Hello from week 12 of pregnancy! It seems crazy to be writing these posts!
I’m so glad you’re all in on our secret now. The past month and a half has been fun, exciting, and a little wild. I feel like a constant science experiment, and it’s absolutely fascinating to me. (And, to be honest, I’m not totally sure this has sunk in, even though we’ve seen the baby twice.)
People tell you that hearing your baby’s heartbeat for the first time is super cool, and it’s so cool. At the 8-week appointment, we heard the heartbeat right away, and my eyes started to well up with tears, but I was too excited to cry, and I was doing this weird laugh/cry thing. (The ultrasound tech asked me to hold my breath because he said I was messing him up. Oops.)
The second ultrasound was even more exciting, because I was nervous for that one. I was, like many women I’m sure, worried about miscarriage after the first ultrasound, because I know so many women who have had missed miscarriages during that time period. So it was an amazing relief to witness the strong heartbeat at the 12-week appointment. (I also hated the first doctor we saw and am absolutely in love with the second one. I’m very happy and relieved to feel like I’m in great, super capable hands now.)
With that, here’s a lengthy look at the past eight weeks!
The question everyone keeps asking: WERE YOU TRYING?
People love to ask this! So I give them what they didn’t necessarily realize they wanted: so much information about our sex life! But no, we were not exactly “trying” and this was not planned. Surprise!
HOW I FOUND OUT
I woke up the morning after Valentine’s Day and realized that my boobs had been super sore for a few days. Usually they get a little sore for a day before I get my period, but they had been sore for longer than seemed normal. I had gone to Orangetheory that morning and was practically holding my boobs down while I ran on the treadmill (despite wearing a very supportive sports bra) because they were so painful. I decided to take a pregnancy test when I got home, just to see. And it was positive. I was right around 4 weeks when I found out.
WHAT I DIDN’T REALIZE
That pregnancy isn’t measured from the day you conceive. You can roll your eyes or think I’m stupid, but that’s what I always assumed! But it’s measured from the first date of your last period. Science.
HOW I TOLD BRIAN
Brian works late most nights, and I was really hoping he wouldn’t work late that night! Fortunately, we’d been out late the night before, boozing it up for Valentine’s Day (such a good mom already!), so he wasn’t up for a late night at the office. I told him I forgot to give him his Valentine’s Day card, and on the inside was a super short message. At the end, I wrote, “P.S. I’m pregnant.” He read it, laughed, and put it aside. I just kind of stared at him while he dove into his pizza. So I said, “Did you read it?” And he opened it again, read it, laughed, and put it down. He thought it was a joke, so I said, “OK hang on, let me get some props.” I showed him the positive pregnancy test, and he was all, “Wait… What?! Really? What?!” He was shocked and excited and then we were both giddy and excited all night. It reminded me of the night we got engaged. Fun and silly and celebratory. But with a lot less champagne.
THE FIRST PERSON I ACTUALLY TOLD
I had just been talking to my friend Kristan, so as soon as I saw the positive test, I FaceTimed her and was like, “HEY, CAN I SHOW YOU SOMETHING?” Then I told my friend Ashley. I was on my way to meet her for a run and took the test right before I left. I saw that it was positive and then took it with me to meet her for a run. I don’t know why I did that. And so when I saw her, I kind of shoved it in her face (not the part I peed on), and was like, “LOOK AT THIS.” And she freaked out and cried and it was great. And then we ran five miles and I was struggling and made her take a million walk breaks the whole time. (If I hadn’t already taken a test, I think I would’ve after that run. You hear about women who say they “knew” because they had a really bad run. That was me that day! It was uncharacteristically bad!)
HOW WE TOLD OUR PARENTS
We finally told them this past weekend! We knew we wanted to tell them in person, and wanted to get them together to do it. They haven’t seen each other since our wedding, so it was fun to have them in one place. We went out to the North Fork on Long Island and planned a winery-hopping weekend. We figured that would throw them off. Once everyone arrived on Friday night, we showed them a little video we made. We told them I was launching a video version of the Ali on the Run Show (not true), and had filmed a fake episode together. It was only four minutes long, and we talked about how we’re really excited to be collaborating on a fun project that we’re launching in October (they didn’t get it at that point). I said, “I’m really excited to tell our parents about this,” and Brian responded, “Don’t you mean… grandparents?” And then we both look at the camera, cut to black, cue freakout. My mom screamed and burst into tears. My dad got weepy, and I had to go all, “LOCK IT UP, DAD” on him. And this is Brian’s mom’s first grandchild — and it’s due the day after her birthday! — so she is of course thrilled. It was a super fun weekend, and I was happy to be the designated driver for it.
Another question everyone keeps asking: IS IT A BOY OR GIRL?
We don’t know, and we don’t plan on finding out. Right now, I think boy. Though I went for a short run with Ellie on Sunday, and at one point I was like, “Aw, look at me, out running with my girls!” So obviously I have no idea. My mom thinks girl. My dad says boy. Brian hasn’t made his declaration yet. And Tyler and Abby both hope it’s a girl.
We have a definite front-runner if it’s a girl. (Right, Brian?) If it’s a boy, I’m less sure. We have loads of time to decide. But I love playing on the Kinder app that lets you swipe through names like a dating app. And again, for this one, we went to the experts: Tyler and Abby. Tyler likes Sparkle if it’s a girl and Zack if it’s a boy. Abby wants Rainbow for a girl or “Mawness” for a boy. I don’t know what Mawness is, but I’m sold. (And my friend Feeney’s spunky little niece, Biella, suggested “Fint,” so we would have an Ellie and a Fint. Get it? Ellie-fint. Elephant. She’s six, and I think that’s brilliant.)
CRAVINGS & AVERSIONS
I can’t think of any “OMG I NEED THIS RIGHT NOW” cravings, but one day, I ate an entire family-sized bag of sour cream and onion chips, and I don’t think anything has ever hit the spot more. Cantaloupe is amazing to me, and most fruit sounds excellent. Meanwhile, that salmon I was loving and was making at least twice a week? I don’t think I’ll ever have it again. (I’m sorry, Anne!) The thought of the sauce makes me gag a little now. And one of my previous favorite foods — spaghetti and meatballs — might be off-limits forever. There was an unfortunate incident with eggplant parmesan while I was out to dinner one night (I took one bite and had to spit it out into a napkin — super classy), and cooked vegetables and I are on a break at the moment.
HOW I’M FEELING
Good! I always thought I would be miserable when I got pregnant. (There’s still time for that, I know!) I figured I’d be puking and sick and grouchy and generally uncomfortable. I blame that assumption on a lifetime of my body betraying me. So I’m shocked and relieved and psyched to find that, for a very welcome change, my body is cooperating with me! I kind of can’t believe it, and I’m so grateful. My boobs are giant and sore all the time, and I feel nauseated when I first wake up, but once I have some food (dry cereal) and water, I’m good to go. My skin is a mess; I don’t think I’ve ever had acne like this, and I am prone to hormonal and cystic acne. Not quite a pregnancy glow, but I can roll with that.
ON THE WORKOUT FRONT
My workouts haven’t changed too much, but they’ve slowed down. I’m still going to Orangetheory, but my paces slowed down pretty immediately. My former base pace is now my push pace. My push pace is now my all-out pace. So I’m making some adjustments, but for the most part, I feel good when I work out. Running outside is a bit of a toss-up. Some days I feel great, and other days I can’t put one foot in front of the other. That’s kind of me with running always, though!
Oh, and modifications. We do so much ab work at Orangetheory, and I’m overwhelmed by the modifications (and, to be honest, don’t trust all the coaches to give me the “right” advice here). I talked to my doctor about it, but there are so many different ab exercises, from crunches to Russian twists to planks and so many variations, and I just want to make sure I’m modifying wherever necessary. I know eventually having an actual stomach bump will force me to modify, but right now, the information is a little overwhelming. (I’ve already gotten so much conflicting information from different professionals! Feel free to chime in with whatever expertise you have, especially if you go to Orangetheory and are familiar with some of the usual suspects!)
ON THE CROHN’S FRONT
Good to go! And again, feeling very grateful. (The plan is to stay on the Stelara I’m currently taking. I’m a little torn on that, but maybe that’s a discussion for another day.)
WHAT SURPRISED ME SO FAR
How tired I was right away. I feel pretty good right now, but those first few weeks, I would make it to 4 PM and need to hit the couch for a while. Very thankful to work from home right now! It also surprised me how chill I was right from the start. I haven’t had any freakouts. This was not planned and I am a planner. You know that. I always thought Brian and I would eventually say, “OK, let’s do this,” and go from there. But that’s not how it happened, and I think that’s super cool. It feels really right, and I’m so happy to feel like I’m in a good place physically and mentally for this. I feel ready! (Crazy!)
It also surprised me how willing I was right away to ease up both the intensity and frequency of my workouts. I think I used to hope I’d be the kind of woman who is able to run throughout pregnancy, right up until the day I deliver. But now I don’t really care about that. I just want to be healthy, and provide a healthy place for this little one to grow. If that means running with a 39-week fetus in my stomach, cool! If not, OK! (Easy to say that now when I’m very able-bodied, I know.)
WHAT I’M LOVING
Going for walks. Taking naps. The Lululemon Enlite bra, which is officially the only one I can squeeze into right now, and the Lululemon Align pants, which have always been my favorite and are now in even heavier rotation in my wardrobe. These Gap pants. This pregnancy pillow, which is great until I wake up at 2 AM to pee and Ellie steals it from me. (I know I don’t need a pregnancy pillow yet, but my god, everyone should have one. It’s awesome.)
THE BIGGEST LESSON I LEARNED DURING THE FIRST TRIMESTER
Step away from the message boards. Stop Googling. Stop going to that website that tells you your chance of having a miscarriage.
The last most popular question: DOES ELLIE KNOW? DOES SHE HAVE A “BIG SISTER” SHIRT?
Yes and yes. OK, I kid you not, as soon as I found out, Ellie started sleeping with her head on my stomach every night. Brian says she can smell the change in hormones. Also she’s brilliant, so I’m sure she knows. And she loves her Big Sister shirt, which was the first thing I ordered.
I am feeling incredibly lucky and fortunate right now, for so many things. The fact that this happened by surprise is not lost on me — the fact that this happened very easily for us is something I do not and will not ever take for granted. I know that’s not the case for many, many families, and for that I feel truly fortunate. More on that in another post.
So that’s all for now! I don’t know if I’ll be doing weekly updates or just checking in every few weeks, but I think I’ll document this because I know I’ll want to look back on it someday.
Onto the Second Trimester! Crazy!