Reflecting on the First Trimester

Personally, I think everything is less intense in retrospect.  Skydiving seemed insane as the plane kept circling higher and higher until we were high above the clouds and I could see the curvature of the earth.  It all seemed impossible the moment they opened up that window, looked at me and said, “Ready?”.   But of course, in retrospect, it was awesome – only scary for a few moments.  That free-fall was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced. 

I can’t be sure yet, but I’m almost positive that child birth will be similar for me – absolutely terrifying at first, but one of the most amazing experiences of my life in retrospect. 

In my life, I tend to spend so much time looking forward in anticipation of what’s next that I often miss out on the experience, as it’s happening.  Pregnancy is one of the times in my life where I really want to feel everything as I experience it – even when it sucks and I’m miserable – because I have always been obsessed with this phase of womanhood and I know what a miracle it all is. 

Of course, part of feeling everything involves going inward and often ignoring the “real world” for a while, which is what I feel like I did during my first trimester.  Since I didn’t write much during the first thirteen weeks of pregnancy, I want to do a reflection post.  In retrospect.  Because it all seems much easier now that it’s passed.

The Worry

After months of trying to conceive, I thought seeing the word Pregnant on that stick would be the end to my worries.  Boy was I ever wrong.  Once it was confirmed that we were expecting, I doubted every move I made, every piece of food I put in my mouth, every workout I did.  I read too many horror stories and scoured the worldwideweb all too often.  I worried constantly about whether I was doing something that would negatively effect the little one. 

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Now that I’m at 14 weeks, I still worry, but not nearly as much as I did in the first trimester.  Oh, and I stopped over-reading and researching.  My body knows exactly what it’s doing.  I just needed a few weeks to remember that. Winking smile

Morning Sickness + Fatigue

My mom and most of my auntys never got sick with their pregnancies so I thought I’d be in the clear too.  Apparently it doesn’t work that way, and I had some of the worst nausea of my life throughout weeks 8 and 13 or so.  Paired with the intense fatigue, I was pretty useless for a few weeks, spending more afternoons lying the fetal position than I’d like to admit. 

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So Much Love

I am continually amazed by my relationship with Ben.  It continues to grow and expand, even when I feel like there’s no way it could ever be more fulfilling.  This new adventure in our life has already brought us to a deeper level of love. 

The amount of support and love I feel from family and friends both near and far surprised me as well.  I am so grateful and excited to bring this baby into a world so full of love and joy! 

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Balancing Intuition with Advice

I realize now that everyone [even those sans children] has advice for pregnant women.  While hearing other perspectives is invaluable, it was all completely overwhelming for me during those first few months when all I wanted was to ensure the livelihood of my fetus.  After a while I realized that I needed to stop taking everyone’s advice so personally and listen to my own intuition.  There’s a great balance to be found in all of it. 

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Nutritional Changes

I honestly thought I’d be able to eat what I usually eat throughout my entire pregnancy [I also didn’t think I’d get sick].  

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As it turned out, my first trimester included very few fresh veggies [the thought of dark leafy greens was nauseating].  Instead, I became obsessed with eggs for breakfast, then managed to graze through bland food for the rest of the day.  I ate much more wheat and dairy than I’m used to during those weeks – because it was just easier – but it definitely did a number on my already-challenged digestion. 

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I also couldn’t stand the smell of food cooking, which took me out of the kitchen for much longer than I would have liked.  Luckily, Ben and close family/friends came to my rescue during those times!  I don’t know what I would have done without them. 

Now that I’m in the second trimester, I’m almost 100% back to my normal eating habits – small meals sans wheat/dairy/gluten throughout the day – and I’m getting back in the kitchen more often! 

Fitness Changes

One of the biggest things I was worried about with the pregnancy was whether I’d be able to keep my fitness routine.  Fitness and nutrition have been huge in my life for over 8 years, so the thought of losing everything I worked so hard for terrified me deep down.  But I realized somewhere along that way that Ben and I live a healthy lifestyle, which means that we’ll never fall out of our fitness or nutrition routines – they’re already engrained in our daily lives. 

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Because the risk of miscarriage is especially high in the first trimester, I had to make a few modifications to my workout routine in order to keep both me and the baby safe:

  • continuing to move: even when I felt like absolute crud, I always felt better after movement.  Whether it was a simple walk down the hill to the mailbox or teaching my Turbo class, getting some type of exercise in for the day made the nausea less intense and helped me sleep better at night. 
  • lowering the impact: my students were among the first to know that I was pregnant for one main reason: I had to stop doing tuck-jumps, high-knees, and sumo burpees as soon as I found out that I was expecting.  Before class, I show them what their options are, but I let them know that I’ll be practicing the lower-impact options most times.  They’re all extremely supportive [many of them actually tell me I should be taking it easier, haha].
  • going lighter: I didn’t do much weight lifting in the first trimester, but when I did, instead of going balls-to-the-wall with my weight sessions, I scaled down on the weight and upped the reps when I felt like it.  The main idea here: not going for muscle gain anymore but focusing on muscle maintenance. 
  • nixing the hip thrusts: I love kettlebell workouts, but the swings and cleans involved a bit too much hip thrusting for the first trimester.  When I felt like using the kettlebell, I would do a seated workout and modify the moves so that they wouldn’t involve hip movement. 
  • honoring myself: I had to tune in to my intuition to recognize what I needed and when.  More days than not, my body was asking for rest or a simple walk around the neighborhood. 

 

Now that I’m in the second trimester – and my energy is back! – my exercise routine is filling back in and I’m feeling better for it both mentally and physically.  I plan on doing a more in-depth post on what my routine looks like now, so let me know if you have any specific questions. Smile

There is so much to look forward to in the second trimester!  But instead of putting too much energy into looking forward, I’m focusing on staying present and experiencing everything that’s happening in this very moment. I already know that it’ll all pass all too quickly. 


Aloha Pumehana.
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