Hiding the Pregnancy
Pregnancy, like life, is different for every woman. One common thread, however, is that the first trimester, from what I’ve heard and experienced so far, is typically the hardest. Commonly, you feel nauseous, anxious, exhausted, and on top of that, you’re usually hiding all of these feelings and ailments from everyone around you.
In the beginning, when we first found out, I didn’t have any physical symptoms that suggested I was pregnant. Some women feel tenderness, others are nauseous, while others experience fatigue, among other classic signs. When I took my pregnancy test, I wasn’t experiencing any of these usual signs and was prompted only by my late period.
As the days and weeks progressed, however, I began to really notice my body changing and reacting to the pregnancy. I became light-headed in the mornings, to the point of passing out. I eventually experienced persistent nausea, but never to the point of being physically ill. While that might sound like a blessing, it just meant that the nausea persisted instead of being relieved! On top of that, I was exhausted – more exhausted than I’ve ever felt in my life. The bone-deep weariness, on top of the physical sickness, made it hard to hide my pregnancy and my emotions from my colleagues and my friends.
I don’t believe my experience was abnormal, and I know there are women who experience aggressive first trimesters that surpass my own – but when you’re going through it yourself, for the first time especially, the emotional rollercoaster you’re on can be confusing and feel like you’re never going to get through to the other side – especially when you can’t share why you’re seemingly out of sorts with those around you. Quite frankly, I was overwhelmed by the experience.
Several times I thought about telling everyone, to help explain what was happening. I didn’t want to cause any worry, and I also knew that the people around me would understand and be supportive. But I was also scared. I had wanted this to happen for so long, I was afraid of jinxing it.
Along with the physical symptoms, my body began to change shape quite early. I had recently updated my wardrobe, and now that new wardrobe no longer fit! I was cycling between about 3 different shirts and resorted to the hair-tie trick to keep my pants closed. One of life’s comforts is knowing what clothes of yours make you look your best, and now I was struggling to find something that would fit, be comfortable, and hide my mini bump. Since that change started for me so quickly, I had to do something – but what? I didn’t want to be ‘caught’ browsing in a maternity store as the news wasn’t public yet, and honestly, I didn’t even know where to start. Finally, at about 9 weeks my mother, with her maternal instincts – that I hope to hone to her level – secretly went to a maternity store to get me some basics that would tie me over. What a difference maternity pants make!
As the first trimester wound down, and my feelings of illness started to subside, I could feel my anxiety start to diminish. Obviously, anxiety around my pregnancy is something I know won’t go away – there is always a new stage to enter, and a new hill to climb. But as I started to grow, both comfortably in my new pants and within my newfound role of pregnant woman, I could feel the excitement about the next phase kick in. Now I could look forward to sharing my news. How did you share yours?