London, May 8

Kelsey Breseman
3 min readMay 23, 2024

By the time my degree program winds to an ignominious close (7 of 20 on my last final), I am uncertain which of my symptoms to attribute to pregnancy, and which are psychosomatic from the stress; I wasn't pregnant last semester, but I'd find myself nauseous with blinding headaches by the end of the day. What I know for sure is that the end of April feels fabled, impossible in its arrival. The first trimester ends at the same time as my classes do, and suddenly too, London lifts from wet chill to warm sunshine.

Change, as my therapist once told me, is hard even if it's good change. I spend my first day of freedom feeling glum and at a loss, vaguely guilty over phantom homework. I don't remember, once again, what I actually like. But I have a watercolor set, a stack of virtual books, an embroidery project. I like food again, tentatively. I make quiche. I walk in the park.

This pregnancy is incredibly wanted, and I have been preparing for years. But somehow I never expected the physical discomforts, not really. I used to get car sick a lot; I figured I'd wake up, puke, and move on. I'm strong, and tough, but pregnancy turns out to be disarmingly hard.

I don't mind having to throw up, but constant aversion to food means you're not sure why exactly your head hurts and you're exhausted. It goes on for weeks, and even the few reliable snacks become disgusting. The couch is…