If you came from our announcement post, then you will have seen that Mike and I are pregnant with our first babe. I wanted to document the experience for myself and also because I love reading pregnancy and birth stories so I thought someone else might, too. In this post I’m going to share all the details about my first trimester in this first trimester recap. It was surprisingly smooth, and I was fortunate to have had a lot of support during the tougher weeks.
First Trimester Symptoms
Everyone asks me what the first symptoms of pregnancy were and when I felt them. Honestly, I was SO thirsty almost immediately. I couldn’t drink enough water. This happened around 4 weeks – shortly after we found out we were expecting. I also had to pee all the time – a side effect of all of the hormones.
The symptom I was most worried for was morning sickness. I have a phobia of throwing up and it sends my body into a state of stress. Fortunately I was spared any vomiting and only had 24/7 nausea for about 3 weeks. This lasted from week 6 to about week 9. Coupled with significant food aversions and the weirdest cravings, I basically ate carbs and cheese all the time. It was weird, and it sucked, but it wasn’t as bad as being sick every day.
8 weeks and already bumpin’… with bloat?
Although most women don’t show or have a bump until their 2nd trimester (especially with first babies), I had intense bloating since about 6-7 weeks. I remember feeling like I was stuffing my legs into my jeans and struggling to do them up at about 5 weeks. I couldn’t believe how quickly my body started to change. The bloating became significant enough that by 8-9 weeks I had to begin clearing out all of my wardrobe that didn’t fit anymore. I was left with a couple pairs of leggings, one pair of work pants, and a pair of “mom” jeans that had a bit of a boyfriend fit to them. I figured it was time to start looking for maternity clothes or at least clothes with a lot of stretch. By 12 weeks my bloating was turning into a real bump, and I was in full-on maternity pants.
For the entire first trimester (and even since, frankly), I ate like garbage. My cravings were odd – I really wanted foods that reminded me of childhood. Think mac and cheese, cereal, nachos, cottage cheese on toast, garlic bread, ribs and rice… and a heck of a lot of junk food. My sweet tooth came back with a vengeance, and some days I just NEEDED a particular dessert. Like blueberry pie, and powdered donuts. My food aversions made eating healthy even more challenging. I couldn’t stand chicken, smoothies (noooooo!!!), dark chocolate (also sad), and almost all veggies. The things I relied on to keep me healthy were all of a sudden out of bounds. My old go-to meals and snacks were gross. My life revolved around bread, pasta and cheese and I had to be okay with it.
I experienced pretty significant fatigue from about 8 weeks onwards. I needed to nap during the day and spent my evenings on the couch, before tucking into bed by 9 pm. One of the hardest things I had to do was ask Mike to take a bigger role getting up with Oakley in the mornings. I just couldn’t function at that hour without needing a lunchtime nap. Fortunately he was able to take on that responsibility allowing me to sleep between 8.5 / 9 hours a night. Still, that wasn’t always enough. On Saturday mornings I found myself sleeping 11 hours, which was just perfect. The fatigue lasted longer than the first trimester, too. But that’s for my second trimester post.
12 weeks and the bump is getting impossible to hide
Testing & Ultrasounds
Mike and I opted to do a 12-week ultrasound because I was pretty certain about the day we conceived. I track my period and I have ovulation pain, so I had our “conception” date pinned right down. As a result I didn’t need (or want) a ‘dating ultrasound’ that is usually performed early in the pregnancy.
We did, however, opt for Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing. This testing is paid out of pocket, but has better accuracy than the free test that is covered by the government. This test measures the baby’s risk of three different chromosomal abnormalities, including Down Syndrome. It also uses genetics to detect the baby’s gender. Mike and I are planners and wanted to know the health of our baby with more accuracy, so we paid extra for the test. The perk was learning the gender earlier than the 20-week ultrasound! When the results came back with “low risk” we were so relieved. Then, we found out the baby’s gender.
From the very beginning I felt like I was having a boy. I always dreamt of having a girl, so it was weird being so sure that it was a boy. Mike was certain, even before we got pregnant, that we were having ‘boys only’ … So maybe he got in my head.. anyway, we found out the gender and..
Yes, the baby is a boy!
The ultrasound was the coolest experience ever. He was moving around like crazy and we saw his little face for the first time. We also learned his “exact” due date, and – what are the chances – it’s the same as my brother’s birthday. My brother passed away almost three years ago from cancer, and this baby is due on what would be his birthday. It’s all very cosmic and super incredible. I truly believe he’s watching over this babe before he comes out on the other side.
14 weeks – Mike and I at his friend’s wedding trying to hide the bump
Spilling the beans
Everyone choses to share their pregnancy at a different time. My plan was to wait until after the first trimester where the risk of miscarriage significantly decreases. We wanted to start by telling both of our parents first, and it was becoming very challenging to hide the bump at work. I spent weeks 10-15 dressing in oversized shirts, sweaters, and leggings, because anything somewhat fitted would show the shape of my belly. Anyone who knew me knew it was out of the ordinary.
I had a couple of challenges I had to overcome before we could share the news publicly:
- I had a bachelorette party the weekend I planned to tell our parents, so I had to push it another week.
- The following weekend I had a wedding (for a different couple) before meeting with our parents.
That meant I had to hide it from a bunch of drinking girls, and I also had to somehow find a way to hide it at a wedding – I spent wayyyyy too much time agonizing over this.
The bachelorette went ok. I was 13 weeks along, but the bride was my best friend and already knew – I had told her first, right after I took the pregnancy test. She was really good about not drawing attention to the fact that I “wasn’t drinking”.
The wedding for Mike’s friends was another story – by this point I was 14 weeks along. I spent so much time trying to find a dress that would fit without accentuating the growing bump and probably tried on about 30 different styles. The only thing that didn’t look super awkward was an empire dress that just grazed my stomach… not drawing as much attention as others. The dress I settled on also had a print which was distracting and didn’t draw attention to my shape. Or so I thought. When I congratulated the bride, she gave me a hug.. But as we parted, she gasped and pointed at my belly. Well, secret’s out! Turns out that everyone else at the wedding also knew and I was terrible at hiding it.
We told my parents the following day and used Oakley, our pup, to share the news. I bought a cute “Big Brother” bandana and put it on him. My parents didn’t get it at first, and then when it finally dawned on them, they were so excited for us. I told Mike he could tell his parents whatever way he wanted, so when they came for dinner, he just announced it. Simple and effective as well.
Then I told coworkers (three of whom had already suspected and it started spreading), and I announced it online with this photo below. There’s no denying it here – I am definitely pregnant. And I felt so fortunate to have had such a great first trimester even if I was still exhausted all the time.
So that is it for my first trimester recap! You can find out more about how my second trimester went here!Follow