• fertility + hormones / lifestyle / pregnancy

    My First Trimester + Early Pregnancy Symptoms + Supplements

    11 weeks pregnant here!

    Oh my gosh, that was the fastest three months of my life but the first trimester is OVER!

    Technically I only had to keep it a secret for 10 weeks since I found out at 4 weeks already, but wow Three months of keeping a secret from my close friends and my fave people (aka you guys) was not so easy for me whatsoever.

    I was telling the cashier at the grocery store, random people in Europe, literally anyone that doesn’t actually care but it felt so good to just say out loud “I am pregnant!”. I also have been pretty cautious on blurting it out and being too overly excited since I know first hand what it is like to want to be pregnant so badly and seeing everyone around you get pregnant – that ISH is not easy. But it was always really important to me to be happy for anyone who was carrying a miracle of life (I am a cheese ball already). Even when it selfishly was hard, I was genuinely happy for all of my friends and anyone who announced their pregnancies. I never want anyone to go through the struggles of trying to conceive. Although it definitely does make you appreciate being pregnant in a whole new light.

    But let’s chat about the first trimester + my pregnancy symptoms, shall we?

    As we learned awhile ago, everyone’s body is very different in how it reacts and responds to changes. Especially with pregnancy.

    After going through a year of trying to conceive naturally and holistically then another three rounds of fertility treatments (more on that here and here), my body was in full on sensitivity mode. I would pee too much and my boob would ache a little and I’d think I was pregnant. But I quickly learned that most hormonal symptoms are pretty consistent across pregnancy and just being a woman. Especially when you are in the first few weeks of pregnancy (when most women don’t even know they are pregnant!). It can be quite deceiving. I didn’t even think I was pregnant at first because I didn’t have many symptoms at first (the vaginal progesterone made me feel more pregnant!).

    Here were my very few but main pregnancy symptoms during the two week wait from our IUI procedure until the day we found out I was pregnant (aka when I was 4 weeks along):

    • BOOOOOOBS were growing crazy fast
      • Maybe it’s because I naturally am a part of the itty bitty titty committee, but my boobs grew an entire cup size in what felt like  overnight. This happened about 1 week post IUI and a week into taking vaginal progesterone, which does indeed make your boobs swell and extra tender. I even FaceTimed my mom to show her my boobs and she couldn’t believe it. They really went from an A to a B in a day. As soon as we had the news I was pregnant, my mom claims she knew the second she saw my boobs (no visual here duh!).
    • Tired but not exhausted whatsoever 
      • I definitely didn’t have as much energy as my usual self. But knowing what pregnancy exhaustion feels like (more on that in a few min), this was nothing compared to a couple weeks later. I remember being in a workout class and having zero energy. I wanted to lay down and take a nap (I settled for laying on the mat instead – no shame).

    …That is literally it. So as you can imagine I was 100% shocked when I got the news I was pregnant. I had no implantation bleeding, nothing! Most women don’t know they are pregnant this early on so that is also why I didn’t feel too much. But now let’s get to the first trimester where it gets juicier.

    This is pretty much what I crave every single day! Bagel with eggs, avocado and here I had sweet potato hash browns.

    I really cannot begin to put into words how lucky I feel to have had a really smooth first trimester. Yes I definitely felt pregnant physically and out of my usual self, but I am so grateful have not had any morning sickness at all. I documented a few of the craziness to share with you guys throughout the last few weeks:

    • Hungry, hungry and HUNGRY again!
      • Will the hunger ever end? Going to go with NO. I have always been a frequent eater. Jord and I both eat every 2-3 hours but when week 4 hit that hunger started to get pretty insane. I was eating every hour. I’d eat a meal then an hour later need something else and it just continued throughout the day. Weeks 6-7 my hunger wasn’t as crazy (we were also in Europe then so was so consumed with traveling) but from week 8 until 12 it picked up the pace again. I have to say I am pretty proud of myself for not stressing over the amount of food I was eating during this trimester eating. It’s been wild seeing how much my body needs to fuel itself and provide energy for the baby. I haven’t even been able to show everything I eat on IG stories because you guys would have thought I was crazy and it would have given the whole pregnancy thing away! I don’t count calories normally as you know but I would say that my food intake doubled. I would eat a meal then snack an hour later then a snack then meal, etc. A friend even asked me for extra treats last week and I awkwardly had to say no because I had eaten them all, which never happens! And I always save some to share. The baby is getting greedy with the eats, ha! I never questioned myself for eating more and really just listened to my body. If I felt hungrier, I ate more.
    • The most random food aversions and what I have been eating a lot of!
      • About 6 weeks pregnant, I had my first food aversion. You guys are going to freak when you hear what it was. It was one of my favorite foods pre-pregnancy but the day we were leaving for Europe I made lunch and started eating them and immediately felt ill and couldn’t swallow. It has been Siete Chips. NOT the tortillas, just the chips (don’t hate me Siete fam). I have been loving the almond and cashew flour tortillas and eat them daily and they have really been hitting the spot. I cannot figure out what it is about the chips, maybe a seasoning? But any flavor has been making me a bit queasy. On the other hand the Simple Mills crackers have been a lifesaver. I brought 4 boxes with me to Europe and those gems saved my tush when I need something to snack on. My only other food aversion has been roasted vegetables like brussels sprouts, broccoli, etc. Nothing roasted for me please. Only steamed and sautéed in lots of garlic and avocado oil.
      • So what have I been eating yet? I have been craving more carbs like bagels. Thank you Hu Kitchen for the endless paleo bagels at the restaurant, but if you don’t live in NYC, these ones are great too! I have also been eating lots and lots of fat like grass-fed beef, avocado, egg yolks (cooked) and meat sticks (so many meat sticks from this brand – code RACHL for 15% off). I still have been very into my sweets too though like cookies, bananas, apples, Perfect Bars, Soozy’s Muffins and dark chocolate. I did tell Jord the other day in the car I wanted a big bowl of Captain Crunch cereal (the berry kind) and he was hysterical. He offered to get some for me but I settled for some granola and nut milk instead. Not ready to give in yet, we will see in a few more weeks if that keeps up.
      • I have learned that I really can’t food prep during this trimester. I would make a bunch of proteins and veggies on Sunday and by Monday the thought of having them didn’t sound too good. I have been eating mostly simple and easy meals. Simple Mills pizza crust, breakfast tacos, grass-fed burgers, scrambled eggs, A LOT of toast varieties and trying to squeeze in a salad here and there when it sounded good.
      • What haven’t I been eating? No runny yolks (so just scrambled for now), wild smoked salmon, unpasteurized cheeses, raw or under cooked meats/fish (but CHOMPS grass-fed meat sticks are still okay since they are fully cooked – code RACHL) and that’s pretty much it for what I have changed in my diet. I still have been having REBBL, kombucha in moderation now that I’m’ in second trimester and collagen peptides, but please consult your doctor if you are concerned about anything in your diet.
      • I also have been eating more gluten and dairy than usual. I usually would shy away from most gluten and cow’s dairy 90% of the time (always love my feta and goat cheese) but I don’t want to omit these common allergens for the bay’s sake in pregnancy. I chose gluten and dairy from sources I trust. No idea if this even helps with anything, so again consult with your doctor if this is of concern to you! The only ingredient I still don’t do is soy (because I feel very ill after eating it!).
    • Extreme exhaustion – basically the got hit by a bus kind
      • I thought I knew what is like to be tired until I was pregnant. Week 7 came and I had no more than 3 hours of solid energy a day. I used to be able to do recipes in the kitchen for 7 hours straight with a little break or two. Now I am lucky if I can do 2 hours standing up. I take lots of breaks and sit down whenever I can. My stamina for walking and working out has been so so so slow. I cannot walk for more than 30 minutes without taking sit down break and a workout longer than 45 minutes just isn’t happening. I lay on my mat the last part of class because I cannot function (no shame). Yoga has also been really hard for me. I would get headaches and feel a bit nauseous when I was in class so I stopped going for now.
      • Jord has been a gem on weekends helping his food prep and doing things around the apartment. He knows that if it is the middle of the day and I want to lay down, something is off because that isn’t the norm for me. I am not the couch potato type but it has been really nice to embrace relaxing while we can. In Europe, I would take a nap from 6-8pm before dinner or I wouldn’t even be able to sit at dinner with my eyes opened. I haven’t napped at all though since then, I’d rather sleep 8-9 hours at night then nap during the day.
    • Out of breath and so winded very easily
      • You would think I was running a marathon everyday. Except most of the time it was just me walking up 1 flight of steps taking the garbage out or walking around the apartment talking on the phone and I have been WINDED. Out of breath and really couldn’t catch my breath very easily. Once I saw the baby on the ultrasound basically jumping on a trampoline in the womb, it makes sense as to why I get out of breath so easily. Taking it easy has been so so nice.
    • Light spotting during week 5
      • As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t have any implantation bleeding while we waited to find out if I was pregnant. I did have light spotting though on week 5 for a couple days. Nothing major but I was a bit nervous at first. my doctor reassured me that this is common in early pregnancy.
    • Peeing every 30 minutes is not fun
      • I have always been a frequent bathroom visitor but the every 30 minutes or so has been insanity. I wake up every hour to pee at night and have to go ALL the time during the day. I didn’t think my bathroom visits would be crazier since I always have had this but it has gone from 100 to 1000 real fast. I also have a weak bladder so if the bathroom isn’t near, that is not good!
    • Boobs are so tender, can I get a boob massage please?
      • HOLY ISH my boobs are really trying to steal the show. If I move around too quickly and they have moment, they hurt. If I wear a bra for too long (even if it is a larger size), they hurt. Just very very tender as they’re adjusting to the new hormones in my body. Superficially it is actually kind of cool to have bigger boobs for once but I’m also ready for them to be a bit less painful. Maybe next trimester!
    • Motion sickness in cars but no morning sickness!
      • I always thought that everyone gets morning sickness and would feel sick. I am beyond grateful that I did not have any nausea whatsoever. Only in the back seat of a car or in yoga. But on a daily basis, nothing! I joke that maybe it’s because I didn’t feel my best for months trying to get pregnant, I am catching a break. But I also know many friends who never had it and my Mom didn’t either. Sadly I don’t have any tips for anyone who is dealing with this but I would recommend lots of rest, fluids and find a food that eases your stomach.
    • Excessive thirst all day and night
      • I have always drank a lot of fluids throughout the day. Between water, kombucha, spindrift, bone broth, etc. I am always hydrating. But it seems that there is nothing that will quench my thirst these days. I’m drinking the entire Berkey every day and that doesn’t include the water I have at a workout class or anything out of the house. At first I thought I was eating too much salt or something but that doesn’t seem to be the issue. Needless to say, I have a beverage by my side constantly!
    • No bump yet just crazy bubbly bloating!
      • It is very common not to show the first trimester with your first baby. I don’t have a bump (yet) but I do have a crazy bloat 24/7. This can be hidden easily with tight leggings but makes wear jeans a little annoying! At this point I’m pretty used to it from injections and hormones so now that there’s a beautiful baby in there, my stomach can be as loaded as it wants and I am still so happy! I started using this belly oil and butter so I will keep you posted on my thoughts! I also have been using this nipple oil everyday.

    Okay now let’s talk supplements + adaptogens! What have I been taking has been one of the most common questions I get. So let’s talk through out:

    • Garden of Life Organic Once Daily Prenatals
      • These are the best vitamins ever. I’m not just saying this you guys, I LOVE them. They don’t make you feel queasy and sick like some vitamins and they are giving the babe and I the nutrients we need. Not to mention they have made my hair grow like crazy since staking them. I have been using them for over 1.5 years (I started when we started trying!). Plus you only take them once a day, making it super easier to remember. They also have gummy vitamins for prenatals so if you are having difficulty swallowing, these taste amazing.
    • Garden of Life Prenatal Probiotic
      • I take my probiotics every night about an hour after dinner. I’m convinced this helps me stay regular in the bathroom but I know some people prefer taking them in the morning so anything works! I love these ones because they don’t need to be refrigerated so you can leave them out anywhere that you’ll remember to take them.
    • Garden of Life Organic DHA Fish Oil
      • My doctor recommend I start taking DHA with my prenatal. I didn’t star these until this week but no repeating or burping the fish oil up and I love that I’m giving the babe the extra nutrients !
    • Adaptogens via REBBL
      • I’m not taking any adaptogen supplements anymore and no licorice root. I was taking herbs for awhile but found that using brands like REBBL in my daily life is enough for me personally. I recommend consulting your doctor before continuing to take any adaptogens in general but I feel safe still drinking REBBL and was told it was safe for me from my doctor. Plus I owe them so much as you heard in the video! I usually do the protein varieties (like banana nut) and also the Reishi Chocolate. All so good.

    That is it friends! I will definitely do as many updates as you guys would like to see. I loved how many of you are so curious about pregnancy whether you’re expecting or not. For those that are or have been pregnant fore, how did you feel? It is so crazy seeing how different we all are!

    More to come soon.

    xx, Rach

     

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    14 Comments

  • Reply Angel August 26, 2018 at 9:25 am

    Congratulations Rachel and Jord!

    I hope you won’t be as tired in the next 2 trimesters of pregnancy. But your body is telling you to rest up and relax so you can take care of yourself AND the baby when he is born 🙂 Take care!!

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  • Reply Kristina August 26, 2018 at 9:36 am

    Congrats! I took the same prenatals and DHA supplement throughout my pregnancy, as well as collagen peptides every day. My baby girl is 3 months now and so strong and healthy! I really think the collagen helped and the only reason I started taking it is because I heard you talk about it so much! So thank you! Also I had the SAME captain crunch/all the carbs cravings as you! I ate cereal twice a day. Being pregnant is amazing and I’m so happy for you!

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  • Reply Brittany Audra @ Audra's Appetite August 26, 2018 at 10:20 am

    I’m not even pregnant but I loved reading and hearing all about your experience!!! Thank you for sharing. That’s awesome you’ve had no morning sickness!

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  • Reply Lujain August 26, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    Hello!
    First of all congrats!! So happy to hear the news.

    I am also pregnant with my first baby. Didn’t find out till my third month imagine! I went rock climbing, and went on roller coaster rides without knowing I was pregnant because I thought I had my “period”

    Thankfully I haven’t had any morning sickness, just sleeping A LOT. Everyone is telling me to take advantage of sleeping because I won’t sleep for a while once the baby is here.

    I am at the end of my second trimester, and you’ll feel better at your second trimester. You’ll have more energy and you will not be out of breath like now (went through the same thing as you)

    I didn’t start showing till my 5th month, but every body is different.

    Pamper yourself and enjoy this journey, and again congrats!

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  • Reply Jenn August 27, 2018 at 11:17 am

    Thanks for sharing!!! As someone who is TTC, this is so interesting and insightful. I love Garden of Life supplements too. Question for you – did you stop using collagen and protein while TTC? Once you were pregnant?

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    • Reply Rachel August 27, 2018 at 3:04 pm

      i didn’t ! still continue to take it but totally your call. xx

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  • Reply Meg August 27, 2018 at 1:36 pm

    Congratulations!! I’m so happy to hear about your information on Chomps. I’ve been craving and avoiding them since I got pregnant but you made me feel better about them. We are only one week apart! Thanks!

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  • Reply Jenn August 27, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    Rachel – thanks for sharing! This is tremendously helpful. Question for you – do you take any collagen or protein as well?

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  • Reply Combining Traditional + Holistic Practices in Infertility - rachLmansfield September 7, 2018 at 8:00 am

    […] be able to talk about it feels amazing! Plus being able to relate to so many of you during our first trimesters and fertility struggles, makes me feel even more connected to you […]

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