It was so hard not to blog/write about my first trimester experience as I went. I bought a pregnancy journal which includes a page for each week (with a picture of the fruit that the baby is a size of) and includes some questions for me to answer. I’ve really enjoyed filling that out. I also started keeping a sort of journal on the side in a gmail email draft to document the experience. For anyone curious, here’s how the first trimester went for me, week by week, as I experienced it.
Week 3 – The two week wait begins. For someone who loves to plan, this portion is terrible. I found a website called twoweekwait.com full of nervous hopeful mothers to be talking about every single tiny sign that they are pregnant. It both comforts me and overwhelms me. But I can’t stop reading.
Week 4 – Finally time to take a pregnancy test but my body has already told me that it’ll be positive (hello sore boobs!!!). My body is right! Go out and buy What to Expect When You’re Expecting and a pregnancy journal. I read as much as possible. Google Google Google (any person tracking my Google searches will for sure know I’m pregnant). But it still doesn’t feel real.
Week 5 – Nervousness about miscarriage at all time high the beginning of this week. We told our parents and some close friends and now it seems real, but it also seems like it could slip away at any moment.
Morning sickness starts. It started on Week 5, Day 3, a Monday morning and continued nearly all day, every day, all week. I always had heard about morning sickness but hearing and living are two very different things. So far no barfing, but I literally feel hungover every day. Every single day at work I contemplate leaving to go home and sleep and say I’m sick but every day I talk myself out of it because I know it’s only supposed to get worse and I need to save up my sick excuses.
The bright side of morning sickness is that studies show you have a lower chance of miscarriage if you’re sick (it’s a sign hormone levels are high – this definitely does not mean you can’t miscarry, but chances are lower). So despite feeling like crap all week, I actually felt a small sense of relief knowing that things were progressing. Most doctors won’t see you until at least week 8, so you have little reassurance of anything besides your miserable symptoms until then.
Week 6 – Week 6 started off pretty good. I felt pretty good on Friday (although for record, I am only craving carbs, salt and greasy foods like bagels and french fries, both of which I had on Friday). Luckily Saturday and Sunday I felt even better – there was some nausea but it wasn’t overwhelming. We drove up to Huntington Beach on Saturday to see friends, pick up our bib at the Surf City Marathon Expo and have dinner with family. Sunday we ran the Surf City Half Marathon. Mike ran with me and we ran without chips (see here for my race report). What I didn’t mention in my race report (besides being pregnant) was that it was quite humbling to be running as slow as we did and I had to fight to urge to pick up the pace a lot. But, I did just what I had read was safe, and kept my breathing under control (I was told as long as you can talk you’re good) and drank a TON of water. I stopped 3 times for refills so I know I drank at least 3 full water bottles of water. Usually I just drink 1 in a half marathon, so I know I was at least more hydrated than normal. After the race I was tired – and ended up sleeping 11 hours that night (from 7:45 PM to 7 a.m.) after the Super Bowl.
Unfortunately, the morning sickness returned Monday with a vengeance (I think it was worse due to caffeine withdrawals because the nausea caused me to stop drinking coffee). A lot of my normal foods didn’t sound good (like my mid-morning almonds) so I ended up buying Saltine crackers and pita chips (original flavor only) during a mid-morning emergency trip to the grocery store. Usually by lunch time my appetite is back so I’m still able to eat normal lunches at this point.
#1 food aversion: Jalapeno Kind bars. Just writing it makes me want to gag.
This is the week I started going back to Pilates (I had done the 31 day run/plank streak in January so wasn’t doing a lot of cross training) – I went Tuesday and Thursday. Tuesday was rough as I was quite nauseous but I felt better on Thursday.
Week 7 – Again, the weekend wasn’t so bad. Enjoyed 11.5 hours of sleep on Friday night (some kind of record) and had an amazing Pilates workout on Saturday.
However, morning sickness during the week ebbed and flowed but when it was bad, it was possibly worse than ever. Still no vomiting but a lot of discomfort.
Week 8 – Really starting to feel confident about the pregnancy and miscarriage fears are starting to ease a bit. Being sick and tired all the time helps reminds me that I’m indeed still pregnant! This week was Valentine’s Day and President’s Day weekend. I was a bit disappointed when our Valentine’s Day meal at my favorite restaurant just didn’t taste as good as usual. Nothing really does these days, not to mention it wasn’t as wonderful without the wine!
I ran 8.4 miles on Sunday and unfortunately waited until it was quite hot (high 70s) to run. This was a rough one. I ran sooo slow and was pretty uncomfortable the whole time. I didn’t feel I was doing any damage- if I did, I would have stopped. It just wasn’t fun. I drank a ton of water and stopped 3 times for rest/bathroom/water refill and the run took me nearly an hour and forty five minutes!
I slept my face off all weekend, averaging 10-11 hours a night and also took naps. I’m a sleeping machine.
Week 8, Day 6 – First doctor’s appointment! The day I’ve been waiting for for sooo long. We saw our baby and heard it’s very strong heart beat! It was even more wonderful than I imagined. I cried when we saw the baby. Mike was beaming all day afterward- he clearly transformed from being cautious to very excited about this baby we made!
In other news – I have cried more in the last 8 weeks than I have in the last 2 years. I’ll cry due to a sad YouTube video or episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
Week 9 – I got my Fitn membership and started attending Xtend Barre! This is a very pregnancy friendly workout and I really like that we spend relatively no time on our backs, which is going to be something I have to worry about later on in pregnancy. I can see myself doing this workout for the whole pregnancy. This is also the week we started to document my “bump” progress (or lack thereof) via weekly photos.
Week 10 – First (and only) time puking from the nausea. I went home sick from work and threw up once I got home luckily!
Around this week is when I noticed my running got much slower. I think it’s a combination of my leg soreness from Xtend Barre and yoga classes but also because the baby literally doubled in size over the course of weeks 9-11. My body was working hard. Paces were in the high 10s/low 11s. I actually had a really great 10 mile run on a rainy day but it was also very slow!
I also have really noticed my weight gain this week. I’ve gained 5 lbs at this point and my pants are starting to fit tighter. I know most of the weight is due to my change in eating habits and some water retention. I caved and bought a pair of maternity leggings that my friend recommended!
Week 11 – I thought my nausea was getting better but then I had a really bad bout of nausea/dizziness/faintness while at Vons picking up balloons for my coworkers baby shower. I thought I might pass out in the Vons restroom but luckily I made it through and felt better enough to drive back to the office. I later talked about this with my doctor and she said it definitely happens and can be related to low blood sugar.
I switched doctors so we got to see the baby on an ultrasound again! It was a treat. Mike came with me again and it was just as special as before. The ultrasound tech was incredibly nice and we looked at the baby for a long time and from all different angles. Again, he/she is measuring just a few days ahead and was moving around like crazy. It even looked like she/he waved as us! The tech guessed girl. We’ll see!
Week 12 – We headed to Zion to run the half marathon and hike! My nausea really started getting better but indigestion/bloating got worse. Could also have been aggravated by unfamiliar food, but my stomach was not happy on Saturday night!
Because my nausea was going away, this was the first time I was really wanting to drink and was sad that I couldn’t. Beer never looked so good as it did after that half marathon!
Week 13- The last week of the first trimester! My morning sickness is 95% gone. I still have some food aversions but I was able to eat a lot of my old healthy foods (even a spinach salad for lunch!). For the record, I gained 8 lbs in the first trimester!
I had my First Trimester Screening Ultrasound ( this is combined with the blood test I took during week 11) and the results came back great. Our baby appears very healthy and it was a treat to get to see him/her again. This is the week I told my boss and my co-workers that we’re having a baby! it finally feels real.
So that’s the run down of my first trimester experience. It was fun to go back and read this since I documented it as I went. I went through a range of emotions in the first trimester and I’m finally glad to be settled on excitement as my primary emotion. My favorite part of the first trimester was seeing the baby and hearing the heart beat for the first time. My least favorite part was the nausea & not being able to eat healthy foods that make me feel good.
What was your favorite and/or least favorite part of the first trimester? If you’ve never been pregnant, what part scares you the most!?