My First Trimester + Q&A
Truth be told: My first trimester was pretty tough. While we were on this massive high of excitement from finding out we are going to be parents, physically I felt worse than ever before.
We found out that I was pregnant end of October, and the upcoming week I was going to Sölden for a collaboration. Luckily, I was still doing quite well then and did not feel nauseous yet. The next week however, I was flying to Sweden for a big shooting with a client, and that was when my nausea really hit. Thinking back to those few days in Sweden, I really don’t know how I managed to be present and do my job. But I guess one thing is true: Women are a lot stronger than they actually think.
When I came back home from Sweden, I literally dropped on the couch and did not leave it for a whole week. One of the most common pregnancy symptoms is morning sickness. If you ask me, the name is very misleading, because my morning sickness wasn’t just present in the morning, it was more of an all-day sickness. I anticipated some kind of nausea before getting pregnant, but I hadn’t known mine would present itself in the extended 24/7 version.
I felt really strange from week 7 until about week 12. Almost as if I had some kind of pregnancy blues. I basically felt car sick all day, plus the extreme food aversions and hypersensitive sense of smell made it extra tricky to handle. All of my energy and excitement for all the things I usually love – especially creating content, doing yoga and pilates or going for walks wit Maxi – just were not there. I literally lived between my bed and the couch and slept most of the days. I knew this was only a phase that would pass, but it was very hard not to feel in control of my body. Somehow, I still managed to get my work done (at least everything that really had to be done), but it would not have been possible without the amazing help of Patrick, who catered for my every need no matter if it was day or night, and also my Mami who stopped by and made me soup and tea. I am forever grateful for my amazing husband who was the absolute best during this time, making me tea, heading out to the supermarket to get me anything I could potentially crave, feeding me carbs (the only thing I wanted to eat that made me feel a little better), laying next to me when I couldn’t do anything and making me hot water bottles all the time.
It’s nothing short of a miracle.
However, one thing those weeks taught me was that pregnancy is a miracle you have very little control over. First of all, the process of getting pregnant and growing a human in your own body is the biggest miracle in general. But also the way your body shows you exactly what it needs during that time is a miracle, too. At some point I had accepted that I was now going to be moving at a slower pace, that I needed to take breaks and naps, and that I was no longer just responsible for myself, but that there is a tiny human inside me who I have to take care of from now on. Until forever.
I find myself so distracted from daily life, all I want to do is read pregnancy and baby books, plan the nursery and browse the web for cute baby things. I find myself daydreaming about our life with baby, all the things we will do together and all the places we’ll go. I’m wondering what the baby might look like and how its little personality would be. It’s so much fun to think about what our baby will be like and how our life will change once July comes and it joins our little family. I can’t wait to see Patrick become a father and adapt to this new role. It brings me to tears every time I picture him with a baby in his arms and Maxi right next to him. I’m a very emotional person in general, but since those pregnancy hormones hit me, my emotions have reached a whole new level.
It’s hard to put all these feelings into words, and I now know with certainty what I’ve assumed my whole life: It really is the best feeling in the world. And this is only the beginning…
One thing is for sure: No matter how bad I felt during my first trimester, I would do it a million times over to grow a healthy baby. Once my second trimester started, the non-stop nauseous feeling went away and I got all my energy back. I’m feeling absolutely wonderful now – as long as I get enough food and at least 9 hours of sleep every day!
Pregnancy Q&A: My first trimester
I received lots of questions via Instagram regarding my pregnancy and since I love reading those Q&A blogposts myself, I very happy to answer some of your frequently asked questions here.
Do you already know the gender of the baby? If not – do you want to find out?
No, we actually don’t! The baby has been hiding during the last two ultrasounds, when it should have been possible to identify whether we’re having a little girl or boy. We’re super excited to find out what we are having, but we also love the fact that it’s still a surprise and now I can totally understand why couples don’t want to find out until birth.
Do you already have picked out names?
Yes we do! We have a name for a boy and a girl, so we are all set. We love both names so much already that we’re actually a little sad we will only have either or for now. Since we have the names picked for our baby it all seems even more real!
Are you still following a plant-based diet during pregnancy?
That’s one of the questions I have received most often. I have been following a plant-based diet for over a year and have talked to my ob-gyn if I could continue to eat like that when I found out I was pregnant. She gave me green light to continue eating a plant-based diet, however, she mentioned that this varies from woman to woman. I would say my diet still consists of 90% plant-based foods, but I added 2-3 eggs a week to my meal plan. From my experience so far, I can say my body tells me exactly what it wants and needs in terms of food. I have not had any “weird” pregnancy cravings so far, but one day I felt the need to eat a Kebap – and I wanted it right in that minute. It was hands down the best Kebap I’ve eaten my entire life 🙂 Whenever I feel like eating meat, I just eat it. That has only happened around five times since I’m pregnant so far, but I don’t restrict myself from it. I am still not eating any dairy products (since I know I’m highly lactose intolerant), and I also did not feel in the mood for fish until now. I try to listen to my body very carefully and give it everything it “demands” in a reasonable quantity. If you feel like continuing with your plant-based nutrition during pregnancy is the right thing for you, I advice you to talk to your ob-gyn or midwife and ask for more information.
Are you taking any prenatal vitamins?
Yes, I do! As a matter of fact, I will dedicate an entire blogpost to this blogpost, because I have received many questions about it. As you might know, I have been talking about the importance of micronutrients already – especially if you’re following a plant-based diet. Before we started trying to get pregnant, I was already taking prenatal vitamins such a folic acid and omega-3 to prepare my body for pregnancy. I’m currently taking a mix of several micronutrients and vitamins, which I’m happy to talk about in detail in a separate blogpost. Please note: The decision of taking prenatal vitamins is very personal and different from person to person. I’d advice you to consult your ob-gyn for more information and information about this topic.
Do you have any tips to stay healthy during pregnancy?
First of all, I’d like to say that I think every pregnancy is completely different. What might work for one woman, might be wrong for another. As far as I am concerned, I’m very happy that I can still follow my Pilates and Yoga workout routine. During my first trimester (when I felt nauseous all the time) I did not workout at all. If I felt like it, it did some very gentle yoga stretches at home, but I just wasn’t able to do anything else. During this time Patrick and I tried to go for walks as often as possible to get some fresh air. Once my second trimester started, I was finally able to pick up my Pilates and Yoga routine again and informed my instructors about my pregnancy. Both my ob-gyn and instructors gave me clearance for working out and some of the exercises have been adapted to my needs. If you’ve been practicing Pilates or Yoga for a while, it’s no problem at all to keep exercising – quite on the contrary, it’s highly recommended to stay active!
Other than that, a healthy and balanced diet is key. I think it’s unnecessary to worry too much about gaining too much weight – I just try to be rational about it and keep eating a healthy diet. However, I also do not stress about wanting a piece of cake every now and then or some dessert. I think as long those things are consumed in moderation, it’s perfectly fine.
When is the right time to tell your family and the world you’re pregnant?
I guess this is a very personal decision every couple has to make themselves. Patrick and I decided not to tell our family and friends until I reached week 12 – just because we really enjoyed being in this wonderful, happy bubble all by ourselves. Once you find out you’re pregnant, everything is just so new and you are so overwhelmed with so many emotions – we just did not feel like sharing those magical (and also tough) weeks with anyone but the two of us. Christmas was in our favor this year because I reached 12 weeks of pregnancy during the holidays and we waited to tell our family and friends the special news on Christmas evening.
How did you tell your family you are pregnant?
As a Christmas surprise, we gave our family Christmas cards with an ultrasound photo of our little baby. They did not expect anything and it was the biggest surprise for them. Lots of happy tears were involved and everyone was over the moon excited. It was one of the most beautiful Christmas holidays I’ve ever experienced my entire life!
How did you tell your friends you are pregnant?
We tried to tell as many of our close friends that we were pregnant in person. We didn’t want to miss out on their reactions, because they were all priceless! Unfortunately we were not able to tell everyone in person, because some of our friends don’t live near us. So we video-called them or sent a video message to them. It was very beautiful to see and hear everyone’s reactions – we are very grateful our baby is so welcome by everyone around us!
Why did you only tell the news so late?
To us personally, sharing the news of my pregnancy when I was in week 18 was not late at all. We initially had planned to publicly share the news when I was halfway through pregnancy (which would have been Valentines’s day), but my bump had just started to become quite obvious and it just felt like the right time to go public with our happy news. As I’ve mentioned before, we consider pregnancy to be such a personal topic, we just did not feel like sharing it with everyone around us immediately. We wanted to enjoy it ourselves, and with our family and friends first, before we told the world. It was just our very personal gut feeling to handle it that way and it felt right for us.
Do you experience any pregnancy symptoms?
Except for feeling nauseous during my first trimester and the additional need of sleep, I’m feeling better than ever! My hair and nails are growing at the most rapid pace, my skin has not been that flawless in many years and my appetite is still quite normal. I’m very happy and thankful I’ve had such an uncomplicated pregnancy so far.
Did you change your skincare routine since you got pregnant?
Not really. I’m avoiding any chemical facial treatments since I got pregnant, but I did not change my skin care products. I added some face oil, just because my skin feels quite dry sometimes (this could also be due to the cold winter air though), and I exchanged my deodorant for a more natural one. Other than that, I’m trying to take very good care of my skin and moisturize my body every night before going to bed.
How long did it take you to get pregnant?
We were very lucky that it basically worked out for us to get pregnant after two months trying. I’m deliberately using the word “basically” here, because once we decided we wanted to get pregnant, we actively tried it. Meaning: I monitored my cycle very closely and was aware of my fertile days. I think that this was a big help in being able to get pregnant that quickly.
Where will the baby be born?
The baby will be born in Salzburg (if everything hopefully goes according to plan!). We are currently looking into different options. The only thing I know for sure is that I do not want to give birth at home – so we are currently checking out different hospitals in our area.
When did you notice your body started changing?
As weird as it may sound, but the moment I found out I was pregnant I felt like my body was changing. My boobs hurt like crazy, I still felt like I had mild stomach cramps (which apparently is very normal at the begging of pregnancy), and every time I looked into the mirror when I stepped out of the shower, I thought I looked different already. My bump started showing in week 13, although it rather looked like I’ve just had a big meal at that time. I’d say since week 16 it’s identifiable as a baby bump and since then it seems to be growing every day! I can feel the baby moving around in my belly already and I truly love this little bump of mine so much. The female body is a masterpiece that I’m in awe of every day. I have never felt more female my whole life and I’m very excited about my changing body most days. Sometimes it can feel very frustrating that certain clothes just don’t fit anymore, or that other parts of your body are also getting bigger – not just your bump and chest. But at the end of the day, I always try to remember that my body is currently growing a little human and that this is nothing short of a miracle. So I’m trying to appreciate all changes in my body and give it all the love it deserves right now.
Are you doing any prenatal screenings that are not part of the usual pregnancy screenings in Austria?
In Austria, we are very lucky that pregnancy is monitored very well by public healthcare providers already. Additionally, there is the opportunity to schedule even more detailed screenings. If you’re pregnant, your ob-gyn will most probably have informed you about all kinds of possible prenatal screenings already. Patrick and I decided to only do prenatal screenings that are non-invasive, meaning they won’t harm our baby in any way. We had the so called Combined-Test done at the end of my first trimester, and we are very, very grateful it did not raise any need for concerns. We will have an extended organ screening in a couple of weeks that we are both very excited about already, because we hope to finally find out if we’re having a boy or a girl.
Will the baby have its own room and did you start furnishing it already?
Yes, the baby will have its own room, although I’m pretty sure it will live with us in the bedroom in the beginning. Since we do have a spare room in our apartment we still want the baby to have its own little space (which will be more for us anyway), but we are very excited to start furnishing it soon! We picked out a color for the walls, and some of the furniture is already on its way. Once everything is done, I’m very happy to show you a glimpse of it on the blog, if you like!