First Trimester Recap



Finding Out We Were Expecting

My husband and I found out we were "officially" pregnant on October 2, 2019. I woke up before Jonathan and scurried to the bathroom downstairs. I had promised myself that if I hadn't started my cycle that morning, I'd take a pregnancy test.


Sitting there, in the dark at 5:30 am, I (impatiently) waited for the three-minute mark. The faint pink line didn't show up right away, and for a very brief moment, my heart sank. But sure enough, the second pink line appeared. I was officially pregnant! I stared at myself in the mirror - trying to soak in the moment. It felt surreal.


When I showed the test to Jonathan at breakfast - he looked at me with a huge smile on his face and said: "We're having a baby!". I was surprised that he wasn't acting more surprised and inquired why. He responded with "Well, I already knew!" He told me that he could tell I was pregnant by the way I was acting and how tired I had been.


I remember going on a walk that morning (like I usually did) - and I felt an enormous shift. This baby became the center of my universe.


Although I am a nurse - I was SHOCKED to find out that we were already 4 weeks pregnant! For some reason, this piece of information seemed to have been forgotten since nursing school. I felt slightly alarmed that four weeks of my first pregnancy had already gone by without me knowing!


I immediately downloaded "The Bump" app and "What to Expect" to calculate our due date. We were having a June baby!


Sharing Our News

Jonathan and I lived in a happy, little bubble off our secret for several weeks. Honestly, I loved that it was our little secret. It was something for just the two of us, and I cherished this time. We would talk about the baby and becoming parents every day, it was all we could think about. It was hard to think about anything else!


Our baby will be the first grandchild on either side of our families, so we were very excited to share the news with our parents and siblings - who we told first. Originally we planned to wait until after our first doctor's appointment at 8 weeks - but ended up telling our families sooner and they were very surprised and ecstatic.


Our First Appointments

Waiting until the eight week mark to go to the doctors for the first time felt like an eternity! I literally counted down the days and was full of excitement and nerves. At our first appointment, we had an ultrasound and got to listen to the heartbeat! Jon and I were ecstatic. Our baby measured about 7+3 weeks on the first ultrasound, so we were scheduled for a second ultrasound 3 weeks later to confirm our due date. During the second ultrasound, we saw our little one wiggling all around! I think it was at this appointment when it suddenly felt really real for us, and we were reassured that we had a healthy, growing baby!


Although we have decided to wait and be surprised by the baby's gender, we were offered a blood test to determine this at 12 weeks along with elective genetic testing and regular blood testing.


Symptoms

Fatigue: The first trimester felt like survival mode to me. The exhaustion I felt was unbelievable. I looked at Jon one evening and basically whimpered "I didn't know you could be this tired". I also told my Mom that I felt like I had the flu for three months. I had morning sickness basically all day long but never threw up. Food and snacks made nausea slightly better, but it never fully went away. I took naps after work almost daily and my bedtime quickly became 8:00 pm and I would sleep soundly until 6:00 am the next morning - Woah!


Food: I did crave some abnormal foods and have a change in eating habits. I adore coffee, but it tasted awful to me (I switched to decaf/no coffee immediately after finding out I was pregnant). Salad and vegetable also briefly tasted like "skunk" to me, and I couldn't stand the smell of bananas. I usually enjoy sweets and chocolate as my treat, but those didn't sound good to me either. I started wanting hot, spicy foods and adding sriracha or hot sauce to a lot of meals (a trend that has carried over to the second trimester). Jonathan made many odd trips to the grocery store to get mini bagels, salt and vinegar chips, lemonade, cucumbers, and spicy Cheetos to name a few.


Exercise: I think this was the most challenging change for me to accept. Movement is a vital part of my daily routine, and typically gives me energy and reduces stress. I did not have enough energy to continue my normal exercise routine, and frankly, this left me feeling a little lost. Instead, I started walking when I could and doing gentle yoga. I was able to run a handful of times and attend one spin class, but these left me even more tired. Overall, I tried to listen to my body and rest - but this was hugely challenging for me.


Looking Back

After learning from my first trimester, there are a few things I would like to share that may help someone else during their first pregnancy that I wish had been shared with me.


1. The community forums on pregnancy apps are NOT a good place to spend time. There are many, many, many posts about loss and tragedy. It was extremely upsetting for me and made me fearful, scared and worried. I highly recommend staying away and trusting your doctor, and the doctor only.


2. Take days off. I didn't take a single day off of work, and I am somewhat amazed at this now. I felt horrible. Seriously, if you need to stay home and rest - do it! I wish I had.


3. Buy pregnancy clothing sooner rather than later. I was stubborn and waited until the very end of the first trimester to go shopping. When I first put on those amazing, stretchy, comfortable pregnancy jeans I felt like I had won the lottery. Don't torture yourself. If your pants are feeling uncomfortable - no matter when it happens - do your body a favor and show it some love by finding comfortable clothing.


This is just my experience, and each person is very different. I hope that by sharing my experience I can help shed some fears and prepare those who may have questions!



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© 2020 Danielle Havens.