My First Trimester and Answering Your Questions

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I shared a bit about my first trimester on Instagram Stories the day we shared the news of my pregnancy, but thought I’d also get it written out in word and be able to share a bit more with you! I would describe my first trimester as, “somewhat hard”.

Let me interject for a quick moment and say that we are incredibly grateful for a healthy and uneventful pregnancy, thus far. I don’t take that lightly for one single second and am so, so thankful to have had that experience. So know that when I’m sharing things that were “hard” or “difficult” for me the first 13 weeks, it’s with the understanding that we have so much to be grateful for. I would never want you to think that I don’t know how wonderful it is to be able to get pregnant and have the experience that I have had.

OK. Back to the “somewhat hard” first trimester. My “morning” sickness (read: pretty much all day nausea) started around 5.5 or 6 weeks, so there was just a little bit of time between finding out we were pregnant and not feeling good. I have a high tolerance for physical pain, like getting tattoos or a headache, but cannot hang when it comes to stomach issues. It throws me completely off and I have a hard time pushing through. So, when the nausea set in, especially in that first week, I felt pretty miserable. A lot of it had to do with the fact that I focused too much on how long the nausea might last, versus just getting through the day. There were many crying phone calls to my mom and sister, and tearful hugs shared with Mike. I felt defeated by not feeling like myself at all and was just getting into this whole experience! The exhaustion set in within about a week and, let me tell you, that is no joke! I was so tired all day, everyday. It’s wild! I have the luxury of working from home and on my own schedule, so I definitely took advantage of mid-morning naps and taking days off when I felt like I needed to.

Aside from the physical symptoms, the strangest, and possibly most difficult thing, was that I suddenly didn’t care about anything. It’s like I completely lost my ability to form an opinion or care about anything. I had a very hard time motivating myself to get work done and didn’t enjoy much of anything – it was weird. I shared that with my sister and she said the same thing happened to her, which made me feel a bit better! So much of what got me through those hard days was knowing that I wasn’t alone and there were people out there (my mom, sister, and friends) who knew exactly what I was going through and feeling. On top of trying to navigate through these physical and mental changes that happened quickly, I was also feeling anxious about having a healthy pregnancy and just wanted to get to that first doctor’s appointment and hear that precious heartbeat. There are so many things that went on inside my head during those weeks! Thankfully, after just a couple weeks of the physical symptoms, I found a remedy that made a world of a difference (sharing below) and the last few weeks of the first trimester were much better!

I was still tired and had nausea pop up throughout the day, but I was also experiencing times of feeling good and more like myself, which was great! The thought of meat really repulsed me and I drank more water than I even knew possible, but otherwise didn’t have any weird food things. The best moment of those first 13 weeks was definitely our first doctor’s appointment (at about 9.5 weeks) when we got to hear that sweet little heartbeat and see the tiny little blob of what would become our baby on the ultrasound. There’s no preparing for that moment – it’s surreal and overwhelming and so beautiful. I was so grateful to hear the doctor say that everything looked great and was in awe of the miracle of getting pregnant and growing a tiny human inside of me. It’s truly amazing!

If you’re in the thick of it in the first trimester – you’re not alone! Find someone in your life that has been there before and can completely understand what it’s like and talk to her. There is a light at the end of the tunnel (even if you feel sick up until delivery) and you will get there. I’m very grateful to have turned the corner in my second trimester and feel so much better. Know that there are days of feeling better ahead!

Will you find out the gender? If so, will you do a gender reveal?

We will be finding out whether we’re having a boy or a girl at our 20-week ultrasound! There’s an option to do a blood test as early as 12 weeks, but we both liked the idea of having something else to look forward to, before we get to actually meet the baby on delivery day! We will not do a gender reveal party – it’s just not our style. We will do something fun to share the news with family, but since we all live in different places, we’ll have to get creative. It may just be a big FaceTime call where we share the news with everyone. I’m not totally sure yet!

Do you want a boy or a girl?

I truly, genuinely do not have a pull towards one or the other. I always imagined having a boy first and would love to be a boy mom. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, though, the idea of a girl started sounding so fun and exciting to me. Part of that is because she would be almost exactly two years younger than my sister’s daughter, which I think would be so fun for them (and us)! We have two nieces on Mike’s side, so it would be fun to add a boy to that mix, too! It’s really a toss-up.

How far along are you?

I’m 15 weeks.

Were you guys trying to get pregnant, or was this a surprise?

We were trying to get pregnant. We started trying in May. We are incredibly grateful for an easy and quick journey to get to that positive pregnancy test! Having never been or tried to be pregnant before, I didn’t know what to expect and kept my expectations low. We were using ovulation tests to track the optimum timing and, after a couple months, had a positive!

Have you had any cravings?

I really haven’t. I was nauseous from about week 5 to week 12-ish, so food was generally a struggle for me. I did finally find some things that helped immensely with nausea (sharing in the next question!), but would still get nauseous when I was hungry or just at random times in the day. For probably 4 weeks, in the thick of the nausea, it was just a matter of “whatever it takes” when it comes to food – I would eat whatever looked and sounded remotely okay to me. Sometimes that was toast multiple times a day and a box of macaroni and cheese. Other days, a salad sounded and tasted good to me. Right around week 14, food started appealing to me more and I could finally say what I wanted to eat.

If you experienced nausea, what did you do to treat it? 

Let me first say, the use of the word morning in “morning sickness” is a SCAM! I had nearly all-day nausea for the first couple weeks and then intermittent nausea for the remaining weeks, up until about 13.5 weeks. As I will preface everything, talk to your doctor first! However, if you google “morning sickness” or “pregnancy nausea” treatment (which is what I did!), you’ll see a ton of recommendations and information about a combination of Unisom and Vitamin B6. With the approval of my doctor, I got on that regimen and it made a world of a difference. I wasn’t completely spared of all nausea, but I was able to get through the day and even have stretches of time of feeling good, which was something I hadn’t had for a couple weeks. Other things that helped me were drinking ginger ale, eating 5-6 small meals throughout the day (like an apple with peanut butter, a couple eggs, toast, some cheese and crackers, etc.), and making sure I drank plenty of water. The thirst that has come along with pregnancy for me is wild. I drink so much water throughout the day!

I gave myself a lot of grace during the times that I felt particularly bad and took advantage of my exhaustion to rest and sleep. Obviously, if you have to go into the office or have other kids you’re caring for or something, that may not be possible for you, but do remember that you’re growing a tiny human and need to listen to your body and rest when you can!

How did you know that you were ready for kids?

Everyone that has become a parent will tell you that you’re never really ready, and I believe that! If you’ve never done it before, you can’t know what to expect or how you will feel or all the things that will come along with being responsible for another person. However, I do strongly believe that you can be ready to get that positive pregnancy test, or at least as ready as you think can be. A year ago, I would’ve needed some time to come around to the idea of being pregnant and having a baby in just 9 months. We were really enjoying just being married and spending time with friends and pursuing our goals and that was important to us to do. Flash forward to this spring and we felt like we were ready to give some of that stuff up for the sake of having a family and bringing a child into the world (and gain so much in doing that!). We felt ready to make the sacrifices necessary to bring a baby into our life and that is what changed. I have felt incredibly at peace with the reality that our life is going to change in so many big ways next spring and I feel ready to take on those changes! That’s not to say there won’t be times when it will be difficult (of course there will!), but I’m in a place mentally and emotionally where I am looking forward to the changes that will come along with growing our family.

When did you find out you were pregnant?

Early September! I took a test just before my first missed period, so we found out early on in the pregnancy. I had been feeling all my normal symptoms of my cycle starting, but it had been a couple days and hadn’t shown up. My cycle has always been very predictable, so it was a little strange to me that it hadn’t started, given what I’d been feeling for a couple days. I woke up early on a Saturday morning to use the bathroom and decided to take a test just to rule out pregnancy, so I wouldn’t get my hopes up with every hour that my cycle didn’t start. I was shocked to see that second line appear! Not because I didn’t know it was a distinct possibility that we could get pregnant, as we’d been trying, but I was so convinced that my period was starting. It was wild!

How did you tell Mike? Your sister, family?

I immediately brought the test and Mike’s glasses to him in bed and woke him up. I shined my phone flashlight on the lines on the test and confirmed that he also saw the second line. It was still faint, as it had just appeared on the test, so he was a bit skeptical that it was a positive. We went out to buy a digital test, which I took about an hour later, and sure enough a big, fat YES+ showed up on the test. I showed it to him and we both had the, “oh my word, we’re actually having a baby” realization together! I may be able to surprise him with future kids, but I couldn’t keep this first one to myself for more than a second, haha!

For our family, we sort of dropped the news in casually in conversation. My sister did that to me with her third and it was such a fun way to find out because I was not expecting it! I remember having to take a minute to realize what on earth she just said and then got so excited! So, we did the same thing with our parents and siblings. It was fun to watch and hear their reactions.

How soon did you start telling people?

We actually told some of our friends here first, since we were going out to eat with them shortly after we found out and I knew it would look suspicious if I didn’t order a drink. After that, I told my sister about 2 weeks after finding out, and my parents just after that. Everyone has a different approach when it comes to sharing the news, so there’s no right or wrong time or way to do it. Our thought process was that we would tell the people in our life that we were expecting that we would also tell if something went wrong with the pregnancy – our closest friends and family. I loved being able to let our nearest and dearest in on our little secret so that they knew what was going on and could be praying for a safe and healthy pregnancy along with us.

How did you go about turning down drinks when you were out before sharing the news?

I’ve only been out with people that knew we were pregnant or we told them because it would look suspicious if I didn’t order something, so I was never in a situation where I felt like I needed to play along without actually drinking any alcohol. If you’re in a situation like that and don’t want to share the news yet, you can either tell a little white lie that you’re not drinking because of X,Y,Z (a new diet, you only indulge on the weekends, etc) or order something at the bar away from your friend(s) that doesn’t have alcohol in it. If all else fails, order that drink and just cross your fingers that nobody notices you haven’t had any. You could also order the same thing as your partner or a close friend that knows and have him/her sneakily drink from both glasses.

What do you plan to do with your business after the baby is born?

In truth, I haven’t even really thought about it. I will definitely take some sort of maternity leave, especially with it being my first baby. I know myself well enough to know that I will need dedicated time where I don’t have any work that I’m responsible to, except easing into my new role as a mom. I don’t know how long it will be or what it will look like yet. I fully intend on continuing to work after the baby is born and I finish a maternity leave. Again, I’m not sure what that will look like, but I love working and don’t want that to stop! It’s been amazing to be able to watch my sister navigate the working mom journey, especially since we do similar things (we both blog, but I also have my shop!). I’ve gotten a very real look at how difficult it can be to “balance” it all, but also at how fulfilled she feels continuing with both roles in her life. We’re wired very similar when it comes to our work, so I hope I’ll be able to figure it out just like she has!

Will you share your pregnancy and motherhood journey?

Definitely! I don’t plan on sharing a monthly update, but will certainly share the milestones and what’s going on.

Do you have favorite names picked out? Do you and Mike like traditional names or more unique ones?

We’ve talked through some name options and have a few that we like, but aren’t set on any yet. It’s a huge responsibility to choose the name of another person! I like names that are fitting for every stage of life and will carry them through into adulthood. We err more towards traditional names, but like names that aren’t the most common (at least for now). It could very well change by time we have the baby or when we meet him/her!

It’s impossible to thank you enough for your love, support, and excitement for Mike and I as we step into this new life! Thank you for begin with us on this journey!

Hi there!

Lauren Bown Lifestyle Blog is an online destination where I share my personal style, beauty finds, and bits of life in hopes to inspire other women to feel good in their skin and find the beauty in the ordinary.

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  1. 11.18.19
    Lynn said:

    Such a wonderful story, thanks for sharing! Looking forward to watching your journey of becoming a momma! You seem very well-adjusted and content, and ready for parenthood!

  2. 11.19.19

    Congratulations! I’m excited to continue to hear about your journey.

  3. 11.19.19
    Jennifer said:

    Im so excited for you! Reading your post takes me back to when i was expecting. Its so surreal! Our 1st daughter is now 14yrs old. Which also seems surreal. Lol!
    I truly loved being pregnant. Just when you think your belly can’t get any bigger…haha!
    As far as surprises,I wanted to keep the gender a secret,my husband was too excited NOT to share so we compromised. We kept the name a secret on both our pregnancies(we have 2 girls our youngest is 11ys old)
    Being able to vision a baby girl was exciting! Decorating was much easier. Friends & family buying gifts is easier( unless you want them personalized. Im sure there is a creative way around that too)Ha. Whether you find out gender before or after, share name before or after, your baby will be loved just as much! Its not going to steal away from that at all!
    Congratulations on such an exciting time!

  4. 11.19.19
    Dasha said:

    I feel like I couldnt relate to a post more than this!!!!! Every thing you explained in the first few weeks is exactly how I’ve been feeling! I look forward to reading more about your pregnancy journey and things that helped you move along. Thanks for sharing and I pray for a continued healthy pregnancy!!

    • 11.19.19
      Lauren said:

      Thanks so much! Congrats to you!!

  5. 11.19.19
    Dianne said:

    Congratulations! Spoil yourself during your pregnancy and rest when you need to. Things can wait! Enjoy this wonderful time in your life.

  6. 11.19.19
    Jenn said:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us! I am enjoying following your journey. Congratulations!!

  7. 11.20.19
    Nikki said:

    Oh Lauren!! First of all congratulations and as a follow of both you and your sister for years, I’m so excited for you!! Second, I’m pregnant with my first at just about 9 weeks and have my first appointment in a little less than a week. Everything that you said in your post, from telling your husband, to the reason you even took the test, the anxiety waiting for that first appointment–pretty much everything except for the nausea–is sooo spot on!! Really looking forward to reading along with your journey! Congrats again!!

    Ps. are you gonna do what most bloggers seem to do and just size up in clothes or find some maternity wear to try too? Looking forward to seeing some of your recommendations and style ideas!

    • 11.20.19
      Lauren said:

      Congratulations!! Such an exciting time! I’ll definitely be trying some maternity clothes – I have some jeans on their way to me now.

  8. 12.21.21
    Hayley said:

    I follow you on Instagram and am recently pregnant myself, still in my first trimester. I originally wanted to look up your maternity wardrobe must-haves and then came across this post…Lauren, thank you for being so honest and real about your first-trimester mental & physical struggles. I’ve been struggling with nausea and the feeling of being so exhausted and drained that even taking off makeup & brushing my teeth at night feels like an impossible task. Thank you for being 100% real and posting your true feelings- it’s so comforting to know I’m not alone.

    • 12.29.21
      Lauren said:

      Congratulations! You’re definitely not alone. I found so much relief in my second trimester – I hope the same for you!