As my first trimester comes to a close, (that is crazy by the way!! I swear you blink and it’s over!), I’ve started to reflect on the changes I’ve gone through and what I’ve personally experienced. I know everyone’s pregnancies are SO different, but I wanted to share mine so far and some of the struggles and things that have helped me! Warning: this is going to be a very long post AND have a Q&A at the end so brace yourself!
To back up a little, yes we were trying! I’ve gotten this question a lot! To give you an idea, I was on the ‘depo shot’ for birth control for the past 3 years. Last September, (2017), we started talking about when we actually wanted to start trying. I started to do research about getting pregnant after the depo, and honestly, it kind of freaked me out. I remember feeling very scared and worried about our journey conceiving and decided I wanted to stop taking it. I was due for my next shot the following week. So we decided that we knew we wanted to start trying in 2018, and that we would rather get pregnant a little earlier than stay on that birth control method and have it prolong our period of trying. Now getting off the depo for me was a little wild. My skin got HORRIBLE, and this was the start of me experiencing all my adult acne. This past year I have had more acne struggles than all my teen years combined! Aside from that, it took until February for my cycle to come back and start regulating. So I’m unsure if we would have been able to get pregnant from September – February? I’ve tried to do some research and it says it’s possible but obviously didn’t happen for us. Come February, I got my cycle back and could now ‘track’ when to try for a baby. We decided to take the ‘when it happens it happens’ route for the next couple of months. So we just didn’t prevent but I didn’t track either. Fast forward to summer, we started to get more eager. This was when I started purchasing ovulation sticks, (I used these), downloading cycle tracking apps, (I used the app Clue), and getting an Ava bracelet (I will touch on this more soon!). We actually thought we were pregnant at the end of July / beginning of August. This is when things got really serious for us haha. I was two weeks late and was CONVINCED I was pregnant. I got my hopes way up, and also my husband’s. When it did come, we were pretty sad. I even cried a little while praying in church just hoping our time would come and knowing I need to trust in God’s plan. So that next month I read tons of tips and was very committed to trying and it was our month!!
Al and I found out probably as early as possible that we were expecting! We had been trying for a little bit – so we both knew exactly when to start taking tests. The very first test that we took that night was a big fat positive! (If you missed our story of how we found out + how we told our families, you can see that post and the video here). This night was technically the day my period was supposed to come and probably around 2 weeks after I ovulated. I had taken a test about 4 days prior since some say ‘5 days before your missed period’ but it said negative. I want to explain some this a little because I honestly didn’t know some of this until I was going through it myself! So even though my body had only been going through ‘pregnancy’ stages for 2 weeks, (fertilizing, implantation, etc), when we took the test I am technically 4 weeks pregnant because you start counting from the start day of your last period. So a lot of you I think assume I found out at the beginning of August because that is ‘week one’ but I wasn’t pregnant then and tests don’t read until your next cycle. Finding out at 4 weeks is typically the earliest and actually so early compared to when a lot of people find out! I know tons of ladies who didn’t find out until they were 6-8 weeks! Hope that makes sense! I’m sure this is common sense for a lot of you but I’ve gotten quite a few questions about it and also didn’t realize how the weeks worked until I was going through it all myself!
Wow this has taken me awhile to get to even talking about the first trimester whoops. Thank you for sticking with me!
Right when I found out, I didn’t feel pregnant yet. It actually took me until about week 7 to experience anything other than being super tired. Around week 5/6 my energy was DRAINED. I typically never take naps and I was napping every single day. I also would fall asleep on the couch almost every night between 8 & 9 o’clock which was also so weird for me. I’m usually a night owl. Week 7 was when the nausea hit. I felt nauseous for a few days, maybe a week, before I actually threw up for the first time. I actually feel so lucky because I know women who threw up daily throughout their first trimester and it’s only happened for me a handful of times. Regardless though, I went weeks of feeling nauseous all. day. long. Evenings were actually worse for me than mornings! A couple things that have helped for me are preggie pops, eating small snacks like crackers throughout the day, drinking carbonated drinks like a flavored sparkling water, and these bracelets I used a little at the beginning. I’ve heard they work for a lot of people!
Aside from tiredness and nausea, I also have had a few other struggles during my first trimester like horrible acne, an increased heart rate, and a huge cold sore on my lip. The acne has honestly been some of the worst I’ve had in my life. Like I said, it’s been a struggle for me since going off my birth control, but now it’s pretty cystic and never seems to go away. I got a lot of skincare questions so during my pregnancy I have used a mixture of Tula (remember my code KARLIE20 for 20% off!) and Drunk Elephant products. Since having these acne flare ups though I’ve really tried to just stick with cleanser and moisturizer and not to use too many products that will irritate my skin. I’ve been using the purifying cleanser by Tula and the protini moisturizer by Drunk Elephant. I also occasionally will do a charcoal mask to ease the redness and irritation. For my heart rate, it’s hard to explain! We have looked it up and it’s common to get an increased heart rate your first trimester as your body is pumping much more blood than usual, but this has been kind of uncomfortable for me. I’ll feel like all of a sudden my heart is thumping and won’t stop. It’s been throughout the second half of my first trimester. And last, my cold sore waaaah. If you follow on Instagram you probably saw my stories talking about it. I looked into cold sores while pregnant and I guess if you are prone to them it is super common to get them your first trimester sadly. I actually am in the thick of it as I type this and am hoping it starts to die down! I’ve been careful about what I am taking / using while pregnant, especially being in the first trimester. But, I did find a few things to help ease the cold sore that are pregnancy safe so that’s good! If only I would have found those out sooner and not day 2 lol.
I got a lot of questions about cravings and I honestly haven’t ‘craved’ much! There are just times that certain things sound good to eat and certain things sound disgusting haha. I’ve had more food aversions I’d say than cravings. It was much harder for me to find something that actually sounded good! My savior for this has been cereal which is random. I haven’t really eaten much cereal since high school and it’s now what I eat most mornings. There was a time when everything sounded gross and that was really hard! Especially because I still needed to feed my husband. We really stuck to comfort food during this time and did really easy things like the asian salad from Costco and we would add chicken and extra cashews. I’ve also heard healthy fats are really good for pregnancy so lots of avocado and almond butter for me.
We finally got to ‘meet’ our baby at 8 weeks!! We went in for our first prenatal visit – if you don’t know, they typically won’t see you until you are about 8 weeks along. Longest 4 weeks ever! This was so special because not only did we get to see the baby and hear that they are measuring perfectly, but we also got to hear the heartbeat! I know that often it’s too early to find at 8 weeks so we really got so lucky! It was so special and we just both couldn’t stop looking at each other with the biggest smiles on our faces. The minute we left we sent photos and videos to everyone saying ‘MEET OUR BABY!!’, we were just so happy.
We are now at week 12 and will find out the gender of our baby this weekend!! We are finding out at a special ultrasound place that specializes in gender determination and 3D/4D ultrasounds so we aren’t finding out with my OB. We just couldn’t wait that long! So stay tuned for that 😉 I’ve said our guesses multiple times, but I think it’s a boy and Al thinks it’s a girl! I even had a dream last night that it was a boy! So I cannot wait to see who’s right!! I’m going to be over the moon happy with either – I just keep praying they are healthy in there ❤️
Now I feel like a lot of this was talking about the hard times haha my apologies for that! It’s just a lot of changes and I always wanna be honest! Overall this experience has brought me so much joy and I would go through it all 100x over to get my little baby in the end! I feel like Al and I instantly have this new bond that I can’t really explain but I feel closer and closer with him every day. I know that is going to even become more when our baby is born. It is so special! I also feel like I already am having little mother’s intuition about little things and it sounds kinda crazy but I already feel so connected to my baby. It kind of hit me about a week ago, I think when I made the gender appointment things just got real all over again. I find myself holding my stomach every time I’m laying on the couch or in bed. I just am already so eager to meet him/her!! But I know I have a long way to go 😂
I am really excited about the second trimester since I have heard that is the ‘honeymoon’ stage with pregnancy! I also can’t wait for my bump to really pop out – I look for it everyday and it just kind stays looking bloated. Hopefully in the next few weeks! Now I got tons of questions about pregnancy & my first trimester on Instagram so I thought I would do a little Q&A at the end of this post to get those all answered for you! Most of them ended up being covered in all the above text, but there were a few that didn’t, so I wanted to make sure I answered those! Thank you again for being so sweet and supportive through all this! I am learning as I go, I am no expert, so I appreciate you all just being here and being encouraging!
Now to answer your questions:
What prenatal vitamins are you taking?
How did you know you were ready to start a family?
This is something we have talked about forever. I will say that Al has probably been ready since the day we got married haha. I just really wanted to have some years of us being married and it just being him and I before trying. We thought we would wait more like 4 maybe 5 years, but after 2 years of marriage we just got so excited for this next chapter! We also really wanted to raise our kids close in age with their cousins and we have lots of cousins around so I’m so happy they will all be close in age and that we didn’t end up waiting 2+ more years! I feel like there’s still lots of nervousness and fears – but I don’t really think that ever goes away. I trust that God will give me the things I need emotionally and intuition-wise when baby gets here ❤️
Did you have any symptoms before getting the positive test?
The only thing I felt was being car sick! Once I found out I was pregnant I thought that maybe had something to do with it… but then again I get car sick pretty easily regardless! I will say that my boobs did get bigger before taking the test and that was kinda making me suspicious!
What baby apps are you using?
I love the app, The Bump! It has tons of articles you can read and I love that it tells me how big the baby is each week as well as what is going on in development that week! Sundays are the days that I hit each new week, so every Sunday morning Al and I lay in bed and read that week’s baby update together 🙂
Do you have any baby names picked out?
We have found a few that we like but nothing set in stone! We actually have had a boy name we’ve liked for a little while which is another reason I think it’s a boy because girl names have been harder for us! But we don’t want to make a decision until they are born because we are SO indecisive and I think it’s very possible we will change our minds a few times!
Have you gained any weight?
Honestly, not really! I visually look a lot more bloated than usual, and some nights we swear theres a bump there. It usually goes down by morning. But as far as weight goes, I’ve weighed myself a few times since my 8 week apt, and it fluctuates by about 3 pounds but it’s like the same. I’ve read it’s normal to gain 1-5 pounds the first trimester so I’ve probably gained 2-3 maybe?
How did you choose your OB / where you are delivering?
Closeness was really big for me when choosing a hospital. I don’t want to be in labor and driving 45 minutes or to get stuck in traffic. So I chose a local hospital and knew a mutual friend who delivered there so I reached out to her and she had an amazing experience! It made me feel really good about choosing there!
Were you nervous to tell my family before the 12 weeks was over?
No I wasn’t! I was actually eager to share the news with them. I know the rate of miscarriage is high in the first trimester and it was on my mind daily. But I knew if that was something we went through that these are the people that are going to be there for me. We are all really close and live within 10 minutes of each other so in my head it wasn’t an option to hide it!
What’s your #1 piece of advice?
Well I’m still very early and new to all this! I feel like I’m going to every one else asking for advice haha. But I will say…just enjoy the ride and try to release all your worries and anxiousness to God. This time is SO special and it’s very easy to let worry take over, but I know that this pregnancy is going to go by in the blink of an eye, and I don’t want to spend it worrying. I want to spend it being excited and connecting to my baby and my husband!
What are you most excited about?
To be a mom and watch Al become a dad ❤️ and to meet him/her!!! This is something I have dreamt of my whole life, I can’t believe that it’s time!
I know this post was long, I hope I answered all if not most of your questions!! If you have any others, feel free to comment below! Also, let me know if you’re pregnant yourself and how your first trimester was / is! I love connected with mamas on here!
Hope you all have a great weekend! Stay tuned for gender reveal TOMORROW ahh!
All my love, Karlie