The title of this post is slightly misleading -- there's no me-telling-you how you'll feel during your first trimester of pregnancy. Only you will know how you'll feel, and it will likely be somewhat different from others in their first trimester.
But if you're anything like me in my pregnancies, you're curious about what to expect. What's possible? What's common? What will feel good? What will be challenging? What can I do?
Today, I'll cover a wide variety of possibilities in emotions, feelings, and thoughts during the first trimester. I encourage you to take note, and then let it all go and experience the unique canvas that is your own pregnancy.
Common Feelings, Emotions, and Thoughts in the First Trimester
Excitement/Thrill/Overjoyed - If this is a planned and wanted pregnancy, or if this is a pregnancy after miscarriage, or a pregnancy after infertility, you may feel elated! On cloud nine! This is normal.
Detached/Disconnected - If you were not planning a pregnancy, or if you are pregnant after a miscarriage or stillbirth, or if you aren't yet sure how you feel, you may experience feelings of being detached or distanced from your pregnancy. This is ok. This is normal. In time, your feelings may change and evolve into feelings of attachment and connection with your pregnancy and eventually your baby. And, it also may take a while. If you're upset about these feeling, schedule an appointment with a therapist or counselor.
Upset/Dread/Terrified - If this is an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy, or if your are in a time in life when pregnancy is not ideal, you may be very upset in your first trimester. This is ok. This is normal. Your feelings may change, or they may always be there. If you're concerned about your well being, or the well being of your baby, see a trusted therapist or counselor.
Anxiousness/Worry/Fretful - If this pregnancy comes after miscarriage, still birth, or infant death, or if your initial joy and elation has turned into fears of what could go wrong, or if you have a high-risk pregnancy, you first trimester may be fraught with constant worry and fear over every little thought and physical sensation. This is ok. This is normal. And -- you can address and calm these feelings with trained support. Seek therapy, talk to your OB or midwife, meet with a doula, try yoga or meditation, and/or use a journal to vent your thoughts.
Overwhelm - If this pregnancy isn't your first, if it is unexpected, if you have a history of anxiety, if you are in a time in life that feels very full, if fear of financial security is worrying, your pregnancy may brings feelings of overwhelm. This is ok. This is normal. As with other feelings, it can help to talk with someone, whether it be a trusted friend, a counselor, or your care provider.
Fatigue/Haziness/Foggy - First trimester brings with it immense physiological (bodily) changes that happen behind the scenes (in other words, not very visible to others), and with that, it's normal and even expected to feel dead tired, and not as sharp as you normally are mentally. This is temporary, and shifts with time, though many pregnant people and parents report frequent times of tiredness, sleep deprivation, and mental haze.
Blank/Nothing/Apathy - Sometimes pregnancy, especially in the beginning, can feel anticlimactic if the event does seem to evoke many feelings at all. Maybe you're just getting used to the idea. Joy is not an automatic reaction for every person -- and it doesn't need to be. If, however, you feel as though your emotions and feelings have "flatlined" about pregnancy and other things in life that once brought joy, it's important to see a doctor. Your symptoms may signal perinatal depression, which is common and treatable.
Of course, these are just a few of the common ways a person can feel during the first trimester. We want to hear from you -- what did you experience in the first trimester? Was it how you expected to feel?