In case you missed it… We are expecting! This is our first time and I am so excited to share this journey with you!
This year has had a lot of ups and downs, so we decided to hold out a bit on our secret, but as I am writing this now I’m 15 weeks pregnant and officially in my second trimester! Fun fact: Our baby boy is currently the size of an avocado 🙂
I touched a bit on my first trimester experience in our pregnancy announcement on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/chefdot/?hl=en) but I wanted to share a bit more here as well.
So I thought, it’s never too late to share my first trimester recap
The first 11 weeks of pregnancy was not easy. I was sick MOST of the time, it really didn’t feel like morning sickness, rather all day sickness and I was very low in energy. I had a ton of food aversions (still do).
Let’s rewind to how we found out
It was a bit of a surprise and came with a bit of a shock initially at first, but I soon realized we have a lot to be grateful for being able to conceive so easily, as I know this is not the case for many. I have always believed everything in life happens for a reason, even if we don’t understand it at that given time.
So my period was late and I did not feel very well, so I bought two pregnancy tests and waited an entire week before I tested as I was just WAY to nervous! Both tests came out positive and I naturally freaked out a little. At this stage I was 5 weeks pregnant.
Hubby handled it so well, he is really a calm and collected person, I really do love that about him. We told our parents and siblings that weekend, but kept our news to ourselves for the next 6 weeks (it felt like forever!).
From here I tried to get a Dr’s appointment and let’s just say it didn’t go so well…
I couldn’t get a Dr appointment due to the Corona- virus pandemic
As we moved to Cape Town end of 2018, I have not yet registered with a Gynecologist in this area. I phoned a few Dr rooms and no one wanted to take on any new patients during the challenging time. I understand that, but people get pregnant and ill and need to see a Dr right?!
In the meantime, I found a lovely midwife in our area that was more than willing to help. She gave me really good advise about the different birthing options, what to try in regards to morning sickness and which Dr she would recommend I try and see.
She wrote a letter to the Dr and asked if she can get my blood tests done at 10 weeks for the Down Syndrome and white blood cell activity etc. Thankfully all my results came back good.
Finally, at 11 weeks I got a Dr’s appointment!
At 11 weeks pregnant I received a phone call to confirm an 11 week ultrasound test. I was so excited and relieved at the same time!
It was such a special time for me, unfortunately I wasn’t allowed to take hubby with. When you find out you are pregnant and your blood results confirm it that’s one feeling, but when you see your baby in your tummy for the first time, wow that is another feeling!
First trimester symptoms
Overall, it went OK. I have heard of worse scenarios, so I guess I was OK most of the time. There was a lot of underlying nausea on most days, I struggled a lot with fluids and felt dehydrated a lot of the time.
I soon realized if I push through the nausea by nibbling on a piece of fruit or a rice cake the nausea would get a bit better and I would be able to tolerate a bit of liquid at a time. I couldn’t do much to combat the nausea on most days and some days I had to just stop and lay down (thankfully I work for myself).
The exhaustion was unlike anything I have ever experienced. Growing a human is really HARD WORK! From about 6 weeks I have been going to bed at 8 – 8.30 every night.
I guess the hardest thing for all of us is that we have to learn to listen to our body. Before I found out I was pregnant I would work really long hours and push myself really hard to get things done. Being pregnant has not allowed for any of that.
I felt so inadequate at first
In the beginning I felt guilty for pushing my work aside, but soon I started recognizing this as a new season in my life and all I could do was give my body some grace for all that it was going through.
Some nights I would wake up at about 2 am and stay awake until about 5 am before being able to go back to sleep. I never knew this is a thing in pregnancy, but apparently it’s fairly common.
Another common symptom no one talks about is BLOATING. It is a very uncomfortable feeling that would arise every time I ate, but thankfully the bloating went away with time, at around 12 weeks it got MUCH better.
Comfortable clothes is really essential here. I lived mostly in comfortable leggings that were high waisted compared to the lower cut ones and loose tops.
It is what it is, my boobs grew a full size in the first few weeks of being pregnant. This is not the sort of thing I blog about, but it is a natural part of pregnancy, so it’s only fair to share the whole story.
I had to go bra shopping straight away (I have had too again since then!).
I started noticing more acne breakouts on my forehead and chin, which is still noticeable now in my second trimester. There is not much one can do about it, I just tried to keep my skin as oil free as possible and made sure I wore sunblock when going out as pregnancy pigmentation is real!
First trimester food
Eating well during my first trimester was tough. You know those images they share in movies of pregnant women eating a whole tub of ice cream that has never really been a thing for me. All my body wanted was PROTEIN LOADING!
I tried to eat at least one healthy meal a day with good protein and veggies. That said, there were days were I could not tolerate any of that and just ate some form of junk food like a bag of chips because I didn’t want anything else.
Most of my normal go- to foods were and still are completely off the table. Beans are still a big struggle for me. Even my favorite vegetable curry or home made hummus makes me feel sick.
But for some reason protein has been friend. I lived on scramble eggs and gluten free toast or lean mince with melted cheese most of the time. I always had rice cakes in hand as well, but it had to be a specific brand as some rice cakes smelled like fish to me. Eeeek!
I craved dairy more than usual, so I would eat a bit more yogurt or cheese or even just drink a glass of milk…. And on some days I wanted more fat, like avocado and butter. I haven’t really questioned what my body wants, I just eat what it asks for.
There has been a lot of meals (I didn’t share on Instagram) that were just toast and avocado or scrambled eggs. I am now in my second trimester and will share my favorites in a few weeks.
Now that I am in my second trimester and my energy levels are back, I am really motivated to eat healthier meals and add in more variety to support the health of my baby.
Foods that I am avoiding
All the usual foods not allowed during pregnancy such as alcohol, sushi, rare meat, unpasteurized dairy or anything questionable really.
First trimester workouts
I don’t have much to share here because really there was not much going on for the majority of my first trimester. I tried to walk as much as possible and did some gentle yoga when I could.
First trimester supplements
I want to preface this by saying that I am not a medical doctor and I decided to take the below supplements after doing my own research. I found PregOmega Plus supplements to be the most cost efficient and well balanced up to now. It contains a good multivitamin and mineral tablet, omega 3 fish oil and calcium combination tablets.
As always, make sure to talk to your doctor first before beginning any new vitamin or supplement, especially if you’re trying to get pregnant.
I am excited to continue sharing updates with you! Feel free to ask any questions down below! Side note: Some days my brain just won’t work at full capacity. I’d heard the term “pregnancy brain” many times from friends and family and now I get it– pregnancy does crazy things to both the body AND mind. 🙂
Dot you later! X