The First Trimester

Sharing all about my first trimester experience including how I told my husband, the dreaded morning sickness and our first sonogram!

Holy moly we are pregnant! How did that happen!? Wait, I know exactly how that happened haha. Answering all the questions I get asked most frequently from whether or not we were trying, if I got morning sickness, the first sonogram and how I dealt with that awkward period in the first trimester when you haven’t told anyone yet!

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About six weeks pregnant during our trip to Seattle.

In this post I am simply sharing my experience. It’s not meant as any kind of advice. Everyone’s experience is different and I hope you’ll enjoy reading about mine! I must preface this with how many people I know are wishing and hoping for their own little bébé. I think about you a lot to be honest. Someday I am going to write about mom guilt and how it can start as soon as you see those two pink lines… but I digress. That post is for another day!

 

At our friends’ wedding in Chicago.

Were You Trying To Get Pregnant?

This photo is from our friends’ wedding in Chicago! Little did I know that a few hours later our little bébé would be conceived… must have been all those lovey, dovey wedding vibes and the champagne!

To be straight forward, no, we weren’t intentionally trying to get pregnant. I wasn’t tracking my cycle very closely and we weren’t trying “trying” if you know what I mean. We had just gotten married five months earlier and we were living it up! We had begun plans to add a pool and outdoor kitchen with an apartment to our house. That was really the most exciting thing going on, haha! We were loving escaping the August heat in Texas to head to Chicago to celebrate our friends’ nuptials!

We had discussed if we wanted kids or not before and said that we’d probably want one eventually but it wasn’t a deal breaker for either one of us. Earlier that summer, June to be exact, I decided to get off the pill just to see what was going on with my body. I had been on the pill for at least a dozen years and hadn’t had a period in several years so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. Honestly, I kind of thought that there might be some kind of problem. I was almost 34 and BMW and I have been together for years and figured, well, we might as well see what’s going on.

We weren’t being careful but we weren’t trying. We were just living our lives that summer and having fun!

 

We found out SO early!

How We Found Out We Were Pregnant

I had purchased a thermometer, The Daysy, in an attempt to track my cycle. The thermometer works by measuring your basal body temperature each morning. You must take it before you get out of bed and drink anything. Alcohol, sickness and a bad nights sleep can all affect your basal body temperature which isn’t a huge deal once the thermometer gets to know your cycle better but at first it can make it harder for the thermometer to predict when you are fertile or not.

Needless to say, I wasn’t doing a great job at following all the rules (surprise, surprise) and my two previous cycles had been a little irregular so I figured welp, there probably was something going on or possibly my body was just adjusting to being off the pill after so long. We didn’t bother trying to use a backup method and figured I would just keep trying to use the thermometer and I’d discuss things with my OBGYN that fall at my annual appointment and then we’d figure out what kind of plan we wanted to use get pregnant then.

About a week after the wedding in Chicago, BMW was out of town on a business trip, and I took my temperature that morning and my thermometer started blinking at me. Which is its way of asking me if I started my period. I thought well that’s weird, I shouldn’t be starting this soon but I guess I’ll make a note in my app to discuss with my doctor in a few months and went on about my day. No period.

Next morning, same blinking. I had some very, very faint spotting so I figured that I was starting my period. Then I remembered that I had a pregnancy test in the bathroom cabinet and maybe I should take it just to be extra sure. So I took it. Saw nothing and figured that was that. Several minutes later, like after I tossed the thing in the trash, I looked down and saw what I thought was a shadow on the test. I took a closer look and couldn’t believe what I was seeing!

So naturally, I freaked out, ran to grocery store and purchased approximately four boxes of pregnancy tests. I cancelled all my events and meetings that day and parked myself in the bathroom peeing on stick after stick. The pink tests all had shadow like lines, the blue tests said negative. I was really confused. I didn’t know much about pregnancy tests to be honest. I had only taken two in my life and those were both in the previous months this summer and the results were clearly negative. A read through some Reddit threads quickly educated me on everything I needed to know about pregnancy tests. Hint: the pink ones are much more accurate early on.

Since I didn’t have a clear answer and BMW was getting back into town late that night, I decided to just take another test the next morning then go from there. Taking the test with your first pee of the morning is more accurate in the beginning in case you find yourself in my shoes FYI.

That next morning there was no mistaking a shadow that line was PINK. As in two pink lines.

 

In the midst of morning sickness during a very hot ACL and trying to fake it as best I could!

How I Told My Husband I Was Pregnant The First Time

Well, I didn’t have anything cute planned because we weren’t really trying. After I peed on the stick and clearly saw two pink lines, I called BMW into the bathroom and said I need you to see something. Very special and romantic, I know, haha. So he sees that stick lying on the floor and was like OMG! We both collectively start to freak out a little.

It was so unexpected and unplanned. We were happy? Shocked? In denial? All of the above is more like it. It took us a few days, and about a dozen more pregnancy tests, before reality set in. This all happened on a Friday morning and after a long weekend of talking and taking pregnancy tests, I called my OBGYN on Monday morning.

 

Mocktails are my new way of life. 

The Awkward First Trimester Wait

Since I am in my 30s and have had several friends who have been pregnant, I was well aware of that awkward time during the first trimester where you wait to tell your friends and sometimes even family that you are pregnant. I have so many thoughts on this that I will definitely share later but for now, I was just in that phase.

What I didn’t expect during this awkward waiting time was that my OBGYN wouldn’t even see me. Well, that makes it sound a little dramatic but basically, I called the office, let them know I had a positive pregnancy test, when my last period was and the receptionist was like, “Great! Let’s get your appointment scheduled for seven weeks from now!”

Wait, WHAT! I had to wait SEVEN weeks before seeing my doctor!?!? Basically the nurse goes on to explain that since I had no previous miscarriages, I wasn’t over 35 and otherwise had no known risk factors, protocol is that the doctor will see me at eight weeks to confirm that I am indeed pregnant and then from there would schedule my other visits.

This was all shocking and news to me. I figured that the moment I called my doctor they would schedule me to come into the office in a few days. But apparently that’s only the case if you have a reason, like other risk factors. Otherwise, since so much can happen in those first few weeks, the protocol is to come in at eight weeks when the risk of miscarrying naturally is much lower and the proceed from there. My rational brain understood this but my emotional heart could barely take it! Now I just had to sit on this information for SEVEN weeks! It was daunting.

 

Trying to keep up with my routine the best I can. 

What Changed During The First Trimester

What changed for me the most during the first trimester was my sanity, lol. I was having a hard time grappling with waiting for the doctor to see me but at the same time I knew that this was probably for the best. So I bought some “cheapies” aka the cheaper strip pregnancy tests and went on to take a test every morning until my first OBGYN appointment. Sounds neurotic now but at the time I just needed something to tell me that this was still happening.

About the third week into my pregnancy, about a week after my missed period, I started to get really tired. Like seriously tired. All the time. Walking the dog felt like a chore. I could sleep for two hours every afternoon. And my boobs were super swollen and tender.

I did feel best, best being a relative term here, in the mornings. That is also when I usually workout so I continued with my early morning workouts and trying to go about my life as normally as possible. Well, minus making time for afternoon naps and early bed times.

It was an awkward time to be around friends too. I was definitely trying to hide not drinking when we all got together, which wasn’t too difficult. I made excuses to skip happy hours or dinners with friends because I knew those smaller settings would be much more awkward. Since I hadn’t even seen my doctor yet, I definitely wasn’t ready to tell anyone.

After about week six the morning sickness hit me. I didn’t feel like doing anything. Everything made me nauseous. I hated all my favorite foods. I tried to keep bland foods down but everything seemed to upset my stomach. I never really threw up, more just felt like I had a hangover that lasted seven weeks. Upset stomach, headache, racing thoughts and being extremely tired yet having trouble actually sleeping was really just some sort of very not funny joke!

 

Bébé’s first photos! 

The First Sonogram

Finally, at seven weeks and few days pregnant we got to see the doctor. I gave a urine sample and they did a vaginal sonogram. We got to see the little shrimp like cluster and hear that super fast heart beat. We got our first photos to bring home and made an appointment for the following week to see the doctor.

It was really nice after all that waiting to finally get some tangible confirmation that I was indeed pregnant. I am just one of the those people who really needs to see it to believe it, haha. The following week, we saw our doctor again for what is considered the first actual appointment. There the doctor and her nurse walked us through all the forms and what to expect, how often we’d see the doctor, etc etc. There was another sonogram and more pictures.

At week ten, we opted to do a blood test that would screen for the most common genetic abnormalities as well as let us know early on whether we were expecting a boy or a girl! BMW thought it was a boy and I was certain it was a girl. A few days later the lab called us and let us know the baby was healthy and the results of the sex! But you’ll have to wait for the second trimester post to find out!

It was so hot at this UT football game but we powered through! 

The First Trimester

I felt very fortunate during this awkward phase in the first trimester to work from home. All those women out there who have to put on work clothes and go into an office everyday and pretend like you feel fine when you feel like you want to throw up… you are my heroes!

If you’re reading this, and you’re in the first trimester and feeling like you aren’t ready to tell anyone yet, I feel you! You’re not alone. Some people feel very comfortable sharing their news early on and honestly, sometimes I wish I would have told my mom and close friends sooner. Every person is different and it’s hard to know what you’ll feel comfortable sharing until you are there.

During that first trimester, BMW and I did read a great book called Expecting Better. It’s an easy read and written by an economist but yet is very relatable and funny and somehow still steeped in facts. I would recommend this book to anyone thinking about or going through pregnancy.

 

Living on those bland foods!

Do you have any questions or comments about the first trimester? Leave me a comment or send an email and I’ll be happy to answer as best I can!

 

                                                

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Natalie Paramore

The places I go, the things I do and what I eat.

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