickness was all in my head.  That my husband is alive today is a testament to my sainthood.  Please let the Vatican know.


I find it crazy that one-half to two-thirds of pregnant women were blatantly ignored, brushed over, disregarded over their feelings, their vomiting.  Heck, when they noticed that one-eighth (not a meager one-half) of men become prematurely bald, researchers were falling all over themselves to find out why, when, how, and a goddamn cure.  So where’s my goddamn cure?  (Sorry, I’m getting a little carried away.  Just wait until I return to the throws of morning sickness.) 


Today researchers believe that morning sickness is caused by the increased amount of hormones in the body.  Research shows no good evidence that morning sickness is in the head.  Many nurses will gleefully tell you that morning sickness is a sign that the baby is developing well.  My doctor assured me it was a good sign without the glee probably because I would not except the glee from anyone with a pair of testicles without a good kick to them.


It’s just nice to have a laugh once in a while at what used to be.


However if you’re experiencing this discomfort, it would be hard for anyone to convince you that you’re imagining things. (pg 39)


No shit.  It’s sort of like someone telling you that your broken arm is all in your head even though the arm is hanging crooked.




To be continued  . . . With words of wisdom of loosing baby weight.

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