The Surrealness of the First Trimester

Photo by Kristina Flour / Unsplash

(Disclaimer: This was written pre-pandemic as I chronicled my pregnancy.)

It’s hard being in the first trimester.

You have this HUGE news that you are not supposed to share with anyone that affects your family, your body, your future, your everything. When I say “not supposed to,” of course, it’s personal preference whether or not you want to tell people before the 13-week mark, when it’s considered “safe” as far as the likelihood of a miscarriage.

I just had a quick Google - which I really am going to try not to do too much of like I did the first time around because it made me go a little nuts - and apparently the chance of miscarriage drops rapidly once you’re passed the 6-week mark, which is where I am right now.

Still, it feels right to err on the side of prudence.

Obviously I have told a few close girlfriends, and any close friend that I see in person, I feel like I have to tell. These are friends that I would have no problem talking to should anything go awry in the pregnancy, and the moral support is so important for expectant mamas.

Anyone that my husband and I share mutually, like all of our family, will have to wait until at least after my first doctor appointment at 9 weeks. This is more his wish than mine, but, I appreciate where he is coming from.

So, I am in a state of limbo for the next few weeks. I am still moving through daily life, out and about in the world as normal but with nausea and exhaustion.

I can’t help but think about what we’ll need in place in the coming months. I look around our apartment and struggle to see how we’re going to fit a baby. We had already decided that this is going to be our final year at this apartment, so in a way, we have been paving the way for changes that will need to be made before even knowing about the upcoming addition to our family.

I’m thinking how great it is that I have kept so much of Ryker’s baby things. That entire closet full of his old clothes and toys now seems well-planned instead of being the result of crazy hoarding habits. We still have his beautiful crib and dresser and changing table, shipped over from our home in London. We have strollers. I woke up this morning wondering if we could use his infant carseat, trying to recall if I had perhaps seen mold on the fabric.

Since we were planning on moving out anyway, it would make sense to start the search for a new home sooner rather than later. We would want to be settled by October, which, incidentally, is both the month that the baby is due and the month that our current lease ends.

I keep thinking: This baby has impeccable timing! S/he gave me the holidays and my birthday to celebrate with libatious freedom. S/he knew that having a summer birthday made things complicated as far as school cutoffs. S/he was the perfect punctuation of magic on a really special weekend. And on top of it, s/he’s timing his/her arrival with the end of our lease!

It’s having little thoughts like this that make the secrecy of the first trimester wonderfully special. Thoughts like, when I’m practicing yoga, knowing that s/he is moving through the poses with me. Thoughts like, for the next 9 months, I am never going to be by myself; there’s another little heart growing and beating inside of me. Thoughts like, when I pick Ryker up from school and we walk home holding hands, in that moment in our little orbit, there are 3 souls connected, 3 beings existing together.

These early weeks are surreal. We are all excited but at the same time we feel like we should not be too excited yet. Cautiously optimistic. My body feels different; I am aware that for the time being it does not belong to me. Its main purpose has changed. But I don’t really look different from the outside. I can’t wait to clear the 13-week mark and talk to whomever I please about it all.

I do also love having this cozy little secret. Quietly wondering who it is that has picked us as his/her family. Gently navigating the conversation of Mommy having a baby in my belly with Ryker. Happily taking in my husband’s increased concern about how I’m feeling. Appreciating my nausea, my sore breasts, my changed palette, and my exhaustion, because all of it signifies that something big is happening inside of me.

I am a mama, writer, yoga teacher, and mental health advocate.
More posts by Leah Kim.

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