The pits and peaks of the first trimester | Rhyme & Reason
My first trimester recap with baby number 2

My First Trimester Recap with Baby 2

Bozeman, Montana
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I recently reread my first trimester recap from my pregnancy with Rowan and got such a kick out of traveling back in time. It inspired me to write my first trimester recap with baby 2 as well so I can document this pregnancy too. My first trimester with baby #2 honestly feels like so long ago. We’ve had so much happen with our little family between now and then and have had the holidays and a start to a new year since then too. It feels very different than my pregnancy with Rowan that took place all within one calendar year. I am so busy with Rowan that I rarely can even remember what week I am with this pregnancy, whereas with Rowan I knew my week down to the day at all times.

What everyone says is true – I’ve found that subsequent pregnancies fly by much more so than a first pregnancy because you know what to expect and you’re already so busy with your other child or children. With that being said, I tried to stay busy and focused on other things during my first trimester because my miscarriage was so fresh in my mind. As with my pregnancy with Rowan that also followed a miscarriage, I was very nervous about successfully carrying through the first trimester.

Overall, I would say my first trimesters have been emotionally rocky with both of my successful pregnancies and obviously very heartbreaking with my two lost pregnancies. The relief I feel in the second trimester is tremendous. Anywho, onto the post… here is my first trimester recap with baby 2 complete with a look back on the day we found out we were pregnant, pits and peaks of the trimester, the symptoms I experienced, and a first trimester Q&A.

How to survive the first trimester with a young toddler | My First Trimester Recap with Baby 2 | Rhyme & Reason
My first trimester recap with baby 2
My first trimester recap with baby number 2

My First Trimester Recap with Baby 2

The Day We Found Out We Were Pregnant

The day we found out we were pregnant with baby #2 was so different than the day we found out we were pregnant with Rowan. With Rowan, I found out a few days early and with Edwin home. It was really emotional and a very special, happy day. With baby #2, I found out days late (I kept testing negative) and with Edwin away in Alaska. I was so unnerved finding out I was pregnant again after miscarrying again. I think this was because it happened so quickly and because I found out alone without Edwin there to share it with in person. It felt like one quick sigh of relief before I felt like I held my breath for weeks and weeks to come throughout my first trimester.

I told Edwin right away over the phone and while we were both very happy, we were also both pretty protective and settled on “let’s say our prayers and stay optimistic but take it one day at a time”.

Miscarriage definitely robbed us of so much (I’d go so far as to say most) of the joy of finding out we were pregnant but that’s how it has been for us. What I wrote in this post about my first trimester emotional rollercoaster rang true with this pregnancy too. I also felt probably irrational stress that people would say things to me like “you got pregnant again so far, that wasn’t so bad!” While they would be correct that getting pregnant again so quickly was incredible and saved me from potentially months of heartache moving forward, it didn’t change the fact that the miscarriage did happen and I did loose another baby.

I was nervous about my trauma of losing another baby being downplayed and me not being able to cope with that. At the end of the day, it’s all alright because it doesn’t change the fact that we’ve been incredibly blessed beyond belief to have two healthy pregnancies. First trimesters are tough! In my experience, I’ve been much more upbeat and positive in my second and third trimesters! Stay tuned for those trimester recap posts if this felt a bit down. 🙂

First Trimester Symptoms I Experienced

My first trimester symptoms with baby #2 were so different than my first trimester symptoms with Rowan. The one consistent symptom between both pregnancies was exhaustion. I was definitely more exhausted with baby #2 though as I’ve had Rowan on my hands with this pregnancy. Rowan was 10 months old when I got pregnant with this pregnancy so he’s very busy, which keeps me very busy and makes extra rest hard to come by.

With Rowan’s pregnancy, my worst symptom was without a shadow of a doubt hormonal headaches. I had some that were truly grueling and lasted for days. It was hard to do anything but lay in a dark room. I’ve never had a headache before or since then like the ones I had at the beginning of my pregnancy with Rowan. With baby #2, I didn’t get a single headache; however, I did have some really bad bouts of nausea. I threw up more times in my first trimester and into my second trimester than I could count. The throwing up is really challenging when home alone with a toddler. I would confidently say though that my headaches with Rowan were more challenging than the throwing up with this pregnancy (they were that bad).

My skin also reacted completely differently in my first trimesters with each pregnancy. With Rowan, my skin was really clear but with baby #2, I broke out so so much in the first trimester. It was not fun at all.

How to survive the first trimester with a young toddler

First Trimester Pits and Peaks

Pits

Fear of Another Miscarriage

There is no doubt that this was my biggest pit of my first trimester. It pretty much consumed my first trimester and was always in the back of my mind. The less I thought about being pregnant, the better I felt because I was less focused on the fear of miscarriage. It is unfortunate because I wanted to be excited to be pregnant but the excitement just isn’t the same for me post-miscarriage. Fortunately, there are two other trimesters for me to feel excited during!

Distance from Edwin

From when we got pregnant through my 8th week of pregnancy, Edwin and I were together for 6 days. It was a particularly busy time for Edwin work-wise and he was traveling all over for back to back jobs. It was difficult enough to be away from my husband with a toddler for so much time but it was particularly difficult as I was also simultaneously living with my first trimester stress of miscarrying again. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone!

First Trimester Symptoms

As I mentioned above and as is commonly known to everyone, first trimester symptoms are less than ideal. There were times when I’d run to the bathroom to be sick and plop Rowan down on the bathroom floor next to me. As I was throwing up, I would pray Rowan would sit there happily with whatever toy car he was inevitably holding instead of climbing all over me. I know so so so many mothers can relate to this. I’m not special in this situation but I can now empathize with other women living it. It’s just not fantastic, ha!

Peaks

Getting Pregnant Again so Quickly and Staying Pregnant

I had so much good fortunate surrounding me as July 2021 played out. I miscarried at the beginning of July and got pregnant again at the end of July. It was faster than I ever would have imagined and a stroke of pure luck – Edwin and I were only together for one week during the month of July and it happened to be the magic week timing-wise. At the time, we had no idea it was the right timing because, since I was coming off of a miscarriage, we didn’t know how my body was regulating but God blessed us this week and gave us the biggest surprise of all. Of course the fact that I stayed pregnant throughout my first trimester and carried a healthy pregnancy into the future, was the greatest gift I could have asked for.

Life Outside of Pregnancy

During my first trimester, I was lucky enough to have a few really great trips take place to multiple weddings, the west coast, and New England. We also celebrated some family joy with milestones like Rowan’s first birthday during my first trimester. All of these things were highlights of 2021. Each event or trip helped me keep busy and keep my head above water when I was emotionally spinning.

Our Network of Support

There is nothing like a loss to remind you of all that you have. We have so much in the way of family and friends. I’m so grateful for our network of support that showered us in love throughout my first trimester. They made it possible for me to feel excitement for the future and not just feel my first trimester stress.

The pits and peaks of the first trimester | Rhyme & Reason
The pits and peaks of the first trimester | Rhyme & Reason

First Trimester Q&A

Did You Gain Weight in the First Trimester?

Yes, I did this time around. With Rowan’s pregnancy, I didn’t gain any weight in the first trimester. With this pregnancy, I gained 6 pounds. I started having the tiniest bit of a belly at the end of my first trimester around 13 weeks.

Did You Have Pregnancy Cravings in the First Trimester?

Yes! I craved Eggo waffles, Cheerios (regular and honey nut), lemon-flavored things (my mom made me lemon pasta multiple times – thank you mom!), and fruit. I crave fruit so much when pregnant!

Did You Exercise in the First Trimester?

I did my twice weekly pilates all throughout my first trimester and I went on a lot of walks! However, I didn’t really do any major cardio in the first trimester. I saw my acupuncturist during my first trimester and she put it in a way I appreciated – she said this was a time for me to be serving my body but that didn’t mean through setting personal records on my Peloton. This made sense to me so I pulled back during my first trimester and would often rest at a time that I might otherwise be on our Peloton or on a run. I picked cardio back up in my second trimester with our Peloton.

How Were Your Hormones in the First Trimester?

They were crazy! I don’t think they ever fully stabilized between my pregnancy early in the summer, my miscarriage, and this pregnancy that happened so quickly after my miscarriage. I couldn’t always articulate what I was feeling during my first trimester but I could articulate that my hormones had a mind of their own and my emotional control went along with them! Hormones are wild for all women in the first trimester I think!

How Did You Stay Positive When Throwing Up All the Time? Does it Get Better?

I think for me I constantly thought, I’d rather be pregnant and throwing up than not pregnant and not throwing up. It absolutely ends though! During my pregnancy with Rowan and this pregnancy, my first trimester symptoms didn’t end at the end of the first trimester though. Both times, they lasted through about 16 weeks. With this pregnancy, I continued to throw up randomly in my second trimester but it was infrequent. I think so much of it is about perspective and just remembering that it is an unfortunate symptom of the greatest outcome in the world, a beautiful baby. Your body is working hard so give yourself grace and remember that it is a temporary discomfort and a blimp in life.

When Did You Tell Your Family and Friends?

We told family and friends we were pregnant with this pregnancy as it came up naturally. We didn’t make a big thing of it but I also didn’t take any extreme measures to hide it. Our family and many of our close friends knew we were coming off of another miscarriage so, if I miscarried again, we’d share that news as well. It didn’t feel necessary this time around to keep our pregnancy under wraps. That said, I definitely didn’t broadcast it in the first trimester. With most people, if it came up, I shared and if not, I didn’t really.

I think only you know when will feel right to tell your family and friends. When I hear about people broadcasting they are pregnant before their first appointment, I (perhaps wrongly) think they’ve never experienced pregnancy loss or been close to someone who has experienced pregnancy loss. So much has to go right to have a healthy baby and sometimes that can be taken for granted. At the same time, if you’re blessed to take it for granted, then that is incredible and a beautiful thing because you haven’t had to go through the loss.

There is no wrong answer really though between telling friends and family in the first trimester or waiting until clearing the first trimester. In many ways, it is nice telling people in the first trimester because then you have people keeping you in their hearts and, if God forbid something happens, you have a built-in support network around you!

How Do You Stay Calm in the Face of Anxiety?

I am no expert here but I think one of the game changers for me is getting outside and moving my body. During my pregnancy with Rowan and this pregnancy, I walked outside a lot to clear my head, be in nature, and feel the sun on my skin. It helps me so much! I also didn’t bottle my anxiety in. I talked with Edwin about it a lot and he gave me the floor to share it all, which was incredibly helpful and cleansing.

After my first miscarriage, I saw a counselor. After my second miscarriage that happened right before this pregnancy, I didn’t seek out therapy because I felt better equipped to cope the second time around. However, I definitely might have if I hadn’t gotten pregnant again so quickly. I also think therapy would have helped in my first trimester too with anxiety management. In my personal opinion, therapy is incredible and always helpful. It is definitely a tool worth exploring at any point in pregnancy or fertility struggles.

With this pregnancy, I also had Rowan so I honestly just poured my heart, soul, time, and energy into him and that helped me stay grounded and keep my pregnancy/miscarriage anxiety at bay.

Do You Have Recommendations for Traveling During the First Trimester?

My recommendation with traveling during the first trimester is to take it at your own pace. We had some travel that was already planned and it pretty much went fine even with the symptoms I was experiencing. We had a lot of travel really early on that was already planned so some of it was before the worst of my symptoms kicked in, which helped. Do what feels right to you.

I did sadly have to cancel on a bachelorette during my first trimester because the turnaround time was so quick. And I knew it would be physically tough + exhausting on my body. I am really protective of my pregnancies in the first trimester so it just felt like what I had to do at the time. I think pregnancy is a time when we women have every right to put our needs above other people so don’t be afraid to say no to travel if your mind, heart, body, or gut is telling you to. There will be other trips, I promise!

How is the First Trimester with a Young Toddler?

Busy! Once my first trimester symptoms subsided, pregnancy did get easier with a toddler. Now, I’m on the other end in my third trimester where having a toddler during pregnancy is very physically exhausting. So many women get pregnant with subsequent babies while having a young toddler though so I always remind myself I’m not alone. Women are incredible! I think any exhaustion I have now will be worth it for my children to be close in age, which just happens to be something we hoped for in our family.

The first trimester with a toddler can be no joke though. My best piece of advice is probably everyone’s main piece of advice – lean into naps and take them whenever you are able when your toddler naps. Also, let your husband step up and hang with the toddler so you can get some necessary rest during these weeks. The rest made me a better parent, wife, and person!

Photography by Kacie Q Photography. These beautiful family photos were taken in Montana during my first trimester.

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