I’ve officially finished the first trimester of my pregnancy! When I first found out I was pregnant, I intended to journal throughout the course of my pregnancy. But, as so often happens, I haven’t been as consistent with this habit as I would like.
So instead, I want to share a summary here on Mama Embodied at the end of each trimester to help me hold onto the significant moments I experience over these 9 months.
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First Trimester Pregnancy Diary
Finding Out I Was Pregnant – 4 Weeks
I got off of birth control in April to let my cycle reset and prepare my body for pregnancy. In July, I started taking a daily prenatal, and we started trying to conceive in August.
The first month of TTC, I was surprised by how disappointed I was when we weren’t successful. I’d thought that I would be pretty lowkey about the process, but I found myself checking to see if every little thing I felt was a pregnancy symptom. And when my period came, I was much sadder than I expected I would be.
The second month, I didn’t have quite as hard of a time with TTC emotionally. I think part of it was that I was more prepared for the emotions I might feel. The other part was that one of my parents became extremely sick quickly and unexpectedly, so a lot of my focus was there instead of on the possibility of being pregnant.
My cycle is very regular, so when I woke up without my period on the morning it was expected, I decided to take a pregnancy test. I knew that it might still be too early for a test to pick show a positive result but wanted to try anyway – just for fun.
On the first test I took, the second line (which shows a positive result) showed up right away and dark. But I wanted to be sure, so I took another test from a different brand, and it showed up as positive, too!
My husband was still sleeping, but I wanted him to know right away. I gently woke him up and told him, “Baby, I’m pregnant!” He groggily responded, “Really? That’s great news.” And then I gave him a kiss and left for work.
Telling Our Immediate Family – 4 Weeks
Because my parent’s illness came up around the same time as we found out about the pregnancy, we decided to tell our immediate family and close friends right away. The pregnancy and illness each affected how I felt about the other, and we knew we would need extra emotional support, so letting the closest people in our lives know about the baby was right for us.
We told most of our family and friends individually, either in person or over the phone depending on their location. And they were all so excited! I’m convinced that telling people that you’re pregnant is one of the most fun things you can do. I have felt so supported and loved over the past few months.
Our First Midwife Appointment – 5 Weeks
A few years ago, I supported a friend in her pregnancy and birth at a local birth center and fell in love with it. Before that experience, the idea of being pregnant and giving birth was terrifying to me, but I now believe that was mostly because of my experiences with the American health care system and not wanting to labor in a hospital setting. (I’ll talk about this more in another post.) Seeing how the birth center worked helped me to feel that I could (and wanted to) become pregnant and give birth.
Before I could become a patient at the birth center, we had to attend an online orientation. So I signed us up for it right away. I loved getting to introduce my husband to the birth center’s philosophy and to hear more about it myself.
I got a call from the birth center the next day to schedule our first appointment. They ended up having a cancellation for the next day and offered the appointment to us. It was pretty early for a first appointment, but since I have anxiety, I knew that being an established patient at the birth center would help me to feel more settled and confident.
The Birth Center
The birth center had changed locations since I supported my friend in her birth, so the office was new to me. Everything was so intentional – a water feature, calming music, the soft lighting. And the staff was so kind and seemed genuinely excited for us, even though I’m sure they see dozens of pregnant people every day.
We gave a long health history to the midwife’s assistant and talked about the symptoms I was experiencing. Then we met with one of the midwives from the birth center. There are quite a few midwives, and patients will labor and birth with the midwife who is on call, so they want you to meet all of the midwives over the course of your pregnancy. That way, you’ll be familiar with whichever midwife you end up birthing with.
After meeting with the midwife, I gave blood and urine samples. And then their office manager took us on a tour of the birthing suites and walked us through a folder of resources. It was a lot of information, so I was definitely feeling a little overwhelmed by the end of the appointment. But I was really glad to get started and to have my husband there with me.
Feeling Those Pregnancy Symptoms – 6 Weeks
I started experiencing fatigue, bloating, and constipation right away after I got pregnant. I have IBS, so I’m used to digestive discomfort, but being pregnant definitely put those symptoms into overdrive.
First Trimester Nausea and Morning Sickness
Foolishly, I thought that because I didn’t experience nausea right away, I would be able to skate through pregnancy without it being an issue. But I was so, so wrong.
When I was 6 weeks pregnant, we flew to Maine for a friend’s wedding. The plan was to fly into Boston and take the train up to Maine the next day. We got to our hotel late and ate whatever we could find, and I ended up having a really acidic dinner. I woke up in the middle of the night to horrible acid reflux, which continued into the next day. I ended up projectile vomiting in the train bathroom on our way to Maine. ?
The trip was so fun, but I was queasy the whole time and threw up quite a bit. We found some Tums at a general store, which definitely helped, but I was happy to get back home to my normal routine and more control over what I could eat.
Since returning from the trip, I haven’t had many vomiting episodes, but I do wake up queasy most days. I’ve found that eating bland foods for the morning (and sometimes afternoon) is most helpful. By the evening, the nausea has usually passed, so I eat a more robust and nutritious dinner.
Acid reflux has also been a challenging pregnancy symptom. My midwife suggested that I use papaya enzyme to calm my stomach acid. This has the added benefit of diminishing my nausea, too.
First Trimester Cravings
I haven’t had any consistent cravings yet, but I do get the occasional urge to eat a specific food, like a burger or chicken tenders. I usually figure that it means I need the nutrients in that food and go for it. And if I text my husband about it during the day, it’s usually on the dinner table that night. ?
The First Ultrasound – 9 Weeks
Our second birth center appointment was at 9.5 weeks. The weekend before, I had some spotting. I talked to the nurse at the birth center over the phone, and she was really helpful and gave me greater peace of mind. But it was definitely still scary.
Our birth center limits ultrasounds, so I wasn’t expecting to have one until 20 weeks. But the midwife we saw that morning offered to do a viability ultrasound so that we could see that the baby was safe. I don’t know if this is standard for them or if it was because of the spotting, but I was really grateful for the opportunity to see how our baby was doing.
Baby was safe and looked super cozy. We could see the heartbeat on the ultrasound, and they were hiccupping, which was pretty adorable. I definitely shed a few tears during the experience. And our midwife printed a few photos so we could take them home with us and show them to our family.
Telling the World – 12 Weeks
I was 12 weeks pregnant at Thanksgiving, so we decided it would be the perfect time to tell our extended family. My dad’s side of the family always has a big Thanksgiving gathering. We asked my dad to share the news with the 40 people who were there, and it was such a special moment. I enjoyed getting to talk with all of my cousins, aunts, and uncles about the pregnancy and our plans. They’re a strong support system, and I’m grateful to have so many amazing parents to reach out to.
We called the other family members that we didn’t get to see on Thanksgiving and had some wonderful moments with them, as well. The next week, I let my boss, HR, and some of my coworkers know about my pregnancy. The news has been spreading around work, and it has been fun to celebrate with someone new every day.
Once our family and my job knew, I announced the pregnancy on social media. People have been universally kind and excited, and I have felt incredibly supported. I have loved reconnecting with friends who are already parents or who are pregnant now, too. It kind of feels like joining a club that everyone is excited for you to be a part of.
The End of the First Trimester
My first trimester has been a roller coaster, both physically and emotionally. I knew that having a baby would turn my world upside down, but I wasn’t expecting for one of my parents to become ill at the same time. It has been different than I expected, but it has still been good. My husband and I have really pared things down to what we find most important, and I’m grateful to have an inward and family focus as we prepare for our baby.
As I go into my second trimester, I’m holding onto my family and friends’ facial expressions when they found out I was pregnant. I’m hoping for more energy and less nausea. But as long as this continues to be a healthy pregnancy, I will be grateful and overjoyed.
What moments from your first trimester stick out to you the most? Tell me in the comments!