Photos by Kristen Dee
Finally, the news is out! I’m pregnant with Baby #2, and I can’t believe I’m out of my first trimester! HALLELUJUH!
Let me just say; this first trimester was a lot different – and a bit harder –than the beginning of my last pregnancy. I’m just so happy to be through it, and to share a little about the experience with y’all. I asked you guys to send in questions for me about my first trimester, so I’m excited to dive in!
Q: How did you and your husband know you were ready for another baby?
A: We initially thought we’d start trying for Baby #2 in August or September, given we wanted them to be 2-3 years apart. But, after Temple’s first birthday, I was slowly starting to develop baby fever again. I was in a few weddings earlier this year, so we decided we’d wait until after those and then reevaluate when we’d start trying to conceive (TTC).
BUT, I do want to mention that we started (yes, Caleb too!) seeing my Naturopath, Dr. Naumes, at the start of 2019 knowing we’d TTC at some point during the year. I am all about getting BOTH our bodies fully prepared and at optimal health before even trying. Remember ladies; it takes two to tango, so I wanted Caleb feeling his best too! Dr. Naumes performed blood work and tweaked our supplements accordingly to support conception.
*Note* Dr. Naumes is amazing and specializes in women’s health and fertility. She works with everyone, but that is her specialty, so she is the lady you want to see to get your body right for a healthy pregnancy or if you are having trouble conceiving. Warning: she is pricey but IMO worth every penny. I even take Temple to her office to keep her on a great supplement regimen, and she has even helped us with our vaccine plan!
Okay, back to when we knew we were ready for another baby. I don’t think you’re ever fully prepared, but I knew I wanted our kids to be somewhat close in age. Temple is happy and stable in her routine, and she just started a little half-day school program, so we felt this was a perfect time to grow our family. Plus, Caleb and I both want to be younger parents so that when our kids are grown and out of the house, we still have the energy to travel! That’s something that’s super important to us as far as long-term plans.
So, after a destination wedding I was in at the end of April, we decided we’d TTC! Given it took about six months to get pregnant with Temple, we were both shocked and thrilled that we actually conceived in that very first month of trying! But, we came down from that high fairly quickly when we miscarried about two weeks after finding out we were pregnant. ☹
I found out super quickly that we were pregnant given we were actively trying. I took a test the day I missed my period and was so excited when it said YES! One of the first things my Naturopath did once I shared our news was request bloodwork to check my progesterone and HCG levels. When you’re pregnant, your progesterone and HCG levels grow exponentially early on. In fact, your HCG should double every 48 hours those first weeks, which is a sign that all is going smoothly. Progesterone is what helps the pregnancy “stick” in the beginning, so if your levels are really low during your first trimester, that could be a sign of a potential miscarriage.
When I did my first round of bloodwork, I was obviously pregnant, and my HCG was around 500. I went back again 48 hours later to make sure it was doubling, and it only climbed to about 800. My Naturopath wasn’t too concerned yet since it was so early, but wanted me to go back for another round of bloodwork. Sadly, my numbers weren’t rising at the pace they should’ve been. At this point, Dr. Naumes told me to start mentally preparing for a miscarriage.
I was so sad and had to grieve. Part of me felt very lucky because 1) I was only around 5 1/2 weeks pregnant and 2) I knew the miscarriage was coming, so I wasn’t shocked or scared when the bleeding began. I feel for all of you who have gone through this experience in any way, shape or form. It’s not easy, and even though I wasn’t pregnant for long, I had already created a little bond with that baby and thought about our future. It seems like miscarriages are something that some women are afraid to own or talk about. We should never feel ashamed or think something is wrong with us, no matter what fertility issues we may have. My Naturopath told me they are SO common, and sometimes the pregnancy simply wasn’t meant to be and doesn’t stick. Honestly, had we not been trying, I probably would have just thought my period was a week late and heavier than usual. Caleb also reminded me how badly we want a healthy baby, and this was my body telling me that something wasn’t right, and handled it naturally.
There is SO much more I want to talk about when it comes to this miscarriage. I am filming a video with Caleb this week featuring more details on our miscarriage, and the rollercoaster of emotions involved. If I’m lucky, maybe we can help others that have been through it, or open your eyes to what some families are experiencing!
Now, to how we conceived… again. After the miscarriage, I thought we were going to take a few months off from trying to heal both mentally and physically. My Naturopath recommended we wait a few months, but we didn’t exactly listen! The next month when I knew I was about to ovulate, I just had this gut feeling that we shouldn’t wait and go for it again. I knew deep in my heart that nothing was physically wrong with me. So, I put fear aside and we tried again! And bam, we conceived! I am so grateful I followed my heart and we didn’t wait. God always has a plan, and part of me thinks that miscarriage was meant to bring me a deeper understanding of what other women have gone through. I have this platform with lots of mamas, and I hope I can help or be there for at least one of you that may go (or have gone) through something similar.
Q: How long did it take for you to conceive?
A: I guess it technically took two months of trying if you don’t count the miscarriage. I want to touch on why I think it was easier for us to conceive Baby #2.
- We are both on a great diet and supplement plan from my Naturopath. I’m not going to share my latest supplement plan because it’s so specific to me, but you can check out this post featuring my fertility tips and this post for a list of supplements from my first pregnancy if you want a little more info.
- I had been tracking my temperature with the Kindara Wink. We practice Natural Family Planning, and I haven’t been on birth control in about four years. Now I know exactly when I ovulate via tracking my basal temperature.
- I get chiropractic adjustments every other week.
“Chiropractic aims to remove nerve interference from the spine that could potentially be causing a disconnect between the brain and body. While Chiropractic does not treat any conditions or diseases specifically, some women have reported an increase in their fertility and the ability to conceive, which may be due to increased and optimized nerve function.”– Dr. Nicole Jackson
- I’m no doctor, but I do think it makes sense that your body is just more prepared to conceive the second time around. It’s as if our bodies just know what to – our hormones kick in and say, ‘Ah, we’ve done this before!’
Q: How do you deal with the fears that come with the first trimester?
A: This was a great question – especially post-miscarriage – and I’m so glad I received it! I spent the first seven weeks of this pregnancy so fearful. I honestly hate that fear got the best of me, but it’s hard not to let it sometimes. When we found out we were pregnant again I was happy, but also had a major guard up. I wouldn’t let myself wholeheartedly celebrate this pregnancy because I was protecting my heart from the chance of another miscarriage. I even had nightmares about miscarrying again, and I had my bloodwork drawn far more times than necessary to make sure my HCG and progesterone levels looked strong.
I was so scared and was extra cautious about everything – so much so that I didn’t work out at all the first ten weeks. My Naturopath and midwives agreed that working out the first trimester wasn’t a good idea. We all decided taking it easy was the best course of action until I hit the 12-week mark. I did take long walks, and as always, was on my feet a ton running after Temple – that part didn’t change!! At about 11 weeks, I got back on a very light workout regimen of long walks and Pilates. I’m super excited to get back to my gym, Vive, next week for modified workouts now that I’m about 14 weeks in.
The best advice I can give is just to listen to your body and also have faith. There is a reason you’re pregnant, and you should be so joyful! Yes, it’s okay to be cautious and not shout it from the rooftops in those early days, but that being said, you do YOU. We are all so different! I’m a pretty open book, but after miscarrying, we kept the news fairly quiet until I was 12 weeks. Only family and a few very close friends knew before we announced. My thought was, I go to these people with all my good times and my hard times, and I know that they want the very best for my family and me. I knew they would be praying for a healthy pregnancy and would be there for us no matter what! Always surround yourself with those that lift you up. 🙂
Q: Are you planning to find out the gender?
A: YES! I wish I could wait and be surprised at the birth, but I don’t have the patience or personality for that. We are going to find out at the 18-20 week anatomy sonogram, which will also be my first sonogram! We will have the technician write down the gender, and then do a small gender reveal. So no one, including us, will know until the reveal. That’s what we did with Temple, too!
Q: Were you tired? How did you get anything done when you only wanted to sleep? How did you survive while taking care of a toddler?
A: YES, I was so, so tired. Adding a very busy toddler to the mix made things MUCH harder this time around! Temple takes one nap a day for 2-3 hours, and I had to nap when she did. As much as I wanted to devote that time to the blog, cleaning, or cooking, I HAD to sleep. I am also very lucky that my parents and in-laws live within 45 minutes of us. I leaned on them a lot those first ten weeks. Temple spent a lot of time with her grandparents so I could relax and get the extra sleep my body was craving. We also have a nanny that comes twice a week from 8-3pm which has been extra helpful this first trimester. She is the absolute best and is like family now- she’s so excited that we are pregnant!!!
Q: Sensitivity to smells? Food aversions?
A: I didn’t have sensitivities to smells, but the thought of cooking, especially raw meat, was unfathomable at times. We used Favor (my favorite food delivery app!) a lot and went out to eat much more than usual. There were times that I felt guilty – you all know how much I love making healthy food for Temple myself – but it was tough when I felt so crappy. Luckily there are lots of healthy spots (like Flowerchild) nearby where I know I could order clean healthy meals for us!
Q: Any cravings?
A: Oh ya! All I wanted was carbs and bland things the first ten weeks. I did my best and would choose brown rice pasta, rice, gluten-free grains, Siete grainless tortillas, and other “better” options where I could, but it was tough! I craved Chick-Fil-A, Potbelly sandwiches with all the spicy peppers, bagels, hot & sour soup from Yao Fuzi, and Against the Grain GF frozen pesto pizza.
It’s all about balance! Yes, I let myself splurge, but not daily. I would always try my best to cook healthy meals at home, but when you’re pregnant and craving something, it takes all the will power in the world to say no! I loved Dave’s Killer Bread Cinnamon Raisin bagels with topped with pecan butter – that was my go-to breakfast most mornings. I had a bit of a sweet tooth for a few weeks, which isn’t the norm for me, so I made these Skinny Chocolate Banana muffins. It’s all about opting for healthier alternatives when you can!
Here are a few of my favorite first trimester recipes. They are basically cleaned up comfort foods and other healthier alternatives – they’ll help curb that craving without sending you off the deep end!
- Lemon Caper Chicken– I serve mine with jasmine rice to soak up all the yummy gravy, plus a side salad. This was my absolute favorite my first trimester with Temple too. It makes tons of leftovers to enjoy for lunch the next day. Probably my favorite meal ever!
- Sour Creama nd Green Chile Enchiladas– I get my Mexican food craving fix without going to a Tex-Mex restaurant where the easy skillet enchiladas are full of extra fat and carbs!
- Game Day Nachos
- Random bowls of goodness- I mix rice or quinoa with 1/2 avocado, sweet potatoes, black beans, ground turkey, spinach and pickled jalapenos. I love mixing a bowl of a bunch of ingredients that are both nourishing and filling.
- Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi – This is always a go-to. I pair with store-bought pesto from Whole Foods, sautéed kale and sausage. Check out my IG highlights for a how-to! You’ve probably heard by now that you can’t prepare it using the package’s instructions.
- Kielbasa Pasta
- Kite Hill Dairy Free Ravioli with Rao’s Marinara and steamed broccoli.
- Buffalo Chicken Salad- I buy a rotisserie chicken and shred it up with store-bought buffalo sauce and primal kitchen mayo.
- Anything paired with Brown Rice Pasta!!
- Toast with almond butter, sliced bananas, chia seeds and a drizzle of honey
- Toast with sliced avocado, scrambled eggs and EEB seasoning
- Smoothies from The Gem Dallas
- Homemade Tuna Melt
- Siete Breakfast Tacos with hot sauce, scrambled eggs, bacon and avocado
- Anything in the crockpot! You can prep and walk away – for when you’re exhausted in the afternoon or your stomach isn’t up to handling raw meat.
- Curried Tuna Salad
- Apples with cinnamon with almond butter
- Mocktail: Topo Chico sparkling water, two splashes of kombucha and fresh lime juice
- Bone Broth- Anytime I was nauseous I would sip on bone broth with Simple Mills crackers.
Q: How did we find out we were pregnant?
A: No crazy story here! I took a test after missing my period, and it said YES! I walked in the living room and told Caleb. We were obviously so thrilled!
Q: Are you getting pregnancy acne?
A: OMG, YES! Hormonal acne is the worst! With Temple, I had a few breakouts the first trimester, but this pregnancy it’s next level, all over my jawline and my back. I’m 12 weeks, and it’s still horrible on my back, but a little better on my face. Hoping it settles soon.
Q: What have you done to address your acne?
A: I’ve also been dry brushing my back a few times a week and using this body wash and then this exfoliating body wash a few days a week to help, too. Honestly, there is only so much you can do outside of waiting it out and letting it run its course. Just remember, a baby is worth a little acne!!!
Note* Use code ‘madaleighblog’ at Follain for 15% off and free shipping!
Q: Did you experience nausea?
A: Yes, but not horribly. I know some moms get it so bad so I can’t complain too much. However, I will say it was definitely worse this time around than it was with Temple. The first ten weeks I had “afternoon nausea,” which was bizarre. I felt fine in the mornings on most days but around 2-3 pm it hit hard. I would hit a wall of exhaustion and then start to get waves on nausea until bedtime. I typically had to have a snack of some sort before bed, like Simple Mills crackers and pickles, bone broth, or 1/2 a Dave’s Killer Bread bagel. Since hitting my 12-week mark, all nausea has subsided.
Q: How is this trimester different then it was with Temple?
A: My first trimester with Temple was a breeze! I felt great other than nausea here and there, plus a little fatigue. With Temple, I mainly just wanted to sleep. This time I was way more nauseous, more tired, and had horrible acne on my jawline and all over my back.
Q: Tips for fighting nausea? Any supplements or remedies you loved?
A: I wish I had a ton of tips, but I think you can only do so much. Lots of hormones going on and every woman is so different. Here are a few things that help me:
- Small meals throughout the day
- Keeping snacks in my purse at all times
- Keeping my protein intake as high as possible
- Sipping on bone broth with crackers
- Drinking warm ginger tea with honey and lemon
- get fresh air and go on a 30 minute walk and get that natural vitamin D.
- Drink tons of water!!!
I don’t like taking any of those nausea pills you can get OTC, even if the doctor says they are okay for baby. I just don’t want anything that isn’t a natural supplement in my body when pregnant – it’s a personal choice!
Q: Did you workout your first trimester?
A: I answered this in more detail above, but not really. I took long walks and started Pilates once I was 11 weeks. I plan to start back up at my gym, Vive, twice a week now that my midwives and Naturopath gave me the green light! So overall, I’ll do a mix of long walks, Pilates and my weight training at Vive.
BTW, I didn’t work out my first trimester with Temple either. I was just too tired, so I listened to my body and took it easy, with the exception of those long walks!
Q: Are you going to have another natural birth? If so, where?
A: Heck yes! I loved my natural birth with Temple. I plan to use the same birth center, Origins, but I will go to their new Dallas location which opened after I had Temple. It’s the same practice as the one we used in Keller, just staffed by different midwives. Now I only have to drive 10 minutes vs. 1 hour, which is awesome!
Q: What do you use on your growing belly and to help with stretch marks?
Q: What about skincare products for pregnancy?
Here’s a full blog post with my pregnancy skincare routine!
Q: Has your morning routine changed?
A: I rarely wake up before Temple I need that extra sleep, so I usually wake up around 6:30 am (and go to bed by 10:00 pm at latest) and cook Temple breakfast, have my big cup of water, somtimes do my warm lemon water + honey, then always have a cup of coffee with a little frothed Nutpods creamer. I either eat breakfast with Temple or when I get back from her school drop-off around 8:15 am. And, since I’ve been cleared to workout a little harder, I’ll start going back to my 8:30 am Vive classes or hit up Pilates!
Now that I’m a little more energized with each day, I may try to wake up before Temple to get my “me” time back. Right now I’m just listening to my body and giving it that extra TLC in needs. Check out My Morning Routine blog post for what I was doing pre-pregnancy, if you’re curious!
Q: Have you done a sonogram yet?
No. This is totally a personal preference and y’all know I always choose the more natural way. Ultrasounds are a form of radiation so I try to do the least amount as possible. To each their own, but this is what we did for Temple too. We wait until the 18-20 anatomy sonogram.
I always like to skip ultrasounds in the first trimester (midwives and naturopath agreed) and just used the fetascope or doppler to hear babies heartbeat at 12 weeks. The fetascope releases zero radiation.
My tip, if getting an ultrasound the cut the small talk with the sonographer haha. Just let them know you quickly want to make sure baby is doing well then be done! The least amount exposure to baby is best.
Q: Do you see your chiropractor while pregnant?
A: Oh ya! I saw Dr. Nicole before conceiving, too. I always see her every other week! Temple and I both go every other week now, and I will probably start going weekly once I hit 34 weeks.
Q: What else are you doing differently now that you’re pregnant?
A: I am avoiding anything that’s not pregnancy safe like alcohol, cold cuts, sushi, raw egg, etc. You can Google those things if you aren’t sure what the full list includes. I’m also making sure to drink tons of water – that means a goal of half my body weight in ounces per day. I was already doing most things the pregnancy safe/ natural way. I didn’t have to worry about changing any skincare products since I already use all-natural/clean products! As far as physical activity, I am still going to Vive. My trainer always knows how to motify when pregnant.
Q: Any books you recommend during pregnancy or new moms?
A: Yes! Here is a list of my favorites:
- Mama Natural Week-By-Week Guide. -My absolute favorite book during pregnancy!
- The Vaccine-Friendly Plan
- Real Food for Pregnancy
- Ina May’s Guide to Breastfeeding
- Ina May’s Guide to Child Birth
- Mama Glow
- The Kind Mama
- The First Forty Days
- Well Adjusted Babies
Thank y’all so much for reading my post, sending in your questions, and most of all, for ALL the amazing well wishes I’ve received. If you can’t already tell, I’m SO excited to be pregnant again, and both Caleb and I feel beyond blessed to be growing our little family. With pregnancy comes lots of newness and some speed bumps, so it’s important to remember what’s coming on the other side of these 9 months!
I know (now more than ever before) that this blessing doesn’t always come easily, and I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to share this with you all. I’m praying extra hard for all those new mamas, soon-to-be-mamas, and the ones that are trying to conceive. You are all in my thoughts!