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PREGNANCY: First Trimester Q&A

Christina Tarabishy Pregnancy Q&A

Now that I’m well into my second trimester (due in April 2022), I thought I would round up a First Trimester Q&A!  Here are some of your most frequently asked questions!

When are you due?

April 24, 2022

What was your TTC (trying-to-conceive) journey?

This is probably the most asked question, but to be honest, I’m kindly not ready (nor do I know if I’ll ever be ready) to completely open up and share the details of the last 2+ years.  It was a longer journey than I would have ever thought (with a world-wide pandemic smack in the middle) and included some stressful early pregnancy complications that I’m still trying not to let traumatize me for the remainder (trying to stay zen over here).  I’m not trying to hide anything nor do I feel ashamed of our journey — I’m just concerned with privacy and having all the details on the internet forever.  I appreciate you all understanding and being so respectful when asking… as we all know, the internet and social media has turned into a pretty spicy place so my DM’s have felt like more of a safe space to chat and connect with a lot of you!

How did you find out the gender?

The two of us found out at 13 weeks (I opted for the NIPT blood test at week 12), so when the results came in and were just sitting in the portal, we were SO tempted to look.  We played around with the idea of a family/close-friends gender reveal at our house, but the timing to get everyone together just wasn’t working out, and I knew I couldn’t wait!  I had my OB office put the gender in an envelope in case we decided to do a bigger reveal, and after about a week, we just decided to open it ourselves and try to surprise family and friends as we saw them!  We surprised my parents the following weekend by putting both the cats in matching blue cableknit sweaters and walking out with them (and a big blue balloons), we surprised a few of my girlfriends with cupcakes filled with blue frosting at a dinner, and we launched confetti and lit up our Christmas Tree blue when Raja’s family was here for Thanksgiving!

What did you originally think? Boy or girl?

I cannot explain it, but I KNEW it would be a boy from the second I found out I was pregnant.  I’m 99% wrong with my friend’s gender reveals but I was so certain with my own.  Raja originally thought girl for the first few weeks but quickly changed his mind.  Just about everyone else though (with the exception of a few people) thought we were having a girl!  I would have been JUST as happy either way (cliché response of course), but it was so exciting to actually be right! 😉

How was the first trimester? Any early pregnancy symptoms?

The fatigue and nausea during the first trimester hit me like a ton of bricks.  Nausea started pretty early on (maybe by week 5) and would happen first thing in the morning.  It would wake me up from sleeping at around 4 or 5am — it was the feeling of intense hunger pains so strong that I would start to get nauseous.  I started snacking on a few crackers in the bathroom in those early morning hours and it would typically go away.  I was also never a breakfast person and that changed early on… I NEEDED to eat a meal first thing in the morning.  At around week 7/8, the morning nausea went away and I truly thought I was in the clear.  I remember thinking… “Okay, that wasn’t THAT bad.”  And, then… it started happening at around 4 or 5PM even stronger and would last through dinner.  The nausea was SO weird… it almost felt like motion sickness, like I had “the spins” from drinking too much or was rocking on a boat.  I would almost immediately need to lay down and ride it out on the couch each day.  I never once threw up though so I feel so grateful, shoutout to all you TROOPERS who had to deal with that type of sickness.  I also kept a great appetite through the entire first trimester which I think was a huge reason I never got sick.

The fatigue was on another level.  It felt like jet lag, where you never know the time and are just in a fog.  No matter how much sleep I would get the night before, I would wake up exhausted.  I’m typically not the best sleeper (and can rarely nap in the middle of the day) and would find myself daydreaming of taking a nap.  I would usually try to power through as much of the day as possible but would usually always pass out on the couch by 4/5pm and would literally have to drag myself up to keep from sleeping more.  It was so wild.

Both symptoms gradually started going away (or getting better) week 13/14 and both completely went away by week 16.  So, it didn’t technically end like clockwork after my first trimester like I would always hear, it was a few weeks into my second!

Any food aversions or cravings?!

I felt so lucky to not have ANY food or smell aversions.  Literally, BLESSED.  My appetite has been solid this entire time.  I did find myself (and still do) craving carbs more than normal.  Bagels with cream cheese and chicken cutlet sandwiches (both always a favorite) are so insanely appealing to me that I could eat one of each every single day. 🙂  I don’t of course, but I freaking could.  I also have been craving fruits and citrus more than usual… oranges and strawberries in particular!

When did you start showing?

I noticed a bump starting around 8 weeks but it wasn’t until around 12 weeks where it became hard to wear jeans/tighter fitting clothing without it showing!  Luckily, it was fall by that point, so leggings and large sweaters hid it for another few weeks.  By week 15/16, I kept getting messages during my try-ons with baby emojis so I decided to announce week 17.

Did you read any pregnancy books?

I started and finished Expecting Better during the first trimester and highly recommend.  There are SO MANY rules and restrictions when it comes to pregnancy, it honestly made my head spin.  Sure, we know we can’t have lunch meat or raw sushi… but WHY not?  This book goes into every rule and restriction and breaks down the WHY with data that supports it so you can understand why that recommendation was put in place (some are now outdated).  For me, it was exactly what I needed to put some of my anxieties at ease.  The kind of things I learned?  Lunch meat and bagged salad can actually pose the same threat.  Listeria… which you’re more susceptible to while pregnant because your immune system is much lower.  So, it’s not just avoiding lunchmeat because they say so.  It’s just as important to make sure your fruits and veggies are washed completely and it’s best to avoid the entire deli counter because it contains foods that have been sitting out (unless heated of course).  While I’m admittedly still conservative about a lot of things (a mix of my personality and the fact that its my first pregnancy), it made me feel so much better and in control of my pregnancy and decisions I need to make every single day.

I’m also reading The Mayo Clinic: Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy a chunk at a time as it goes into specifics for different weeks of pregnancy!  I love learning about what’s happening in there and developing week after week!

What products did you stop using when you found out?

After confirming with doctors, I immediately discontinued taking the liquid collagen I was taking daily, the CBD I was taking at night, and any retinol skincare products.  For the liquid collagen, I personally don’t think anything about it is unsafe, but just isn’t enough evidence right now to support taking it daily and I don’t want to chance anything.  My hair, nails, eyelashes and skin have all suffered and I can’t wait to resume once this baby is born 😉 My $10 off code is still valid for you all, though! Enter code: 4394715 for $10 off your first order!

What is your current skincare routine?

This deserves its own blog post but will post my AM and PM skincare routine + some products I work in the mix when needed!

Morning Skincare Routine

Nighttime Skincare Routine

Any must-have items that saved you during the First Trimester?

Essential Oils.  I love using natural remedies whenever possible and these 4 essential oils were lifesavers!  I would add a drop of Peppermint to my cold water and sip throughout the day (peppermint is great for nausea) or add to hot water at night before bed.  I also loved the blends AromaEase and DiGize — both helped with nausea by applying directly onto my stomach.  I would also sniff the bottle of AromaEase (it’s a blend of peppermint, spearmint, ginger, cardamom and fennel) and it would instantly help me calm down and avoid the “puke panic” I was always fighting.  I also rub the blend Peace & Calming on my wrists at bedtime and it helps soothe me to sleep, so I continued to do that early in pregnancy to help get me back to bed in the mornings after waking up!

Protein Powders.  As I mentioned, the hunger was on another level.  I felt like I needed to have a full stomach all the time to avoid terrible nausea and the spins.  It was fine at first… a handful of almonds, celery and peanut butter, carrots and hummus, string cheese, Greek yogurt, apple and almond butter were all my go-to snacks I made sure to have on hand when the hunger would hit (and it would come on fast).  But after weeks and weeks, I was SO SICK of eating.  I know it sounds weird, but having to always have a full stomach and revolving my day around snack-time was getting so annoying.  I grabbed some of these protein powders to try to make a drinkable snack and it was a LIFE SAVER.  Getting the nutrients I needed and some calories while also hydrating made me feel so much better (and kept me fuller) so I tried to replace a snack with a protein powder/almond milk shake.  I love both of these because they’re some of the only powders that don’t give me an awful stomach ache!  I also have a $10 off code (enter code 4394715) if you want to try!

Belly Oil.  I’ve heard stretch marks are genetics and belly oils don’t really do much to prevent or fix, but I was determined to keep my skin as hydrated as possible, especially since a majority of my pregnancy would be during the cold CT winters.  I noticed my skin starting to stretch as early as week 8 (I started getting really really itchy), so I immediately ordered this belly oil and was using it a couple of days later.  The bottle is huge so you can really be generous with application and I apply all over my full belly, chest, hips and butt.  I love the very subtle scent and the fact that it absorbs into your skin within seconds, so you can get dressed right after applying without feeling greasy!

Any changes to your workouts during the First Trimester?

I kept up with Club Pilates during the first trimester (definitely gave myself some grace on days I wasn’t feeling up for it) and only lightly had to modify the workouts — I told my instructor right away when I found out I was pregnant so she was aware and would silently adjust me to make sure what I was doing was safe.  On days I wasn’t feeling up for a full workout, I went downstairs to my treadmill and did a light walk or tried to get outside for a few loops around the neighborhood.  I’m not going to lie, there were days I had absolutely ZERO energy so I decided to skip working out entirely and wouldn’t let myself feel even a little bit bad about it!  You can read about my pre-pregnancy workout routine HERE.

Any advice for those TTC or thinking about trying soon?

It’s a different journey for everybody so try to remember that and try as hard as you can not to compare.  I have friends that have struggled getting pregnant for years and some that got pregnant on the first try, but I won’t be one of those people who just tells you to “relax” and say “it will happen” because frankly, that was the most annoying thing anyone could say to me.  My honest advice is to be in tune with yourself and your body as much as possible and read It Starts With The Egg.  Knowledge can be power and save a lot of stress, especially if you are trying to get pregnant quickly.  Ovulation tests or BBT (tracking your temps) each morning even before you start officially “trying” can help you get in touch with your cycle.  I’d also recommend taking a look at anything you consume regularly (especially as far as medication goes) and see if anything for both partners conflicts with fertility so you can discontinue use if needed.  And lastly, don’t be afraid to talk to the doctors earlier than the recommendation for timing if you’re not pregnant and are starting to get stressed.  They say “contact your doctor if it’s been a year if you’re under 35 and 6 months if you’re over 35) and let me tell you, that’s a LONG YEAR to wait with zero answers.  I would love to see OB’s and insurance push for fertility workup panels ahead of time so you know your baseline prior to that frustrating year long wait.  It’s definitely something that can be done earlier (it’s just that insurance might not cover it).  There’s also those $100+ tests like Modern Fertility that can be done at home that can help give some initial clarification and answers so you can go to your doctor with information.  I personally wish we did that since we purposefully decided to wait until we were in our thirties to start trying.  Having information ahead of time might have given us some different options and different timing.


That’s all for now!  Let me know if you have any other questions for my first trimester!  I’ll be back soon with a Second Trimester Q&A as I head into my 3rd!  Time is flying!

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