We are PREGNANT!!! YAY! Since we found out, we cannot think about anything else. Pregnancy is such an exciting time. We have been praying for this little miracle. And when the test finally turned positive, we couldn’t believe it. We are going to be parents!!! 🙂
Before we could catch our breath, we had so many questions about our pregnancy. From doctors’ appointments to all the beautiful things happening so quickly to our bodies (#whospregnant #dadbod). By no means are we experts in this field, but we thought it would be fun to share everything you need to know about our pregnancy! Filled with all our UPS, all our DOWNS (yikes!), and everything in between!!! Here are the links to our blog:
Your Baby: It is mind blowing to think that your teeny tiny baby is developing from the size of a vanilla bean seed to the size of a lemon in only 13 weeks!!! Around 5-6 weeks your baby’s heart will start beating. It is literally the sweetest sound ever. Best of all you do not have to wait until your doctor’s appointments. You can order a doppler online (Sonoline B Fetal Doppler) for as low as $50. They really do work, and no you are not crazy for wanting to listen to it every second of the day.
Just be ready for happy tears! We remember like it was yesterday, when we saw our little “rice corn” on the ultrasound monitor and we were able to listen to her racing heartbeat. Tears were running down our cheeks. We started tracking the size of our baby with a couple of pregnancy app(s) from “What to Expect” and “Pregnancy+” and taking pictures of our baby’s growth (almost) every week. We decided to stick to fruits but you can even compare your baby’s size to candy/sweets or even animals. It’s just fun to see how much your baby is growing week by week and looking back at this collage makes us realize even more how miraculous the human body is 🙂
Your Body: While you cannot really feel your baby and the tiny movements in your uterus quite yet, you will definitely know that you are pregnant (besides the positive pregnancy test and ultrasound confirmation). There are LOTS of hormonal changes which will bring many fun and not-so-fun symptoms with it.
Frequent urination: Be ready for multiple bathroom visits during the day. And in the middle of the night!!! Due to the increased blood circulation in your pelvis, you will notice increased urgency and frequency to urinate. For me, nights have been “worse”. I am still waking up at least 1-2 times every night.
Bloating: Oh, the bloated bump… I actually started to feel and look (!!!) bloated pretty early (~ week 7). While I could still button up my jeans, they were super uncomfortable, so we decided to shop maternity pants and dresses around that time. We also were not quite ready to share the news, but since my bloated bump was definitely showing through my shirts and dresses there were enough excuses to go shopping! The great news? Besides all the shopping. The bloating went away in my second trimester and slowly converted into an actual baby bump instead. YAY!
Fatigue: Or, let’s just say EXTREME EXHAUSTION. I never ever thought I could be THIS tired. Even though we usually have a very busy schedule (getting up at 4:30 AM every morning, running two full-time jobs, sleep maybe ~6hours on average), I definitely underestimated the fatigue and exhaustion that would come with the first trimester. We had to give ourselves some grace, and toss our crazy schedule out the window for a little while. Just remember to slow down, listen to your body, and rest for a few weeks. You will thank yourself later. More great news! You will get most of your energy back in the second trimester!!!
Breast tenderness: I want you to close your eyes for a moment and imagine the tenderness feeling you get each month with your breast. Now multiply that times 100! I don’t know how else to describe the intense sensation! Your breast are preparing for your little one and will continue to grow during your entire pregnancy in order to get all the good nutrients to your baby once he or she is born. And while this can be very painful, I honestly do not mind the “natural boob job” during our pregnancy 🙂
Increased Smell Sensitivity: It’s not uncommon for your sense of smell to change and to become more intense during pregnancy. I noticed this quite early and found it funny…At first, until some of my smell aversions started. For example, I could not feed our puppy Vegas, the smell while trying to prepare it, would make be gag. Thankfully Douglas has been able to step in and take care of feeding our little guy.
Increased Appetite: Or should I say the feeling of “I am STARVING” every 30-60 minutes! Your body is “producing” a little human inside of you, so it makes complete sense… But wow, was I surprised by the empty stomach feeling. Nonstop. So be ready to shop for tons of snacks, and to add few more kilograms (pounds) to the scale.
Morning Sickness / Nausea: Not sure why this is called morning sickness because lots of women experience nausea throughout the entire day and not JUST in the mornings. Usually I’d wake up and feel like I had the worst hangover, and had to eat ASAP. So, I changed my morning routine to waking up, eating a bowl of lucky charms (!!!), and then started to get ready. Not eating at all made me nauseous. And certain smells and food (chicken for example) made me nauseous and gag… But thankfully no puking for me. Yay! On the other hand, the constant fatigue and mild nausea made me feel, just a little off, all day, every day. Just know that this will also go away (for most women) in the second trimester. So hang in there!!!!
Food Cravings / Aversions: Even though I had no specific food cravings during my first trimester I noticed that I had a little bit of a sweet tooth (I usually always pick savory over sweets). Hot chocolate, Nutella, donuts, lucky charms & smacks, and a few healthy sweets like apples, kiwis and bananas. I am finally starting to feel like eating salads again. So, fingers crossed for a healthier diet during the second trimester!
Emotions: I consider myself to be an emotional person with or without pregnancy hormones, and the first trimester definitely made me more emotional than usual. I would cry while watching movies, and then out of nowhere begin to laugh. I would stress out about very minor little things, and then be extremely happy about it the very next minute. Overall the feeling of complete happiness overpowers it all though, and Douglas has been the absolute best pregnancy husband supporting and loving me with all my emotions, tears, and hangry episodes…!!!
Despite all the craziness during the first trimester we loved the idea of tracking our weekly progress and took “bump” pictures (almost) every week. While your bump isn’t growing quite as fast as your little one is, it’s fun to look back at the changes happening to your body throughout pregnancy. The moment your bump starts sticking out and you are able to see the “before & after” is just such a wonderful feeling!!!!
Your Positive Pregnancy Test: We found out pretty early that we are pregnant… We had just ordered ovulation test strips from Amazon and I was ready to track my cycle every morning. First day. Positive. I thought, that is weird, because I was tracking my cycle with Glow (app on iPhone) and knew scientifically it was impossible for me to ovulate that day.
I thought it was a false positive and went to work. Next day. Positive. I grabbed my phone and started researching “false positive” reasons for the ovulation kit and came up with only two scenarios for the test to be positive: 1) you are ovulating, or 2) you are pregnant. Since I was still convinced that I cannot be ovulating, I used one of the pregnancy strips that come with the kit. The control line turned positive instantly. But nothing else. At least so I thought. But when I was about to toss the strips in the trash can I took another look. A (super!!!) faint line!!! OMG! I stormed into the bedroom to wake up Douglas, who was sound asleep… To then finding ourselves staring at both the positive ovulation test and pregnancy test. “What does this even mean”. Well, “WE ARE PREGNANT!” For a few more minutes, and maybe even hours we were still in disbelief, but when I called my Ob/Gyn it finally hit us. “Congratulations. You guys are pregnant”. This was the best day ever. We were only 5 weeks pregnant according to the Glow App, which has been pretty accurate with calculating my cycle throughout. So from here, the waiting time and patience began…
Your Doctor Visits: Once you find out that you are pregnant (which is more than likely at home) it’s time to call your Ob/Gyn and schedule an appointment. They will typically schedule your first appointment between week 8-12 to confirm your pregnancy. Since we found out in week 5, the next handful of weeks took forever! I started researching and reading online. Bad! Idea! And ended up scaring myself with horror story after horror story. Every hour felt like days. Until we finally had our very first doctor’s appointment in week 7 of our pregnancy. We know how difficult it is to be patient this early on, but try to hang in there. It helped us to pray at least twice a day and to just ask God to watch over us and our little one… He has a plan for all of us.
Urine samples: Be ready for a urine sample at every visit! Luckily, while pregnant you have increased urination, so giving a sample at every visit was no problem for me.
Blood tests: There will also be a couple of blood test to check your healthiness and immunization status (esp. for rubella). Since I had some spotting early on, we actually measured my pregnancy hormone HCG and my hormones to make sure everything was good with our baby. After long days of waiting for the results (which felt like it took forever), we found out that my progesterone levels were very low and I was started on progesterone supplements (orally) for 4 weeks to support our pregnancy. If this happens to you, stay away from “Dr. Google”… I made the mistake and freaked myself out with horror stories online… Luckily Douglas was very supportive during this time and helped me overcome my worries by praying with me, and supporting me in any way possible. You may also be given the option to run a predictive, genetic test to get information about the potential risk for any genetic abnormalities for your baby. We decided early on to do all the medically indicated tests in order to support a healthy pregnancy and our little one. However, we did not want to perform any screening test that would only give us a risk calculation for “what if” scenarios. We put our trust and faith in God and let him guide us through this incredible experience. It is a very personal decision, but everyone has to make the best decision for themselves and their baby.
Ultrasound: Traditionally in the U.S., if everything is good with you and your baby, you will have 1 ultrasound in your first trimester. Since I experienced a lot of spotting and had low progesterone levels (in our early weeks of pregnancy) we had a total of 3 ultrasounds (week 7, week 8, week 8 day 6). The first ultrasound was absolutely magical. All the worries and concerns of “are we really pregnant”, “what if we had a miscarriage”, “is our baby ok” went away immediately upon seeing our little one for the first time. It made us tear up and cry all the happy tears. While your little one does not look like an actual baby… yet, you may be able to hear his/her heartbeat for the first time. And it brought us to tears!!! It was pretty difficult for me to make it through the first trimester with only one planned / scheduled ultrasound, because I was very worried about our little one. I personally wish there were more ultrasounds to track, especially, early pregnancy because some of us need lots of affirmation that our baby is doing well and growing like he/she is supposed to. The good news, you can schedule private ultrasounds! Scroll down to see what we did 🙂
Weight: At every visit you will step on the scale to track your weight gain during pregnancy. Don’t freak out. Some women gain faster / slower than others and the total weight gain is completely dependent on you and your baby. So don’t compare yourself to others. Try to stay healthy but also feed the little one. And listen to your doctor’s advice. Because they know what’s best for you and your baby! I talked to a few friends that were pregnant about the same time as we were and almost all of them lost 5-10 pounds in their first trimester. I added about 10 pounds. I quickly found myself comparing my weight gain to others and had to realize that just everyone’s body is different. If my current season in life requires for my body to rest and fuel for our little one, then I will happily accept that. At the end of the day, this has been the greatest gift we could have ever asked for. And I will gladly sacrifice a few extra kilos/pounds on the hips and baby bump.
Private Ultrasounds and Blood Test: Even though all medically indicated ultrasounds are covered by insurance and will be performed at your Ob/Gyn’s office, we really liked the idea of adding 1-2 private ultrasounds to our pregnancy to see our little one grow. And we used this as an opportunity to FaceTime our parents and have them with us while watching our baby on the ultrasound monitor in real time. Since my parents live in Germany, it was such a special moment to share our pregnancy with them!!!
Stork Vision: Stork Vision has certified specialists and office locations all over Texas (and some other states) to schedule your additional ultrasound visits. The ladies at our location in Frisco were super sweet and so excited for us. And not only did we get some time to watch our baby and take home some ultrasound photos, but we also received a DVD with the entire ultrasound session!!! After figuring out how to read a DVD without any CD/DVD player in our house, we were able to transfer the file and send it to our phones. Thankfully Douglas was able to dig up an old computer that still had one, I guess he really did have a reason to keep that thing in a box. Now we can watch our sweet little and very active baby girl at any time and from any where!!! Overall, we can only swoon about our experience with Stork Vision and cannot wait to be back to spend more real-time moments with our baby.
Sneak Peek Test: We loved the idea of a gender reveal party, however, Douglas and I decided early on that we wanted to share a special and private moment finding out the gender of our baby. Just the two of us. We planned an intimate gender reveal in Scottsdale. Ordered smoke bombs. Hired photographers. And have memories that will last forever!!! If we had to do it all over again, we wouldn’t change a thing! Thanks to Sneak Peek Test, you can now find out your baby’s gender starting in week 8 of your pregnancy. You can go on their website and order a kit to take a tiny blood sample at home, or you can schedule an appointment at a local office that will take the blood sample for you. To be honest, we took two tests. As an MD, I was so confident, I could take my own blood sample at home, which I have done several times in the past. I sent in the sample. And then allowed allowed all these crazy thoughts to get in my head. What if I messed up and contaminated the sample with male DNA from Douglas or even our puppy Vegas? So, I scheduled an appointment with Stork Vision to have another sample drawn there. The test is super simple, quick and 99% accurate (if performed right!). Both of our in-home and Stork Vision tests came back positive for a GIRL!!!
Shopping: While we decided to wait and not buy anything for our baby or the nursery until after our baby shower (with a few exceptions… of course!), we made weekly (sometimes daily) trips to Buy Buy Baby, Pottery Barn Kids, and online shops to see what we will want vs. need for us and our baby. We are still finalizing our baby registry, but it is just so fun to explore all the cute baby stores and take photos of some items we might want to add to our registry. For actual shopping during the first trimester, we mainly focused on my needs. Maternity clothes. As mentioned above, I just was super bloated early on and was not feeling comfortable in my regular clothes. After exploring several stores around the area, we found it was way easier to shop online instead.
Amazon: They have so many beautiful and COMFORTABLE maternity dresses, in just about every color possible. Best of all, they are super affordable AND can be worn after pregnancy. Most of the clothes offered free shipping and returns, so we order a “few” and kept our favorites. So here they are, maternity clothes that will change your pregnancy-life forever:
Motherhood: Motherhood was really the only physical store that we found. They are a little pricier than Amazon, but their basic t-shirts for the first trimester (and more than likely entire pregnancy) have worked perfect for me. The in-store shopping was by the way the greatest experience ever. The personnel was always super nice and helpful. AND they have a little baby bump in their fitting rooms that you can wrap around your waist to try on their maternity clothes. It was so fun to see early on, picturing what our baby and my bump will grow to during our pregnancy. We mainly focused on regular shirts that I could wear with pants or leggings and cardigans. Their shirts are super soft, comfy and long enough. I am tall and have a super long torso and usually struggle with finding shirts at the right length… Here are our favorites:
Lululemon: For years I have shopped for very cheap leggings and never thought there would be a real difference… But walking into Lululemon a couple years ago changed my life. Even though their clothes are a little more pricey, they are SO WORTH it!!! I would much rather have one really great pair of leggings vs 10 not so good ones. So, over the past few years I have collected a handful of leggings that are super stretchy and comfy, high-rise and long enough for me (I am 182cm | 5`11). But being pregnant, bloaty and then growing a baby bump made me feel even uncomfortable in my regular Lululemon Leggings. Luckily Douglas loves to research online and found THE MUST HAVE leggings for every pregnant woman! (I am not kidding!!!!) The Align HR (High Rise) Leggings will change your life. They are extra soft and comfortable. I am literally wearing them day and night and I think it’s time to get at least one more pair… I know they are super pricey, but I promise they will change your life. I did not believe it until we went the store and I tried them on and compared them to my other Lulus. I was convinced within seconds. And the best part? You can continue to wear these after your pregnancy as well!!! In summary, these leggings are an investment but they will last and make you feel just so comfy and cozy throughout (and beyond!) pregnancy!!!
H&M: While desperately trying to find comfortable maternity pants that don’t make me feel like I was smushed into uncomfy jeans or that were way too short for my long legs, we finally found comfy everyday jeans!!! Even though I prefer to wear dresses and skirts, I wanted to have 1-2 pair of pants for our pregnancy that I can wear out, especially in the winter time. So we got a black pair and dark blue pair of jeans from H&M that I started wearing even in my first trimester because my regular jeans were pushing against my bloat bump. These are really great and affordable!!!