First Trimester Pregnancy Diary

I wasn’t going to document my pregnancy. I mean, I thought maybe I’d write up a list of products that I’d found to be helpful at some point? Y’know, lighthearted content like that. But then COVID-19 happened, and I realized that large chunks of all pregnancy related material (books, podcasts, etc.) were irrelevant to me. Meet other expecting parents and form lifelong bonds at birthing classes or prenatal yoga? Unfathomable. Have a baby shower? Yeah, seems unlikely at this point. See any of my immediate family (who live in another state) throughout this entire pregnancy? Probably not. Go on a babymoon? Ha. It’s… a strange time to be doing this.

Of course, I realize that in many ways I’m incredibly lucky. Both my husband and I are healthy and have stable jobs that are allowing us to work from home. We’ve been able to arrange for grocery deliveries. We’re extremely fortunate in so many ways. And most importantly, to our knowledge, our baby is doing just fine! But that doesn’t make this situation any less shitty or alienating. So I decided to write about it. Because I can’t be the only one looking for pregnancy content that reflects the current situation.

By the time I post this I’ll be 23 weeks pregnant. So… very much out of the first trimester. But as I mentioned earlier, I didn’t plan on doing this. So it’ll have to be a retrospective account.

Finding out

I found out I was pregnant sometime between weeks 3 and 4. My period was a day late. Usually it’s like clockwork, so I took a pregnancy test, and it was positive!

Despite it being planned, I was a bit shaken up. Not upset, just in shock. This is the sort of life changing event that you can’t always anticipate your reaction to. Once the initial shock subsided, however, excitement set in and I couldn’t wait to tell the world.

Except I did wait. I have mixed feelings about not discussing things like miscarriage should they occur. They’re pretty common, and I believe that talking about them can help a lot of people who’ve gone (or will go) through them. Still, I thought, better safe than sorry. So we waited until I hit the 13 week mark to announce.

First Trimester Pregnancy Diary

This picture was actually taken just before shit hit the fan with the whole pandemic situation. In fact, I think we started self-quarantining less than a week later.

Symptoms

Everyone’s favorite question when they learn that you’re pregnant is “have you been puking your brains out?!” Somehow, though, I avoided dealing with any morning sickness at all. I did experience a teensy bit of nausea while driving through Sequoia National Park, but I’ve always been prone to motion sickness, so I’d blame that over the pregnancy.

All told, I felt relatively ok throughout my first trimester. I did deal with tender breasts, a good deal of exhaustion, and some very rude hormonal acne, but it was all pretty manageable. I’m very aware that this is not the norm, though.

I should also mention that I was very emotionally vulnerable. Though whether pregnancy hormones or what I’m about to discuss is to blame is anybody’s guess.

Gestational diabetes

The one very unwelcome pregnancy condition that I developed early on was gestational diabetes. Normally, doctors don’t even test for this until you’re almost 30 weeks along. Mine, however, tested at my very first appointment. There was a lot of fear and anxiety attached to this diagnosis. It’s not exactly common for it to pop up in the first trimester, so I assumed that something was horribly wrong with me.

At first, my doctor implied that I may have just had an undiagnosed case of diabetes from the get go. I burst into tears at this suggestion, and was torn up about it for weeks. I’ve always been conscientious about making healthy choices, so this was completely left field. Thankfully, another doctor told me that she’d looked at my A1C (which was taken the same day the glucose test had been administered) and that it was totally normal, meaning that I hadn’t had diabetes. I’d never felt more relieved in my life.

Luckily, gestational diabetes is very manageable either through diet and exercise or medication. Immediately after being diagnosed, I started working out more and making dietary changes. The most notable of which is eating meat again. In all honesty, I didn’t know whether I wanted to disclose that here seeing as it’s mainly a vegetarian food blog. But the fact of the matter is that most vegetarian proteins are also carbs, which are tough for diabetics. I could have remained vegetarian throughout my pregnancy, but since I was going to have to do over 30 weeks of this diet I decided to increase my options while decreasing the immense amount of math that I’d have to have done with every meal in order to stick to my vegetarian diet. I definitely plan to return to my vegetarian diet once this is over, but this is what’s working for me right now.

In addition to this huge lifestyle change, we bought a Peloton. One thing that really helps keep blood sugar in check is regular exercise. We wanted to make sure that I was able to get that exercise easily and in a way that wouldn’t take too much time out of my already busy schedule. And man am I glad we made that purchase seeing as I’ve barely left my house in months!

While it truly felt like the most unfair of all curses to get gestational diabetes so early on, finding out in the first trimester may have been a huge blessing in disguise. Thanks to that early diagnosis, I was able to make sure that I was eating appropriately and not harming myself or my baby. Yes, it sucks. A lot. But I’m glad that it didn’t go undiagnosed for six months while I did all sorts of damage by eating whatever I wanted.

So basically

My first trimester was both completely awful and pretty chill. Just… not for the reasons you’d expect.

Of course, my pregnancy may be wildly different from the next person’s. So my experience isn’t any sort of a guide to what you should expect. But I figured it was worth sharing, even if reading about it will only be helpful or comforting to one other person. My second trimester post will probably resonate with a lot more of you since we’re all in the same situation, bodily experiences aside. So if that’s the content you’re looking for, wait a few weeks!

And if you want to follow my journey more closely, head over to my Instagram. It’s not all pregnancy related, but it’s got some fun little tidbits, and some great recipe ideas!

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