First trimester recap!

Since I’ve been silent until last week about my pregnancy, I wanted to write out a full recap of the 1st trimester and what I’ve experienced! In fact, this week, all my posts are going to be baby talk. Baby talk, body talk, and belly talk. But don’t worry–I still love food (I think) and books and photography, so I promise that eventually I will branch back out and write about something different. In fact, I have a few recipes ready to go (Heidi’s Drunken Noodles, an awesome Black Bean Soup, and I’m putting together a post on an amazing pizza crust that Erica shared with me)–but this just ain’t the week for ’em. So if you’re a dude, you’re just here for the food, or baby talk makes you want to pull your hair out and shout “Shazzam!”, well . . . I hope to see you back around here next week! Go forth, be happy and prosper, my son.

But as for the rest of you! Let’s dive right in, shall we? Here’s what all went down (and it’s a looooong post, so grab your coffee and feel free to take a potty break):

-I thought I was scoring big with a complete lack of morning sickness . . . And though I’m thankful that my first 2 months were so normal in the bodily sense, this initial lack of sickness was a big part of the reason we chose not to extensively share our news until the first trimester was over and done with–I was concerned by this lack of symptoms. What did it mean? That maybe nothing was actually happening?? That this whole pregnancy thing was just a figment of my overly active imagination? Some kind of psychologically induced placebo pregnancy?

– . . . up until week 9. Starting week 9, the sickness began. It tapered off about 2 1/2 weeks later, but now that my second trimester has kicked off I’ve unfortunately had a little relapse (ugh–more about that Thursday, with all the gory details). Thank heavens it’s (supposed to be) almost over, because those 2 1/2 weeks and this little recurrence have been no fun. And the sickness wasn’t “morning” either–it was all day, any day. Some days it was better, and I only felt like throwing up a few times and for a few minutes at a time, then it passed. But a couple evenings when it was particularly bad, I was reduced to a helpless pile on the couch, not wanting to eat, sipping club soda in a last ditch effort to calm the beast of my stomach, and crying because I felt so helpless. My husband was a champ through this, and with his compassion and humor it turned into quite a bonding experience. That doesn’t mean that I would willingly relive it though! Let’s just make that clear.

-Bloating. I’m sorry for that hideous word, and I told myself I’d never use it, but it was a huge part of the whole “not feeling well” thing. Basically, I would eat a fig newton and a handful of peanuts, and minutes later feel like I had just eaten a 5 lb turkey and two whole pies. With a whole can of whipped cream sprayed over everything. Blech. Apparently digestion slows down so that nutrients can get to the baby . . . so that’s good. It just doesn’t feel good. Plus, it meant that I could pooch out my stomach so that it looked like I was something akin to 7 months pregnant instead of 2 or 3. Scary stuff.

-Purchases: I thought I was going to be able to say that we had purchased exactly zero baby things. Zero baby books, zero maternity clothes, zero baby furniture, zero, zero, zero. But . . . then I came across this adorable little fleece jacket for 99 cents at Salvation Army.

Look! It says “cuddly”!

And some adorable little grey Gap legging thingies.

With knee patches!

And an adorable Old Navy striped onesie . . .

. . . also with precious little knee patches.

So the truth is that we’ve bought 3 things. But! Rummage 2012 is coming up in May! I anticipate that more than a few purchases will be made there.

I juiced! Every weekday morning, right before my devotional, I down a glass of that green veggie liquid. Though I started right before finding out I was pregnant (the morning of The Day, specifically) and meant to do it anyway, I love the thought of all those micronutrients strengthening my little one. Go carrots! Go celery! Go spinach, go ginger, go cucumbers! I don’t plan on stopping any time soon.

-I’ve been faithfully popping those vitamins. Well . . . except for the days I forget.

-I’ve kept my diet pretty much the same. I’ve cut back on coffee, but that’s mostly because once I started juicing, I lost the taste for more than about 1 cup. Let it be known that if my taste for that second cup returns, I’ll totally go for it. I’ve done a lot of reading and have decided to do my best to eat healthily, remain physically active (Pilates! yoga!), and not worry about the rest. I don’t want to obsess about this and that when my gut tells me that my dietary choices during pregnancy are mostly common sense. Eat your greens. Don’t over-indulge in anything. Eat regular meals. Don’t binge on the thing you’re craving even if you really feel like it. Everything in moderation. You know, that kind of stuff.

-Cravings: Nothing much until week 9. And then, all of a sudden and with no seeming explanation, I really wanted lasagna–my friend Carrie’s recipe with the goat cheese and the fresh mozzarella and the fresh basil and the rich sausagey tomato sauce. I get food impulses all the time (being a food blogger and food-blog-follower, this is kind of inevitable), but this was different. I rarely crave heavy cheesy things, but oh man–all I could think about was this melty, decadent lasagna. Then, that weekend, I severely desired that Naked juice called “Mighty Mango.” It was 10pm, and I thought “I could just go to the grocery store right now and satisfy this itch.” But it was dark . . . and I was tired. So I bought it the very next morning instead. And it was heavenly. Since then, I’ve wanted fries. Fries, fries, fries. Slathered with mayo and ketchup. And hot, buttery white rice. And boxed mac and cheese.

-Food aversions: sadly, many of my favorite things are anathema. Fried eggs . . . ugh! Thai noodles (which I normally love) . . . can’t look at the stuff. Popcorn . . . not feelin’ it (shocking! Seriously, do you remember my history with popcorn?) That Bacon and Kale Skillet I made for so many weeks in a row? The mere thought of it makes me retch. Most of these aversions started in week 10, soon after the sickness began. I’ve started thinking that things are way over-salted when my husband claims they’re perfectly seasoned. As a food blogger and food lover, not being able to trust my taste buds is really wigging me out, people!

-Weight gain: I weighed about 132 last fall at a Dr’s appointment (and yes, that was the last time I weighed myself since we don’t own a scale). And at my end-of-12th-week appointment (and after a huge lunch of eggplant stew, garlic potatoes, and a mountain of white rice), I weighed 133. . . . so pretty much the same. “Hooray!” you might think. But no. Apparently gradual weight gain helps avoid stretch marks and other unseemly things, so dangit! I need to start putting on some pounds, people. Let’s get this thing moving!

So far, at 12 weeks here, you can’t really tell that anything at all is happening . . . but I’ll be posting more pictures as the baby makes him or herself more evident!

This may very well be the last time in my life that my stomach is flat. I’m slightly terrified by the fact that in 6 months, my body will be forever changed. But I’ve heard the sacrifice is worth it! So don’t let me complain. Help me help myself.

-Fatigue! This hit on a Thursday. March 2nd to be exact, the second day of my ninth week. I noted this day because though I’d been feeling tired before, it was nothing crazy. Nothing out of what might be normal to feel after a hard, long day. But on that Thursday, everything changed. It hit, and it hit hard. I was miserable . . . but glad to at least be experiencing a sign that somewhere, something was going on inside.

-Names! We’re talking about them. We’ve agreed on a girl’s name–three in fact–and one boy’s name that I was skeptical of at first, but to which I have been won over.

-Clothes: I still fit ’em. Though I’m convinced my butt has grown about 5 sizes, that must be mostly emotion speaking since my pants are still fitting in a normal way, and the scale confirms that not much has changed.

-Boobs. They are totally not the triple D size that I was counting on. Having never experienced this whole “nicely sized chest” thing, this is one of the things I’m quite excited about. Alas . . . still nothing to report. And when there is something report, I probably won’t talk about it because that might be unsavory. So basically, the time I don’t talk about my chest area being its usual unassuming self, you can privately surmise that its volume is meeting all my hopes and dreams. I want to experience cleavage, at least once in my life.

-Week 11, occasional dizziness started. I almost passed out after church as I was talking to my friend Beth. And I’m not talking about a little faintness–I’m talking about a down-on-the-ground am-I-dying type of feeling. This precipitated the earlier-than-planned spreading of the news in our church, because of course then I had to explain to Beth, etc. etc.

-Patience: it was hard not to tell. Especially when I was feeling exhausted and started having pregnant-brain at work. I wanted to say to my boss: “It’s not that I’m slacking! I’m pregnant!” But getting that first appointment at the end of week 12 to confirm everything was a-ok before telling him was essential to me.

-Which brings us to pregnant-brain. Which is entirely different than my regular brain. I think that at times, the entire contents of my cranium may have been taken by aliens, replaced with a version that hasn’t been Beta-tested, and then returned when I was sleeping. Then taken again sometime during my morning coffee. Then returned. It comes and goes, and you never know when it’s going to hit. The first sign of this, in week 8, was at the grocery store. I had the pen and the list. I went over to pick up a red onion. I crossed it off the list. I picked up a bag of kale and a bag of cucumbers. I returned to the cart and to my husband, all set to cross off “kale” and “cucumbers” . . . and the pen was gone. I retraced my steps three times. I had the vague, disquieting feeling that I had actually set it down amongst the vegetables . . . but I couldn’t remember. In the space of 2 minutes, that pen was adios, muchachos forever. Generally, my brain seems to have slowed down. I’m not as efficient around the house. It takes me longer to cook. It takes me longer to clean. Sometimes I have to talk myself through accomplishing a task–out loud. Like a crazy lady. Oh well.

-Housing and transportation: we’re moving at the end of August. We’ve loved our apartment (the burglary not so much, but oh well), but the so-not-soundproof nature of our ceiling and floor, the lack of laundry facilities on site, the general grody oldness of the bathroom, and the terrible parking on our street have convinced us that we want to have this little one elsewhere. And we want to get a car. Not to use daily–we’ll still be good, green-as-possible citizens and use the El and buses of Chicago–but for trips to see family with the baby it would be quite nice. And to have on hand for emergency hospital stuff. Like, um, when I go into labor. Yup. (And come on–is that really going to happen to me? Really? I don’t think so.)

-Appointing a new photographer. With my love of photography, it’s important to me that there be pictures of the process–and of my soon-to-be growing pregnant belly. As the person who wears the photographer’s hat in our household, I’m forcefully passing the camera into my husband’s hands and appointing a new family photographer. Before he took the above pictures of me, I tested the light and the background on him. “Here, turn to your side like you’re showing me your pregnant belly!” I commanded.










Heh heh.

He’s more than willing to let me order him about and show him all the settings on the Nikon, and puts up with my bossiness with utter grace. Thanks babe!

And thanks, friends, for all your kind and encouraging comments, and the awesome stories you’ve shared. You’re already making this process more joyful for me!

34 thoughts on “First trimester recap!

  1. Kimby

    Jenna, this will be an awesome diary for your little one to read “someday” — your care and love and thought and joy are evident! I LOVED that photo of you in front of the curtain — such a contemplative, quiet joy at the miracle growing inside of you. Smiled at your “test subject,” too. 🙂 Again, congratulations to both of you!

  2. vicki

    Very sweet post Jenna. You will fill out, believe me..I didn’t start wearing maternity clothes until my 6 month and by the end I was ready to “pop”…I gained alot of weight (35 lbs.) my first time around b/c I was way underweight to begin with, but with the other 4 I only gained about 20 lbs. That wasn’t too hard b/c I had horrible heart burn and it got worse with each pregnancy. You sound like you are doing well in spite of the seemingly weird things that happen, cravings, dizziness (normal), that ususally hit me if I had to stand in one position too long, like at church while singing. I had the overwheming tiredness/sleepiness, but since you don’t have any other children you can more or less give into that and sleep when you are not working. When others come along that is really hard to fight.
    I am looking forward to your future posts and how things are going for you.

    1. Jenna Post author

      Oh man–I’ve heard about the heart burn thing. Hasn’t happened yet, and I still have the wild hope of avoiding it entirely. We’ll see, and I’ll certainly share no matter what! And I AM enjoying giving into the fatigue and just lying on the couch. I know this will be the one pregnancy during which I can do that fairly guiltlessly. =)

  3. kate

    Holy flat stomach indeed. I wouldn’t worry too much, lady- especially with the yoga and pilates, the body really does bounce back remarkably. Plus, I’ve never had a flat stomach in my life and it hasn’t been tooooooo bad. I am still a professional bellydancer, for instance. This whole post is super sweet and cute. Nice to read about since I am only a month ahead of you or so. I could not possibly write during my first trimester because I had the soggy melted brain of an abandoned grilled cheese sandwich. Melted and congealed, eerily slow and useless. Wow. Anyway you sound great! And from one chestless wonder to another… don’t worry about that cleavage. It’ll come. Then it’ll go again, until the next one. -xoxoxoxo sweetridgekate

    1. Jenna Post author

      Dear Fellow Chestless Wonder,
      I hear you on the soggy melted brain. I seriously have to walk myself through tasks by talking out loud, or I get totally distracted/confused/disoriented.
      So excited that Olympia will be getting a little sibling!

  4. Stacy

    These posts are so fun to read! I remember those days. I would say I had a pretty easy pregnancy (well, besides the fact that I had to have surgery at 20 weeks and plenty of ultrasounds to make sure our little guys kidneys weren’t failing, but we got to see him lots!). And yes, the boobs will come!! 🙂 I got my first cleavage during pregnancy and breast feeding 🙂
    Enjoy this stage, Jenna. It is so exciting. Just wait until you can feel the little person moving. That is a miracle. Praying you have a happy, healthy pregnancy.

    1. Jenna Post author

      Yay! Thanks Stacy! I am enjoying this whole process, and I’m especially looking forward to the fatigue being over (which just has to be soon! I think . . .)

  5. queenie

    I remember my mother told me “One day you’ll be happy not to have cleavage.” I didn’t believe her. Now, the other side of 50, I believe her.

    Sending you love and every good blessing . . . .

    1. Jenna Post author

      I can see the blessing of that, especially as the body ages (there’s nothing to sag! =). I’m actually pretty darn grateful for my shape (which I never thought would happen when I was 18 and despairing of ever having curves), but I will definitely enjoy a brief stint of curvierness.

      1. Twinky

        Chestless Wonder Club! Love it! I am SO glad I got to have boobs while pregnant and nursing, but I am even gladder that I am pretty flat and not suffering the hassles of larger breasted women in these “mature years”!

        BTW, your father left off reading the post with me when you got to your section on your boobs…. =)

  6. Becky

    Cute, Jenna, so fun to follow. Many of these details hit home for anyone who has had a baby, I’m sure, and at least I (andw probably others) feel like your best friend as I read them… even thought we’ve never met. I belong to the Chestless Wonder club as well, and after 2 years I’m weaning my precious little girl and rejoining the group. 😉

    1. Jenna Post author

      Aw, thanks Becky! And welcome back to the CW Club. I guess overall it’s not a bad place to be. =)

  7. Suzie

    Loved reading all this! Your belly will go back to being flat, you are small and probably won’t show for quite awhile and then I’m guessing you’ll be all belly and that’s it. You know how I don’t like sweets? When pregnant I craved cherry cheesecake and ate 1/2 a pie in one sitting. Talk about not feeling well after…lol!! My son’s fiance is due Sept. 26th, so you and her are close 🙂

  8. Kate

    So happy for you! You sound great. It’s nice to relive this wonderful time and the unique emotions that come with. Are you leaving the city? I liked imagining you just down the road a piece!

    1. Jenna Post author

      Nope, we’re staying in the city! Adam has 2-3 years left of his PhD program, so we’re here for at least that long, and really hope he can find a job after he graduates here so that we can settle. Chicago is an awesome town, isn’t it? We’re basically just looking for a better apartment with some laundry facilities, a tub that drains, and a management company that actually responds to our requests for maintenance.

      1. Kate

        Oh my friend was just telling me about her great landlady. She’s got units on Wilson near the river (Blago’s neighborhood). Is that too far west? I think it’s brown line.

  9. Veronica

    Every time I look at those pics of your hubby, I crack up! I love you guys. 🙂 I loved reading your first trimester experience, and especially the photos. And that jacket with the ears is adorbs!! I love that Mighty Mango drink, girl, and unlike your other cravings, it’s really good for you! haha. May the food aversion quickly flee!!

  10. JenB

    Loved reading the account thus far! I can’t wait until you start showing more. Btw, I made a lemon meringue pie for the first time tonight and it turned out well! Just felt the need to tell you…hopefully it won’t offend your taste buds.

  11. Tonya

    I LOVED this post! And said, “Amen” and “Uh-huh, preach it sista” several dozen times!
    Pregnancy makes you stupid, and having children keeps you there. Don’t worry, I have maintained some semblance of ocd organization through it all. But there was that one time I found the phone in the fridge….
    Boobies: I grew 1 cup size during pregnancy and another cup size after my milk came in. Big boobies are not fun and I never want to be a D again. Ouch.
    COCOA BUTTER: this will help prevent stretch marks. Itching means stretching and stretching means stretch marks, so slather it on thick every night and every time you are itchy. I was faithful at this with my first 2 and was stretch mark free! By the 2nd two I decided that a regular lotion would be just as good. My last 2 were over 10 pounds, and sadly I got my first 3 tummy stretch marks with my 4th, Mr. Paxton. Ugh. So close!
    Pregnancy cravings are a funny thing, ESPECIALLY when you are already a Foodie with sensative taste bud cravings! Destiny: Ketchup (meaning french fries so I could dip SOMETHING in that ketchup) and an orange. Every single day. Tylan: Steak, chili for breakfast and mint ice cream. Avery: Pink lemonade, pink lemonade pie, pink lemonade and did I menti0n, pink lemonade? Paxton: BOXED mac and cheese, every day at the end. Oh and I’d throw in a salad so that poor child could have some nutrients!
    I am so glad you are recording this stuff, its so fun later to look back and remember it all! You will be thankful for those belly pics too, my kids love to look at them and I have BIG ones of my last trimester photo shoots in my bedroom because I think they are intimate and a beautiful example of the awesome God we serve, who allows US to create new life! Woah.
    Hugs Jenna!

  12. Carrie

    The pictures of Adam are priceless. 😉 You are beautiful!!! Well, both of you, but I’m now referring to Jenna… I never thought I’d be jealous of a 3-mos. pregnant woman’s belly!!! haha! And that fleece jacket… I could just eat it up, it’s so sweeeeet!

    1. Jenna Post author

      Merci, mon ami! And though I have a flat stomach, you got the curves on top! So we both win. =)

  13. Kendra

    Your entries are so fun to read! Thanks for being so open about your experiences…it makes it even more enjoyable!! Can’t wait to see more!

  14. Megan

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us. I remember when the “pregnant brain” started. I had been reading a book about quantum physics during breaks sometimes at work, but when I tried reading it around week 14 or so, I remember reading the same paragraph 5 times and I still had no idea what I just read, so I gave up and decided I should pick it back up again after the baby was born. My brain has not fully returned. I’m hoping it’s because of the sleep deprivation, Kyle is still eating 2-4 times a night.

    As for the boobs, I remember when I was having major engorgement because of all the breastfeeding issues and I was like, “these things weigh a ton, what would it be like if I actually HAD boobs?!”

    I have full confidence that you’ll get your flat tummy back. For awhile I thought I was never gonna lose the weigh and be able to fit into my jeans again, but around 8-9 months when Kyle really started eating a lot more solids, it was harder for me to eat as much at meals, and then he was a lot more active which makes me more active, so the weight started coming off really fast after that. I can now fit into my smallest pair of jeans again. And I don’t exercise, except for walking, so it took me close to a year to get back to normal. You’ll probably take less time.

  15. Autumn

    As a woman who is currently pregnant with my first baby and in my 9th week, I can read this post from your first trimester experiences and laugh and tear up and laugh some more. So precious! I look forward to reading through each of your additional posts and keep following your blog! Thanks so much for sharing! Many blessings and congratulations to you and your husband. My God continue to bless you and your family!

    1. Jenna Post author

      Congratulations Autumn! How wonderfully exciting. I wish you laughter and joy throughout the whole experience. =)

  16. Susane

    Love your blog!
    I am in the 8th week, I was wondering why I wasn’t feeling anything yet, now I know what to expect in the following weeks…
    Did you get your shape back?

    1. Jenna Post author

      Hi Susane! Congratulations!! What an awesome, exciting journey is ahead of you. =) And yes, I did get my shape back–I lost most of the weight within the first week or so, but the remaining 8 or so pounds stuck around for about a year. It just takes time!


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