I am excited to share with you a First Trimester pregnancy update today. I gave you a peek in my pregnancy announcement post but I wanted to update you on all the little things that have been going on. Hope to make my updates more frequent as I make my way through this process and I just can’t wait to share every moment with you all. You all really just blow me away with your constant support and check ins and my heart just bursts to be able to share my pregnancy with you. AH I have chills still when I say that out loud. My pregnancy. HOLY CRAP GUYS!!! Hope you enjoy these updates and if there is anything else you are dying to know, please leave me a comment on this blog post and I will be sure to include in my next update.
I gained a considerable amount of weight during IVF treatment which is hard to swallow when you just want your body to be at it’s prime when you get pregnant. Unfortunately, us fertility warriors don’t have the luxury to walk into pregnancy as fit and strong as others. It’s something that obviously is just insult to injury after all the struggles but of course a small price to pay to get to the other end of this process. So while I was not at my ideal weight to start pregnancy, I know it was all for a greater purpose. Since my transfer, I have gained about 4 lbs. I actually ended up losing weight first during my first trimester due to nausea and finally started to gain weight toward the end of the first trimester. With every pound i know the baby is growing bigger and stronger and that is a precious feeling.
HOW I’M FEELING: PHYSICALLY
Nausea: My nausea would last 24/7 all day long. Luckily I was not vomiting but the constant nausea made it very difficult to do anything. Leaving the house was a huge chore because of not feeling well. I have tried all the at home remedies and will share what has best worked for me. I always stash snacks (usually wheat thins) in my nightstand. I try to wake up and munch on crackers first thing while I am still laying in bed. My favorite morning drink of choice has been mint tea. It’s helped to settle some of the nausea and helps me to keep taking in fluids. I also bought preggie pop drops to suck on when I had bouts of nausea throughout the day. These were easy to throw in my purse if I had nausea strike while I was on the go. Another key to get through the day was packing snacks. I stashed snacks both in my car, in my purse, in Blake’s car, you name it. My snacks of choice: Blue Diamond Mini Nut-Thins in sea salt or cheddar, cheese-it’s, or goldfish. Having something in my stomach at all times was key. Even if it was just a tiny nibble.
Growing pains: Since the uterus is busy growing to accommodate a growing little one, I felt a lot of crampy pains, typically called round ligament pains, while my uterus was expanding to make room for baby. I would especially notice them more in the evenings.
Pregnancy Brain: I swear pregnancy brain is a real thing. I talked about it a little bit in our pregnancy announcement. I feel like my brain is just not functioning the same. I am so forgetful and my brain is just a jumbled mess.
Vision changes: This one is weird but I feel like my vision has been shifting. I already have super bad eyes and sometimes I find I have more sensitivity since I have become pregnant.
Skin: My skin has been through the ringer with the ups and down of hormones with IVF treatment so I feel like the skin changes are not as dramatic for me. I will say that I have hormonal issues on the one side of my face and also notice more inconsistencies and redness in my skin overall. But, I know it could be much worse so I am pretty lucky my skin issues have been minor so far.
Exhaustion: Everyone talks about the exhaustion of the first trimester and it’s true. By early afternoon I just don’t have the energy for anything. Unfortunately, work and life doesn’t stop just because your tired so I find little things to help lift up those afternoon slumps. Since I know the exhaustion is inevitable, I make sure to not over schedule or over commit myself. It’s so important to take care of yourself during this time. After all, I am growing a tiny life inside of me and that is my most important priority. Making sure to schedule in days with no meetings and big commitments to break up a busy week was key for me during this time. Know your body, and know when to say no.
Sense of smell: Before I was pregnant I had a very strong sense of smell. So when I became pregnant… oh my god those senses went through the roof. I remember around 6 weeks I was at a restaurant waiting for our table outside and someone was smoking a cigar down the street. I became violently aware of the cigar smoke and the person smoking was basically down the street. I literally smell everything and let Blake know when things are bothering me, whether he can help me with them or not. HA! Blake is a trooper handing an irrational hormone lady.
HOW I’M FEELING: MENTALLY
Excited. Nervous. Anxious. Happy. Overwhelmed. Hopeful. You name it, I am feeling it. Emotionally I have been a rollercoaster. I think I have had so much disbelief coming to terms that our dreams had really come true to have a child. As each week passes, both Blake and I become more excited to move through each milestone. I count the days till I can see or hear the baby again since I am not feeling baby’s movement just yet. I think seeing and hearing the baby is there and healthy is such an important confirmation for me to know everything is ok.
In terms of other emotions, I have found myself to be a lot more irritable. The funny thing is sometimes I see myself being an unreasonable hormonal monster as the words are coming out of my mouth and it’s almost like word vomit that I can’t stop. Poor Blake has to deal with most of it (sorry hubs!!) but it’s something I am working on so I don’t scare my friends with my raging hormones. I think that with all the body changes that are happening so quickly, it wears down your spirits and mood and it’s easy to lose your composure. In those moments, I just have to tell myself how lucky I am to be here and this will all be worth it when we get to meet our baby. While there are tough days, I feel almost guilty to complain about bad physical or emotional symptoms because of how much we went through to get here and how hard others fight to get pregnant. But, I think it’s valid to acknowledge that pregnancy is really hard and it’s ok to not have it together at every moment, to cry because things are hard, and to feel those feelings. Everyone’s journey to baby is so different and it’s ok to feel both the highs and lows of the process and express them.
WHAT I’M EATING
So much of my first trimester was eating grilled cheese sandwiches, or cheese melted on a pita. With my nausea, toast and cheese were some of my comfort foods. I ate tons of eggs for breakfast and for lunch. Egg salad on toast became my best friend and a great way to get some protein. Another go to snack? String Cheese. Easy to grab and go when I needed a protein boost. After the first few weeks, I was able to go back to my normal diet. Something about Italian food though just comforted me and didn’t seem to upset my stomach. I continued to eat fish (which I eat at least 3 times a week) and chicken and turkey. The only thing I guess I am very adverse to right now is red meats. Nothing about them sounds good and when I had it my stomach would become very upset. I also try to stick with foods without a ton of different flavor profiles. The simpler the better for me. I still ate alot of flavorful food but not too many complex things going on.
I skipped coffee completely until about week 10/11 because for me, I was just being extra cautious even with decaf coffee. I then started to have an occasional decaf coffee and it made me SO happy to have that as part of my routine again.
HOW I’M SLEEPING
What sleep??? I can’t even begin to tell you that sleeping has been hell. Everyone loves to joke to me that “I should get used to it for when baby comes!” Let me tell you… that is NOT what a struggling first trimester pregnant woman wants to hear… so if you think about smirking and dishing out that line to someone… think twice about it. With nausea striking before bed time, that was the first part of not being able to sleep because I felt like I had to hurl. Once I would get to sleep, I would just constantly toss and turn all night long. On top of that, came the middle of night trips to the bathroom. I was so exhausted during my first trimester and I literally could not even take naps because I just could not sleep. This was super frustrating to me because I am someone that always plans out my days to make sure to take care of myself and get the shut eye I need. My doctor recommended Unisom to help get my sleep schedule back on track. I am going to do a whole blog post on things I did to get a good night sleep (whether your pregnant or not).
Because I went through IVF, I basically have not been able to really work out for 2 years. So at this point, I am pretty used to be limited in the physical fitness department. Because of how crappy I was feeling, doing any type of exercise was simply out of the question. I went for walks with Lola but that was pretty much it. I pretty much have just tried to track my steps and make sure I was walking around enough during the day. I have been GLUED to my apple watch, which I could not recommend enough, since it tracks my steps and my heart rate.
Reaching the end of the first trimester: I feel like after everything we went through during IVF, the first trimester was filled with so much anxiety. It’s like we were waiting for the other shoe to drop and anxiously waiting for each weekly appointment to come and go to reach out next milestone. I think alot of the heartache and struggles both Blake and I dealt with during IVF programmed our brains to always be ready for the worst case scenario. But each week would come and go, and our little miracle baby keeps hitting new milestones. Just gives me chills just thinking about that.
Keeping our pregnancy a secret: Keeping the secret from you guys was TERRIBLE. Especially not being able to share what I was going through in real time started to get really hard and lonely. I was so used to being open with you all and sharing the experiences both good days and bad and it left me feeling very, very sad. It’s the only way I can describe it! I also had a hard time keeping it from people when I would see them in person. Since everyone knew we were doing an embryo transfer… it’s impossible to hide the fact that we knew either way whether it had worked. So seeing friends in person, I would usually cave and just tell them because I am a TERRIBLE liar.
Spotting blood: The spotting during the first few weeks was a total mind f*ck if you can excuse my language. I also had spotting after my vaginal ultrasounds and it was all a constant mind game. I was in such a nervous state for the first trimester and this was one of the main reasons. Apparently it’s very common for women to spot in their first trimester so I had to just take a deep breath and know that baby was fine and healthy and this was going to pass.
WHAT I’M WEARING
The first thing to go was my regular bras. I found that they started to suffocate me so I invested in some bralettes to accommodate the growth. It happened almost overnight and I ran to Nordstrom and had a really sweet lady help me pick out a few things. This is my current favorite from that trip. I also picked up this cotton bra from Hatch since I was looking for something white with thin straps. Have been wearing this one most days.
I am still wearing my pre-pregnancy clothes and denim. Since I was always up in weight from all the IVF treatments, I have a couple pair of IVF denim that are a size up from my normal size which is great because I have been able to wear them even into my second trimester. Gym pants have gotten harder so I caved and bought these cozy maternity leggings from Gap and I am telling you… I now have 4 pairs. They are so comfy and they are helping me through this weird transition where I am starting to outgrow my normal clothes but not quite ready for maternity clothes.
I held off from doing a lot in the early weeks because I was being EXTRA crazy careful of everything. Call me paranoid…. I think in the end you have to do what is comfortable for you during pregnancy and if you have a bad feeling over something that is even allowed, just skip it. I eventually got a mani pedi closer to week 10 and it just felt like such a treat to do something for myself that made me feel good. I have also been taking time to myself at the end of the night to curl up with my kindle and read my pregnancy books. Currently reading this and this.
I didn’t buy much during the first trimester but below are a few things I picked up.
Artifact Uprising Baby Book (I was very sentimental about this purchase but I put it away for safekeeping until we got out of the first trimester)
Of course Blake has bought the baby literally every Philly sports team onesie he can find so we have sports onesies covered in our house. HA! If you don’t know, we are both from Philadelphia so the baby doesn’t know it yet, but it’s all Philly love when it comes to sports.
A big prep we had to take care of was finding an OBGYN. This STRESSED ME OUT SO MUCH. Everyone wants to find the perfect doctor and I felt like the pressure was one since I didn’t have an OBGYN since we moved and had been going exclusively to the fertility doctor. Finding a doctor was a big thing to check off the list. Another thing we did was online register to have our baby at the hospital we want to deliver and to sign up for all our prenatal classes. One of the last baby prep items on the list is to just let go and really take in the fact, that this pregnancy is it. This baby is it. Giving myself permission to really celebrate this and look forward into the future and what that means with our little one. The first trimester was filled with so much hope and anxiety at the same time and I have tried my best to always remember to be kind to myself and really know that this is it.
I am currently in my second trimester and working on our gender reveal for you guys (EEEK!!!) hopefully going up next week. Boy or Girl???? Can’t wait to share!!! Other than that I am gearing up for my anatomy ultrasound next week. I have been DYING to actually SEE the baby on ultrasound and have been looking forward to this appointment for so long. I am also currently working on my baby registry which is making my head spin but I promise to share my list with you all when it’s complete. That’s all for now! Leave me a comment with any more questions you might have. Happy to answer!