Pregnancy Update: The First Trimester

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i am going to let you in on a little secret – i have been enamored with pregnant ladies for a while. not in the creepy way of having a subscription to some pervy site but in the way that any time i see one of my facebook friends is pregnant, i can’t get enough of her growing baby bump pictures. it’s absolutely fascinating to me and now i am one of those women. weeeeird.

i mean, you have absolutely nothing to compare pregnancy to before you experience it for your self. i think that is why i was/am so fascinated by the changes that occur. since i kept my first trimester underwraps, i figured i would let you know a bit more about highs and lows of those first few months. i am so excited for my blogging friend courtney because she is two weeks ahead of me and announced her pregnancy with a freaking kangaroo! amazing.

here are some of my growing belly pictures! you’ll notice that i’m half asleep in most of them – that’s with me consciously trying to make my eyes wider. that type of exhaustion is no joke. you will also notice that week 10 and 11 are missing because i was so miserable i refused the photo.

baby bumps trimester 1

it’s also insane how much i bloat with this belly. i’d wake up and look pretty non-pregnant and then by 3pm it was suddenly like i was 5 months pregnant. weird. i have done the hair tie loop around my pants starting about week 8 and now own 2 pairs of real life maternity pants.


  • finding out we were going to have a baby!
  • seeing our little gummy bear on the ultrasound
  • how excited our family and friends were for us
  • being an entrepreneur and working from bed for a solid month in the middle of it


  • missing out on booze drinking at christmas (then i never wanted it again during the first trimester)
  • feeling nauseous for the majority of the day
  • gagging at almost all of the foods and all smells (including sugar’s breath)
  • feeling a type of exhaustion i have never experienced previously – it made me incredibly low functioning
  • not being able to work out


  • while i am grateful i didn’t actually vomit (it’s an intense fear of mine, yes i’ve been to therapy, no i don’t need to be committed), the gagging and dry-heaving were torture
  • every time i tried to do a simple workout, i immediately felt sick and like i was going to pass out. this is due to the fact that pregnant women are in the process of making 40% more blood than non-pregnant people. FORTY PERCENT!
  • moody (more so than usual – ask my husband)
  • it’s like i was finally going through puberty and my boobs were finally growing in! yay! very painful though – stabbing, shooting, aching would sum that up
  • smell. i can smell everything and that is not the most pleasant faux-super power


this was a doozy for me. there were three solid weeks where i literally could eat only plain white pasta, saltine crackers, bread and pineapple. no exaggerating, this is all i consumed and i packed on the weight thanks to my carb-only diet. i hid all of the below things behind other things in the cupboard or banished them from the home.

things i hated the most:

  • anything muli-grain (including my beloved wheat thins)
  • any food hailing from any asia country (i still can’t do any type of thai, chinese, vietnamese, etc)
  • almonds (so innocent!)
  • eggs
  • when my husband asked if he could grill onions
  • all vegetables, especially the green ones
  • meat
  • any food smell except for cookies (but i didn’t even want cookies)
  • bathroom jokes or any slight show of blood on TV
  • when my husband asked if he could make chicken shawarma
  • cat food commercials UGH
  • even chocolate for like a week!


these haven’t been too consistent and more like when i want something, i reaaaaally want it and i want it in the next 7 minutes. GO.

  • pineapple – one week i ate two pounds of it. that was too much.
  • the first trimester was more salty things and not much sweet at all
  • bagels (sesame please!)
  • towards the end of the first trimester, i started craving burgers and ate them whenever i craved them since it was at least protein!
  • banana peppers – the spicy thing kicked up towards the end of month 3

now that i’m officially in the second trimester, i do feel ever so much better but still not like my pre-pregnancy self. i still lack the energy i had before but thankfully can eat more balanced and healthy foods. also, i miss my clear skin A LOT. #thankyouhormones

i’ve got some articles lined about things that have blown my mind, some very intense guilt i struggle(d) with and the type of birth i’m choosing/hoping for. i’m thinking of using courtney’s idea and doing monthly pregnancy updates because weekly seems a bit excessive for anyone except me, my husband and the grandparents.

that’s all for now folks! i’m going to go sprinkle some chili pepper on some pineapple then stare at myself in the mirror since i’m now the expanding pregnant lady!

ps. i’m using the below timeline to distinguish my pregnancy. this week i will be 17 weeks, wrapping up the 4th month!

weeks 1-13: first trimester

weeks 14-26: second trimester

weeks 26-40: third trimester

weeks 40+: get this thing out of here trimester!

pps! i am putting on a free live webinar this coming wednesday at 8am pacific/11am eastern about our top tips around public speaking and using your voice to send a message! you can sign up for freesies HERE! if you can’t join live, sign up and you’ll receive the recording!


  1. Elyse

    March 21, 2016 at 7:27 am

    Confession: I LOVE pregnant bellies too. Females bodies are amazing. It sucks that you still are exhausted and nauseous but glad you can eat at least some protein now. Also I have Emetophobia which is why I have never drank to excess or been pregnant…the fear is real.

    • chelsea

      March 21, 2016 at 9:18 am

      oh my goodness we are seriously TWINS elyse!!!!! we will need to discuss this further because it’s always why i’ve never been drunk and was an intense fear of me getting pregnant! crazy!! thanks for sharing because i feel slightly less nuts 🙂

      and glad you love pregnant bellies too!

  2. Kate

    March 21, 2016 at 7:45 am

    There’s this be band thing at target, I’ve linked it a few times on my blog, and it’s a real life saver once the hair tie stops doing the trick! It’s basically just a piece of spandex that holds up your britches! Bonus is that it also smooths things out. I’m contemplating using it still, whenever I anticipate a large meal and just want to unbutton my pants.
    Kate recently posted…Newborn Photos

    • chelsea

      March 21, 2016 at 9:20 am

      thanks for the suggestion on the band! my friend lent me hears and i’ve tried it a few times but just find it super uncomfortable. i really dislike things touching my stomach so that’s been fun to try to figure out. right now i’m rolling down the bands on my maternity pants and that seems to work. luckily it’s not like i have to be in a traditional office setting so that helps!

      can’t wait to see your new babes photos! YAY!
      chelsea recently posted…Pregnancy Update: The First Trimester

  3. Rachel @ Countdowns and Cupcakes

    March 21, 2016 at 8:07 am

    Vomiting is a legit fear of mine as well! I just don’t do it. No matter what. So glad you’re able to eat more foods now!
    Rachel @ Countdowns and Cupcakes recently posted…Spring Decor: Pieces I Love

    • chelsea

      March 21, 2016 at 9:26 am

      seriously?! oh my goodness i am so sorry to hear this but also so relieved to hear this! me, you and elyse could start a support group! i am also so relieved that i can eat more because as you know…it’s very counterintuitive to eat something when you feel like vomiting but that’s what helps relieve it some!

  4. jennifermckennasays

    March 21, 2016 at 8:43 am

    Chelsea! I am so sorry to hear how rough it has been for you and very glad that it is less rocky now. I have been contemplating how I would document my pregnancy cause I document pretty much everything (life of a blogger, right) and your post really helped me because there isn’t a “right” way to talk about it- it’s whatever works for YOU. Excited to hear / read more of your journey. Thank you for your honesty and authenticity!

    • chelsea

      March 21, 2016 at 9:30 am

      yay! glad this post helped you get clear on how and how much you’d like to share jennifer! can’t wait to read about it and right you are – no “right” way to talk about it! hope you are feeling great!

  5. Sarah Burke Dimitrova

    March 21, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Depending on how/how much you want to update after baby is born, you might like the idea of the 4th trimester too, both for you/your body and baby’s needs and development. 🙂

    • chelsea

      March 21, 2016 at 9:32 am

      great suggestion sarah! i’ve read a bit about how there really is that 4th trimester as you readjust to your new life/body/baby! you know me…i’ll probably overshare about that too 🙂

  6. Claire

    March 21, 2016 at 9:04 am

    What a truthful post Chelsea! I love how you wrote about the ups and downs to help us understand the full 1st trimester experience. What did you do to help with the tiredness? Were you able to sleep okay or would the drowsiness be one of those permanent *just-have-to-deal-with-it* kind of things?

    • chelsea

      March 21, 2016 at 9:35 am

      thanks for your comment claire! i just also say that these were my personal experiences and everyone experiences them slightly differently but that tiredness was UGH. it felt like i had partied for 3 nights straight (or what i assumed that would feel like). i am in lucky in that i work from home so i tried to rest when i could but often i couldn’t fall asleep so i would just lay down for hours and focus on the fact making a baby is hard but worth it work. i have another post planned with some of the things i ate/did to relieve some of the symptoms!

      i also didn’t really see friends or go out too much because i just didn’t have the energy! thanks for asking 🙂

      • Claire

        March 21, 2016 at 12:05 pm

        Ugh man, for realz. That is exhausting! Kudos to you for pushing through and recognizing it is all part of the journey. *Yay for life lessons* Wishing this trimester will bless you with energy to see some more friends 🙂

        Looking forward to the post highlighting your pro-active steps for symptom relief!

        • chelsea

          March 21, 2016 at 3:28 pm

          thank you much claire – definitely WAY better than it was so i’m very grateful!

  7. Lindsay

    March 21, 2016 at 9:12 am

    I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU AND YOUR GROWING BELLY. I hope you keep feeling better!
    Lindsay recently posted…On Mountain High – Chapter Twenty-One

    • chelsea

      March 21, 2016 at 9:38 am

      yay!!! thanks for allowing me to live vicariously through you this weekend with margaritas because i desperately want one! hope you all had some fun and thanks for being excited for all of us (i’m referring to me and my belly. not really the baby) haha

  8. Karen

    March 21, 2016 at 9:27 am

    Chelsea, what a sweet, funny post! My baby is turning 34 this year, but your post reminded me how I felt when pregnant. I recall a total aversion to eggs. My husband wasn’t allowed to even utter the word egg. I probably slept 12 hours a night (growing a human is hard work).

    My cravings were weird: raw Brazil nuts (oh no you didn’t just bring me Brazil nuts and tell me to shell them myself!!) and lettuce in mass quantities (must be folic acid needy). My husband would go out and buy a head of lettuce and I’d gobble the thing down and send him back out. I was eating 4-5 heads of lettuce A DAY!!

    After the first trimester, I felt like a million bucks and worked out every day, played racquetball and basketball ran, and swam. I had to quit racquetball when my belly got too big (and frankly none of the men I used to play with wanted to play any more. My father in law said it pissed him off to get beat by a pregnant woman!!).

    I didn’t stop all the exercising until the 9th month, by which time I was essentially a beached whale!!

    My son is happy and healthy to this day!! I used to tell him that I had planned to keep having kids until I got a good one, but he was so perfect, I decided not to bother….

    Thanks for reminding me of that time. You will feel great pretty soon (and sleep if you need it).

    • chelsea

      March 21, 2016 at 9:45 am

      awww thanks for your comment karen! there were definitely a few nights that i went to bed by 8:30pm and it was good! growing a human really is hard work! so interesting about the lettuce and brazil nuts! i cannot believe you were eating that many heads of lettuce a day – that’s how i was with bread. hah

      i am still waiting for the less dizzy, less nausea to happen for me when i workout. i still find it pretty challenging so trying to give myself props for at least walking for 30 minutes or doing wall pushups! love that you were so active right until the very end!

      hah love what you told him about not needing another baby since he was perfect! thanks for sharing karen!

  9. Nina @ Hugs and Lattes

    March 21, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Pineapple sounds UH-MAZE-ING. Dry heaving does not. This is probably my favorite pregnancy update. I’m already so invested into your pregnancy from the other side of the country/internet world. Eep!
    Nina @ Hugs and Lattes recently posted…It’s a Monday

    • chelsea

      March 21, 2016 at 3:29 pm

      awww for some reason that gave me all the warm fuzzies from your comment, thanks for being invest nina 🙂

      seriously…get some pineapple (i splurged for the pre-cut ones because ain’t nobody have the time or energy to figure out how to cut one up)! ha!

  10. Audrey

    March 21, 2016 at 11:37 am

    You are the cutest little pregnant lady! I’m so excited to read all your updates all along the way. (Real talk: I am SO obsessed with bump pictures, too! Anything that has to do with bringing that new life into the world!) I think I read that sweet cravings mean girl and salty cravings mean boy? Haha. Super scientific stuff 🙂 I hope your tummy/brain/mouth lets you snack on a few more foods soon!
    Audrey recently posted…Spring Cleaning 2.0

    • chelsea

      March 21, 2016 at 3:34 pm

      aw shucks, thanks audrey 🙂 so glad to hear you’re all about the bump too – it’s so insane to me and yes, then that belly is going to birth life into the world?! honesty when i just wrote that sentence i didn’t associate it with ME doing that here in a few short months so AHHHH.

      yes more foods are going in and sounding better than goodness! i am actually excited to eat vegetables, isn’t that odd?!

  11. Paula Howley

    March 21, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    Aw you poor thing! God, I remember that My first pregnancy, I could only eat oranges and I slept every day after school for a couple of hours It was tough. With Meaghan, I ate everything in sight and gained 20 pounds in the first trimester!!!!!!! Wasn’t as tired with her either despite being 20 years older.

    Hey, I’d love to hear the story of how you broke the good news to Ravery! And yourself!
    Paula Howley recently posted…Where’ve you been?

    • chelsea

      March 21, 2016 at 3:36 pm

      wow super interesting how you felt different in your different pregnancies. i was so utterly unprepared for the exhaustion – that’s really where i had a lot of guilt set in. i’m gained just over 10lbs in the first trimester and everywhere i read is like “remember…you really shouldn’t be gaining anything that first trimester but no more than 5lbs” and to that i say “oh well you just watch me go!”

      yes! i totally need to do a post on that. first i have to get permission from family members to share the videos of us telling them because there are some GEMS!

  12. Alanna

    March 21, 2016 at 1:09 pm

    I have a huge fear of throwing up too! One of my biggest hesitations about becoming a mom (one day) is having to deal with a kid throwing up. Is that a concern of yours? Also I feel like a wizard sometimes because I can tell really quickly when someone is going to throw up at a party or something (thankfully as I get older these kinds of parties happen less and less) and make one of my friends take care of that person while I run away. I feel pretty crazy about this fear, but it sure is nice to see you (and other people commenting!) have the same issues

    • chelsea

      March 21, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      seriously with the vomit thing!? we should all really start a support group because as i’m sure you’ve noticed – people tend to think you are insane and weird. i can do the EXACT SAME THING at parties or really anywhere, i am on hyper alert and then get the hell out of the environment immediately. that was one of the first things i told my husband when we moved into together, i said “if you get sick, i will run away and not be helpful. it’s important you know this. i mean…i will leave the apartment and stand in the hallway until you are done!”

  13. Vivien

    March 21, 2016 at 1:28 pm

    Thank you for such an insightful post chelsea! Sorry to hear about all your ups and downs. I have no experience in this department, but hopefully it’s more ups now than downs?

    The mentioning of maternity pants remind me of that one Thanksgiving on Friends where Joey commandeered Phoebe’s old maternity pants. Is that weird of me to remember that?
    Vivien recently posted…Why I Almost Vowed to Never Enter a Tall Tales Contest

    • chelsea

      March 21, 2016 at 3:39 pm

      thanks vivien! yes thankfully it is currently more ups than downs now – thank goodnessssss!

      bhahah i love that you thought of that episode – i totally need to find that one now and rewatch it because that is hilarious!

  14. Courtney {Alkeks Abroad}

    March 21, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    I love this so much!!! Thanks for my shoutout ☺️. I literally just ate pineapple. Bagels and burgers were my faves too, only bagels are like impossible to find here. I love that we are going through this at the same time, it makes it even more fun!
    Courtney {Alkeks Abroad} recently posted…Baby A: Gender Predictions

    • chelsea

      March 21, 2016 at 4:08 pm

      of course – it was such a good one! mmm pineapple. i am so sad to hear bagels are hard to come by there – how rude! it actually works out quite nicely because i see how you document it and be like BOOM GENIUS!
      chelsea recently posted…Pregnancy Update: The First Trimester

  15. Jacquelyn @ The Lowcountry Mama

    March 22, 2016 at 10:50 am

    I’m glad you’re feeling better! The first trimester is so hard. I puked until 17 weeks and then it was smooth sailing from there =)

    • chelsea

      March 23, 2016 at 7:58 am

      oh man so sorry to hear you were so sick jacquelyn until 17 weeks – wooooof.

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  17. Edye

    March 23, 2016 at 2:14 pm

    Glad that you’re feeling better than you were! You look great. I wish you all the best in the remainder of your pregnancy 🙂

    Edye // Gracefulcoffee
    Edye recently posted…2016 Goals

    • chelsea

      March 29, 2016 at 8:49 am

      awww thanks edye! i am definitely feeling a lot better but miss my pre-pregnancy energy and sleep 🙂

  18. Hannah Haworth

    March 26, 2016 at 3:28 am

    Yay! Super duper thrilled, and impressed you managed to keep on blogging through it. I’ve only just resurfaced as I felt too rough to do anything. At 14 weeks I’m back in the blogosphere and sooo looking forward to following your journey a good month ahead of mine. 🙂 Congrats to you both.
    Hannah Haworth recently posted…Marriage and the First Trimester

    • chelsea

      March 29, 2016 at 8:50 am

      thanks hannah – honestly it was pretty grueling for many of the weeks to keep producing quality content when i had zero energy and couldn’t talk about why! glad you are feeling better and back to blogging YAY! congratulations on your little one too!

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