First Trimester Recap

The first trimester of my pregnancy was a secretive time when I kept most of my experiences to myself or only shared them with Aaron and close family/friends, so now I’m excited to overshare. I loved reading these types of posts from other bloggers for the purpose of comparing my early symptoms to theirs, so hopefully this will be useful to someone out there!

If this crazy-long post is too much for you, here are the main points:

1. I fared relatively well in terms of icky symptoms, like nausea. Huzzah!
2. I was utterly terrified that something would go wrong pretty much every day.

Ready? Let’s go!

4 WEEKS
We found out we were expecting at exactly four weeks. I felt really normal the whole week, but I did notice I suddenly had a crazy-sensitive sense of smell. I picked up the scent of cigarettes on a co-worker who I previously hadn’t realized was a smoker, and could smell people’s perfume and microwaved lunches more vividly than ever. These smells didn’t bother me… yet.

I was grateful that no other symptoms had kicked in yet because my brother, Aaron and I surprised my dad with a little weekend trip for his 60th birthday, which involved a day-long hike and a fun night at a little cabin right on a river. I can’t imagine having pulled it off while nauseous or exhausted!

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5 WEEKS
I started getting really cold at work and craving creamy soups like crazy. Nearly every day this week, I had soup with oyster crackers for lunch and it made me so happy. 

A few other cravings kicked in, and they were all carb-tastic: bread, biscuits, corn muffins, a Taco Time Burrito. No aversions yet.

Two big events happened this week: one of my oldest friends, Carly, got engaged, and Aaron and I attended my 10-year high-school reunion with my little gang of BFFs and their gentlemen. 

As soon as Carly told me she and her fiance were rapidly planning a spring 2016 wedding, we decided to tell her the baby news in the hopes that she would take the due date into consideration when choosing a wedding date. I made it clear that I didn’t expect her to plan her wedding around the status of my womb — especially so early in the pregnancy, when anything could happen — but that I’d be devastated if I didn’t tell her and then had to miss her wedding because she unwittingly chose a late April or early May date. Luckily, she and her fiance ultimately chose April 2, so I will be nearly 37 weeks prego but assuming all goes well, I’ll get to see her walk down the aisle!

Once Carly knew, it seemed silly to keep it a secret from the rest of my BFFs, so Aaron broke the news while taking a photo of us before the reunion: “One… two… three… Devon’s pregnant!” He then snapped several great photos of their reactions. Carly, on the far right, is just laughing hysterically since she already knew. 🙂

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6 WEEKS
My cravings for bread — especially sourdough — continued this week, and several common aversions kicked in, including salad, cooked broccoli, eggs, most meat, peppers and onions, and anything with strong spices. I was glad to be at my relatively new job because my old co-workers would have definitely noticed me eating the opposite of what I usually eat at lunchtime! Sandwiches and other carb-based items solidly replaced my typical salad and meat.

I started getting hit with some nausea this week as well, and it felt like being hungover and having a sour feeling in my stomach that I needed to soak up by eating some sort of bread. Hence… all the bread I ate.

This week was exciting because Aaron and I attended an hourlong “intro to pregnancy” session at the hospital where I’ll give birth. It was mostly super-basic info about how not to kill our unborn child and what to expect at our future ob-gyn appointments, but we did get some valuable tips from other women in the group who already had kids. One lady suggested having quick snacks on hand at all times (crucial), and another recommended keeping crackers by your bed so you could eat a few before even getting up to curb nausea.

The next morning, I woke up and found this next to my bed:

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Aaron had put together this adorable container of plain Saltines and little Saltine/peanut butter sandwiches. I almost cried. He is the best. I relied heavily on this container for the next few weeks, and Aaron refilled it as needed. ❤

We also told Aaron’s mom and stepdad the news this week! We went to their house for dinner and they were grilling steak, so they would have known something was up anyway if I asked for my steak to be well-done and didn’t say why. They were shocked because they didn’t think we’d started trying yet, and then of course they were very excited!

7 WEEKS
Cravings: Sourdough toast with butter and jam, tuna melt, chocolate coconut milk.

Aversions: The same as before, although I realized I could stomach fried eggs in a sandwich (yay, more bread!) and get some protein that way.

I bought a new bra this week because my old bras were getting super uncomfortable in both the cups and bands. (Oh, did I not mention sore boobs before now? I can’t remember when that started, but it’s still pretty much a constant symptom.) Anyway, I just got one soft/underwire-free bra from Target because I figured it wouldn’t be the last one I’d need to size up to during pregnancy. It still fits as of 14 weeks, so woo-hoo!

We told my mom and stepdad this week! I was going to a baseball game with them where there would be complimentary beer courtesy of my mom’s work, and I knew they would be suspicious if I didn’t drink. Aaron and I casually dropped a major hint prior to leaving for the game, and my mom’s jaw dropped before she said, “Are you pregnant????” and then started dancing around the room. Ha! She then had soooo much fun telling all her co-workers at the game that she was going to be a grandma!

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8 WEEKS
Cravings: Bagels with cream cheese (which I indulged every day!), pancakes, Panda Express chow mein and orange chicken (not sorry for this one, so good), corn muffins still.

Aversions: Same.

We told my dad this week! We took him out to dinner the night before he left for a monthlong trip to Europe, and I struggled with whether we should tell him or not because I worried we’d get bad news at our first ultrasound (9 weeks) and I would ruin his vacation if I had to share that with him via email. But Aaron encouraged me to go for it, and I’m glad we did.

My dad was more shocked than anyone. And I think he was also scared? Ha! I don’t think he realized he was going to be a grandpa quite so soon, and I could tell he was overwhelmed by the news because he had been focused for so long on preparing for his epic trip. But at the end of our dinner, he got a little weepy and hugged me for a long time and told me how happy he was. Awww. My daddy.

Now, the weekly photos begin!

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I felt big in this photo, believe it or not. Now I look back and think I was crazy. But you know how bloating makes you feel so much bigger than you look? Yeah, pregnancy bloating is intense. I was still wearing normal clothes this week, but started looping a hair tie through the button-hole of my jeans and using that to secure the button to give my belly an extra inch or so of room.

A few days before our first ultrasound, I started feeling a lot better — less nauseous, more energetic. I actually went for a run for the first time in a solid month! It was only 2.25 miles, but it felt awesome (and I was exhausted by the end).

This boost of energy and lack of nausea made me super-worried; was I still pregnant? I got really anxious leading up to our appointment and steeled myself for the possibility of not hearing a heartbeat.

Luckily, we not only the heard the baby’s heartbeat, but we saw the little squirt for the first time. It was a real baby. And it jumped during the ultrasound. Totally crazy.

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The head is to the bottom left, and baby is looking right at the camera. See the little hand sticking up? Hi, baby!

I was soooo relieved after confirming the baby was doing well and measuring right on track, but soon started feeling anxious about what we would find out at our 13-week genetic screening appointment. When will the worrying end?? Oh, this is parenthood, so never.

We rounded out this week by sharing the news with Aaron’s dad and stepmom by whipping out the ultrasound photos while we were out to lunch. They were thrilled!

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I felt pretty normal during week 10 and was almost back to my regular eating habits, but still not choosing many salads or veggies. I could choke them down, though, for the sake of getting actual nutrients. 

The one craving I noted this week was Top Ramen, aka the most processed, nutritionally devoid food you can eat. Something about the mass of simple carbs and salty broth is so delicious, though! I like to crack an egg in and scramble it up near the end. Yum.

Aaron and I celebrated our one-year wedding anniversary this week! We enjoyed dinner at one of Seattle’s fanciest and most iconic restaurants, Canlis. Our four-course dinner was a lovely three-hour affair as we watched the sun set over Gasworks Park and Lake Union. We were seated right by the pianist and he granted Aaron’s request to interrupt his string of romantic ballads with the Charlie Brown theme song. 🙂

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Any anniversary is special, but this one felt especially so because it was our first and because we are so, so, so excited about what’s to come in the next year. It’ll also be our last anniversary as just the two of us!

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Oof, not my favorite pic! I was still wearing my regular clothes, but feeling like they just looked and felt wrong on me. I went shopping for maternity clothes at the end of this week and was amazed by how stylish and comfy/stretchy/soft the options were! I bought a bunch of basics, like leggings, jeans, tanks, and sweaters, and immediately wanted to live in them. I don’t know why some women resist switching to maternity clothes; I never want to go back!

Aaron and I both told our bosses that we were expecting, and they were both very happy and supportive — yay!

I also started researching daycare options and reaching out for information about pricing and wait lists — YIKES. The best advice we’ve gotten so far was to figure out the daycare situation early, and I’m so glad we started because it turns out that some places — the less-expensive ones that are also highly rated — have epic wait lists. We are on them, thank you very much. 

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Hello, belly! I think there was a lot of bloating happening when we took this photo since my belly looks smaller in next week’s photo, but it’s an accurate representation of how I look by the end of the day. I’ll wake up with a flat-ish stomach and go to bed looking pretty pregnant indeed.

This is the first photo in which I wore maternity leggings (these ones) and a hand-me-down maternity tee gifted to me by Aaron’s friend Lindsee, along with a bag of other maternity clothes — thank you, Lindsee!! She decided she was for-sure done with them after her second pregnancy turned out to be super-cute twin girls. 🙂

This week, my big accomplishment was eating Indian food — the very idea of which would have made me feel nauseous a few weeks ago. It was goooood.

I also took my first weekend nap with the Snoogle body pillow, which is amazing and now my nightly companion. I basically spoon the Snoogle and it keeps my back and hips aligned and comfortable, plus it supports my stomach. The only bummer is that the pillow I ordered didn’t come with a cover, so I got a charcoal grey jersey cover and it’s super-soft and nice. (Heads up: those are Amazon affiliate links.)

Finally, Aaron did a cyclocross race and got third place! I love spectating cyclocross because I can actually see him at several points along the course and cheer him on/take pictures. Plus, there are cool obstacles like this:

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Badass. It was super fun to watch and I’m so proud of him! P.S. He is part of a new cycling team started by his buddies called the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Cycling Club, aka team Hammer + Awl. Aaron helped design the kits — black, of course.

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Finally, we’ve reached the final week of the first trimester! Here I’m wearing another hand-me-down tee courtesy of Lindsee, and the grey version of these maternity leggings. I transitioned into wearing full-on maternity clothes the day we announced our pregnancy to the world, and I haven’t looked back since.

The day before we shared the news, we had our second ultrasound to check for early signs of genetic abnormalities. Whatever we found out would not have changed our pregnancy in any way, but we did want to be as prepared as possible if we discovered our baby would need special care. Plus, we just wanted to see the baby again! And man, he/she had grown quite a bit.

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The baby was straight loungin’ the whole time, and the ultrasound tech had to poke and prod my belly quite a bit to get him/her to move so she could get the nuchal translucency (NT) measurement she needed at the back of the neck. That measurement, combined with whether or not the nasal bone is visible (seeing it is good), helps determine the odds for Down syndrome and a few other chromosomal abnormalities.

Later, a genetic counselor walked us through the odds based on our kiddo’s visible nasal bone and NT measurement, and explained that they were very significantly lower than the standard odds for any given pregnancy. Low odds aren’t a 100% guarantee that those abnormalities don’t exist, but we felt comfortable enough with the information we received to decline further testing.

I explain all this because I wasn’t really aware of this optional screening before being pregnant, and I was definitely more anxious about it than I needed to be. I read lots of very negative opinions online about doing the screening, but ultimately we agreed with those who were in favor of it that we’d prefer to be as informed as possible about our baby’s health in order to give him/her the best life possible.

Anyway! We finally allowed ourselves to buy our first baby item after this appointment since everything — growth, heartbeat, etc. — looked healthy and on track. We saw two arms, two legs, two halves of the brain — good stuff. My endless anxiety was finally calmed (for the most part).

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We chose a gender-neutral newborn set that includes a onesie, pants, and PJs with a little hat. There are little turtles and ducks and cute footie things happening. ❤

As for new symptoms, I noticed I was using the restroom more frequently and getting full more quickly this week. I started breaking my meals up into smaller, more spread-out portions. I also hit the gym THREE times this week (crazy!) and started feeling so much better after walking on the treadmill and lifting weights.

My official weigh-in at the hospital put me at -2 pounds since my 9-week weigh-in, but my doctor said that was completely normal. I’m not restricting my food in any way (cheese! bread! all day, every day!) and have definitely gotten bigger, so I attribute the weight loss to having lost muscle due to not running or lifting weights for several weeks. I’d like to get it back so I don’t end up having to rebuild all of my fitness from scratch after pregnancy, but I’m taking it slowly — literally, by walking instead of running — and doing what feels comfortable. More on fitness in another post!

I’ll end this epic one with a before-and-after shot: 5 weeks pregnant on the left, 14 weeks on the right.

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Yay for the second trimester! I’ve heard this is the easiest one, so… please let that be true. 🙂

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