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Struggling in the First Trimester of Pregnancy

The First Trimester of Pregnancy was Not Fun for Me

Yes, pregnancy is a beautiful thing. Don’t get me wrong. However, I felt miserable my entire first trimester of pregnancy. So, it was hard for me to wrap my head around the beauty. You usually hear people talk about signs and symptoms of pregnancy, but it is nothing like experiencing those things first hand.

What Led to Me Taking the Test?

I know that as women get older, our menstrual cycles change. However, for the most part, mine had been pretty consistent. I was on a 25/26 day cycle. So, if I ever veered out of that, I was skeptical. My period had only been late maybe one to three times within the past few years and that was only by less than 5 days. However, this time felt different. I had not experienced my usual PMS symptoms and that was rare like Mr. Clean with hair. I usually PMS starting 10 days before my period. I found this out by tracking my symptoms using the Flow app on my phone. My PMS includes extreme irritability, fatigue, and cramps. However, I was too cool, calm, and collected for my own good. I did have cramps but these cramps felt different. I also experienced nausea and daily headaches.

A few days before I found out I was pregnant, I woke up with a very bad migraine. My migraines make me nauseous. So, they make me feel very ill. My usual remedy for migraines is a grande cup of iced coffee from Starbucks (with light ice, caramel flavor, with almond milk). So, I got up and drove to Starbucks. I just knew I would be feeling better in less than 20 minutes. However, I took one sip, and felt that I was going to throw my guts up. I hadn’t eaten. So, when I got home, I tried to eat a bowl of Raisin Bran Crunch cereal. Ugh. I gagged. So, I laid down to reset. When I woke up, I still felt horrible. I couldn’t believe my Starbucks didn’t work.

After a few days, I just didn’t feel like myself. I was having cramps as if my period was on, but ol’ girl never showed up. I went to my cousin’s birthday gathering the night of October 30th, but God knows I didn’t feel like it. The exhaustion that I felt that day was incomparable to any exhaustion I had ever felt in my life. I had to drink a Red Bull to perk me up. I had taken a couple of shots before, and had one drink, while at the party, but I did not like the taste and actually felt nothing. This is when I started having my suspicions.

The night of October 30th

Taking the Test

I had bad cramps the next night. I was almost sure my period was going to come on over night. However, when I woke up in the morning, still NOTHING. My boyfriend had left to go for a run around 5am and I couldn’t wait, I just had to know. I was not expecting to be pregnant, though. I just so happened to have a pregnancy test from Family Dollar. So, I took it out…

Positive pregnancy test (11/1/20)

I sent this picture to my boyfriend and he called me immediately. I could hear him still running in the background.

Him: “So, you’re pregnant?”

Me: “I guess so”.

Him: “Well I guess it’s grind time for me”.

That was all we said before hanging up. I just went back to sleep in disbelief.

November 1st

I was getting ready for another cousin’s birthday festivities and that was EXTREMELY difficult for me. Once again, the exhaustion was real. I got ready three hours in advance because the longer I sat, the less I felt like leaving the house. Within the last hour, I changed my outfit about 5 times. I was not feeling how I looked and I almost never have that struggle. I had to give myself a pep talk in order to leave the house.

The day I found out I was pregnant (11/1/20)

The very next day was a Monday. As soon as I opened my eyes, I had scheduled my first prenatal appointment and ultrasound. My appointments were a few weeks out, but in the meantime, all of my symptoms were picking up.

Early Signs and Symptoms

Extreme Fatigue

As I mentioned above, I had become extremely exhausted. I worked from home. So, I was rarely doing anything besides working. I didn’t even have the energy to do anything else. It was hard for me to wake up in the morning. I usually woke up around 7/7:30am everyday, but that became more like 9/9:30am. I could barely keep my eyes open throughout the day, needing to take a nap at 11am and going to bed as early as 7:30pm.

Daily Migraines

I was having daily migraines, that nothing would help. I would put ice over my eyes for relief, but that was about it. I’ve always had hormone sensitive migraines, especially before and after my periods. So, I knew once I became pregnant, they would be an issue.

Food Aversions

I don’t eat a lot of meat. Chicken will usually always be my go to. However, when I tried to eat it, it would not settle in my stomach. I didn’t even want to think about it. I was so uninterested. This discouraged me from wanting to eat food in general because I love chicken. People suggested ginger tea or ginger ale to settle my stomach, but I couldn’t even stand the smell or taste of ginger, either.

Chicken got the most hate from me. However, there were a lot of other things that I couldn’t stand to eat. Some of them, I ate just because if I didn’t, I would probably starve. One day, though, I got some chicken noodle soup from Wawa and that became my go to.

Need for Food

I will never forget crying because I would get nauseous if I didn’t eat, but being scared to eat because I didn’t want to get sick. What a Catch 22. In between meals, I would get so queasy and I even felt a little pain in my belly. I googled what to do and the results came back that I should be snacking in between meals. Plain chips got the job done, at first, but I knew I couldn’t continue to eat chips. So, I started dating different snacks from Cheez-its, to granola bars, to applesauce and everything else. The winners were Saltine Crackers (which everyone had suggested), Rice Krispies Treats and Applesauce. I would go to the store and buy family size boxes of each. Everywhere I went, I would have them stuffed in my coat pocket or pocketbooks.

Heightened Sense of Smell

You couldn’t tell me I didn’t become a bloodhound as soon as I got pregnant. I could smell the laundry detergent my neighbors used, what my boyfriend ate for lunch, what cologne a man across the street was using, the list goes on. I HATED every single thing I smelled. My love for Starbucks had died, instantly. It’s bad enough I couldn’t drink coffee anymore, but the smell of it and even the sight of a Starbucks sign turned my stomach. I used to burn my “Paris Cafe” (coffee scented) candle every day. As soon as I became pregnant, I couldn’t even sit in a room with it. One night, I woke up and threw them in the trash.


The Symptoms Aren’t Pleasant But What Do You Do in the Meantime?

The symptoms in my first trimester of pregnancy kind of took away from my excitement from being pregnant. However, after a while I knew I had to do something to help me adjust. I thought about all of the women who had been pregnant before me, who made the beginning of their pregnancies look easy. Thinking about the strength it takes to feel miserable, but still push through inspired me. So, I got myself together to help me get through. These are the things that helped me:

  1. Establish A Support System

  2. Keep Snacking

  3. Drink Plenty of Water

  4. Do Whatever Makes You Feel Good When You Can (I tried to maintain my yoga practice)

  5. Rest!

Thank you for taking the time to read about my first trimester of pregnancy. I can’t wait to share about my second trimester experiences. After all, “they” say that it’s the trimester you get your appetite and energy back! We’ll see!

Until then, keep sipping…

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