1st Trimester Almost Wrap-Up

Things that have helped:
– Consistent, early bedtime
– Only getting up once a night for a couple weeks, and falling right back to sleep after peeing
– Figuring out that going off mood meds altogether isn’t worth it. Meds are now stabilizing a lot of the anxiety.
– Eating a smaller range of foods to lessen bloating and heartburn
– Men’s dress pants with expandable waistbands (for wearing to work)

Things that still suck:
– Holding so much of this secret/trying to cover up
– My chest growing
– The fact that prioritizing sleep means I spend less time doing things I love
– All the food envy for things I wish I could eat without complication. Struggling to consume enough volume of food to not lose weight and have that add to fatigue.
– While I’m not as short of breath and my heart doens’t pound as much as a month ago, I’m no Serena Williams

As much as I try to think my way out of it, hearing so many people say that the 2nd trimester gets better for energy and nausea has my hopes up. Maybe for me the “burst of energy” will still mean I need 10 hours of sleep a night, just not 12 on the weekends?

Every Little Change

Reasons I don’t like these body changes:
1) The weirdness is akin to puberty.

2) I like how my body worked before.

Clipping toenails requires breaks so I don’t scrunch up my belly for too long at a time.

3) Before all this, I’d made a working truce with my body disphoria. Now I’m back to avoiding looking in mirrors or down when I shower.

Mantra courtesy of the Oatmeal’s nope monster.

I wish I’d known

Going into this TTC process, I didn’t know how I’d react if an insemination took. Looking back through journal entries, I can see my cautious optimism that it wouldn’t be a big deal as long as I could get through the physical symptoms. I hoped that depression and anxiety wouldn’t increase measurably.

I didn’t predict that the intersection of loss of body autonomy and major life change would fit together so neatly. I didn’t expect to hate so deeply this path of growing an embryo. I wish I had known.

On the floor after a hard sob, watching My Little Ponies to calm me down. Blanket, tea, and tissues courtesy of my loving partner

I truly hate this and I wish it weren’t happening. I wish I could predict how my mental health might fare if the pregnancy continues. I have meds, I have mental health care and prenatal care people around. But I’m miserable every time I come out of a distraction bubble and back to the reality of what’s happening. The meds are at least helping with the insomnia some.

I wish I knew whether it’s going to get worse. If I proceed to a point where my body really starts changing shape, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if that would throw me for a very intense loop. I don’t want that to happen.

Prenatal Anxiety

Also known as perinatal or antinatal. It’s a thing and I hate it. I’m awoken in the middle of the night by some slight discomfort, and then I’m up for an hour or two, chasing some anxious thought. I’m terrible at napping. I’m miserable when I’m over-tired (no really, more than most people). 7 weeks along and dreading what’s potentially to come. Yes, I’m getting help, but there’s so much CYA crap in the medical field regarding untested meds.

Overwhelmed

In case it hasn’t been clear from my posts so far, but I’ve been deeply ambivalent about the idea of actually being pregnant. It’s not something I have ever looked forward to. I can remember being on the playground in grade school:overwhelmed-2
(The fact that it was Catholic grade school probably helped with the focus on baby-making.)

But I want to be a parent, and I want to parent with my partner. If I could take this embryo out right now and put it in a surrogate, I cannot overstate what a dream come true that would be. In the meantime, I am wracked with anxiety about whether attempting to carry a pregnancy to term is something I actually want to do. It’s not a matter of needing a “you can do this!” pep talk. I don’t want people to congratulate me. I want to figure out what is ok in my body. Waking up at 4am due to abdominal discomfort, and then staying awake because I can’t seem to shake my anxious, racing mind is not helping. Acupuncture is helping. Working a super intense work week last week did not help. Having an incredible, supportive partner who is just as much in the middle of all this as I am is helping. Having a transmasculine TTC & birthing support group on Facebook where others have shared about their own misgivings, about considering abortion, about carrying a pregnancy to term while hating the entire thing and yet having that disdain for pregnancy not impact their ability to bond with their child… I’m super grateful to have all that to empower me during this time of shock and confusion.

Also, we never expected the very first IUI to take. At no point did that enter the game plan. It’s a relief to have the proof of concept (shipping the swimmers worked!), but we were really not braced for being at this stage already.
overwhelmed-3-c