First Trimester Lessons

I’m what some may consider a busy bee. I like to have projects, work full-time, and try to do it all. One of the hardest parts of being pregnant for me was during our 6th week when I was told to slow down.

I was having some cramping and light spotting (which of course made me completely panic) so I called the doctor office and we had our first appointment. The ultra sound showed a small subchorionic hemorrhage* (sounds terrifying, most of the time it’s not) that was causing a disturbance, but wasn’t too threatening. “Restricted Activity!” the doctor proclaimed. After a few weeks, I began to hate those two words.

During our 8 week check up, we were given the same guidelines for “Restricted Activity”: relax, keep your feet up, no exercise or elevated heart rate, no sex (specifically no orgasms allowed and no pelvic activity), drink lots of water, take it easy. Sure, no problem.

It’s scary to have any type of risk with pregnancy, especially early on when the chances of miscarriage are higher. I took the doctor’s guidelines very seriously on day one and before I knew it, I was a pampered princess with my feet up, dogs sleeping at my side, and a fresh glass of water. This quickly faded when reality settled in on Monday morning. I had way to much to do to just sit around drinking water and taking it easy… I was finishing my holistic health coaching program, working full-time, and now planning a healthy pregnancy. Exercise was in my plan! I needed it to relieve some anxiety (see more here) and feel better overall. Nope, now was not the time.

Pregnancy can be unpredictable. As much as I had planned the perfect exercise, diet, stress-relief goals for my 40 weeks, life had a different plan. I was forced to stop, breathe, and accept that there are things in life we cannot control. It was no longer my job to be a busy bee, multi-tasking and staying ahead in life, it was now my job to care of the little one who needed me most. And right now, baby needed relaxation and pampering.

So I told my boss (who also happens to be a great family friend) and was able to work from home for a bit.  My sweet AK was willing to provide endless water refills and take the dogs out more than his share of the time. It wasn’t easy for me to give up control, but once I did, I was able to reconnect with myself and baby in a much deeper way. I think my first trimester will always feel like it was the longest, mostly because I was bored, so bored. But in many ways, I’m grateful for that time of peace.

I was able to reconnect with the sweet little girl growing inside me and found that as my daily activity slowed, so did the negative symptoms I was experiencing. It gave me the time I needed to wrap my head around what was going on in my life and I even started the early stages of nesting – throwing away everything!

I’d highly recommend taking time to slow down during the first trimester. Pregnancy goes so fast and it’s amazing what you forget as the weeks go on.

**UPDATE** My subchorionic hemorrhage cleared itself up by Week 12. It was the biggest relief to hear “all clear” from the sonographer. I think should could tell I was holding my breath in anticipation.

*In case you were curious, a subchorionic hemorrhage is also known as a subchorionic hematoma or bleed. Basically, it’s a small build up of blood between the fetal membrane or between the uterus and the placenta and is fairly common in early pregnancy. They usually clear up on their own, but some have been known to cause miscarriage. More information can be found here (via Medscape).