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  • Writer's pictureRita Winthrop

1st Trimester & How I found out I was pregant

Wow guys - its kind of wild to me that as I sit here writing this post, I'm just days away from being 24 weeks. How am I halfway through? For me, the first 11 weeks went by so painfully slow, but since then it feels like time is flying - part of me wants it to slow down, and part of me wants it to hurry up and get here already, anyone else felt like that?

As I've been transparent with you all of the various things I've been through in my life (other than delicious recipes) I've also known that whenever it was that I got pregnant, that I'd want to share that journey. Now that I'm in it, and I mean, IN IT, there are so many things I hope to share. I'll do my best to break down what I've experienced, and what I've learned, so that it may help you someday on your journey, too.

As I mentioned in my post about detoxing birth control, we'd be trying for a little while. When I did finally get that positive test, I'm not sure I knew exactly how to process, even now, some days I wake up and before realizing that my belly has grown, I feel 'like myself' and then I remember, just kidding, its not just me anymore. How I found out, or figured out that I was pregnant, I find all too serendipitous - and all the more proof to me that when the timing is right, the rest falls into place.

Lets first talk about how sick I was this past fall, being away on travel for work, and a head cold that just would not leave me alone. And the EXHAUSTION my goodness was insane. I was sleeping more than I ever had. Little did I know, that somewhere along the way, I must have gotten pregnant. Maybe it was the extra rest I was getting, or that I had to really stop working out because I was so sick, but either way, the timing was right.

We had scheduled a trip to go to DC in early November to spread his father's ashes - a trip that had been planned for quite some time with all of Frank's family. We were to leave on a Saturday morning, and come home Monday afternoon. His family, already down there on Friday, so we fly down to meet them that Saturday. I had already been a few days late, which was normal for me at this point. Every month I would be 4-5 days late, and every month I'd take a test thinking I was pregnant, to then get a negative, so I honestly didn't think much of it. When I left that morning for DC, something DID feel different though - I cant exactly explain what it was, but I had a weird feeling about it. We landed around 11am, and caught an uber to the AirBnB.

I wasn't going to say anything to Frank about it, especially because there was no way I'd go buy a pregnancy test while staying in the same house as his family, but something told me to just mention it. We had a few moments to ourselves in the house, and I shared, I wasn't sure if it was anything yet, but that I was late, and that I needed him to know in case I was weird or off or I'm not even sure what. I don't drink a ton regularly, but I wanted him to know that if I was a little more stubborn than usual about not drinking alcohol, that'd be why. We kept this quiet little secret between us for the remainder of the weekend with every few hours Frank just giving me a look, or quietly asking "anything yet?" and my answer was always no.

We got home Monday afternoon, and I had ordered some pregnancy tests, and planned to take one as soon as they arrived. Come Tuesday morning - and my amazon box showed, so I figured why the heck not - peed on that stick and let it sit on the counter. I was busy working from home, catching up on laundry, that I honestly forgot it was there (remember I'd done this every month for the last few, so I tried to not think anything of it). 20 minutes later I walked back to check it, and there it was, PREGNANT written clear as day. So I did what everyone does - and peed on another stick, because two has to be more accurate, right?

And then what did I do? I sat down and cried. I guess it was overwhelm, and excitement and also fear, and a huge surge of emotion, so I just quietly cried and decided I would wait until Frank got home to share the news. Casually, while cooking dinner, sharing what I'd been up to that day, "I did some laundry, I went to the gym, I found out I'm pregnant....." and we embraced in the kitchen and cried a little just like we had when Frank proposed in the same spot just a few years before.

Flash forward through a few doctors appointments, and keeping it a big secret from everyone (we were so close to Christmas it was a no brainer that sharing the news would be an amazing Christmas gift) - first trimester was a long drawn out blur. I felt great from week 5 through about week 8 (right before Thanksgiving) but from week 8 through week 15/16 I felt like straight trash. I'm incredibly lucky that I never got sick, but that didn't mean that I didn't feel sick. It started slowly that first week, but then took over life for another 7 weeks.

The only way I've been able to describe it - is it feels like you're hungover from the minute you wake up to the minute you go to bed. The exhaustion takes over your body, everything aches. I also full blown couldn't eat anything other than carbs and peanut butter.

Aversions initially to: avocado, anything Mexican or spicy, eggs, vegetables of any kind in any form (I eventually was able to eat carrots and snap peas as a snack to try to get some veggies in) smoothies, coffee, tea, hot beverages at all, and MINT - the mint was the worst, because I literally had to stop using 'grown up' toothpaste, and switch to bubble gum, because brushing my teeth was literally the worst experience of my life. Ya know what else was gross to me? Water - yes, you read that right. I started mixing in LiquidIV, an electrolyte packet to my water to make sure I was staying hydrated because I was barely drinking 64 oz every day.

What I did eat: bagels, everyday. Sometimes twice. Saltines. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, on toast. Popcorn. SOMETIMES I could do a scrambled egg - was very hit or miss. BLT's (this was the only way I was getting any veggies at all) Ginger ale. Most of the time I could force myself to eat something if someone else cooked it for me - like I had to hide that I was pregnant through Thanksgiving with both my family and Frank's dinners, that was wildly hard.

The hardest part for me was slowing down. Physically I was exhausted - going to bed by 8 pm every night and sleeping until 6 am, but then needing to nap once, sometimes twice during the day. I'm wildly lucky that during that time I was working at home twice a week, and I shared with my boss at week 9 that I was pregnant because I felt SO off my a-game. That helped with me being able to be flexible with work. While I didn't tell my other coworkers until week 13, having someone to confide in at work helped big time when I was really struggling. I had to stop working out completely. I was lucky if I could walk Izzy around the block, or do something light at home using just body weight. I essentially didn't workout at all for 6 weeks - which I haven't done in years.

But more than the physical need to slow down, was the mental slowing down. Working out keeps my mind clear - so giving that up for such a long period of time had me feeling all over the place. That with the bump of hormones, EVERYTHING was making me cry. I was crying at the t.v., crying watching videos online, crying because I couldn't eat, crying because I had to go to bed. We joked about the crying hour being 5 pm every night because that's when I would feel it the hardest. I felt most sick everyday from 3-7 pm, so that idea of 'morning sickness' just being in the morning goes completely out the window. Without any outlet, and really anyone to talk to about it other than Frank, I was feeling really defeated. Then, if that wasn't the worst, I was then feeling really shitty, that I felt defeated. Here I was, trying for a baby for months, and when I finally got it, I felt so miserable from the side effects. Its not that I wasn't grateful, its that I didn't want to feel so sick. What a hard place to be in mentally.

Luckily for us, my 11 weeks fell exactly on Christmas - so we planned to share the news with our families right on that day. It definitely felt all the more special sharing that with everyone on the holiday. Shortly there after we started to share with friends. Being able to finally talk about it not only made it feel more real, but also made dealing with feeling so icky a little more worth it. While I didn't feel 100% well into my second trimester, you'll have to check back with me to see how my second trimester has been going ;)

xx Rita

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