Saturday, May 26, 2018

The First Trimester || Bumpdate



Before I share how amazing the second trimester of my pregnancy has been (so far), I want to be open and honest about the first few months of my pregnancy. Because they were really rough. Brooks and I were not surprised to find out we were pregnant, but we also did not necessarily plan this pregnancy. I was one month into my school semester and I was anticipating another semester of straight A’s. I was already balancing a full-time school schedule with a part-time work schedule as well as taking care of a home and three dogs. In other words, my schedule was full. So when I found out I was pregnant, I was not exactly excited, at first. 

My first reaction was more like terror. 

The first few weeks and months of pregnancy were confusing. For me, they were emotionally rocky days. My first clue I was pregnant was that I kept having episodes of depression and emotional breakdowns. I would suddenly flip out and get irrationally angry or sad. At first I wondered if I was legitimately getting depressed. Then it dawned on me. What if I was pregnant? When February rolled around and my period did not, I quickly got my answer. We were excited. But I was still in the emotionally rocky my-hormones-are-driving-me-crazy early phase of pregnancy and it was honestly hard to be happy about anything. 

I kept plodding along as best as I could. I started having difficulty sleeping. I would wake up in the middle of the night. I would wake up sick to my stomach and not want to eat anything. I wouldn’t poop for days. I would come home from classes with work to do but way too exhausted to do any of it. I started missing classes and assignments. I felt like I was barely keeping up with everything. The dishes and laundry went undone at home. I got perpetually behind on work. By the time the week of finals rolled around, I was holding onto hope that by some miracle I had not destroyed my 3.6 GPA. I had started the semester with high hopes to boost that GPA to a 3.7 or a 3.8. By God’s grace I finished with a strong 3.55. Mostly B’s and a couple A’s on my final grades. I could live with that.

My adviser and professors have been so supportive through this whole process. Being part of a smaller department has really allowed me to establish meaningful relationships and friendships with my professors and advisers. Everyone assured me they would work with me to accommodate my schedule and still help me graduate on time. The whole situation felt very Jane-the-Virgin to me (just without the murder and love affairs). The drama was real.



A few practical lifesavers during the first trimester included my prenatal vitamins, my excellent doctor (that first ultra sound took my breath away!), my parents, avocados, and coffee (in somewhat limited consumption, of course. :P) Also goldfish, Gatorade, and these amazing nut-ginger cookies my mother-in-law found for me at Sprouts. Goldfish have since turned into my dogs' favorite treat. 

Everyone at my workplace was remarkably patient, even if they didn’t know the details of what was going on. I think as soon as everyone found out, the light bulb sort of came on. I could see the realization in all the faces, “That explains everything.” Not that my pregnancy should or ever will become an excuse for my performance. But morning sickness is a real thing and it It’s my responsibility to not overextend myself and commit to more than I know I can handle. However, it is a reason for me to give myself more grace when I do fail to meet perfection or perform as quickly with as much energy as I used to. 

I am also incredibly thankful to be in a work environment that supports families and mothers. I don’t feel like I have to compromise my career to be a mom, unless I decide that is what I want to do. I’m also so grateful to have a loving husband who’s been incredibly supportive through all of this. I’m not sure I know anyone more excited to be a dad. He’s already got our baby room mapped out, our stroller and car seat picked out, and guys, let me tell you, he’s going to rock this dad life like nobody’s business. We have a running joke in our relationship that Brooks is the domesticated one and he’s going to be the stay-at-home parent. Who knows? May become a reality here soon. ;)

At the end of the day, I have to remind myself of what’s most important. I have to take care of myself and my baby first. That’s all we mamas can do. There were multiple times this last semester when I was tempted to beat myself up for not performing better and I literally had to say to myself, “Give yourself a break, Dani. You’re creating a human life, for goodness’ sake.” I no longer have the flexibility or energy I used to have. But that’s okay. I might not have the time I used to have, but that’s okay too. I am still capable of more than I can imagine. If the timeline for my goals changes, that’s okay. I’ll still pursue them relentlessly. Motherhood is going to be a steep learning curve, but I love learning new things and I’m excited to experience this new adventure with my husband and all of the family and friends supporting us.

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