At first it's all, "Wow, holy shit! This is amazing, I'm so excited!" And then the hormones kick in.
I'm not even SICK. I have been lucky enough to escape the morning sickness, which is probably some function of my evolution, seeing as I am such a wuss about nausea that I would have already drowned myself in the bathtub if I were unable to stop vomiting.
Even without THAT, this completely sucks balls.
The exhaustion is unbearable. Have you ever seen a 2 year-old that is utterly wiped out and hasn't had a nap in like forever? That's me - a whining, miserable, exhausted, weepy mess. I have never been this tired in my life. There is no such thing as "enough" sleep - I could nap all day, get 10-12 hours of sleep at night - doesn't matter, still feel like shit. Worse than that, it is nearly impossible to get comfortable in bed at night and I have to get up to pee at least twice. Why on earth is it so hard to sleep at this point, before my physical shape is even a factor in my discomfort?
And the cramps. Oh my god, the goddamn cramps. No one tells you about this until AFTER you're knocked up. I have been down on all fours at 3am on my kitchen floor with tears in my eyes because apparently my uterus decided it would be a great time to play twister with my ovaries. The stupid cramps come and go constantly - it's not like PMS or your period, when you know they'll go away. And to add insult to injury? You can't take anything but fucking Tylenol. Not even extra-strength Tylenol. Definitely not Vicodin, though the situation seems to merit it more than others I've experienced.
But probably the worst thing, for me, is the stupid pregnancy brain. Becca pointed out in my previous post that I kept referring to swine flu as "H191" rather than "H1N1." Fucking DUH. This is your brain: :) This is your brain on progesterone: O. Yup, big empty space. I have been missing exits on the highway, leaving bags of stuff I just purchased at the checkout counters of stores, leaving my coats/jackets in places I visited for work, forgetting words in the middle of conversations, forgetting CONVERSATIONS in the middle of conversations. Saying "Yeah mom, I'll email that info over to you right now while I'm thinking of it," hanging up the phone, and having no recollection of what I was supposed to do or why.
I'm not exaggerating. In fact, I'm sitting here right now thinking "There were way more examples than this, but I've completely forgotten them." Dammit! I am so frustrated that I can't get my brain to work properly I don't know what to do with myself. For those of you who did this while in grad school, or while conducting research that required cognitive effort, or while simultaneously raising another little one at home - you are my heroes. Because I can't even fucking load the dishwasher these days. I don't like feeling dumb. I don't like worrying that there are typos in my emails and blogs, or that I'm saying the wrong words, or that I'm forgetting something important. This is not me, and I hate it. I hate it a lot.
Not being able to drink also sucks. But that doesn't suck as much as not being able to smoke. I'm not resentful about it - I should make that clear, seeing as this was a choice I made. But there are times when I'm just like "Fuck. I could use some damn nicotine" and it becomes apparent how much my little routines have already been changed.
I think the hardest thing about being only 8 weeks is that there is nothing to show for it. Not that I'm in a big hurry to blow up or anything, but there are no flutters, no ultrasound photos, no heartbeat, no knowledge of biological sex, nothing. It's like I have to get up and remind myself every day - "Why am I not smoking a cigarette with my cup of coffee? Oh. Oh yeah. Damn." I ordered a non-alcoholic Strawberry Fresco with dinner tonight, and immediately felt like the waitress assumed I was underage. When I go to work and there are bags under my bloodshot eyes, I feel like my clients assume I have a drug problem.
Which leads me to the last thing I want to bitch about - not being able to tell everyone. I mean, yeah, you CAN. But given the risk of miscarriage in the first 12 weeks, it just seems really stupid to tell people you wouldn't tell if something went wrong. So I'm not. But then you have to try and remember who knows and who doesn't, and try not to slip in front of those who don't, and hide pregnancy books when acquaintances come over, and explain the Tigger puzzle you've been working on that's sitting on the dining room table as nothing more than a diversion to keep you from thinking about Marlboro Lights.
So far, the only thing even remotely entertaining about pregnancy is the food cravings. Though in my case, I won't call them "cravings." They're more like food fantasies. I don't "need" them, I just "want" them. Up to this point they have included spicy food of all kinds, frosted strawberry pop-tarts (which I hadn't eaten since I was 11), hot dogs, baked chicken with gravy and mashed potatoes, and lasagna from Olive Garden. Not even that weird in general, but very weird for me.
Hopefully the next 4-5 weeks will pass quickly, I'll start to feel better, and I can stop bitching about this thing I did to myself. But in the meantime I feel somewhat responsible to let any other clueless young women out there know what they're in for. I wish someone had told me.