Hatch Dress – runs true to pre-pregnancy size
First off, thank you all so much for the LOVE! We are so excited for our little baby and your sweet words of encouragement really mean so much. I’ve collected your questions about my first trimester of pregnancy and am answering them below Xo
When is baby due?
When did you find out?
We found out on Dec 21st – the week of Christmas! For the last two Christmas’ I’ve told S all I want is a baby so it which was so special.
How did you find out?
I was reading a book on my couch because S and I had the week of Christmas off. I randomly realized that my period was to come in two days so it was a normal time to take an early predictor test (I had taken the month off from tracking apps, ovulation strip, etc. because I was just exhausted from it all).
Well, IT WAS POSITIVE!! I just could not believe it.
If you’re trying, I highly suggest getting the tests that clearly state “pregnant” or “not pregnant” like these I used by Clear Blue. The pregnancy tests with lines are just plain confusing / misleading at times and they are the same price from what I’ve seen.
How did you tell S?
He had just come inside from working on the snowblower. I had the test tucked into my sports bra not sure how I’d tell him, but then I whipped it out and showed him! After the amount of time we waited for this to happen, I couldn’t contain myself to do anything, but that. Especially since it was the month before moving forward with our fertility treatment plan so our expectations were not set for it to be positive!
Did you get pregnant from fertility treatments?
We got pregnant without any medical treatments.
The next step in our fertility journey was for me to have surgery to remove an underlying condition I have that our doctor felt was interfering with us conceiving. Then we were going to move to IUI.
The cycle after my sonohystergram with HyCoSy, we got pregnant! Our fertility doctor told us, after he knew we were pregnant, that they do see conception rates rise the cycle after this procedure so maybe this was a reason!
*If you are on a fertility journey please know that reading something like this can be very triggering and I understand how you feel. This would have hurt my heart. Not because you aren’t happy for the person, but because you wonder why it’s not happening for you. I understand your feelings. It’s so unfair. Please know that my heart goes out to you and I’m always here to talk. Something that got me through the hardest of days was know no matter what, someway (whether medical, adoption, etc) I would be a mom. You will be too. Here is a post I wrote at my lowest of lows that you may find comfort in. Also lean on your loved ones. Our best friends and parents were huge support systems through this and opening up to them helped us immensely.*
What tracking apps and strips did you use?
I suggest using Kindara. I originally used Ovia for over a year until I realized it’s more of a period tracker app. What I mean by that is it – it doesn’t leverage analytics to project your fertile window. It just keeps your fertile window the same depending on the basic “cycle length” from your account info. Sometimes if you input a LH surge, it’ll move fertile dates, but it doesn’t adjust future months based off past analytics and doesn’t even taken into account any of your basal body temperature (BBT) which is a huge flaw in my opinion. It has a spot to input the BBT, but it doesn’t alter your fertile window based on the data so it’s a bit useless.
Kindara projects your fertile window based off analytics and takes into account both your cycle length, LH hormones and BBT.
As for ovulation strips, I started with these by Pregmate, but I don’t suggest them because they just report a positive of negative LH surge. I preferred these ovulation strips which connect to an app and tell you the precise numerical amount of LH plus if it’s high, medium or low. I’d then take that number and input it into my Kindara app. This way, you can see your body’s LH gradually increasing which gives you a better window for trying. A positive/high LH means you will ovulate within 24-48 hours. The reason I found the gradual update to be more helpful is because this allows you to know the window for trying .. as you see it increase, you know your LH spike is on the way! You want to try leading up to the LH spike, not just the day you get a positive because swimmers live in ya for five days :-).
Are you showing?
At first my response to this was “kinda”. Then we took these pics and I can say I certainly am haha! I’ve been living in PJs and leggings so being in a form fitting dress definitely made my bump show. Little babe is growing!
Are you drinking coffee?
I’m not, but that is because I’ve had a huge aversion to it since week six. I was only drinking one cup a day pre-pregnancy that was well under the caffeine milligram’s allowed per day so I could have continued, but the thought of it makes my stomach turn.
How did you tell your family and friends?
My in-laws live in Sarasota and my dad lives in Maine so we told them both over FaceTime! They knew we were going through the motions of fertility treatments so they were shocked and so excited! We told them after the first ultrasound at seven weeks. Our parents are both SO excited and were smiling ear to ear (after my dad cried of course haha). Then we told our siblings!
Once we were near the end of the first trimester and had a healthy 11 week heartbeat and scan, we told our best friends. We just wanted to be safe since it’s scary all that can go wrong in the first trimester. For friends we could see in person, we brought them a gift bag with baby bottle pops inside! Then for our other friends, we video chatted or phoned them. It was so fun to experience this with each person. We are so blessed to have such close friends and support in our life that are truly family to us. Some of them cried, some screamed and all smiled ear-to-ear haha! We have a very close set of college friends and this is the first baby of the group so everyone keeps saying this babe will be so loved and spoiled. They are so, so excited!! Having so much support from our family and friends has made this amazing time even that more amazing!
What was your first symptom?
I didn’t know it then, but complete exhaustion! S had been joking with our his mom and our friends that all December I had been going to bed at 8PM. I thought this was because I was tired from how busy work was since I was in the midst of a new campaign launch. I’d sleep 8-8 ideally, but a few days would get up at 6AM to work out. In fact a couple days before we found out, we were at our friend’s house and come 8PM I needed to go home because I needed to sleep! It was the weirdest feeling. We didn’t know I was pregnant yet because that was at 3.5 weeks.
After finding out we were pregnant, my symptoms, other than continued exhaustion, were definitely cramping and bloating. I had both for about two weeks – weeks four and five. It was the type of achey cramp I usually would get a day or two before my period. Apparently these cramps were a mix of our little babe embryo implanting and also the uterus growing. I’m unsure if everyone bloats as much as I did or if it was exacerbated by my endometriosis being agitated from all going on in there, but gosh! It was a struggle for me to even be comfortable in leggings with loose tops. Both subsided come week six.
Then the nausea hit me like a mac truck on week six. Ah.
Do you know the gender?
Yes!!! We will be sharing soon. We want to share with friends and family first.
To find out the gender together, I got the envelope with the results from my OB on Fri. Feb 12 and had our favorite local bakery stuff a cupcake with blue or pink frosting. We bit into it together that night and then immediately called both our parents! Although we would be over the moon with either gender and just want/pray for a healthy child, I’m so glad we decided to find out because it’s made us both feel so connected to the baby.
What has been your favorite experience so far?
Finding out the gender because it really made a huge connection develop between us and babe. We were equally as happy with both genders and just want a healthy little babe, but for some reason finding this out just made it feel more real!
Also seeing the baby each time on the ultrasounds or hearing their little heartbeat are both pinch me moments. It’s such a weird experience because you know you’re pregnant, but other than a growing stomach and lots of medical side effects, it doesn’t really click that there is a human growing inside you even when you see it on the OB’s screen. I can’t wait to feel the baby move around!
Has S been able to go in for doctor appointments?
He drives me to all my appointments, but he has not been able to go in. Luckily my OB’s office sends photos and videos to an app for us to save and view so it was actually just as special seeing it together after my appointment. We are very thankful for that.
For all ultrasounds after the first, I’ve actually been going to an office in the city because I have underlaying medical things that need to be monitored (baby is safe and healthy! It’s unrelated and something I had before that I was going to have surgically removed before we found out we were pregnant). At this clinic, we get to FaceTime which is so special! I’ll never forget S’ face when he saw the baby live for the first time at 11 weeks. It melted my heart.
Also my husband deserves the world because he has done everything to keep me, Muenster, babe and our house running these last few months. He’s just amazing. It’s such a blessing to have him working from home during this time!
Have you been exercising and if so, what?
Yes, but it’s been much shorter than my pre-pregnancy work outs and usually ~20-30 minutes. I do Peloton spin classes and weights 4-6 days a week. On days I don’t work out, S and I go for a walk around our neighborhood – rain, snow, negative degrees or shine.
What pre-natal are you taking?
I’m taking this one by Ritual. I started taking it in 2019 after getting my IUD out. I also take a Vitamin D supplement because my levels came back low. S also takes their essential for men.
For a couple weeks during the first trimester, I couldn’t swallow pills so I had to opt for a chewable. I held a lot of guilt because I knew a chewable was not best for baby, but ultimately it was better than not taking any.
Are you still working on your MBA?
Yes! I have a chunk under my belt and I’m planning to continue as normal through my pregnancy. I will take the fall semester off because that is when my baby will be born and we’ll be navigating a newborn. Then I’ll pick school back up once my maternity leave is done. I will have a little babe on my hip at graduation and I can’t wait 🙂
Favorite pregnancy snacks?
Towards the end of the first trimester, weeks 11 and 12, I started to eat primarily normal again with a few aversions still standing. So now for snacks I’m eating lots of cottage cheese, protein shakes (I like the Tone It Up, Evolve Vegan and Organic Nutrition ones from Whole Foods), fruit, smoothies, jarred peaches, Chomps, pistachios, oatmeal, protein bars, green smoothies, yogurt, hard boiled eggs, toast, cashews and apples with peanut butter.
My hunger has drastically gone up starting in week eleven. Most days I eat two breakfasts! I wake up with Muenster and have yogurt with fruit and chia seeds to chill my nausea out. Then I wake up S asking him to make me two eggs and toast. By this time it literally feels like I’m starving again! I feel like as long as I’m eating whole, nutrient foods I’m doing okay. My other meals during the day also aren’t as big since I munch on healthy snacks to keep my belly fill to avoid nausea.
The largest chunk of the first trimester was survival where I had a lot of peanut butter and banana toast, cereal, fruit and english muffins. If you’re struggling to eat much through the first trimester, know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel! It’s so hard and I feel for you. Also your little babe is eating from their yolk sac, not the placenta just yet so don’t worry about not eating the most nutrient dense things (consult your doc!).
Have you had any aversions or cravings?
I have had an aversion to just about every food in the first trimester, but come week nine I started to be on the up-and-up. I woke up one day and just felt like myself with subtle nausea. I’ll take it! I still have some aversions to foods like coffee, broccoli, avocado, onions, garlic and red sauce.
I’d do many things for a Korner Store breakfast pizza (from my hometown 4 hours away) or a Mr.Bagel everything bagel with chive cream cheese (bagel shop in Portland, ME where I went to college).
I haven’t had any real cravings other than that, but I always want eggs, fruit and toast! At one point I wanted to inhale orange juice for three straight weeks and couldn’t get enough, but that has subsided. And as of this weekend I woke up from a six hour nap and really want hot fudge sundaes, but will have to keep that one under control haha.
What do you think attributed to getting pregnant without treatments?
I think it’s was mainly a combination of timing that was out of our control, my sonohystergram with HyCoSy and my endo treatments.
I wish I could give one magical food or something to tell you, but we had done all the basics a year+ prior. I switched over our beauty and house products to mainly all nontoxic years ago. This included all nontoxic cleaning supplies, cooking pans, hand soaps, detergent, tupperware (all glass, no plastic), etc in preperation. We aren’t big drinkers. I seed cycled every month for over a year. We eat dark leafy greens daily. I limited coffee to one per day over two years ago.. I could go on and on. Anything I could find that could help our odds, we did it for months or years before conceiving. They likely helped in a way, but none of them were a magic change the month before to result in a pregnancy.
- Timing – I have something going on where one of my ovaries is working better than the other. My doctors confirmed that we got pregnant off my strong ovary so maybe my other side was trying more often which lead us to be unsuccessful?
- Sonohystergram with HyCoSy – this is a (super uncomfortable) procedure where a specialist pumped air into my tubes to see if it would spill over. If it spilled over, which mine did, that meant that my tubes are not blocked. That is a positive thing for getting pregnant! Our fertility doctor said that he has seen couples that struggle with subfertility (meaning you are not infertile.. you just have no clear diagnosis as to why you’re not conceiving) often become pregnant naturally after this procedure. Our doctor said this after we told him the news of our pregnancy, not before the surgery. I disclaimer this because the purpose of this procedure was to check my tubes, not increase the odds of pregnancy.
- Endo: I have endometriosis and that causes rampant inflammation which isn’t ideal when an embyo is attempting to implant. Starting in Augusta I cut out all refined sugar, gluten and alcohol which are my largest inflammation triggers. Maybe the tamer environment was more conducive for getting pregnant!
What do you miss most?
Not much! Just licking the end of bowl when baking haha. Neither of us are big drinkers and I also don’t eat raw fish or soft cheese. So nothing to really miss.
What was your first baby purchase?
We actually got the crib exactly a year before we found out. That may sound odd, but I had a payment from a brand in the form of a gift card that had to be used and it would cover the purchase. It sat in the boxes inside our basement, but we knew we’d use it eventually!
But my first purchase since finding out? I grabbed a lion onesie because of their big brother, Muenster!
What books have you read?
I read all of these in 2019 so a year before we even conceived. I starred the ones I liked and found helpful.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting
Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy – kinda stated the obvious for every section, although S referenced it in the beginning for some things we had questions on like approved medications
Real Food for Pregnancy – with my nausea, there was 0 chance I ate anything she suggest for the first tri..
and like eight more I need to track down the titles of..
What symptoms did you have in the first trimester?
Exhaustion, bloating and cramps as noted earlier and debilitating, intense NAUSEA!
For nausea, the only thing that helped me be able to eat food, not dry heave all day and actually be able to work was Phenergan. I had it really bad, but finally found something to help me be able to function at 60%. Advocate for yourself! If you cannot function, there is medicine that is okay for baby to take from your OB.
I’m grateful that my school was out of session for winter break through the really challenging nausea-filled weeks which was a huge silver lining and I can work from home in PJs. Thankful!
Did you do genetic testing?
My husband and I were both tested and negative for over 240 genetic diseases through our fertility testing so I don’t think we needed to, but we did at 10 weeks just to be as informed as we could be. We are so thankful that everything came back as low risk! We also found out the gender this way.
What are you using for stretch marks?
I use this lotion after I shower just as I did pre-pregnancy. I haven’t found any belly-specific products I like yet. I’ll take any suggestions!
Are you still coloring your hair?
No I haven’t colored my hair since getting pregnant. I coincidentally got it done right before we conceived, and since I get it touched up every three or four months, it timed perfectly to avoid getting any color done in the first trimester. I will get it colored safely starting in my second, but the dye doesn’t touch my scalp anyways. Check with your doctor on this and do what you feel comfortable with.
Thank you for all your support and excitement about our little babe! I cannot wait to take you along on this motherhood journey 🙂 We will be sharing the gender soon and then I can share all the cute things I’ve gotten hehe! Xo Mindy
Gah! This made me cry because I’m just so happy for you guys!! xoxo
We love you, Leeann!!!!