Pregnancy Unfiltered- Surviving The First Trimester
I was on a girls weekend with 12 of my favorite ladies. We made a pitstop for lunch, and no part of me wanted to drink. I told 2 of my friends on the trip, and they immediately said, “You’re totally pregnant.” Mind you, I wasn’t even late at this point. The thought became all consuming, so the next day, we drove to a gas station in the middle of nowhere to buy a test. I brought it back to the house, snuck away from the group, and confirmed in less than 60 seconds that yes, there was a baby on board. Let me tell you, those 48 hours were a blur of fun, excitement, and shock. Calling my husband from the swimming pool, laugh/crying as I interrupted his golf game to tell him we were having a baby, and sharing the moment with a few close friends was priceless.
sharing the news with our son
We waited until after our 8 week appointment to share the news with our son. We took him out to ice cream, and casually (wink, wink) worked siblings into the conversation after running into our friend with a newborn.
We said, ‘do you still want a brother or sister?’ Without missing a beat, he responded, ‘Actually, I really love being an only child. I love to travel and do fun things as a family, I love that it’s just the 3 of us.’ So we did what any parents would do- awkwardly stared at one another and burst out laughing. Then my hubby blurted out, ‘Well enjoy the next 6 months! That time is about to run out!’ So then we started asking if he’d noticed anything different about me, like the food aversions, or my falling asleep right when I got home from work, or how I’d stayed home sick a few days from work. His response made me wish we hadn’t ask any of those questions.
‘Well, mom does look kind of pregnant in that dress…’
To make the conversation THAT much better, my sister was there to witness the whole thing first hand, and silently laugh to herself.
When we got home from the world’s longest ice cream date, I asked if he wanted to see the ultrasound, and as soon as he saw the picture, his eyes lit up, and he asked, ‘Do you think I’ll be a good big brother?’ to which I responded, ‘Of course!’
expectation vs reality
I’d love to tell you that I was a glowing, etherial goddess in my first trimester of pregnancy… hair blowing in the wind, dewy skin, grace and poise oozing from my being as I flowed though a prenatal yoga practice- but let’s get real- I was about as far from that as possible. I was a bloated, exhausted, emotional, moody-as-all-getout mess. I slept all the time, spent my work days shoving my face with crackers, and cried at literally everything. Oh, and those workouts? What workouts?! My workouts consisted of walking to the kitchen for ginger ale or saltines.
What surprised me the most, though, was the food aversions. I didn’t eat vegetables from weeks 6-17. Like. Didn’t eat a single vegetable. Let me tell you what I did eat- donuts. So many donuts. Mac and Cheese. ALL THE MAC AND CHEESE. I basically ate beige foods and pickles for 11 weeks straight. I know what you’re thinking… no wonder she was so bloated!!
Here’s the good news. It’s a phase. I promise. Everyone said that I’d start feeling better in the second trimester. I literally went to bed on the evening of week 13, day 6, PRAYING that I would miraculously turn the corner on the first morning of my second trimester. Shocker- that didn’t happen. For me, relief, and some sense of normalcy came at about week 17. I slowly started incorporating non-beige foods, and learned a few tricks to introduce them back into my diet without getting too overwhelmed.
5 things that helped me survive the first trimester
It’s less convenient, but this is the only time that I will suggest you buy your produce on the day you want to eat it. Pregnancy is funny, and what sounds good today may sounds terrible tomorrow. So listen to what you want now, and follow it! I can’t tell you how much money I wasted on produce that went bad early in my pregnancy. If you don’t want to eat it right now, don’t buy it.
Carry snacks with you EVERYWHERE
I carried blueberry Tone It Up bars, saltines, and ginger chews with me everywhere I went. I also kept a can of sparkling water with me at all times (and a 12 pack under my desk at work) The easiest way to keep nausea at bay is to keep something in your stomach.
A basic smoothie can help calm a queasy stomach while helping you hold down that prenatal vitamin. I drank this smoothie almost everyday in my first trimester.
8oz unsweetened almond milk
1 scoop Tone It Up Organic Vanilla Protein
heavy dash of cinnamon
I loved that it was plain enough for any day, but the cinnamon and date combo made me feel like I was drinking a cinnamon roll. Also, I felt good knowing it was plant based instead of dairy based… just in case it was one of those days where breakfast came back up. barf.
Puréed soups are a soothing way to get veggies in. Starting at about week 17,I loved carrot ginger soup to sooth my stomach. The recipe was very basic:
1lb of carrots
32oz bone broth,
1/2 sweet onion
2tbsp minced ginger
pinch of salt and pepper.
Chop the carrots and onion, and sauté them in a little olive oil. Add the broth, and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Add ginger, salt, and pepper. Let cool, transfer to a blender, and blend until smooth.
I loved that I could sip this soup on it’s own, or pour it over roasted veggies, quinoa, or brown rice if I wanted something with more substance. I’m sure that with a little less broth, this will become a baby food recipe in the future.
Embrace that this is a phase, and give yourself a break. Not only are you growing a human, you’re also growing a new organ to feed that new human! You are allowed to be freaking tired, and eat Mac and cheese for a few weeks…or months. BUT, keep testing the waters to see how those healthy options sound. And know that some days you may feel like that ethereal goddess, and some you may just feel like a beached whale. AND THAT’S OK.
keep reading if you want to hear the stuff that only pregnant people will understand
Fair warning to you, these are the WTF moments from my first trimester. If you don’t want to hear the gross (and funny) parts of pregnancy, you should stop now.
My boobs hurt so freaking bad. I would literally yell "DON’T TOUCH ME” at my husband (super pleasant, I know). Shower water hitting them hurt. Breathing hurt. Gusts of wind hurt. Thinking about it now hurts.
Feeling your uterus stretch. One day I felt a searing pain in my stomach and thought that an alien was ripping through my skin (which felt like a natural response). Turns out, it was just a growing pain from my stretching uterus. Fun fact, the most common time I felt it was either in an important meeting at work, or while I was sleeping.
My digestion came to a complete standstill. Blame the donuts. Blame the hormones. And then once I finally could go, I got hemorrhoids. So that was great. Apparently those are planning to stick around during this entire pregnancy.
Pregnancy brain BLOOOOWWSSSSSS. It’s real, and I cannot even tell you the number of times I stared blankly into space just trying to figure out what the eff I was supposed to be doing. At work, at home, walking to work and going to the wrong building, staring at my husband, knowing full well he said something, and that I had no idea what it was. Full on zombie brain. One day, I literally spent more than 2 hours wearing 2 different shoes. I walked to the bathroom multiple times without noticing.
Uncontrollable sobbing. ANNNNDDD SCENE: We’re watching the season finale of Life Sentence (go watch it if you don’t already- it’s amazing) and the ending was sad- like, happy sad. My crazy hormones turned this normal, should-maybe-shed-a-few-tears moment into a sob fest that lasted a good 30 minutes after the show ended. Through my sobs, I demanded that my husband ‘hold me and turn on a funny episode of Friends.’ Then, I cry-laughed through the whole episode because PREGNANCY MAKES YOU CRAZY.
Mystery gas. Its like your uterus moves and just lets it out at the worst times possible.
Tell me! How did you survive the first trimester? Share your must-have’s in the comments below!