Wait…you didn’t know that I’m pregnant? Time to check back in to the Primal Potential podcast, my friend! I absolutely am and we’ve made it through the first trimester! Praise!
If you’d rather listen to this blog than read it, please hit the play button below. Otherwise, keep on reading!
I’ve decided to more regularly document my pregnancy journey here on the blog. I know lots of you who are listening to the podcast are interested in updates, but some aren’t. I’ll keep the longer, more in depth updates over here. My plan is to add new updates every couple of weeks, but since this is the first one, we’re recapping the entire first trimester!
If you missed the story on how we found out, let me catch you up. We had decided to start trying and assumed it would take a while (or not happen naturally at all). I always pay close attention to my menstrual cycles and was certain I was about to start my period. Even the day my period was supposed to start and the day after, I didn’t give any thought to being “late” because I was so crampy. I kept saying to both the boyfriend and to Sarah that I knew I’d start any hour. The boyfriend wasn’t so sure. He kept saying, “I think you’re pregnant” (probably because I was quite a bit more emotional than normal). Two days after I should have started my period, Sarah encouraged me to pick up a pregnancy test. We had to get paint for the office so we went together to pick up blue paint and a couple of tests.
I woke up the next morning around 4:30 and went straight to the bathroom. When you’re half-asleep, those plastic-wrapped boxes aren’t so easy to open! The first one was the kind with “two lines if you’re pregnant” and the second was digital, displaying either “Pregnant” or “Not Pregnant”. I pulled the old-school one first and within just a few seconds it displayed two pink lines. I’m pretty sure I rubbed my eyes a few times and then re-read both the box and the instructions, making sure I understood what two lines meant.
Not believing it, I grabbed the digital test and immediately took it. Sure enough, it read “Pregnant”. I was STUNNED.
I knew the boyfriend would be waking up for work soon and I didn’t want to just blurt it out to him, so I gathered up the tests, hid them in my office and started my work day.
As soon as Sarah came into work that morning, I pointed her to our standing desk area where both the tests were. Needless to say, we had trouble focusing that day. In fact, we ended up going shopping for a baby onesie a few hours later. I told the boyfriend later that evening by hanging a chalkboard sign on our large jar of coins that said, “Reserved for Baby xxx: February 2020”.
A few weeks after we found out, I had a pre-planned trip to California to celebrate my birthday and Primal Potential’s 5 year anniversary with the Masters Club. Since I was feeling sick, exhausted and I’d be unable to drink alcohol, I knew I needed to tell them. Everyone would know something was up so even though I’d have preferred to wait a while longer, I knew it was time to share.
Not wanting our family and some friends to find out accidentally from social media or to be hurt that I told clients first, we announced to them around the 6 week mark. Though most people were supportive, a few visibly dispproved of us announcing so early. That kinda bummed me out. We fully understood that the risk of miscarriage is higher in the first trimester. We also realized that most people wait longer. Our circumstances were just different and I always pray that people are open to that. Pregnancy has been a great reminder that I am not the standard-setter for anyone but me.
Now that we have that backstory established, I thought I’d share what has changed and what hasn’t in the last few months.
First Trimester Food
Not surprisingly, the first couple of weeks after finding out were totally normal. I felt normal, I ate the way I’d normally eat. When the nausea hit, everything changed and there’s very much a “new normal” that likely won’t be normal for too long since things are changing so fast.
As most of you know, I’ve been primarily a primal-style eater for years. Lots of veggies, proteins and fats from whole food sources. Little starch. Little sugar. Not many processed foods.
As soon as the nausea and vomitting came into the picture, all of that whole-food stuff went right out the window. For at least a few weeks, Saltine crackers were the staple in my diet along with diet gingerale. I could sometimes mix it up with plain macaroni or a half a bagel.
Talk about a complete 180 from how things had been! Not only was I feeling bad physically from the all-day-sickness, I was also feeling bad because my body does NOT feel good on processed food and carbs. Of course I noticed bloating, weight gain and lower energy right away (but more about that later).
As I acclimated to the nausea, I got a little more adventurous with food but things like vegetables and meat were a hard NO. Even as I write this, the idea of some of my favorites like brussels sprouts, spaghetti squash and cauliflower rice make my stomach turn.
Just a few weeks ago, I went with some friends to one of my favorite restaurants where I would normally get a huge cup of lobster meat and some coleslaw. I ordered the lobster but barely picked at it. I couldn’t handle the coleslaw and went to town on sweet potato fries.
It hasn’t been a matter of cravings – I don’t think I’ve had many of those yet – it’s just a strong aversion to almost everything except carbohydrates. According to my doctors and lots of prenatal experts I’ve talked to, this is pretty common. Granted, absolutely everyone’s experience is different but yeah, nutrition has been QUITE a departure from the norm lately.
(Another little wrinkle in all of this is that I don’t have a kitchen. The downstairs has been demolished and as of the day I’m writing this, I’ve been without a kitchen for nearly 6 weeks and probably will be without one for another 4 months. True story.)
Here’s the mindset I’m choosing about it: it’s fine. I will not let stress about food be a factor for me at this phase of life. There are enough other things to stress over. Every day is different and I will continue to do the best I can, honoring what feels right and what doesn’t. When I feel like I can keep down a smoothie, I’ll try it. If I can get in some veggies or protein, I absolutely will. Along the way, I just refuse to stress about this piece of the journey. That is my choice and I make it repeatedly.
First Trimester Movement
Let’s put it this way: so far, I haven’t been that glowing CrossFit pregnant woman. Nope. Not even a little. The initial nausea and vomitting were so constant that I didn’t do any exercise at first and that’s fine with me. I did push myself to get to the gym 8-10 times just to move. Sometimes I’d row, sometimes I’d lift, sometimes I’d just walk. Maybe 2 or 3 of those workouts were intense. The rest were pretty mellow.
Since then, I joined a spin studio. Though that’s not a type of exericse I’ve historically enjoyed, I liked the idea of being able to completely control my intensity and speed while also being in a setting where there was no guesswork. I don’t have to decide what to do; I’m told. And within that, I still have a lot of control over what feels good for my body. I’m really enjoying it and find myself pushing harder each time. With that said, there’s definitely more cramping throughout my body during pregnancy than before. When I start to feel that, I ease off a bit and drink some water.
Here’s the mindset I’m choosing about it: it’s perfect. I want to move. That matters to me. It’s good for my mental & physical health and it’s great for baby. I’m completely accepting of the fact that movement will look different for every woman and every pregnancy. That’s the way it should be. I’m not judging myself against someone else’s experience or ability. I will continue to move without any attachment to how it “should” look or feel.
First Trimester Body
This where we can all just laugh, right? As I mentioned in the food recap, I noticed bloating and weight gain right away. It wasn’t because of baby, it was because of all the starch that got introduced. Every gram of carbohydrate we consume hangs on to about 4 grams of water and I’m also highly sensitive to carbs so I could see it and feel it.
I didn’t like that. It made me uncomfortable both physically and emotionally. Fortunately, I made a powerful decision…
I will not entertain negative thoughts about my body during this beautiful time.
I don’t want to be the kind of person who let’s shame, insecurity or vanity influence my mood, my relationships, my experiences or this exciting process.
I don’t want to be the kind of person who uses the experiences of others to set standards or expectations for my own experience.
I choose to be positive and excited about my body and the way it is changing. I choose to be open and not rigid. I choose to be kind and not harsh. I choose to be empowered and not fearful.
My pregnancy will look different than some people’s. It will the same as other’s. It really doesn’t matter because it is my own. Heck, my life looks different than most. My work looks different than most. My relationship looks different from most. And that’s just perfect.
There are plenty of things to stress about. I choose for this to not be one of them.
Does that mean I don’t care about being healthy? Of course not. I care very much about being healthy and my baby being healthy. These perspectives aren’t at odds.
These days, baby is definitely showing. It’s not the kind of bump that anyone else would notice as a baby bump, but we do. Someone who doesn’t know I’m pregnant would probably just think I’ve gained weight (they wouldn’t be wrong). I guess that can be the awkward transition between “showing” and “obviously pregnant”.
Here’s the mindset I’m choosing about it: it’s beautiful. This is my experience to share with my baby and my family. I will not allow insecurity to take away from it. My body will change. Parts of it I can control and parts I can’t. Some people will be supportive and some will be judgemental. Both responses will tell me a lot about the people and relationships in my life and I welcome that. It’s simply beautiful, no matter how it looks.
There have been highs and lows in the first trimester and I won’t lie. It’s been very, very challenging mostly for reasons unrelated to the pregnancy which I’ll share a bit about.
- Telling my mom that we’re having a baby was a huge peak. She was so excited. I brought a cake to my aunt’s house where my mom, my aunt, my sister and my grandmother were. The cake said, “Make room for one more” and it was such a joy to see my mom’s reaction.
- Seeing baby on ultrasound for the first time
- Hearing baby’s heartbeat and movements at my latest appointment
I want to keep this real because I know lots of us go through very challenging seasons. This is one of them for me. I am telling myself that yes, things are hard and that’s okay.
Most of what has been hard is unrelated to the pregnancy but makes the pregnancy more challenging.
As many of you know, we are renovating our house in a big way. We had demo completed about 6 weeks ago and then things took a turn. Structural damage was caused during demo and the work was done illegally by the individual we hired and paid. That person is no longer working with us.
We are now in the process of hiring someone else but because of the structural damage caused, it’s taking a much longer time to get quotes, drawings and approvals. There are new twists and turns every day and there have been more downs than ups.
Meanwhile, our belongings are in a POD, we have no kitchen and we’re living out of a tiny room upstairs while we try to figure this out. We are still unsure of when work will begin again, how much it will cost and if it will be done before baby arrives.
Affirmations that are getting me through this are, “I can handle it” and “I am a creative, energetic problem solver” along with constant reminders to be in the moment I’m in.
That remains the biggest pit. The rest are trivial.
- A family member’s first response to the news that we are pregnant was, “Aren’t you glad you lost so much weight now that you’re just going to put it all back on?” Oh, what a resounding display of love. Thank you.
- I’ve been both highly emotional and pretty tired, which is a tricky combination especially with all that is going on.
- As a self-employed woman, I can’t exactly call my boss and tell her I’m taking a 3-month maternity leave. Sure, there are some things I can get ahead on like the podcast and weekly emails, which I’ve been working towards. But, there are a lot of things that aren’t quite so straight forward. Fortunately, I have a coach who is helping me strategize but that definitely adds a level of pressure that has been tough at times.
We can’t end on a negative note now, can we? Now is as good a time as any to share:
It’s a girl!
We’re so excited and I’ll keep you updated every couple of weeks as things change!