How I Survived My First Trimester
I had such a love/hate relationship with my first trimester. LOVE- because there is just so much excitement that comes with expecting your first baby. Feelings of immense gratitude shower your world, and nothing seems to matter as much as the new life inside of you. HATE- because let’s face it… that excitement can be quickly overtaken by the morning sickness, the insane hormones, the anxiety, nausea, and fatigue wreaking total havoc on your body. Your ENTIRE body.
I decided to open up about what I truly experienced during my first trimester because: 1.) despite all of my research, I was convinced for weeks straight that something was seriously wrong with me. 2.) After being re-assured by our moms, and other expecting friends, I realized I was not alone in my feelings. 3.) Although I knew the symptoms of early pregnancy, I did not expect how much it would affect me both physically, and emotionally.
Luckily, I was able to make it through my first trimester keeping most of my food down. I actually only threw up a couple of times after learning that prenatal vitamins on an empty stomach aren’t exactly my jam. With this being my first time around the sun as a pregnant mama, I thought I’d give a little insight on what to expect, what to do, and, you know…
How To Survive Your First Mother Lovin’
Along with the big news comes a long laundry list of things to take care of but if I had to narrow things down to the top 7 things to do when you find out you’re expecting this would be it!
Make an appointment with your OB
Based on the first day of my last period, I was about 5 1/2 weeks when I found out I was pregnant. One of the first things we did after learning the news was find an OB that we wanted to establish prenatal care with, and book a new patient appointment. I feel blessed in this department. For those of you that don’t know- I actually work in the Labor & Delivery unit at one of the local hospitals in my area, and so because of the exposure I have to many of the top doctors in Las Vegas, I felt really confident in my decision of who to go with.
Did you know that most people generally won’t meet with their doctor until around the 8 week mark? Timing was on our side because my OB didn’t have any openings for new patients until about 3 weeks out. I was 8 weeks and 1 day on our first appointment and it was just so exciting! I received a pap smear, blood work, and a trans vaginal ultrasound that confirmed my due date. My eyes filled up with tears when the ultrasound tech told us we were having a Christmas baby!
Seeing my tiny peanut for the first time was something I can’t put into enough words, and hearing that fast powerful heartbeat just confirms what you really can’t feel at 8 weeks. YOU’RE SERIOUSLY PREGNANT!
2. Get a Baby Planner
Not only are you going to want to remember this time in your life forever, but you’re going to want to organize the chaos of thoughts in your head. Find a journal or planner to make your bible during this beautiful journey of yours. I use mine to jot down ideas for events we’re having like our gender reveal, baby shower, and registry items. And I also use it to write down questions I have for my doctor, new symptoms I’m experiencing, and even foods that I’m either craving, or that are making me sick! You name it… if I’m feeling it- it’s in the book. I bring my journal to every doctors appointment and it helps me to remember things worth mentioning. My journal is one of my favorite pregnancy items because I’ve found that it allows me to really advocate for myself, and feel more in tune with all of the changes that are extremely new to me!
I highly recommend getting a leather journal because they do so well preserving over the years. Who knows- this may be a keepsake you will want to gift your child when they are ready to have a baby of their own. Here is one of my favorite leather journals for pregnancy.
3. Decide When and How You’re Going to Tell People
Finding out that I was pregnant has by far been one of the most exciting things to happen in my life so far. When I first learned the news I wanted to send a massive text to all of my girlfriends, and scream the news from the highest mountain if I could. But- the truth is, deciding when and how to tell the people around you is a very important decision and should be one made between you and your partner. Travis and I knew that it was important to us both to share the news with our immediate family sooner rather than later. We did this even before our first doctor’s appointment and it was so amazing to have their support from the get go. After meeting with our doctor we were able to go over the logistics of miscarriage probability and decided to wait until after the first trimester to go public.
There is no wrong way to break the news! Phone call, blurt it out, surprise people, or wait until you’re showing- it’s up to you! Just know that you will be loved and so supported by family and friends once you do. Here’s how I surprised my parents (and first-time grandparents) with a memory to last a lifetime!
4. Evaluate Your Diet
When you first find out that you’re having a baby your diet changes immediately. SURPRISE! Adios tall glasses of red and delicious wheels of brie! While it’s the best idea in the world to try to eat as healthy as possible, it’s important for me to be realistic here. You’re PREGNANT, and in your first trimester. Umm… eating anything at all deserves a freaking gold medal! As a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, this was absolutely the most difficult struggle for me during the first 12 weeks.
Nausea overcame me nearly everyday. As someone who is used to eating whole foods, and had almost eliminated processed foods out of my diet completely… I began craving bagels, pasta, fries, pizza, pancakes, grilled cheese sandwiches… anything I wasn’t used to having really. Some of these foods were truly comforting and really the only things I could bring myself to eat when just the smell of certain foods I would eat regularly (like eggs, chicken, and tomatoes ) made me want to vomit! I had a really hard time with this because when I found out I was pregnant I was so excited to challenge myself to cut out all of the things you’re not supposed to eat in pregnancy like artisan cheese and charcuterie boards, alcohol, rare meat, caffeine etc. I thought it would be what I needed to ditch the last of my unhealthy eating habits but when you walk into a grocery store and have to leave because you can smell every single thing in the store, and when you wake up and stare at an egg white scramble for 15 minutes trying not to barf, a toasted bagel loaded with butter is fine dining.
The most important thing here is moderation, and support. During my first trimester- My boyfriend ordered the pizza at 11pm, AND threw down the celery juice with me at the breakfast table every morning, and I’ll admit: his support was the pick me up that I needed every now and then when my lack of appetite, and not enough leafy greens was making me feel like I was failing my baby. When I stopped focusing so much on what I was eating and started focusing more on how I was feeling … I was able to find comforting food alternatives that didn’t result in me eating like complete shit.
5. Take a Before Picture
This is obviously a preference thing, but I know sooo many people who look back on their pregnancy and say they wish they took more pictures. As a natural documentarian I love creating memories online via my blog, putting together little home videos, and making picture books. I can’t believe how fast my first 3 months of pregnancy flew by. Taking a before picture was one of the first things I did, and I’m really excited to document all of the little milestones until the big day when my baby is finally here.
6. Stock Up On First Trimester Essentials
The first trimester can be a little tricky. At least for me it was! With so many symptoms, and not public with my pregnancy just yet-I needed to stock up on a few essentials right away. Here are a few things that helped me so much and I would recommend every expecting mama to add to their 1st Trimester Survival Kit!
You’ll want to start taking prenatal vitamins right away. Prenatal vitamins consist of a variety of vitamins and minerals that help your baby get the nutrients that are essential for healthy development. During pregnancy, a woman’s daily intake requirements for certain nutrients, such as folic acid (folate), calcium, and iron will increase. Vitamins and minerals such as iron, calcium, and folic acid are vital for proper fetal growth, and development.
I’ve been taking high quality vitamins for a while now, and so after getting the ok from my OB doctor I was so happy he approved me taking doTERRA’s Life Long Vitality Pack, for my prenatal vitamins along with a few other supporting supplements.
All of the ingredients in Microplex MVp and xEO Mega have a history of safe use in pregnant and lactating women. Alpha CRS is a cellular complex that has benefits from 18 different plants and one of the ingredients is pineapple extract called Bromelain Protease enzyme. This is a natural pain reliever and helps to soothe many discomforts during pregnancy.
For digestive support during pregnancy, I've been taking DigestZen TerraZyme complex. I take 4 capsules per day: 2 upon waking, 2 at bedtime. This digestive complex helps my body to break down the foods in my stomach so my body can most efficiently utilize the nutrients. When taken on an empty stomach, enzymes actually help to rebuild and support connective tissue as well! I noticed that I experience less symptoms of heartburn and indigestion when taking enzymes!
Taking a probiotic during pregnancy is also important to help assist my body’s immune system and make sure I have lots of good flora. Taking 3 capsules of doTERRA PB Assist+ capsules a day for the first 5 days of the month, then 1 daily the rest of the month is perfect because it will also transfer to your baby through helping to produce good flora in colostrum and the baby’s vitamin K when first born.
Natural calm, a magnesium supplement is a regular part of my diet. Once I cleared this supplement with my doctor I was excited to continue utilizing this mineral that I swear by to calm the nervous system, and help with other pregnancy related symptoms I experienced in my first trimester. Some of which, I am still experiencing such as: constipation, muscle cramps, swelling & bloating, nausea, headaches, and trouble sleeping.
These ginger digestive drops were a life saver for my morning sickness and nausea. doTERRA Ginger Drops were such a convenient way for me to support digestion, and ease the occasional stomach discomfort that I experienced nearly every day during my first trimester.
AHHH Pre-Mama Energy Boost. When I found out I was pregnant I gave up caffeine immediately. This means no coffee and no caffeinated teas because caffeine increases the risk of miscarriage during the first trimester. Instead I opted for this Pre-Mama Energy Boost that can be mixed with water or juice. The Boost is specifically tailored to make pregnancy more enjoyable, and it did help! The drink mix helps to boost metabolism and curb fatigue. It’s formulated with B Vitamins, Fiber and Vegetarian Omega fats, in a delicious watermelon flavor. I was super happy to find something that provided a pregnancy-safe option for a healthy boost of energy.
7. Maintain or Establish a Workout Routine
Thank God I was working out before I found out I was pregnant, but with some of the 1st trimester blues my energy completely depleted as I felt so fatigued all of the time. Getting out of the bed was not only a struggle but making it to the gym somedays just felt damn near impossible and that’s just the truth! If you workout on a regular basis, it’s probably a good idea to consult with your doctor before continuing your regular workout routine, as it may be too strenuous for you and your little one. If you don’t workout regularly, consider adding some exercise to your daily routine, but be sure to not over exert yourself. If you can monster the energy… the physical activity can help with nausea, control excessive weight gain, and build up your endurance for the hardest workout of your life… labor and delivery! I developed a routine late in my 1st trimester ( better late than never) My boyfriend and I walk 3 miles together each morning. It’s not a high intensity workout but it’s perfect to get the blood flowing and body moving for me and baby. I also lift light hand weights at home, and do online yoga classes through Bulldog Yoga. You can try Bulldog for yourself, by using my link! I’ve partnered with this company to give others a 30 day FREE trial period and I hope you enjoy it!
All in all there is a ton of things to consider when you become pregnant, but most of all getting the proper rest that you need, and doing your best to go with the flow and enjoy your pregnancy without stress is the most important. Of course, there will be days where you feel the weight of the world but it’s also one of the most exciting and special times of your life. With so many changes you are experiencing be easy on yourself. Try not to stress over the additional weight gain, you are a HOME for the love of your life. Your body is miraculous and is preparing for this bundle to enter the world. Don’t let the fatigue get you down when you feel lazy and useless, either. Remember that your body is working overtime even when you don’t realize it! Your happiness and your state of calm is so important your first trimester in manifesting this entire experience for you, and your family!
Ps. Always be sure to consult your doctor before taking the advice of others. What has worked for me will not work for everyone, but I hope that sharing my experiences will give comfort to any new moms or those who are trying to conceive. Know that no matter how rough your first 12 weeks may seem there is light at the end of the tunnel. I am so grateful to have had such a healthy and restful 1st trimester, and I am excited that I am gaining more energy each day to continue preparing to meet our baby!
God is good,