In the last post we shared our amazing pregnancy news but I didn’t go too into depth about symptoms, cravings, and the day to day adjustments. This post will be a full recap and review of the first trimester — the highs, the lows and everything in between.
Pregnancy Journey & Cancer
Our pregnancy journey has been quite a roller coaster and those who have been readers for a while know all the ins and outs. If you are new to my blog, you can check out more on our journey to this pregnancy in our announcement post. You may also want to check out our miscarriage post, the ectopic pregnancy post and my other fertility posts.
Many of you who are fellow survivors are aware that I had to go off of my hormone blocking medication to get pregnant and you have asked about my decision as well as the emotional impact. I will keep this brief because my past posts go more in depth as to the decision to take a break from my medicine after 2.5 years and everything that entailed.
As it relates to pregnancy, my fear of cancer recurrence has actually subsided. I think it has to do with all the stress and anxiety that trying to conceive brings on and the fact that my body and mind just can’t manage too many forms of anxiety at once.
I knew it was a risk going off my meds and that recurrence is a possibility, though that risk is not specifically increased due to pregnancy itself. 1 in 3 women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer will be re-diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at some point in their lives. That fear is always present, but I decided a long time ago that fear of recurrence would not govern my life or my decisions. Having a family was and is a priority for Mac and I and thus that is what drove us to this point.
I will add that my decision to go off of my hormone blocking meds at 2.5 years was supported by my oncologist but was initiated by Mac and I. We are choosing to let hope frame our lives right now and whatever challenges come our way in the future in regard to my cancer we will face head on together as have in the past!
So now that we have all the cancer stuff out of the way let’s jump into more of the typical symptoms and experiences of pregnancy that I have gotten accustomed to in the first trimester.
All three times I have been pregnant the drop in my energy was the first sign of pregnancy! Not having breasts anymore meant the telltale sign of breast tenderness was non-existent for me. Mac claims he knew I was pregnant this time around way before I did because of the huge crash in my energy.
Finally between week 13 and 14 , I have started to have spurts of energy. Nothing consistent, but I am hoping this is the second trimester energy surge everyone keeps promising me. For now, I am embracing a slower pace and getting used to that #naplife.
The cravings were another early sign of pregnancy for me. Having been pescatarian and dairy free for over 2 years it was a shock to suddenly crave meat. Around week 9 my cheese craving came on in full force as well. I have been giving in too most of my cravings within reason and suprisingly my body is adjusting fine. Who knows if I will keep this “diet” after baby but for now I am feeling good.
Sugar and carbs have been huge cravings for me during the first trimester as well. I am trying to limit my sugar intake and indulge in ice cream outings only once a week haha. I am doing my best to balance the indulgences with tons of veggies, fruits and healthy protein.
What about aversions? The only main aversion I had was coffee. This happened last time around at 7 weeks and hit as well. Luckily I am back to drinking my daily coffee without any smell issues. The only other smell issue has been raw salmon but once cooked I have no issue eating it. Overall I have been super lucky in this department and will be curious to see how my cravings and aversions change over the next few months. .
I have been so lucky in the nausea department, I am hesitant to even say anything. During week 5/6 I had a few waves of nausea/faintness throughout the day but then it passed. Throughout the rest of the first trimester I only had nausea first thing in the morning before eating and sometimes when laying down for bed. Having crackers by my bedside and eating breakfast right away when I wake up have helped me manage the queasiness. I also love the Preggo Pop Drops for those queasy moments on the go or when I am laying down for bed.
For those struggling with intense nausea, a lot of my chemo nausea tips would help such as peppermint essential oils and Psi Bands.
I thought I knew constipation from chemo, and what feels like 10,000 surgeries but I knew nothing of pregnancy constipation and gas haha!!! Having dealt with chemo induced chronic constipation these supplements have helped a ton!
“Funny” story about pregnancy gas. I am telling you this level of gas is not like anything I have ever experienced before. One day the pain was so intense, I literally thought I was having miscarriage pains. The following morning when I talked to the nurse to follow about my frantic voicemail, I had to admit the pain was relieved due to gas haha! Talk about embarrassment and modesty going out the window.
I have always had oily, acne prone skin and it has been a constant struggle trying to keep it under control while TTC and now while trying to get pregnant. With all my hormones raging, the breakouts have increased.
While nothing has worked like magic, I love this serum, this face wash and this moisturizer. This foundation helps keep my breakouts disguised without further irritating my skin. Getting regular facial steams from Trellis Beauty has also seemed to help. For blemishes that do pop up, I love this drying lotion. All of these products are pregnancy safe.
For the first 9 weeks I didn’t see much body change aside from constant bloating. I was still fitting in my jeans and wearing my normal clothes. Around week 10 I started seeing more “fluff” to my stomach and enjoying the fit of more flowy outfits. Once the news was out, I was so excited to flaunt my tiny bump even if it looks like more like too much queso vs. a baby bump. I have been dreaming of a baby bump for over 5 years and I plan to enjoy every minute of it.
You can see in the photos below how much my body has already changed in just 13 weeks. By the end of the day or after I eat, bump is definitely more visble. In the morning it’s practically non-existent.
I have been so excited to buy maternity clothes and started wearing these maternity pants (XS Khaki) about 3 weeks ago! I also picked these jeans up on major sale but have yet to wear them. Maternity pants are just SO comfortable, I don’t know if I will ever go back to regular clothes haha! Hot tip, go to a maternity store and use the strap on belly to determine how the clothes will fit as your pregnancy progresses.
Good underwear is key as your body changes! These pregnancy shaping underwear have been awesome and I have been wearing them nonstop along with my favorite Soma undies.
I haven’t done a full bump clothing post yet, but I am saving items I share on Instagram to my style & pregnancy highlights.
These were of a few of the recent favorites I shared on Instagram: grey dress, white bikini, red ruched dress, blue ruched dress.
While all of this change is evidence of how amazing women’s body are, it has been hard for me to accept these body changes. Having worked so hard to lose the weight I gained during chemo and reclaim my body, it’s been an adjustment to begin another body changing journey. At least this time it’s by choice!
Overall I gained about 4-5 pounds from week 1-13 and while I am keeping tabs on my weight gain, I am more focused on nutrient intake for the baby which I supplement with fish oil and these prenatal vitamins.
During the first 10 weeks of my pregnancy I was so fatigued I could not keep up my normal Tone it Up workout routine. Mac and I made it a goal to walk our neighborhood nightly to at least get some movement in. This is about 1.3 miles and was perfect for my energy level. Walking actually generated more energy and helped with the constipation.
At around 10 weeks we discovered I had placenta previa combined with my subchorionic hematoma. Due to the bleeding and increased risk to the baby, the OB put me on pelvic rest including sex, and exercise. Not being able to exercise regularly has been really tough on me emotionally and physically, but I am trying to make the most of it.
I was cleared for prental yoga and short slow walks so I am getting those in as my energy allows. The plan is to recheck my placenta previa and bleeding at our 18 week appointment so fingers crossed my restrictions will be lifted in mid-July.
We decided to do the Non Invasive Pregnancy Test (NIPT) at 10 weeks which screens for chromosomal abnormalities AND as a result indicates the gender. We got this test back about 3.5 weeks ago, but have kept the gender results sealed.
We are excited to surprise each other at a fun photoshoot with Katie Britt Photography next Tuesday. We will obviously be happy with a boy or girl and care more about the health of our baby but we’re both pulling for a girl. I have a strong feeling it is a boy though, so we shall see. Stay tuned and we will share the exciting news soon.
Wow, that was a long post. I hope I answered all your questions about the first trimester. As a first time mom, it’s all new to me and while each woman’s journey is unique, I am excited to share my experiences and help other women along the way.