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Making it through the first trimester – The not-so-great, the bad & the downright ugly

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TRIMESTERBANNER

When you fall pregnant for the first time, it’s natural to wonder just what your body has in store for you over the next nine months. Here, Erin Wait from Unearthed Vitality shares her experiences from her first trimester and her advice on how to handle those tricky first three months. 

I’ve just experienced the 1st trimester of my first pregnancy and it was awful! In the blink of an eye I went from a super-fit, strong and healthy young woman to a very unwell, lazy, sick and unmotivated blob!

Two weeks past conception – early symptoms

I remember my very first symptoms clearly (from 2 weeks past conception).

  1. Extremely fatigued- not even three coffees would make a difference.
  2. My heart rate was super high when I was exercising. I was doing a 800m run at cross-fit and could barley run up the hill which I can normally do! I also had deep pain in my stomach and when I returned my face was on FIRE. I did not feel normal.
  3. Of course, a missed period

First 6 weeks of pregnancy

For the first 6 weeks of pregnancy (keep in mind the ‘first day’ of pregnancy is calculated as the first day of your last period) I was great! I had to modify my workouts at cross-fit slightly as to not raise my heart rate too high and I was eating really healthy as normal.

Week seven and beyond – morning sickness hits!

Then, after I hit 6 weeks, everything started to go downhill. Workouts were becoming extremely difficult and the nausea kicked in. My morning sickness was 24/7 and would often wake me up at 4am. I threw up on several occasions, resulting in me having to cancel some clients. Being so seriously nauseous, I sometimes wished I DID throw up more so I could get some relief (crazy, right?).

I also couldn’t eat what I normally could- it felt like I was having the worst hangover of my life, yet it lasted for nearly 7 weeks. For 7 weeks I ate plain crackers, vegemite toast, cheese on crackers, rice cakes and fruit, …so much fruit! I use to think, ‘How do women eat so poorly during pregnancy?’ Now, I completely understand. The nausea was so bad even thinking about a salad made my stomach churn.

Being so unwell made me very anxious. I’d wake up in the middle of the night wondering how I was going to get through the next day. But in the 7 weeks I took one day off! I begged Dan (my husband and business partner) to take my sessions for one day so I could just get some bed rest and he of course happily accepted. However, if we didn’t run our own business I can guarantee I would have at least taken up to two weeks off! If I knew that I was going to be so sick we would have made sure we had staff on board to help out. Now that my nausea is over it’s easy to forget about it, but it really did effect me- not only physically, but mentally.

Coping with the first trimester and beyond

Another obstacle has been my self-esteem. I’m a personal trainer who runs their own business, I’m meant to be super-fit, healthy and a walking example to my clients. I felt like a fraud. I was eating poorly, and hadn’t exercised in two months whilst preaching good health and exercise. This was a MAJOR adjustment for me. I’ve lost a lot of strength, muscle tone and have put on body fat. In the blink of an eye, I’ve gone from very active, training most days eating very nutrient-dense meals ever meal to the complete opposite. I’m slowly realising my body can only handle yoga, swimming, and walking. I’ve only trained twice in the last two months  (with major modifications) and it left me stuffed for three days!

This is what I’ve learnt:

  • Accept that your body is going through DRAMATIC changes as it’s creating new life
  • Accept that you can’t do what you could do before
  • Don’t beat yourself up for it!
  • Keep reminding yourself that your PREGNANT
  • Be grateful that you have conceived
  • If your body is craving vegemite toast, eat it
  • Only exercise when your ready

What was your biggest challenge in the first trimester?

More on pregnancy and fitness:

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