Becoming a Mother – The First Trimester

February 25, 2017

The First Trimester - Motherhood 1 - Ella Frances

So I guess… I will start from the beginning. It was a September Sunday afternoon; we were watching the football game and relaxing at home. Not knowing that this day would change our life for the better. I felt pregnant; deep down I knew I was pregnant. We walked to our neighborhood drug store and purchased an at home pregnancy test. Graham had insisted on being there while I peed on the stick so we could find out together. I started crying instantly, I could not believe it! I took the second one almost immediately after the first… still two lines.

The second line was really faint and I could not believe it until I heard this from a doctor. I made myself an appointment to see the earliest available doctor for the following day. The doctor told us, “Your at home pregnancy test was positive? Well, than, Congratulations! You are pregnant.” I started laughing, “That is it?!” He offered to give us the blood test which is offered at the clinic, but reassured us it would be a waste of time and money, we were pregnant.”

We went back home, we did not know what to do. Graham was so excited; he kept saying, “This is the best news”. I did not feel cool, calm and collected and felt guilty all of my feelings were not joyful. I cried a lot out of nerves, anxiety and excitement. Thoughts and emotions raced through my mind, so fast I could hardly process each of them. Our marriage, our home, our life, my belly, my life would change forever and I had know idea how (and still do not). The process of becoming a mother began.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” -Maya Angelou 

The next ten weeks would be some of the hardest days of my life yet. We decided not to tell anyone until after the first trimester. Looking back, I am glad we did this but it was really challenging and stressful. “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” –Maya Angelou. I could not say it any better, holding a secret of a pregnancy has its benefits and challenges. A shockingly large percentage of women miscarry during their first trimester, my own mother having had been one of them. I had the fear that if I shared the news too soon, that would be more people that would have to feel the pain of a loss. So, we kept the news to ourselves, for now.

I felt as if I was commenced into one group of women and banished from another. Not only was I one of the first of my friends to get married and now be pregnant, I couldn’t feel more alone. I naturally gravitated away from social outings that would involve drinking, which as a twenty-something is hard to do. I felt I had drifted from my friends, and did not advance any new friendships out of fear that they would ask me out for drinks. One of my good friends came into town to visit and a group of us went out for Halloween, and I came up with some silly lie that I was doing the ‘Whole 30’ diet to avoid the discussion on why I was not drinking. I lied to my best friends – crazy! The more I avoided social settings with drinking, the more they avoided me… and before I knew it, I stopped getting invited.

At about Week 10 we had our first ultrasound. We were nervous, but also so excited; it was like we were meeting our little one for the first time! It was confirmed, still pregnant. I felt this newfound respect for my body and its fertility; I felt happy and relieved. After our ultrasound, I began to look at other mothers and my friends who are struggling to conceive in an entirely new perspective.

My advice to young women who are newly pregnant and are considering not sharing the news until after your first trimester… It will be tough, challenging and have its pros and cons. You can always change your mind at any point; there are no rules to this. Do what ever makes you feel more at ease and comfortable. If keeping it to yourself is truly giving you stress, than start sharing the news to people you really love and trust. Every new mom needs a support system. Know you are not alone. Not ever. Millions of women have gone through this period of time, and are going through it right now alone with you.

We have been very lucky; we currently sit a short 14 weeks out from our due date and greeting our little one into our life. A lot has happened in the last six months since that Sunday afternoon, and I cannot wait to share some of my experiences with you.