I am busting to talk any and all things pregnancy and baby! It’s all I think about all day long. It’s hard not to think about it 24/7 when your body is literally growing a tiny human!
Since this is such a huge part of my life, I am going to be blogging about this journey with all of you. I know lots of you are around the same age so either you have kids already or are in the process of trying. So it’s “pertinent info” right? 🙂
Before I get started on writing about this topic I’ve never had the opportunity to write about, I want to go ahead and share something with you. Everything I will be sharing is solely my experience. It’s what I did, it’s what I’m doing, and it’s what I’m going through. One thing I have quickly learned is every BODY is different. Every experience is different. Every story is different. So, I can only speak to my own. I will say that I’m happily on baby overload right now in my brain and have consumed SO MUCH information via very close friends, doctors, nurses, apps, research, and my personal experience. So much so that I certainly have a great grasp on a ton and feel confident in what I know so far. With that said, you always should take facts, information, and advice from other people with an open mind, but then take all of that and do what YOU feel is best. Your intuition knows best. You know your body best. And you are protecting yourself and your baby 🙂
I have been very blessed with an easy and healthy pregnancy thus far. I am saying that to be open with you to take what I say with a grain of salt if you’re having a tough pregnancy or are considered a high-risk pregnancy. My advice and symptoms that I will share will correlate to my experience.
And before we get started, I also want to say I know there are tons of devastating stories out there about not being able to get pregnant, miscarriages, chromosome disorders, and more. If you fall under this category, my heart is with you and I wish you and your family the very best during this time.
I’m well aware that anything can happen at anytime. But I can’t live this pregnancy based off “what-ifs” and being scared to talk about our experience.
LET’S GET STARTED!
Drew and I have been the best of friends since 5th grade. There was no friendship “break-up” or period where we lost touch and reunited – – we have legit been BEST FRIENDS since we were 9-years-old and haven’t left each other’s side since. We’ve grown up together, we know everything about one another, there are no secrets, we’ve literally been there for every milestone either of us have ever had. We are truly the definition of inseparable. We’ve had ups, downs, really high highs, and really low lows. We spend every second of every single day together and make each other whole. I can’t imagine a minute of my life without him and there is no describing the deepest, truest, purest, most real love we have.
So of course, you can’t wait to start a family with your soul mate. (Yes, Drew is truly my soulmate). It’s something we talked about before we got married – -when we would have kids, how many we would have, how they would be raised, etc. We always checked in with each other throughout our marriage to see where the other stood on children and a timeline. And thankfully for us, we were both always on the exact same page. Which doesn’t surprise me because we are one. Everyone in our football family has kids (if not multiple by now). We are always around them, have watched them start crawling, walking, talking, and running. We couldn’t wait for it to be our time and for us to start trying when we were ready.
Once we were ready to take this life-changing step in our lives, we got pregnant immediately. I’m talking right away. And we could not feel more blessed. We know that this is the most meant to be moment in our lives and we could not feel more thankful. We are on the right path and this is God’s way of showing us this is what we are supposed to be becoming right now, parents. To our beautiful baby girl that we daydream and talk about 24/7. We are in the exact point in life we should be and we are soaking up every moment.
I can get into a whole other personal post on why I think we conceived so fast and easily, and what I think is important when trying – – but the main reason is that it was meant to be and all part of the bigger picture.
I “just knew” I was pregnant immediately. You can do tons of research on “very early signs of pregnancy during the two-week wait” and convince yourself you might be experiencing them, but the bottom line is is you know your body best. Call me crazy, but I’m very in tune with my body and just felt that I was. We officially found out that we were pregnant at 3 weeks and 4 days – – super early!
Once the “real” symptoms started kicking in, here were my 3 biggest culprits and tips on handling them:
- Nausea/Vomiting – I started becoming nauseous around 6 weeks and the vomiting started at 7 weeks. I kept telling myself what I was going through was completely normal and that baby was perfectly healthy so I just pushed through it without medication and ease of mind that she was growing like crazy. I was always able to keep down fluids and go days in between without getting sick, so that’s why I didn’t want to take any meds. (I did take Emetrol once when I was flying from Atlanta to Phoenix because it was just one of those “bad sick days” and I had to make it across the country traveling without being completely miserable. Emetrol was on my list of OTC meds I could take. It’s so safe for you that even kids can take it. Look into it if you’re struggling with this.) What else would make this time more tolerable… ginger ale, crackers/goldfish & plenty of sleep. Early in pregnancy if you go too long without eating, you’ll get nauseous/sick, if you eat too much at once you’ll get nauseous/sick, if you eat too little you’ll get nauseous/sick. I learned all of that the hard way. I would literally keep crackers on my nightstand and make myself eat a few even if I would wake up in the middle of the night and I would eat some before I would get out of bed in the morning before breakfast. Even if I wasn’t hungry, I would make myself just so my stomach never got empty during all the hours I would sleep. Eating smaller meals and more meals/snacking frequently throughout the day is important. You can’t worry about all the carbs you’re eating, you have to satisfy your body with what it needs during this time. Same goes for soda. I went 4 years without having one sip of soda…. that got thrown out the window when ginger ale needed to come back into my life! Listen to your body. Ginger chews from Trader Joe’s or Sprouts are also a good idea.
- Exhaustion – I’m talking taking multiple naps a day in addition to getting plenty of sleep at night. And when you’re awake, you don’t even feel fully awake because you’re just so tired. (I also don’t think selling our home and doing a cross-country move during my first trimester helped with this….) I would ask myself, ‘Why am I so tired!?” The bottom line is you are literally growing a human. Do you realize how much energy that takes!? Seriously. Just think about it. And then give yourself a break. Take naps when you need them and allow yourself to get plenty of hours of sleep a night.
- Food Aversions – I regularly love broccoli… If Drew would even start to steam broccoli in a completely different room, my body would go crazy. The smell of coffee smelled like cigarettes to me. I always drink water as if I’m a fish, and I could not drink water. I would force myself to and then I would get sick. (This is where ginger ale came in helpful along with any other flavorings I could put in my water to trick my taste buds…Propel, little lemonade packets in my water, I got creative just to get my body water.) I am such a healthy eater 24/7 and just none of my healthy foods that I usually stick to ever sounded good to me. Once again, listen to your body during this time. This will pass so just get past this hump. (Tip: cold smoothies are a great way to get healthy foods in you without having to smell the food if that makes sense? Also the blended texture helps. It’s hard to explain but I promise, cold smoothies. Do it.) My biggest fear during this time was that my body, therefore my baby, wasn’t getting enough nutrients from the lack of healthy food I was eating. I talked to multiple OBs and nurses about this and they all told me that baby was more than perfectly fine during this time. Your baby takes and pulls any and all nutrients he/she needs from YOU! (Another reason why you’re so exhausted!) Them pulling your nutrients, along with your prenatal, baby is all good and growing like a healthy weed.
As you can gather so far, you just aren’t completely yourself your first trimester. So once again… I used to work out regularly. Once you get pregnant you will hear from your doctors and research how important it is to maintain your regular workout routine and stay active to gain healthy weight and help keep away lots of potential pregnancy concerns. Healthy active mom = healthy active baby. With all of that said, when you’re nauseous, exhausted, and not able to put the normal healthy foods in your body that you’re used to, how the heck are you supposed to work out!? Answer: workout where and when you can. Take advantage of your good days. Don’t beat yourself up if you can’t workout for a week or two. For example, the second I would start to do cardio and my heart rate would go up, I would get nauseous. That’s not good for me or the baby. Me, because that feeling is far from fun. For the baby because when your heart rate goes above a certain level, your baby doesn’t get as much oxygen and blood circulation that he/she should. So if you think you’re doing yourself or your baby a favor by “pushing through it” you’re really not doing anyone a favor. With that said, if you’re not battling nausea that day and you’re just tired, make yourself workout. Also, don’t discredit walking!! Go for a walk and you will feel accomplished! You won’t regret it. (Walking is totally a workout). Once again, just be easy on yourself mentally. Your body is going through SO MUCH and working SO HARD on growing your child. Be kind to it.
I started taking prenatals 8 months before Drew and I knew we were going to start trying. I wanted to get them in my system and prep my body in the healthiest ways I could. The prenatals I love are Nature Made Prenatal + DHA. Yes, OBs will recommend multiple different ones to you including prescription ones. Go with what works best for you. What I love about these is that the DHA/folic acid is all included in the one pill (the less pills I have to take the better). These always agreed really well with me and are so easy to get. You can even get them at Target. Unfortunately around 9 or 10 weeks, I just physically couldn’t swallow pills anymore. I really struggled with swallowing them with my nausea/gagging. Yes, sometimes prenatals themselves will make women sick due to the high quantity of vitamins and iron in them can upset your stomach and make you sick. But with me that wasn’t the case. It was the physical struggle of getting them down. So I consulted with my doctors and even though gummy prenatals have less of the good stuff and no iron, it’s better to get something down than nothing at all. So if you struggle with this, here is what I switched to to help me through this annoying time: Vitafusion Prenatal DHA, Folic Acid & Multivitamin. (Tip: Take your prenatals at night.)
FOLLOWING THE PREGNANCY RULES (FOOD & SKIN CARE)
Lots of pregnant women or new moms will give you their two cents on if they did or didn’t follow “the pregnancy rules”, and if so, which ones they excluded. Here is my take… I am following all of them. Why not? Why would you do something to jeopardize the health of your baby that has a proven correlation with a “rule.” Yes, that means no soft cheeses, no deli meat, switching up your skin care products, and lots of other things. I am not judging moms who don’t abide by these. I am just stating that I am. If you want to follow them also, do your research and learn the dos and don’ts. Don’t just listen to any source either. Listen to your trusted apps, your doctors, or your intuition. Most importantly: DO NOT get overwhelmed. Stress isn’t good for you or your baby. So if you are getting overwhelmed by the dos and don’ts, then take a step back.
Traveling during your first trimester is totally and completely fine!! I was seriously on so many airplanes I can’t even tell you. I was flying back and forth between Atlanta and Phoenix regularly, took a trip throughout the Northeast, went to the Midwest AND did a cross-country move all in a matter of weeks!! Yes, it was a lot. But I was totally fine and more importantly, baby was absolutely perfect! (Tip: Pack snacks in your carry-on and in your checked luggage. Make sure you have enough snacks during the flight, but also think about packing enough snacks for your destinations. You may think I’m overreacting over snacks, but seriously, it’s important to eat small frequent meals, especially since it makes you feel better.)
BE EASY ON YOURSELF & ENJOY THE PROCESS
Your first trimester will fly by! Seriously, just sit back and enjoy the process. No lie, I would get done throwing up and simply say, “baby is healthy and growing.” Say that to yourself and everything is put in perspective. As long as you and baby are healthy, all is amazing. If you’re feeling cruddy, it will pass. I know it’s hard keeping the biggest secret you’ve ever had to keep from your friends (and your family until you tell them), especially if you’re not feeling well. You just want to scream from the rooftops you’re pregnant! Rely on your inner strength and rely on your partner during this super exciting and sacred time together. It’s so very special. There is no describing it! Soak it all up!! If you haven’t found the theme from everything I listed above, be easy on yourself. Don’t judge yourself during this time. If you’re tired, sleep & relax. If you can only stand carbs, eat carbs and don’t feel guilty. If you can’t work out for a month, don’t work out for a month and don’t beat yourself up. You can’t compare yourself to your pre-pregnancy ways. Your body is nurturing a miracle. A miracle that is meant to be in your life right now. So focus on everything you possibly can do for that baby and chill out. Don’t stress. Don’t worry over what-ifs. Don’t get overwhelmed. Go with the flow. Enjoy the ride. Your body knows what it’s doing. You know what you’re doing. It is a time of a blissful mindset. You’re just always happy in your mind. There is no other way to put it. I’ve been so calm and at ease since I’ve been pregnant, it’s just totally swept over me and I love it. Wishing you all the same.
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