The first trimester crawled by for me… it was the most excited and nervous I think i’ve ever been about anything. Nervous mostly because those first few months are the riskiest and uncertain (at least for first timers like me!) and excited because, um BABY!!! Hopefully my list of must haves for the first tri can help someone along the way!
- Reasonable Expectations: on so many levels; with your partner, with your parents/in-laws, with your friends, and especially with yourself. Finding out you’re expecting is really HUGE news whether you were planning it or not… for me it was a mix of a sense of relief (because *high five* we did it!) a deep feeling of gratitude (that it happened so quickly and easily for us, that we didn’t have to struggle like so many families do) and an overwhelming feeling of calm. I expected because I was feeling all of these things, everyone else would too! Eh, wrong. I will tell you chris’ first reaction was disbelief, which I struggled with! It quickly morphed into hopeful trepidation as we waited for that first appointment. If I had held him to what I expected him to feel (which was exactly what I was feeling duh) I highly doubt those first few months would have been as enjoyable! Happy to say now chris is maybe even more excited than I am (impossible!) but everyone processes at their own pace. We told our families at about 7 or 8 weeks and their reactions were so heartwarming, but I hadn’t set ANY expectations for them. Because we weren’t going “public” until 12-13 weeks, our families were both stuck in silence… some of the most challenging weeks for us all I think. Friends, families and partners won’t all react to your news the way you’ll expect… some better, some different, and some not at all. The key is to stay centered in your own joy and really come from a place of love in your interactions with the people you care about the most (nobody else really matters, right?) Being reasonable with yourself is maybe the hardest part of the first trimester. It was for me. I didn’t look pregnant, i didn’t have the crazy morning sickness and nobody (generally speaking) even knew i was pregnant so i expected myself to just go about life as is and FEEL totally normal… um no. That’s not how it works when you’re growing a baby!! (hindsight, here.) Some days were great and super high energy but some were slower and i had to be a little kinder with myself. I scaled back my workouts, i stood up a little slower, i took it easy after work and lessened my traveling a little bit. I just became a little nicer to myself, although looking at how my body was changing (fluffy…i just really looked fluffy) was hard. Maybe a post for another time.
- Stretchy jeans: I didn’t gain a single pound my first trimester BUT my body changed a ton. I was puffy and retaining water and my regular jeans just didn’t feel right. GAP has really great inset panel jeans- you won’t be ready for the full panel yet (goes all the way up to your boobs… no.) but the inset just gives you a little bit more stretch.
- A loose plan: you’re going to want to start thinking about what needs to get done in the next 9 months and if you’re feeling great right now- there is literally no better time to get started. If you’re first trimester is tough, you may want to stick to planning and wait to act until tri-2. My first trimester was THE BEST I had high energy (by comparison) and slept pretty well. I also had totally controllable morning sickness- so if I was good about when/what I was eating, I was good to go! My version of planning is
probablydefinitely a little extreme… I had an 8 page excel sheet put together by week 7…so um. yeah. but that’s me! You don’t need that many pages (or even an excel sheet) but some kind of document is a great way to stay organized and keep things moving. It’s been so helpful for comparing registry items and keeping track of advice from different resources. It helped me feel that total sense of calm because I knew all the research and blog flipping I was doing wasn’t going to have to be revisited. Maybe I’ll share the spreadsheet in a blog post??? My gf Nicole originally sent hers to me and I about wept because it was so beautiful. (thanks nic!!!)
- Belly Butter– i don’t know if this works or if i’ll end up with stretch marks (no pls no!) but i will literally do ALL of the things possible to prevent them… including slather up AM and PM in oil or lotion. I alternate between these three products: Burts Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter, Mama Mio Tummy Butter Rub, or my FAVORITE Mama Mio Tummy Rub Oil. I love the oil at night, it smells so good and feels really nice on your skin, not greasy at all. The Burts Bees is a lot lighter (and i think a little less “nutrient dense” because of it) but is great for mornings. I’m not sure if most people start using lotions or oils this early on, but the more time your skin has to absorb the vitamin E and become more elasticized the better!! I do know stretch marks are primarily hereditary so again no promises on this one but might as well try!
- The Snoogle: my favorite purchase so far. The Snoogle is so legit. By far the ugliest pillow you will ever own but I haven’t slept a night without it and I’m SO glad i have it now that i’m in my second trimester. It comes in a white case that is impossible to get on and off, so i highly recommend the pillow case for it that has a zipper and makes it much easier to throw into the wash. The best part of this pregnancy pillow is that it supports your back, creates space for your knees and you can use it to prop up your boobs (because they hurt.. so much. so much hurting). This one was another recommendation to me from my gf nicole who has been my pregnancy guru from day one.
Anyway, hope this helps any other first trimester mamas!