13 Weeks | Like a Gorilla

July 12, 2013

13WeeksKathleen

13WeeksB

At some point within the last three decades I must have seen a pregnant gorilla (with boobies!) and it must have made quite the impression on me – because in this first trimester I keep thinking about that gorilla. I’ve pretty much become that gorilla. While growing a little baby in your body seems magical it’s really quite primal. Billions of years of evolution informing my body – and baby – with a road map of exactly what to do next. It’s a scientific process I’m learning to trust.

Over the past 13 weeks I’ve been blessed with an elevated body temperature, stinky armpits, and my body hair is growing at rates I can’t quite keep up with. Between weeks 7 and 11 I was sleeping up to 16 hours a day and snacking on lots of bananas and grapefruit. My communication skills were reduced to grunts and moans. I was gifted with an elevated my sense of smell and a heightened awareness of predators. Simply put, I didn’t feel like I was making magic. Instead, I felt like my body had been reduced to a biological blueprint of skin and bones and guts and progesterone – simply following primal orders. I felt like a gorilla.

At 13 weeks I’ve turned a corner. I’m feeling less tired and nauseated. I have more energy and fell a lot less like a primate. Though, I know in 6 months I’ll be calling on that gorilla (new spirit animal, perhaps?) to get me through what has been promised to be the most intense moment of my life.

Other First Trimester Observations & Field Notes:
• Between weeks 6 and 12 I was traveling non-stop. I went to Mexico twice, to Houston to work with Brené, and to Florida for a family vacation. I love traveling but being pregnant made me want to be home. All I wanted my own bed and my own food.
• Cravings (and aversions) are for real. My cravings include: sushi, soft cheeses, and fish. All the stuff you’re not supposed to eat while pregnant. (But I do.) I’m also eating stuff like pizza, greek yogurt with bananas and almond butter, Indian buffets, and spicy Thai curry. I’m currently craving a toasted everything bagel with butter so much that I booked a trip to visit my brother in Brooklyn next month just to satisfy this hankering.
•  What about paleo!? It was a mind trip eating stuff like bread and cheese and Belgium waffles after being pretty strictly paleo for about a year. I was pregnant AND on vacation for 6 weeks. So I was kind to myself and tried not to go overboard. Now that I’m settled in at home and feeling much better I’m back to eating mostly paleo.
• Hormones are no joke. My body feels flooded with hormones. They have a crazy amount of control over both my body and mind. Jeremy refers to them as “The Demons” when I’m being especially feisty or weepy. But I know they’re doing their job in telling my body what to do.
• I lost my ability to fantasize. Pregnancy forced me to be present like nothing I’ve ever experienced. It’s a change of pace for me, as I LOVE living for grand future plans. I was also superstitious about getting too caught up in daydreaming about the baby.
• Nausea + exhaustion. I never actually puked, which is awesome considering vomit is one of my #1 phobias. But man, did I feel gross. And I was so so tired. I became a champ at 5-hour naps.
• I pee 3-4 times a night. Everyone keeps cracking jokes about sleeping in longer than 2 hour chunks while I can… but I have to wake up every two hours to pee. Obviously my bladder isn’t quite as demanding as a hungry infant, but it’s annoying.
• My workouts have slowed down. Before pregnancy I would work out up to twice a day. This included cardio like high-intensity circuits and cycle spin, weight-lifting, and yoga. Now I opt for a long walk every morning (2-3 miles) and in the evenings I’ll lift light weights or take a barre3 class.
• Birthing doesn’t feel like a big deal. Ask me again in 4 months – but right now the actual giving birth part of this whole ordeal feels like a little blip in the grand scheme of things. Sure, I want to be educated and informed but I’m just now starting to feel motivated enough to explore my options – from doulas, to Hypnobirthing, to eating my own placenta.
• I want to be a working mom. I don’t know exactly what that will look like yet, but my career is important to me. Tara and I have already started making adjustments at work to accommodate the baby – which you can read about on the Braid Blog here.

P.S.  I’m open to friendly advice from moms and dads who have been there. I’m also willing to respond to any questions about my experience so far in the comment section (though, I admit in advance that I do not have all the answers). 

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