When I first found out I was pregnant, I wanted to soak up all the information I could and also hear about other mamas experiences. In the post, I'll share my experiences and products I found useful during the first three months of pregnancy. (In case you missed it, you can read our pregnancy announcement.)
My First Trimester
The first trimester is the first twelve weeks of pregnancy, and the first half zipped by without me even realizing it. I found out I was pregnant at nearly seven weeks. Miscarriage rates drop significantly after twelve weeks, so a lot of moms-to-be, including me, tend to worry a lot the first trimester. I was glad seven weeks passed without me worrying, but also nervous because I drank wine in those early weeks. Thankfully, the doctor says everything is looking great and my first trimester was pretty smooth!
Aside from some symptoms that were more of an annoyance than anything, the first trimester went quite well. I'm really grateful for that!
- Nausea - Thankfully, I had minimal nausea except for on my birthday when I vomited after my birthday brunch (I thought I just ordered wrong!) and the day I finally realized I was pregnant.
- Big painful boobs — My bra size went up two sizes pretty quickly, and they hurt like hell. Hugs were the enemy.
- Bloating — The belly bloat was no joke. At night, my belly would expand to make me look like I was 20 weeks pregnant and by morning it would be back to a normal size.
- Sex drive — Unfortunately for my husband, my sex drive went downhill. For a couple of weeks it was at the “don’t even think about touching me” level. When you're bloated, tired, and your boobs are killing you, you don't exactly feel sexy. Thankfully, in the second trimester my sex drive started normalizing.
- Fatigue — There were a couple of days I felt completely exhausted. I don’t drink coffee on a regular basis but I started having a few cups per week to help combat my fatigue.
Diet and Cravings
My doctor told me to eat fish twice per week and get 60-70 grams of protein daily. I always started my day with a protein smoothie and tried to eat healthy with more protein, fruits and veggies. However, the kids menu also sounded good to me: PB&J, quesadillas, cereal and ice cream. Essentially carbs and comfort food.
Also, my appetite was insatiable. I often treated myself to mango or raspberry Talenti Sorbetto. A third of the tub is only 160 calories, so I'm not about to feel guilty about it. I tried to balance my cravings with the healthy foods.
During the first trimester, I gained total of five pounds. Apparently, you’re only supposed to gain 3-4, and many women gain none or actually lose weight due to nausea.
One of my doctors (I switched around 20 weeks) actually told me to lay off the ice cream and said with some concern that I’ve already gained too much weight. Whoops! Seemed silly to me to make a big deal of being one pound over though, so I didn’t stress about it.
I also read Emily Oster's book called Expecting Better which found that it’s better for pregnant women to gain a little too much weight than too little. I highly recommend that book. It digs into the research behind common pregnancy guidelines and reveals that some of them are rather baseless.
It is a mind f*ck, to lose control of your body. With the new boobs and the bloat, some of my clothes and most of my bras no longer fit in the first trimester. Oddly enough, I actually missed my smaller boobs and generally did not feel completely at ease with my rapidly changing body. The pregnancy police will say you can't complain about anything because you are blessed with a baby, but the truth is, you're going through a major transition and it can be emotionally difficult.
Also, there were a couple of days where I felt terribly exhausted, and I wasn't productive. Then I'd feel frustrated and disappointed that I was such a bum that day.
First trimester is really a weird stage, in my opinion. You're going through a lot physically and emotionally yet you have no bump, and almost no one knows your pregnant. It's such an exciting time, but I did have moments where I struggled and had to remember to give myself grace.
I continued with my normal workouts including Body Pump (weigh lifting), jogging, barre, hip hop dance, and the occasional yoga or spin class. I did get nervous doing ab exercises at first, but looking back I shouldn’t have worried at all. My doctor said it’s fine to continue working out as I normally do during the first trimester.
Products I loved
Burt’s Bee’s Mama Bee Belly Butter— I started lathering this stuff on right away over my belly, boobs, butt and thighs. The reviews are mixed on if you can actually prevent stretch marks, but I figured it’s worth a shot.
Belly Band — At the end of my first trimester, I was squeezing into my some of my clothes. This Belly Band makes it possible to continue wearing your favorite pants.
Nespresso Coffee & Espresso Maker —As I mentioned, I was exhausted during the first trimester, but we actually didn’t have a coffee maker in the house. We ordered this Nespresso machine with the latte maker so we could enjoy barista-style coffee and foamy lattes with the touch of a button. I am OBSESSED. I wish I got it sooner! If you're wondering, my doctor and the research shared in Expecting Better say it's fine to have some coffee when pregnant.
The End of the First Trimester
Honestly, I feel very fortunate that the first trimester went so well. It ended with the results from our genetic test which all came out great and revealed our baby was looking healthy without any genetic abnormalities. Those results and hitting 12 weeks (when miscarriage rates decrease significantly) gave me the absolute best feeling and a huge sigh of relief.
Additionally, we found out the gender of our baby at end of the first trimester. My family threw us a really sweet gender reveal party, which you can read about on my blog.
Stay tuned for the second trimester update and check out our incredible babymoon in South Lake Tahoe. Thanks for reading!