Now that I am several weeks out of the first trimester, I feel a bit more prepared to talk about it all! I attempted several times to write during those first weeks but it pretty much was too draining to think about sitting at my computer, let alone type any paragraphs that made sense. The first weeks after we found out I was pregnant felt mostly fine but once 6 weeks hit, I fell apart. I was so exhausted I thought something was wrong with me. I couldn’t drive, couldn’t work, couldn’t make anything in the kitchen (the smells and the standing), and pretty much felt like I was dying 😉 I’m only being a little dramatic! haha. I slept all the time. Nearly 12 hours every night with naps all day in between little meals. It was the holidays so I tried to save all my energy for the 4 hours we were out every night and tried hard to survive the longer days with family on Christmas Eve & Christmas day.
Smells were a nightmare, I only ate bland things, couldn’t stand candy or meat, and only did the bare minimum of work related things. In fact, I shut off for a good 3 weeks because I had to (but it lined up with the holidays so well it was pretty easy to do!) On top of all that, the hormones effected me in ways I couldn’t have expected. I am a person of emotion – I get really excited about things and I get really sad about things. I feel a lot of emotion all the time and tend to be enthusiastic and optimistic about everything BUT I was not at all like that in my first trimester. I even told Bruce and my doctor I think I might be depressed because I felt so not like myself. I wasn’t happy but I wasn’t sad. I was just meh for a good 6 weeks and that made it hard to tell people we were pregnant.
Those six weeks of exhaustion and not feeling like myself were not easy. At times I thought they would never end and the first weeks where NO ONE knew why I was acting that way was even harder. But the Lord met me in that season – in the wilderness – and he encouraged my heart. He calmed my go,go,go attitude. He reminded me He will fight for me I only need to be still. He showed me the most important thing was eating well, drinking water, and taking naps to care for the baby growing inside me. As someone who prefers to do all the things, this was a slap in the face to my heart that glorifies busy. My first trimester – no matter how not fun it was – helped me to slow the eff down. I won’t be able to keep living the way I was with a baby and this pregnancy is preparing me for a new season, a slower season, and a switch from 2017.
I opened up my Instagram for first trimester questions HERE and I’ll be answering those later, but first I wanted to share the story & milestones of the first trimester. Just FYI, there may be some TMI points depending on how squirmy you are – I talk about boobs and periods and being pregnant just so you know. haha. So here goes!
Friday December 8th, 2017
I have consistent periods. I know when they are coming (in fact, I track them on an app) because I don’t like being surprised with tears and cramps 😉 After I was one day late, I told Bruce we should take a pregnancy test. He thought that was a bit too soon and nature would give us a natural pregnancy test. But I knew I was pregnant – my boobs would not stop hurting. Well that logic made it until Friday which was nearly 4 days late at that point and I took a test I bought on Amazon Prime. Bruce was in the office next to the bathroom and when I saw the test flash positive right away I showed him. I wanted the test to be positive so badly but when it was my heart skipped a beat – I knew everything would be different now and that thought overwhelmed me.
Bruce quickly started rejoicing and praying over this new season. This has been Bruce through the whole pregnancy and has kept me afloat when I was dealing so much with the symptoms of the first trimester. He has been excited, shared the news, prayed over me and the baby countless times, and rejoiced about what the Lord is doing. He has helped me express my joy even when I couldn’t alone.
Friday January 5th, 2018
We went in for our first appointment on Friday the 5th. I was SO READY for our first appointment. I was going a little crazy and even though I was officially 8 weeks and 4 days pregnant, I was afraid we would get there and they would say it was all in my head . For full disclosure, I was dealing with a lot of anxiety the first weeks before our doctor appointment. The hormone changes mixed with my emotions & fears plus my general worried tendency, was a bit rough. I worked in a pregnancy center for 5 years where I learned a bunch of stats (not to mention my Family & Human services major in college) plus quite a few dear friends who had to walk through long seasons of infertility and/ or miscarriages. I expected those things for us too. I expected them to prepare myself for them. This is something I tend to do – expect the worst just in case it happens and then I am prepared. I’ve been this way since I was a child and it is something I am CONSTANTLY working on with the Lord. Being pregnant magnified it.
We had some spotting early on which scared the crap out of me. We were driving home from somewhere and I told Bruce I was afraid of having a miscarriage (you know, to get it out there and not keep it in my head.) When we got home, there was blood when I peed and I was convinced we lost the baby. Since this was my first pregnancy and we hadn’t told anyone at this point, I had no idea what to do. I cried. We prayed. I watched Muppet Christmas Carol (my fav Christmas movie) and cried. Then I started googling things and everything said to call a doctor. I remembered that I could call the nurse hotline for my OBGYN and I dialed that right away. When talking to the lady she assured me that it sounded like spotting and not a miscarriage. She gave me symptoms to look for and call back about if I had any. I didn’t so I just waited for my upcoming appointment in 4 weeks. In retrospect, I should have called like 6 hours earlier but I really didn’t know better.
So I came into the first appointment a little crazed. I joked with my doctor (who we LOVE & who is a believer) about telling Bruce I was afraid I wasn’t pregnant on the way there, she had notes about the spotting, and I’m pretty sure I scored high on a stress worksheet so she ordered an ultrasound that day. I think she knew how much I needed assurance. We saw a little bean moving around and stretching! It was completely unreal as we both looked at the screen and saw the heartbeat – a good strong one she assured us! She let us know that the chance of miscarriage greatly goes down after you hear or see the heartbeat and gave us permission to tell family & close friends.
I left feeling lighter. I just needed the doctor to tell us we were pregnant before we told anyone else. And walking out with that ultrasound was such a relief. We rejoiced and prayed and started making plans with family to tell them the exciting news.
10 weeks is the only photo I got in my first trimester next to my growing bump. I was so tired and uninspired. I didn’t pick up my camera for months or have the motivation to put on nicer clothes (notice these are still totally lounge clothes!) But to be fair, I only have a 15 weeks picture so far for the second trimester. It’s kinda hard apparently to remember to take bump pics.
PS: I included the first photo outtake because I feel like I mostly looked like that my first trimester. haha. Unsure, exhausted, and afraid I would never feel like myself again. I had a countdown until the end of the first trimester.
Cereal. I have eaten so much cereal these last months. There were days (maybe even weeks) that I went eating cereal for every meal. First it was Frosted Mini Wheats, then Raisin Bran, then Honey Nut Cheerios with fresh Strawberries. Still I am loving cereal and I wouldn’t be surprised if that carries the entire pregnancy!
Are you finding out the gender of the baby? And will you be sharing it or keeping it a secret?
YES! I cannot wait! I was so tempted to take the early blood tests or pay for an extra ultrasound but I felt it best to stay patient. HAHA. We find out the beginning of April and I cannot wait. We will probably do some kind of gender reveal with you all after we know so don’t worry! I’m a planner and I cannot wait to be able to envision life with the baby more and settle on a name!
Any favorite purchases or items from your first trimester survival list?!
YES! I couldn’t survive without my Ingrid & Isabel Women’s Maternity Active Legging With Crossover Panel leggings. I bought them for traveling on the plane for our trip and they were perfect. I’ve been also wearing them nearly every day since we got back! My normal leggings cut right in the middle of my growing belly and quickly started causing me a lot of pain. These maternity ones are comfortable and look nice. I’ve been wearing them everywhere – paired with an over sized button up or with a dress for church!
I also had to buy a new bra STAT! Some people can deal with underwires and spilling out of their bras to save money BUT I CANNOT! I value comfort over everything 😉 But really, my boobs were hurting so much I knew I couldn’t enjoy anything without a new bra. I went to Baby Cotton Bottoms and fell in love with this bra – Bravado! Designs Women’s Maternity Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra. I bought another one off Amazon a week later because it was SO helpful in surviving the first trimester and still is! Plus it is designed to stretch and adjust with growth!
And lastly, the Leachco Snoogle Total Body Pillow. I thought I was getting it too early since my bump was not popping but I was wrong. I quickly had to start sleeping on my sides because my belly and back were no longer comfortable. This helped so much with sleeping and continues to help me sleep better! Pregnancy has made me a super restless sleeper but this body pillow helps immensely!
What names are you thinking about? Or any thoughts about names?
Names! We have some ideas – pulling from our heritage and stories. Right now I think we just keep our ears open for names we like. We really want to reveal the baby name as soon as we know (because I cannot wait to call the baby their actual name!) but are having a hard time narrowing down names without knowing if it is a boy or a girl. We have a list and once we know the gender, we’ll get down to the naming business. So far we tend to be on the same page… but we will see how long it takes for us to agree on a name!
How are you feeling emotionally thinking about the change?
I am feeling better now that I am out of the first trimester. Those hormones really messed with my head I will tell you that! Pregnancy is a season that leads into a new season. I am positive the Lord knew we needed time before bringing another human into this world – time to prepare mentally and physically. I feel not prepared at all. I have not made a baby registry or picked out a name or moved the house around to make room for the nursery but I feel excited about the prospect. Every doctor appointment I’m overwhelmed with hearing the heartbeat and learning how the little one is growing. I know everything in my life will change and that is hard sometimes. But at the same time, I have GREAT support that is already pouring into this baby and a peace that this is my new journey and my new season.
I know this space will look different. I grieve that a bit but instead of complaining or still trying to do all the things, I am intentionally focusing on how to make the changes I need to for this space before baby. My priorities and intentions are switching and I’m along for the ride. It’s honestly more liberating than I expected to cut things out. It is like I finally have an excuse to slow down (btw you don’t need a baby to slow down!)
Were you surprised? What was your first reaction when you found out?
We were not trying but not-not trying. I mean, maybe we were trying a bit but not expecting to be pregnant. We kind of were at a point where we said let’s stop preventing a baby and see what happens. We got pregnant like a month or two later. That surprised me. I figured it would take awhile to get pregnant. I knew pregnancy was a possibility and I felt like I was before I took the test but it is still always a little shocking to see two bright lines show up. In my head I knew everything would be different but I was so excited to see what the Lord had for this new journey. This whole new season in my & Bruce’s life!
How did you tell Bruce?
Well this isn’t as cool as it could have been. I just yelled at him from the bathroom and showed him the stick!
Do you think it is a boy or a girl??
It feels weird to have a feeling one way or the other because it really could be either and we have no idea BUT I think it is a boy. I keep having boy dreams, and thinking of boy names, and finding baby boy things I want to buy. Also I saw this article about Princess Kate and how she carries boys & girls different and I am following the way she carried George. So more boy proof 😉 Who knows! We are going to be thrilled with either boy or girl. We have no preferences at all.
How did you decide you were ready to add to your family?
Great question! When we got married we always told people (who asked us when we were going to have kids) that we were waiting 5 years. Or we would say when we were 30. Well, both of those milestones hit. We celebrated five years of marriage in August 2017 (you can read the post here) and we both turn 30 in 2018 (Me in May and Bruce in November.) And not that we were committed to those figures we threw out on our wedding date but we both just felt like it may be fun to start a family together.
For a long time it did not feel right. We had other things we were doing and focusing on but then one day it did feel right. I think Bruce was a couple months ahead of me on the baby train, but the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. It is so sweet to see how the Lord has just made this happen at the best timing. I was the sickest over the holidays so I didn’t miss much work at all, we still were able to go on multiple trips we already planned, and I was out of my first trimester and feeling great for Disney!!
I want to know how you rode all those rides at Disney!
HAHA! This question made me laugh. We talked to our doctor about the trip at the first appointment and she assured me we would be fine! It was perfect timing because I would be out of the first trimester. She also said that I could really go with my gut on what rides to ride or not. Most of the pregnancy warnings are for large baby bumps that might make the lap-bar not fit correctly or things might jam into the bump. But my baby was so hidden that wasn’t as big of a concern. But here is the great thing! Disney is really pregnancy friendly. There are only several rides that they recommend pregnant women not ride and I was fine sitting them out. In fact, I only had to sit out alone once. The other times we would split up and do different rides since not everyone wanted to do the extreme ones. I’ve also been to Disney a lot of times and didn’t feel like I was missing out by not doing all the rides.
Whew! That was A LOT. haha. I don’t think I have written a post with 3000 words for a long time! But had to tell you all about those first three months! I’ll do other “bump” dates as we go but feel free to always chime in with your questions and comments! I am so thankful for this community!
Oh my GOODNESS, you sound SO much like me. Are you an ENFP on the Meyer’s Briggs test? I’m the SAME way: always expecting the worst (so I don’t get disappointed), and the FEELINGS. All the feelings, ALL the time. If I’m up, I’m higher than a kite… if I’m down… I’m three stories underground in the sewer. 😂
I’m so happy for you & Bruce… this sweet baby is gonna have the BEST parents. Don’t be afraid to ride the feelings train this pregnancy… preggo feelings are INTENSE. I’ve had two munchkins, and the feels were definitely something I had to work through! BUT… just wait for the best, most insane feeling ever… when you feel that sweet baby in your arms for the first time. 😍 I can’t even describe how incredible that is. 😉
Shannon Mahaney says
I’m so happy for you, Elizabeth! This post was so sweet to read through. Although I am not a mom yet we are getting close to that phase in our lives. I love that you guys waited 5 years after you got married to start trying. My parents waited 4 and felt like that time was really theirs to focus on each other. My husband and I are doing something similar and next year will mark our 5 year mark. I cannot wait to follow along with your pregnancy journey!
Elizabeth Mayberry says
Thanks so much Shannon! Totally. I feel like I was in your shoes for so long is it funny to be switching into the “mom” roll. That’s why God gave us 9 months of pregnancy to slowly change and figure this all out!! We loved our five years together pre kids and it definitely made us stronger! Take your time! There really is no rush – the Lord’s timing is perfect!
Emily of Em Busy Living says
I loved reading all of this! So glad you are feeling a bit more like yourself in this second trimester.
Julie Hood says
Reading every word of this was such a joy–I am THRILLED for you, Beth, and I’m so glad you’re out of that terrible first trimester!! Also, SOO SMART to wait til an ultrasound for the gender (and yay for being one of the people who likes to find out!! My friends who kept the gender a surprise KILLLED MEEEE) because we had a wrong blood test result that said Emma was going to be a boy….talk about emotions going crazy–when her ultrasound said girl I was like, “WAIT BUT I’VE BEEN EMOTIONALLY PREPARING FOR ANOTHER BOY.” Anyway, I’m just so so so happy for you!!!
Sarah Hynes says
Love everything about this post. So excited for you, and happy that you are willing to share your pregnancy with us! Looking forward to reading more bumpdates!
Elizabeth Mayberry says
Thanks so much Sarah! Your encouragement is so… encouraging 😉 hahah! But really!
Bailey @ Becoming Bailey says
Thank you so much for answering my question! I am so excited for y’all!!!