To our sweet little Roo, you have put me through quite the first trimester, but I know in a few months from now it will be all worth it!
I wanted to share a recap of my first trimester and also share the ups and downs this has been. Emotionally and physically, the past few months have been some of the most difficult of my life, and although I am not quite myself yet (still queasy and beyond exhausted), I have seen beauty during this difficult time.
You all have been SO helpful, encouraging and supportive over these past very rough months and I honestly can’t thank you enough! To friends that check in on me daily, and readers like you who have never met me but take the time to send me emails asking how you can pray for me, this community seriously is amazing!
I am breaking down this first trimester recap into a few sections (sorry this is LONG but I wanted to cover it all) that have been the most significant to me! Please share this with a friend and all you seasoned mamas I would love to hear your thoughts or tips in the comments!
First Trimester Recap
Having a miscarriage this past year as well as being a high risk situation with type 1 diabetes, at times the fear has been crippling. There were a few weeks at the beginning, after we first found out and right after my husband left for deployment, that fear consumed me and totally crippled me.
Actively praying throughout the day, worship music (specifically the Psalms album by Shane and Shane), and trusting God one little step at a time has helped. With time the fear has lessened, but honestly I have not allowed myself to be truly happy yet, and that is something I am working on!
As soon as we found out at 4.5 weeks, we started telling people and I must say that helped calm my fears! I hear people use the terms “safe time to announce” and that really bothers me. I don’t think there is ever a safe time to announce news like that and for me, telling people and having so many people all around the world praying, greatly lessened the fear!
Total exhaustion was not something I was prepared for at all. I knew I would be tired, but truthfully the past 3 months I felt like I was drugged I was so exhausted. There were days when I would sleep 18+ hours a day and not even remember getting into my bed. Some days I barely had energy to make myself toast, walk my dog or climb up the stairs to my bed (horrible and constant queasiness didn’t help).
Thankfully about week 16 the comatose exhaustion began to loosen, but I still only have energy for about half of the day. Days when I push myself beyond that, I get horribly queasy and pay for it, so I have had to learn to just let most things go and let my body rest.
Giving myself grace
Giving myself grace to let everything go and get through this rough season was a hard lesson to learn, and thankfully multiple friends reminded me daily to let it all go!
My diet was not so “ideal”, stacks and packages of mail piled up, laundry didn’t get done unless my sweet house keeper came over, emails went unanswered and it took all my energy to shower and feed myself. I am a list maker, a task oriented girl and this was a hard lesson to learn, but I know now in my heart that God was teaching me patience and teaching me to trust.
For over a month, the only foods I could eat were eggs, small amount of bacon, string cheese, butter, yogurt and peanut butter. Not the ideal diet by any means (also not the worse), but I had to give myself the grace to get through that time period. I knew if I put stress on myself to try to eat differently, that stress would negatively impact me, my blood sugar and in turn baby, so I had so accept the current situation and do my best.
For anyone going through something similar, give yourself the grace to get through it. Make the best possible choice in any given circumstance, but don’t stress yourself out! And let yourself cry if you need it, that release is amazing!
Eating higher carb, and not so gluten free
Being a type 1 diabetic and used to eating limited carbohydrates, this has been the biggest change and one I struggled with greatly early on in my pregnancy. I realized pretty quick that my body was craving carbohydrates, and I think it’s very important to listen to what your body is telling you.
The first two weeks (week 4.5-6), I started eating more grain-free/Paleo baked goods, but noticed something super interesting. Whenever I got super queasy, my blood sugar skyrocketed out of the blue, sometimes even after eating something with no carbs, which is not normal for me. The queasiness put my body into a state of stress, and stress increases my blood sugar like crazy.
About week 7, I couldn’t keep any food down and survived on white bread, butter, crackers and ginger-ale. I noticed that the grain-free/Paleo items which are rich in nuts and coconut, were making me worse, so I cut them out entirely and switched to more gluten-free, sprouted grain products, something I haven’t done in almost 7 years.
This was a hard decision for me so have to eat so many carbohydrates, but I got so weak from not eating anything and lost quite a few pounds that I decided food was better than no food. The extreme nausea/throwing up lessened after I made that decision, so as hard as it was, I am thankful I clued in and listened to my body’s signals.
(Every time I try to eat a small bit of nuts since, I get very sick, so I know right now my body is just not tolerating them. Peanut butter has been a lifesaver however!)
I have always said that just because something is gluten free does not mean it is healthy, and really looking at ingredients and labels recently, I have found that to be so true! Most gluten free products are highly processed, refined, often made with added sugars and alot of starch. I even tested this theory one day with gluten free flour and my blood sugar skyrocketed the worst it ever was during pregnancy, so I avoid those ingredients. If you don’t have a gluten allergy, I would look into good quality sprouted and/or ancient grain products as I found those to be the best!
What I have been loving during my first trimester
- BKR water bottle: I have been SO thirsty and I love this one to take on my daily walks.
- Outdoor voices leggings (thick waist band and SO comfy), Lulu Lemon align leggings, J.crew stretchy jeans (SO comfy), J.crew boyfriend jeans
- Belly Armor radiation blocking blanket: I wear over my tummy this whenever I watch TV or work on my computer/laptop
- Ginger People ginger chews: saved me especially when traveling! I also kept them at my bed side and would bit off a wee bit to try to help me sleep when the queasiness was rough.
- Ancient Minerals magnesium lotion: The lotion and spray saved me many days! I would apply it almost hourly when I was so nauseous and it helped alot. The goodnight lotion helped me fall asleep when I was so miserable.
- Prescript assist probiotics: these are amazing and I have had no digestive issues or constipation which I hear is very normal in pregnancy. For sure work better than any other probiotics I have tried!
- Primally Pure beauty balm: I was DRAWN to this like crazy, I guess that was my skin telling me what it wanted!
- Beautycounter’s volumizing mascara: Nothing perks me up like a hot shower and a bit of makeup (those days were few and far between) but this mascara always made me feel great outside, even through I didn’t!
- Ezekiel sprouted whole grain muffins: These are a lifesaver, very low carbohydrate and light on my tummy. I have been surviving off these and thankfully the commissary here in Spain stocks them!
- R(x) bars: I learned quick to keep these at my bedside table because I often woke up in the middle of the night starving and crazy nauseous. Peanut butter is the only flavor I can handle right now.
- Organic sugar-free peanut butter: Pretty much the only protein I could eat for a while and something that immediately calms my tummy. I kept a jar of salted peanuts in the car and in my purse when traveling for emergencies too.
- Cod liver oil & Vital Proteins beef liver capsules: Two supplements which are key for pregnancy as well as hormones and thankfully with the help of peanut butter toast, I was able to keep these down most days.
- ALL the breakfast food
- Long walks, pilates, stretching
- Letting people in and allowing them to help
- Worship music
What I have been avoiding, not loving
- Computer and phone time: the screen’s frequency makes me horribly nauseous and for about 2 months I had to totally avoid them, hence not being able to work much
- NOT googling anything: My best advice, when you are so sick and weak is to put down the pregnancy books and avoid googling anything! Reading about pregnancy stressed me out and made me feel like I wasn’t eating enough or not planning enough, so I had to totally avoid all that.
- Alcohol and caffeine: Obviously not drinking any alcohol, but even the thought or smell of it made me feel horribly sick. I have had a huge aversion to hot liquids until recently, so coffee/tea was freaking me out. I have been off all caffeine since this past June and although decaf coffee still has a tiny bit of caffeine, I have been enjoying it very watered down occasionally. Even small amounts of caffeine can hurt the baby, which is why I avoided this for about the first 4 months and now make it VERY weak occasionally.
- Beef and most animal meat: Sadly, the steak lover in me has been grossed out by meat and it also makes me extremely nauseous/throwing up. Recently I have been able to eat smaller amounts of chicken, pork and a bit of tuna (yes odd thing to crave, but any protein I can eat I will take).