As I write this post I am already into my second trimester (17 weeks along actually), but I couldn’t leave you hanging with the details of those first three months! It’s funny because the first trimester is really the shortest time knowing you’re pregnant- most moms find out around 5-6 weeks as the gestation is calculated from the first day of your last period, so the first month is taken care of before you even really know about it!- but, it honestly feels like the loooongest time because you may be keeping it a secret and if you’re like me, you’ll be a ball of nerves hoping that everything is going right in between appointments.
Aside from the nerves, I feel extremely lucky to have had my easy first trimester experience! Here’s a look at 7, 10, and 12 weeks- they grow up so fast!
I really dodged a bullet on this one. I was one of the lucky gals to not experience morning sickness, and only got a few days of afternoon nausea, which quickly resolved with a small snack and some water. There was one horrible day where I could only sip on a green smoothie, had unbearable back pain, and then sat uncomfortably, feeling so sick, in a theater watching the first half of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child- bad timing to feel so awful! Other than that nausea did not chase me around. I didn’t have any major food aversions, but there were some nights where vegetables sounded disgusting and only a cheese quesadilla would do. It was Christmas time and I noticed that sweets were a bit off-putting so I didn’t even indulge in my mom’s cookies that much.
I definitely had some breast tenderness and, um growth, and dealt with some weeks of constipation and plenty of bloating. I suffered from hormonal acne prior to pregnancy, but cute little zits were popping up on my face and back a bit more thanks to even more hormone changes.
Exhaustion is also a real thing- I’m mean you are growing a HUMAN! I was very glad to be home for the holidays where I could take 3 hour afternoon naps easily. At home, I moved bedtime up to 9:30pm, but had nights early on where I’d come home from work and take a nap!
During our conception journey I had been taking prenatal vitamins the entire time. I did some trial and error with a few different brands- Rainbow Light, Ritual, and New Chapter– but have primarily been using Ritual. If you’re a mama dealing with nausea though I would highly recommend the Ritual prenatal as they are lemon scented and very tolerable in size and taste! It doesn’t contain quite as many nutrients as some of the other more commerically available brands, so if your diet isn’t very full of nutrient-dense foods most days I would work with a dietitian to see if you should consider something else. The ingredients and sourcing are top notch though!
I had also been taking vitamin D for my thyroid and started an omega-3 as well. Even though I do eat fish I wasn’t sure I’d be keeping up with my 3 servings per week (p.s. I haven’t).
As I said, I feel pretty lucky that my diet didn’t change too much. I was still up for cooking, eating vegetables, and didn’t become a total carb-aholic as I know can be so common because that’s the only thing that sounds good when nauseous. I did my best to keep prioritizing real, whole foods, getting a variety of proteins, eating lots of eggs and yogurt, and trying to be more conscious of my water intake. I had been having some side stomach cramps, which ladies in my support group said could be due to dehydration and I also found that to be true!
I naturally became overly cautious about soft cheeses and meats, but quickly cast those fears aside as most cheeses in the U.S. are pasteurized and I wasn’t really eating deli or cured meats that often to begin with. I had stopped drinking caffeine- to help with my stress and cortisol levels- many months ago, so I continued to drink occasional decaf cortados like it was no big deal.
Those first few weeks I was waaaay too tired to do much exercise after work and the few times I tried actually provoked some nausea, so I waited until around 9-10 weeks before I started to be more intentional about my exercise and stuck with walking in the meantime. As the first trimester wound down I ended up going 3-4 times per week to do light cardio, strength exercises, group step or spin classes, or at home prenatal You Tube videos. I plan to do prenatal yoga in the future, but for now I’m taking advantage of my higher energy levels and doing the exercises I love.
This was arguably the piece I was most excited for. Sounds strange for someone who comes from a smaller frame and enjoyed being thin, but I was so excited to see what my body could do. From weeks 8-10 I could wake up looking “normal” and by the end of the night have a little bloated belly. Starting in weeks 11-12 I could no longer fit into my comfortable jeans and work pants, and by week 13 I was living in my professional black legging pants at work (with the zipper halfway undone, covered by a long sweater…). I’m heading into the second trimester and it’s definitely time to go shopping! By now, my belly is popping out and the belly skin is stretching- I’ve been using this body stone every day as my sister-in-law’s words of wisdom were to start with the moisturizing early!
And along the way we have gotten a few ultrasounds, switched from seeing our reporductive endocrinologist to a new OBGYN, and have passed all the genetic screenings for things like down syndrome and spina bifida with flying colors. The next big scan is at 20 weeks where we get to see the entire anatomy of our little one, counting all the fingers, toes, kidneys, and ears, and even find out the gender! We don’t care what we have, as long as our babe is healthy, but I have a sneaky suspicion it’s a boy…stay tuned!