First, thank you so much for all your wonderful comments and messages. They mean so much and they just made that week all the more special. It’s exciting to be out in the open now and able to share this experience!
I don’t even know how to approach writing about pregnancy. On one hand, I’d like to write directly to my child because, above everything else, I want them to read this one day and know exactly how crazy his/her parents were preparing for their arrival. But I know so many of my thoughts are going to be toward the world, especially anyone who can calm me in any way and make me feel a little less overwhelmed. So there will probably be a little of both — barring it doesn’t make me sound like a split personality.
I’ve been reading other people’s pregnancy posts for weeks thinking about how I want to purpose these. I’d like a mix of useful general information and then more stuff tailored to what I’m going through. I’m going to try to make these fun, because let’s face it, the last thing we need is another pregnant lady counting down the weeks comparing the size of her baby to fruit or vegetables.
How we found out
A story for the ages. It was December 30th. I had been feeling off for a few days. Like I was going to get a period, but it just wasn’t coming. That’s not normal for me, so to be safe, I decided to test, just to make sure I was in the clear to have a drink or two on New Years.
So yeah, those drinks didn’t happen. I took the first test the night of December 30th, and the second the following morning. They were instantly positive.
How I told Neil
Really romantically. I was stunned when the test instantly read positive and started screaming for him from the downstairs bathroom. There was no cute surprise or anything. I am a terrible liar and I can’t keep secrets from him, or apparently my best friend Erica — who I told immediately after. To be fair, she was the pharmacist who sold me the tests. Someday I’ll get her and my conversation that night framed.
Were we trying?
That’s always been a really complicated question for me. We’ve always been on the fence. Not because we don’t like kids (I actually love kids) but because we’ve always felt nervous about how we’d do as parents. I feel like a lot of that comes from comparing ourselves to other parents — which is probably the wrong thing to do. We both typically approach any new endeavor with a “go big or go home” and especially for such a huge job like parenting, we really wanted to feel confident we were up for the task.
It’s hard to explain. We know a lot of super parents. We also know a lot of parents whose kids are their whole lives. While nothing will be more important to us than our child and family, we still have some things we want for ourselves, a lot of goals — and we felt conflicted about whether parenthood was something we should endeavor upon. Go figure, parent guilt before there’s even a kid — and maybe a little bit of apprehension about how we’d be perceived — if this makes sense.
We first started talking about the possibility a year ago after my professor passed away — and then again when Kaitlin died. Life is finite, nothing is guaranteed, and in the end if you feel capable and drawn to parenthood, why wait longer?
For me, it culminated in some lyrics from the new Pearl Jam album that came out soon after Kaitlan died:
It’s a fragile thing, this life we lead.
If I think too much I can get overwhelmed by the grace
By which we live our lives with death over our shoulders
So long story short, as far as trying — well we’ve been sans goalie for like 5 years, and passively but somewhat not passively putting half-assed effort forth for about 6-ish months. Does that answer the question?
As I mentioned in our announcement, first trimester was EXTREMELY kind to me. I dealt with minimal nausea and fatigue, and with the exception of one lousy workout, continued pretty much as normal throughout the first 13 weeks. The few times I actually felt sick-ish, I just went to bed early, or parked myself on the couch.
Mexican food was always a win…
I worked really hard (and against quite a few aversions) to keep my diet as clean as possible. We did the Whole30 Challenge right in the middle of all this, so that helped immensely (although some days were complete torture). My aversions were really strange. The only consistent aversion I had was chicken, but I also found that if I found something I liked, I would quickly get tired of it and it would become an aversion. Lemonade was one of the first unfortunate victims of this pattern. The nurse practitioner made the mistake of telling me it eased nausea, so I was drinking it every time I felt off, and the effect was almost Pavlovian. The weird thing about aversions was that I quickly discovered they were all mental. Chicken sounded disgusting (and still kind of does — we’ve had it very rarely since finding out), but it tasted just fine if I forced myself to eat it. So strange — but poor Neil was so patient.
I love that I have CF bruises in every. single. photo.
I’m extremely grateful for such an uneventful first trimester. Being able to eat well and work out made it all so much easier. We are officially due on September 1st, so just in time for fall!
Moving forward I’ll cover specifics of both my diet and CrossFit separately and then I guess we’ll start covering 2nd trimester! If there are things you specifically would like me to cover, ask away in the comments, I would love for this to be useful to others!
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I am so thrilled for you guys. The second trimester is like a pregnancy honeymoon. You are already incredibly strong and healthy… I am confident you will be able to continue that.
As for the parent guilt, I obviously understand. Both Randy and I have chosen to continue our careers as we try our very best to raise our kids. I am still learning… Always learning. I know you guys will go through the experience with confidence and support. Yes, there will be guilty times, but that’s normal. In the end, what matters is our kids know we love them. I know your baby already knows that. Congrats!
Even though I had a relatively uneventful first tri, the second tri has been so much better in the way of energy and just overall well being. We definitely look at you and Randy as examples of the balance we hope we can achieve and the approach we’d like to take.
I hope this kid knows by all the pokes I’ve been giving it that it’s very much loved — or at the very least completely fascinating to me.
Auntie Rae is very excited!! I love you guys and know you will be great parents!
It takes a village Auntie, and they are so lucky to have such a great group of aunts and uncles 🙂
Hah, we have the same due date! In reality I think it will actually be around the 4th, but too funny! I’ve been a lurker reader of yours for awhile. I was vegetarian pre-pregnancy and tried until mid-January to keep it up but couldn’t as veggies tasted horrible. One thing I realized is that chicken is not my favorite meat at all. Bland, blah, ugh.
I’ve always been kind of neutral about chicken. It is very bland, which is why it’s so weird that it ended up being such an aversion, especially over all the other meat options. Some veggies were definitely harder than others as well — mostly the cabbage, pea pods, and other more fibrous veggies we typically added to stir fries.
Have you been able to revert back to veg or are you still facing the aversions? Mine seem to be pretty much gone, but eating still feels like a chore some days — like when you have the flu and food just doesn’t taste good.
Oh god thank you for not comparing yourself to fruit. Hahaha You look fantastic. I told Stephen about our pregnancy in much the same way. Honestly, I don’t know how I could keep that kind of info to myself and try to plan something more elaborate. I also think people take the whole pregnancy thing to the extreme these days with their “gender” reveal parties, etc. Hahah So, simple is GOOD. Can’t wait to read more! <3
Yeah, I noticed that a lot of people seem to do a gender reveal party. Honestly, the increased attention I’ve already received from being pregnant alone is already a little more than I’m used to, and I feel really awkward about it — so no party here. I invited family to the sonogram, and then maybe we’ll all grab lunch afterward. That sounds like just enough.
Congrats to you and Neil!!
And I don’t know why, but it seems like chicken is a really common aversion? So many pregnancy recaps I’ve read/friends I’ve spoken to have mentioned the need to steer clear of chicken at the beginning of their pregnancy!
Aversions are supposed to be a natural safety mechanism to prevent us from eating foods that are more risky, but I don’t know why mine were so honed in on chicken. And you’d think, in a time when women typically crave more bland food than ever, that chicken would rank high, but yeah, no explanation here. Happy it’s mostly over — I felt like a complete psycho when it came to grocery planning and shopping every week.
My only big aversion has been bacon; it just smells awful to me. With other foods, I just went with the sniff test, and I didn’t eat anything that didn’t look good. I was lucky that veggies looked great for the whole first trimester, and sugar didn’t look good.
I told Matt in a similar way. He made me wait a whole week when I was late, so by the time I took the test, it was instant. I did so on a Sunday morning, and I jumped into bed to wake him up.
No gender reveal party here, obviously. I’m even shy about a baby shower, so I think our friends are just going to host a coed barbeque and hang-out for us. I’m also suggesting the “hand-me-down” baby shower, because so many of our friends are just done having kids and passing stuff along. I feel awkward suggesting people buy all new stuff for us.
I’m so excited for you and Neil! Being a mom is a scary thing. And, quite honestly, it’s one of the most challenging things I’ve ever had to do. I’ve found that the comparison game is normal, so don’t be ashamed of it. You’ll learn how to be the best mom you can be by understanding who you are and, most importantly, who your kid is. And, as Jen said, it’s more than ok to pursue your career and personal goals. Remember, you’re not just a mom, you’re a wife and a strong woman.
Aww thanks Emma! It’s already scary every day. He/She isn’t even here yet, and I worry about doing the right thing and making the right decisions constantly. I can’t read enough, or eat well enough, it’s always there. I can only imagine what it’s like once they are finally here. But I know I feel this way because it’s an amazing gift, so I try to temper my anxiety with how amazing I know it will be.
Congrats to you and Neil, I hope you are feeling good. Andy and I can relate to your concerns/reservations on being parents. We love kids, and maybe soon we will start trying for one, but the hesitation on how we will be, and still having our own goals is there. For me it’s finishing school and him it’s getting more established in a new career.
That’s exactly why we waited. I was in grad school, Neil had just changed careers at that quintessential “2 year post marriage” point that everyone seems to have a kid (or before). I still want to do my PhD and hope to begin once they are in school, and Neil would still love to do an Associates or some certifications. Couple in all the hobbies and it definitely gave us pause. But I’m convinced that our lives our only limited by us.