The First Awful Trimester – a really long (mostly running) recap

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May 27, 2014 by Amy B

This was going to be my HEY WORLD! I’M PREGNANT post! And I spent a lot of time on it, and it turned out to be really boring.

But since I did say I would write about exercise while pregnant, mainly running (finger crossed), I decided to post this anyway in the running section.

If you can make it through the following post, you deserve a cookie, which is fitting since I exclusively lived on carbs for most of the first trimester. Warning: there are photos of my abdomen to follow. I’ve lightened up a lot with age, it seems.

Week 5

When I found out I was pregnant, I was getting ready to go play goalie for a women’s hockey tournament. This was on Saturday, March 22. This baby might not run a marathon, but he/she did get a few hours between the pipes in utero.

Psychologically I was kind of a wreck, but physically, I felt fairly normal that week. Workouts that week:

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 10.02.06 AM

Toward the end of week 5 I started to get really tired and slightly nauseous. And then…

Week 6, or when the “morning sickness” arrived

Also: it’s so fucking cute that they call it “morning” sickness. By “morning” they must really mean “all fucking day long.” I’m sure a man came up with that phrase.

The day before I flew out to Seattle for An Event Apart – a conference I’ve only been waiting to attend for most of my adult professional life – I started to feel totally crummy. I couldn’t remember feeling this awful this soon with any of my other pregnancies. On the way to the airport at 4:45am on Sunday, I cried. I had no idea how I was going to survive six hours of flying and an entire morning of running through airports.


If there was a bright spot of that day of flying, it was eating every carb in the O’Hare airport, including a giant bagel, a chocolate filled croissant, and a soft pretzel with nacho cheese. But the dark spots were oh, so dark. I practically kissed the pilot the moment the plane landed.

Spending a week in an awesome city at an awesome conference with my industry heroes while pregnant was a challenge. Fortunately, I was still on EST and when I woke up everyday before 6:00am, I managed to get into my running clothes and run three times along the Seattle waterfront. I think that helped me get through the mornings.


How cute. Back when I could actually wear my Oiselle stuff.

Also, thankfully the folks at An Event Apart really know how to cater to pregnant women (or maybe just people who want to snack all day long). There was always a spread of snacks (of the carb-loving variety) and in order to keep the nausea at bay, I was constantly eating. Fortunately, I did a fair share of walking most days, so I could still zip my pants when I left later that week for home.

Workouts that week:

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 10.03.42 AM

I didn’t pay much attention to pace this week but the runs were slow – 10:30/mile-11:00+ – but I chalked it up to them just being sightseeing runs.

The fitbit kept a nice log of how much I walked (I didn’t wear it when I ran). (That fitbit data will drop off fairly quickly, because I lost it. Again.)

Week 7

I wish I could remember what went on this week. Oh yeah. I felt like complete shit.

I still hadn’t been to see the doctor. My office doesn’t really want to see you before you’re ten weeks, so I scheduled an appointment at the end of April and the proceeded to worry that not only was I going to have a baby, but what if there were multiples in there? This is how I justified the sudden weight gain.

Workouts that week:

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 10.04.59 AM

That six-miler felt pretty great, even though it was really slow (11:08/mile avg). The other runs were slow, too. It was a real struggle to keep the pace under 11:00, which got immediately frustrating for someone who had been clocking times that were much faster not long ago. In fact, it’s hard for me to remember the last time when a pace this slow was this tough. I know that fatigue and pukeyness played a role. Also, I’d packed on a few pounds already and OMG, all the bloating. Getting dressed this week was a massive ego hit.


Week 8

Workouts that week: Oh yeah. This wasn’t a really great week. But wait until Week 9 – it gets worse!

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 10.13.19 AM

At this point I thought that I must be at the apex of feeling shittyness. I’m not sure how I made it out for three runs that week. This happened to be Easter week. The first two runs were completely horrible; I couldn’t keep the pace under 11:00/mi. Then on Easter I decided to turn off the pace function on the Garmin display and just run by time/heart rate/cadence. Things started to look up. My last run on Easter:

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 10.15.59 AM

I so needed this.

But don’t get me wrong: this was so damn difficult. Since this run I’ve found that it takes me at least 3/4 of a mile to get “warmed up,” and that warm-up is painful.

I felt fairly lousy over the Easter weekend but it was nice to see some family. At this point, a few of my family and friends were in the know, but I wanted to keep it largely a secret until after the first trimester was over, though I’m sure most were thinking, wow, Amy’s really let herself go.

Week 9

Workouts that week: I haven’t run this little since…November 20, 2013. I think I was sick that week.

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 10.32.33 AM

This was a pretty awful week, with general nastiness and just road trip hangover. I also estimated that I’ve gained almost 10 lbs since this whole ordeal has begun, which if you were wondering, is really way too much for not even being done with the first trimester. It is definitely reflected in the way my pants fit. I pulled a batch of fat pants out of the fat pants stash and did some stress maternity shopping. It was an ugly week.

Week 10

I spent three days at the doctor’s office for nurse visits (blood draws of various varieties), an early ultrasound to determine fetal age and due date, another doctor’s visit, and more tests! Since I had gestational diabetes with my last pregnancy, they wanted to run the short test on me early. Still waiting for those results. They also did a fancy chromosome test called The Harmony Test, which I’m still quite fascinated by. It’s a noninvasive screening that detects fetal genetic fragments in my blood and is pretty darn accurate in detecting chromosomal defects. UPDATE: my results were all less than 1 in 10,000 for all markers, which is awesome. Just what I wanted to hear.

This is also the week I returned most of the maternity clothes I stress bought, because as much as I’d love to buy shit off the rack, my 5’1″ body rejects most maternity styles.

Oh, and this is me at 10 weeks.



I won’t go into detail about all the mechanisms required to hold everything in and keep unbuttoned pants from falling down. Oh, yes. MY PANTS ARE UNBUTTONED and held together with a Goody hair tie. Belly band things are, for the most part, a godsend.

At this stage I also recognized that I’ve developed some food aversions: fish (of any type), salads (generally, though occasionally I can manage to eat one if the mood is right), stevia (GAG) beef jerky (so sad), and some candy, mostly chocolate.

Also this:


And hooray – there’s only one. And he’s/she’s a lively one.

The doctor informed me that I’m at the height of hormone awfulness, and this should subside in the upcoming weeks. Since our shitty weather soldiers on, the combo has left me quite unmotivated to get outside.

Toward the end of that week, I felt okay and got out twice for runs: three miles on Saturday and four on Sunday.

The three miler was a stroller run. Let me say that not logging a lot of miles lately plus an added ten pounds plus a 35 lb kid in a BOB, while quite lovely but tracks a little to the right, is a serious workout for a pregnant woman. In fact, I have an enormous amount of respect for the people who I see pushing two kids while cranking out fast paces like it’s no big deal.

Being a shorty, the handlebars on the stroller are quite high on me? So the arm position isn’t very natural. I tend to really feel it in my upper body after pushing it, and today was no exception. In the middle of the night, I woke up for one of my regular jaunts to the bathroom and felt like I had been hit by a truck. The pain was so incredible that I had to resort to a few Tylenol before trying to go back to sleep.

Even though I told myself today might be a good fat to rest, I ended up taking a nap and getting out for the four miles. In the sun, people.

The pace was tough to hold but not impossible, and the last mile was about 30 seconds faster than the first three. I call that a pregnant running win.

So workouts for week 10?

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 2.29.36 PMYes, a measly seven miles, but since I barely made it through one run last week, I’ll still call that a win.

Week 11

Since I had to start out this week with  the awful 3 hour glucose test, I used the weekend as a bit of a “last supper” weekend; I enjoyed the things I feared I wouldn’t be able to eat much for the next seven months (pizza, oatmeal, cereal, bread – pretty much ALL TEH CARBS).

The last time I took this test two and a half years ago, I was further along in my pregnancy and not in such a fragile nausea state. Let’s just say I felt pretty darn lousy for three hours this morning. I looked so awful that the lab tech sent me to the surgery waiting room to lie down. That helped, and then I remembered I had some headphones in my purse; I enjoyed an episode and a half of House of Cards while I waited for the final blood draws.

I decided to bail on working half the day and after wolfing down an egg sandwich in the hospital cafeteria, drove home to take it easy. I did manage an hour nap but felt awful later in the evening.

Against all odds, I PASSED THE FUCKING TEST. I’ll have to go back at week 26 to check again (yay), but for now, fewer needle sticks are fine with me.

I made it out for three runs that week.

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 1.18.15 PM

This is also when I got my new fitbit flex (after the last one died) so now you’ll see walk data in these posts as well, which will unfortunately include running steps, but whatever.


Okay, so the 11 wk photo is kind of cheating, since I’m wearing a pair of capris by Lucy that are seriously holding EVERYTHING in (I can only wear these in the morning pre-bloat), but I am pretty happy that I can still fit into this Oiselle Flyer Jacket. It’s been hanging in the closet; I had serious guilt over buying another one of these awesome jackets, but then I decided what the fuck? I needed some motivation to get out and get in a run so on it went. And so here’s my little plug: this jacket is EVERYTHING, and is now pregnant running endorsed.

Week 12

This was a doozy of a week.

There was Mother’s Day, which wasn’t my finest hour.

There were moments of feeling better, which were immediately followed by feeling not better. And no running. Blah.

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 1.18.03 PM

Week 13

Not much to report this week. I got out twice: once in Green Bay and once in Minnesota. These runs were worked around kids being sick, me being sick, and traveling.

Screen Shot 2014-05-28 at 1.29.37 PM

The bright spot was that I did start to feel better (when I wasn’t ready to hurl my guts out on the drive to MN on Friday) and got out for a run on my last day of the first trimester.

Pregnancy is funny in how it affects each woman differently. For me, it’s generally a shitty feeling, but when I can get out and run, I feel loads better. This is the most running I’ve ever managed during a pregnancy.

Now, the second trimester awaits. And my running shoes are ready. I just hope the rest of my body can keep up.

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Runner, Eater, Mother, Tweeter

Amy, July 2013

I'm a thirty-something suburbanite turned ruralite living in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Wife, mom of two, eater of all things delicious, and a runner. This is where I blather on about running and health. Baby Number Three will be here in November (so yes, I'm a little crazy), and I'm running through my pregnancy for as long as my body's willing and able. There's also more of me at Read more here.


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