It starts slowly. Gently. One moment, you’re not 100% sure you are pregnant even though you took a test that displayed two lines pretty instantaneously. You even go to the doctor’s just for a second opinion. He does no test. He is sure you are, based on your LMP and general cycle history. Oh yeah, you will learn a lot of acronyms during the journey. For the purposes of this story, we will focus on just bodily changes — not the mind, not the feelings — just the body. The rest of the first trimester manenos deserve their own story.
Also, how does Shiku suddenly know these things? I guess we will find out soon enough, won’t we? 😉
Here we go.
Sore, sore boobies
This is, I would confidently say, the most bearable part of it all. You’ve probably felt it before with your periods sometimes. This is a notch higher. The twins are preparing to nurse someone in nine months. Then they gradually start to increase in size. Now may be a good time to get strap extenders. You will discover they exist because you need them now.
Utter and complete exhaustion. You will do nothing all day and still feel like you have been hiking on Mt. Longonot. What makes it worse is that you have done absolutely nothing but lie down. But when you think about it, you are doing a lot, you just don’t know it yet. Your body is building a little someone cell by cell from nothing. And you are about to do more with the next fun part below.
Let the puke begin
Bleugh. This has to be the absolute worst symptom of the first trimester. If you are among the unfortunate ones, you will discover that morning sickness is a myth. IT IS ALL-DAY SICKNESS. ALL. DAY. You now know the exact morphology of your toilet bowl. You know what it means to hug it. To kneel in front of it. To squat. To bend. When you are not puking, you are feeling like puking. When you are not feeling like puking, you are sleeping. So you will want to sleep more because that is your only relief.
The thought of food depresses you. You try. God knows you try to eat. But 99% of it comes back up. So what obviously happens next? You lose your meagre kilograms. Your rings fall off your finger all the time. Everyday you watch the scale go down. There is another acronym that threatens you daily: HG. Hyperemesis gravidarum. This is the extreme condition that necessitates doctors getting you hydrated via drips. And because you don’t want to get dehydrated from the extreme nausea and vomiting, you try to sip water in various forms. Iced. Teas. Smoothies. Juices.
You try everything your mums and girlfriends recommend. Bananas. Sweet potatoes. Carrots. Ginger biscuits (Pure scam this one, for you specifically. Does absolutely nada). Porridge (This one tries to stick around in your system). Everything. You don’t even have cravings, just your brain working overtime to figure out what you can eat and keep down. For some reason, soda makes you happy. You had quit it years ago. Must be the bubbles. White bread also tastes real nice with soda, suddenly. All the unhealthy things you had given up are somehow more attractive and settle in the stomach. You have daydreams of white bread and melted Croma margarine sandwiches, boiled eggs and soda; top top meal during high school outings. You watch your man eat and get so jealous. Eating is a real blessing, friends. Eating and enjoying the meal.
Sob. This is embarrassing, in addition to being uncomfortable. Out of the blue, your mouth is suddenly, constantly filled with spit. Trying to swallow it like before is torture, it just makes you more nauseous. Only solution for you is spitting it. In cups. In bottles. On the roadside. In the shower. So disgusting, even to you, the doer. It’s even worse in public, because you really don’t want people to get disgusted. So you try to be as discreet as possible with your designated opaque bottle. Half the time, you are in a pout. In one short sitting, you fill a large cup. No kidding. The body just decides to produce this substance all the time except when you are asleep. Apparently, it is its way of protecting your teeth from all the acid you bring back to your mouth during the puking episodes. Yawa.
Dry, chapped lips
Thanks to the activities above, you’re clearly not retaining the water you normally do. Your lips now peel off on the daily. It can get really bad to the point of slight bleeding. So you try not to disturb them. This too shall pass. You laugh at a video of a mum-to-be talking about her experience. She has tried her best to look good on this particular day and has some makeup on but mid sentence, she wonders if her lips are falling off. At least you still have the energy to laugh. Lol.
There are people who have issues with the smell of onion. You don’t have that. Onion is okay. You have a problem with other things. Opening the fridge. Anything off gets to your nose even in another room. The waft from neighbours’ kitchens just before dinnertime as you walk up the stairs. Your hubby frying sausages. Oh my God. The thought could make you gag. So you make him close all the doors and open the kitchen door and window until he is done. What, even, are sausages? Yuck. Are you smelling too? Is he? Is the whole world just smelling of weird things all the time? **screams**
No thank you. I mean? Who has the time to get frisky with all these other things going on inside and outside your body? A touch might even make you gag. How do you even kiss with all that saliva? How do you do anything anymore? You are exhausted 100% of the time. If you have it even worse, there will be an annoying infection popping up every now and then. Sigh. And the fact that this is happening makes you want to sob. But you don’t. You need to keep a straight face and wait for the sex drive to come back. Because it will. Stay tuned.
Skin Drama (Acne)
You know that glow people keep talking about? Well, I think it’s simply a mix of acne and perspiration. Honestly. At some point, the body tricks you into thinking you finally have smooth skin. But then a few days later, acne, like it has never hit you before, hits you. Everywhere. Your face, your neck, your back, your chest, your bump. Big painful zits that call out to you to play with them. And they are painful to touch too. You think this is what gives away your condition, even when your bump is yet to show, or when you do not show it in pictures. Somehow, women know. How do they do that? Something else we will figure out soon.
This one is almost funny. You laugh at yourself. First of all, there is rarely anything that gets to that side of your body anyway. Nothing will give. They say you should not force it because you increase the risk of further complications. So you wait a day to try again. And another. And yet another. The day it does though, it is torture. You break into a sweat. A sweat that runs down your entire being. But when you are past that, you can smile. Victory.
Before the TMI gets too much for one post, let us stop there today.
And by the way, you’re not scared and don’t intend to scare anyone. Sharing is caring. Plus the same body surprises you in a few good ways during this first trimester. Your hair is suddenly a delight to your hairdresser. He can handle it very well because it is softer now and grows incredibly fast! Also, your nails look amazing-er. So, we’re not complaining. Also, they say really good things about the second trimester. You gotta weather this period like a woman to enjoy the fruits of this blessing. 💪
Kikuyu Proverb of the day: Gutiri kiega kiumaga hega. Literal translation: No good thing comes from a good place.