Tuesday, December 10, 2013

First Trimester in a Nutshell

I haven't made any firm decisions on how often I'll post about my pregnancy or how detailed I'll get, but reading about other pregnancies has been helpful and interesting to me, so I want to include some of the basics. So here you go!

Click here for the original announcement.

Overall Health and Checkups
Thankfully, after the colitis, I've been very healthy throughout the pregnancy. I felt a little bit of all the expected symptoms (nausea, breast tenderness, fatigue, hunger, minor food aversions), but nothing extreme. My vitals, blood tests, and ultrasounds have all looked good so far.

We were referred to an OB/GYN next door to my regular doctor, and we really love him so far. He's in his seventies, super sweet and soft spoken, and he's one of the top surgical experts at UCLA, even though we don't anticipate needing those services. He is also an advocate of natural birth, which I appreciate.

So far, all signs show that baby is healthy and strong. We've heard the heartbeat and seen two images, so it's starting to feel more real. I'm doing well, too, putting on a few pounds and getting back some energy. I said a lot during the first trimester that I just didn't feel 100%, and I'm finally feeling like myself again.

For now, we go to the doctor every four weeks, and our next appointment is right before Christmas. Terry has been able to come to all the appointments so far, and we both teared up when we heard the heartbeat for the first time. It's pretty crazy to know I'm responsible for growing a person--I'm glad to have Terry to help me through it!

I mentioned briefly that we're trying to keep up a normal workout routine, which, for me, includes strength and cardio. I spoke with my doctor to ask about how my workouts should change, if at all. At our 8-week appointment, my doctor simply said I can continue my normal workouts with two caveats:

  1. Keep my heart rate under 140 BPM (beats per minute). I don't have a heart rate monitor (though I've always wanted a Polar), so I measured the old fashioned way and determined that my heart rate gets to around 140 when I jog at 6 mph. So I just don't go over 6 mph (or about that level of exertion). I've cut out all HIIT workouts, but I still do some interval training (walk a few minutes, jog a few minutes, or walk at different speeds/inclines). 
  2. Avoid intense plyometrics and intense jumping. Honestly, I was more than willing to give up jumping. My stomach, pelvis, and lower abs weren't thrilled about even jumping jacks over the last two months, so I felt ready to keep my feet on the ground. As I mentioned, I'm still cleared to jog, and my body feels fine doing speed skaters, but nothing more intense than that.
So here's what I've been doing as part of my "normal" workout routine:
  • Lots of long walks (3-5 miles), especially with plenty of hills to keep my tush and legs toned.
  • Hiking (I have noticed that I need to go a little slower than usual, maybe 3.5-4 mph, and I take a few more water breaks than before). 
  • Jogging and/or walking with jogging intervals. I love to alternate 2 minutes running with one minute walking because it keeps my heart rate at a safe level but still challenges me. I did run the full 5K (it was tough to remind myself not to actually race and just go at my 6 mph pace!).
  • Zumba, first time today (technically second trimester, but would have been fine last trimester too), with very minor modifications to avoid too much bouncing.
  • Strength training: Pretty much everything I did before, but limiting myself to 5-10 pounds, as per doctor's orders (for second trimester). Basically my doctor said to avoid straining myself, so as long as I feel comfortable, I will continue to do what feels good for my body. My favorites are lunges, bench dips, any hip abductor exercises, and biceps curls.
  • Prenatal yoga: I'm doing some videos I've found on YouTube, and I like the relaxation and mindfulness aspects. It's also really helpful to stretch my pelvis and hips--those areas get pretty sore!
  • Abs: I had heard before becoming pregnant that some doctors recommend avoiding ab exercises, preferring soft stomachs instead. I asked my doctor, and he simply said that around 16 weeks I should no longer be laying on my back, but that I can still do exercises in other positions. So I like side bend crunches, side and regular planks, and bird dogs. 
I'll be sure to post my workouts like I usually do, providing the normal version and the pregnancy-safe version!


Luckily, I haven't had any major aversions or cravings (no desperation for pickles at 3 am so far). The only minor aversions:

  • meat on its own (a big hunk of steak just doesn't appeal to me, but a burger is okay)
  • cooked spinach
  • I don't have as much of a sweet tooth as before
  • I don't know if I would call it an aversion, but I struggled with drinking enough water. I used to drink around 90 ounces or more per day, and now I was barely drinking 40.
And the only minor cravings:
  • pita and hummus for the first few weeks (we went to a Middle Eastern restaurant and I think I ate about a pint of hummus)
  • guacamole (but I can't confirm that I really want the guac that much more than I did before--who doesn't love guac?)
Since I've been okay with eating pretty much everything I normally do, it was easy to continue eating all the meals I regularly cook. The only struggle was that I needed significantly more food, lots of snacks throughout the day (large meals left me feeling super nauseous). I knew I was only supposed to gain around half a pound per week for the first trimester, so I was stunned at how much food I could pack away and how my body was obviously using all those calories, because I gained exactly one pound for my entire first trimester. Now that second trimester has rolled around, I'm on track for gaining the right amount of weight, though!

The Bump
Alright, I won't inundate the blog with bump photos, but here's progress so far:

(Left to right) Week 7, Week 13, Week 14

If it looks like I already had a mini bump in Week 7, it's because that was the first day I noticed a "bump" (actually just bloating, an awesome side effect of pregnancy) and we snapped a picture in case it was our last chance. It's so strange to watch my belly grow, even if it's just a little bit so far. I'm already in maternity jeans (Old Navy had a cute pair, and they are SO comfortable), and some of my shirts and workout tops are too tight. But it's exciting to start to see some evidence of the little life I'm growing!

  • My doctor recommended What to Expect When You're Expecting for my reading. I'm also using the Baby Center pregnancy app, which describes the baby's development as well as what's going on with me. My mom subscribed me to Fit Pregnancy magazine, just for some fun reading material, and I have a few other books on my Christmas list that I hope to read before June.
  • We had fun announcing the news to our families. We told Terry's parents by giving them gifts--a "UCLA Grandpa" shirt for his dad (Terry's parents are also alumni) and a "Grandmother" charm for his mom's charm bracelet. We told my brother, sister-in-law, and parents by showing them a slideshow "of our Europe trip", which included the following photo:

And now I'm off to relax with Terry. Back tomorrow with the usual post!

1 comment:

  1. I loved being pregnant, you look great!!! Enjoy it!! - Alex