UPDATED: 1st Trimester Musts
"Pregnancy is the happiest reason for ever feeling like crap."
Isn't that the truth. At least it was for me for both pregnancies now. Each 1st trimester was very different, but still rough. All worth it though. I have dreamt about this moment for years. It's all a part of the process. The fight, the symptoms, the unexpected, I embraced it all and savor this magical and rewarding experience.
During my first pregnancy, I think most of the 1st trimester I was running on adrenaline, which helped push through the uncomfortableness. I focused on one day at a time, one appointment at a time, one milestone at a time. After a four year infertility journey, it was hard for my husband and I to fully comprehend that pregnancy was actually happening for us. We were blessed to have a healthy baby boy on March 5th, 2021. Now we are pregnant, 14 weeks, with our second baby, due March 25th, 2023.
Pregnancy is pretty fascinating. It's exciting, overwhelming, beautiful, wild, suspenseful and there are so many unexpected moments. I compare experiencing pregnancy to getting a job after college. You can never be fully prepared until you have real life experience. You take things as they come, face obstacles, and strategize solutions, or at least remedies to help you get by. And just like jobs, each pregnancy is unique in its own way.
Both of my pregnancies were through IVF. I continued hormone stimulants, estrogen and progesterone, until we were between 8-10 weeks pregnant. With my first pregnancy, after we stopped stims, I immediately lost five pounds due to the medicine halt and because I felt so nauseas all of the time. I never threw up in the first trimester, but I felt like I was on the verge of doing so until about 13 weeks pregnant. I could barely stomach food and what I could eat wasn't the best nutritious wise. I lived off rice, vegetarian sushi rolls, bagels and cream cheese and gluten free breadsticks dipped in marinara. Anything else sounded dreadful to me. As a nutrition specialist, this was very difficult for me to accept. I felt like I was failing and not providing my baby the nutrients he needed. My nurse ensured me that if I was getting in plenty of water, taking my pre-natals and focusing on eating what I could, the baby would be ok and to just focus on being better every single day.
With this second pregnancy, I have either had an empty pit in my stomach or I'm nauseas. I feel like I have to have food in me every 1-2 hours. I space out my food and work to get as many nutrients as possible. I can stomach most everything, but nothing ever really sounds good. Besides bagels and cream cheese, pasta, carb based foods. Luckily I do feel more in control this second go round when it comes to my eating. My weight has pretty much stayed the same the first trimester this go round, I fluctuate 1-2 pounds up and down weekly. I also started showing at 12 weeks which is early compared to last time between 16-18 weeks. The hardest part of this pregnancy is the exhaustion and fatigue. While a lot has to do with pregnancy, it's also adjusting to raising a toddler, being a working mom, and carrying another child simultaneously. It's a lot, but you figure it out.
Despite my two pregnancies being different, the 1st trimester is all about survival. In addition to nausea, my boobs hurt so badly, I was bloated, irritable, dizzy, had lots of headaches, had to pee all of the time, dealt with heartburn, fatigue and suffered cramps and early bleeding which terrified me on so many levels. Having suffered multiple miscarriages, any signs of blood gave me serious PTSD. Some pros though, I was pregnant, our baby was growing, my skin was so clear and my hair and nails were growing at an accelerated rate. What a wild ride!
That being said, I found so many tools to be helpful to get me through the first trimester with some ease and comfort. All my favorites are displayed in the image below. I've also attached a PDF document below that gives you access to shop. Hope these help you as much as they did me.
To break down my favs, both pregnancy pillows are game changers. The larger one is for sleeping. It's way more comfortable with the growing belly to sleep on your side and straddling something soft and plush sends me into dreamland pretty fast. The small wedge pillow is great to help ease lower back pain. I use it while working at my desk, in the car if I have to drive a long distance, or while lying on the couch watching TV.
The Baby Mama Must Haves are great. I especially love the belly oil and the nipple/lip balm, keeps things nice and smooth. The stretch marks cream is amazing. I was very lucky not to experience stretch marks with pregnancy number one. I used this on my boobs, stomach, butt, and the back of my legs daily. It's so smooth, hydrating, and smells delightful.
I can't live without my huge water jug. It holds me accountable to drink at least 64 ounces of water per day if not more. My gratitude journal is necessary. Practicing daily gratitude allows you to appreciate what you have in the moment rather than focusing on what you don't or are lacking. TOST beverages allows me to drink a sparkling festive beverage without the alcohol obviously. The ginger ingredient also helps settle and sooth my nausea.
The Skims muscle crop is the perfect loose, but flattering crop, that I feel comfortable in with a growing belly. It's super soft and I have it in like five different colors. It pairs great with Lululemon Align leggings which are not restricting on the belly. I now will start to size up to give myself a little more room, but they are so soft, breathable, not constricting. Worth the investment. My house slippers are so helpful to cushion the feet and joints as I have a hard surfaced first floor. My nightgown slip is the perfect piece of clothing to put on after a long day. It almost feels like I'm not wearing anything. The fabric is high quality from my favorite loungewear company MasonGrey. The heating pad is a must, especially as the belly gets bigger and the lower back starts to ache. It feels good daily. The oversized Nirvana sweatshirt is comfy, cozy, baggy, and warm. I slip this on on and off all day long and I feel safe.
Back to the snacks, carbs truly save me. I have fallen in love with Simple Mills because their ingredients are just that, simple. High quality nutrients without sacrificing the taste. I've also been craving candy daily, YumEarth also has cleaner alternatives. While candy is still sugar, I feel better indulging in companies that focus on quality rather than adding high fructose corn syrup and other harmful ingredients. Last but not least, to my ultimate pregnancy craving, bagels and cream cheese. My family does indulge in the real deal once a week and it's glorious, but on a regular basis I opt for Dave's Killer Bread as the company also focuses on high quality ingredients. All of their bread options are delicious from bagels, to bread, english muffins, etc. I also enjoy whipped cream cheese because the serving sizes are higher and it honestly tastes better to me.
If you're pregnant, congrats mama. What a beautiful blessing. If you are trying to conceive, sending you so much strength, hope, courage and baby dust. Please know you are not alone and there is help and support out there. Keep fighting for your miracle. Sending you love, safe pregnancy vibes and baby dust your way.