As of the publishing of this post I am officially in the last day of my first trimester! Glory glory hallelujah!
Even as someone who processes her feelings by writing them down, I am struggling to put into words the roller coaster that has been the first trimester of this pregnancy. It's confusing to be so grateful for something, so overjoyed about something, and yet be so miserable at the hands of it. The effects of the first trimester symptoms truly consume my thoughts and actions. I don't think I forgot about how tough the first 13 weeks were in my past 2 pregnancies, but I still felt unprepared for it this time around.
Ok...well, we have a few lost weeks, mostly due to the fact that I felt too sick to take pictures. That's ok. The bump didn't really change much until Weeks 12 and 13. I have a feeling the Week 14 bump photo is going to show an even bigger difference!
My symptoms are pretty typical of the first trimester. I've been nauseous since Week 4, and have also been dealing with headaches, fatigue, a metallic taste in my mouth, mood swings, aching knees and hips, sensitive gums, dizziness, and shortness of breath. I struggle to admit, even to myself, that the litany of physical ailments has given me a case of the blues. I've been uncharitable to everyone around me, and harshest with myself. I know it is a combination of the hormones and feeling useless in my roles of wife, mother, housekeeper, teacher, and business owner causing these feelings, along with not having the energy to participate in my usual creative outlets of writing and photography. Or it could just be my aversion to coffee getting me down.
Thankfully, our God is a God of restoration and compassion. Starting in Week 12, I've had a few glorious days free of nausea. It helps to see the light at the end of the tunnel, and reminds me to be grateful, no matter how I happen to feel physically that day.
I was definitely starting to show by week 7 or 8, so I pulled the maternity shorts and pencil skirts out of storage pretty early on. The Bella Band has been perfect for transitioning out of my regular shorts.
As for tops, I stuck with flowing non-maternity shirts throughout the first trimester. Thank goodness for affordable tank tops from TJ Maxx to help bridge the gap in my wardrobe from fitted tops to maternity tops with side shirring. Now that I'm in Week 13, I'm pulling out a few maternity shirts and dresses.
The only exercise I have been getting, due to how sick I've been feeling, are long, brisk walks with the double stroller and the dog. I aim to walk anywhere from 2.5 to 4 miles each day. Some days I don't make it out at all, but I'm trying my best to listen to my body, and get extra rest when I need it. I plan to keep up this routine throughout the pregnancy, adding in free weights and body weight exercises as I have more energy. I am trying to be very careful this time around, since I am fairly certain I still have separated abs from my last pregnancy, and I don't want to make it worse. I plan to talk to my doctor to see what he thinks about potential fixes for this, such as physical therapy or belly support bands.
I have had one magical sonogram so far. It was amazing to see our little one so soon in the pregnancy! I already believe that life begins at conception, but was still in awe at how much like a real person this baby already looked at 9 weeks. I don't really have any strong intuition about whether it's a boy or a girl yet, and we still haven't decided if we will find out or not at the 21 week sonogram.
We also got to listen to the heartbeat at the 10 week appointment, and my OB suggested I record the sound on my phone so I could show my husband later. Ever since then, Pippa asks me all the time if we can listen to the baby's heartbeat. It's so cute to see her getting excited about adding another sibling to the family!
Favorites and Must-Haves
+ Preggie Pop Drops and mints to suck on
+ Lemon Water to counteract the metallic taste in my mouth
+ Oyster Crackers and Saltine Crackers to nibble on throughout the day
+ La Croix sparkling water
+ Grass-Fed Whey Protein Chocolate Shakes - They add a good boost of protein to my diet, and I know I'm getting good nutrition when I can't stomach a lot of healthy foods. Also, when my doctor heard I was throwing up every morning, he suggested I start the day with a big glass of milk because the dairy would be gentle on my stomach. I asked if the shakes would have a similar effect due to the high quality whey protein, and he was very enthusiastic about them!
+ Fiber Pro supplement - All my pregnant ladies know things slow down a bit as your organs begin to shift to make room for baby. A scoop of fiber blended in one of my shakes is a non-negotiable for me every. single. day.
+ Pregnancy + Motherhood podcasts - Listening to pregnancy podcasts and birth stories has been so helpful for me mentally. I feel like I'm not alone, and listening to other people's birth stories reminds me that this is temporary, and I have a sweet baby to look forward to at the end of this! So far my favorites are the Pregnancy Perfect podcast, Pregnancy Confidential - a week-by-week look at pregnancy, and the Coffee + Crumbs podcast.
+ Earth Mama Angel Baby Ginger Mint Tea - I'm hit with nausea pretty hard both in the morning and evening, so this is something soothing to sip on at night before bed.
+ Bralettes - The super-affordable, ultra-comfy bralettes from Target have been a life-saver. I have a very short torso, and my baby bump takes up almost every inch of available space. Even sizing up with regular bras gives me back aches. At $12 a piece, I stock up on these!
+ Netflix. When I was pregnant with Teddy and going through the first trimester, I remember making soups and homemade bread and watching Gilmore Girls marathons. It just felt right to restart the series at the start of this pregnancy, since there are some days, and most evenings that I can't get off the couch.
Mamas: what got you through your first trimester?