MY FIRST TRIMESTER RECAP

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your excitement over baby #2! We are over the moon about giving Teddy a sibling and excited to relive the newborn days with a new little one. I’m extra grateful that this first trimester was so different from my first trimester with Teddy — I wish I could give the gift of a hyperemesis-free pregnancy to every new mom! Here’s a recap of how I’ve been feeling so far as well as what I’m most excited for in this new chapter!

HOW WE FOUND OUT: We got pregnant in our fourth month of trying, which was two months longer than it took to get pregnant with Teddy (and of course still relatively quickly — I never want to be insensitive to people who have had a much more difficult path to parenthood). After a few months of negative pregnancy tests, I was trying hard not to get my hopes up and took a test at home when we got back from Nantucket in mid-August. Since I’d taken a positive test with Teddy while Will was at work (oops!) and waited for him to get home that night to share the news, it was fun to find out together this time around. I told Will it would be a few minutes before the test showed results and had started getting ready for bed when he yelled, “Pregnant!” I couldn’t believe how fast it showed a positive result — we were both in a happy state of shock that lasted the next few days!

OUR FIRST APPOINTMENT: The waiting game between the positive pregnancy test in mid-August and our first OBGYN appointment in mid-September felt like a lifetime. I switched to a new practice after my delivery with Teddy and everyone there is incredible (if you’re local and want their information, send me an email!). The first appointment confirmed I was about seven weeks along and put our due date at the end of April. (We have a ton of late April and early May birthdays in our family — my mom on April 21, Will’s mom on April 28, Will on May 3, my dad on May 5, and my brother Grayson on May 6 — so it will be fun to see where this little one’s birthday falls!) Nothing will ever compare to hearing our babies’ heartbeats for the first time — I get chills just thinking about it. Pure magic!

SYMPTOMS: I started feeling absolutely exhausted around week six, which lasted right through the end of the first trimester at fourteen weeks. (Hence the lack of cute photos in this post… It was a lot of daytime pajamas and dry toast over here.) Will was truly superhuman during this time, taking Teddy most mornings so I could sleep in and making me breakfast every day for three months straight. I threw up for the first time at eight weeks and instantly convinced myself that this would be my second pregnancy with hyperemesis, which had set in around nine weeks with Teddy and lasted until the day I gave birth. And while I felt nauseous on and off and threw up a total of twelve times these first few months, the truly extreme nausea and vomiting I’d experienced with Teddy (sometimes more than five times a day, accompanied by losing eight pounds in my first trimester before I went on medication) never came. I didn’t always feel amazing — I was definitely able to take it easier during my first pregnancy when I didn’t already have a one-year-old tearing through the house — but it’s been night and day to experience pregnancy without debilitating nausea and vomiting. I know hyperemesis could rear its ugly head again in future pregnancies, but I’d love to be able to give some hope to other moms who have experienced hyperemesis in past pregnancies that it’s not a given going forward.

FINDING OUT THE BABY’S SEX: We were able to find out the baby’s sex through genetic testing between 10 and 11 weeks and let’s just say it was the opposite of what I was expecting, in the best way possible! I can’t wait to share the news with you later this week. I’m truly in awe of parents who wait until their baby’s birthday to find out but I love using the baby’s pronouns and trying on possible names instead of saying “it” all the time. To each her own! 🙂

design darling first trimester recap

BREASTFEEDING WHILE PREGNANT: There’s a chance I’ll write more about this at some point, but I was still breastfeeding Teddy four times a day when I got pregnant with baby #2. This was never a goal I had in mind by any means — it just kind of happened and I didn’t feel a need to stop until Teddy was ready. By Teddy’s first birthday, when I was about nine weeks pregnant, he was down to breastfeeding either once or twice a day, as he’d gotten gradually less interested in sitting still and more interested in eating whatever food we were eating at mealtimes. Then suddenly, five days after his birthday and right at ten weeks pregnant for me, I went in to feed him like I did every morning at 6 a.m. — and he looked right at me and vigorously and repeatedly shook his head “no.” It was truly the most clearly he’s ever expressed any preference and I can’t entirely explain it, but I knew right then and there that he was ready to move on. He never attempted to breastfeed again — simply put, that was that. Even though I’d been breastfeeding less and less over the previous two months, the transition from “some” to “none” came on swiftly, suddenly, and honestly quite sadly. I felt wistful for a few days, wondering if getting pregnant had accelerated his timeline for moving on but trying to muster up gratitude that it had been his decision to stop and not something I’d had to decide or enforce. Unfortunately, after about a week of zero breastfeeding, I went from feeling wistful to feeling downright depressed. Again I may or may not want to share more about this at some point, but I’ll at least mention it here if it might make any mom feel a little less crazy or alone: post-weaning depression is real and it was a really dark time for me. There were days I didn’t want to get out of bed, times I couldn’t stop crying even when I couldn’t identify why I was in the first place, and weeks where I felt so unlike myself I wondered if I’d ever feel normal again. It took a little over a month for my hormones to regulate and for me to feel more like my old self, but I found very few resources on post-weaning depression, particularly for women who were also pregnant, so I wanted to share the hard stuff as well as happy news about making it through to the other side. If you’re experiencing anything similar, I’d encourage you to confide in your partner and reach out to your doctor, and you’re welcome to reach out to me over email if you need to know you’re not alone. I don’t mean for this to take away at all from the joy we have over welcoming a new baby, but it’s an uncomfortable part of the past few months and I really push myself to keep it real when I think it might help even one person reading.

WHAT I’M MOST EXCITED ABOUT: One thing I feel really grateful for in this second pregnancy is the gift of perspective. I have a much better understanding this time around of how temporary everything is — the fatigue and nausea, the aches and pains, the labor and delivery, the postpartum recovery. Everything — even the worst physical pain and the most emotional lows — is a phase, and I couldn’t fully appreciate that when every single thing was a novel experience. I’m thrilled to be at a new OBGYN practice with doctors who rotate being on-call so I hopefully avoid a repeat of my doctor going out of town before my due date and a real jerk delivering our baby. I’m excited to have another chance at giving birth — to try to go into it feeling stronger mentally and physically, to have a better idea of what to expect, and to know that the pain during and after is so fleeting and that the love on the other side is so one trillion times worth it. I can’t wait to give Teddy the gift of a younger sibling — being the oldest of four has been one of the greatest joys of my life and I’m giddy at the thought of him experiencing the same. I can’t wait to see Will with another newborn — his bond with Teddy is better than anything I could have imagined and he will be the most incredible dad to two. I know there will be new challenges, new surprises, new heartaches, but I also know there will be twice the joy and twice the love and I feel so overwhelmingly thankful to experience and share it all. 💙

30 thoughts on “MY FIRST TRIMESTER RECAP

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  1. The post-breastfeeding depression is real and I can completely relate. It’s a combination of emotions of something ending that we arent prepared for, but also our bodies reaction to all the changes. Congrats on baby number two and feeling better. This will be such an exciting way to kick-off a new year!

  2. I remember reading Teddy’s birth story and getting so annoyed about that….doctor. Omg, the BARKING at you in the middle of childbirth…just UGH. Maybe he should’ve gone into sports medicine?! I don’t even have kids and I totally get why you’re going a different route this time. Anyway, a big CONGRATS to you on your growing family. 🙂 Glad this time is going better for you.

  3. I am so so happy that you mentioned post-weaning depression on your Instagram story the other day, and that I’m reading more here. In the last couple weeks I’ve transitioned the same – 3 or 4 feedings to maybe 1 or 2 a day. While we haven’t hit full stop, I have noticed an inexplicable shift in my mood that’s different than anything I’ve ever experienced. Having something to attribute it to (that feels “right” vs knowing this doesn’t feel like my normal weather change depression) has been such a relief and has allowed me to ride the waves knowing it will right itself again. Congratulations!!

    1. Thank you for this nice comment and for sharing your experience! It’s good to feel a little less alone and I’m glad this could validate what you’re going through. Sending you positive vibes!

  4. Thank you so much for being open about your post-weaning depression. You sharing your story is so helpful to so many in understanding that they are not alone and that this is both normal and not permanent. I’m so glad that you are feeling like yourself again. <3

  5. Thanks so much for sharing! I’m 9 weeks and while I’m very nauseated pretty much all day, I truly can’t imagine experiencing hyperemesis gravidarum like you did. So glad to hear this has been an easier pregnancy for you! I’ve heard so few people discuss the emotional impact of weaning, but Brooklyn Blonde also shared about this a few years ago: https://www.brooklynblonde.com/2017/06/motherhood-personal-story . I’ve always remembered it, and thought it was such an important post to raise awareness. So appreciate your openness in discussing with us!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this! I agree every person who talks about it is an opportunity to make someone else feel less alone. Congratulations on your pregnancy — I hope the nausea clears up soon!

  6. Hi Mackenzie,
    It’s visible in your stories that the post-weaning depression was a tough time for you. Thank you so much for sharing this very personal experience nonetheless! I’m sure it’s gonna help other moms.
    With both of my children I took the lead on weaning at around the same age but gladly without major depression although I was also very wistful. But I can totally imagine that when breastfeeding comes to such an abrupt end that it can be quite difficult to deal with – the pregnancy hormones can probably also add to this. At least I was very emotional during my first trimester. 🙂
    Also congrats on your baby #2, wishing you and the baby only the very best! 💙
    (I‘d say it’s a girl – my midwife told me with my second child that when the feeling during the beginning of the pregnancy is very different than with the first child it’s going to be the other sex than before. At least for me and many of my friends this was indeed true!😊)
    Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy!xx

  7. Thank you so much for sharing about your weaning experience. This has been on my mind as my husband and I begin planning for a second baby, while I am still breastfeeding my son. I’ve had friends who have breastfed through their entire pregnancy, which sounds like super woman strength to me (!!!), but you are the first person to highlight the emotional impacts of weaning. I am very grateful to learn from your experience!

  8. It took about 2 months after I stopped nursing each of my kids to feel “normal.” It is a real shift, for sure. Thank you for sharing.

  9. Thank you so much for your recap! I really appreciate how real and vulnerable you are on here. And thank you for writing about weaning and all the mixed emotions around breastfeeding ending. I am breastfeeding my 7 month old and hope to make it to at least 1 year – and I can’t imagine how emotional it is when they finally decide they are done. I’m glad you had so much support!

    I have a question for you – did you take diclegis again? I hope that isn’t too personal so feel free to not answer if it is! I had horrible nausea/vomiting with my pregnancy (not as bad as yours, but I’m quite sure it was hyperemesis as I did lose 6 lbs and could not function). Diclegis helped so much but didn’t completely nix the symptoms. I want a second but am honestly dreading it because of how bad my symptoms were.

    Anyway – all that to say – congratulations!! So happy for you, Teddy and Will and hoping that you have a wonderful pregnancy!

    1. Thank you for your kind words! I haven’t taken Diclegis again during this pregnancy as I experienced routine nausea and vomiting and not the 5x+/day vomiting I did when I was pregnant with Teddy. I kept waiting to need to have my doctor call in a prescription and am grateful that day never came! But I wouldn’t hesitate to take it again in future pregnancies — I took it every day (sometimes twice a day) with Teddy from week 9 all the way until the day I gave birth. I sincerely hope your second pregnancy is more manageable — hyperemesis is the worst!

  10. Hi Mackenzie,

    Thank you for always pushing yourself to be honest with us…I can imagine those feelings were not easy to verbalize. I am still breastfeeding my almost 1 year old, also something I had not really planned, but we both enjoy it (except for waking up 3/4 times a night) and I am at a true crossroad at the moment, as I also would love to get pregnant sometime soon. I am struggling with the idea of enforcing it, opposed to you as Teddy decided to be done…I guess I am not sure if it will be too exhausting to breastfeed during pregnancy as we are still up quite a bit during the night. I am happy to hear you pulled through post weaning depression, I could totally see how the abrupt end crushed your Mama’s heart. In a way, like you said, it was his choice but still hard to accept. I hope I can find the strength to continue until my son is done. Sending you ao much love and congratulations on another baby! Thank you for always sharing your heart with us.

    1. Thank you so much for this validation and congratulations on breastfeeding for one year, particularly without a full night’s sleep! Thinking of you as you decide and navigate what’s next for you and your family.

  11. Thank you so much for sharing about post weaning depression. It is so comforting to hear another mom share about this. I am just stopping exclusive breastfeeding at 12m with my daughter and it is hard to connect and relate to people that go through this.

  12. Mackenzie! I haven’t commented in about 2 years but read regularly 💛 and I just wanted to say, I experienced post-weaning depression too. My daughter is 16 months old and stopped breastfeeding in March – like you’d experienced, a ‘nursing strike’. She was just over it. I was so, so sad and my hormones went crazy; it definitely didn’t help we were just heading into the pandemic and lockdown over in the UK. I just wanted to say – you’re not alone. So many people congratulated me on ‘getting her off early’ which I found insensitive but I took some comfort that it was on her terms… I would’ve loved to have fed her for longer. I found that I really missed that very unique and special time, and had to remind myself that we still had that bond. Congratulations on baby number 2!

  13. Mackenzie-what a great column! My kids are 17 and 20 now, and I hadn’t ever heard of such a thing, but hormones can make you a completely different person. Thank you for encouraging others to seek help-there’s nothing more important than our mental health. Seeing you with that Teddy makes my day-I can’t wait to see who’s in there now! 🤗

  14. I think this post will be really helpful to a lot of moms, especially ones who have experienced HG before or who are dealing with depression post-weaning. Congratulations again to you both! Question – does Will want to go back to the office when it’s safe or has he taken to working from home? My husband and I (both introverts) both had long commutes and our day-to-day life has gotten SO much better without dealing with that, even with the stress of the pandemic!

    1. He’s definitely taken to working from home! It’s been incredible to see how close he and Teddy have become without him having to commute an hour+ twice a day. I’m not sure what the future will hold in terms of when his office will go back but there are no immediate plans which I’m grateful for. I’m hoping that the new normal will involve a more hybrid model for sure!

    1. I remember reading this as I was searching for resources on post-weaning depression and started sobbing to hear someone articulate an experience so similar to my own. Thank you so much for sharing here!!!

  15. Thank you for your honesty and open-ness. It’s important for new parents to hear lots if different perspectives and be supported… sending lots of healthy wishes and love to your whole family