The first trimester pregnancy experience with baby number two was so different than with my first. Every pregnancy and baby is so different, but it is really hard not to compare the two!
We decided not to wait until the 12-week mark to start telling family and close friends that we are pregnant. I totally understand why people choose to wait, but we figured we would want the support of family and close friends if something happened.
We wanted to announce the pregnancy is a fun way that involved our son. I bought him a shirt that said “big brother” and put it on him whenever we video chatted with our families/friends or when we saw them in person. We thought this was a totally obvious way to announce it. It took people SO LONG to read the shirt and, when they did, they didn’t think much of it because we are big fans of the reality TV show Big Brother (don’t judge…). Anyways it was really fun to see their reaction after they finally clued in.
First trimester pregnancy bump
They say you pop early with the second pregnancy and this was so true for me! At the 10-week mark, I started using elastic bands to keep my pants up because it was uncomfortable to button them. I transitioned into maternity pants full time by 12-weeks. I was still able to hide my bump under loose shirts so I didn’t share my good news publicly. Although, recently one of my students informed me that they all suspected I was pregnant so maybe I wasn’t hiding it as well as I thought.
Favourite things about the first trimester
I was so grateful to be pregnant at the exact time I wanted to be pregnant. I wanted my kids to be close in age so I was so excited that they would be 2 years apart. Week 5 and 6 were great because I was excited to be pregnant and I felt great. That was my favourite part of the first trimester.
First trimester pregnancy exercise
I was so tired during the first trimester that it came down to the choice of either going to yoga or taking a nap, usually, the nap won. As someone who loves yoga and values exercise, this was a hard decision for me but I felt I really needed to listen to my body. I also found the timing of the classes hard because I tried to go when I wasn’t feeling nauseous. I did make it to the occasional yoga class.
Even though I wasn’t going to yoga, I managed to move my body on a daily basis because I walked my dog for 2 hours a day. Getting outside and walking is such a great activity for pregnancy because it is gentle and helps with nausea during the first trimester.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I love babywearing and so does my son. I wear him on my front during our morning walk. I did some research and planned to continue to babywear during my pregnancy. After a few weeks into my first trimester, it just didn’t feel right for my body. Thanks to pregnancy hormones, I balled my eyes out when I decided that our babywearing journey had come to an end.
First trimester pregnancy cravings
Luckily, I didn’t have any strong food aversions with this pregnancy so my diet didn’t change too much. I wasn’t super into eating meat but nothing made me want to barf. With my son, I hated all food for 2 months.
I was SO THIRSTY during the first trimester because I was still nursing my son three times a day. As a result, I craved water and anything hydrating like fruit, especially citrus.
The unhealthy foods I craved where:
- Pizza pockets
- Mini Wheats
I have a theory that you crave your childhood comfort foods during the first trimester. Most people feel like crap and food has a way of making us feel better. I don’t recommend eating your feelings, but during the first trimmest when you are nauseous all the time eating anything is a triumph.
One thing I didn’t crave during the first trimester was sweets, especially chocolate. You guys know I LOVE dessert (I wrote a cookbook featuring my fav desserts!) so this was so weird. I also LOVE chocolate and usually have a little dark chocolate every day but I wasn’t feeling it at all.
First trimester pregnancy mood
I really struggled with my mood during the first trimester. I felt like crap, I was tired and just didn’t feel like myself because I was so down in the dumps. It was really frustrating because I knew there was no reason for me to be in such a foul mood but I couldn’t figure out how to snap out of it. It was really hard on my family and my husband who deserves a medal for being so patient with me.
This didn’t happen during my first pregnancy so I wasn’t prepared to deal with it. It is very common due to the fluctuation in hormone levels. I did a lot of research and found some things that helped me get back to my old self. If you are experiencing depression during your pregnancy it is really important to seek professional advice.
Here are some mood-boosting tips that worked for me:
- Sleeping a lot – full nights and naps during the day.
- Doing something nice for myself every day – it was a lesson in self-care for sure. When you are a mom you forget to take time for yourself.
- Getting outside – sun exposure and spending time in nature help boost your mood.
Sleeping during the first trimester
Sleeping in the first trimester was a challenge because my son was going through the 18-month sleep regression. Sleep regressions are something almost every kid experiences and there are a ton of them. Luckily they say that the 18-month regression is the last one.
I found it hard to nap because if I wanted a good nap, it had to be while my son was napping. On the bright side, I could sleep in any position I wanted and I slept really well when I wasn’t getting woken up by screaming.
First trimester healthcare
I am SO excited to have the opportunity to work the same midwife I had when I was pregnant with my son. Minutes after I peed on the stick and got a positive result, I applied to the clinic because I really wanted to work with her again. I was blown away by the level of care midwives offered in Ontario and I made such a good connection with my midwife. We are so lucky as Canadians to have free healthcare.
I had my first ultrasound at 12-weeks and it was the best thing ever to see that little heartbeat blinking on the screen. It was so reassuring because for the first 6 weeks or so you are just hoping that everything is OK. We skipped the early ultrasound that most people get around 8-weeks. The reason behind that is a story for another post.
What I was happy to leave behind in the first trimester
I was so happy to leave behind my down in the dumps mood. My bad mood lasted so long I actually asked my husband one day if I was remembering my life incorrectly and if I was like this all the time. I was so relieved finally feel like myself again.
It was also great to leave behind nausea and crazy gagging (kinda left behind…). I felt nauseous for most of the day, especially if I forgot to eat, and instead of barfing I would make really gross gaging sounds. One day I was teaching and had to end my class a bit early to eat something because I was seconds from gagging up a storm in front of everyone. I didn’t have a problem taking my supplements, but my gag reflex was so sensitive I couldn’t brush any of my back teeth for 2 months. The biggest trigger was hunger, but sometimes strong smells, like the diaper pale, would set me off.
Lastly, I was really bloated during the first trimester. You guys know I have a history of IBS but I have been able to apply the knowledge I have as a holistic nutritionist to manage and completely eliminate the symptoms of IBS. In pregnancy, your digestion changes so it was a little more difficult to manage the bloating but I managed to mitigate it using the tips I share in my book Healthy Holistic Pregnancy.
My second pregnancy isn’t getting the same attention as my first pregnancy did. I guess that is just the case when you have a toddler to case around 🙂 I’m also really sorry for the lack of high-quality photos in this post! During my first pregnancy, we took bump pics every few weeks with our DSLR. That is just not happening this time around so all I could find was random selfies I took to share with my friends and family. As you can see from the pic below, during my first pregnancy I wasn’t even showing at the end of the first trimester!