First Trimester Recap & Early Pregnancy Recommendations

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

PIN ME!

It's hard to believe that I'm even typing this blog post because some days I still pinch myself...I can't believe that I'm going to be a mommy! It's something I've always wanted because I have the best mama around, and if I'm half the woman she is, my baby will be a lucky little peanut. Not to mention that I always pictured starting a family with my husband. Since we first started dating, even though we were so young, we always talked about the future and what our life would look like. I honestly can't wait to see him as a dad...He's going to be amazing. To anyone praying for a baby right now, please know my heart is with you and I have no doubt that your time is coming. 

Before we get into all the fun stuff, many of you did reach out and ask what we did to conceive. First and foremost, I recommend talking to your doctor about your family plans and getting off of hormonal birth control ASAP. Once you've done that, BUY THIS BOOK. I don't know how else to put it, but it's truly life changing. It's how I got my body ready for baby, and more importantly, learned the ins-and-outs of my cycle.

First Trimester Recap

Where do I begin? Can you say rollercoaster? We found out I was pregnant on August 22, 2020. I was 4 weeks along. It was a Saturday, and I just got back from getting my hair done. It had been months due to the pandemic, so I felt like a new woman...literally, I guess, in hindsight. My period was only a day late, but because of how in-tune I was, both my husband and I knew it was probably a good idea to take a test, even if it was early. About a week before, I did experience slight nausea and fatigue; however, that's not totally uncommon for me because I suffer with heredity autoimmune issues. 

Fast forward to week 5, and holy cow, the symptoms came in with a vengeance. I had extreme fatigue and nausea. I mean all day...the only time I felt relief was when I was sleeping. Basically running the day-to-day business of a corporate in-house legal department does not lend itself well to early stages of pregnancy, but I was incredibly thankful to be working from home. I'd work a few hours then lay down/take a cat nap, as needed.

From week 6 to 8, things were steady in terms of exhaustion and nausea. All I ate were bagels. Nothing else seemed appealing, but that was okay according to my doctor. It was really in the second trimester that I needed to mind what I was eating and significantly increase my protein. Frankly, the thought of anything healthy at that time felt repulsive, but I did love learning about the nutritional building blocks that baby needs in the Real Food for Pregnancy book, listed below. It just wasn't high priority at that time, given how crappy I felt. 

From week 9 to 12, I threw up a handful of times. That was probably the worst part because I was starting to feel a bit better in terms of fatigue and nausea, which resulted in me eating larger meals. That was not a good idea. I should've just stuck with the bagels...haha...Needless to say, other symptoms started to crop up, as my doctor had warned. I hadn't had sciatica (it's like a pinched nerve sensation down your rear-end and leg) since college, so when it started up again, I was not a happy camper. I sat on a heating pad most of the day, but ultimately, the only thing that helped was rest (i.e. laying horizontal on the couch watching TV). 

As I share this, I'm now 14 weeks and almost have a new lease on life. I'll give you the inside scoop next go-around, but for those of you who are pregnant, things do improve. The only caveat to that is each stage brings other victories and struggles. I should also note that I was virtually unable to workout at all, and apparently that's not uncommon. It was just a bit of a bummer for me because I had done really well with my Beachbody Barre Blend program during quarantine, and now I look like Humpty Dumpty...but it's all for a good cause. I hope to start up again this week with their prenatal program, sciatica and lower back pain permitting, because that's still lingering. 

Products I Couldn't Live Without

1. Pregnancy Pillow

2. Custom Fill Pillow with silky pillowcase (featured in this Insta post)

3. Heating Pad

4. Stretch Mark Prevention System // You can essentially re-create a similar system on the cheap using this and this

5. Maternity Leggings

6. Real Food for Pregnancy

BONUS ITEM: THIS YETI!

Updated Skincare Routine

When you're pregnant, you basically have to avoid all retinol and most acids, even plant-based ones like my holy grail night cream from Ole Henrikson. That was difficult to part with, I won't lie. I realized I didn't note above that I experienced quite a bit of hormonal acne, which I never had before. Honestly, my skin has been really good the last 5+ years with the routine I had (you can check out my pre-pregnancy routine on the sidebar of my main blog page), so this was fairly uncharted territory for me. Add feeling bloated and like an alien took over your body, and I was nearly in tears looking at my pizza-face in the mirror. I also found that there were very few online resources for pregnancy-safe makeup and skincare information, but I eventually discovered 15 Minute Beauty. The creator is a doctor and offers comprehensive, brand-specific guides to what she recommends for pregnancy and nursing moms. Now, I spoke with my doctor about a few things I wasn't completely able or willing to give up, such as my EVER organic self-tanning drops, which I would only use sparingly for photos, and got his blessing, so be sure to do your own research and, of course, be your own advocate. 

My New Morning Routine

My New Nighttime Routine

Miscellaneous Things I Did/Would Recommend

These are items that I swapped out in favor of less toxic or completely non-toxic alternatives in my home and beauty regime, but may not be dealbreakers for everyone. This is just my personal preference and experience. 

First, I stopped doing dip powder nails. Even though I hadn't been at a salon since February, even my at-home kit (you can read all about my DIY experience HERE) contained acrylic within the powder, and I didn't want to risk it. I searched far and wide for the best, long-wear, 9 or 13-free nail polish. My top contenders include Ella + Mila (available at Target), Deborah Lippmann and Lakur by Londontown. I'd also only recommend any their removers, since conventional acetone can be harmful to baby. I did opt to continue to use this nail polish base/strengthener because it just works so damn well, and is still relatively non-toxic. 

Second, I stopped using traditional household cleaners, such as bleach. If needed, I wore a mask while using such products but I really didn't want to continue with them. Enter Branch Basics - I stumbled upon their page with scrolling Instagram one night when I couldn't sleep. The upfront cost is about $50-60, but you get a bunch a products made from a single concentrate, so they should last a while. Plus, it was much cheaper and more conventional than pursuing the whole Young Living/essential oils thing. So far, I love the array of products. What I'm most impressed with so far? Their laundry detergent! It works incredibly well. I'm also really loving the bathroom cleaner. You can save on your first order HERE. All other discount codes, including 20% off Tula skincare can be found HERE.

Third, I limited my use of Bath and Bodyworks candles. I know, I know...I just committed a sin, but as you'll learn in the fertility book I recommended above, those things are packed with artificial fragrance and petroleum. Not something you or your baby should be breathing in. Now, I do burn them every once in a while, but I recently got a Pura, which is basically a fancy, but super safe plug-in. It connects to an app and all their fragrances are made of high-end essential oils, boast brand names we already know and love, and are completely pet and child safe. Total win-win. You can save 15% on your order with code "THESASSYSUBURBS". I'm about to snag some holiday scents, but right now I have Vanilla Chiffon and White Gilded Pumpkin. I really like them both. I'll share more on Instagram stories in the coming weeks, so be sure to give me a follow on there if you haven't already (@thesassysuburbs). 

So that's pretty much all I have to share so far. I'm generally an open book, so please, please do not hesitate to reach out to me with any specific questions. My goal is to be a real resource to you. Thank you again for your sweet congratulations and for following along!

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