Oh goodness. Where to begin?? Well, first, let me say. We are pregnant. Yes, we. My husband and myself. He was there too. He contributed, so we are pregnant.
The basics? No, it was not planned. No, we were not trying. No, we were actually trying to not get pregnant. I know, I know. I'm an expert in the human body. But here's the deal. Ian Malcolm (Jurassic Park) was right -- Life will Find a Way. If you're a dude, and you're not into reading some female stuff, this may be the time for you to tuck tail and say "great post, close browser". If you're a woman, and you have zero interest in pregnancy, please go ahead and close your browser. This is your warning. It's about to get personal.
Please exit this post if you are not comfortable with human bodily function or female hormones.
FIRST TRIMESTER! Look, I have some SUPER open friends who are more than happy to walk me through my pregnancy (new prego momma here -- mom to 3, but my first pregnancy). But it STILL surprises me how much I didn't know and said early on "hey, is this normal??" (or maybe I even went to Dr. Google -- ssshh).
So as of today, I am halfway through my 12th week. But let's back up a bit.
How did I know? Well, I went off birth control in September. Thankfully, I didn't have any issues with my period coming back (some women do). I didn't go off birth control because we wanted to "try". To be honest, we were totally ok not having more kids. Not that we don't love this little nugget already, but, we have kids in high school and middle school! So, about a WEEK before my period was due in April, I reached out to my closeknit group of friends (hey guys!) and mentioned how funny it was with the pandemic and all - I felt fine, but I had this thin layer of mucus at the back of my throat. Naturally, I upped my veggie intake, Vitamin C, etc. But it didn't make it feel better. But ground beef sure did. Weird, huh? My bestie (hey Lo!) joked that I was prego. As in "haha, but no really".
I quickly left our group chat and pinged her separately. Like, no. But...noooooo. Can't be! So, when I got off birth control, I started tracking my cycle. Everything down to cervical mucus, sex, etc. I used an app (paid version - totally worth it) called WomanLog Pro. And at this point, I admitted that we had a "not as safe" encounter back in March that SHOULD have fallen in a totally safe unprotected window (dude, we're married, ya'll - chill the eff out), but. Here's the thing. Life will find a way. I ovulated 4 days early, moving that specific event to 5 days before I ovulated -- BIG RED FLAG. Unsafe. But I thought...it's just one day. ONE. Out of...well. I'm not saying we're bunnies, but ya'll. We haven't even been married two full years at this point.
So, we decided (I decided - Lo was 100% sure I was prego), I would wait. And only take a test if I missed my period the following week. I actually wasn't nervous at all. I was confident that it would come like normal. So the next week came. Day 1 - nothing. Day 2 - nada. Day 3....not a damn thing. Day 3 into Day 4 OVERNIGHT. Not my favorite cramping. I normally don't cramp very much at all (thank you, nutritional therapy, for a very healthy cycle), but it was sorta bad. Enough at 2am for me to get up and grab my heating pad. (Mommas, yes, I know - in retrospect, it was implantation cramping). But at this point, thinking there's no WAY I'm pregnant, I'm like, "Woohoo! These cramps are AWFUL! I'll totally start tomorrow". And Day 4 came...and went.....
Day 5 comes around, and I finally take a test. And another test. And another test. The hubs is at work, but he's working a half day. I've taken three tests. And they're all positive. Words like, "oh shit shit shit" and "oh fuck" came out of my mouth. (Sorry, but I tried to warn you this was uncensored!). The hubs finally comes home, and well. I'll be honest. It wasn't the happiest conversation. Don't get me wrong. We are HAPPY. But did I mention this was unplanned? And he had no idea I was late? No idea I was taking tests that morning? So I told him. He responded. And for about 4 days we were in total shock. At this point, I was barely 6 weeks along.
Let's sidebar for a second. The "normal" term for a woman's pregnancy is 40 weeks. They can go into labor at 38 weeks, at 42 weeks...but 40 is "normal" based on western medicine standards. HOWEVER, that's sorta crap. Because a woman is NOT pregnant the first two weeks of her gestation period. It starts counting from her last period. Not from conception. So, the end of my second week is what we well know to be our date of conception (which is super nice for knowing the exact date of the 40 week mark).
So, skipping over our shock days, we started actually talking about it like rational adults. Being the good man my husband is, I said "I want to look at a birthing center". And he said, "cool". As of right now, we've had one appointment with the birthing center (it probably would have been two, but there's this pandemic thing that sort of interrupted everything) <<oh, and another sidebar here. let me be clear. we didn't conceive because of quarantine. this is not a 'rona baby. neither of us ever quarantined. we are both considered essential workers, and our schedules never changed. yes, we conceived during the pandemic, but my child is not a Corona baby>>.
So. Now to the down at dirty facts of my first trimester.
1) Very, very thankfully, I have not experienced morning sickness.
2) Holy crap, what the fuck? Why don't women talk about the fact that their boobs hurt like crazy? Particularly at night? They feel like someone put huge rocks in them! Seriously. The boob pain is RIDICULOUS.
3) Fatigue - wow. Just nothing to be done. I will say, thankfully, my energy levels really only completely tanked around weeks 8, 9, and 10. But it was crazy. I felt like I could have ONE client meeting for the day, and I was done. Or study for a bit. Not both. Not study and go to the store. Just go to the store. Or meet with a client. Like, just DONE.*
4) Cervical Mucus - this one REALLY threw me off. I didn't have any spotting. But especially weeks 7, 8, 9, it was thick and cloudy, pretty much every day. Like when you're approaching (or just after) ovulation. I just didn't expect it. There were some days it was so much I changed my underwear twice that day just to feel "clean".
5) Food - I haven't really had any cravings. I've been a little more lax with myself to give into normal bad food cravings, like normal french fries, or even In-N-Out, but nothing insane. I don't really have any massive aversions either - but I have noticed my tastes have changed.
My coffee (I LOVE coffee) originally went to 8 oz instead of 16 or 20. And then somewhere around the 8th week, I really wanted BLACK cold brew. No creamer. No milk. No nut milk. Nothing (I've been OBSESSED with Nutpods lately - at least til this). Then around week 10, I completely lost interest in coffee. I mean, I've tasted it. And it doesn't taste bad. But I'm totally fine without it and don't miss it. WEIRD, you guys.
*I should also mention my sleeping habits. For years I've been working on my circadian rhythm, meaning I more or less set my internal clock to wake up with sunrise and start to wind down for the evening at sunset. Once this synced up, I sort of lost my ability to nap. I can't nap, you guys. And that's SO important during the first trimester. Instead, I opted to go to bed at a normal time, and sleep in til about 9 every day. It wasn't deep sound 9-10 hours of sleep, but it was better than nothing.
What else? I feel like there's not a ton to say at this point! At 12 weeks, I definitely have a "bump". It looks like I ate a crap ton of gluten, so more bloated than pregnant, but it's a bump. One of the things that happens fairly early on in pregnancy is a huge change in the uterus. I felt it change - literally FELT it. I can't even explain it. It's not a cramp, it's not particularly painful - it's sort of like when you KNOW you have poop in your intestines. Only this doesn't come out later in the day or the next day. Sorry, graphic, whatever. #nutritionist
MORE things. More nutritionisty things.
If you are NOT a Nutritionist, (or if you're a nutritionist but aren't sure about pregnancy nutrition), hands down - Real Food for Pregnancy by Lily Nichols. She also has a wonderful Gestational Diabetes Book!
My FAVORITE book: Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy. It's not super over the top nutrition - this is more about the growth of the baby, a guide on a natural (possibly unmedicated) pregnancy, etc.
Not so holistic but still gets cred: Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong--and What You Really Need to Know - there's some stuff I don't necessary agree with, but this is more of a response to the plain "What to Expect When You're Expecting". I prefer this one much better!
I also purchased Mindful Birthing after listening to episodes 133 and 134 of the Well-Fed Women podcast. These episodes cover Noelle Tarr's (she's an NTP!) unmedicated birth. She used a midwife, but gave birth at a hospital. It's a two part episode (three if you want to hear her husband's side), but I LOVED it.
For me, I am continuing to take my current B-Vitamins, particularly as I confirmed via 23andme.com that I have the homozygeous gene mutation for MTHFR. That means both strains are mutated, and my body struggles with methylation. A good B-Vitamin (I take Thorne) can help with that.
In general, I HIGHLY recommend Megafood Baby & Me (or Megafood Baby & Me 2) for a solid prenatal. However, it's a whole food based supplement, that includes carrots. And I'm highly, highly allergic to carrots, so this was a no go for me.
Instead I've settled on Ancient Nutrition Prenatal (by Dr. Josh Axe) and I've been very happy with it! It includes all the good stuff plus some liver, bone broth, etc.
I am still taking other supplements as well, but I would encourage you to work with your practitioner before taking ANY supplements during pregnancy.
Other last minute thoughts on my first trimester --- the dogs were SUPER snuggly during weeks 7 and 8. I thought it would stay, but whatever they picked up on those first couple of weeks, they adjusted to and we're back to normal. There IS a chance some women will experience mild to moderate to severe constipation. Again, work with your practitioner, but know this happens. Getting up to pee in the middle of the night happens too. I've had 4 or 5 nights of pregnancy insomnia - I use my Salt & Honey trick though and usually fall back asleep. I do hope to have a water birth at the birthing center without any meds, but I know my team will tell me to do what's best for my pregnancy as that progresses. I have ALOT of friends that are pregnant right now. And we are ALL approaching it differently. And that's 100% ok. Pregnancy is bioindividual just like anything else! We ARE still active as far as our sex life. It IS different. It just takes finding the right position to be comfortable. My initial labs all came back relatively normal. And we opted for gender identification via Sneak Peak at 11 weeks through our birthing center (yes, we know gender!).
If you have questions, please don't hesitate to reach out. This is really just meant to be a good read for those who are curious, want to know if someone experienced the same thing, or for anyone that is terrified of pregnancy. (Also me - also still mildly terrified of labor and delivery - and of the newborn phase).
It's OKAY to not be a baby person. I'm NOT. At all. I don't mind holding a baby, but babies aren't my thing. I love my own like crazy, but I'm not and have never been a baby person. And that's ok. It's ok to not be what your mom thinks you should be as a mom. Or your friend. Or whoever. You have to decide how you want to parent. Shoot, how you want to have your birth! If you want that epidural, GO FOR IT! But let me tell you - epidurals slow DOWN labor. Just keep that in mind. Do your research (and feel free to ask me questions) before you make any decisions. You know your body better than anyone.
Please note this post is not meant to be or replace medical advice. You should always always work with a practitioner regarding your own health and health decisions. I am happy to share MY thoughts and feelings, but that may not be right for you based on your current health and health history.
Thanks for sticking around this long, and I hope you enjoyed knowing a little more about the first trimester!