When I was pregnant with Eleanor, I did weekly recaps starting at about 15 weeks along. You can see all of those on my Pregnancy page here. I debated at the time whether or not to do it because it seemed to be done a lot. I wasn’t sure who actually wanted to read something like that. Now looking back, I am grateful that I did those posts, as well as all the posts throughout Eleanor’s first year. The tricky thing is maintaining anything of the sort with subsequent pregnancies, which has already not happened. I don’t want this new little Bean to not have any recaps or things written about him or her. Realistically, though, I don’t think I can commit to weekly recaps (or that I even want to), so to find a good balance, I am aiming for monthly. I was surprised the first time around at who read those posts and even wrote me thanking me for writing them. When I was first pregnant with Eleanor, I was very adamant that I didn’t want this to become a “Mommy Blog”. However, if I look back over the last few years, those are some of my most read posts for sure. Plus, it’s who I am and the season I am in, and if I know one thing about blogs, it’s that authenticity and writing from where you’re at goes farther than just about anything.
All that being said, I thought I’d do a broad recap of the first trimester, and then I’ll start getting into specific months with specific questions.
Recap of the First Trimester
In January, I started the year with great anticipation of everything to come. I had hopes and dreams for the year, some of which I wrote here. The year took off to a very rocky start with a horrible flu bug, and that sort of challenged me as I got started with my not so “clean and fresh” New Year I had been hoping for.
Fast forward a few weeks – Robbie and I found out we were expecting this new little baby. It seemed pretty surreal to be honest. It took me awhile after having Eleanor to even be open to the idea of another baby so it seemed crazy that another was actually forming in my womb at that moment. The miracle of life and birth is so crazy!
It didn’t take long for pregnancy symptoms to kick in. The first symptom I actually felt before I had taken a test, which is part of why I suspected that I could be pregnant. That symptom was exhaustion. I remember one weekend being totally wiped out, and this wasn’t just your ordinary, run-of-the-mill “parenting is tiring” sort of thing. This was falling asleep in the middle of the day while Eleanor was running around playing, which never happens. I knew I felt different, but I was trying to be careful not to get too far ahead in my thinking until we knew.
About a week or so after we found out, I started getting bouts of nausea like I did with Eleanor. I am very fortunate that my nausea hasn’t resulted in vomiting with either of my pregnancies. This time around, though, the nausea seemed to be a bit more unrelenting and long-lasting. It started just in the evenings after I would put Eleanor to bed, so I would lay down and go to sleep early. I was grateful that it wasn’t hitting me in the day when I needed to be with Eleanor. That didn’t last long, though, and after another week, I started having all-day nausea. Sometimes I’d feel like I was going to vomit or pass out, and I had to lay down. It was so much harder this time around knowing that Eleanor didn’t understand and needed/relied on me throughout the day. We also had a very, very hot summer, which nausea and heat are not friends at all. All that resulted in lots of movies and indoor time for those first couple months.
My doctor gave me a prescription for an anti-nausea medication. Honestly, I felt silly using it at first, rationalising in my head that my nausea wasn’t that bad and others have it so much worse. Then I realised that it was kind of dumb to think that way, and every pregnancy and woman has their own unique experience; I can’t compare my situation to others’ situations. More importantly, I didn’t need to feel sick for no reason. Unfortunately, when I finally did take the medicine, I didn’t find it all that helpful. From weeks 6-10 I had nearly all-day, everyday nausea. It started to ease a bit after week 10, and I would get bouts of it for an hour or so at a time. I started to feel a lot better with a lot more energy around 12/13 weeks, which was just in time for the worst sinus infection ever.
I don’t think I had many other symptoms in the first trimester that were too out of the ordinary. Lots of bathroom breaks of course. Some food aversions – why is it always coffee? I didn’t have any cravings really other than my trusty Sprite when I felt nauseous.
I went to the doctor for the first time around 6 or 7 weeks, and I had my first ultrasound at 8 weeks. That really helped it feel real to see the baby and the beating heart on the screen. The 8-week ultrasound gave us our due date of September 27th. I had another ultrasound around 13/14 weeks, and that was exciting because we took Eleanor with us. I am not totally sure what she thought, but she did say “BABY!” when we showed her. Everything looked good and healthy that time around, too.
I’ve thought way less about the fact that I am pregnant this time around than the first time, but I think that’s pretty standard. When I found out I was pregnant, I took a “before” photo with the idea of taking the same photo with the same clothes each week. Yeah, that hasn’t happened. I only have the few photos you see below of my bump in the first trimester (5 Weeks and 13.5 Weeks). The bump seemed to appear to me quicker this time, but it took longer for others to notice. That was different than last time when I think people thought I was having twins or showing really early. I am fairly certain it has to do with the fact that I worked out in between pregnancies, which I didn’t do at all before or during Eleanor. The bump is very much on display now, though, and you can see that in the coming monthly recap post I will do.
We told family pretty early on. My friend Jess gave me this shirt that her daughter had worn, and I thought “Oh great! That will come in handy someday.” I didn’t realise it would be that week that we could put it on Eleanor. She was pretty excited to spread the news to family through FaceTime and messages online. I found myself way less concerned about keeping our news to ourselves this time around, and most of our close friends knew pretty early on as well. I needed my other mum friends here to know so they weren’t too worried when I didn’t hang out as much or felt sick.
Finally, after starting the year with such high hopes, I had to really give myself permission to take it easy and lower some of my expectations for these first few months. I had just switched gyms, but I had to give myself some grace at not going several times a week as I had been. I also didn’t wear my FitBit for a couple months because I just felt too bad about the lack of steps each day. I didn’t blog, and I honestly just took each day at a time. It was pretty rough – much harder than the first time around – and having that sinus infection at the end of the first trimester and start of the second trimester was super discouraging. After I got well from that, though, I felt such hope for the rest of the pregnancy and this year. I feel so much more energy as each week goes by. I am continuing to take it all day-by-day as much as I can and rest when I need to, but it is definitely refreshing to feel “up for things” again.
Stay tuned for more monthly updates as the pregnancy progresses, and thanks again for reading!