As I mentioned in my pregnancy announcement blog post, “More exciting news…” I really struggled with eating during the first trimester. I had always heard horror stories about morning sickness, but thanked my lucky stars that I never really experienced it with my other pregnancies. With Jackson, I had aversions (meat), but I could eat my regular diet with no problem. With Malia, if I didn’t eat every 2 hours on the dot, I became slightly nauseous, but never became sick. I felt very blessed to have made it out of the first trimester both times with just some weird aversions and nausea two or three times.
Since I had my other children in 2009 and 2011 and didn’t discover clean eating until 2012 and Whole30 in 2013 – I never gave much thought to what I ate with those pregnancies. Pop tarts, Eggo waffles, bagels & cream cheese, Kraft Mac n cheese and Tillamook mint chocolate chip ice cream were my pregnancy staples……my, how things have changed.
I knew the moment I was pregnant. I made my staple breakfast: 2 fried eggs, chicken & apple sausage and sautéed kale. I sat down to eat it, took one look at it and almost lost my cookies. I immediately ran to my bathroom and took the pregnancy test – within seconds, 2 pink lines. From that moment on, all the food as I knew looked, smelled and tasted differently. I dumped the uneaten breakfast I had made in the garbage and spent the next 6 weeks disgusted by all things meat, eggs & vegetables…essentially, 90% of what I eat on the reg!
It was so bad, when my husband would cook any of these items, I would have to leave the house. I still tried to cook for my family, but when I did, I wore a hospital face mask, opened all the windows and turned on the oven fan. When I would try to give the food a try, I would take one bite and just crumble, spit it out and throw it away. I couldn’t even handle the food in my mouth for 5 seconds. I spent many days in the first few weeks standing in front of my fridge and pantry, crying, wishing I could eat SOMETHING Paleo, even if it was as simple as a carrot stick or apple slice. The problem was that if I didn’t eat, I would get ridiculously sick and nauseous. I needed to eat every 2 hours minimum!
Shane kept telling me to allow myself to eat what my body craved and move on. He reassured me over and over that this would not last forever, and as soon as I felt normal again (which felt like forever), I would resume eating PALEO. At one point I said (while struggling through the tears), Kraft Mac & Cheese was the only thing that sounded good. The next day he went out and bought me 10 boxes, Kerrygold butter and unsweetened macadamia nut milk. I made it, ate it and cried after; THIS IS NOT A PART OF MY FOOD FREEDOM FOREVER! But it kept me full for 3 whole hours – which was the fullest I had been in weeks.
With having a few miscarriages in the past, we wanted to keep this pregnancy a secret as long as possible. I’m a pretty open person, but sharing our pregnancies and then subsequent miscarriages was just too hard on me. So with that, I struggled with having a support system to lean on regarding my food aversions. I began reading blogs, following Instagram accounts of Whole30 pregnant gals, and messaging complete strangers about my morning/all-day sickness. It wasn’t until I scrolled through and found this post, that I realized, YES, I do need to allow myself a little bit of grace:
See full post HERE
Chelsea works for the Whole30 sister program, Healthy Mama, Happy Baby and is pregnant with twins. I felt that if she was allowing herself a little grace, why can’t I? It was almost like her post was giving me the permission I needed. Around the same time, another healthy pregnant mama I follow on Instagram (healthy_wifestyle) posted that she was eating cereal…CEREAL. Something I hadn’t eaten in YEARS, but damn, it sounded so good! When I shared both stories with Shane he threw his hands up in the air and said, “YES! This is what I’ve been telling you!” He gets so frustrated with me when I don’t listen to reason.
So I began a new routine – eat what I wanted until I felt normal again….and I gave myself NO TIME LIMIT and allowed myself zero guilt for eating what I did. The next morning, I purchased 5 boxes of cereal, 2 bags of bagels and cream cheese. This was just the start….
In my next blog post, I’ll list out my daily, every 2-hour meal schedule during the first trimester as well as my tips for including some protein in my diet. But for now, I want to reach out to my pregnant mama readers. If you are in the same shoes I was in during the first trimester and having a hard time with food choices, just know that the storm DOES pass. I couldn’t believe it when I woke up the morning of Week 13, Day 2 and felt like eating some vegetables, it was like a switch flipped. If you need someone to reach out to commiserate with, message me. If you need some suggestions, ideas or just to vent, I AM HERE.
Also, check out these mamas that gave me hope, suggestions and/or just a safe place to vent….
Part 2 : First Trimester : Meal Schedule (coming soon…)