Alright folks, this is the last of the series of pregnancy-related posts from this past week. I apologize that it is long. After this post, I will probably just do BRIEF weekly updates.
As of yesterday, I am officially into my second trimester. Hard to believe. For me, I would say I had a relatively easy first trimester compared to some, but I was not immune from the typical first trimester symptoms.
Nausea: This started at about 7 weeks for me and lasted until 11.5 weeks. The best way to describe “morning sickness”, which for me was random throughout the day and not limited to the morning, was feeling like you have a nasty hangover. It would come in waves, where for several hours the thought of food sounded repulsive, and then with the flip of a switch, I was suddenly starving and feeling better. It was annoying, yes, but only a handful of times did it actually get in the way of things and prevent me from doing what I wanted. Most of the time, it just made me more grumpy and less pleasant to be around. Eating bread and butter usually helped me feel a little better.
Fatigue: Fatigue hit its peak during week 8 for me. I actually took that entire week off of running and any type of exercise, because I was so tired that week and knew I needed the rest. The afternoons were especially the hardest. During the other weeks, I tried my best to still get my workouts in early in the morning, because I knew I would be more tired in the afternoon (and probably dealing with heartburn). Also, working out in the morning helped me feel more alert and awake and gave me more energy, which helped since I was drinking very little caffeine. Thankfully, I only had to work one weekend night (I had to cover someone’s night shift), so I was able to use the weekends to catch up on sleep. It’s funny, though, because you kind of become used to the fatigue and don’t realize how tired you’ve been until you feel better again. This is what happened to me two weeks ago. At 11.5 weeks, I suddenly had my energy back and felt like my old self, and it was only then that I realized how tired I had been.
Sore breasts: I already talked about this yesterday.
Weight gain: I’ve been right on target with the weight gain. They say you’re supposed to gain 1-5 pounds first trimester if you’re at a normal BMI (which I am at 5’1.5”), although some people lose weight because of the morning sickness. I think I started out around 110-111 pounds, and last time I weighed myself over a week ago, I was at 114. Weight/weight gain can be such a touchy topic, and I document these more out of interest for myself about this whole process. Please note that weight gain can be different for each person, each pregnancy, and throughout different parts of the pregnancy. Some people put on a lot more weight first trimester and then slow down later. Some people lose weight first trimester because of morning sickness and have to catch up later. Some people can only handle eating certain foods first trimester that results in more weight gain. That’s ok.
Of course, I make it sound like the whole weight thing is no big deal and that you shouldn’t worry at all about weight gain. I would be lying if I said the idea of gaining weight didn’t make me anxious at first, as I am normally very steady in my weight. I know this is a twisted and non-accurate way of thinking, but at least in terms of myself, I tend to view weight gain as being synonymous with me lacking discipline, so it took some getting used to to mentally be ok with the idea of gaining weight. At the beginning, this was hard, because I felt like overnight as soon as I found out I was pregnant some of my pants stopped fitting (I guess this was just bloat), and I knew you weren’t “supposed” to really start gaining much weight until second trimester. I started to worry that if things were starting to get tight at 6 weeks, and that trend continued, then I would be on a trend to gain like, 50-70 pounds by the end of my pregnancy. Yes, I was being irrational, but with my hormones being all over the place, this is what I feared…I am just trying to be honest, and I think a lot of women worry about the weight gain.
I’m not one to weigh myself daily, but I actually found weighing myself regularly during the first part of first trimester was comforting. I saw that I was right on target with the weight gain, and even though I felt extremely bloated…that was all it was. Early on in the pregnancy, I stopped wearing my “skinny” jeans and bought a pair a size larger, because I didn’t want any negative thoughts entering my mind (which is what happens when my pants suddenly feel tight). And don’t worry, although it was mentally and emotionally difficult to grasp the idea of weight gain, I didn’t let it affect how I ate. I wasn’t about to let my need for “control” have any negative effect on my future child, and I think that’s why it was so hard at first. Feeling in control of things is comforting, but you have to relinquish that control during pregnancy, and that takes some getting used to mentally and is scary at first.
Now that I am in second trimester, was right on target with weight gain first trimester, and now KNOW this is the time to start putting not the weight, I am honestly totally comfortable with putting on the weight. In fact, over the past few weeks, I’ve had a really difficult time eating large quantities of food at once (I feel physically full VERY quickly), so I went from fearing too much weight gain to now focusing on ways to make sure I’m getting enough calories and nutrition in (making sure I eat multiple small meals throughout the day). This leads me to my next topic:
Diet: During first trimester, I didn’t make too many drastic changes to the way I ate. They say you’re supposed to eat only an extra 300 calories per day (mainly second and third trimester). I don’t count calories and think that is a pathologic way of viewing food, so instead I have just been focusing on eating nutrient dense foods with healthy fats and always having snacks/food on me to eat when I feel hunger. I am trusting that my hunger and cravings will let me know when and what I need to eat.
Pigging out on nachos, other greasy comfort food, or ice cream is NOT something I have been doing or intend to do (obviously on occasion this is totally fine, but not all the time. Thankfully, I don’t crave that stuff normally, anyway, perhaps because I eat a well-rounded diet), and it has nothing to do with it being high in fat or a fear of weight gain. Here is why: as I said, I get full very easily now, so I want to make sure that the food I’m consuming is full of important building blocks for me and my baby. If I fill up on something with empty, nutrient-poor calories, then I don’t have room left to eat food with the nutrients I NEED. Yes, I take vitamins just to be on the safe side, but there are studies that show that vitamins in pill form aren’t taken up by your body as well. I’m a big believer that you should get your vitamins, calcium, protein, fats, and other essential nutrients from your diet, and so that’s what I try to do. I have been more aware than ever about what I am putting into my body knowing that it’s not just myself I have to worry about. I have been trying to eliminate processed foods, artificial sweeteners and flavors, and to eat a well rounded diet with the nutrients that I need. Also, since I work out a lot (like I did before I got pregnant), I am much more careful about making sure I eat proper nutrition before I work out, while I work out if I need it, and immediately after I work out. I definitely am consuming a lot more carbs than I normally do, because this is very important for my fetus, and especially since I am physically active. Ladies, pregnancy is absolutely NOT the time to eat a low carb diet.
Cravings: No real food cravings, although I ate a lot of bread and butter first trimester, because that was all I felt like eating at times when I felt nauseous. I did notice one craving: I used to only like my water room temperature. Now it has to be full of ice.
Aversions: Only one completely random aversion: I cannot stand the taste of normal, mint flavored toothpaste. One time I literally gagged and almost vomited brushing my teeth. I finally had to go to the pharmacy and pick up children’s bubble gum flavored toothpaste and mouth wash.
Emotions: I was way emotional during the first part of first trimester. I NEVER cry, and I definitely did some random crying first trimester. Like, I was on the airplane flying out to Austin, listening to Les Mis, and then got so moved by the musical and story line that I started getting all teary-eyed on the plane. I kid you not. Listening to Les Mis made me publicly cry. Wow. haha. The hormones have thankfully settled down, which I’m sure Dean is just as thankful for as I am ; )
Whoa, this was a longer post than I intended. As I said, I’m not going to bombard you with a bunch more pregnancy stuff except for brief weekly updates.
It’s a little scary and makes me feel a little vulnerable being completely open about the anxiety I initially had of weight gain, because people are so quick to judge and offer their opinions about stuff, and especially when it has anything to do with pregnancy, but I wanted to be honest, because I know from talking to others it’s a common fear of a lot of pregnant women. The last thing I want to do is be superficial, sugar-coat everything, and make it sound like the changes that come with pregnancy are completely easy to deal with. I also don’t want to sound negative about the pregnancy, because trust me, Dean and I are both overjoyed that we will be parents, and the fact that my body is producing our future child is absolutely amazing and exciting. Every time I look at the ultrasound pics and videos I have taken of my little one, it absolutely fills me with love for it and makes me want to do everything possible to ensure it’s safety and healthy development.