In case you don’t follow me on Instagram, and don’t know yet, I’m pregnant! My husband and I are expecting a baby boy in September and we are so excited! I am currently just a couple days shy of 17 weeks and I am so happy to finally be in the second trimester. I’m finally feeling more like myself, and I finally feel like I can stop being so paranoid about a miscarriage.
Throughout my pregnancy so far I have been very interested in hearing about other people’s feelings and experiences during pregnancy, so I figured I would share mine as well! I’m going to share everything from whether or not my pregnancy was planned, how I found out, how I told my husband, symptoms I had, products I’ve been loving, and everything else in between! I’m going to try to keep this as brief as I can, but it’s probably going to be a lengthy one, so make sure you grab a snack before you start reading!
Also, just FYI, some of the pictures in this post are pretty low quality because when I took them, I never really intended to ever share them, but that’s just real life for ya!
First things first, YES, my pregnancy was planned. At the end of April last year, I stopped taking birth control and started using the Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) to track my cycle for a few months until we were ready to start trying to get pregnant. If you aren’t familiar with FAM, I highly suggest reading the book Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Weschler. It taught me so much about FAM, and just about how the female body works in general (they really don’t teach you anything in school.)
By October, we decided we were ready to start trying to get pregnant, so using FAM, I continued to track my cycle so that I would know when I was about to ovulate. During October and November, we didn’t necessarily actively try to get pregnant, but we also weren’t trying not to. It didn’t happen in those two months, so in December I decided that I really wanted to try, and we were successful!
I had my first positive pregnancy test on January 3rd at 4 weeks, 2 days, but I was almost certain that I was pregnant for about a week leading up to that day. One of the things I learned by using the Fertility Awareness Method, is that after you ovulate, your basal body temperature (which you track daily with FAM) rises, and stays raised until you start a period and your temperature drops. If you temperature doesn’t drop, and you don’t start a new cycle, then chances are, you’re pregnant!
Another thing I learned is that for some women, your temperature will actually raise even more about a week after ovulation if you have conceived that month. So for example, my average pre-ovulation temperature was around 97.2 to 97.4 degrees, and my post-ovulation temps were around 98.0 to 98.2 degrees. The reason I was almost certain I was pregnant before I actually had a positive pregnancy test, was because at about 9 days post ovulation my temperature increased even more (ranging from 98.4 to 98.6 degrees) and never came back down. Because I was tracking my cycle, I knew the exact day that my temperature was supposed to drop and my period was supposed to start, so when it didn’t, I knew, almost without a doubt, that I was pregnant.
My husband was getting ready to leave for work for the day, so I told him the news and asked him if he wanted to know for sure before he went to work of if he wanted to wait until he got home. He didn’t want to know yet, so I waited until he left to take the pregnancy test.
When I finally took the test, it of course was positive, and I had a whole mix of emotions. I was both shocked and excited, and I almost didn’t feel like it was real! I really didn’t feel pregnant at all, so I was kind of in disbelief. When my husband called me on his way home, the first thing he said was, “Well, did I do it?!” so I told him the news and sent him a picture of the pregnancy test! He is definitely not the type to get super emotional, but I could tell he was both excited and nervous.
I really didn’t want to tell anyone (including our parents) until I had been to the doctor, so we kept it a secret for the next week weeks until after my first doctor’s appointment. It was HARD to not tell anyone during those four weeks, but it was also kind of nice to just enjoy the news with my husband for a little while before spreading the word.
My doctor is an OBGYN, but he also has a nurse midwife in his office that does most of the low risk, complication free deliveries. I will mostly be meeting and working with the midwife, but I have met with the doctor as well. I chose to go this route because I like that they take a bit more of a natural approach, while still providing the traditional hospital birth. I am not someone that is all about doing things the most natural way possible, and I knew that I definitely wanted to deliver in the hospital, but I also want to avoid any unnecessary interventions. I like the thought of delivering naturally, but I’m not opposed to an epidural if I decide I need one. I do however want to (if at all possible) avoid things like induction, drugs and procedures to speed things up, and c-sections, which is exactly the way my doctor and his staff do things.
Sharing the News
My first doctor’s appointment was at 8 weeks, 2 days and it was such a relief to see our little bean on the ultrasound! After the appointment we went ahead and shared the news with my mom and sister, my husband’s parents, and our best friends. Of course they were all very excited, and it was so nice to finally tell someone! We waited until after our second appointment at 13 weeks, 2 days to announce on social media and share the news with everyone else.
During the first couple weeks after I found out, I had very few symptoms. My biggest symptom at this time was that my boobs got bigger almost immediately, and they were SO SORE (and didn’t stop being sore until I reached the second trimester.) I also started having to pee a ton pretty much right away.
The majority of my symptoms started around six weeks. The biggest symptom, that hit me HARD, was fatigue. I was absolutely exhausted from weeks 6 through 10 and I literally did not have the energy to do anything!
Another symptom that started around week six was nausea. Luckily, I have not had bad nausea at all during this pregnancy, but I would say it was the worst during week six. During that week it was pretty much all day, every day nausea, but after that one week, thankfully that stopped. Since then, I have really only been getting nauseous if I get really hungry, so I’ve been making sure to take snacks with me everywhere I go.
The one other major symptom that I have been experiencing is bloating. I start the day looking not pregnant, but by 8:00 p.m., I am so bloated that I look like I’m 8 months pregnant! This really hasn’t eased up yet, so I’m kind of expecting that it’s going to continue through my entire pregnancy.
A few other symptoms that I experienced throughout the first trimester are headaches, constipation, dizziness, cravings and aversions, vivid dreams, and just some random aches and pains in my stomach and pelvic area from things getting stretched out and moved around in there.
Diet and Exercise
Honestly, a healthy diet and exercise routine were non-existent during my first trimester. Even though I didn’t have a lot of nausea, I did have a lot of cravings and aversions, so I basically just ate what sounded good, which was mostly dry, crunch carbs. I ate a lot of cereal, pop tarts, crackers, gold fish, chips, etc. I also went through phases of craving Subway sandwiches, and potato soup from Panera. I have also been obsessed with pickles my entire pregnancy (not with ice cream though!)
As far as exercise during my first trimester, I pretty much didn’t do anything. I was so exhausted that I just could not get myself to the gym. There were a few weeks where I managed to get in about 30 minutes of cardio once or twice a week, but most weeks I couldn’t even handle that. Thankfully by about 11 or 12 weeks I was starting to feel better and started easing my way back into working out.
Finding Out the Gender
My husband and I both thought we were having a boy from the very beginning. He was hoping for a boy, and I was kind of hoping for a girl, but for some reason we both just really thought it was a boy. When we first found out I was pregnant, we kept saying that we wanted to find out as early as possible, but after our first doctor’s appointment, we were just so excited to have a healthy baby that we decided we would just wait until the 20 week ultrasound. After a few weeks though, I started getting really excited to start planning the nursery and picking out clothes, so I changed my mind again and decided that I did want to know early. My husband was ok with finding out early, so at our 13 week appointment, we did the Sneak Peek blood test. This is the same one you can order online, but it’s a lot more likely to be accurate because it is done with an actual blood draw rather than just a finger prick. We got the results via e-mail a few days later, and we were both so so excited! I do still think I want a girl in the future, but I am so excited that we’re going to have a little mini version of my husband!
Products I Love
Prenatal Vitamin – New Chapter Perfect Prenatal. I love this prenatal because it is a whole food, fermented vitamin that has ginger included to help ease morning sickness. It has never made me nauseous and I can take it any time of the day. I also take their Wholemega for Moms which is basically a fish oil supplement that has DHA to help with baby’s brain and eye development.
Belly Butter – I have tried a couple so far, but my favorite is the Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter. I have been using this regularly since about 12 weeks and so far I haven’t noticed any new stretch marks. I also tried the Zoe Organics Belly Butter and Belly Oil and I do like them, but I just prefer the Burt’s Bees because I like the smell a little better and I like that it absorbs into my skin faster.
Pregnancy Pillow – PharMeDoc U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow. I bought this pillow super early because I am normally a back sleeper, and I knew I needed to get use to sleeping on my side early on. This pillow has really helped me be able to get comfortable while sleeping on my side and I’m definitely glad I bought it so early. The U-shape is great because I can tuck it under my belly and my back, but one side does zip off if you prefer to have just the J-shaped pillow. My husband and pets all love this pillow too, and they’re constantly trying to steal it!