If I were to rank my pregnancies so far. I would say that my first pregnancy with Ezra was about a level 3 on intensity for first trimester. While this second pregnancy went to about 7.5 intensity wise during the first 3 months.
I have heard over and over again how different each pregnancy can be. But to be honest, I never believed that until now.
I basically jinxed myself by telling people that my pregnancy with Ezra was a breeze. And I know in the scheme of things, this one is truly not crazy intense compared to other mamas. But for me and what I had experienced previously – WHOA it has been a wild ride so far.
I didn’t have any symptoms during the two week wait from our fertility treatment. Luckily between work and Ezra, I stayed pretty distracted too. It didn’t really really hit me physically until I was around 6 weeks as you’ll see below.
First let’s talk about pregnancy during COVID:
A lot of you guys have been asking me about what I am doing to better protect myself during COVID. I know to some this may seem like the craziest time to want to be pregnant. But as someone who hasn’t really been going out and about too much, I am home a lot (as most of us are). Hoboken (where I live) has also felt super safe this entire time and while we don’t have our own backyard or space outside, the sidewalks here are never too crowded when we take Ezra out.
When I spoke to my doctor at my first visit, she said to make sure I keep distance from others, do not get on an airplane and do whatever I can to stay “healthy”. To me that means making sure I am loading up on immunity products. I take MegaFood Vitamin D3 every single day. Dr. Frank Lipman (my functional MD) chats all about why this is so important in this podcast episode. And I also love love the C Defense Gummies and Elderberry Immune Support* Gummies from MegaFood. I take the vitamin C everyday and elderberry every couple days. These are all something that my doctor is safe with me taking, but please consult yours as well before doing so! You can also snag 15% off of ALL MegaFood with my code RACHL.
Let’s run through the weeks of the first trimester a bit:
4-5 weeks symptoms:
Technically I found out I was pregnant at 3.5 weeks (more on that here). It is pretty rare to have many symptoms at this time from what I have heard. But I noticed that I did have the same symptoms around this time as I did with Ezra:
- Cramping – subtle cramping, which I believe would be implantation cramps
- Fully body rash – this was my first sign of pregnancy. I had a full body rash out of literally no where one day. Nothing was new in my skincare, supplements or food – it was so random. I even emailed my doctor before we knew I was pregnant and asked him and he said it could be a pregnancy symptom. Who knows! But I did turn out pregnant – so maybe! Didn’t have that with Ez.
- Hungrier but nothing crazy – it was more the frequency of when I was getting hungry but I also started synthroid around this time because I found out I have hypothyroidism and my thyroid was sluggish (weird – I know). But my doctor told me if I wasn’t pregnant it would still be in “normal” range. So part of me thinks that taking that and it kicking in made me gain more of an appetite
- Pimples – this could be a mix of wearing a mask, sweating and pregnancy. But I don’t get pimples often and I had a crazy amount around my nose area. Around 14 weeks I finally called Nichola from Pacific Touch who has been helping me through this. I will share more soon.
- Insomnia– I had this with Ezra too. I think it is nerves mostly and just overthinking what will happen. I also was waiting to find out about twins at this time too so that kept me up a lot. It also passed after 5 weeks.
- Hypothyroidism – I have been saying for years now that something is off with my thyroid. Whenever I have gotten panels done all checks out but turns out that my TSH level for a pregnant woman, is too high. My fertility doctor started me on Levothyroxine for extra thyroid support. I have also been taking Megafood’s Thyroid Support supplement to support my thyroid during my pregnancy. It has iodine, zinc, selenium, copper and a few others herbs to help better support my thyroid function (please consult your doctor before taking!). This is also taken a toll on my skin, which we will 100% be chatting in future blog posts about.
6-9 weeks symptoms:
Once we heard the heartbeat and had our first ultra sound (I only had one this early because I was still at my fertility center for monitoring!) things started to get real:
- Bowel movements – lots and lots of loose bowel movements. You guys know I am usually much more blunt about this but for anyone who gets grossed out, I will spare you. Pretty much I had morning sickness out of the other end. All day everyday the runs but the morning was so so bad for me. I soaked in every minute though since digestion usually slows down in second trimester (and it has!).
- Sick in the middle of the night – basically what I chatted about above with bowel movements carried into the night. It really was morning sickness from my tush. Didn’t know that was a thing but it is for me. And it was morning + night. I also would get sharp shooting pains in my stomach, which I had with Ez too at night and they’d wake me up. It was really scary but knowing I have had them in the past, made me feel a bit better. I got food poisoning one night too, which was horrible and made this escalate even more. This passed around 7/8 weeks.
- Nausea – I never really had this bad with my first pregnancy. But this time around I cannot even get out of bed until 8:30 or so most mornings. TG for Jordan and my parents who were so helpful when we were away with them in July. When I would stand up in the morning, the whole room would spin and I would get dizzy and sweat and just really felt sick. I wish I would throw up because I felt like it was make it go away, but I’d go to the bathroom (more runs) and have to go back into bed to lay down. When it was just Ez and I, I would literally lay on the couch horizontally and feed him his breakfast with him running around getting food all over the place. Little did I know, this was going to last more than a week. My nausea would usually be until 8:30/9am most days then again around 12pm and again around 5pm. It would last an hour or so and I had to lay down if I could. This really was challenging with work and recipes since I am on my feet for that. And podcast interviews – I could barely make a convo! I have zero tips for nausea besides resting, snacking and hydrating really helped me. I always kept granola handy to have as soon as I woke up before breakfast.
- Weird tastebuds – my tastebuds with Ez were pretty consistent with my usual ones. This time is SO different. All I wanted to eat was bread, waffles, bagels, pizza, meat sticks..pretty much carbs and salt. Lots and lots of carbs and salt oh and of course brownies and cakes and baked goods. I couldn’t look at a vegetable or eat one unless it’s on pizza and anything that’s a potato (which technically isn’t even a veggie ha!). I also really started to not like chocolate bars or eating dark chocolate on its own. Only if it was in something like a my Gluten-free Copycat Entenmann’s Frosted Donuts or Paleo Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (Nut Free). Just no chocolate on its own but peanut butter cups were still a hit.
- SO SO SO hungry – like beyond belief. Likely because I carb load all day but I have to eat something every hour or so. Likely since I was eating a lot of carbs and not much protein to fill me up. But I just went with it and listened to my body and what the baby and I crave.
- No energy – a big fat 0 on energy. I walk a block and I am winded and tired and want to sit down. I have a solid window from 11-12pm where I can usually walk but with work it is hard to fit that in a lot. It also makes me sad I don’t feel as well with Ezra to play with him and be as funny. But he is also getting to that stage where he loves to cuddle for a few minutes (like 5 lol!) so that has been making me feel better. And when I do feel good I prioritize being with him.
- No workouts – literally nothing besides gentle walks because of my lack of energy and nausea. I cannot imagine doing a workout right now and I focused on strolls and just my health and the babies health. I know laying down and sitting a lot isn’t the best all the time, but I went with it.
- Congestion – I didn’t even know this was a pregnancy symptom. Until I was away with my parents for a week and every morning when I’d wake up, I couldn’t breath and my dad would ask me if I had allergies now. My mom told me that when she was pregnant with me she was congested all the time! So crazy. I didn’t have this with Ez at all.
- Excess thirst – this really started around 9 weeks. So so thirsty all day everyday and all night. Water also has always been something I consumed a lot of but now I really enjoy the taste even more.
- More pimples – Who knows what is actually from. Since I get pimples around my upper lip and mouth already, wearing the mask in the heat isn’t helping.
10-12 week symptoms:
Pretty much everything above from weeks 6-9 with the addition of….
- Headaches – this was a first for me too. They come and go randomly but I never get headaches before pregnancy, nor did I have them with Ez. Right behind my eyes.. right in the golden spot to look at a phone and computer all day ha!
- Low abdomen pains – I don’t get too nervous about much, but these made me nervous! I first felt them the day I turned 10 weeks and it felt almost like period cramps but not as intense. The bump app mentioned this is common as the baby is growing and my body is expanding – so that was reassuring.
- Discharge – started this at 10 weeks too. No such thing as TMI in my book so for those wondering, it was thick/clear but nothing to be concerned about from what I heard.
- BUMP – it is so crazy! With Ez I literally didn’t show until 20 weeks and with the bubba at 11 weeks I had my bump ready to be shown to the world. Which made it 100x hard to keep this a secret.
So far my only aversions have been the smell of coffee and dark chocolate bars. First let’s run through the coffee. I am repulsed by the smell of coffee. My entire stomach turns and I want to throw up. Those of you who know me, know I have never drank coffee but I love love the smell. I even have candles that smell like coffee. That is how much I love it. But now – heck no! Jord always makes a big carafe of coffee and he kept leaving it out forgetting how much the smell bothered me. No he has to put it away.
And the dark chocolate bars are crazy.- I know. I still love peanut butter cups, my hu hunks and any brownies, cakes etc. But when it comes to eat just plain dark chocolate bars – UGH. Cannot even stand a bite. It is so strange, since before this pregnancy I seriously used to down a chocolate bar a day!
What I have been eating:
Each day has been pretty different but here are a few of my favorites lately. My food intake with this pregnancy is nearly double than with Ez.
Granola with nut butter and toaster waffles. Toast with peanut butter and banana or pancakes. A baked bread of sorts with nut butter or coconut yogurt. I snack on a lot of granola and cereal throughout the morning too. Helps curb my nausea.
Lunch or dinner:
Breakfast sandwich of sorts on a bagel, english muffin, bialy, toast – anything like that has been my jam. Filled with eggs, avocado, bacon, chive cream cheese – whatever I have on hand. I have also been very into pizza so we order a lot of Dozzino or make some grilled pizza. A lot of my epic quesadillas, burgers, peanut butter and banana or PBJ sandwiches, really anything that isn’t too veggie-heavy. When we were away lobster rolls and bagels with lox hit the spot! I try to sneak in a chopped salad type thing whenever I can. If I use a lot of dressing or hummus, I find it more tolerable, but I haven’t been forcing myself to eat food that isn’t what sounds good to my body right now. I also always have my japanese sweet potato fries ready to eat with anything!
Dried mangos, popcorn, meat sticks (code RACHL for 15% off), crackers (I love these and these – code RACHL for free shipping), cereal, pretzels, banana with peanut butter, those organic fritos from Trader Joe’s, salty paleo puff things from Thrive Market and omg the avocado oil potato chips! Pretty much anything that you can munch on I tend to grab.
Peanut butter cups (either these or these), ice cream, any baked goods I have on hand (I still love my cookies and brownies and all of the things!), Hu hunks (code RACHL for free shipping) and these chocolate covered peanuts are truly the most addicting!
Anxiety during pregnancy:
When I shared on Instagram that we were expecting again, one of the most commonly asked questions has been surrounding any anxiety and what I have done to ease myself. And to be completely honest with you – I really haven’t experienced any anxiety about pregnancy. Not pregnant, I have high cortisol and easily feel stressed and overwhelmed. But when I am pregnant, my body has this way of feeling safe and at ease. I am not one who is googling things that can go wrong or trying to dissect everything going on. I know everyone is so different and anxieties will vary from mama to mama. Especially based off of your own health story and pregnancy experience(s).
After going through fertility journeys, by the time we are pregnant, I don’t focus on the negative and what I can’t control. I know I am doing whatever I can to keep my body healthy and safe for the baby and other than that, everything else is out of my control.
If I was struggling with feeling overly anxious during pregnancy, I would definitely try to seek out therapy for this. I did that when we were trying to conceive with Ezra, and it was so helpful for me internalizing all of my feelings and things.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.