This is part 2 in my first trimester re-cap. If you missed part one, you can read it here.
As I’m writing this, I’m just starting my 17th week. Almost half way there! Well, kind of. I’m leaning towards a scheduled c-section and that will be done in my 39th week, so I’m counting backwards from there. If I go into labor before then, I’ll most likely still opt for the scheduled c-section. I had one with the boys and I had a fairly easy recovery, considering. This time around I feel like I’ll be better prepared, at least mentally, for what I’m in for because I certainly wasn’t the first time around.
Before finding out I was pregnant I hadn’t had any clues or felt any different, besides a late period which wasn’t abnormal for me. I was feeling a bit hungrier and craving more carbs and salt, but I just chalked that up to PMS. My boobs weren’t sore, I wasn’t feeling particularly tired – nothing was out of the ordinary, or so I thought.
After my initial blood work, my doctor immediately put me on daily progesterone suppositories. I’ll spare you the disgusting details because that stuff is GROSS, but shortly after starting the progesterone was when I started to actually feel pregnant and the symptoms started. And let me tell you, they were a LOT more intense than I remember them being with the boys….although my OB thinks I just blocked it all out. Which is entirely possible.
First Trimester Symptoms
One thing I did notice prior to finding out I was pregnant was that I was getting really short of breath while talking on the phone. I didn’t think anything of it at the time, but when I found out I realized that was most likely the reason why. Usually when I have coaching calls I tend to pace. I remember vividly thinking that I should take deeper breaths and maybe I should stop walking around like a lunatic and sit down like a normal person so I’m not panting on my calls. I can’t say I remember being that short of breath so soon in my first pregnancy, but I certainly was this time. Even just a little hike with the boys would have me breathing heavy….never mind trying to explain and demonstrate exercises at the same time. My clients were probably thinking I was a secret chain smoker.
The first undeniable symptom of pregnancy I noticed were my boobs. It was like I squirted the progesterone in and whatever was in it went directly to my chest. Hormones are freaking fascinating. Anyway, the boobs…they are ginormous (for me) and hurt like a MOFO. Poor Drew gave me a big hug while I was on the couch early on and I literally THREW him off of me like I was being attacked. It was a reaction. I typically don’t assault my kids but that shit HURT! We had one more incident (again, Drew) giving me a big “squeeze” around my waste….needless to say he’s been very gentle with me lately…and possibly a bit afraid of me 😉
I also had a lot more nausea this time around. It wasn’t terrible, but it was annoyingly consistent and lasted from about 7 weeks through 14 weeks. I ate so many ginger chews that I’m fully expecting to have at least 4 cavities at my next dentist appointment. And saltines. My Dad, who is 85 years old, lives in our in-law apartment and buys everything in bulk at BJ’s, bought me enough saltines to feed a small country. Seriously, if anyone is in need of saltines let me know. And we didn’t even tell him about the baby until around 11 weeks. I can’t even imagine how many more boxes we would have if he knew any earlier. Saltines for DAYYYYYS.
Fatigue started to set in around 7 or 8 weeks as well. I go to sleep really early and wake up really early normally, but I was going to bed before my 6 year olds…and they go to bed at 7:30 ha! Ed would walk in the door around 6:30 and I would lie down on the coach and pass out COLD. He would wake me up to go upstairs and I’d fall right back to sleep and sleep straight through the night. I’d say on average i slept about 10-11 hours most nights. And there were absolutely a few days when the Ninja Turtles would occupy the boys while I napped on the couch for a half hour.
I’ve never been pregnant with just one baby, so I really had no expectations as to how I would carry or when I would start to show. I think around 8 weeks I could definitely tell, especially at night. When I went in for my 10 week visit, my doctor felt my belly and said, “Whoa, now thats a big uterus”. Word for word, I’m not even kidding. Ed thought it was hilarious. She told me that had I not been in a few weeks before and had an ultrasound she would think I was expecting multiples, had a cyst, or I was further along than what they thought. She actually pulled up my ultrasound notes to make sure she didn’t miss anything. Apparently the fact that I had twins previously meant that my uterus was already stretched quite a bit and this baby was sitting comfortably in a 2 bedroom apartment.
Here’s a picture of me 4 months pregnant with the boys (left) and me 4 months with one baby taken earlier this week.
I feel like I’m carrying exactly the same. I’m SO HIGH, which is probably why I can’t freaking breath!
Hunger / Aversions / Cravings
I was definitely a lot hungrier and my usual meals just weren’t cutting it. I’m pretty much a creature of habit when it comes to my food choices as well as the times I eat, but all that went right out the window around 7 weeks.
I basically turned into a vegetarian…who doesn’t eat vegetables lol! I couldn’t even look at chicken. It didn’t matter if it was raw, cooked, in nugget form – I don’t know what it was about it but I couldn’t handle it. Bleh. I completely avoided the whole first aisle at Wegmans for a good 6 weeks. Just the thought of looking at all those packaged raw chicken breasts and sausages made me want to vomit.
Which made cooking my husband’s traditional birthday turkey sausage lasagna quite comical. Removing sausage from the casings can make my stomach turn on a good day, never mind with a heightened sense of smell and an aversion to anything raw and in meat form.
I had every window on my first floor open (thats 11 windows) plus the front and back doors open. It was the beginning of December. It was freezing out. I cooked the entire thing with my North Face on and my scarf wrapped around my face trying my best to not make eye contact with the meat. Then I had to have my jacket and scarf dry cleaned because it was all I could smell.
My only sources of protein until about 15 weeks or so were greek yogurts (with fruit on the bottom *gasp*), protein shakes and eggs. Although, I could no longer eat eggs alone or with vegetables like I usually would. The eggs had to be covered in American cheese, between 2 slices of toast, and smothered in pepper and ketchup. This was one of the only things that was similar to my twin pregnancy. All I wanted with the boys were egg and cheese sandwiches on english muffins.
Wine. You guys know I love my wine. The day after we found out I was pregnant, we were spending the night in Rhode Island and had plans to visit a winery….which made me both mad that I took the test the night before and grateful at the same time. A few weeks later I had plans to go on a walking wine tour of the North End for my birthday with a bunch of friends. I made up a very believable lie about being hungover from going out to celebrate my 22 year old niece’s birthday the night before. I actually looked and felt like crap that day (according to one of my lovely best friends), so it wasn’t hard to pretend that the thought of drinking wine was making my stomach turn and for my friends to feel bad for me and not give me shit for not drinking.
This past weekend was the first time I even thought about having a glass of wine…so I poured my water in a wine glass. It’s not the same. At all.
In terms of cravings, I couldn’t get in enough fruit. Oranges, bananas, kiwis, pears, apples, frozen grapes, and pineapples. The colder the better.
I also loved chocolate milk, hummus? <— weird, and more carbs in general. I thoroughly enjoyed Thanksgiving this year and really felt like the baby genuinely needed mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pie 🙂 I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed a meal so much in my life.
With the boys I couldn’t stand coffee and all I wanted was an ice cold Diet Pepsi. I had one everyday at 5:20 on the way to work. This time around I no aversion to coffee at all so I kept up my 1 a day cup.
The first 6 weeks of pregnancy (before finding out) was probably the most active I had been in a while. The boys had just started full day kindergarten and I was actually able to get out of the house and take a strength class a couple of times per week. I was walking longer and more consistently since I had more time, and I even ran a road race with a few local members of my coaching group…and I don’t usually run.
Even when I started to feel like a bag of sH*T, exercising made me feel better. It helped that I usually felt really good in the morning, so I would go take a class after training clients 1-2 times per week and do one other strength workout at home on my own. I’ve been pretty consistent with getting in at least 2 strength training workouts per week so far.
Walking has been a constant. Since I was pregnant with the boys I’ve really come to enjoy walking and it seemed to be one of the only things that would help with the nausea. I don’t know if it was the cold air or just the distraction, but it was immediate relief and I am now one of those people who walks at night with reflectors and a flashlight.
I’ve definitely started to scale back on my workouts over the last few weeks. I use lighter weights and give myself a LOT more rest. I still enjoy getting my heart rate up and working hard, I’ve just adjusted the way I go about doing it.
I stopped running (which was completely fine with me!) and doing plyometrics (jump squats, burpees, box jumps) pretty much right away. It didn’t hurt that my boobs hurt so bad that the thought of bouncing them around made me tear up, so finding alternatives was definitely welcome.
After New Years I’m going to be turning my training over to my colleague, Jessie Mundell. Jessie is a pre and post-natal specialist and has completely changed the ways I train my pre and post natal clients, so I’m super excited to be working with her for the last half of this pregnancy and to share with you how my workouts change as my pregnancy progresses!
Overall I’m feeling really fortunate to be feeling so well. I can still hardly believe I’m having another baby, it’s so crazy! The boys are so sweet and are they are super excited. Ed took out Drew to pick up a Christmas gift for Michael and he asked if he could get one for his “baby brudder” too. I can’t wait to see what he picked! They are going to be the best big brothers.
I also want to thank you for all of your messages and kind words, they meant the world to us!
Wishing you a very happy and healthy New Year!