Yes, you read the title correctly.
The first trimester has officially passed!
I’m only through my first trimester but I’ve already learned a lot of powerful life lessons. One lesson this pregnancy has taught me so far is the power of mindset. Just like in sport and everyday life, what you think and say to yourself matters. This is HUGE during pregnancy as well.
Another huge lesson the first trimester has taught me is to trust the process. Just like in sport you need to trust your training and trust all of the preparation that you put into the season and trust that it’ll get you to your end goal. Pregnancy is similar. Throughout the nine months, you might doubt whether or not you are being as healthy as possible or find out later on that you were doing something or consuming something that you shouldn’t have. Instead of beating yourself up about it or worrying about the end result for the health of your baby, trust yourself as a mama that you and your doctor will make the right decisions and that your baby will be alright. You are doing the best you can and so take it one day at a time. If one day doesn’t go as well and you snack on things you shouldn’t or skip your vitamins, that’s ok! Make sure you do it better the next day then. Ultimately you will not be able to control the end result.
Lastly, pregnancy serves as a reminder to not compare your journey with someone else’s. Just like life, everyone goes down a different path and experiences different things. This is something I often bring up to athletes and teams because falling into the comparison trap is very common. Pregnancy is similar to where you hear other pregnancy stories and start to compare yours. Maybe most of the women you know are experiencing morning sickness and you’re not – is something wrong with you? NO! Maybe you are gaining weight at a faster pace than your girlfriends who are expecting. That’s ok! Maybe there are certain things your doctor gave you the green light for but are no-nos for your friend’s doctors. That’s alright too! Maybe you are showing sooner than other pregnant women – so what!? Trust your own process and journey and focus on your own baby. Each pregnancy, each baby, and each woman are different. There would be something wrong if it was all the same.
I did find it helpful though to read other women’s pregnancy stories and hear what they took for vitamins, what eating regime they tried to follow, what they craved, how they handled nausea, what they used for stretch mark creams, and a variety of other things. This helped me as a future mama to find out what works best for me and to also find support in knowing that I wasn’t the only one going through certain things. Maybe you experienced things similar to my journey, or maybe not. That’s ok! I thought I’d share my pregnancy journey though just in case any mamas out there might find it helpful.
So far throughout my pregnancy journey, I have experienced some bloating, breast tenderness, and feeling much hungrier than normal. I found that I need to snack often, but can’t eat too big of meals. Instead, I snack often and eat multiple small meals throughout the day. Consider me one of the lucky ones though because I never experienced nausea, food cravings, or food/smell aversions. At first, I was concerned that something was wrong with me, but I’ve accepted that it’s just part of my journey. Now I’m past my first trimester and am coming up on my 14th week.
I’ve always dreamed of growing my family, but I have to admit though – so far it is not what I have expected. I don’t mean this in a negative way or that I’m complaining or being ungrateful. I mean it in a simple matter-of-fact-statement for what I am experiencing. I thought that I would “feel pregnant” somehow right away. I wasn’t sure what that would look or feel like, but I thought I would experience “pregnancy intuition,”
Another pregnancy lesson: forget the expectations! Pregnancy is a special journey and your body and baby will be making the decisions for you, not you! If you go into it without expectations you can enjoy the journey instead of stressing yourself out. I didn’t learn this at first, but I’ve been trying to.
After calling my doctor to set up my first appointment, I was shocked to realize that they do not see you until you are 8 weeks along. I found out at 4 weeks, 3 days even before my missed period, so waiting another month felt like an eternity! I was anxiously waiting to have my pregnancy confirmed by a doctor since I really did not feel different. At this time I was entering my 6th week and I’ve heard and read that this is when many women start to feel nauseous and experience morning sickness. Granted each woman and each pregnancy is different, but I’ve been preparing myself in case I started to feel sick. According to my husband, I was going to “make” myself sick from overthinking it.
A few days before my 8-week appointment I did have a morning and all afternoon experience of having nausea and some other not so fun bodily fluids. Since I only had it for one day my doctor did believe that it was not morning sickness, but that instead, I experienced some 24-hour bug. I was more relieved after hearing this because whatever I had was TERRIBLE, and if that was morning sickness I was really not looking forward to experiencing that. With that being said, if you are a current mama or expecting mama, I apologize if you had terrible morning sickness. Again though, each pregnancy is different.
I may not have experienced morning sickness but I have had many strange dreams. Some positive, some negative, and some just messed up. Some dreams are about my growing baby. What will it look like, how my belly will grow, what that will feel like, what it would be like to hold my baby and what its name might be. If it’s a girl my husband and I have already had a name picked out for the last 5 years, but for a boy, we will see. My other dreams are that this whole experience is a dream or some kind of messed up joke. I have dreams that I go to the doctor and they can’t find a baby. Not that I miscarried, but that there literally was never a baby there to begin with. That somehow all of the tests I took were either false positives or I somehow read them wrong. This is probably why I took several pregnancy tests leading up to my 8-week appointment.
I have also been on top of taking my prenatal vitamins since I found out I’m expecting and have added fish oil and vitamin D supplements. I also am trying to be more mindful of what I’m eating and incorporating more leafy greens into my diet whether that be an actual salad or a power greens supplement. I still have found myself with a sweet tooth and eating candy and lots of chips.
My husband’s cousin gave me some of her left over stretch mark creams that I started using. I didn’t do much research on this and just used what was available. I’ve learned that the Burt’s Bees Mama Bee is pretty popular and I’ve been using that along with Belli Elasticity Belly Oil. Not sure if it’s doing much but I figured I’ll just use it and see.
The weirdest but coolest part of the journey so far has been feeling my belly grow. It almost feels like I have a side ache in the stomach muscles or similar to growing pains that I experienced when I was younger in my legs but in my belly. If I sneeze or blow my nose aggressively though I feel a pull in my abdomen that is not comfortable.
I’ve been lucky that the sickness stayed at bay so that I can continue my regular exercise routines of teaching Zumba classes, weight lifting, yoga, and running. Exercise was one of my biggest concerns though. I wasn’t sure what workouts I could or couldn’t do. I heard very mixed things from people, especially when it came to hot yoga. I got the green light to continue going from my doctor and yoga instructors and I did my own research on the matter as well. Sometimes I was fine, but other times I was so concerned with how warm I was getting and checking my heart rate constantly that yoga no longer was even relaxing for me. What I have come to learn though is that I need to listen to my body. This is something we already should be doing, but pregnancy comes a time when you really become more in tune with your body than normal. Each move and exercise I pay attention to how my body reacts to it. If it’s pulling in an uncomfortable position or I’m finding myself out of breath I take a step back. I make sure to stay more hydrated than normal and to always eat before a workout. What my doctor has said too is that your body will let you know if you shouldn’t be doing something. You just need to be aware of your body and listen.
I’ve enjoyed this time to reconnect with my body though. Exercise has always been important to me and I have been enjoying this time to learn new moves and try different modifications to keep myself and my baby safe and healthy. I’ve been sticking to my usual workout regimen of working out almost every day and have noticed a weight gain of 7 lbs so far. I’ve been gaining more than is “recommended” so far, but as long as I know that I am eating well and exercising regularly then it’s about all I can do.
Other than that I’ve been doing a WHOLE LOT of reading.
What is it about suddenly realizing your expecting and then feeling the need to read multiple articles a day or google millions of questions a day.
So far I’ve googled,
“Getting a massage while pregnant.”
“Coloring your hair while pregnant.”
“Eating fish while pregnant.”
“Early pregnancy signs and symptoms.”
“What does acid reflux/heartburn feel like while pregnant?”
“Exercising dos and don’t while pregnant.”
“How to prevent spina bifida.”
“Hot yoga while pregnant.”
“Caffeine consumption while pregnant.”
“Beauty routines while pregnant.”
“Vitamins and supplements to take while pregnant.”
“What to eat and not to eat while pregnant.”
Plus a bunch of other questions I either can’t remember or do not want to bore you with reading.
Whenever I find myself over worrying about something though I remember something my aunt told me, “The positive vibes and thoughts you have will be passed onto your baby.” Therefore I have been focusing on the good and keeping a positive mindest the best I can instead of worrying over the little things. God has a plan for my baby and I need to trust him with it.
Being a certified mental performance coach I do know the power f mindset. I’m hoping I can use the skills I teach athletes, teams, and coaches to be applied to myself throughout my pregnancy. I think the emotional regulation skills, self-talk, and relaxation skills I know will be very beneficial to me throughout the labor process as well.
Starting near the beginning of my 12-weeks my belly officially “popped.” It’s still rather small but those who know me can definitely tell. The belly is out and here to stay. Here’s to healthy baby development and a growing bump!
If you’ve had a baby or are knowledgeable in this area I’d love to hear your thoughts, tips, advice, or comments about this amazing and beautiful journey.
Thanks for tuning in and I’ll keep you posted how the second trimester goes!