First Trimester Recap + Pregnancy Q&A

Dress (wearing medium)

I’m 17 weeks along this week (photo was taken at 16 weeks). I can hardly believe the first trimester is well behind me. Maybe it’s because we’ve mostly been at home as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, but it really did fly by! I wanted to share a first trimester recap plus answer a few of your questions you submitted via Instagram!

Before jumping in, I wanted to say that if you’re trying to conceive, I’m thinking of you. I have so many close friends and family who are on this journey right now, and I’m constantly praying for good news and answered prayers. Before Michael and I started down this path, I didn’t know what our journey would look like. I’m very thankful that so far, it has not been a difficult one, but I know that’s not the case for everyone.

First Trimester Recap

A recap of my first trimester!

How We Found Out

As I mentioned in this post, I found out I was pregnant on June 13, 2020. I was a day late but didn’t think too much of it because it wasn’t really out of the norm. But I was tracking my ovulation so I had a pretty good idea of when I should start my period. June 13th was a Saturday. We woke up early to head out to the golf course. I stumbled into the bathroom straight from bed and took a pregnancy test since I was late (and the instructions on the tests always recommend taking the tests first thing in the morning). Much to my surprise, I saw two lines! I was using cheap little paper strips to test – I had used them for a few months prior too, so I knew what the single line looked like. I quietly went about the morning and decided I’d hold onto the news until I was able to confirm two lines again (and again, again, again, again, and again).

The funny (and obvious) thing is, you have to wait until you have to go to the bathroom again to be able to take another test! I took one more before we left for the golf course, and again, two lines. I stashed a test in my bag for the next time I had to go. Ha I sneakily took another test at the golf course once we finished out the front 9 holes. Two lines again … While still golfing, I was trying to think of how to tell Michael. He loves golf. So I went online to Target and purchased a really cute mini set of golf clubs (a toy set) to surprise him with later in the evening. When we got home, I took two fancier pregnancy tests, including one that actually says Pregnant or Not Pregnant. Both showed pregnant!

If you were following along on Instagram Stories throughout the spring/early summer months of quarantine, you likely know that we made a tradition of whipping up cocktails and grilling out on our deck every Saturday. This Saturday was no different. I took the initiative and made myself a Moscow mule sans vodka. Michael didn’t even notice. Once we were outside, I told Michael I wanted to film a TikTok video – this wasn’t weird at the time since we also did this frequently during those months of quarantine. So I set up my phone with the video recording and went to get the set of golf clubs. I managed to capture Michael’s reaction on video, which was so fun (and funny). I’m working on a full first trimester recap video, which I’ll hopefully have up sometime in the next couple of weeks!

We were both so excited and in a bit of shock!

How We Told Our Families

I touched on this a bit in my announcement post, but we kept the secret between the two of us for an entire month. I wanted to wait until after my first doctor’s appointment to make sure everything was ok before sharing the news. It’s a weird thing, I of course called my doctor the Monday morning after finding out to schedule my appointment. Little did I know that my doctor doesn’t see patients to confirm pregnancies until 8ish weeks. I was around 5 weeks when I found out. So I felt kind of on my own for a few weeks. After my first appointment, which included hearing the baby’s heartbeat and an ultrasound, I felt so relieved and more excited. And excited to share the news with our families! As a side note, because of Covid, Michael hasn’t been able to come to any of the appointments so far, so I videoed the heartbeat and ultrasound experience to share with him. 🙂

My family lives in Shreveport and Michael’s lives in Baton Rouge. So we planned back to back weekends to visit them. We’re big wine drinkers so I ordered these custom wine labels to put on bottles of wine to surprise our families! We were able to catch their reactions on video too, which are pretty funny. Working on incorporating those in the first trimester video! Stay tuned. This babe will be the first grandchild on both sides, so needless to say our parents and sisters are very excited!

How I’ve Been Feeling

I’m beyond thankful and grateful to have had a pretty tame first trimester. For the first week after I found out, not much changed at all. Around 7 weeks I gave up coffee for good (it hasn’t sounded appealing at all), and the tiredness, loss of appetite, and extreme sensitivity to smells set in. But with that said, I never had bouts of morning (or all day) sickness.

I’ve never been a nap person, but I was taking one nap every day during most of my first trimester. Usually around 5PM. Michael took on the cooking duties for the first three months as any smell really sent me over the edge. I ate a lot of Cheerios and Kelloggs Special K cereal.

But almost like clockwork, right around the second trimester mark (between 14-15 weeks), I started feeling more like myself again. My appetite was back, and I’ve been far less tired lately.

I’m also thankful that throughout my entire pregnancy so far I’ve been able to maintain my daily workouts. I certainly modified them a bit – no burpees and no more laying on my back – but it’s been nice to be able to keep that in my routine. And thanks to quarantine, I was already in the habit of getting in one or two long walks every week so I’ve been keeping that up as well!

Overall, no complaints on how I’ve been feeling as I know it could have been much worse.

Pregnancy Q&A

How did you know it was time to have a baby?

Michael and I have been together since 2012. We got married in January 2019. We always knew we wanted to have a family and had been talking about it on and off for a while. I’m 35 (Michael’s 33), and to be honest, my age was a big factor in us deciding that we wanted to jump in and start trying to grow our family. With my age, I didn’t know how long it would take us to get pregnant or what the journey might look like. And if we wanted multiple children, which I think we do, the time clock was sort of ticking. Towards the end of 2019, we decided we were ready to take the leap. We waited a few months to totally jump in as we had our one-year anniversary trip to the Bahamas planned for January 2020.

All this to say that I didn’t really “know” – the timing of it all just seemed to push us in that direction, and it’s a conversation we had been having up to that point.

How long did it take you to get pregnant?

I feel very blessed that it didn’t take us long to get pregnant. Like I mentioned, I’m 35, and had been on birth control for a very long time so I really didn’t know what to expect for our TTC journey. I wanted to wait until after our first wedding anniversary trip to the Bahamas in January 2020 so that I could enjoy the trip. Once we got back, we decided that I’d stop taking my birth control pills in February. I had been on the medication for a solid 15 years at that point, so I didn’t really know how my body would react.

Michael and I have been together since 2012, so I knew if we were going to start trying, I didn’t want to “see how it goes.” I wanted to be intentional from the start. I purchased these ovulation strips, which come with an app you can use on your phone to track the tests and to chart your period and ovulation. I immediately started tracking my cycle. This was something I’d never done before, so it was really eye opening and a great way to familiarize myself with how my body works. I wasn’t a psycho about it, I just kept track of the tests and noted the “peak” days in the app.

We got pregnant in May and found out in June!

If you’re just starting out on your trying to conceive journey, I highly recommend trying out the ovulation strips. Maybe this sounds naive, but before diving into the process, I didn’t realize how perfectly timed everything has to be for conception to happen, especially at an older age. There’s a lot that has to go right! And for me, I like hard evidence. The ovulation strips provided me with exact readings of when I was about to ovulate and when I was ovulating, which is key to timing. It took me a few months to really get the hand of taking the tests and reading them and mapping out my cycle, but the kit makes it really easy to do so.

Will you find out the gender?

We actually already know! I’ll be sharing here soon! Since I’m 35 and considered “advanced maternal age” (insert eye roll emoji), my doctor ordered the genetic bloodwork test for me to take at my 12 week appointment (NIPT). If you’re under age 35, you can still opt to take this test, however, insurance generally doesn’t cover it until you hit 35 (obviously there are exceptions).

With this test, you’re able to find out the gender! I’m too much of a planner to not find out. Finding out the gender has made it feel more real for us too. Excited to share with you soon!

Did you change your workouts?

Thankfully, I’ve been able to pretty much stick to my usual workout routine. Because of Covid, I was already doing at-home workouts daily. In the beginning, Michael and I were doing Orangetheory workouts. I modified the moves – cut out burpees and any heavy jumping. We eventually switched to using the Peloton app for workouts – I now avoid any moves on my back, but that’s about it. I also cut out running during the first few weeks, but I’m back to short runs in our neighborhood now.

Any food aversions?

In the first trimester, smells were triggering. Anything that had a smell to it, I was out. I ate a lot of cereal during the first few months. One specific aversion I’ve had since almost the very beginning is coffee. I LOVE coffee. But around the 6-week mark it didn’t sound appealing at all. I haven’t had coffee in 3+ months.

Any food cravings?

Not specific cravings, but I’ve been LOVING all the things I loved as a child. Things I haven’t had in 10-20 years … Keebler Fudge Stripe cookies, Pringles, Melba Toast with Laughing Cow Cheese, Doritos … mainly food I would never buy to keep at our house, but these days all bets are off!

Are you using any apps to track your pregnancy?

I’ve kept the PreMom app – the one that is linked to the ovulation kit I used. You can change the setting to “pregnant” and it updates bi-weekly to let you know what stage you’re in. With that said, I prefer the Ovia app! It’s super detailed and gives you daily and weekly updates on the size of your baby, developmental milestones of baby, and lists out symptoms you as the mom might be experiencing. I really like it!

Any good pregnancy accounts or blogs you’ve found?

I mostly have just relied on stalking my favorite bloggers’ (some are IRL friends too) old posts regarding pregnancy. I’ve really enjoyed going back and reading Blair and Kendall’s posts!

How on earth are you still wearing regular jeans?

I’ll end wit this lighthearted one. 😉 And one submitted by one of my college best friends (hey Sarah!). I really just started showing at 16/17 weeks. So far, my general style has lent itself to being pretty pregnancy friendly. My jeans still fit, my loose dresses are still great, and most of my tops are oversized so they’re still good too! I’m hoping to be able to wear most of my regular clothes for a while. I’ll likely invest in a pair or two of maternity jeans since I tend to live in jeans during the fall and winter months, but I haven’t crossed that bridge just yet.

Thank you so much for all of the questions! And for all of the support. I’m so excited to share this chapter with you!

Leave a Comment

6 Comments

  1. Anne Marovich wrote:

    Super happy for you!! Love reading about it! Stay healthy and just enjoy…… you know – it all just goes too fast. (:

    Posted 9.16.20 Reply
    • Ashlee wrote:

      Thanks so much, Anne! Trying to enjoy every moment and this time!

      Posted 9.16.20 Reply
  2. Aw Ashlee! I am so happy for you!! Following you for the last 4 years I feel apart of your family (in a way) and this is so exciting. I can’t wait to read about the rest of your journey and see the video! For sure will be sticking around for these motherhood posts. Thank you for sharing!

    Posted 9.16.20 Reply
    • Ashlee wrote:

      Thanks so much for the sweet message, Michelle! I feel like y’all are all part of our family too! 🙂
      Can’t wait to share more! Hope you’re doing well!

      Posted 9.16.20 Reply