My husband, Casey, and I have been together for over seven years. We dated 5 years and got married last September. Some couples want to enjoy being married before they consider having kids, but Casey and I knew we wanted kids right away.
We went to Hong Kong and Thailand for our honeymoon during the holidays. It was such an amazing trip. One of the fondest memories was when two locals prayed for us when they found out we were there on our honeymoon. They both specifically prayed for us to get pregnant with a boy. That always stuck out to me. After the prayer, they said, if it happens, we would have to return to Thailand for our five-year anniversary!
A month later, I realized my period was late. I waited three days before I took a pregnancy test. When I took the test, it was the longest few minutes of my life. When I saw the ‘+’ to indicate I was indeed pregnant, I was elated!! I told Casey, and he was excited as well! We’re having a BABY!!!
The First Trimester
The first trimester was difficult. I realized, before I took the pregnancy test, I was exhausted more often than usual. I barely had the energy to do anything once I got home from work. When it was confirmed that I was pregnant, it all made sense. When I used to hear about women being pregnant, I heard about them vomiting, experiencing nausea, and having food aversions. I didn’t throw up once, but I did experience nausea and EXTREME exhaustion. There was nothing I could have done about the exhaustion, so I just rested. It’s crucial that you listen to your body and just relax. After all, you are creating life! I never had skin issues, but developed backne (read: back acne) and skin tags. Before I got pregnant, I was in my best shape. I was in the gym at least 3-4 times per week, and I was cut! I figured I would be able to continue my workouts once I was pregnant - that was NOT the case. My exhaustion was on another level. I would get 8 hours of sleep only to wake up EXTREMELY TIRED. It was horrible. To add to that, I was nauseous all the time. I was only able to eat small meals throughout the day. Anything with ginger in it worked for me. I drank ginger ale, ginger tea, and ate ginger candies. As far as my cravings, I only had one: honey flavored yogurt. I would eat as many as three cups during the midnight hour. At the end of my first trimester, I had gained 26 pounds.
The Second Trimester
This time is considered the “honeymoon period” of pregnancy because all the symptoms you experience in the first trimester subside. For me, it was instant. The second trimester begins when you’re 14 weeks pregnant. As soon as I hit week 14 of my pregnancy, my appetite came back, and I was able to eat full meals again. I wasn’t nauseous anymore, and best of all, I had energy! Oh, and I had that infamous pregnancy glow!
Since I gained all that weight, I decided it was time to do something about it. I started taking prenatal yoga classes at a local yoga studio. I had only practiced yoga a couple of times before, and I wouldn't call myself a yogi. But, I definitely became one during my pregnancy. Taking yoga classes have been nothing short of amazing. You have the camaraderie of practicing with other fellow mommies, who are at different stages of their pregnancy. You can meet and bond with other mommies as you prepare to become a new parent. I have become friends with mommies from my prenatal yoga class, and we still communicate, even though they have already had their babies, which means - future playdates! Once you’re in class, it’s your practice so the instructors will tell you what poses to do, but you ultimately listen to your body and do what your body allows you to do. Finally, prenatal yoga prepares you for labor! Which is beneficial because having a baby is like running in a marathon - you have to prepare by training your body months ahead of time. Prenatal yoga also reduces stress and anxiety, helps promote a better night’s sleep, and reduces all the aches and pains that come with pregnancy.
Although prenatal yoga reduces the risk of aches and pains, mine began in the second trimester, and they came and went. It’s all due to the way the baby is positioned in your belly. You can't help it at times. You just have to power through it.
In pregnancy, women experience many different types of complications. I have always been healthy, so I figured my pregnancy would be easy. That wasn't the case. Early on, I experienced extreme migraines. I saw a neurologist, and he told me that the muscles in my neck were tight and recommended physical therapy. I attended a couple of physical therapy sessions that didn't help. One day, a colleague who is a mother of two, suggested for me to simply increase my water intake. I increased it significantly and I haven's had a migraine since! I started to get acid reflux due to hormones slowing my digestive system and the pressure of the baby growing. Popping two tablets of Tums helped immediately. I also started to develop melasma, which is the darkening of the skin due to hormonal changes in your body. The good news is that most of the symptoms women experience during pregnancy, tends to go away after the baby is born.
I have experienced a milestone in this trimester -I felt my baby kick for the first time! Words can’t describe the feeling the life you’re growing inside of you! By the end of my second trimester, I gained a total of 31 pounds.
The Third Trimester
This is the home stretch! It's been said that the same symptoms you experienced in the first trimester tend to come back in the third trimester. Luckily for me, that hasn’t been the case. No nausea. No extreme exhaustion. No cravings. I’m glowing even more (thanks, son!)
On the other hand, I have been moving slower. My son is HEAVY. When I wake up in the morning, it’s a task JUST to get up out of bed. Then, it takes a while for me to stand up because the pain in my pelvic region is more intense since I’ve been lying on my left side all night. Casey usually helps me stand up because the pain is too much. By the way, it’s best to sleep on your left side, so your baby gets the proper blood flow and nutrients. I rely on my body pillows to get a decent night’s rest, even though frequent trips to the bathroom and insomnia tend to keep me up at night nowadays. I don’t mind. I see this as nature’s way of preparing me for what’s to come.
I have experienced some swelling in my ankles and feet (insert crying emoji,) and my wedding ring doesn't fit anymore. As I'm nearing the end of my pregnancy journey, I’m a pound or two away from hitting the 50-pound mark. Unbelievable. Especially since I often hear, “You look the same!” or “OMG, you’re all belly!” I’m not. But, it's ok. I've been slim and svelte all my life. I’m growing life; therefore, I've learned to embrace this new me. Initially, I decided against doing a maternity shoot because of how much weight I gained. Then, I changed my mind and decided to do it once I learned to embrace this new me. I'm so glad that I did it. I never felt so beautiful!
Now, that I'm further along in my pregnancy, I can feel my son more often. Every kick, punch, and roll that I feel gives me a warm feeling, a feeling of excitement and anticipation. I often talk to him and let him know that he is loved. I absolutely cannot wait to meet our creation. He’s already my heart, and I absolutely adore him. I enjoyed pregnancy, but I’m looking forward to the most significant role of all – becoming a mother.
Mommies! Please share your experiences and tips in the comments below!