I sit here typing this, happily in my second trimester, but oh boy that first was a doozy. Of course, now, (re: coronavirus) — trimester two could be just as crazy. Eesh.
Looking back on a more normal pregnancy time, here is my first trimester recap…
Trimester Numero Uno
If you need to catch up: my HAPPY news.
Landing into the first trimester of pregnancy is enough to knock even the most “I have my shit together” women right to the ground. Probably the cold tile floor of the bathroom where you will likely get very comfy and spend many of your days and/or nights.
My First Trimester Recap
At 18w, my first trimester symptoms have greatly reduced. I have more energy. Less nausea. I can actually eat and drink again. And there is a greater sense of hope and optimism.
5 Main First Trimester Symptoms:
- stress from PIO shot continuation / IVF meds
- depression / loneliness
1 – Nausea
“Morning Sickness” is the Worst Name Ever.
For the first five weeks of pregnancy I felt great. I was eating well, moving around, excited as can be.
Ahhhh, this is great! This is a breeze! I’m a model of pregnancy bliss. I’m glowing, right??? Like what, pregnancy is hard? Pshhhh. No way.
Weeks 1-5 MOOD:
Then the end of week five hit…..
And suddenly I could only take one bite at dinner. Then again at breakfast. I could only eat a handful of salt and vinegar chips for lunch and I could barely sip the water I craved. Couldn’t keep anything substantial down. Nausea: off the charts.
Weeks 6-12 were the worst.
I lost twelve pounds quickly and was seriously struggling. I would walk across the room and feel faint. Showering was exhausting. Preparing food besides a bowl of dry snacks? No way.
Foods I Ate in T1:
When I could eat, I craved kid food…
- Trashy cold cereal. All the Cinnamon Crunch and Frosted Wheat Squares.
- Toasted PBJs.
- Chocolate soy milk.
- Allllllll the juicy, tart, hydrating fruit I could find. Kiwi and green apples were my absolute go-to foods.
- Grilled cheese, mild vegan cheese flavors only.
- Peeled cucumbers smothered in lemon juice and black pepper.
- Baby carrots and vegan ranch dip.
- Veggie Dogs with mustard.
- Saltines with peanut butter.
- Sour/Citrus Fruit Smoothies.
- Handful of cashews.
- Baked potato-veggie chips.
- Angel hair pasta with just Parm and EVOO.
- Banana French Toast with lots of maple syrup, when I could.
- Sour anything….. Kiwi, green apples, orange juice. Salt, vinegar – chips.
Vegan Nutrition + Supplements
Besides the normal nausea effecting my nutrition, I was also taking special care being vegan during pregnancy. Trying to get enough iron and B vitamins, mostly. Vitamin D too. And I took DHA. This vegan DHA is my hands down fave – never made me nauseous.
As for prenatal vitamins, leading up to pregnancy I did Garden of Life. Then I tried Ritual, but the DHA in them made me a bit nauseous, so I had to switch to these vegan gummies during weeks 6-12ish — and I did a separate iron supplement. Gummies don’t have iron. I took a non-gummy prenatal when I could in T1, but they definitely made me nauseous.
And I sometimes took B6, advised by my doctors to help prevent nausea.
I also took choline and vitamin D and C. Some magnesium too. Of course, all this was watched over by my personal physicians. Always ask your doctor when it comes to personal nutrition and supplement needs.
Luckily, YES, plant-based diets can be super healthy for pregnancy…
“A plant-based diet is a healthful choice at every stage of life, including pregnancy and breastfeeding.”– PCRM
Now, I just needed to be able to EAT like a normal person again. Mood….
Familiar Feelings of Deprivation.
Not eating and dropping weight quickly was giving me serious flashbacks to my eating disorder. I felt weak, drained. My brain felt foggy and I craved nourishment.
In a strange way, feeling like absolute shit because of lack of nourishment (and pregnancy fatigue) — reminded me of how far I have come. All I wanted in the world was to be able to eat all the things for my baby. Load me up.
A few weeks into the nausea and I was starting to figure out how to “eat and drink” again. Tiny meals. Small sips. Pro-Tip: Nibble and sip all day long.
Eventually, I figured it out. And knew it would likely pass soon.
2 – Extreme Fatigue / Instant Naps
“But wait, I don’t do naps.”
I am not a napper. But when I started passing out around 3-4pm everyday – for hours – I guess, I became a pregnancy napper. I’d go to sleep in the late afternoon sun and wake up to a pitch black house – this was when it got dark around 5:30pm. Felt oddly soothing, calm and quiet.
On my GOOD days, I felt like a giant cat. I slept and barely moved all day. No wait, my cats moved more than me. And they were definitely eating better.
On my BAD days, I felt so so drained that not even napping helped.
Shoutout to each and every rockstar mom-to-be who had a normal job during their first trimester – which I’m sure is most people. Trust me, I realize my ability to stay home made everything easier.
It was challenging for me to recipe develop since I could barely look at food. So I resorted to working on backend tech issues and lifestyle blogposts. Mostly from the couch on my laptop. Cats by my side.
3 – Continued PIO Shot
After IVF, you have to continue the PIO shot into your first trimester. I was used to it by then. My routine: Wake up. Jam a giant needle into my butt. Fine.
But once the nausea started it was like a double dose of awful each morning. On days I would hit a “bleeder” I’d lie on the floor, nauseous and crying, wiping blood off the floor. As the weeks go on, it gets harder to find “good spots” to jab. Navigating the lumps and bruises takes skillz.
Then Hallelujah!! I was given the OK from my doctor to stop PIO at around 10w pregnant. Happy dance that morning.
But honestly guys, in retrospect,
I would do twenty PIO shots a day just to be in this place. To be pregnant. All worth it.
4 – Dehydration
My lips were so cracked and dry they hurt. Constant thirst.
Not being able to keep water down, I resorted to something I haven’t had in years. Gatorade. The fake colored stuff. Yup. I tried a natural version but it didn’t do it for me. For a few weeks, ice + Gatorade was one of the few things I could chug.
I also tried my best to eat juicy fruits and giant icy smoothies to stay hydrated. For smoothie flavors: sour citrus and mango, strawberry and chocolate banana with lots of ice blended in.
5 – Hormones / Depression / Loneliness
Despite feeling crazy HAPPY from my news, I felt some surprising depression too. I later found out that’s pretty normal. But staying at home nonstop, little exercise or socializing – and not eating fave foods, can absolutely trigger depression and anxiety.
As we all kinda know right now. #quarantinelife
‘Good’ Crying Tho…
One thing I loved. Silly crying! I sobbed during Malificent 2. Weird, I know. Frozen 2? Sob-fest galore. Even some of the cheezy Christmas movies that were playing at the time got me going. I actually liked crying from silly things. Sometimes hormonal pregnancy tears can be pretty humorous.
First Trimester Happy Thing…
Weekly ultrasounds! Doing IVF, I was able to watch my baby grow each week. Every Monday morning, we’d pile ourselves into the car and drive to the clinic. I’d sit on the table in the dark room, heart racing. Deep breathes. Just waiting to see her. Just praying that little heartbeat would still be flickering on the screen.
She changed from a tiny blob to a gummy bear to an alien to a small person. Her little arms and hands wiggling around on the screen. Her heartbeat racing away – living her little life as best she could in her little home.
Seeing her move on the screen was the coolest T1 moment. That little blob was just sitting there, then suddenly the limbs wiggled and twisted. It was a real person, finally. Not just a cluster of cells sitting in a freezer somewhere.
I cannot wait to feel real kicks too! I have an anterior placenta, so it might take a bit longer for me.
Nurses + Doctors: Thank You
Shoutout to my clinic nurses who were beyond amazing. My amazing doctor too. Thank you for keeping me as calm as possible. And for answering every question I had about everything.
Second Trimester, Baby!
…said that in a Joey from Friends voice. I am so grateful to be in T2. The nausea has eased and I can eat!! And I have energy! Such happy things.
Plus, I was finally able to announce, which took a weight off my chest. I’m not good with secrets. Clearly, I like to talk and share through things.
I’m in a lot of pregnancy groups, and the Coronavirus chatter is constant. It’s overwhelming, so I try to only check in a few times a day. Your second trimester is supposed to be the “happy phase” of pregnancy. But this thing has brought a lot of uncertainty. Harvard article: we are all grieving right now.
Paging my happy pregnancy bubble, please.
How was your first trimester? What can I expect in the second?
Any tips for the next trimester? Or did anyone out there go through a pregnancy under a lot of stress? How did you cope? Really missing hot bubble baths right now. And massages. And yoga classes. Tips welcomed!
You can catch up on my infertility + pregnancy journey right here…
Healthy Happy Baby:
- Baby (new category)
To the TTC community..
(TTC – trying to conceive) To anyone going through infertility, IVF, secondary infertility, miscarriage, loss or heavy heart of any kind in this arena. I know reading pregnancy news is extremely triggering. Never forget that you are worthy of all the joy you are seeking. I am sending you love, hope and healing. I see you. Our TTC stories are all so different, but they unite us just the same.
disclosure: this post contains a few affiliate links and always discuss nutrition needs with your own physician