A Guide to Your Pregnancy by Trimester

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Close up of a pregnancy test.

1. The First Trimester. Finding out you’re having a baby can be a joyous moment. And then a tragic moment. And then joyous again. And then possibly turn you momentarily into a stark raving mad loony. Why? Because your hormones have gone HAYWIRE. I’m not talking, “Oh I have a bit of the PMS” haywire either. I’m talking about “I’m going to eat this jar of pickled asparagus and then cry and ask you to hug me and then scream at you for touching me,” haywire. What to expect:

  • Your body is exerting as much energy as it would if you were scaling a mountain. A FREAKING MOUNTAIN. You’re going to be tired. Exhausted. Bushed. Outta’ Gas. All the damntime. Naps happen. It’s okay. Working through your pregnancy? Empty offices make great places to take a nap on your yoga mat during your lunch break. Or under desk. The lobby. Wherever you find the most comfortable spot.
  • Your boobs are going to hurt like shizz. Just go ahead and let your significant other know that they are a no fly zone until you say otherwise. Should they disregard your advice, feel free to smack them about the head and the face. (No – I don’t condone abuse – don’t write me mean, nasty comments.)
  • Some people have morning sickness. Others have afternoon or evening sickness. Some people spend all day excusing themselves from meetings and appointments to shout groceries into the nearest toilet. I have personally found that chewing cinnamon gum all day long helps a little bit with that because I was the one shouting groceries all day long.
  • You may have cravings. Sometimes for healthy food. Sometimes for unhealthy food. Sometimes all you want is a damn margarita with tequila and you can’t have it because you’re pregnant and your husband refuses to smuggle one in to you right after the baby is born. That totally didn’t happen to me though.*
  • Warn whoever is in your life on a regular basis that you are having mood swings. No need to explain it to the checker at the grocery store. When he asks you “How are you doing today?”, replying “Like you really care?! Shut up! Stop talking to me! In fact don’t even look at me!” and then breaking down in tears is completely acceptable behavior.
  • You are going to become super intimate with every bathroom you come in contact with, whether it’s to pee, poop, try to poop, or toss your cookies.
  • It’s not all miserable. There are good moments, but girl – all your organs are getting pushed to the back of your body to make room for your new baby. Everything is changing which means you are going to have to change with them. Staying up until midnight catching up on True Blood isn’t going to be a priority anymore.

2. The Second Trimester. Usually the second trimester is easier. The Technicolor yawns into the toilet usually subside and your body is getting used to scaling the FREAKING MOUNTAIN, so you’re not quite as tired anymore. What is getting more noticeable now is your growing belly. You may not be able to see your hoo-hah anymore when you look down. You will have to start shopping in the maternity section. It’s okay though – the stuff now is WAY cuter than it was when I was pregnant. In the early 2000’s we all had to look like a ginormous arts & crafts quilt with a bow over our belly or arse. Coolest thing about the Second Trimester? You can start feeling the baby move. Or in the case of my last one, getting the hiccups, which she got all the time and usually in the middle of the night. What else to expect:

  • You’ll start having aches and pains in strange areas. You will discover you have hurt muscles where you didn’t even know you owned a muscle. If you can afford them, pregnancy massages are awesome. If you can’t, your significant other has a new job.
  • Battle scars. Stretch marks. Some of us get them. Some of us don’t. Some of us get them everywhere no matter how much “no stretch mark” cream we rub all over bodies. It’s okay. They just mean you are woman and people can hear you roar.
  • Boobs – if you’ve never had them, congratulations on your awesome new rack.
  • Things swell and tingle. Sometimes your feet will look like Snausages in shoes. Sometimes your face will look like you ate a bee for breakfast. Your wrists may suddenly remind you of that Cabbage Patch doll you once had. (IMPORTANT AND NOT FUNNY, SO DON’T LAUGH: If you notice any sudden swelling or sudden weight gain, call your doctor right away. It could be a sign of preeclampsia.)
  • This is the time of the pregnancy that you are going to feel the most normal. Plan the baby’s room, put together the bed, decide when you will take off work and for how long – all those things that require a sane brain. The Second Trimester is the sanest you’ll be for a while. After that it’s insane in the membrane (insane in the brain) for a long, long time. People call it pregnancy brain. That’s a nice way of saying “You are a complete and total basket case”.

3. The Third trimester. This is the part where you not only can’t see your hoo-hah, you can’t see your toes either. Breathing gets a harder because your lungs and heart are totes squished up into little balls of organ, including your bladder. FYI – you will spend ¼ of your third trimester tinkling. One of the most fun things about the third trimester is not only can you feel the baby move, you can see the baby move. There is nothing cooler than lying on your bed with your significant other and watching your belly contort like one of those Aliens babies is about to pop out at any second. It’s awesome sauce. If you’re into that sort of thing. What else is happening:

  • Shortness of breath due to squished organs.
  • Even more of that fun swelling. Your feet have gone from Snausages in shoes to the $40 sausage from Hickory Farms in shoes.
  • If you have never known what a hemorrhoid is – welcome. I’ll let you look that up.
  • Your sore breasteses may start randomly leaking. It’s kinda’ gross. Sorry.
  • Your “innie” that you’ve always been so proud of may turn into an “outie”. It’s probably a good idea to remove that belly button piercing as soon as you see the positive pregnancy test. Because….ewwww.
  • Sleeping – hah. Good luck with that.
  • The basketball starts to drop. Or beach ball. Or bean bag chair. You know, whatever you have going on in the abdomen region.
  • Contractions – real and fake – start happening. For some it feels like back pain, to others the worst period cramp ever in the entire world since Eve had her first period cramp during her first period. Some people, like a good friend of mine, won’t even notice and then poof, five minutes later there’s a baby. (I still love/hate her for that.)
  • Note: Don’t try and do too much. You’re not superwoman. You are not being lazy. You are making a baby. Also. Make your own decisions. Want to have your baby at home? Go for it. Want to have an epidural the moment you set foot in the hospital? Do it. Don’t let anyone else’s advice or experience prevent you from having your baby the way you want to have it. For realz. Don’t even listen to me if you don’t want to. (But you should.)

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