Where to even begin?! It is such a relief to finally just chit-chat about everything going on now! I am securely into the second trimester, in my 17th week, so I want to document all my thoughts from the first trimester before I forget them. I bought a pregnancy journal and figured I would let it guide some of this post mixed with just some random thoughts!
Overall thoughts on the first trimester: I had never been more elated, grateful and… sick for such a long time. It was rough! I wouldn’t trade it for anything, and would endure whatever it took for our baby- but even after doing an OB rotation, I did not appreciate just how much of a toll the first trimester can take. I also laugh at the idea of morning sickness. What a misnomer. Mornings were sometimes worse, and it was extremely hard to get going in the morning, but evenings could often be just as bad, if not worse. Beyond the nausea, the fatigue and lack of motivation was maybe my least favorite part. I felt like I was operating at 30% or less of my normal self, and since I couldn’t chug down my usual amount of coffee to compensate, you could find my on the couch most of the time. I actually found out I was pregnant a few days before we picked up Moose, and having him was such a good thing for me. Since it took so long for the job stuff to get rolling, having him gave me purpose, still forced me to get up early, take care of him and go on our daily walks. He also was the best cuddle bug when I really could not get off the couch.
I do feel much better now! I really started turning the corner around 14 weeks- nausea subsided greatly, I have more energy and much more motivation.
How I Told DJ: I surprised him with a cookie cake saying the news in icing, a card and the positive tests when he returned home from work! He was beyond thrilled. I know he’ll be the best dad ❤️ I’m so grateful I have him by my side every step.
Things I was nervous about: Everything. The first trimester was the greatest lesson in giving fears and worries to God daily. I was so afraid of eating something contaminated, exposing myself to chemicals unknowingly or doing anything that would harm the baby. It even felt like each day there was something new I’d learn (that I had not learned in school) to be anxious about. I realized at some point, I was doing my absolute best, and it was impossible to control everything. Now, I feel much better and less anxious, but it was pretty intense for a bit. I also would feel really anxious if I felt “normal” or better on certain days – it happened a few times, and I wished the nausea back to know everything was ok. Thankfully, everything was, and that was all just normal hormonal fluctuations (the nausea often came back with a vengeance!). With every ultrasound, every lab test that comes back without concern, and when I hear our little one’ s heartbeat, I feel that anxiety dissipate more and more!
Also, one of my best friends, Clair, was the first to know I was pregnant given I sent her my first pregnancy test for “line eyes”, even though I was a few days too early to technically take the test. When she said she saw a second line too, I took one of the early prediction tests, and it was clear as day positive. I was so grateful she knew because she was such a rock for me through the first trimester before we told everyone. I called her often, and she always calmed me down, as she’s been through this twice herself. I don’t know what I would have done/what I would do without her!!
Cravings: This is my favorite prompt. You will get a kick out of this. Apparently baby likes meat. I haven’t had meat in my diet probably since 2013, and all of a sudden I’m pregnant and, bam, I want a steak (I ordered it well-done, but still tasted amazing – I don’t even usually like steak). (My iron is all good too- I made sure about that). I also had a craving for biscuits and gravy, chicken sandwiches (hiiii Chick-fil-A) and Cane’s Chicken Fingers- can you have a craving for something you’ve never had? 😂 I’m listening to the meat cravings, especially because I gave up most of my protein sources from soy which was a big chunk of my diet pre-pregnancy.
Other cravings: COTTAGE CHEESE (Can’t get enough!), pizza (although I did have an aversion for a few weeks to it too), pumpkin pie, Cheesecake Factory brown bread, veggie delight subs from subway with provolone and avocado (I’ve had this more times than I can count, and it was the only way I could stomach veggies for a while), Thomas English Muffins, mini wheats, pistachio and banana oatmeal, pancakes, and Thai food (I have wanted all the spicy food, which is funny to me given how weak my stomach has been). Shout out, Papaya Salad Thai for satisfying those cravings every time!
Aversions: Chocolate and ice cream were my two strongest aversions. Along with hot coffee. It’s funny how three of my previously daily staples suddenly made me gag at the thought. Thankfully those aversions have mostly subsided (except the hot coffee). I also had daily/fluctuating aversions to random foods- some days it felt like nothing sounded good, and we’d Door Dash whatever I could stomach. Sometimes whatever sounded good one day may sound repulsive the next. We used enough Door Dash in 14 weeks to suffice for the rest of our lives, lol. I also stopped stocking the fridge with my usuals because I had no idea what I’d be able to actually eat the next day.
Caffeine?: This is definitely a topic I’ve felt anxious about. I had a strong aversion to hot coffee, actually I still do unless it’s in a cappuccino or something with a lot of milk. Anyway, while I know there is a caffeine limit that is considered safe, I had always thought I wouldn’t touch the stuff just to be extra safe when I was pregnant. And I did give it up cold turkey. Going from 3 to 4 cups a day to nothing. I actually didn’t have as severe a withdrawal as I had expected- no headache or anything. Very surprising. But I couldn’t function. I literally could not function. Finally, Clair suggested I just add a little bit back in and see how it goes. I reluctantly tried adding in about 3-4 oz. iced coffee, and it made all the difference. I was still way under the limit, but I felt much better. In the second trimester, I haven’t needed it as much as my energy returns, and usually I just stick to straight decaf if I have any at all. Oh, and I guess I get a little caffeine from chocolate now too 😋 We do have a place nearby, Nervous Dog, that makes the best decaf almond milk cappuccino, so sometimes after cold walks with Moose I’ll stop in there and get my cappuccino and him a pup cup.
How I’d describe my sleep: I had some insomnia the first few weeks from pure adrenaline I think, but I actually slept great most of the first trimester- I would just wake up with some nausea here and there, but was able to fall back asleep. DJ is a saint and took Moose out for all his nighttime potty breaks- I kept offering, but he insisted. Anyway, now, in the second trimester, I am having more of a challenging time sleeping. I am not as tired overall, and I think I just have a lot rolling around in my head right now starting a new job, holiday plans and thinking about planning for baby <3 All good things!
Expectations vs. Reality: I thought I would not touch anything unhealthy in pregnancy. Let’s all laugh together. Those pregnancy cravings are strong! And overall, I have eaten healthy as possible- but when the cravings call, I answer. I am getting cravings for nutritious foods back in the second trimester, but in the first they were pretty fast-food based!
Exercise routine: I tried to exercise about 3-4x/week if possible for 30 minutes along with doing an arm workout (with very light weights) and pregnancy-safe abs a couple times a week. I often would go into a workout feeling miserable but would feel better after. The only time of day I found I could actually fathom working out was in the late afternoons/early evenings. I also had my daily walks with Moose, which helped a lot with keeping me active. The fresh air and movement often seemed to help with my nausea/mood too.
Pregnancy Dreams: Nothing specific- although I did have a dream I was pregnant about a week before finding out I was! I also had dreams about the gender- one time baby was a girl and one time baby was a boy- so that was not very helpful, haha.
Physical Changes: Besides what has already been discussed- I’ve had some restless legs, a very mini bump probably only noticeable to me, and my appetite notably increased (although sometimes it would be hard to get full with the aversions). I also am experiencing some sciatica- stretching and avoiding sitting for long periods helps a ton. Oh, and acne- I feel like I’m back in middle school, lol. When does that glow start? I also cry easily and the mood swings are pretty rough- sorry, Deej 😬❤️ He’s the most gracious and supportive with everything!!
App I’m Using: What to Expect. I love the May 2022 Babies Community group in there! They have some helpful articles too.
How We Told People: We sent my mom and Pete a onesie in the mail and had them open it on Facetime. I told them Moose had a gift for them, and I wanted to see their reaction. When my mom opened it, she thought it was a onesie from Moose saying, “I can’t wait to meet you Grandma and Grandpa”. She goes,”It’s like the onesies people use to announce they are having a baby, how cute!”. Then it dawned on her when she saw the “See you in May!”. LOL. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her and Pete happier. For our local family, we had Moose walk out in a bandana at our get-togethers that said “soon to be big brother”. Very special moments <3
Pregnancy Brain Moments: I put a new tub of butter in the sink, I put several items in the freezer instead of the fridge. I misspell things that I know how to spell and have major moments of just blanking on things that I should not be blanking on! 😅
Interviewing While Pregnant: Overall, they went well. However, at one of my interviews, I was trying not to throw up seconds before they called me in (sorry if that’s TMI- I know no limits as a nurse). I didn’t eat enough before and had no snacks on me. Hunger is what always set my nausea off the most. The interview itself went well, thankfully the nausea stayed at bay during the actual interview, and then they invited me to shadow after. I hadn’t been planning on shadowing, and I was already starving. I agreed though- and it was a great experience… until I nearly passed out. I told one of the nurses I was shadowing I was about to pass out as I started losing my vision and breaking out into a profuse sweat. Thankfully, the nurse helped keep it discrete, grabbed me some orange juice, and I immediately felt better after chugging it down and sitting down. Thankfully this was at the very end of the shadowing experience, so I left shortly after. I called my Aunt on the way home, so I could have someone on the phone while I was driving to be safe. I felt fine, but I was super shaken up and embarrassed. A couple weeks later, I got this awesome gift package in the mail. It’s all the most amazing healthy snacks you can imagine. My Aunt wanted to be sure that I didn’t have any more episodes like that, and I can tell ya, I have not! It was so thoughtful, and this package has certainly come in handy! Seriously one of the best gifts if you know anyone who’s pregnant.
Well I think I have talked your ear off enough for a day. If you actually read this, thank you- I would never expect you to!
Question for you!
- I’d love to hear about any of your first trimester experiences, cravings, etc.! I know they vary quite a bit.