The Exciting News (But Unpleasant 1st Trimester Woes!)
Well friends, if a post wasn't scheduled in advance the past 6 weeks, then it was NOT posted... including some of my 5 favorites and Monday Mantras, but I promise, I have a very good reason!
Surprise, I'm pregnant!
Gosh, I'm having a hard time putting everything I want to say into words. The past 6 weeks have been, um, a challenging adventure?? But my husband and I have never felt more overwhelmed, grateful, excited, and oh yes...terrified!
I've spent majority of the past 6 weeks on the couch (or the bathroom) reading blogs, stalking pregnant mommas on the Interwebs, reading momma-to-be books, crying, praying for the 2nd trimester to hurry up, and definitely sleeping.
I realized reading about other moms personal experiences REALLY helped me as I struggled through a roller coaster of emotions and nausea this first trimester and so I wanted to share about my journey as well.
Baby M Basics
Due date: May 23, 2017
When we found out: September 23, 2016 (creepy, right?!)
Belly size: I just ate a large pizza myself and the bloat is real... but still fitting in majority of my pre-pregnancy pants (yet living in PJs and sweatpants!)
Weight gain: At the time I'm writing this, I'm down 5 pounds. I actually lost even more towards the middle/worst of my all-day sickness/vomiting extravaganza, but I'm slowly creeping back up.
First ultrasound: October 24, 2016... my first "official" prenatal appointment to confirm our due date.
Baby's current size: 12 weeks - Plum (PS did you know this is only measuring from the top of the head to the bum?! And it measures for length, not weight. Oh, the things I now know!)
Gender thoughts: My hubby & I just want a healthy baby, although we plan on finding out the gender. I never thought I would, but I now believe it'll help us bond with the baby before his or her arrival next Spring. It'll be a wonderful day either way! Although, most are guessing girl with the amount of sickness I've experienced, I haven't thought about it too much!
Supplements: Innate Response Trimester I & II [prenatal], Biotics Super Phosphozyme Liquid Drops [nausea], Beta TCP [fat digestion], Critical Digestion [digestive enzymes], Betaine HCL [stomach acid], Chaste Tree Berry [progesterone support]
A Little Background
I do not write the following to discourage or scare any woman who has never been pregnant, or bring up bad memories of those who have, but simply to share my story... You've been warned!
Getting pregnant was, as I alluded to above, a shock for my husband and I. Not necessarily because we did not want kids, but because we weren't sure it was possible with the results of all the health tests I've had the past year!
I've shared a lot more on our podcast, The Ladies Dish, and also some stories on this blog, but in the past year, I had been working on clearing a parasite, stabilizing my hormones, and supporting my adrenals and thyroid through food, lifestyle, and supplement changes. My last female hormone panel wasn't exactly promising for fertility (last checked in December 2015) and my last cycle in August was not regular...
But something magical happened at the end of August. My husband and I moved back to Pittsburgh, PA near both our families and no longer had to worry about living (or paying for!) 2 homes.
I remember driving back, for the final time, and physically feeling the weight lift off my shoulders.
My stress levels went down tremendously... and despite a poor cycle that month, I had a solid 10 months of preparing my body for this possibility. And to our surprise, it apparently became the perfect time to have a baby soon thereafter.
I want to note here, that I never knew how much stress I was carrying around. I will have to do an entire post about the changes I made, because my life looks dramatically different than it did over a year ago, but I truly contribute the changes to this little miracle I'm growing!
First Trimester Woes
A week leading up to discovering I was pregnant, I was sleeping 10-12 hours a night. For anyone who knows me, this makes no sense! While I definitely get my sleep, a solid 7 hours is all I typically need. I actually thought I was depressed with the amount of sleep I was logging.
The morning I took the test, I said to my husband, "Did we just sleep 12 hours?! I think something's wrong with me!" to which he responded, "Well, whatever is wrong with you is wrong with me them, too." ;) One of my favorite parts to giggle about now.
The first week we knew (about 5 weeks), I felt pretty good! I stopped intense workouts and was really tired, but otherwise, I thought pregnancy was going to be a breeze.
Then October came, and my life as I forever knew it, changed completely.
Constant, all-day nausea and sickness. Total fatigue. All food aversions. Incredibly sensitive nose.
I'm not even sure I can write most of it because I feel like I'm reliving it all over again.
There are many things I am truly, truly grateful for in my life... but during the past couple weeks, the top would be working from home. There would be NO WAY I could have ever gone into a workplace and functioned like a normal adult. I spent most of my days in tears.
I ran a 21DSD group with my girlfriend Joy of Joybirdwellness.com last month and it took everything in my power to read the daily check-ins of the participants who shared their meals everyday. To anyone in that group, I apologize if I told you your day sounded tasty - it probably didn't and I may have been dry heaving while typing.
Food was/is a BIG struggle. I joked with friends, as well as I ate for the past 3 years, I found myself wondering "What is Paleo?"
I couldn't even THINK about a fruit or vegetable or slab of meat without shuddering. Like actually shuddering. My husband thought I was crazy, or maybe dramatic, but it was my body's natural reaction to the thought of eating anything.
I've read that women are naturally disgusted by protein during the first trimester because in the past, meat was easily spoiled and carried bacteria, or parasites, and it can be harder to digest... so it's a natural mechanism. I understand this, but I was feeling that way about everything.
The worst part is, even as I write this, I'm not out of the woods yet.
I (THANK GOD) can keep down eggs, bacon, and a piece of toast in the morning... although I get hungry 1.5 hours later and then my struggle the rest of the day begins. I have anxiety thinking about what to eat.
Can I just ask how you people who eat like 5-6 times a day... I mean... how the heck you do it?! I HATE IT. All day long, I'm just thinking about food or what I'm going to eat next because I know that the food I ate is just going to keep me full for approximately 60 minutes and then I need to start the process all over again. UGH.
Oh how I miss the days of eating every 4-6 hours :( I miss my well-rounded plates and delicious, colorful meals.
Truthfully, besides the nausea/vomitting, I haven't had many other symptoms... except a mild case of depression.
But let's be honest, when you sit on a couch 12 hours a day and basically don't talk or see anyone and feel completely horrible the whole time, would you really expect anything different?
I've taken approximately 2,000 steps in 6 weeks (okay, that's dramatic, but probably close), worked out 0 times, walked the dog 0 times (OMG poor Murph!), left the house about 5 times... mostly for doctors appointments, wondered why women have more than 1 child multiple times a day, and cried more times than I can count.
Whatever I thought about pregnancy, well, it's NOTHING like what I expected. And I give huge props to all of the women, on my mother's side especially, who all had difficult pregnancies. I'm also sad I inherited those genes (ha!). But I must admit, I feel a deeper connection to Princess Kate now ;)
So there ya go... my first trimester, as edited as possible.
A couple thanks...
To all my friends and family that have been checking in on me, I cannot express my gratitude. I know it was probably annoying to hear everyday how I "wasn't better yet," but knowing you were thinking of me really would lift my spirits. (Seriously, I have some amazing friends who texted me nearly every day <3 You ladies rock!)
My mom, mother-in-law, grandma, grandma-in-law always made sure I had food (even if I ended up tossing it because I could no longer stand the thought of eating it) and honestly were my angels that kept me going... as well as my extended family that sent me messages or gifts that really made me feel less alone.
My husband, who has been so patient, kind, and loving. He really proved what a wonderful father he will be and I'm so excited to see him grow in this new role.
My functional health practitioner, Ellen Lovelace from A Balanced Table, for being my voice of reason and guide the past year as I struggled through my health challenges. I appreciate your knowledge and expertise so much!
To all the momma-to-be's out there, keep going girl! It's tough but it truly helped me to know there were others fighting through it too. I'm here for you cheering you on. And refrain from punching people who tell you it'll get better... that was my initial reaction. I just wanted it better now!
To the ladies hoping to get pregnant or suffering from a loss, I am here to support you and pray for you and your family. What I've learned on my journey is to treat my body with love and respect... I encourage and whole-heartedly ask you to do the same <3 You and your body are on the same side.
Thank you for reading this (VERY LONG) post. Apparently I had a lot to get off my chest about this story after all :) I look forward to sharing this journey... and the crazy new world of parenthood!