First of all, thank you all so, so much for your comments on our recent announcement! They all mean so much to us. Michael and I are so excited to become parents — if a little anxious at the same time.
I wanted to discuss a few things before diving into today’s post. If I’m being honest, I’m not sure the direction I plan to take this blog. I’ve really enjoyed these past two years and don’t really have an intention of quitting, but due to the pregnancy being a huge part of my life right now, I feel I need and want to incorporate it into the content. I don’t have the intention of turning it into a “mommy blog”, but I want to inform you all that going forward, most of my content will be relatively pregnancy-heavy. Don’t worry – I still am passionate about body image and body freedom – and TRUST ME, I’ve been going through some very relevant challenges that I plan on discussing! – but be warned that for the most part, it’s going to be mainly pregnancy updates for a while. I also have decided to not follow any particular blog schedule, which is REALLY difficult for me because if you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you’ll know that I stuck pretty dang diligently to a Monday/Wednesday/Friday posting schedule for many months. It’s how much of my content was able to be shared and introduced, and I know it’s a big risk going against that. However, there are more important things going on right now, and I need to honor them. That being said, I still definitely plan on doing at least a post every few weeks — and I’m always available via email or social media if you want to get in touch. I’d love to hear from you, as always!
Thanks for staying with me through that!
Today, I wanted to do a recap of my first trimester. I’m (tentatively) planning on doing recaps for three weeks’ worth, but since the first trimester had so much, I decided it made more sense to condense it. My next update will be recapping weeks 13-15, followed by 16-18, and so on. For reference, I’m currently 14 weeks pregnant; Baby Bagel has an estimated due date of July 21.
I’m warning you ahead of time: this is long.
How It Began
I’ll start by saying that Michael and I decided to start trying to conceive (TTC) in October. As some of you may recall, I had recently lost my longstanding administrative support position at the beginning of that month, but had been hired at a small digital marketing agency starting the following week. With that in place, we decided to put things in the Lord’s hands. An important factor in all of this is that I had been tracking my cycles since January 2014. One of the posts that has driven the most traffic to this blog was my review on the hormonal free birth control and fertility tracking device, the Lady Comp, from several years ago (you can check that out here if you’re interested!). I stopped taking birth control on New Year’s Day of 2014 due to, amongst other things, wonky side effects from being on the pill – maybe a story for another time. In what was then an effort to prevent pregnancy, I checked my temperature every morning for almost two years, right when I woke up and before I got out of bed. I also read a LOT of literature on the Fertility Awareness Method (it’s NOT the rhythm method!!), specifically from this book. We were very conservative with LC’s recommendations to either abstain/use protection or have more, ahem, freedom. We successfully went the entire time without virtually any scares – except for a brief time this past spring when my period was just late, probably due to stress. It was wonderful to feel more in control of my body and know what was going on. That being said, I was fairly certain of my fertile window, so when we “baby danced”, I was pretty confident that our chances of getting pregnant were pretty high (although it’s typically only 20% per each cycle).
Interesting note: my period was due on Wednesday, November 11, and it didn’t show up. I took two pregnancy tests (the kind with the blue dye – DO NOT use these!!), one on November 9th (two days before my expected period) and on the 11th. They were both negative, so I obviously thought I wasn’t pregnant. I lost my job on Monday the 9th, and got a positive pregnancy test on that following Sunday, November 15th. I’m really glad it wasn’t the other way around — it was hard enough, but I’m certain I would’ve reacted even more strongly if that was the case!
So that Sunday morning, I used a pregnancy test from Fairhaven Health (review coming soon) and it was positive. And like probably everyone else, I promptly took another one just to “confirm”. It was also positive. I immediately ran to tell Michael, who was half delirious with a bad cold, but we were both excited…and a little in shock. It’s been like that since, honestly!
For the first few weeks, I had absolutely no symptoms. I was freaking out. Right around Thanksgiving, when we told our immediate families, I started to get some nausea in the evenings, and the aversions kicked in with a vengeance. The major culprits? Meat and vegetables. I think I went literally weeks without eating a green veggie, and to this day chicken breast completely disgusts me (unless it’s breaded and/or fried, naturally). I only got sick once in the first trimester, and that was because I ate too much cereal and felt so full. It was bizarre. Other than that, I didn’t experience too much exhaustion, but I did find myself napping most days – which was definitely out of the ordinary as I’m not usually a napper. I also didn’t work out for most of the first trimester, and nowadays it’s strictly walking and short pregnancy-safe workouts.
I’m not going to sugarcoat it: the first trimester was really, really difficult emotionally. I had so many anxieties and fears about things that could happen, and to be honest I don’t think those worries will completely abate until the baby is safely in my arms in July. It was especially tough in the very beginning because we were keeping it between ourselves (save for our family and a few close friends) so it was pretty lonely. The loneliness, coupled with my being unemployed, led to a lot of crying fits and MAJOR mood swings. I’ll say that it was also troubling at times due to my deciding to go off my medication (I took 25mg of Zoloft/day for my anxiety previously). I honestly think that the combination of the added hormones plus the extra stressors led to a blowup waiting to happen…which it did, triggered by an event that I could have avoided but of course didn’t. Michael was so supportive during the process and I think the poor guy was just mainly confused. So was I! The holidays were a nice distraction from it all, which I’m definitely thankful for.
Due Date, Gender, and Other Fun Things
Due Date: July 21. I had originally estimated the due date to be around July 20th based on my last period, but after our first ultrasound at around 7 weeks, my estimated due date was pushed back by 1 day. We’ll see!
Ultrasounds: We’ve actually had 2 1/2 — our first, to confirm a heartbeart (waiting for that one is the WORST), a follow up during 9 weeks in my doctor’s office, and our Nuchal Translucency scan at 12 weeks. This last one was so incredible; to see the baby’s profile (Baby Bagel totally has their dad’s nose!). We even got an image of Baby’s precious hand as if they were waving to us. It was pretty special.
Baby Bump: I think I’m definitely starting to sport a little belly, but it’s still pretty subtle. I’m quite looking forward to when it becomes more pronounced! I’m posting weekly bump shots on my Instagram if you’re so inclined to follow along (if you’re not already!). I haven’t decided on posting them here but I’m learning towards not.
Gender: So when we had our NT scan (which assesses risk for Down’s syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities), my risk came back a little higher than is “normal” for my age. As a result, I qualified to get the Panorama cell-free DNA prenatal test, which is a simple blood draw that can – with 99% accuracy – give a more detailed risk assessment due to the fact that it’s pulling from some of the fetal DNA that’s found in maternal blood. This also meant that we could find out the gender a full almost two months sooner than we would have otherwise. Michael and I wanted to find out what the baby’s gender is anyway. We were so excited to get the results back that indicated a very, very low risk for chromosomal abnormalities (nothing’s guaranteed, of course) and we learned Baby Bagel’s gender at that time as well. We’ll be keeping that to ourselves for the time being now, though!
That’s about it for now. If you’ve read all of this from the beginning, bless you, because it was a doozy! Thanks for understanding about my change of posting schedule and I hope these types of posts are somewhat interesting to at least some people. At the very least, I’ll have them for my own records, too.
Have a blessed rest of your week!
STAY IN TOUCH!