Shan’s First Trimester

by Brood

The first trimester was DARK. Feelings of being seriously trapped. Stuck in a moment that felt never ending. The same recurring thoughts about running away. Fight or flight. Stay or go.

I wanted my mother in a way I don’t think I’ve longed for my mother since being a baby. I really felt like I couldn’t live without her and I haven’t lived with or near her in over 6 years. I really felt like I couldn’t take care of myself anymore. It was like the amount of support I required just didn’t exist. And I had support. I was surrounded by supportive friends and family.

There were many tantrums. Honestly, flailing and screaming and crying and breathing really hard. And then regretting allowing myself to get that worked up in fear of what it might do to my baby. So much guilt, guilt that I couldn’t shake. Everything I did made me feel guilty.

From week 6 to 11 I was SICK. So sick that every moment blended into the next. Sometimes I would just sit and stare at a wall for hours. Unable to think because of how many sensations were going through my body. It was unreal. At this point it feels like a nightmare I finally woke up from. And being sick for 5 weeks of pregnancy isn’t even that long. I know people who are sick up until birth.

Maybe I sound dramatic, or downright ungrateful. To be honest, I could literally care less what I sound like because that was by far the worst 2 months of my life physically. And not a damn thing or person I know could have fully prepared me for it. But what might have helped was hearing this type of account at least one time. For someone to actually keep it totally real instead of sugarcoat and downplay their exhaustion both mentally and physically throughout the first trimester.

There were no light or fluffy moments for me since making the phone calls at 4 weeks to inform everyone I was pregnant. Even the ultrasound alone at 9 weeks (thank you Covid!) was its own special kind of terror and trauma.

I really just can’t sugarcoat my experience. It would be a disservice to myself and to another person who is where I was at right now and is wondering why the hell nobody told them how hard it could get.

Yes, I bought cute baby things and have basically finished the nursery. But not because I was so excited, but because I had to do something positive in order to keep moving forward with this.. In order to move through the amount of fear I was feeling at every waking moment. I had to have moments that reminded me that pregnancy would in fact not last forever and that I would hopefully get a healthy, sweet baby in the end.

I am now in therapy, but it’s honestly a little after the fact. I wish I had set up that support much sooner in my pregnancy. I know that what I experienced was most likely hormone related, and so now I am thankfully taking all steps to making sure the support is in place right after this child comes earth side (LOTS of postpartum doula support and therapy!!!). I have, what feels like, quickly returned to my mind and body. And I am grateful.

This was my first trimester. By no means what every first trimester feels like, but something tells me it is actually a lot closer to what many feel, regardless of what you see on Instagram or TV. And the ‘something that tells me’ are the countless followers in my Instagram DMs literally telling me they experienced or are experiencing the same feelings.

It is not just morning sickness or skipping the glass of wine with dinner. It is a total body and mind altering experience. It is meeting a new version of yourself swiftly while making space to grow a whole version of someone else INSIDE of you. It requires resilience, perseverance and a gentleness you may not have had to lend to yourself quite yet in this lifetime.

Words by Shania Lane
Photos by Shania Lane

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We work and live on the unceded and occupied territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations. Since time immemorial, the original peoples of these lands have cared for their families and communities. We are committed to honouring their teachings, legacy and their sovereignty.


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