I have not written since February. There has been good reason for that. The morning sickness I’d mentioned before got worse, to the point I couldn’t sit at my desk and work.
But, befittingly for the glimpse of spring we’ve had, things are looking up. I’ve been sick-free for ten days and am home dry into my second trimester. To say I’m relieved… well. Let’s just say the first trimester has been a tough one. It’s been full of conflicting emotions; of being over the moon about being pregnant, but then also feeling (and, let’s face it, looking) like crap physically because of it. The joy of my 12 week scan was muted by violently throwing up for the rest of the day. It’s been an up-and-down time; nothing has prepared me for my first pregnancy. Perhaps nothing really can.
Various things got me through. Things like Jacob’s crackers, which I nibbled on sadly and slowly for days for sustenance, and fizzy drinks, sour sweets and sugary icy mints – all the unhealthy crap I’d sworn off years ago. And people got me through. People like my back-rubbing husband, who made me orange-flavoured ice cubes to soothe my raw, vomit-ravaged throat. People like my mum, who caught the train down to London, held my hair back over the toilet bowl and boiled me fresh cardamom and fennel tea in the middle of one horrid Friday night, while I sobbed and whispered in bed that I just didn’t have the strength to be sick anymore.
But then, ten days ago, it just stopped. Kaboom. It just stopped. I still can’t quite believe it. I thought it might happen gradually, that eventually my body would adjust to the changes going on inside it. But it all happened at once.
So to any first trimester sisters who happen to be reading this and going through a hellish time, take heart. It will get better.
You may cry over the toilet, you may shiver from a lack of energy, you may long for food or loathe it and you may wonder why no one else you know got sick like you did too. You wonder whether you’re one of the unlucky sods who will be like this for the whole nine months. You resign yourself to it. The days will go slowly. You feel sorry for yourself, and then you feel guilty, because you’re pregnant goddamn it and not everyone who wants to be can be, so you get hard on yourself, tell yourself to be stronger and not such a wuss. You think about the baby, and you tell yourself it doesn’t matter what you go through as long as the baby is healthy and happy and okay, and for a while the idea of this baby inside your stomach which isn’t even showing yet doesn’t seem as abstract as it first did (and sometimes still does). You think about the baby, about him or her, and you know this awkward time is worth it. Some days you give up on work, watching romcoms on Love Film or sitcoms on E4 all day instead. Sometimes the rest helps, sometimes it doesn’t. You resign yourself some more.
But then, One Fine Day, you wake up and the fog of lethargy which usually clouds over you, isn’t there. You know, because you’ve got the strength to get out of bed. You feel like yourself. Mostly, you’re ravenous because you’ve not eaten properly for weeks. So eat. Eat slowly, carefully, but eat. Get your strength up. You’re getting back to being you. And then, suddenly you realise being pregnant isn’t just about enduring being sick anymore. Time is moving on, and being pregnant is big news you can finally, finally share with your friends. And that day, when the sickness and the nausea and the ice cubes and the crackers are behind you; that day is a good, good day.