First of all, don’t forget to VOTE! But at this point, that goes without saying, right?
If you want something to read that isn’t election-related, I’ve got a long one for you today. Before I get into it, let me remind you that you can work for months or years to get pregnant and then still have a hard time with pregnancy. You can be both happy about the miracle growing inside of you, scared for the future, and frustrated at your pregnancy symptoms. I certainly am all of the above.
Pregnancy, for some women, is hard. Especially in the first trimester.
I had a very cute photo for this post, but this one is just the best depiction of every first trimester ever. Eating a bagel in bed. That pretty much sums it up!
If you missed yesterday’s announcement post, you can read it here.
I think I blocked out how hard morning sickness can be. It knocked me out. Nausea kicked in at 5.5 weeks and it was relentless. There were days where I could barely stand up because when I did, I would feel so nauseous that I’d get dizzy. Which is especially fun when you have a 3-year-old who needs you to be their mom! Brutal.
My doctor was trying to keep me drug-free if possible but told me to let him know if I wasn’t able to live life or work normally which was how bad it got. Looking at a computer screen made me feel so sick that I couldn’t write blog posts or do client work. At 8 weeks, he suggested that I try half of a Unisom before bed with a B6. I took that mix every night after that during my first trimester and it helped so much. The nausea wasn’t totally gone but it cut it down by about 75% which made a huge difference.
I was able to eat more than a nibble of a bagel and I could actually take my prenatal vitamins. On that note, I had to try 3 brands before I found one I could stomach, even with the Unisom (I landed on Ritual prenatals after my sister recommended them which I’m still taking BTW).
Now, at 16 weeks, I still have mild nausea that can get really bad if I don’t eat every few hours, but as long as I get enough protein at every meal and keep snacks nearby at all times, I feel pretty good stomach-wise. This is a huge change from my last pregnancy where I had morning sickness the entire time.
That said, if I don’t eat a handful of crackers before bed, I’m a mess all night.
What helped the most for morning sickness in the first tri was:
– Saltines but even more so Ritz crackers for some reason
– Ginger ale
– Seltzer mixed with ginger ale
– Ginger chew candies
– Small meals every 2 hours
– Walking outside
– Not looking at a screen!
– Unisom + B6
1st Trimester Cravings
With Amalia, I was so sick to my stomach that I could pretty much only stomach bread, crackers, pasta, and other carbs. This time around, my nausea isn’t as bad and I’m really able to listen to my cravings which have been mostly tarte/sour foods like oranges, pickles, and salads with lots of vinegar.
But my biggest craving of all has been orange juice. I’m pretty sure I’ve singlehandedly kept Tropicana in business since August. I get such intense cravings that I chug it straight from the carton. It’s insane!
My most random craving has been for carrots and carrot juice which is not something I’ve ever wanted before. I saw it at Trader Joe’s once and can’t stop drinking it.
I also want soup pretty much every day of the week. Any soup will do, I don’t discriminate.
Our big scare
At 10 weeks I had a bleed… a big one. Like through my sweatpants (sorry if TMI). It was 10 pm so we called my OB’s office and luckily my doctor happened to be the one on call. I had packed a bag and gotten dressed to go to the ER but he told me to hang tight at home. The only reason to go to the hospital would be if I were earlier in the pregnancy and it could have been ectopic (which is dangerous) or if I ended up in so much pain that I couldn’t take it.
He told me that this is very common and to try and get some sleep. He scheduled me in to see him first thing the next morning. That night I couldn’t stop crying. The idea of a third miscarriage just felt like too much. I didn’t know how I would survive that.
It turned out that my placenta sits very low and when I had worked out that morning, something burst. Thank God the baby was totally fine.
That night was terrifying. Definitely the worst day of this pregnancy so far.
For the first week, it didn’t register that I was pregnant. Like at all. It was really weird. We had been trying for a year and it just came out of nowhere! As I mentioned yesterday, I had just made an appointment with a fertility clinic and was mentally prepared to go down that route so it felt like a total shock.
Once I started getting sick, it sunk in though. And then the miscarriage anxiety started. Whenever I got really worked up over it, Anel would tell me to go for a walk or do some stretching or just be outside to get out of my head. It always helped and more than a few times I saw ladybugs on those walks, the same way I did when I would worry during my pregnancy with Amalia.
Those feelings died down after a few weeks until the bleed but have been much better since then. I thought I would feel really anxious about being pregnant during COVID but I haven’t so much. I think there is just so much else on my mind that it hasn’t been something that worries me too much. We’re careful and doing our best and that’s really all we can do at this point. Being in a hospital for labor scares me a little but my doctor assures me that they’re taking every precaution and I’ve decided to let go and accept the reality on this front.
Now on to the good ones!
The excitement in our house is palpable. Anel and I have been positively giddy for the last 3 months and ever since we told Amalia a few weeks back, she is right there with us. We talk about her being a big sister constantly and she cannot wait for the baby to come. Although last night she told me she doesn’t like it when babies cry so I think her reality check is going to be quite intense.
Everything also just feels so right. The timing of it all worked out really well at the end of the day. It’s weird but even without having met this baby yet, I know that it will complete our family.
What has been my favorite emotion of pregnancy #2 is how much more connected I feel to Amalia. Something about the thought of a fresh and tiny baby makes me cherish every moment with her even more. Not to sound like every mom ever but she has grown so quickly and I feel like I’m watching her toddlerhood flash before my eyes. Since I’ve been pregnant, I’ll sneak into her room before I go to bed and watch her sleep like a true creep. Looking at my daughter makes my heart burst more than ever.
I don’t know what’s worse in the first trimester, nausea or exhaustion. I guess the mix is just a cocktail of torture. If you’ve been pregnant before, you know the intense nausea that comes with building your baby’s placenta. I would wake up feeling like I had the worst hangover ever even after 14 hours of sleep. Then by 11 am I’d be ready to lay down again.
Sitting up to work felt impossible most days so I set up a new “office” in the guest room where I would work from the bed with Bootsie by my feet.
Going to the grocery store felt like running a marathon.
Weekends were the hardest! Three-year-olds have a lot of energy and mine never stops moving. Playing with her is not for the faint of heart and I’d have to literally nap on the weekends just to keep up.
Once I hit 14 weeks, the exhaustion died down and now I’m able to do normal things again like work at a desk and get through the day without a nap!
Exercise & Weight Gain
I’ve been working out at Anel’s gym once a week but I usually have to eat a sandwich directly afterward. I also walk with Boots for at least 30 minutes/day. That’s about all my body feels it can do and I’m proud of that.
At this point in my first pregnancy, I was barely showing and had gained almost no weight (probably because I couldn’t eat anything) and I’m growing at a much faster rate this time. I know this is common for second pregnancies but it has taken some getting used to for sure.
I actually slept really well in the beginning because I was so exhausted all the time. Then I started taking the Unisom (which is technically a sleep aid) and my sleep became near-perfect except for the nightly pee breaks that every pregnant woman can understand.
Now that I have a little belly and my boobs are the size of my head, it’s getting a little more uncomfortable to sleep but I’m very happy with how my sleep has been in this pregnancy.
My two biggest symptoms now, though, both affect my sleep so I’m trying to work on those.
Night sweats: One is that I get terrible night sweats. Like I wake up soaking wet 1-2 times/night. This happened to me postpartum last time but never during pregnancy. The sweat isn’t sticky or gross, it just feels like I jumped in a pool. SO. GROSS. I have to change my shirt at least once a night.
Ligament pain: I also have terrible pain in my shoulders which I’ve been working on with stretches but if I skip them, I wake up in extreme pain as a side sleeper.
Acne: I never had acne in my last pregnancy but this time it is there big time. Especially on my chin and forehead. I’ve been doing pregnancy-safe masks every other day to help combat it1
Sex of the baby
I know I’ll get asked so I’ll tell you now that we did find out what we’re having and we’re going to share that soon too! People are asking me if our all-blue outfits for holiday photos were a hint but we took those before we found out so that isn’t helpful. Let me know your guess though!
Being pregnant with my sister
One of the best parts of this pregnancy has been sharing it with my sister who is 4 months ahead of me. She’s due in December so reminds me of what’s to come in future months. We get to commiserate about our nausea and get excited together over decorating nurseries and which breast pumps to use. It is so special to share this time with her and I can’t wait to meet my baby niece in two months!
What else can I tell you?? I think that covers most of it. I’m just happy to be in my 2nd trimester where life is just so much brighter!
Photo by Julia Dags.