First trimester: Food, Feelings & How I am Approaching this Pregnancy
So if you haven’t heard – there is a Super Naturally Healthy BABY on the way.
I announced it via social media at the weekend and its been SO lovely to see how many of you are excited about it.
So I know there are lots of questions around pregnancy, so I wanted to do an update post each trimester with how I have been doing, what I’m eating, how I’m feeling/doing/sleep/moving etc.
How the Super Naturally Healthy Baby came about….
Well, when a man loves a woman they have a special……. haha I imagine you all know how this baby was made but I wanted to provide a bit of context to this pregnancy.
I am going to be honest with you – I am not a super broody, ‘can’t wait to have a baby’ kinda gal. I love babies/kids (I have 7 awesome nieces and nephews) and am happy to spend time with kiddos, but have never been bothered about making my own. I really wanted/want to primarily adopt or foster my children – giving birth to them has never been something I desperately desired.
But in comes my handsome husband Joe – he is an absolute hero and one of his big life-long dreams was – you guessed it – having biological children.
So over the years I slowly got my head around being a ‘birth mum’ and whilst I wasn’t overly excited about it, by the end of last year I thought ‘let’s just see what happens’ and BOOM there was a baby.
I share this with you because I have often felt like there is something ‘wrong’ with me for NOT wanting to give birth to my children. Like I am missing something or inherently selfish for not desperately want to reproduce. Because I genuinely have never felt that desire to make tons of babies. And it has taken me a good few years to accept myself the way I am. And, funnily enough, as soon as I did that I was way more at ease with getting knocked up! Haha!
First Trimester update
I thought I was about 12 weeks but after our first scan last week it turns out I am 15 weeks!!!
How I’ve been feeling…
I have felt like shit. No lies there. Utter crap. I have basically felt like I have the flu, you know with that blinding nausea that makes you want to lie in a dark quiet room, for the past 8 weeks but without the fever and body aches.
And with feeling so ill it’s been hard to feel that excited, to be honest – I have had to spend half the day in bed most days and my work has really struggled.
But on the plus side, I have been SUPER grateful on how easily I feel pregnant, how there have been no ‘dangerous‘ or scary moments of spotting or cramping (all of which can be normal). Feeling ill can be a trigger for me emotionally to spiral into high anxiety but I have actually been surprisingly calm and accepting of the process. I tend to rest/go to bed by 2-3pm and then am in bed for the night by 7.30-8pm.
I have also been so grateful that I work for myself as I am not sure I would have managed a 40-hour work in an office type job. Sure I have that voice in my head that tells me I am a total wuss, that women do this all the time and I am being dramatic…but then on then days when I have tried to act ‘normal‘ and ‘buck up‘ I’ve just vomited everywhere – so the lesson learned….
- Terrible nausea – to the point where I just want to be locked in a dark quiet room – daily.
- Vomiting – few times a week (mainly if I don’t rest enough).
- Constipation – this has been mild and I just started to drink more water and add linseeds back into my day and it went away.
- Fatigue – I’ve not noticed this being really bad, to be honest, sure I need to be in bed early and am getting 10-11 hours a night but don’t need to nap in the day often so thankfully this hasn’t been so bad – yay.
- Smell aversions – I can’t bear to be in the kitchen if Joe is cooking kale to go with his morning eggs or if he’s reheating a curry for himself (as cue more vomiting).
- Headaches – only in the past few weeks and they have been mild, normally at the end of the day annoying but not debilitating.
Finding out that my brother and his partner are due a baby at pretty much exactly the same time! YAY. I always thought both myself and my eldest brother would have babies at a similar time and we have both had our health challenges (his far worse than mine) so it was SUCH a good moment to both share our news and see the look on each other’s faces!
Ohhh and seeing Joe’s constant super excited face whenever he thinks about it – it’s the BEST. Can’t wait to watch him being a dad – so far he is doing a great job.
- The ease of which we got pregnant – let’s say SURPRISINGLY quickly….
- Joe – he has been SO good at looking after me, cooking, tidying, and generally doing everything while I sit in bed. He is also great at letting me feel the way I feel and has been totally ok with my low baby-enthusiasm. He’s a HERO!
- On the really grim days I have been taking time to remember that there are many many women that would LOVE to be in my shoes and feeling so sick cos they’re pregnant. So as grim as it has felt I have focused (or tried too) on the miracle it is and that it all just GRACE.
Well, ladies – I’ve had a WHOLE new food education. Thankfully I am still keeping up some healthy habits, can consume vegetables and some healthy things but have also been eating WAY more carbohydrates than I ever normally would and fallen in love with crisps. And honestly, its taken som adjustment for me. I love to eat healthily – it makes me feel good. So it has taken a slight mindset shift to be ok with eating way more processed foods (gluten-free bread, pre-made hummus, soups or the odd ready meal) but I have focused on being kind to myself and it’s not been a huge issue thankfully.
Eating seems to be the only thing to keep the nausea at bay at the beginning of the day so I have been eating every 2 hours which is very different from my 3 meals a day habit. So that has taken some time to get used to. And with feeling so ill I have literally just been eating things I can stomach – which basically means bland carby foods.
So I have mainly been eating…
>> Fruit – probably about 3-4 portions a day (pre-pregnancy I would maybe eat 1) and been loving all kinds of fruit – yay!
>> Gluten-free grains – so my breakfast is often oats with nuts, seeds and fruit and been eating more rice, rice cake, oatcake and gluten-free bread
>> CRISPS – I’ve never ‘gotten’ the whole crisps thing to be honest. Never been a fan – until now. I have been trying my hardest to pick crisp with lower hydrogenated fats (I don’t have a problem with potatoes it’s the crap vegetable oil they deep fry them in that is SUPER problematic and harmful). So I have been eating crisps that are baked or popped not fried, or just super plain crisps to try to avoid the crappy additives. But of course when I have been wondering round Sainsburys with a cardboard box I think I am about to puke in….I just grab the nearest crisps I could find.
>> Cheese – I have loved cheese. So I have been munching on organic mature cheddar as it tasty, fatty and bland. So oatcakes and cheese have been a total winner.
Vegetable – I am SO thankful I have been able to stomach veg as I know so many women can’t in the first trimester. I have been aiming for 2-4 portions a day (pre-pregnancy it would be more like 6-8) and am ok with that. Carrots, broccoli, salady things, squash and most vegetables I am good with – yay!
>> Gluten – as I am non-celiac I asked one of my Uni tutor’s who specialises in pregnancy and fertility who tend to recommends introducing some gluten into my diet as it could be helpful for preventing allergies in my baby. Also I remember listening to a great talk by some do who were doing research into allergies in children and they suggested the same thing (sorry I can’t remember the research doing the presentation) So this has looked like a slice of my sister’s carrot cake, using normal oats, not GF oats, a bacon buttie at 7am on my train to Uni and intentionally trying to have 1-2 portions of gluten-containing food weekly. This has been an experiment but so far I have not noticed it impacting me detrimentally, but I am about to run a thyroid panel on myself so I will be able to see if its impacting my thyroid antibodies. So this is up for discussion as the pregnancy continues – if I suspect excess inflammation then I will ditch it again.
>> Yogurt – plain organic yogurt has tasted SO good. So I often snack on plain yogurt with added fruit or honey – YUM! But want to transition this habit to consuming homemade kefir instead.
>> Hummus – hummus and rice cakes = the best.
>> Ice cream – one night I ate a whole tub of Oppo ice cream for dinner – SO good. But also been making my own chocolate ice cream recipes as it super quick and yummy.
What I’ve not been eating…
>> Fish – I LOVE fish and I managed some sardines early on but if I can force down some wild salmon once a week I am doing good. Hoping to increase this as pregnancy goes on as I normally LOVE fish.
>> Herbal teas – just don’t fancy any of them right now
>> Egg – I normally eat 2-3 a day but can’t always face that – so been managing about 2-3 a week they are a great form of nutrition
>> Alcohol – just the smell of it make me want to vom…
>> Coffee – I’ve probably had 2 coffee’s through this trimester all decaf. Not been craving it at all and the smell of it is not really appealing.
>> Beef – I am normally I huge beef fan but definitely gone off it for some reason.
>> Curry – I ate a veggies curry for lunch one day and the proceeded to vomit it back up and haven’t been able to touch one since…
>> Milk – I have tried introducing milk but I tend to find it makes me feel super mucous-y and I have had a permanent runny nose for the past few week – so I may ditch ALL dairy as time goes on. I suspect I am more sensitive to dairy than I am to gluten so this may be something I focus on being strict about (I reckon all the work I have done on my gut has helped reduce my gluten sensitivity.)
Rules I am NOT following
(These are my own personal choices based on my research and gut feeling – always make your own informed decisions)
Avoiding egg yolks – I have been eating my homemade mayo to try to get the goodness from egg yolk, been eating some soft-boiled or poached eggs. I trust the organic local farm I get my eggs from and from my limited research the risk is minimal.
Healthy eating rules – I have been eating what feels good when it feels good. I’ve not allowed myself to spend too much time thinking about what I ‘should’ be eating (like sardines, eggs yolk, protein etc)
Avoiding liver – well I haven’t actually eaten any yet but I plan to be making my own pate throughout pregnancy as soon as I can stomach it.
To be honest not made any big decisions. I was going to avoid having an ultrasound done due to EMF exposure but I decided against it after chatting with my good friend who is a midwife. I will only do 2 ultra sounds though and will ask them to be as quick as possible.
I opted out of the flu vaccine also as I had the flu at the beginning of my pregnancy and am not convinced of its benefits.
The whooping cough vaccine is meant to happen in a few weeks time so I will do my research on this and decide on its efficacy for myself.
I have also been told to go onto a low dose of aspirin due to family history of pre-eclampsia – I would like to avoid this so am going to look into and see if regular fish oil supplementation would be a natural alternative for blood thinning (I’m guessing it would work great along with closely monitoring my blood pressure. I might get an at home blood pressure reader to keep on top of it all) but TBC.
Birth? I like the idea of a home birth but I am going to see how I feel as the pregnancy progresses and basically I am going to follow my peace. If I feel most peaceful in a hospital I will give birth there, if I will feel more peaceful at the idea of a home birth – I will do it at home. But I have ages to decide….
Minimal – whenever I have tried to exercise I usually end up vomiting the next day. I’ve tried to walk a few times a week or do gentle yoga but when I say I have spent half the day in bed – that’s literally what I’ve been doing!
I think due to hormonal changes and a shift in diet and total lack of activity I’ve definitely been feeling more flabby – but currently (at 12 weeks) all my clothes still fit me so there haven’t been huge changes. Other than bigger boobs! Not massive but definitely a new thing!!!
Unfortunately I have started to get a sore hip – an old injury from running – which is limiting my movement and is consistently sore. So I need to head to my accupuncturist and visit a chiropractor to help sort this out as I want to stay active but is currently too sore to do a lot. I will be starting some pregnancy pilates in April so this should help too.
Best advice/reaction given
Best advice given so far has been to ignore everyone’s advice and find our own path. Genius
Most unhelpful advice/reactions
People were like ‘oh great I was wondering when that was going to happen as you’re 30 now and are getting older…..‘ cue me wanting to punch them in the face.
Oh and people telling me to ‘buck up’ and just somehow ignore that I am ill – which is really just them telling you they think you’re a wuss and over dramatic and that their experience is the right one and you couldn’t POSSIBLY be having a different or worse experience to them. Thanks for that.
So there you have it! Every trimester I will create an update post, otherwise I will be still providing some awesome and varied content over the coming month. But I LOVE to hear from you so let me know any areas or topics in the comments below on the things you would like to here.