My First Trimester Recap | Rhyme & Reason
My First Trimester Recap | Rhyme & Reason

My First Trimester Recap

Charleston, South Carolina
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I’m still in awe and filled with immense gratitude for the love and support y’all gave us when I shared that we are pregnant and that we had a miscarriage before our current healthy pregnancy! I am so incredibly fortunate to have such wonderful readers and followers like you. When I shared my miscarriage experience, I mentioned that I was going to write a post dedicated to my first trimester of this pregnancy because it was a very confusing time for me full of positives and negatives.

Even though I had so much support around me from Edwin, our families, and friends, I’ve never felt more alone in my life than when I was recovering from my miscarriage. This feeling did carry over into my first trimester although not to the same extent, thankfully! I would honestly say that my healing process from our miscarriage lasted throughout the first trimester of my current pregnancy. I don’t think we started trying again before we were ready though. Even if we had waited a few years before trying again, I think a lot of healing would have taken place for me upon experiencing a first trimester again.

So, here goes with my first trimester recap that includes everything from the emotional rollercoaster I felt those 12 weeks to the pits and peaks of the trimester to the symptoms I experienced to a first trimester Q&A. Thank you so much for following along with my pregnancy experience!

My First Trimester Recap | Rhyme & Reason
My First Trimester Recap | Rhyme & Reason

My First Trimester Recap

First Trimester Emotional Rollercoaster

My first trimester recap wouldn’t be complete without sharing the emotional rollercoaster that was my first 12 weeks of pregnancy. When I took a positive pregnancy test again with this pregnancy, I was pretty immediately thrown back into what we went through last year. I had an extremely difficult time feeling excited about this pregnancy because of the fear that it wouldn’t stick. When I miscarried, we hadn’t gotten far enough along yet to do genetic testing and find out why exactly I miscarried. My doctor believed it was a pretty standard miscarriage with no major explanation other than there was a chromosomal issue so the pregnancy was never going to carry anywhere near to term.

I struggled with not knowing for sure if our miscarriage was in fact this or if it was the beginning of a long road ahead of repeated miscarriages and/or fertility issues. So, at just shy of four weeks when I took my positive pregnancy test, the road to getting through week 12 and clearing the first trimester as well as being far enough along to complete genetic testing seemed like an eternity. 

When you clear the first trimester, the chances of a miscarriage don’t go away but they decrease drastically so women often feel a weight lifted when they enter their second trimester. Generally speaking, it’s eight weeks between taking a positive pregnancy test and clearing the first trimester – I can confidently say that those eight weeks were some of the longest of my life. I really struggled with feelings of anxiety and depression during this time. When I was pregnant last year, I only felt joy and excitement.

This second go around, there was definitely joy but the ability to feel that joy wholly was not there for me.

Of course, I am not a doctor, but during my first trimester of this second pregnancy, I felt like what I imagined PTSD to feel like. (Mind you, I didn’t actually see a doctor who diagnosed me with PTSD. And I don’t mean to take PTSD lightly AT ALL.). I felt like I was right back where I was last year. Every time I went to the bathroom, I could sense my world crumbling out of fear that I’d look down and see blood (this thankfully didn’t happen this time). I was too nervous to exercise really, which also didn’t help. Meanwhile, I was experiencing some lovely first trimester physical pregnancy symptoms all while trying to remain calm on a daily basis and keep fear, anxiety, and depression at bay. 

We hardly told anyone that we were pregnant until we entered the second trimester.

However, when we did tell people, I was met with a lot of remarks along the lines of “You can’t control this. Just relax and enjoy this special time.” The intention was great but the message was tough. Similarly to the things I said not to say to someone experiencing or recovering from a miscarriage, this messaging always came from people who hadn’t experienced a miscarriage and meant well but could in no way relate or put themselves in my shoes.

If you experience a miscarriage, then I’d venture to say that, like me, you’d love to relax in the first trimester if you could but it isn’t always that easy. I felt misunderstood and felt like my trauma from our miscarriage wasn’t being taken for what it was: trauma. Overall, it’s all just a really painful experience and it doesn’t help when people try to preach at you to relax and enjoy. Obviously that would be ideal.

The Day We Found Out We Were Pregnant

Despite unfortunately being very stressed during my first trimester, the day we found out we were pregnant again was really wonderful! I did have a day of pure joy, gratitude, relief, and happiness. I don’t really sleep in and this day was no different. So I woke up early and just had a strange feeling. In the previous months of trying since my doctor gave us the green light to try for a baby again, I didn’t ever take a pregnancy test. Instead, I waited for my cycle to start each month.

However, in January, for some unexplainable reason I acted differently. I guess my body knew! I wasn’t set to start my cycle for 3-4 more days. And I knew I had one pregnancy test left over from last year when we were trying leading up to my first pregnancy that resulted in miscarriage. It was a Sunday morning. I woke up early and my first thought was “I’m going to take that pregnancy test”. I can’t explain why other than that I simply knew I had to do it. Edwin was still asleep as was my best friend Allison who was in Charleston staying with us for a long weekend.

The whole house was quiet and I felt a tremendous sense of calmness over me when I woke up.

When I saw the two pink lines, the happiest tears I’ve maybe ever cried came cascading down my face. I took a few moments to myself to take it all in before waking Edwin up from a very sound sleep. He had no idea I had a pregnancy test or that I had any plan of taking one early or at all (because it truly hadn’t been my plan). I’ve never seen his eyes grow wider than in the moment I showed him the positive test as he was waking from a night’s sleep.

The next few minutes we just spent hugging each other. There was so much love and admiration for each other in the room. Our dogs got in on the hugs too! It was the best family hug of all time! I next woke Allison up from an even deeper sleep than Edwin’s. I could tell she knew why I was waking her up the minute her eyes opened. She was crying within seconds, I was crying, the dogs jumped on Allison’s bed… It was a really special morning. Allison and I would both tell you that it isn’t easy to have one best friend experience the joys of pregnancy as Allison was for months while the other feels the absolute opposite as I was.

My advice:

Find yourself a best friend as supportive and as selfless as Allison. It wasn’t easy for either of us but I felt her love the whole way through and will never forget this season of our friendship because it really reminded me what true friendship looks like. 

First Trimester Symptoms I Experienced

I go into these a bit more below in the Pits and Peaks section of this post but the two main physical symptoms I experienced during the first trimester were hormonal headaches and exhaustion. And I had some nausea but it wasn’t terrible. I found that when you tell people you don’t have horrible nausea they tend to think your first trimester is a breeze. I’m here to say that the hormonal headaches I experienced rocked me just as much as I think nausea would have.

First Trimester Pits and Peaks

Pits (let’s get these out of the way first!)

Fear of Another Miscarriage and Losing Another Baby

I broke this down above but I struggled with serious fear of having another miscarriage. Beyond words, I really feel for women who experience repeated miscarriages. I can’t imagine the pain, doubt, loneliness, and unknowns. Y’all are stronger than anyone! Overall, the fear of losing another baby was most definitely the biggest pit for my first trimester.

Hormonal Headaches

I was lucky not to experience horrible nausea and to never throw up during my first trimester. However, the luck only went so far as I experienced horrible hormonal headaches. I didn’t even know this was a common pregnancy symptom because nausea is really just what everyone talks about. I had headaches that were so severe that I could hardly get out of bed or off the sofa. My worst one lasted five days. I had bad hormonal headaches every single week between weeks 6-15.

The best part is that you can only take two extra strength Tylenol, which does absolutely nothing. To be honest, these headaches were pretty crippling and took me out for hours or days at a time. One tip that helped me was to buy big glass straws. I tried to drink as much water as I could during this time and straws helped so much! It seems silly but it really works! P.S. A lot of people have asked me if I got migraines before getting pregnant but I have never had one.

Exhaustion

I was exhausted during the first trimester. I think my headaches added to my exhausted but exhaustion is extremely common during the first trimester. And I had a few week period where I couldn’t stay awake past about 8:45pm. Edwin still says he’s never seen anything like it, ha! The clock would strike 8:45pm and he’d look over at me on the sofa to see me fast asleep. 

Covid-19

When we found out we were pregnant, Covid-19 was a thing happening in China that we’d read about every few days (if that). Never in a million years did we think it would become what it has. As a result of having a miscarriage, my doctor had me come in at 6 weeks for my first appointment, rather than waiting until 8 weeks. She then had me come in every two weeks of my first trimester for the same reason. Edwin was able to come to my 6 week and 8 week appointments, which was wonderful. I really can’t image having gone to the first appointment without him because I was really nervous.

When we were greeted with a healthy baby during the ultrasound, it was incredible to be together to both see it and to be there for each other. Edwin was out of town for work during my 10 week appointment and by the time I had my 12 week appointment, guests were no longer allowed into the doctors’ office (guests includes spouses or partners). Edwin hasn’t been to an appointment since my 8 week appointment (I’m in my 29th week right now) and at my last doctor appointment, my doctor told me that she didn’t think Edwin would be able to come to anything else in the future until the actual birth.

It is a really sad reality that husbands and spouses are being shut out of entire pregnancies until birth but it is the reality.

I record our ultrasounds with my phone so Edwin can see the baby and hear the heartbeat. Do I wish Edwin was able to come to appointments? Absolutely! However, at the end of the day we’re just both grateful that we have a healthy pregnancy. I’m also incredibly grateful that I had my miscarriage before the pandemic. The thought of going to the doctor for my miscarriage without Edwin is unimaginable. My heart goes out to every woman out there who has experienced this! 

Overall, it is definitely not ideal to be pregnant during a global pandemic. I go up and down with experiencing waves of fear and anxiety about it. I really hate the stress around not knowing what is realistic, what is overblown, what isn’t taken seriously enough, and so on in terms of Covid-19. Covid-19 is something I think about every single day in terms of being pregnant… a reality I never would have dreamed up in my worst nightmares.

Peaks:

The Day I Found Out I Was Pregnant

I shared about the day I found out I was pregnant above. My stress and anxiety during my first trimester set in after. The first day was really special and a day filled with joy, love, hope, gratitude, and optimism! 

My First Ultrasound

Before my first ultrasound with this pregnancy, the last ultrasound I had was the one I did during my miscarriage. I shared what that ultrasound was like in my post on living through a miscarriage but needless to say, it was awful. I couldn’t bring myself to look at the screen. So, this time around, it was a completely different experience in all the best ways. To say I was nervous for this ultrasound is an understatement. I’ll never forget holding Edwin’s hand and looking into his eyes right before our baby came on the screen. Seeing our healthy baby brought on pure and utter joy and relief. It was really a gift! 

Edwin Being Allowed To Come To My First Few Doctor Appointments

As I mentioned in my Pits section, Edwin isn’t allowed to come to any appointments due to the Covid-19 pandemic. So, having him be allowed to come to the first few was definitely a peak of the first trimester! It’s crazy how easy it is to take these things, that seem so natural, for granted. 

Being and Staying Pregnant

The fact that I got pregnant again and stayed pregnant this time around is the ultimate peak!!!! It is a gift that I don’t take lightly and have never for one moment taken for granted (even when I felt my worst during the first trimester). 

Telling Our Families About Our Pregnancy

It was really amazing to tell our families that we were pregnant again! We told our immediate families after the healthy 8 week appointment and our extended families after the healthy 12 week appointment. I was able to tell my parents in person with Edwin on FaceTime. And Edwin was in Los Angeles for work so he was able to tell his parents in person with me on FaceTime. We told my sister over FaceTime because she was out of the country for work (she would have been FaceTime regardless because she lives in Los Angeles). She’s going to be the best aunt in the world!

We told my brother in person here in Charleston. The day I miscarried, he left work to bring me flowers – aka the sweetest little brother gesture! – so he was pumped to learn he was going to become an uncle. We told Edwin’s siblings over FaceTime and the phone. His sister and her family are so excited we’re bringing a cousin into the world! We were and are so thankful for all the love and support they showed us!

First Trimester Q&A

When Did You Register And Start Planning The Nursery?

I did both of these things in the second trimester so I’ll share more on each when I write my second trimester recap blog post. I really felt that I wanted to get through the first trimester safely without making any of these big decisions. Also, I didn’t buy a single thing for the baby in the first trimester for the same reason.

Did You Have Pregnancy Cravings In The First Trimester?

Yes! I craved fruit and rice. In my first trimester, I didn’t have a massive appetite because I was so tired and because of my hormonal headaches. I also wasn’t really exercising so that led to a smaller appetite too I think. However, I craved fruit my entire first trimester. I craved every type of fruit: berries, stone fruits, melons, tropical fruits, citrus, everything. I also craved both white and brown rice throughout my first trimester.

Did Your Start Bumping In The First Trimester?

I really didn’t. My stomach felt a little different and a little bloated. But I didn’t get a bump or start showing in the first trimester. The photos at the top of this post were taken the last week of my first trimester.

What Exercise Did You Do In The First Trimester?

I didn’t do very much exercise in the first trimester. I did pilates twice a week and walked. And I didn’t do any cardio (other than walking) in the first trimester because I was just nervous the whole first trimester.

Did You Gain Weight In Your First Trimester?

I didn’t gain or lose any weight in my first trimester. (Some women do in fact lose weight in the first trimester due to throwing up.) Since my weight stayed the same, I didn’t buy or wear any maternity clothes in the first trimester either.

Do You Feel Like Your Emotions And Hormones Were Different In The First Trimester Than Before Pregnancy?

Oh yes, absolutely! I was 100% been more emotional. Sometimes I’d start crying and literally couldn’t help it. I’d even frustratingly or laughingly (depending on the situation) say to Edwin through tears “I don’t want to be crying right now but I literally can’t control my own body, hormones, emotions, and tears.” I could fully recognize that there was a shift going on in my body that was above my control. Movies really got me – I think I cried during every movie I watched in the first trimester, ha!

For more questions, head to my Instagram and watch my Pregnancy & Miscarriage Q&A highlight. 🙂

Apologies for another LONG pregnancy post! After writing my first trimester recap post, I feel like I’ve really covered my miscarriage. So, more positive posts to come! If you’re still reading, thank you! xx

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5 Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing all of this and writing all of your thoughts down. I love reading your long posts and my heart always feels with you – your joy and your pain. I’m here for you and just so incredibly happy for you and your healthy little baby!
    Kisses from Germany xx

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