As of this weekend, I’m 15 weeks pregnant and officially in my second trimester! It’s crazy to think that in just over a month I’ll be halfway through my pregnancy. Fun fact: baby boy is currently the size of an avocado 🙂
I touched on my first trimester experience in our pregnancy announcement and the Instagram Q&A that Nick and I did when we first announced we were pregnant (saved to my Instagram highlights), but I wanted to share a bit more here as well.
First Trimester Symptoms
I was very lucky and had an amazing first trimester. Other than the initial shock of finding out we were pregnant at 3.5 weeks, it was honestly quite (pleasantly) uneventful.
I surprisingly never had any nausea or morning sickness. The most noticeable physical symptoms happened between weeks 5-8. I just felt so tired and exhausted. Getting out of bed every morning was a struggle and then by 3PM I’d feel completely wiped out for the day.
This is also kinda TMI, but almost right away after finding out we were pregnant, my boobs grew like CRAZY. At this point, none of my bras fit and I’m terrified that they’re just going to keep getting bigger. I’ve been small-chested my whole life, so having cleavage now is the weirdesttttt thing.
I also started getting hormonal acne breakouts on my forehead and chin, which have continued into my second trimester. Other than that, I’m so grateful that I felt nearly like my normal self the first 12 weeks of my pregnancy. I’ll happily take the pimples and lack of energy for our sweet boy 🙂
I have a feeling this little man is going to have a BIG sweet tooth. I’ve woke up every morning the last three months craving only sweet breakfasts: pancakes, waffles and bacon covered in butter and maple syrup. I also alwaysssss want a dessert and have regularly been treating myself to a bowl of Trader Joe’s dairy-free chocolate ice cream every night 🙂
I haven’t had too many food aversions. Really the only thing that completely grosses me out is eggs, though during my first trimester I had no desire to eat my beloved avocado. Luckily that’s no longer the case!
There was also a period of weeks in my first trimester where I just didn’t have much of an appetite at all. I’d wake up and have a big breakfast, but when it was time for lunch and dinner? I’d feel hungry, but since nothing sounded appetizing I’d resort to forcing myself to eat something quick and easy. I drank a lot of smoothies and went through many boxes of Trader Joe’s microwavable turkey corndogs #proteinonastick
Changes To My Diet
Eating well my first trimester was tough. Right away after finding out I was pregnant, I started making daily fresh juices (this is the juicer I use) and would try my best to eat at least one healthy meal a day with good protein and veggies. That said, there were days I ate junk food and corndogs because I was too tired to make anything else.
Now that I’ve reached the second trimester and my energy has come back, I’ve been really motivated to eat healthier meals and add into my diet certain fruits, vegetables, and other things that I know will support the health of my baby. I’ve been having lots of kale salads for lunch (always topped with a protein like chicken or salmon) and making at least 1-2 pressed juices or smoothies per day that I’ll have with my breakfast or as an afternoon snack. I’m honestly not an expert in nutrition and still learning new things myself every day, but I’m trying my best to listen to my body and eat things that are good for me 🙂
First Trimester Fears & Anxiety
No one really talks about how nerve-wracking the first trimester can be. You know you’re pregnant, but you’re not physically showing. Also since baby is so small, you can’t hear a heartbeat yet, test for any genetic disorder/physical abnormalities. For the first 8-9 weeks, it’s kind of an awkward waiting game where you just have to hope that baby is growing normally and everything is OK.
I mentioned in our pregnancy announcement that we told our immediate families right away, however we chose not to tell most of our friends until we found out the results of the NIPT test at week 9. This is a blood test that checks for chromosome disorders and downs syndrome. It can also tell you the sex of your baby.
Even though we were low risk and the NIPT test was kind of just a box that my doctor has all patients check, I was on pins and needles that entire week waiting for the results. When we got the phone call that baby was healthy and all was good, I felt such a wave of relief. From there we felt comfortable openly revealing the news to everyone else in our lives. It was the best feeling 🙂
HOW DID WE TELL OUR FRIENDS?
Around week 10 Nick and I began sharing our news with all our friends. I wanted to tell as many of mine as I could in person, so I planned a lot of dinner dates and catch ups with my girlfriends over the course of a week. The friends that I couldn’t tell in person, I called or texted with the news. Nick did the same!
I mentioned in our gender reveal post that our party was more of a gender celebration, not necessarily a big reveal or surprise. Nick and I didn’t want to be surprised with the news ourselves (I just had a nurse tell me the gender over the phone lol) and didn’t see the point in having all that hoop-la at the party. We revealed that we were having a boy at the same we told everyone we were pregnant.
WHEN DID YOU STOP TAKING YOUR BIRTH CONTROL?
So many of y’all were curious about this! Nick and I went back and forth over me stopping my birth control pill for a while. It was around my 28th birthday in September 2018, where I began considering stopping the pill. At that point I had been on it for a decade (I think I started at 17) and just the idea of being on a prescription med for that long bothered me. I’d never really known what my true natural “cycle” was like, I guess you could say?
Ultimately we decided together that the best time for me to stop was in June 2019– 4.5 months before our wedding. So yes, we knew there was a chance I could possibly get pregnant prior to our big day and we were fine with that.
Not to get all TMI… but I was asked this question a bunch too. Did we use other protection when I went off the pill? Answer: nope. We just tried our best to avoid my ovulation week, which I tracked in the Ovia app. Like I said, we were fine knowing that I could potentially be pregnant on our wedding day.
Two of the most frequently-asked questions I’ve received since our pregnancy announcement is, “What prenatal vitamin are you taking?” and “When did you start taking it?” I want to preface this by saying that I am not a medical professional and I decided to take the below supplements after doing my own research. As always, make sure to talk to your doctor first before beginning any new vitamin or supplement, especially if you’re trying to get pregnant.
I started taking this prenatal vitamin at the same time I stopped by birth control. There wasn’t any major reason I chose this brand over others. I simply looked at the positive reviews and liked that it was 100% organic-sourced, non-GMO, gluten-free, allergen-free and used 100% folate (versus synthetic folic acid.)
A few months after beginning my prenatal vitamin, I started taking two additional daily supplements: evening primrose to help balance my hormones and vitex (chaste tree berry) to support ovarian function.
I began having hormonal acne breakouts on my face shortly after stopping the pill and I’d heard evening primrose could assist in getting my crazy hormones back on track and aid in clearing my skin. I can’t say for sure if it made a difference, but my skin did begin finally clearing October– 2 months or so after I began taking the supplement. PS I stopped taking this once I found out I was pregnant.
When I stopped taking the pill, I had assumed my periods would get heavier and last longer. Mine had always been light and would end in 2-3 days, which I assumed was a result of my birth control. I was really surprised when didn’t change. Even after three months of being off the pill, my periods were still very minimal and would end by day 3.
My doctor told me not to worry and that some women just have light periods, but I still wanted to see if there was anything I could do to further support my menstrual cycle. I did a little research on my own and decided to start taking the herbal supplement vitex (also known as chasteberry or chaste tree berry) which is known for supporting fertility, ovarian function and combating hormone imbalances. PS I also stopped taking this once I found out I was pregnant.
FYI after I ran out of my first prenatal vitamin that I showed above, I started taking the one you see below. There wasn’t a major reason for this, I was just open to trying something new and noticed this brand had been recommended by a few wellness bloggers I follow.
This is the current prenatal vitamin I’m taking!
So I think I covered the major first trimester points, but if you have any other questions feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me a DM! Side note: I swear some days my brain just won’t work at full capacity. I’d heard the term “pregnancy brain” many times from friends and now I get it– pregnancy does crazy things to both the body AND mind.
Photos by Lauren Kara Photography