After having some issues early on, by Week 12 I was especially excited to finish the first trimester (and for my 13-week ultrasound) in hopes that it would bring some much needed peace of mind.
Week 12 also marked the point where I felt as though I had “rebuilt” my mileage base back to a point where I felt comfortable. Most importantly, rebuilding my mileage made me feel much more like myself. Make no mistake – I was still taking each day at a time (with no agenda and no goals) but I was also allowing myself to conservatively increase the duration of my runs on the days that I was feeling good. The trick was to tell myself that I was just going to get out there for at least 10 minutes. If I didn’t feel good after 10 minutes, that was good enough and I would stop. Luckily, on most days I felt decent enough to keep going. Listening to my body… a whole new concept!
During Week 13 I had my end-of-first trimester appointment and all was well (thank God). We also got the blood work done for the genetic screening (and gender) with the results to come in 1-2 weeks (note, I commented that this seemed like an eternity and my doctor so kindly pointed out that they are mapping DNA and the process used to take years). We also got to see the baby move around, which was absolutely amazing. The next check-up will be at the end of the month and the next ultrasound will be at the end of June.
During Weeks 12 and 13 I also started to experience challenges with my body image. I imagine this is something that most pregnant athletes struggle with. Obviously during pregnancy weight gain (within the doctor’s prescribed range) is a good thing. However, in the early stages it’s hard because your body is changing, your clothes are getting tighter, but you don’t really look pregnant. What also became difficult for me was differentiating between pregnancy weight gain and weight gain which may have been from *ahem* some newly developed, less-than-healthy eating habits. Because I had to stop nearly all physical activity for about a month early in my pregnancy, I gained weight quickly due to the fact that I was doing nothing but working during the day and coming home and laying on the couch all through the night/weekend. Added to that was the fact that all I could stomach was grilled cheese and mac and cheese (hello, toddler food) which is quite different from the somewhat more balanced meals that I normally eat.
For a few weeks my food aversions were such that there was a limited rotation of food that I could actually stomach (the thought of vegetables actually made me want to vomit). I ate a lot of bagels, cereal, and noodles. I was okay with this because I figured it would pass and it was more important to get something in my stomach than worry about eating a properly balanced meal. While my food tolerance range has since expanded, I still find my tastes far different than they were before I was pregnant and subject to change on a
daily hourly basis. Poor Mike (who does nearly all of the cooking at our house) has had to both anticipate and accommodate my whims. I am annoyed with my own pickiness – I certainly wouldn’t want to be trying to deal with me from the outside!
Fortunately, as the first trimester progressed my aversions slowly became less intense. While there were certainly some days (evenings) where nothing sounded palatable – my appetite returned to semi-normal for breakfast and lunch. By the end of the first trimester I was certainly having many more good days than bad days. Being able to run again also helped me to feel better. Everyone says that the second trimester is the “honeymoon” period of pregnancy because many of the first trimester symptoms start to subside and you still feel fairly normal. I sure hope that this is the case! Regardless, I know that it will all be worth it in the end.
Week 13- Baby is the size of a lemon (thanks to the Bump website for the weekly updates)
Did you run while pregnant? What was your first trimester experience? Is it true that the second trimester gets easier?