Ahhh long time no chat friends! I took a break from the blog the past several weeks due to the amount of crazy life changes we have had. Between matching residency, moving to a new state, buying a house during COVID19, and expecting our first baby- we’ve had a lot of change happen lately. Great change, but still a lot of moving parts. I’m so happy to be back in my happy place updating you on all the changes. As I am writing this post, I am now 17 weeks pregnant (meaning I’m in my second trimester), but I had many questions about first trimester from you all that seemed to be recurrent, so decided to whip up this blog post to get you up to speed and answer some of the common q&a! I’m also using this as an opportunity to share some more of our baby announcement pics by the talented (and the sweetest person ever) Marisa Kinney Photography! If you are in Pennsylvania, Marisa is the best! We will also be working with her for maternity and newborn photos!
Q: When are you due?
A: It’s true, our due date is December 25th, 2020 aka Christmas Day! This baby has been a miracle from the beginning (will go into more details below) so it’s not a surprise that his expected arrival is a special day as well. When we originally started trying over a year ago, we had hoped to have a baby due between May-June (it would make it a lot easier for me being a teacher). But we quickly learned that this is something we don’t have the luxury of timing because of my PCOS (more details on that HERE) so we just decided to trust God’s timing instead. Even if that means having a baby in the middle of the school year lol. It’s less than ideal, but again we are just so thankful to even get pregnant! And we are firm believers that God’s timing is perfect!
Q: Did you use any fertility treatments to get pregnant?
A: Yes, but our situation probably doesn’t look like what you think when you hear “fertility treatment.” I shared that I got diagnosed with PCOS back in September 2019 after several months of trying to figure out what was going on with my body and having difficulty getting pregnant. After doing a full fertility work-up (both myself and Brandon) we met with our doctor and came up with a fertility treatment plan. We decided to try a few months of femara (an ovulation inducing pill) and then if that didn’t work, we would move to IUI. If after 6 months of not being able to get pregnant, we would then find an REI in Pennsylvania and come up with a more intense fertility plan after getting settled. However, after two rounds of femara we got pregnant!! We were shocked since the odds of success are not that high with just using femara, but we are SO happy! And we actually started this round of treatment right before coronavirus hit the US hard. After this round, we would not have been able to continue treatment due to the healthcare policy at the the clinic I went to (they stopped any infertility treatment in March/April due to COVID19).
Q: Why were you nervous you miscarried?
A: Without going into too many details, I thought I miscarried early on since I had all the classic signs of a miscarriage. If you’ve ever been pregnant, you know what these signs are since they are what you pray every day you don’t have to experience! I’m still not totally convinced that I didn’t miscarry, I wonder if I had been actually carrying two babies initially. We will never know! But a few weeks later I went in to confirm the miscarriage via ultrasound and to talk about infertility treatment moving forward. We were all very shocked to see a healthy little baby instead! Brandon wasn’t with me due to clinic’s policy during COVID19, and at this point I had grieved and processed the pregnancy, so I didn’t feel like emotionally needed him to be on FaceTime during the ultrasound. He was busy packing up our car to head to my parents after the appointment. I FaceTimed him in the middle of the ultrasound and he was extremely shocked as well! This was such a magical moment for both of us! Something I will never forget!
Q: How did you find out the gender so early?
A: I actually didn’t know this is something that is common to do early until my sister-in-laws told me about it. We used the at home Gender Sneak Peek test. I’m not going to lie, it was definitely difficult for me to do on my own. You have to collect your own blood sample from your finger. Brandon couldn’t help me because if his DNA got in the sample it could give us a false reading of a boy (and honestly there is still a chance this happened since our results are boy… we’ll know for sure at my 20 week appointment lol). If you are terrible with blood or pain, I would not suggest doing this (unless you are able to go to a clinic nearby. My sister-in-law did this at a center who collected her blood for her). But I really wanted to know the gender, so I forced myself to make it through! Brandon was on the third floor of our townhouse, I was on the first and I FaceTimed him during the collection. He calmly walked me through it, but there were definitely some tears on my end lol.
Q: Did you have morning sickness?
A: Ugh, yes unfortunately. After week 5, I got really bad nausea that seemed to be really intense until about week 11. However, most of this time I didn’t know I was pregnant since I thought I miscarried, which just added another level of difficulty to the nausea component. I was not only grieving the baby I thought I miscarried, but was still feeling terrible. The nausea would pretty much last all day, and I could barely eat anything (see the next question on what I ate). However, I never threw up which I’m very thankful for! After week 11, I still had nausea but it hit in the afternoon instead of lasting all day (though it usually would stay with me until I went to bed). Around week 13, I only got nausea the last hour of the day. And finally around week 15 it completely went away!! I was so happy lol!
This was a pretty difficult time for me with the constant nausea. I eat balanced and healthy most of the time, but for about 10 weeks I could not even look at a vegetable and could only eat carbs (see the question below). I was worried about weight gain and what the lack of nutrients in my diet was doing to my growing baby. I also was very discouraged after entering week 12 and still feeling nausea, since I heard from so many women that they felt great as soon as second trimester hit. I was very discouraged and just plain exhausted from feeling like crap lol. But thankfully at week 15 things took a turn! I tried really hard not to complain about the nausea, because I was just thankful for a healthy pregnancy. But after 10 weeks of it, I definitely was ready for it to pass.
Q: What have you been eating during pregnancy?
A: What a loaded question! Up until week 5, I was still eating plant based. If you recall, I went plant based in the fall to try and manage my PCOS symptoms. Although it did help with the initial PCOS weight gain, going plant based did not make me ovulate (which is why we used Femara). After week 5, my morning sickness nausea hit, and my world felt like it was turned upside down! For a while the main thing I could eat was carbs and soup. I tried my best to keep eating healthy carbs, but there were a couple of times (especially on the road with moving) all I could find was a Panera baguette to keep down. When I was at home and able to eat something healthy, my go to carbs were:
- multigrain english muffins
- blueberry english muffins (so good.. they are higher in carbs though.. it’s a stretch to say it’s healthy lol)
- ezekiel bread (the cinnamon raisin is really great with Kite Hill’s cream cheese)
- wheat saltine crackers
- whole wheat pancakes
- bean based pastas
- gg cracker pizzas
I also ate a lot of eggs first trimester. It seemed to be one of the few sources of protein that consistently made me feel good. There were days I would have breakfast, and then make the same thing for lunch lol.
Additionally, I really craved fruit! Like a ton of fruit. Anything high in water content was something I craved. Things like watermelon, cherries, peaches, and oranges. I also really loved bananas. This is something I’m still craving in second trimester (eating a peach as I write this lol).
Some women have aversions to meat, but this didn’t happen for me (which is so funny since the last piece of meat I had was in October). If I wasn’t eating bread, eggs, or fruit, I was craving a steak or hamburger lol.
I could not even look at a vegetable for the longest time!! Occasionally grilled zucchini, frozen spinach, or steamed broccoli were okay. But this was rare!
Here’s the thing about being pregnant, you absolutely need to communicate your questions and concerns with your doctor. I was terrified I would develop gestational diabetes because of the amount of carbs I was eating during first trimester. But my doctor calmed my fears and assured me to just eat what I could keep down and hopefully by second trimester this nausea would pass. Definitely talk to your doctor about your concerns- this is their job and they are full of wisdom and knowledge!
I am happy to report that by week 15, my nausea finally subsided and I am now eating healthy, balanced meals again (which I have been sharing on my instagram feed).
Q: Have you had any cravings?
A: A little bit similar to what I chatted about above, but in terms of those pregnancy cravings you hear about, I haven’t had too many! But there were a few times I was really in the mood for some chick-fil-a, pizza, or a hamburger lol. But they weren’t those die hard cravings you hear about. Most days my legit craving was just fruit (and still is)!
Q: What have you been doing to exercise and have you changed anything?
First thing is first: talk to your doctor about exercise while pregnant! You will find a ton of conflicting information on the internet and before you know it you will be afraid to do anything lol. I talked to my Virginia doctor about exercise, and then again with my new OBGYN practice in Pennsylvania. Both doctor’s approved my exercise regime during pregnancy. However, every woman is different and their pregnancy is different as well (which is why you will find so much conflicting information on the web). I will share what I have been doing, but please do not use this as medical advice, as I am not a doctor. I am sharing my experience, but again you absolutely should talk to your doctor and get approval before starting anything new (especially while pregnant).
Since I was active before becoming pregnant and have a healthy pregnancy, my doctors have not limited my exercise while pregnant at this point. They essentially have told me to do what I feel comfortable doing and listen to my body.
When I first found out I was pregnant, I was in the middle of doing the PWR at Home program on the SWEAT app. You guys know I’m a BIG fan of the SWEAT app. I started doing the BBG program back in 2015. I kept doing the PWR at Home program throughout first trimester. However there were weeks (especially when the nausea was bad) that I couldn’t do the 4-5 workouts each week, and instead would have to walk some days or just flat out take a rest day. I listened to my body and just gave myself grace. The days I did workout, I modified certain movements that made me nervous or uncomfortable. I typically didn’t jump, opted for lower impact exercises, and modified some core workouts that made my belly uncomfortable (I had some round ligament pain in first trimester from all that growth). I also ran 1-2 times a week, but at a much slower pace to watch my heart rate. Some days I could do my full 3 mile route, while other days it was barely a mile and I walked the rest. I truly just listened to my body and gave myself a lot of grace. There are a ton of changes that happen first trimester, and I had to remind myself it was okay if I didn’t have the energy to workout.
Now in second trimester, I changed up my routine and am doing Madeline Moves. I have only been doing this a couple of weeks, but so far really like it and find it easy to modify for pregnancy. It is similar to PWR at Home with resistance training, so it was an easy switch for me. Again, I talked to my doctor before changing up my routine!
Q: How did you manage moving while pregnant?
A: Poorly. LOL! Ahhh this was probably one of the HARDEST things I have ever done. My pregnancy exhaustion and nausea was really bad right when we needed to be kicking it into full gear to pack the house up. Also I started to come down with a 2 week cold turned sinus infection during the move – terrible timing. I really was not as effective as I typically am in terms of packing up the house. Brandon had to do a lot more than normal. But honestly the only reason we were able to get everything packed up was because my in-laws made last minute plans to come help us. Our nephew (their second grand baby) was due the day we were supposed to move, so originally they were not going to be able to help us. But our little nephew (who is sooo cute) came early, so my in-laws were able to help us after all. Seriously my mother-in-law is the most effective, efficient person in these situations lol. She kicked it into full gear and had all of the odds and ends packed the night before the movers came. And my father-in-law went to town and took everything off of our walls and did all of the handy-man things for us. He drove the truck for us to Pennsylvania that day (and had to drive in the middle of the dark). I seriously don’t know what we would have done without them!!
So…. if you have to move while pregnant, get yourself help. We hired labor to both pack and unpack the truck for us and we were blessed that my in-laws were able to help us get from point A to point B. I did decide that next move we will budget to hire a full-service moving company instead of renting a U-Haul lol. Also, we decided to pay for professional painters to paint our house before we moved in, which is something we are really grateful we decided to invest in. They only took 2.5 days, while it would have taken us 6 months lol. It was worth every penny, especially while pregnant!
Wow I didn’t think I would have so much to say on this topic, but I totally did lol! Feel free to comment on DM me more questions. Over the next several months I will continue to share my experience with this pregnancy and how I have been juggling it while trying to stay healthy! There are a handful of products and books I have found really helpful, so I will do a separate blog on that soon!
I am not a physician or Registered Dietician. Some blog posts discuss healthy eating and exercise, and the purpose is to share my personal journey and experience with diet and fitness. As always, consult a physician before making any changes in diet or exercise. The author and blog disclaim liability for any damage, mishap, or injury that may occur from engaging in any activities or ideas from this site.