First trimester has come and gone, just like that. I am sad to say that I am not one of those typical “pregnant” people. I thought my phone would be littered with bump photos. But the truth is I have one bump photo at this point in my pregnancy. Two if you include the picture I took of my shorts being held together with an elastic around the belt loop (because lets be real – I basically only wear dresses in the summer and I refuse to buy new shorts when summer is over so soon).
I do not have a series of bump photos filling my camera roll. I do not have any apps downloaded to tell me what size my baby is compared to a fruit. I do not know how many weeks I am and how many days. Some might say I am disconnected from my pregnancy but in fact, I feel so connected.
Instead of focusing on external realms, I’m focusing on what I know and what I feel. I am focusing on my mental well-being, living in the moment and being so externally grateful for this experience.
Because you know why? I fought so damn hard for this and for now, I just want to live in the moment. I spent the last two years analyzing everything I ate, did, and brought into the house. Researching all I could about infertility and how to improve my odds. For now, it feels so nice to live in the moment.
The truth is, I do not know if this will be my only pregnancy. Maybe my second embryo will not implant or survive the un-freezing process. There is so many uncertainties. With both Robbie and I having infertility problems the chances of us conceiving is nearly non-existent.
I genuinely know and believe we will have more than one kid, but the path to that is full of uncertainties so I am cherishing this pregnancy for what it is. The reality is that this might be my only encounter with pregnancy.
So I stepped away from the apps, away from the camera, away from all the distractions, and I focus on myself and my baby. Experiencing firsthand the wonderful ways your body changes to accommodate a new life.
I spend my time educating myself on preparing my body to be the strongest it can be for pregnancy, labor, and birth – through physical, emotional, mental embodiment of empowerment.
But since I haven’t shared much about my first trimester and people are always asking, I thought I would give you all a little insight into first trimester.
When people say they are exhausted when they are pregnant – believe them. From approximately 6 weeks to 10 weeks the exhaustion was at its worst. Believe it or not, I genuinely think I slept anywhere from 12-16 hours a day on days I worked and even more on my off days. After 10 weeks or so, I felt tired but I didn’t feel drained like I did for those few weeks. So here is what I learned. Sleep while you can, if you can. Your body is telling you that you need rest, so listen to it (if you can). I know some days are hectic and some might have babies so they can’t sleep because they have a toddler running around as well (in which case I admire you so much!).
Ditch the chores, choose sleep. My house looked chaotic. Robbie was gone so he couldn’t help out but my gosh, I had dished stacked in the sink and dog hair balls comparable to tumbleweeds roaming the house. But my body needed the sleep more than it needed to be cleaned so manage your time wisely.
It also didn’t help that I was on progesterone suppositories three times daily until 12 weeks – I feel like this definitely played its role in the level of exhaustion.
Insomnia Hit Hard:
After about 10 weeks, my energy levels increased slightly (thank goodness) but it has yet to return to its former pre-pregnancy glory. Also Mama’s like to kindly remind me it won’t ever return for another 18 years once baby is here. But with this increase in energy, and less naps during the day – it brought on a wild case of insomnia. On average I wake up around 2 or 3 am and will stay wide awake until usually 6 or 7 am. Thankfully I work evenings so I can sleep the day away, when I need to catch up.
Usually my nights involve a bagel in bed, multiple washroom trips, and lots of Netflix or animal snuggles.
I am pretty sure that both my cats are aware that I am pregnant. Usually Hemingway will come knead my neck and snuggle into my neck for a quick cat nap during the night, then leave. But recently, he’s been sleeping beside me all night (and nipping Robbie if Robbie tries to snuggle me in my sleep and knocks Hemi out of his spot). Rocco usually used to spend his time evenly between Robbie and I but I’ve woken up more times that not, with him sprawled out across my stomach.
I have been so very fortunate (and it’s something I definitely do not take for granted) have not experienced any nausea or morning sickness this pregnancy. But the moment I found out I was pregnant I started on Ginger tablets (two tablets of 550 mg) and upped my vitamin B12 intake in hopes to ward of nausea. Whether or not that was why, there is no harm in trying.
In addition (cue the witchcraft talk that makes people roll their eyes), my weekly acupuncture appointments also could have helped with the nausea. I mentioned this before in my acupuncture for fertility post, but your bodies energy is called chi. Basically it’s the flow of how things move and function in your body. It is how the blood flows in your body.
Picture this. If your blood flow is poor, you are more likely to have cold extremities. If your blood flow is extremely poor, you are at risk of losing circulation in your extremities.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, if your Chi isn’t flowing properly, you will have a build-up of energy, usually in the stomach. With all of this extra energy and no where to go, it stays in the core and it can present itself as nausea, upset stomach etc.
If you do experience nausea (and haven’t been going to an acupuncturist – because lets be real, not a lot of people do), it’s not too late. You can still and it will greatly help subdue any nausea you may be encountering.
I also have it from a good source (who I will reveal later in the blog since I cannot share all my ideas in one blog) but when you are feeling nauseous, that sniffing an alcohol swab will help. Just keep one in a Ziploc to carry around with you for times of need.
First trimester wasn’t too severe in terms of uncontrollable hormones. However there was one time where I cried on the stairs because I was so tired and had no food to make, but didn’t have the energy to leave the house.
Also this excludes the first two weeks after I found out I was pregnant because that was just genuinely me being so excited that this finally had happened for us.
But otherwise I haven’t been bad… Yet.
My cravings have died off now and are virtually non-existent (other than I tend to want apples more than I ever have in my life). But the first few weeks, the cravings where so strong.
My biggest craving of all was surprisingly strawberry daiquiris (virgin, of course). I cannot even recall the last time I had one or thought about having one until I was pregnant. The day of our viability scan, I looked online for a while to find a restaurant that had them on the menu. I cannot even recall the amount of times I must have said “oh my god this is amazing” while sipping away on it. Definitely not a craving I was anticipating.
Otherwise, my cravings were chocolate almond milk and carbonated water. Usually I’m a water and tea/ coffee kind of person only so it was weird to want to drink something other than those three options.
My only food craving was crunchy pickle crepes at The Nook food truck. Crepes stuffed with cheddar cheese, dill pickles, breaded fried onions, lettuce and dill aioli sauce. I not so stealthy snuck one in before meeting with a friend and her sisters kids referred to me as “Aunt Brittany’s friend who smells like pickles.” Sometimes you come by nicknames honestly.
Luckily these aversions where short lived but I could not stand coffee and burritos. Some mornings I would make a coffee and just sit and stare at it, being like you used to love this, just drink it and it would turn my stomach. Robbie and I are guilty of getting burritos usually once a week as it’s our ultimate favourite, but I couldn’t handle it – but somehow nachos and tacos where still okay?
Other weird ones were broccoli, sweet potato and the smell of turkey bacon. I’m a vegetarian to begin with but my goodness when Robbie would make turkey bacon in the mornings, it would turn my stomach and leave me dry heaving.
Something Robbie and I choose to forgo was genetic testing. In our minds, no matter what our baby might be faced with, nothing would bring us to change our mind about wanting this baby. If, our baby is diagnosed with anything, it is something we will throw ourselves into whole-heartedly when the time comes.
But the genetic testings are so unreliable to begin with. I know so many individuals who were supposed to have kids with down syndrome and they did not. Why concern ourselves with something that might not even be a concern? And if something is out of the ordinary, it’s something we will fully commit ourselves to when the time arises.
I had the lovely joy of having my first encounter with sciatic pain and I will say this. It wasn’t fun – but I survived. I tweaked it at work (and had a bulging disc in my lower back) and for a month and a half I convinced myself it was just a pulled muscle. In fact, I did not even mention it once, not even to Robbie, until it was two weeks after the fact and it was just a simple “I pulled a muscle in my back and it’s not getting any better.”
After some acupuncture (to help with the inflammation and pain) and weekly visits (for adjustments and putting my hip back into place) to the chiropractor, I now feel a million times better.
I’ve always felt that going to a chiropractor wasn’t something I would do but I will tell you this, it’s far more beneficial to nip things like this in the butt before they get worse. Especially since women tend to get sciatic pain and extreme back pain during pregnancy, I wanted to get it under control before my bump gets big. The last thing I want is to have a sciatic pain and go off work earlier.
It is also so important to make sure you see a chiropractor that is 1) qualified and 2) regularly deals with women who are pregnant.
I won’t attach the one photo I have but I will say this. My bump in first trimester was so tiny (and basically non-existent) and even now, it looks comparable to eating one too many plates at the mandarin.
Overall, first trimester was a whirlwind. The time just flew by and it is wild to think that I’m one trimester down. Even more crazy to believe that I am actually pregnant and have a baby growing in me. It still seems so surreal to be here.
I am so very fortunate for this experience and am really trying to live in the moment.
With every ounce of your being, try to fully live in the moments. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
But especially the good.
To Contact Lesley for Acupuncture in the Ottawa Valley Area:
To Contact Jon for Chiropractor purposes in the Ottawa Valley Area (located in the same building as Lesley):