Thursday, September 3, 2015

First Trimester Recap

First Trimester Recap |

I'm at week 16 of this pregnancy, almost through my fourth month. Just within the last week, I can see a major change in the way I feel. My appetite is returning, my energy is slowly increasing, and my first trimester symptoms are fading. On the other hand, I'm definitely starting to feel pregnant in other ways. My belly seemed to pop overnight and I'm starting to think about wearing maternity pants and jeans.

I really appreciated reading about other women's symptoms and how they coped with them while I was in my first trimester, so I thought I'd share some of what I experienced. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to comment below or contact me using the form in the sidebar!

Weight: I actually lost about 2 pounds during the first trimester. I definitely wasn't trying to, I just had very little appetite and was eating very plain foods.

Maternity Clothes: I bought some, but didn't need to wear them at all. Most of my normal clothes still fit.

Boy or Girl: No idea! We had our first ultrasound week 11 and everything looks good, but there's no way to tell that early what the gender is. Our second ultrasound isn't scheduled until week 22, in the middle of October. It's a long wait!

Sharing the News: We told our families and a few friends pretty early on. We started telling more people after our week 11 ultrasound and then made the news public week 13. It's so much more fun once you can share the news!

Cravings: Not really. 

Aversions: Doritos. This was the only smell that actually made me run away gagging. Pretty much any kind of Mexican food or spices. Lots of my favorite foods, like chocolate and peanut butter, lost their appeal. I couldn't eat whole grains anymore and had to switch everything over to white versions.  

Exercise: I am determined to stay as active as possible during this pregnancy. Until I got sick with a nasty cold weeks 10-11, I was sticking to most of the same workouts I'd been doing before I got pregnant. (Mostly Tracey Anderson.) As time went on, there were a lot of mornings I chose extra sleep in the mornings over a workout and I started doing more prenatal workouts because the higher-intensity workouts felt like a little too much at times. Days when I didn't get a morning workout in, I would try to go for a walk later in the day. 


This started almost right away. I would fall asleep watching tv in the evenings around 7-7:30 and have a very hard time getting off the couch to actually go to bed. Basically, I took it as my body's way of telling me to be sure to get plenty of rest. I tried hard to get to bed earlier than usual and to take naps when I could. (This was tough, because I don't normally nap.) And when I woke up really tired, a lot of times I would skip working out and just stay in bed longer. Someone told me that your baby grows while you're resting, so I figure it's important!

Morning sickness 
This hit around week 7 for me. It started out as nausea that would come on in the late afternoon and worsen until bedtime. Then it began hitting earlier and earlier in the day until it was pretty much all day every day. I had plenty of bouts of dry heaving, but only vomited once until week 14, when I threw up breakfast every day. Related to this, my sense of smell got really sensitive and my gag reflex did too, neither of which helped with the nausea. 

What Didn't Help: Preggy Pop Drops, saltines, ginger. I think all of these things are worth trying, they just didn't work for me. The Preggy Pop Drops did take away my nausea, but they're mostly sugar, which sent my blood sugar into crazy spikes and just added to my misery. I gave up after trying them once or twice. If you're used to eating refined sugar, you'd probably find them really helpful. Saltines left a terrible taste in my mouth (see dysgeusia, below) so those weren't much help. Ginger helped at first, but then I developed an aversion to it, so that was the end of that.

What Did Help: Not letting my stomach get too empty, switching to white bread, eating very plain foods, Sea Bands, avoiding unpleasant smells.

I almost never eat white bread/rice/carbs but for whatever reason, I could not handle whole grains once the morning sickness kicked in. I didn't like eating what I always think of as empty calories, but white carbs were all I could keep down at times and really did help the nausea. I carried pieces of white bread or rolls with me to nibble on when my stomach started to get empty and nauseated. Basically, I stuck to eating very plain foods: eggs, baked chicken breast, white bread, veggies. Again, it didn't feel like the most nutritious diet, but my doctor told me to stick with eating what I could keep down until I felt better and that's what I did.

Sea Bands are acupressure wrist bands that are supposed to help with nausea. I can't say that they were a miracle cure or anything, but I do think they helped. I couldn't wear them to work or around people because I would have had to explain why I was wearing them, but I did wear them a lot at night to help with nausea as I fell asleep. Also, once I knew where that acupressure point is on the wrists, I sometimes would massage that point gently when I felt really nauseated and this also helped.

Dysgeusia, aka, A Really Bad Taste in Your Mouth That Never Goes Away
This was, by far, my very worst symptom. Pretty much everything I put in my mouth left a bitter or oddly sweet taste that lingered indefinitely and made me feel miserable all the time. I dreaded eating because I knew that even though the food would taste good while I ate it, it would leave this awful taste behind for hours. Even toothpaste left a weird, horribly sweet taste behind. I'm still not sure if this is related to acid reflux, a bacterial imbalance, some kind of deficiency, or just plain old hormonal changes. It's gotten somewhat better now that I'm in my second trimester, but hasn't gone away completely like the morning sickness has.

What Didn't Help: Brushing my teeth, mouthwash, drinking lots of water. These were some of the early suggestions I read, but as I mentioned, even toothpaste and mouthwash left a weird taste behind. Drinking more water did help somewhat, but definitely wasn't a solution.

What Did Help: Eating plain foods helped here as with the morning sickness. Pretty much the only foods that didn't leave a horrible taste in my mouth were things like plain chicken, buttered rolls, and certain raw veggies. I became extremely bored eating these foods, but they made life manageable. 

The other thing that really helped was to rinse my mouth out with salt water after eating or whenever I felt I need to. (About half to one teaspoon of salt in one cup of water.) 

Right towards the end, I also discovered that this natural tooth powder, which contains baking soda, was helpful and didn't leave a horrible taste like regular toothpaste.

Honestly, I'm still coping with this symptom and I haven't found a definite answer as to what causes it, how to treat it, or whether I can expect it to go away anytime soon. If you experienced this during pregnancy and have any advice, please share below!

(To read my other pregnancy posts, click here or on the pregnancy button at the top of the page.)

If you've been pregnant before, what was your first trimester like? Any tips for new mamas-to-be? And if you've never been pregnant, do you feel more excited or anxious thinking about tackling all these potential symptoms? 

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