This first trimester was a rough one for me. It's been totally different from my pregnancy with Caleb in basically every way possible - from finding out we were expecting to telling family to some of my symptoms. I had pregnancy nausea ALL DAY LONG for basically the entirety of the first trimester. I also had this exhaustion that was unimaginable. Some days I couldn't seem to get myself out of bed. These two symptoms are finally just starting to subside, but the first trimester is no joke.
For me, there were a few items that really helped to make the first trimester just a little easier, and I'll share them here because they might help you out a little, too!
Food/Grocery Delivery Services
Because I was feeling so crappy, I was having a hard time getting myself to do anything in the kitchen. Eddie took over a lot of the stuff that really gave me a hard time, like laundry (the bending over would cause me to feel more nausea), and he took over some of the cooking for me, too. But some nights neither of us felt like cooking, so we utilized UberEats (if you want $5 off your first order use the code eats-jenises35ue) and Postmates a lot. I was also too exhausted to brave the grocery store alone with Caleb, so I used my Shipt subscription often to have my groceries brought to me! I also took advantage of Babe Appetite's services and ordered food for Caleb so he had some nice home cooked meals for lunch and dinner. Basically, I did whatever it took to feed us except get in the kitchen myself!
I know it sounds crazy, but my belly was fuller and more bloated at 6 or 7 weeks than it was at nearly 13. My pants were tight right away so I pulled out my maternity pants and started using them. But I also put to good use a lot of swing dresses and maxi dresses. Loose, flowy tops that hid the waistband of any pants I was wearing were also great. But dresses are the best, because anything on my actual belly bothered me. This top is from Knox Rose for Target.
I find that the more water I drink, the better I feel. I'm not usually very good about drinking water, but having an insulated tumbler that keeps my water cold for a long time has definitely been helpful in getting all the water I need for the day. My adorable personalized one is from Creative Sparkles.
Root Touch-Up Spray
I have a lot of gray hair. I'm not exaggerating, I have more than the average 32 year old. It's hereditary, and I have come to terms with it, but I try to keep up with dying my roots because I feel like it makes me look disheveled when I don't have them done. Since it's not advised to dye your hair so close to the scalp in your first trimester, I was suffering with loads of uncovered gray hair. I found this root spray - L'Oreal Paris Magic Root Spray. I use the Dark Brown color. For days when I'm not wearing my hair down and want to cover those gray hairs up, this does the trick in a pinch, and it washes right out when you shampoo!
Especially in the first trimester, to keep nausea at bay, I always have snacks in my bag. Even throughout the rest of pregnancy, I try to always have something in my bag, because you never know when hunger will strike when you're pregnant! Some of my favorite snacks to keep on hand are peanut butter crackers, a banana, goldfish, or a cheese stick. When I was home, these popsicles were a great way to help keep cool and hydrated.
Let's face it - your body starts preparing you for having children from the day you get pregnant. Between increasing my water intake and having to use the bathroom 3 times a night and feeling restless and uncomfortable, the need for a good concealer is REAL. I love Laura Mercier Secret Concealer for Undereye. It's light and does a great job at covering up the unsightly dark circles. I usually dust a little Laura Mercier Secret Brightening Powder over it so it sets and stays put all day.
Again, pregnancy nausea did a number on me. I actually ended up on Diclegis and then later on Unisom (ask your OB before taking anything), but even with the medication I still felt gross half the time. Anything with ginger truly helped. I would steep some ginger in boiling water and squeeze some lemon into it and drink that. I would drink Ginger Ale. I had some Lemon Ginger candies. I also kept Ginger Essential Oil in my purse at all times and would take a big whiff whenever I felt really queasy. I even made my Carrot Ginger Soup in the middle of summer because I figured it would help (and it did!). But all of those things truly helped to keep the nausea more manageable.
I tried Wine Country Soda for the first time when we were in Napa, and I was so impressed with it that I went home and ordered a couple of bottles to have at home. It's not alcoholic, but it tastes better than grape juice. It's sparkling, and it's made of the same grapes as wine, it's just not fermented, so it makes me feel like I'm drinking some bubbly. Definitely a great stand in if you don't want to feel left out on girls night or any night!
Pregnancy Safe Face Wash
I've written before about my routine for my acne-prone skin, but being pregnant, I can't use my BP wash as it's a high concentration of Benzoyl Peroxide. I tried a few drugstore face washes and they weren't doing the trick - I was breaking out like crazy. I met a rep from Sunday Riley at Sephora, and she totally sold me on their Ceramic Slip face wash. I have been using it for a few weeks and I've seen an improvement in my skin - not as drastic as my medicated face wash, but I'll take it!
And there you have it - all the things that got me through my first trimester!
So someone you know tells you she is pregnant. Yay! Congratulations! Woohoo there's another human coming into the world! While it can be very exciting and you want to ask ALL THE QUESTIONS and give all your advice and say all the things - there are some things you just shouldn't say to a pregnant woman.
Pregnancy hormones are no joke. You don't feel like yourself, it's possible you're feeling nauseated most of the day, and you're feeling a little like a beached whale. Your organs are being pushed out of place, you can't control your bladder, and you're feeling extra protective of the little life inside of you. So even if said comment or question isn't really meant to be offensive, pregnant women are on edge all the time, and any one or all of the above factors can contribute to her getting upset over a comment that is made. But these?
These are typically the worst offenders. They come from friends, family, and strangers alike, and they can ruffle the feathers of even the most chill pregnant women. So next time someone tells you they are pregnant, avoid these actions/statements.
You're welcome in advance for helping you avoid a sty in your eye - you know, one of those old wives tales. ;)
On Friday, we made a big announcement on social media. We are joyously awaiting our second little blessing! Finding out was a surprise, to say the least, and to tell you the truth, I didn't really believe I was pregnant until I had been to more than one ultrasound. I guess because we had struggled so much to get pregnant with Caleb, it was just surreal.
Last summer, we went to see our reproductive endocrinologist (aka fertility doctor) in the hopes of getting the process started for baby #2. Since Zika was a huge concern last summer and we had a trip to the Dominican Republic, he told us to come back in January. So in January, we went to see him. After going back and forth for a little bit, I told Eddie I didn't think it was the right time. He was in the middle of a transition with his job, and I felt like the added stress of having a baby wasn't something we needed at the moment. So we decided to hold off.
We went about our lives and figured we would come back to the doctor sometime in the fall after Caleb had started preschool. In June, my husband's work situation got resolved, we spent nearly 3 weeks at the beach, and then I went to BlogHer. We also booked a trip to Napa for the first weekend of August. A couple of weeks later, I realized my period was 4 days late. I didn't think much of it since I don't have totally regular cycles. But four days after that, I figured I should probably take a test, especially since we had weekend plans that involved drinking.
I nearly jumped out of my skin when I saw that there were two blue lines less than ten seconds after I peed on that little stick. I took two more tests just to be sure, then ran and got some bloodwork to confirm that I was, in fact, pregnant. Eddie was as shocked and as thrilled as I was.
My parents were out of town for three weeks in the month of July. I found out the Friday after they left, and we decided to hold off on telling anyone until they were back. We told my in-laws the night before my parents returned, and we surprised my parents at the airport with the news. Nobody was expecting it, and everyone is as surprised and ecstatic as we are!
I'll have a "bumpdate" for you in the next week or so and I'll let you know all about how I've been feeling, but for now, I'm feeling immeasurable joy at the fact that we are growing our little family!
Caleb is excited about his baby brother or sister, too!
I have toyed with the idea of writing this post for a while now, but to be totally honest, it scares the hell out of me to put all this out there. It took several rewrites and editing sessions, and out of privacy for my family I am choosing not to include every single detail of our process. This topic leaves me raw and feeling way more vulnerable than I feel comfortable. But it is also a topic that for too many women gets swept under the rug and makes us feel isolated, with only those closest to us being privy to the hard truth of our situation.
When I was 18, I had really irregular cycles... like every two weeks irregular. Clearly I was a raging bitch, because my dad suggested I go see a gynecologist. So I made my appointment and as soon as I told the doctor my symptoms, he told me, "I'm pretty certain you have polycystic ovary syndrome. But don't worry - it's totally treatable and 7 out of 10 women have it. It might be a little harder for you to have a baby when the time comes, but it won't be impossible." After an ultrasound confirmed this was the case, I was put on birth control and sent on my way.
To be totally honest, I didn't think about my PCOS very much after that. Birth control pills helped me maintain my weight, controlled the weird hair growth, and controlled the awful cystic acne that was caused by the hormonal imbalances of my PCOS.
But when Eddie and I were married, it was definitely something we discussed. We were not ready to have a baby right away and we decided we would wait. As soon as we came back from the honeymoon, though, the questions began: "When is that beautiful baby coming?" I usually laughed off the question because it seemed innocent enough. But a couple months before the four year anniversary mark, I started to get the itch in a bad way. We talked it over and decided December would be a good time to stop taking my birth control and let it work itself out of my system. That would give us a few months of wiggle room before our "deadline" (HA!). I made sure to eat really well, I worked out (something I hadn't done regularly since my teens).
Fast forward to July, on vacation in Greece. I was late - later than I had been in my whole life. I kept attributing it to the travel and the change in our eating and schedule. But deep down, there was a little seed that kept saying, maybe you're pregnant. So when my period started six days late, I broke down. I was miserable. I looked better than I had in a long time because of my fitness routine, and I hated my body. I hated my body for what it wouldn't, and couldn't seem to, do.
After the trip, I went back to my doctor and had her check me out. She ran a few tests and suggested I wait a few more months. In November, at my wit's end and unable to handle the disappointment that came every month, we made an appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist. After a few months of tests, he suggested we begin with the most non-invasive methods available. First would come medication, then if that didn't work after a few cycles, we would move on to IUI (intrauterine insemination), and the last resort would be IVF. Hearing all that was the scariest thing I had ever heard. I wanted a child more than anything in the world, but spending upwards of $10,000 on treatments left a huge lump in my throat.
All the while, people were still asking, "When is that beautiful baby coming?" I can not tell you the pain I felt each time those words were uttered. It was as if everyone was reminding me that my body couldn't do it's job. I know that wasn't the intention, but it certainly felt like it. My response went from a fun "We're working on it!" to kind of just shrugging my shoulders and casting my eyes downwards. It's so much damn harder than anyone ever imagines. In the meantime - friends are getting pregnant and announcing their pregnancies. We were, of course, elated for them, but each time someone announced their pregnancy it broke my heart a little more.
Finally, in April, after debating for a few months, we decided to give medication a chance. We had a million things going on - we had just begun major construction on our home, I had just been hired at a new school, and my photography business was thriving. But we had wanted this for so long. I honestly went in hoping and praying for the best, but expecting it not to work. We were pretty open with the people closest to us and we talked about what was going on. We knew that the more people knew, the more they would understand, and the more prayers would be on our side. I know that God had his hand in just about everything - it was as if everything had been perfectly aligned for us. Fast forward two weeks later (which was really like slow motion because it felt like the longest two weeks ever) and we found out that it had worked! I know so many prayers were said for us over those two weeks - candles were lit at the Shrine of Our Lady of La Leche, prayer cards exchanged hands, prayers were said over us.
I had an incredible pregnancy and a pretty relaxed birth. I think that was God's way of saying - I made you wait long enough, and you've paid your dues. We got lucky that things worked as they did and that we did not have to go through with more invasive treatments.
But shortly after Caleb was born, those questions started again.
"When is number two coming?"
"You don't want an only child for too long!"
"How about that little girl now?"
"You know, those grandparents would love to have another baby to love on."
My response now is not quite as laughable - I tend to be curt and change the topic. Because honestly, I don't know when it will happen again. I don't know if it will take us that long to have another baby. And the older I get, the more the question seems downright rude. I don't ask you when you have sex with your husband or wife - don't ask me a question that is more personal than any other. I honestly don't care about what anyone else except my husband and I want in regards to children because I know it's none of their business. (And don't even get me started on the girl question... that one makes me blow steam out of the ears) Sometimes I think people must really be so tactless to ask some of the questions that they do - especially when they know what we went through to get our son.
Sometimes I get sad because I don't know if my dream of having three children will ever be realized. I look at my son in wonder and awe because I know the miracles that occurred to get him here. I look at my husband with different eyes because of the patience and understanding he had in those most difficult of days, and because of the comfort his arms brought me in the biggest of my breakdowns. I pray every day for couples everywhere who are going through this.
So the next time you feel compelled to ask a young woman when she plans on bringing a new life into the world, think again. Weigh your words. Ask gently. Because you may be causing more harm than you could ever imagine. Because when you want to be a mother, and can't, words hurt. They sting. They can feel like the weight of the world, pushing you down.
And if you are the one being asked that question, I am with you. You are not alone. There are so many like you. It doesn't make it hurt less, but it makes it more bearable. You will never be alone.
So in our eagerness as first time parents, the husband and I definitely took childbirth preparation classes at our hospital. The class was great and I felt like it really helped me out - I knew what to expect when it came to the birth and I had a general idea of what my entire hospital visit would be like. During these classes, we were given a list of things that we were recommended to bring to the hospital. A few things I was SO grateful to have. Others didn't even see the light of day. Below is an image of the list of things that I packed for myself and for the baby. In reality, I didn't need so many things.
So here is my updated list of what I would take if I was doing this again (or what I will take when I do this again).
*My original list had underwear and sanitary napkins. I didn't even touch the ones in my bag. The hospital provided everything I could possibly need in this department and it was better than what I had brought with me. The hospital underwear are hideous but they are so comfortable and exactly what you need.
So that's it! I took a lot more and ended up not using a whole lot of it. Maximize your space and don't stress yourself out!
About this Mom
A Miami wife and mom documenting her days with her toddler and all that comes along with it.