Jeff and I found out that I was pregnant on 12/31/2011, when I was just shy of 4 weeks along. Initial symptoms from that week included heartburn/indigestion, excessive sneezing/runny nose, cramps (like gas pains), constipation, sore nipples, and fatigue. I had been taking a One-A-Day Prenatal Vitamin with DHA and EHA for the first 30 days until Jeff read the ingredients and saw that they contained soy. That day, we headed straight to Whole Foods and I replaced them with Super Nutrition Simply One Prenatals (which were basically the only ones we could find that did not include soy). Even the “designer” prenatals from my Ob/Gyn all contained soy. For a quick read on the phytoestrogens in soy, check out John Welbourne’s blog post: http://talktomejohnnie.com/diet/flesh-builds-flesh.
The last workout I did prior to finding out I was pregnant (on 12/29/2011) was an 18 minute AMRAP of 15 thrusters with a 20# slamball, 10 ball slams, run a lap around the building (a little under 200 yards). I felt like I had absolutely ZERO energy; I seriously entertained the notion of shutting things down after 12 minutes, and again at 15 minutes, which is very out of character. When I work out, I might not be the fastest or strongest, but I always stick it out and finish! I managed to finish the 18 minute AMRAP with 6 rounds and 5 thrusters. Not a great day, to say the least. I left the gym knowing something very different was going on with my body.
First WOD back after finding out I was pregnant (on 1/3/2012) was 5 rounds of 5 one-armed 26# KB thrusters, 30 situps, run 400 meters. It took me a whopping 19 minutes to complete. I was a complete headcase the entire time. I was unbelievably nervous and thinking about everything bad that could happen but also all the beneficial aspects of what I was doing. I analyzed every aspect of how my body felt and over-thought everything in the course of those 19 minutes! I worried that people would know something was going on (since I wasn’t ready to share the news), but knew that I needed to take my time and move at a pace that I was comfortable with. Luckily, I’ve been working out long enough to feel confident about my abilities and what my body is truly capable of doing. This really helped me to accurately gauge how much I actually needed to slow down rather than getting wrapped up with the standard “keep your heart rate below X beats per minute” that you read online or in books. The following week, workouts got much easier as I grew more accustomed to the changes in my body and the idea of working out while pregnant.
At 6 weeks, I had my first OB appt. and felt very reassured by seeing a heartbeat on the ultrasound and hearing that everything looked fine and the baby and I were both healthy. At about the same time, we started a 30-day Paleo Challenge at the gym. I decided that I wasn’t going to stay completely strict, but I would certainly keep my diet pretty clean (no breads, pastas, etc.). I will cheat a little, but only when it’s really worth it!
Worked out 4 times per week throughout my entire first trimester with a couple exceptions. There were a couple weeks when I only worked out 3 times, but that was due to scheduling issues, not anything related to the pregnancy. Workouts were generally good; I even PR’ed on my deadlift! The biggest challenge throughout my first trimester was overcoming fatigue. Most days I would work in the morning and hit a wall by early afternoon (I work at lululemon athletica and am on my feet all day). After getting off work, I would head to the gym and nap on the couch until people started showing up for class. At that point, I’d generally try to suck it up and get in a decent workout. In hindsight, I think working out really helped me avoid any of the typical pregnancy symptoms. While I fell into a deep coma-like sleep every night around 8:00 pm, I managed to completely avoid morning sickness and overwhelming nausea!