Dress– me at 13 weeks 🙂
Oh gosh! I still can’t get over all of this, but here we are! I am now well into my second trimester. But I really want to go back and be able to remember all of the details of my pregnancy. It look so so long to even get here that I’m honestly not sure if we will do it again. I will never say never, but I told myself I was going to enjoy this as much as I could and take it all day by day.
The first trimester for me was a tough one as I think many women can relate to. If you have gone thru a loss before I think you can understand where I am coming from. There are so many tests and ultrasounds, blood draws, etc. that you have to get thru. Every week it was something new. And on top of it all you don’t feel your best.
This might sound weird, but over the years, every night before I fell asleep I would say my prayers. And one of them I always asked for was that the next time I got pregnant, to please make me feel sick every single day. Well, I got exactly what I had hoped for! Being sick was a constant reminder that things were clicking and working and we had a healthy baby developing. And if you are reading this and never had an ounce of nausea during your pregnancy, first you are really lucky and second, you can still have a very normal and healthy baby without being sick.
Anyway, I really didn’t have many symptoms until I was about 8 or 9 weeks. But those first few weeks I was crazy hungry all the time. I mean, I couldn’t get enough to eat. But I also attribute some of that increased hunger to the meds I was on. At the time, I was taking 2 shots a day (progesterone in oil and Lovenox), and a millions pills. I serioulsy had to buy a pill organizer because I couldn’t keep up with what I was on.
And then around 8/9 weeks the nausea that I had been praying so badly for set in. I know they call it morning sickness, but I had it alllll day long. Actually, I think it was worse right before I would go to bed. I never actually threw up, although a few times I thought I was about to. But I constantly felt hungover, but almost worse because I wasn’t out partying and having fun the night before!
Another symptom I had was extreme exhaustion. I feel so incredibly fortunate because I have still been working from home. And I’m not really sure I would have been able to survive if I wasn’t. I expect I would have been calling in sick a lot of time to catch up on sleep. Most days during my lunch break I would set an alarm and close my eyes for a cat nap. And most nights I couldn’t keep my eyes open past 9pm. I felt so bad for Kurt during this time because it was the middle of winter (January and February) and I felt like I was leaving him all to himself. I felt like I slept winter away this year haha!
When I say that we had lots of appointments to get thru I really mean it. I had an ultrasound on this little ham bone almost every week- 6, 7, 8, 10 and 12 weeks. She loves getting her picture taken haha.
Our first ultrasound at 6 weeks was very anxiety ridden. I had already known I was pregnant and by that time had three good blood tests that indicated the pregnancy was progressing, but you just never know. My nerves were threw the roof that morning! And worse because of Covid, Kurt wasn’t able to attend (and still can’t) to hold my hand.
My clinic was running late that day, of course. And then by the time I was finally in a room, had undressed and the tech came back in, the tech announced that my bladder was too full and I would need to get dressed again and go empty it. Mind you, I just went to the bathroom about a half hour ago.
Finally, after my heart felt like it was beating out of my chest, she was able to confirm baby was nestled in right where she needed to be. And while I didn’t get to hear the heartbeat, I saw it beating nice and strong on the monitor. I was so excited to call Kurt and tell him the good news and that is all we could talk about.
The 7 and 8 week ultrasound went as planned and they are really just making sure baby was still growing and that everything still looked good. With an IVF baby, they monitor you a lot closer. By week 9, we had officially graduated from our fertility clinic. They were done with us and it was now time for the OB to take over. This was a HUGE milestone.
By 10 weeks, I was finally able to stop all of my meds and my body was able to even out a little more. I still had all of the same symptoms, but I somehow just felt better without the meds. At our 10 week appointment with the OB, we did have a little scare. She wasn’t able to find the baby’s heartbeat with the Doppler which gave me a mini heart attack. I just kept thinking in my head- this would be my luck. I made it thru all of the meds and shots, only now for something to happen. She explained this can be common so early on, so it tried to stay calm, but it was very hard!
So she did a quick ultrasound and we found baby in there, happy as can be. There were many tears and the tech kept asking me if I was alright. I gently explained to her that I had gone thru IVF and had a previous loss so these were not always easy for me. She was so understanding too! I was able to finally hear the baby’s heartbeat for the first time- it was beautiful! And after that I think I blacked out because I don’t remember a lot. I was so overwhelmed and grateful that baby was still in there moving all around.
I might have only briefly talked about this before, but with my first pregnancy we didn’t have a 10 week ultrasound (its not standard at my OB office). And we had really bad news when we got to our 12 week ultrasound that our baby was not healthy. So 12 weeks was a huge milestone for us to hit this time around. And I think this little baby knew that too and that’s why she was ‘hiding’ and we couldn’t hear her heartbeat. She wanted me to get an ultrasound that day to know that everything looked good and that she was growing like she needed to. I really think it was God’s way of relieving some of the anxiety I was having during this time. He showed me that this baby was a healthy one!
First Trimester Recap
Symptoms During the 2ww
I really dread this time frame because you just never know what can happen after it. Either you get devastating news that the transfer didn’t work. Or wonderful (and sort of scary) news that you are expecting a baby! Either way it is incredibly emotional. This was our 8th time doing to so you would have thought we would be old pros by now. I remember telling Kurt, I would do an egg retrieval with all the shots and meds every month for a year to never have to go thru another two week wait again. I hate it!
Anyway, my first real symptom was cramping. The day of the transfer I was given a Valium which let me tell you was amazing! I was so relaxed and just go with the flow haha. It also knocked me out and I think I took a four hour nap that day. When I woke up, the cramping had started. But it is so hard to tell if the cramping was from all the meds or something else was happening.
The cramping got a little more intense about four days after the transfer. I remember describing it to Kurt that it felt like a tiny dot in the middle of my belly and it was radiating and pulsating. I pictured it like the planet Saturn with rings around it. Such a weird descpription, I know, but it was a strange sensation.
I was pretty much convinced this transfer wasn’t going to work that is until I started to get these crazy, vivid dreams. And the people in these dreams were people I hadn’t seen in years. I’m talking people from college that I probably haven’t spoken to since college. They were so real though! I remember waking up the next day and telling Kurt about them and that maybe we were still in this because I had gotten crazy dreams the last time I was pregnant too.
I also had extreme exhaustion. The two week wait happened to be over Christmas where we traveled back to Michigan to be with family. We drove home on Christmas Eve and I was fighting to keep my eyes open that day. I actually thought it was just from traveling that day and chalked it up to that. But the days after were also the same. I would leisurely get up in the morning and by lunch time I would pass out HARD for a little nap. I don’t think anyone could have woken me up if they even tried. And then by 9pm I was out cold again. Honestly, I really thought it was just all the meds I was on which I’m sure some of it was.
How We Found Out
We had a blood test scheduled for that Monday after Christmas. I was so happy we had the holiday to distract ourselves because it actually went by really fast. I went in to my clinic as early as I could and then waited for the dreaded call.
Finally I saw my clinics number pop up and I answered it. It was my favorite nurse all chipper as can be which she always was so I didn’t look too much into it. Kurt had just gotten on a call right before my phone rang so I went to the back bedroom so I could hear a little better. When I heard her say- Congratulations you are pregnant! I froze and fear instantly set it. I know its probably not a normal reaction, but after everything we had been thru, the past was creeping back up and I was so scared history would repeat itself.
We chatted a little longer and I know I was very matter of fact. I remember her asking me if everything was ok because I’m sure she was expecting me to elated! Which I was, just also really scared. And I broke down. The tears started to flow and I just told her I was really overwhelmed. She was really sweet and said that my doctor is very accommodating and if I needed extra blood tests or ultrasounds we could make that happen.
In the meantime, Kurt had gotten off the phone and was ease dropping and convinced that I was now crying because it didn’t work. He did hear me say I was overwhelmed which he knew was sort of a weird description if it had not worked. I hung up the phone and walked to the other room and I told him it had worked! For whatever reason I couldn’t say the words yet that I was pregnant because I didn’t really believe it yet. He was, of course, in shock to!
Two days later I went in for another blood draw to make sure that my numbers were increasing as they should. I was just as nervous as the first one. About a year prior we had a pregnancy called a chemical pregnancy where I was initially pregnant, but the numbers did not go up by the second blood draw- they actually decreased. So I knew this could go a few different ways.
My numbers doubled like they should, but they basically were a perfect double. And even though my nurse wasn’t concerned in the least bit, I was really cautious. I texted my doctor (one thing that I absolutely loved about our doctor is that I could reach out to her at any time and she would respond back). And she eased my fears and said it was great and the numbers looked great. She actually laughed at me! It wasn’t until my third blood draw when my numbers had more than doubled that I could let out a little sigh of relief. Baby was growing!
- My first symptom was extreme exhaustion. And just so tired allll the time. I would pass out HARD on the couch in a matter of seconds and wake up confused haha. Those were the best naps ever. I was also ready for bed most nights at 8pm! During the week, I had my routine down, but the weekends were another story because I always wanted to run errands and get some stuff done. I had plans this winter to get so much cleaned out and organized, but I never did one project! Most Saturday’s I would go to the grocery store and come home to put the groceries away and be so wiped out that I would lay down to take a long nap. It’s crazy how much rest I needed during this time!
- I was also thirsty all the time. And would wake up with a dry mouth and chug water.
- I was so hungry all the time and all food just sounded so good. I never really had any aversions, but I wanted to eat things like chicken and pasta all the time. Comfort food just sounded so good to me and we don’t usually eat like that! You might remember this was the time that I really started cooking a lot. And that is mostly because everything just sounded so good all the time haha.
- During the first trimester, I did have some nausea too. I never actually threw up, but felt sick most of the day and night. Nighttime was actually worse for me and it always happened right before bedtime. I just felt very hungover all the time minus the alcohol!
Must Have Products
- I took so many naps during this time. Some days I would even close my eyes for 20 minutes during lunch time (the perks of being able to work from home!) and this blanket was a must. I wrapped up in it every chance I could get.
- I was also soooo thirsty all the time and it seemed I could never get enough water so this water bottle was a life saver! It keeps the water so cold and holds a ton. I usually drink 3-4 of these a day.
- Since I was so tired all the time, dry shampoo was a must. I swear the days I would have to shower and wash my hair, I would be exhausted by the time I had to sit down at my computer to work. Dry shampoo was a life saver. And sleeping on my silk pillowcase was also a must too. It really helps reduce kinks your hair. So most mornings I only had to spray a little dry shampoo, brush and we were good to go. That meant more time to sleep haha!
- I lived in leggings particularly this pair and this pair. Thankfully I was still able to work from home or else I don’t know how I would have managed. One day I tried to wear normal jeans and it just wasn’t working. And by the end of the day they were unbuttoned because they felt so uncomfortable.
- This clay mask as been a life saver! My skin has broken out soooo badly. I use this as a mask a few times a week mostly just on my chin. And I use it overnight as a spot treatment. If I don’t use this, my skin is even worse. My number 1 product for this trimester, hands down!
- This is probably really random, but these storage containers for the fridge were a game changer. I tried to eat as healthy as I could and luckily I never really had any food aversions so I was able to eat healthy. I would cut up fruits and veggies every week and put them in these bins to snack on all week. If I didn’t do this, I think I would have been a lot more lazy with my eating, but I knew it was an important time to eat healthy.
- Every morning and night I started to slather on this body butter to help prevent stretch marks. I apply it on my thighs, belly and boobs and I still use it to this day. And actually really, really like it. I started doing this around 8 or 9 weeks. I figured it couldn’t hurt!
- My boobs have grown so much and very early on, my bras no longer fit. I’ve been wearing these.
- My OB told me that if I read one book, make it be this one! So I ordered it and follow along every week. And I actually really enjoy it and it has helped to ease a lot of fears or questions I may have. I also read this one about food and pregnancy, which was really interesting.
- These ginger candies were a lifesaver for me when I was feeling sick! They worked instantly and tasted really good too. I also wore these sea bands for nausea. They didn’t take the nausea away completely but took the edge off.
Oh boy, I gained about 7-8 pounds during my first trimester. I would get so angry when the apps would say ‘it’s normal to only gain a few pounds by now’ or ‘you might be too sick during your first trimester so you might not have gained any weight at all’. Every pregnancy is different, but I was like, what am I doing wrong here?! I really just couldn’t stop eating haha.
But I also blame it on all the meds I was on. I was on a ton and one of them was prednisone, which can increase your appetite. There were some days I was eating every hour- no joke! I would go to the grocery store during this time and come home with LOADS of groceries haha. Everything just looked so good! Once I went off the meds, my hunger became more controllable and I have slowed down on the weight gain. I honestly try not to worry too much about it though because what is important is that baby is growing. And my doctor isn’t concerned in the least bit.
I didn’t do much in my first trimester. I was actually a little scared to do anything which I know is ridiculous. But I wanted to give myself grace, rest as much as I needed to and let this little baby grow. I still continued our walks with Addie, but even that started to dwindle. Hey, it was the middle of February and we got hit with a ton of snow and freezing cold temps. Walking was tiring enough for me and all the added snow and layers was just too much sometimes. I really focused on rest this first trimester.
What I’ve Bought
I bought this adorable baby blanket because I am obsessed with this brand and she needs something just as cozy as mama! And I also bought this pregnancy journal. I document every week what is going on with the pregnancy and in our lives. And I hope she will read it some day and know just how much we love her! But that was really all I bought during this timeframe. I think I was more worried at this time about how my body would change and what I was going to wear haha. I plan on sharing my favorite maternity clothing items so stay tuned for that.
When is you due date?
September 4th- Labor Day weekend!
How has Addie and the cats reacted?
Addie really wants nothing to do with me haha. She has always been more drawn to Kurt. Over this past summer I started taking her on morning walks and we really started to bond. She was definitely favoring me and it made Kurt so jealous! But once it got really cold and we then got a ton of snow, I stopped our walks and haven’t picked them up since. Honestly, I was really nervous I would slip and fall on the ice during that time. Addie loves the winter and snow and goes a little crazy (in a cute way) when she sees snow. So it’s nothing against her but she isn’t as good on her leash in the winter. I was just being overly cautious too!
The cats, however, have been more drawn to me lately, especially Frank (our older cat). He loves to snuggle up to me when I am napping and just genuinely seems more interested in me lately.
How did you tell your families? Friends?
Our immediate families knew the day we found out because that is just how IVF works haha. We needed their support no matter the outcome. I slowly started to tell my girlfriends, mostly over the phone because we weren’t seeing a lot of people in person due to Covid and trying to be safe. All of my close friends knew about our IVF journey and would frequently ask how things were going so it was something that I couldn’t hide for very long! The rest of our friends and family we started to tell around weeks 14/15 after we got some of the initial test results back from the doctor. We needed to make sure baby was healthy before we could celebrate.
Were you nervous to share your news?
Not really. We waited until we felt ready and knew that we had a healthy baby so it just felt right to share. Everyone has been so excited with tears, words of encouragement and well wishes. We have been so lucky to have had so many people in our corner praying for us!
Do you know the sex?
Yes- we are having a little girl! I shared our reveal here.
And if you made it this far- congrats hahah because that was a lot. Thank you for the support along the way and I can’t wait to share and document the rest of my pregnancy.