Although I plan to launch this post much later, I’m actually writing this 16-weeks pregnant and the above photo was taken 14-weeks pregnant. I wanted to write about my first trimester experience while it’s fresh, and before I forgot as the weeks go on. 🙂 It’s wild to experience pregnancy for the first time. I had a range of symptoms and embraced all of it, knowing it was normal. Plus I liked feeling my symptoms since I felt like it validated my pregnancy.
I found out I was pregnant at 5-weeks. My first symptom was breast tenderness which I didn’t think much of since that tends to happen before I start my period. The difference though was I didn’t get my period and my breast tenderness persisted.
I also started sweating more and would always get hot, especially when walking. Hair also started growing in places I don’t typically grow hair like my armpits (which I got laser hair removal on). This might be TMI but my nipples also got bigger and started protruding 24/7. I also started getting constipated, which was probably the most discomforting. Luckily I never experienced morning sickness, or threw up.
The biggest and most inconvenient symptom I experienced was pregnancy fatigue. I was CONSTANTLY tired, which was weird since I’m generally very energetic and active. All I wanted to do was sit at home and rest, which was ironically the last thing I was able to do since my 1st trimester had a jam packed schedule full of travels. I had 3 weddings in SoCal (and was in 2 of them) and had trips to Italy, Cabo and Mexico City. There would be days I’d be so tired I’d randomly fall asleep sitting up on my couch. I found myself going to bed a lot earlier from exhaustion and no matter how much I slept, I’d still be tired throughout the day. I didn’t feel like myself since I lacked energy to do my normal routine and felt like anything that required energy was cumbersome. I didn’t get my energy back until 16-weeks of pregnancy and when I got my energy back it felt like a switch just turned on. Which probably explains why I’m also now writing this blog post 16-weeks pregnant.
There were certain food smells that made me nauseous but as soon as I identified them I avoided it and would tell Josh we can’t have it in our kitchen anymore. Meat was my biggest food aversion. I especially could not stand the smell of steak, and still to this day don’t ever want steak. I basically became a vegetarian during my 1st trimester and could only eat meat if it was chopped up and disguised in something like pasta or tacos. It was the weirdest thing since I ate like a carnivore before, but apparently when you’re pregnant you crave what the baby wants and what nutrients you need. Which brings me to…
In terms of my cravings I only wanted fresh, healthy, and plain food. I especially loved breakfast food. Fresh fruit, avocado toast, eggs and milk/cereal brought me SO much satisfaction. I’m not a food-obsessed person but since your sense of smell gets heightened during pregnancy, plain food was so delicious because I felt like I could taste every ingredient for what it is. I feel like I got lucky with my cravings since it was all very healthy and simple, so I ate pretty well. Although It drove Josh crazy since he’d cook me elaborate meals and I couldn’t handle all the complex flavors. I’d still eat it but with disgust lol. I eventually told Josh I’d fend for myself since I was way more satisfied eating plain avocados for dinner versus a plate of seasoned food.
There was definitely a pattern of specific foods I always wanted and upon researching (best foods to eat pregnant article) I learned that everything I craved were things I actually needed to provide a nutritious diet for my baby:
- strawberries: high in folic acid which is essential in preventing birth defects of the baby’s brain and spine
- avocados: full of folate, healthy fat, and potassium, which promotes healthy tissue and brain growth for the baby
- oatmeal: rich in fiber to help combat constipation, and has complex carbs which helps reduce the risk of gestational diabetes
- milk and cereal: calcium is essential in building strong bones, teeth, muscles and nerves for the baby. The strangest thing happened though. I’m lactose-intolerant but during pregnancy this went away. I craved milk and cereal, would drink up all the milk without having to go the bathroom afterwards. Wild.
- hard boiled eggs, thoroughly cooked: the healthiest way to eat eggs and eggs are high in protein and calcium.
- coffee: for some reason I craved coffee during pregnancy. Coffee isn’t beneficial during pregnancy, but also not bad for you during pregnancy. You’re just not supposed to drink more then 12-ounces/day.
Another difficult aspect of the 1st trimester is that it’s typically when you feel the worse, yet most people don’t know you’re pregnant. I didn’t want friends to think I was exhausted or being picky with food for no reason and I didn’t want to complain, so I sucked it up while internally feeling sh*tty. I did tell a few close mom friends though I was pregnant early on and found so much comfort talking about my symptoms, knowing it was all normal, and having people to confide in that understood the journey. So although people say you shouldn’t tell anyone you’re pregnant until 2nd trimester, I found it very emotionally beneficial telling a few trustworthy mom friends (that you also wouldn’t mind knowing if something horrible happened like a miscarriage) for support. All in all though, I feel like my 1st trimester wasn’t as bad since I never had morning sickness or severe nausea. So I’m very thankful for that.