Ever since I first found out I was pregnant, I’ve been rereading the archives of some of my favorite blogs (Amy’s, Jen’s, and Julia’s to name a few!), pouring over pregnancy updates, registry recommendations, and birth stories. Especially during those first few weeks when we hadn’t told anyone besides my parents, it was so comforting to read posts from other moms-to-be and know that I wasn’t alone in experiencing a certain feeling or symptom. I’ve already loved hearing from so many of you who are also pregnant and I hope my pregnancy updates will create a space for all of us to connect and learn from one another during this wild ride!
I shared how I found out I was pregnant in this post and the first thing I did was call my doctor to schedule an appointment to confirm the pregnancy. I had read online that most doctors won’t see you until you’re 8-10 weeks pregnant and I was so relieved when my doctor scheduled an appointment right at 6 weeks. In weeks 4-6, I noticed my sense of smell became instantly more sensitive and found myself needing to nap a couple times a week, but looking back it was really the calm before the storm of symptoms that were about to hit. I was also super short of breath doing normal things like walking Rory and climbing the stairs — thankfully that’s subsided but it totally caught me off guard when it first happened so early on!
Will and I went in together for the 6 week appointment and I couldn’t help but tear up when my doctor confirmed the pregnancy. We even got to see our teeny tiny little baby and take home our first pictures! We were so fortunate to get pregnant only a couple months after we started trying and my heart breaks for any and every woman struggling to get pregnant — I never want to appear insensitive or take this incredible blessing for granted.
By week 8, constant nausea and fatigue had set in and I found myself napping nearly every day and relying on bagels and crackers to keep me from throwing up everything I ate. This is around when some of you started noticing that I’d gotten quieter on my blog and Instagram — I had zero energy for taking pictures and I felt like I had nothing to write about while I was spending most of my time traversing between our bed and the toilet (sorry for that visual!). I have never ever been so grateful to work from home — I am truly in awe of women who’ve experienced similarly debilitating nausea while having to hold down office jobs or tackle daily commutes.
The day we flew home from Palm Beach at 9 weeks, I threw up seven times and couldn’t seem to keep down a single sip of water. I started frantically googling and realized this was probably more than typical morning sickness (which I had never experienced exclusively in the morning to begin with). When I threw up five more times the next day, I called my doctor and she said I should go straight to the emergency room as I was likely experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum (which results in extreme nausea and excessive vomiting) and would need to be treated for dehydration. The problem was my husband was on a work trip in San Francisco, my mom and sister were on a yoga retreat in the Berkshires, and my dad was at home taking care of all eight ABC girls by himself. I knew I couldn’t drive myself to the ER without getting sick and finally called my dad in tears asking if he could drive me to the hospital during the girls’ study hall. I spent that night alone in the ER with an IV to temporarily stop the vomiting so I could get three bags of fluids to rehydrate.
That day and night were easily the low point of my pregnancy so far and I was absolutely terrified that something had happened to the baby while I was so sick. My doctor was kind enough to move up our 10 week appointment so we could check on the baby and my mom and sister raced home from their trip in time to take me to her office two days later. I looked like absolute hell that day and was horrified to learn that I’d lost eight pounds since my last appointment, but we were all so relieved when we saw the baby squirming around, healthy and happily unaware of what had been unfolding around him or her. Unfortunately I was still super dehydrated and had to go back to the ER that afternoon for a second round of fluids, but I felt like I could do anything knowing the baby was still okay and I had my mom and sister to keep me company.
My doctor prescribed a drug called Diclegis used to treat hyperemesis that I’ve been taking since week 9.5 and that’s made it possible for me to stop throwing up and regain the weight I’d lost in weeks 8-9. It makes me pretty drowsy and I’d ideally love to be taking as little medication as possible while pregnant, but unfortunately every time we’ve tried to wean me off of it, the nausea and vomiting have immediately come back in full force. While morning sickness tends to ease up around the end of the first trimester, hyperemesis can hang around through the entire pregnancy, so it’s something we’ll continue to keep an eye on as this pregnancy progresses. I got so many nausea tips from famliy and friends (ginger tea! sour candy! vitamin B!) but I’ve thrown up every single time I’ve skipped a dose of Diclegis, so we’re sticking with what works for now. If any of you are experiencing what you believe is excessive nausea or vomiting, please go talk to your doctor and get yourself and your baby rehydrated! I knew nothing about hyperemesis before I experienced it myself (my mom had zero nausea with all four of her pregnancies!) and I have such empathy for anyone else who’s been there or still going through it.
Since I started taking Diclegis at 9.5 weeks, my pregnancy symptoms have been much more “normal.” I’ve been tired, yes, but after experiencing hyperemesis it feels like every other symptom is a walk in the park. We made the game time decision (with our doctor’s sign-off of course!) to proceed with our trip to Australia at 11-12 weeks and I felt pretty great with a few few-and-far-between exceptions (I’ll admit the flight home from Hong Kong just about did me in). We packed in fewer activities than we normally would have and I was usually ready for bed by 8 p.m. at the latest, but it felt incredible to be out and about exploring with my nausea under control after weeks of being cooped up and feeling so sick.
Will and I got to hear our baby’s heartbeat for the first time at our 12 week appointment and also got to see a much clearer picture on the ultrasound. Our baby was starting to look like a baby instead of a tiny blur! It was after this appointment that we started telling the rest of our family and friends (only both sets of parents found out before then!) and it was such a tremendous relief to be able to share the news with our favorite people.
We knew from the beginning that we wanted to find out the baby’s sex and I don’t know if I’ve ever been as impatient as I was waiting for the genetic testing results to come back in week 14. I knew we’d be over the moon either way, but I felt like knowing whether it was a boy or girl would make everything feel much more real (I hated calling the baby an “it” for all those weeks!). I’ll be sharing the gender on the blog a week from today — feel free to share your guess in the comments!
Apologies for the essay (bravo if you’re still reading!) — I feel like I’ve covered a lot of ground but here are a few other questions I’ve gotten since I shared the news last week.
Have you had any cravings or aversions?
I haven’t had a ton of cravings (besides a very recent and very specific one for Reese’s ice cream from Baskin Robbins — I don’t think I’d had it in 10+ years?!) and my strongest aversion has been to iced coffee (which I used to drink every day and abruptly lost all interest in around week 6!). I’m also super sensitive to smells — I haven’t eaten meat in 12 years but it’s never bothered me to be around people cooking or eating it until Will was heating up meatballs one night and I literally had to run out of the room. 😂
When did your bump start showing?
I started noticing a real difference in week 14, but at week 17 it’s still much smaller in the mornings than it is by the afternoon! Any time I have a bottle of water or a meal (which I did before taking last week’s pictures!), it looks like a real bump, but otherwise I just look super bloated. My mom said she really “popped” around week 20 so we shall see!
Are you still working out?
Before getting pregnant, I usually worked out 2-3 times a week, either taking group classes with my mom or doing BBG workouts with Will. After an admittedly lazy holiday season, I started working out with Anel at Countdown Fitness once a week and have kept that up without adding anything incremental. I did have to reschedule a few sessions before I got my nausea under control, but thankfully Anel’s wife Julia worked out all through her pregnancy and I feel extremely comfortable knowing that he’s an expert on ways to keep up strength during pregnancy as well as certain exercises to avoid. In a perfect world, I’d love to continue working out with him once a week and layer in a Pilates or yoga class or two, but until I (hopefully) experience that second trimester surge of energy I’ve heard people rave about, I’m sticking to once a week!
How much weight have you gained?
For what it’s worth I probably wouldn’t make a habit of asking pregnant women this question, but I remember doing lots of research when my hyperemesis was at its worst, so I’m happy to share that I’ve regained the eight pounds I had lost and put on an additional pound. Now that I’ve found a nausea remedy that works for me and am able to eat normally again, I expect I’ll have a very different number to report at the end of my second trimester.
Has your sleep been affected since getting pregnant?
YES. Not only do I crave so much more of it but this is the first time in my life I’ve woken up 1-2 times in the middle of the night needing to go to the bathroom or reset after a crazy dream (which all feel SO real no matter how whacky they are — hormones are crazy!). I ordered this maternity pillow a couple weeks ago to help me sleep on my side and I swear it’s the best $35 I’ve ever spent — I’m honestly not sure I’ll be ready to give it up once the baby is here!
Have you been more emotional since getting pregnant?
This would be an excellent question for Will. 😬😉 But yes, 1000%. I’m a pretty sensitive person in general but I don’t think I’ve ever cried so much in my life as I have these past four months! Happy tears, sad tears, tears that come out of nowhere and are over almost as soon as they’ve started. I imagine (I hope?!) I will feel a little more level-headed with future pregnancies when everything isn’t quite so foreign and new, but every day is truly a roller coaster of feeling ecstatic, overwhelmed, grateful, exhausted, giddy, anxious, and overwhelmed again.
What are your plans for the nursery?
I am dying to start decorating and nesting (I feel like that’s my default setting when I’m not pregnant!) but we are crossing our fingers and toes to be able to buy a house and move before the baby arrives, so I’ve forced myself to hold off on nursery plans until we know where we’ll be living. We technically have our current rental house until four months after my due date, so if we can’t find a house we love before then, the nursery will probably be very bare bones until we settle somewhere where I can wallpaper, measure for furniture, etc.
What have you bought for the baby so far?
I can’t believe it but I haven’t bought a single thing! My mother-in-law surprised us with our first onesies and a little sweater when we were visiting for Easter over the weekend and it got me so excited for all the miniature purchases we have ahead of us. Right now we’re hyper focused on saving our pennies for a house, but I’ll be sure to share when my self-imposed shopping hiatus is up!
What maternity clothes have you bought so far?
So far I’ve bought a pair of white maternity jeans and a pair of maternity leggings because they were part of the Shopbop sale last week, but I’ve mostly been living in yoga pants and low rise jeans (high rise denim has been out of the equation for a few weeks now). I’m excited that a fall baby means I’ll spend a lot of my third trimester in bikinis and maxi dresses on Nantucket, but I’ll be sure to share any maternity musts that I discover along the way! (Would love to hear your favorite brands if you have any!)
I also answered a few questions about a babymoon, baby names, and some of the things we’re most excited for in this post so be sure to check that out if you’re somehow still curious after this epically long post. 😝 If you have any other questions, I’d be happy to answer them in the comments or in my next Friday Q&A! Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for reading and sharing in our excitement!