Feels so crazy to write this out, but I am pregnant with my first child, due in September of 2020! Such an exciting time but I also wanted to share everything, 1. so that I could look back and remember it all and 2. I want to share a realistic view point of what going through pregnancy is like. I’ll walk through everything about my first trimester in this post. And if you are clueless like I was, the first trimester is weeks 1-14 or about months 1-3. I wasn’t totally clueless going into pregnancy, I had done a little bit of research here and there, mainly from the nutrition & health side of things but what you mostly read about online is either “amazing and they love being pregnant” or it’s “really hard” and it might even be a high risk situation. You don’t really see much about the in-between, or at least I didn’t, and that’s where I feel like I’ve been and I feel it’s important to share that side of it because women deserve a lot more credit than they get in life!
How we found out
The short and simple version is that I missed my period in January and after about 7-8 days I wondered to myself “hmm, could I be pregnant!?” so I did some Google searching to find out when the best time to take a pregnancy test was after being late for your period. According to the internet it said around 8 days late, so I stopped and bought some pregnancy tests on my way home from work. At that point I hadn’t mentioned anything to Kyle yet about being 8 days late (I use an app to track all of that) so I told him I should probably take a pregnancy test and I did that Thursday evening. I took the test and we looked at the results together and it said “pregnant”. Kyle’s jaw dropped and we were in shock!
I didn’t take the test without Kyle and then surprise him in any way. I thought about taking the test without him knowing about it and then telling him the results because I didn’t want to freak him out if it was negative. But the more I thought about it the more I wanted the experience, no matter the results, to be something we did together. I am glad that it happened that way and I didn’t keep anything from him. He is very much on this pregnancy journey with me. Although, I told him if there is a next time that I want to be the dad 😉
It’s kind of an odd question to get asked, but “were you trying to conceive for long” is something that comes up once you start announcing things. Kyle and I have been married for 6 years and knew we wanted to have a family and just let things happen. I’ll just say I wasn’t calculating anything, hence being a little confused on whether I should take the pregnancy test or not.
When I was doing my research on the internet when deciding if I should take the test or not, I read a lot about symptoms and in super early pregnancy they can be pretty similar to what you experience right before you start your period which explains why I had such a hard time deciding whether or not I should take the test because I kept thinking that the next day I would start my period.
At the time we found out I was pregnant, I was 5 weeks along only and I had only really experienced being extremely hungry. Which, I have a big appetite anyway so I kind of didn’t realize just how hungry I was until after I found out I was pregnant. All I wanted to eat was burgers and fries with ketchup or buffalo wings.
At around the 7 week mark we had a long weekend trip planned for the Oregon coast and I started to feel a little nauseous. Not so much like I was going to throw up but just an icky feeling. I had read about how to keep your nausea under control and advice is to eat small snacks all day long and immediately upon waking up in the morning. So, I packed a lot of snacks and tried to keep the nausea at bay. That worked until our plane ride home where I just lost it and was puking on the plane. So not fun. We got in late at night and all I wanted to do was go home to my own bed but had to make Kyle pull over so I could throw up behind a gas station dumpster. I still do not know how I got through work the next day I was in such a fog and felt horrible. Salt & vinegar potato chips and sparkling water was most of my diet for about a week or so. It was all that sounded good, even plain water did not sound good. The nausea was off and on and not only “morning” sickness” for the majority of my first trimester. On the days that I felt good I made sure to take full advantage of it and be super focused at work, make sure to exercise and eat what I could. I definitely feel for the women who have horrible nausea and cannot get out of bed, I could not imagine living like that.
My first doctor appointment was at almost 9 weeks and I honestly did not know what to expect going into it. I didn’t even know what doctor to go to and got a referral from my primary care physician. They did an ultrasound first and then a pelvic exam with the doctor then some bloodwork and urine sample. We also went over a lot of the testing that you can do in the first trimester. It was cool to see the baby on the ultrasound and see the heartbeat. It made it official because at that point the nausea was the only thing that made me “feel” pregnant because of no bump.
Since I am into holistic wellness, I was curious about working with a midwife and going to a birthing center, however, after talking through it with Kyle, he felt more comfortable with a hospital birth. I need the day-of to be as calm as possible and if he isn’t going to be comfortable not being a hospital then that isn’t going to work. I am still learning and researching all about how I want to approach the hospital birth and my mindset is to not really have too many expectations because anything can happen and I don’t want to be upset if I have a plan that doesn’t get to be followed. I am kind of a balanced person anyway and am fine with western medicine with a little bit of my own holistic spin. I’ll share more as I get to the third trimester and after the birth.
Boy or Girl?
We decided to not find out the gender and want to be surprised at birth. We also decided to not do any of the blood tests in the first trimester. If you’re over age 35 they are required so we did not have to do them.
Traveling while pregnant
We did the long weekend trip in Oregon right after we found out I was pregnant. That was a fun trip for us because at that point we were the only two who knew our little secret. It was fun for us to be together doing what we love to do together, travel and then talking about and imagining toting around a baby with us in a year.
I definitely had to pack a lot more snacks and even pick up more while traveling because of being nauseous and really not being able to predict what was going to sound good to eat. One day I would think that eggs sounded good for breakfast and the next they made me gag and I’d rather have a smoothie bowl. Normally we’d only eat a couple of meals a day while traveling and do more intermittent fasting in-between and especially didn’t really eat anything while on the plane so this whole eating constantly was completely new to us. I also had to pee a lot during the first trimester and would have to get up several times on the plane rides and always know where the nearest restroom was. After our Oregon trip I wanted nothing to do with coffee, which I would normally drink every single day.
We had a trip planned for Hawaii at the end of February for 7 days that we were nervous might get cancelled but we are so glad we got to go because it was literally right before the world turned upside down. While in Hawaii (we were in Maui and Kauai) I was 11 weeks going on 12 weeks, so right at the tail end of the first trimester. I was so nervous that I was not going to be able enjoy any of the activities we had planned due to the nausea but I was, for the most part, able to manage it. It was definitely a different pace than what we are used to but wanted to relax and take things easy anyway so it all worked out.
There were some times, like on a whale watching boat, in the bus transporting us to and from our hotel to activities and hiking that I felt the worst. Luckily the snorkeling trip I felt amazing and was able to fully enjoy that because I have always wanted to go snorkeling and it was so much fun!
The worst day was our first day in Kauai. Our flight from Maui to Kauai got delayed due to mechanical issues on the plane which was a bummer so by the time we landed on the island, we crammed in a quick sunset hike. The hike had a very curvy road, plus just not feeling great to begin with was not a good combo. Kyle had to pull over a few times so I could throw up. Then, the whole hike, I just felt horrible and dehydrated. But when you can’t keep anything down, you can’t even drink water. I felt so bad because it was this beautiful hike in Kauai and I just felt awful and couldn’t be present in the moment. It’s crazy to me how much women go through and just power through, we definitely do not get enough credit for it and need to speak up about that more!
Nutrition & Exercise
Pre-pregnancy I had a super healthy diet that consisted mainly if eating 3 protein rich meals per day. Maybe with a snack thrown in here or there. I had also already been taking a prenatal vitamin consistently which was a good thing to build up those nutrient stores ahead of time. Let’s just say, if you are dealing with nausea in pregnancy that all goes straight out the window. At first I was so hungry and able to eat pretty much the same, just bigger amounts. One day all I wanted was a steak and I ate the entire thing with nothing else. But then all of a sudden meat was the last thing I wanted to eat. There were luckily some good days where I was able to eat more normal meals like a burger or tacos but for the most part I lived off of salt & vinegar chips, fruit, veggies & hummus, granola bars, cinnamon raisin toast and smoothies. I also would take my prenatal vitamin at night just in case it made me feel nauseous and took a break from my other supplements just because swallowing pills was hard when you’re gagging all the time. When you’re a super healthy eater and then all of a sudden you’re feeling like all you can eat is processed carbs, it can be tough mentally. You’re pretty much in survival mode and just have to surrender to the situation. I don’t get sick often and the first time I threw up I was trying to fight it, once I just accepted the fact that I have no control over the nausea I was better able to manage it and was in a better place mentally. It’s tough. Especially when everyone around you is telling you they never experienced that with their pregnancies. It’s really something that you just don’t fully understand until you’ve gone through it. I am lucky that it went away once I got into my second trimester so if you are reading this and going through it, it does get better and if it is really bad, talk to your doctor so they can help you.
For the most part I was able to continue to exercise and do pretty much the same things during my first trimester. There were days where I didn’t feel well and rest was all I wanted to do so I just honored that signal my body was giving me. I wanted to remain as active as I could be throughout pregnancy with lots of walking and continuing my weight lifting routine. I did have to change from working out at a gym to our home gym with limited equipment due to the current 2020 situation but being able to move my body is huge for my well-being
The first trimester went slow but fast at the same time and I am sure I am forgetting some things that happened. If there are any questions or things I can elaborate on, feel free to ask!