It’s so hard to believe how fast time is going! We decided to hold the secret to ourselves a little longer than the average pregnancy, but it was all completely worth it because we got to watch our little nugget grow and enjoy the time we had before everyone else knew. With my first trimester closing out at the end of October, I can proudly say I exited my first trimester only gaining 5 pounds, managed to survive the cravings thanks to all of the aversions I had, and did not throw up once! As a mama-to-be tackling her second trimester, I am excited to share this journey with everyone and what I learned in my first three months.
Keeping the secret is the hardest part. The best thing you can do is lock in a single confidant through the process to vent with to prevent spilling the secret early. Our direct families knew and select few friends, and that was the best thing we could have done instead of spreading the news so early to everyone. Although we were excited, we aired on the side of caution and enjoyed the secret to ourselves until I was almost 15 weeks.
After actively trying for two months, I couldn’t help but think something was wrong when we didn’t get pregnant. Someone recommended we tried ovulation strips (we used these from Amazon because they are 1/5th the price of store bought and worked just as well) first to make sure I was ovulating, and using those, we were pregnant in our first month! I learned that my cycle didn’t follow the traditional two week rule the “average” woman had and just merely kept missing the window of time. Unless you have a pre-existing medical condition that could impact your odds, don’t stress about fertility. Try some home methods like ovulation tests first before panicking and scheduling a doctor’s appointment because your cycle just might not be what you thought it was since it’s hard to predict when you are actually ovulating.
I had been doing pregnancy tests for 5 days already around my expected period date – all negative. I was almost positive I wasn’t pregnant that month, but one morning, waking up super early the week of our family vacation, the faintest line appeared and I thought “is that just the water going over the test line or is that actually a colorful line?” The anticipation is killer waiting 24 hours to try the next one, and again faint. After 5 tests and three days, it was undeniable, we were pregnant! I thought I’d cry with excitement when we were planning, but I think my husband and I were in utter shock once the moment actually came. You mentally prepare for it forever but it’s truly not real till you see the line of positive tests on your bathroom vanity. A little word of advice: store-bought tests are SO expensive! I bought these strips on Amazon in bulk when doing initial testing since you go through so many and confirmed with a nicer store-bought test once we were confident it could be a line as a keepsake. They were just as accurate and had the same hormone threshold as the early detection tests, which put the anxiety at ease when we found the first faint line!
Our family vacation just happened to be right at the same time we found out. We planned a last minute reveal – the day we started our family vacation was the day after grandparents day! We tied some Happy Grandparents Day tags to pacifiers and wrapped them in gift bags. That night, at the first dinner together of our cruise, we gifted them to our parents telling them they missed a holiday the day before. As you can imagine, they were so confused, and then were in complete shock! Although, my in-laws had a feeling when I wasn’t drinking or being totally active, and actually asked my husband if I was pregnant earlier in the day – thank goodness he lied! Overall, it was such an exciting moment and we wouldn’t change it for the world!
The first thing I started when we decided to try for a family was vitamins – a good prenatal became essential to my daily routine, which is why I chose these Nature Made vitamins for a little extra boost. I also tried to reduce as much stress as possible while working on (trying) a healthy diet between the aversions and nausea. The exhaustion was real too and I found myself altering my sleep schedule to get closer to 9-10 hours a night to accommodate our growing baby and my exhaustive days. Fair warning – being pregnant makes you so much more exhausted so fast, even when you only have a little poppy seed in you!
Seeing our little nugget for the first time at my 8 week ultrasound made everything so real. Up until then, I couldn’t help but think “well am I actually pregnant or is it all in my mind?” The first ultrasound for my husband and I was such a big experience together and I was glad it was only us to experience this together. It’s OUR baby and I love knowing something is coming into this world that’s an equal part of each of us. We made sure to choose a great medical practice that were also the on-call doctors at the hospital we plan to deliver at. This way, when we actually show up at 9 months in labor and the baby is ready, one of the doctors in the practice I’m rotating through over the next few months will be the doctor actually delivering and we’ll feel much more comfortable.
I have struggled for years with my body, working through my fitness journey and accepting the fact that I am a tall, naturally strong woman and I would never have a model physique like society tells us is expected. Gaining weight is something I’ve always struggled with, being the I LOVE food, have a terrible metabolism due to genetics and I was worried that this experience would make me hate my body. But really it feels like more of an out-of-body experience. I see my body growing and changing and it doesn’t feel like my body. But when I see my bump growing and my stomach firming, I know that’s my little nugget building a new home with me. It feels so special, and for now, I just accept the double chin and weird rolls I’m developing because this body is my nugget’s home.
Once we found out we were pregnant, my priority was finishing the little projects around the house we’d been putting off, like redoing our master bedroom and finishing some small organization projects. I also began to keep a journal to my nugget to give them one day when they’re all grow to know what it was like for me having them and included photos to compliment a multitude of stories I told. Now, I’m enjoying the process – being so close to finding out the sex of our nugget is KILLING me. My husband and I always said we want boys, and everyone else around us say they want girls but think we’ll have a boy. Secretly, I think it’s a girl – they say the mom just knows deep down and I only felt for a quick few days during the last few months that it was a boy, but in my heart I think it’s a girl. I can already tell he or she is A LOT like its daddy – it tried to play tricks and hide from the Doppler at my 12 week appointment, it gives me wild symptoms at random times and makes me crave food usually only daddy enjoys, and I can already tell it’s a future MMA fighter in training because, although I can’t physically feel it’s hands or feet, I can DEFINITELY feel when it decides to give a good strong kick to my kidneys or my bladder!
Having the right help to survive your first trimester makes all the difference! And having the right tools helps too – check out my favorite must-haves below to help you survive your first three months as a mama.
To help prevent those pesky stretch marks early on, I use this amazing lotion that is natural and soothing. I use about one tub per trimester and so far not a single stretch mark!
Sucking on hard candy helps not only to distract your mind, but ginger in it helps to sooth your upset stomach. I found my self sucking on these all day at work and it worked like a charm!
When your pants no longer button, this is a LIFE SAVOR! You may not be ready for maternity pants and still fit in your existing pants in the exception of the button, and this kit helps you to grow until you can no longer fit at all.
Your changing body and new hot flashes makes sleeping a little less comfortable, so snuggling with your pet or significant other isn’t always the best option. A body pillow helps to give you all the support you need and want to get a solid sleep during your most exhaustive period.
The thirst is real, especially during your first trimester where extra blood is flooding your body causing sweating and the increase need for water. Having a cup or bottle that goes everywhere with you is important to keep yourself feeling good and it also helps with nausea.