Now that it’s almost over, it’s fun to look back on pregnancy longingly, but in reality it was a really tough nine months for me physically from day one. To this day, I don’t believe a single soul who says that they love being pregnant. I felt so sick for 90% of the time that it’s hard to imagine feeling good! In the end, every nauseous day, every night without sleep, and every ache and pain will be beyond worth it, and weirdly the last two weeks have been the ones where I’ve felt the best which has been so nice.
Today, on my due date, I’m looking back at all three trimesters and sharing the peaks and pits from each one. I had actually forgotten a lot of what happened earlier on, but looked back on notes I had written to my mom and sister and it all came rushing back.
Being pregnant. The fact that I actually got pregnant was obviously the biggest perk in the first trimester. The morning I found out (A few hours after I realized Donald Trump was our president… That was a weird day!), I had to keep looking at the test every 20 minutes because I couldn’t believe it. After everything we had been through, it didn’t feel real. Read more.
First ultrasound. When Anel and I heard our baby’s heartbeat for the first time at eight weeks, it felt like a miracle. We both breathed for the first time in a month and cried at the doctor’s office. The heartbeat made everything seem so real.
Eating dairy. I’ve had issues with dairy for over 10 years so when they practically disappeared with pregnancy, it was like my food fantasies had finally come true! I ate pizza and ice cream like it was my job. Sadly, those days are probably almost over (probably better for my overall health anyway), but I’ve sure enjoyed it while it’s lasted!
Fear of losing the baby. There wasn’t one single day in my first trimester that I wasn’t terrified of losing the baby. After two miscarriages in a row, I couldn’t believe that my body was capable of holding on to a baby. I didn’t believe in myself. The best advice I got about this was to just let myself feel fear but also do as much as possible to keep myself calm and stay positive. It doesn’t really make sense on paper but that worked for me. Also Anel’s genuine belief that this was “our baby” helped a lot. He said he just knew it would stick and he knew it was a girl!
Exhaustion. Like most expectant mothers, I was an absolute zombie in my first trimester. If I went to Whole Foods, I’d have to lay down for two hours afterwards to catch back up. As someone who likes to work a lot and is constantly on the go, it was so frustrating. Eventually I gave in and let myself rest when I needed to. It taught me a lot about slowing down, something that I needed to know for the rest of the pregnancy.
Nausea. The nausea I experienced in my first trimester was by far the pittiest pit of them all. In fact, it lasted until my 20th week and then came back in my third trimester (more on that later). It would hit me at some point each day… usually all day… and felt like a literal punch to the gut. I went from eating lots of veggies and gluten free to bagels with butter and ginger ale on the reg. Anything else made me feel awful.
More energy. Between 19 and 20 weeks I finally started feeling human again. I could run more than one errand at a time and work at my desk for hours in a row without needed to nap. It felt amazing to be back to normal again… Or a new normal at least.
Telling friends and family. At Christmas we told our families about the baby and it was such a joyous moment each time. When Jackson found out, he had tears in his eyes which was so so sweet. Everyone was so excited for us, and doing it around the holidays made it even more special.
Starting to show. During the first trimester I just looked a little heavy around the middle, but a real bump started growing around 22-24 weeks. It was small at first but it was there! I still had issues around body image until the third trimester, but at least I was looking more pregnant and feeling proud of the way it looked.
Feeling kicks. Feeling the baby’s first little flutter kicks made my heart jump. Anel couldn’t feel them from the outside at first, so it was a special thing that just the two of us shared. She’d pop up and say hello on a daily basis, and it felt to get the reminders that she was still in there. Even though the scary first trimester days were over, my fears didn’t really go away and feeling her helped a lot.
Hip pain. Halfway through my second trimester, I started getting pretty intense hip pain at night. My prenatal yoga teacher showed me how to sleep to get rid of it, and luckily it just took some getting used to. The pain didn’t disappear completely, but it was a lot better when I slept on my side with more than one pillow between my legs.
FOMO: This is such a dumb one but my FOMO started getting out of control. Everyone I know seemed to be on fabulous trips or doing fun things on weekends, while I felt stuck at home because flying was so hard on my body the few times that I did it. Every time that feeling would come on, I’d tamper it by remembering the reason that I couldn’t do all of these fun things, and that made it all ok again.
Heart burn. While my nausea went away, heart burn reared it’s ugly head. I tried everything natural possible from aloe vera juice to eating super bland foods. I swore I’d never take anything for it but my doctor finally convinced me to take Zantac daily. She assured me it was safe for me and baby, and while I hate taking medication, it was so helpful and I’m so glad that I did it. I could hardly move after I ate and couldn’t even lay down at night… Seriously I had to sleep sitting up for a week! The Zantac changed the game and I have no regrets about that at all.
Excitement of baby’s arrival. “The baby” was kind of an in-the-future concept until the third trimester. Then it became real. I started prepping for labor, decorating the nursery (will reveal soon I promise) and getting everything we needed for her arrival. The baby concept turned into a real live human that was about to enter our lives and that was exciting in a way that I can’t really put into words.
Learning her personality. Her mini flutter kicks turned into hard core punches, kicks, and flips. When I was in a position that she didn’t like or if I was stressed out, you better believe she’d let me know! I loved that she “spoke her mind” so to speak, and wasn’t afraid to do so. After I ate or when I was calm and relaxed, she’d gracefully move like she was happy. Ugh, it was so cute!
Throwing up. I always assumed that morning sickness was just a first trimester thing, but for me that was certainly not the case. It was different at the end but for most of the third trimester (until 37 weeks) I threw up daily. And I mean like on the side of the road, in my car, in Whole Foods, and even in my back yard when I couldn’t make it inside. It was not cute! In fact, I ran into a reader right after one of my street-side barf fests and was mortified. Whoever you were, I hope you didn’t know!
At the very end, the baby dropped and was no longer sitting on my stomach, so it eased up thank goodness. There were a few weeks where I’d go to the doctor and had lost weight which made me feel like the worst mother in the world, but there was really nothing I could do to stop it so I tried to take it easy on myself.
Back pain. At 30 weeks I threw out my back and that moment and the two days following were by far the worst of the entire nine months. I had to crawl to my home office from the kitchen to get my phone to call Anel. That took me an hour! Then I had spasms throughout that night that were so scary, I thought I might be in early labor. Luckily my doctor was able to prescribe me something safe for baby and I found a great chiropractor who got me back in shape in two weeks.
Generally uncomfortable. As I’ve gotten bigger and bigger, everything just started feeling uncomfortable. The summer humidity makes it hard to breathe, and when I walk she presses down in a way that hurts in my you-know-what. Luckily I’m no longer nauseous and have way more energy so I’m totally down with the uncomfortableness. A lot of my friends said this is the worst part, but for me the end has been the best.