As I sit here writing this, at week 18,
I still can’t believe I’m pregnant, let alone inching closer to the halfway mark. A lot has changed since the early morning in October when the pregnancy test on my bathroom counter flicked to display the word “YES+”. Pregnancy hasn’t been anything close to what I had expected but it’s been an incredible journey so far, and I’m so grateful to be on it.
After the euphoric high of finding out I was pregnant, I had a rather rough first trimester. I didn’t leave my house between weeks 5 and 10/11 but I’m now finally reaching the “honeymoon phase” of pregnancy and starting to feel like myself again. Finding out the gender at 10 weeks and doing a reveal at Christmas with my family was so joyful - it’s a memory that we will always cherish. We are thrilled to be expecting our little guy this June - I can’t believe it’s only a few months away. Just this past week I started feeling his first little kicks and my belly seems to be making a debut. While time felt slow as molasses in the beginning it now feels like it’s whizzing by!
I swore I wouldn’t become a woman who only thinks/talks/focuses on her pregnancy but given the fact that it’s all-consuming its a bit hard not to! In my first trimester I felt alone and frustrated not being able to tell anyone, but after announcing the news I’ve had a lot of lovely women reach out to me who are either pregnant or trying and I’ve loved to see that there’s such a large network of support out there.
I’m deep in the realm of vitamins, pregnancy pillows, and maternity pants these days and I thought I’d share some of my best finds below. I’ve found it surprisingly difficult to find things that fit my style or standards in all of these categories but that’s probably because there’s a LOT out there.
Vitamins and Prenatal Health
I took the process of conceiving very seriously. Two months before we started trying I completely cut out alcohol, mercury-laden fish, and coffee. I also got into a good sleep pattern and started a prenatal vitamin. While this may be considered overkill for some, it worked well for me. I got pregnant right away and cutting out alcohol, etc ahead of time gave me one less thing to worry about in the first couple of weeks (even though I did have raw salmon the night before I found out, oops!).
As soon as I found out I was pregnant, my doctor recommended adding in a prenatal DHA supplement - there have been many studies around how much this helps baby’s brain develop. I also read a lot about the benefits of probiotics in pregnancy (keeping you regular as well as helping to develop baby’s gut) so I got the OK to add those in as well. Many prenatal vitamins are shockingly and disappointingly loaded with artificial ingredients and other crap (looking at you One-A-Day brand…Red#40 in a prenatal vitamin!?) so I found an all-natural food-based vitamin that was OK with my doctor as well.
Sleep and comfort
Although I’m only 18 weeks along, I am already starting to feel the effects of the “loosening of ligaments and joints” during pregnancy. I found that sleeping with my knees separated was helping but also not totally getting rid of my hip pain. After a lot of research I found out that you have to separate your ankles as well if you’re going to sleep with a pillow between your knees for maximum alignment and support. I found this incredible pillow on Amazon and it’s saved my sleeping. It smells terrible when it arrives but throwing it in the dryer or airing it out works wonders. It’s also certified non-toxic which is critical since it’s near the womb!
The first thing to go in pregnancy is the waistline (obviously) and very early on I felt that wearing my usual high waisted Levi’s was sheer torture. Even in my first trimester the bloating alone necessitated different pants and wearing more dresses. Switching over to maternity pants honestly helped me breathe again and feel incredibly comfortable and there’s no shame in that!
My favorite find for the transitional period (jeans are not longer comfortable but don’t have a huge bump yet) are these silk joggers from Theory. They aren’t maternity so it feels like money well spent and they will definitely accommodate a growing bump. They are really chic in person and great dressed up or down.
A very generous girlfriend of mine with great taste took me into her closet and passed a huge pile of maternity jeans to me insisting that she had no further use for them. I realize this is a dream scenario because maternity pants are really expensive and it’s hard to find good styles. These are the ones I have been wearing nonstop. I kind of wish all denim had elastic in the waist like this - it seems way more civilized, especially around meal time.
I’ve always been secretly excited to shop maternity wear. I think that pregnancy is something beautiful and worth celebrating and I love seeing women put effort in to dressing the bump. That said, it’s hard to find good maternity clothes that feel both comfortable and not frumpy and I’ve spent more time than I care to admit searching the internet for such things. Stay tuned for another post on my other favorite maternity finds for the ever-growing bump.
Would love to hear any other tips and tricks that worked for you in early pregnancy in the comments below!