Updated: Mar 1, 2021
NOTE THIS IS MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, MY OPINIONS, AND ANYTHING I’VE DONE DONE/TRIED/AVOIDED HAS BEEN CLEARED BY MY MIDWIFE AND SUPPORT SYSTEM. DO NOT USE THIS AS MEDICAL ADVICE, THAT’S NOT MY JOB. THIS IS MY STORY.
BEFORE WE DIVE INTO MY EXPERIENCES I WANT TO TAKE A SECOND TO RECOGNIZE THE MIRACLE OF PREGNANCY – I KNOW IT’S A BLESSING AND I FEEL FORTUNATE TO BE ON THIS JOURNEY AS I KNOW SO MANY PEOPLE STRUGGLE – SENDING OUT PRAYERS AND LOVE TO THOSE WHO HAVE INFERTILITY CHALLENGES OR WHO’VE LOST A BABY AT ANY TIME <3
I found out I was pregnant pretty early on. It was only the second cycle I had naturally after I balanced my hormones naturally (thanks to Bird & Bee !) so I was very much aware of what changes were happening in my body. When the tests came back positive I really couldn’t believe it (like it happened SO quickly again). Obviously Kyle and I were over the moon excited, but I can’t lie and say my fears of miscarriage (my story here) didn’t consume me every other minute. But I was pregnant, and I personally chose joy & love over fear & guilt (I think my energy carries into the baby so I’ve been determined to stay as calm and centered as I can be throughout my entire pregnancy).
WOW. First trimester exhaustion is REAL. I couldn’t believe how much my energy levels changed!
I went from exercising 5-6 days a week of hot yoga and high(er) intensity barre to 3-4 days if I was lucky. This was a big mind f*ck for me because I kept thinking I was fine and could push through my workouts, but the fact was I really needed to slow down and minimize my intensities. It was a big lesson for me – not comparing myself to how I was weeks or even the day before, & doing what felt good today.
One of my early concerns was pelvic floor health, core engagement and preventing diastasis recti as best as I could so I followed Hannah Bower’s Core Guide for some time and sought out a Pelvic Floor Physical Therapist (highly recommend during and after pregnancy – it’s a norm in France, and even subsidized by the government). I incorporate the core guide’s techniques into all of my breathing and workout exercises and actively exercise my pelvic floor. Side note, whether or not you’re pregnant, this is SO important for women – having a healthy pelvic floor has so many benefits, including better sex drive so it’s really a win no matter what!
I prioritized sleep – most days I didn’t even set an alarm (the beauty of a flexible work schedule). I craved ALL THE CARBS – breads, pastas, fruits. I can’t deny that fear of gestational diabetes crept in often; I thought I was eating so many carbs that I was definitely going to develop GD (spoiler: I haven’t). I really honored my cravings though, and gave myself permission to eat some gluten (with permission from my midwife, she said there’s not enough research to indicate if eating foods that you’re intolerant to would impact the baby either way). Salads and raw veggies were not appealing whatsoever so I focused on cooked veggies and smoothies to get in my nutrients.
Anxiety was pretty obsolete, but fear of miscarriage again was very real. I developed a mantra for myself “I am carrying and delivering my healthy happy baby full term” that I said to myself on repeat ALL.THE.TIME. Otherwise, I felt very at peace and content with what was happening. Even now I’m not looking into or thinking about or questioning what is happening to my body or the baby – I’ve been letting nature works it’s magic and releasing any control.
Besides the exhaustion and sore boobs, my only other real pregnancy symptom was nausea and fortunately that only last about 3 weeks. Once I realized that I needed to keep my blood sugar balanced and not trigger hunger hormones, which for me meant eating every 2-3 hours, then I was fine. Ginger tea, peppermint essential oils, and avocado toast were my saving graces.
I looked back at a journal entry I wrote when I was 6.5 weeks pregnant. Here’s part of what I said:
My boobs are tender, my sternum tight. Boobs are growing, left side seems bigger than the right. I’m tired, like all the time, but pretty mellow. Wicked emotional – I’ve had a couple big cries, and a few smaller ones.
I feel like I’m walking around with a big secret, but a happy big secret. The people who know – they’ve found out organically through conversation and I couldn’t keep it in and it naturally came up, or I’ve excitedly needed to tell them. I truly feel so lucky that this has happened to me. I don’t take it for granted one single bit that I am pregnant, that it happened naturally, and that it happened quickly. I know far too many people that have or are struggling, and I continue to pray for them daily. It’s a blessing, and a miraculous experience and I am honored to be embarked on this journey.
6.5 weeks pregnant
I was very lucky, I was one of those pregnant mamas that felt incredibly “normal” in this phase. My energy levels resurfaced, my appetite normalized, I didn’t feel like I had to nap every day.
My belly started growing and I started feeling kicks. It’s wild to physically start to look pregnant (much prefer this over the questionable bloat / questionable 5 pound weight gain), and feeling the little human growing in me just blows my mind.
My workouts consisted of Melissa Wood Health at home workouts (most of you know she’s my fave overall), occasional hot yoga but I definitely craved less hot and more warm (thanks Laughing Elephant!), and Thrive Pilates in Newport (obsessed with Hilary, she’s so smart and helpful in all the ways). Late during my second trimester I discovered The Bloom Method – it’s a fitness platform designed for mamas YES PLEASE. I started incorporating these full-body strength & conditioning workouts 1-2 times a week. It’s been a nice balance from my lower impact workouts. Walking is something I strive to do daily too, but not going to lie it’s really challenging in the cold windy weather sometimes. Like all things I strive for progress, not perfection.
As my appetite normalized I craved raw veggies again, like all the kale salads especially. Avocado toast and brown rice pasta were still a pretty daily thing. Sometimes I liked eggs, sometimes I didn’t. Most of the time I didn’t want animal protein, though I would have salmon about once a week. Macro bars were my snack of choice, and Wild Flour’s GF Blueberry Coffee cake was my weekly jam (probably several times a week let’s be honest). All in all I felt pretty balanced.
Here is a list of supplements I’ve been taking regularly throughout my pregnancy:
Reminder that I’m not a medical professional, these are what work for ME. Consult your provider before starting/implementing any new supplement
Prenatal Vitamin – Megafoods, Garden of Life, Thorne
DHA fish oil – Nordic Naturals
Probiotic – Seed – I rotate, but this has been my go-to brand for the past 6 months; first thing in the morning on an empty stomach with warm lemon water
Collagen – Primal Kitchen, Vital Proteins
Magnesium – Natural Vitality – at bed time a few times a week (also aids in digestion)
Digestive Enzymes – Solluna, Now Foods – I take as needed, usually once a day to help break down foods and optimize nutrient absorption
ALL IN ALL
I’ve been very fortunate to have an easy going pregnancy so far. I actually verbalized to my birth doula that I feel guilty because so many women struggle and have miserable experiences.
I will say that I do miss is alcohol, my Friday night pinot noir with Kyle, Skinny Margs with the girls, and the champagne at my birthday. Though an unpopulated opinion: I have had some wine occasionally, like a half glass at a time. I trust my judgment and will leave it at that.
Weight gain and body changes: I haven’t been remotely bothered by gaining weight, but I have been bothered by the increase fat and cellulite. I know it’s part of the jig; anytime I start to feel down or pissed I give myself like 10 seconds of pity and then I talk myself back to reality that of course my body is going to change: I’m growing a friggen human! I do love my bigger boobs and glowing skin.
Besides my required doula reading I have chosen not to investigate the ongoing changes in me and my baby. Too much information is overwhelming, sometimes contradicting for me, clogs my intuition, and increases my anxiety. I take what I want and leave the rest.
Most importantly, I trust. I trust me and my baby. I trust God/The Universe. I trust Kyle. I trust my midwife, doula, and support system. I’m enjoying the ride and staying as calm and centered as I can.