I still cannot believe that I’m pregnant. Literally, every day I wake up and think to myself, “Lauren, you’re going to be a mom. Woah.” And then I continue on to think, “And Brandon is going to be a dad – we are going to be responsible for a whole entire human soon. Woah.”
Every. Single. Morning. It’s kind of hilarious and 100% gives me all the anxiety but it’s this weird feeling that I wouldn’t give up for anything.
Now that I’m officially in my second trimester (I’m 15 weeks 1 day), I wanted to sit down and share a few highlights from my first trimester (the good, the bad and the ugly) plus a few of the things I couldn’t live without. I promise to keep the preggo content to a minimum around here but am pretty excited to share bits and parts of this new adventure here and on Instagram over the next few months!
First Trimester Recap
I found out I was pregnant pretty early at about 4 weeks. Those first two weeks were pure magic. I basked in the excitement while still living my life pretty normally (minus the alcohol). And then week six hit. Pregnancy is so different for everyone so while I heard about different symptoms, you just have no idea how your body will react to growing a tiny little human. I’ll preface this next section with this: I got off easy. I tried my hardest during and even after the fact when I share my experience to avoid complaining. I know how lucky I am to be pregnant and that these symptoms are all signs that baby Chambers is thriving – but SHEESH. We gotta figure out a way to help women feel more magic in this first trimester!
Aside from the fatigue which I felt on a severe degree, I also struggled with constipation and a whole lotta morning sickness. I agree with what everyone else says – we really need a new name for this because the nausea is not exclusive to the morning. I was nauseas 24/7 starting at the end of my sixth week until the middle of week fourteen. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst nightmare. And I got off easy compared to some. I never got sick or threw up which was a little tiny blessing but the nausea impacted my day to day big time. It took me a few weeks to figure out how to best navigate the nausea and while it never went away, I do think these things made it a tad bit more manageable:
- Hydrate: I know the last thing you want to do is chug water but I noticed a huge difference in the way I felt/how severe my nausea felt on days that I was dehydrated. I didn’t and still don’t really like the taste of water while pregnant (which is crazy by the way) so I added lots of lemon or lime to my water to help me get it down throughout the day. I also got my doctor’s approval to add an electrolyte packet to one serving of water each day to help boost hydration and add a little taste to the water. Crystal light, while not a favorite choice, was also something I rotated every few days. I’d add 1/2 packet to a bottle of water with a bunch of lemon slices and it really helped. This, along with making sure I was getting enough fiber, also really helped with the constipation.
- B6 Supplement: CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST BEFORE ADDING ANY VITAMIN/SUPPLEMENT TO YOUR ROUTINE. I did a little research in the first few weeks after the nausea started and read that Vitamin B6 could help alleviate some of the nausea. I spoke with both of my doctors (my OB and my functional health dr) and they both approved a 25mg dose of B6 up to three times/day. I took one in the morning and one in the evening and think this probably helped the most with my nausea. I still felt a little icky but this kind of dulled it a bit which was huge for me.
- Frequent, small meals: I barely had an appetite for anything but was also starving most of the day – a very strange feeling – and I found myself not really eating, worried I’d get sick. After reading up on suggestions for morning sickness and chatting my doctor, it became pretty clear that eating small, frequent meals throughout the day was everyone’s TOP tip for beating or dealing with morning sickness. And it works. I’m talking like every 2 hours I was putting something in my mouth, whether it was a meal, a snack, fruit or a smoothie. This REALLY helped me. On days that I would go longer without eating, I noticed the nausea a lot more. I did try to have a little balance since I was eating so often throughout the day. The meals weren’t large and I tried to follow the 80/20 rule. Meals were pretty carb heavy but I tried to keep the snacks on the more nutrient dense side – lots of fruit, a small smoothie, cheese and crackers, Pirate’s Booty or Skinny Pop popcorn, etc.
Changes I made to my workouts & nutrition
Every single thing I was doing in the gym and every single wellness/nutrition principle I had before I got pregnant went out the window the moment the fatigue and nausea started. And I struggled for a few weeks. I always envisions that I would have a super healthy and fit pregnancy. I daydreamed about deadlifting 100lbs with my cute little bump, drinking green smoothie every morning while having conversations through my bump with baby Chambers, going on long walks in the afternoon, etc. Yeah, none of that was happening in my first trimester – it’s barely happening in my second.
I learned pretty quickly that I was going to have to make adjustments to my workouts and nutrition, not only because I’m pregnant and need to keep my body and the baby safe but if I want any sort of balance, I won’t be able to go at the same speed or level – and that’s okay.
In the beginning, I felt so guilty for putting off workouts and pretty much ignoring protein and veggies but one of the FIRST things my doctor said to me was that the first trimester is all about survival. It’s not about hitting your step goals, getting in your typical number of workouts, eating only the most nutrient dense foods, etc. In the first trimester, your goal is to survive and take care of yourself and baby. It was still important for me to prioritize my health WHEN I COULD (which was not always) so I was able to navigate this idea of survival with a little bit of balance. For me, that looked like this:
- 2-3 workouts/week: I used to workout 5-6 days/week, sometimes getting in some sort of activity every day. That was no longer realistic for me, thanks to the intense fatigue. Instead, I made it a goal to get in at least two workouts each week, aiming for three when I had the extra energy. There were some weeks that I did ZERO workouts and some weeks I did the full three, even four one week. Most workouts lasted anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes and ranged between Peloton rides and walks around the neighborhood to pilates/barre and strength training workouts with weights. I realized pretty quickly that my stamina is SO different while pregnant. I felt like a beginner for every single workout which took some getting used to. I used lighter weights than what I was used to, took longer breaks and went at a slower pace whenever I needed but at the end of the day, I truly felt better after every single workout and that’s what kept me motivated to be consistent.
- Pregnancy smoothies: my nutrition in general was pretty much a free for all. Carbs were the one consistent thing that I could stomach – surprise surprise. Rather than beating myself up about eating pasta every day (I’m talking regular, not even a chickpea or lentil variety) or other carb heavy meals/snacks, I added a “pregnancy smoothie” into my snack or breakfast rotation every day. Every smoothie included 1 serving protein or collagen + 1/2 cup fruit + 2 tbsp healthy fat (nut butter or avocado) + 1 tbsp chia seeds + almond milk or water + ice. They were a great way to ensure at least one meal each day included protein, fiber and healthy fats to balance out some of the sugar I was getting throughout the day.
- Balanced snacks: speaking of balancing sugar, my favorite snack was and still is fruit. Any kind of fruit – grapes, apples, pears, peaches, strawberries, etc. The upside: fruit is a winner compared to the cookies and candy I also wanted (and still ate). The downside: fruit tends to have a good amount of sugar which is something you want to have a little control of when pregnant. Instead of saying NO to fruit, I tried to add some sort of healthy fat or protein to every serving of fruit. Some of my go-to options: apple + peanut butter, fruit yogurt + chia seeds, grapes + cheddar cheese + crackers.
First Trimester Must-Haves
When it comes to my first few months with baby, these were the things I used on a daily basis.