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Pregnancy Chronicles: 1st Trimester

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S U R P R I S E 

If you haven’t heard by now…I’m pregnant! Surprise!!! We’ll be welcoming our third baby to the family in May! We couldn’t be more excited to complete our family (a.k.a. this is our last baby)!

Disclosure: the following post is solely a document of my personal experience of pregnancy on my keto journey. All thoughts and opinions are my own. I am not a medical professional and cannot answer medical questions. Please consult a doctor before becoming pregnant or if you have questions about eating keto while pregnant.  

In complete transparency, we were 100% surprised to find out I was pregnant! We were not trying, nor had we even discussed when we would have another baby. However, God had other plans for us and our little pea pod and for that, we are so thankful!

We are calling this our “keto baby” because we are VERY confident this pregnancy was the result of our ketogenic lifestyle. Having lost a combined 100 lbs, my husband and I were very healthy. We both worked out 3-5x per week, kept our diet 99% keto, and never felt better. Lo and behold the first month we weren’t careful “around that time” and BOOM, we’re pregnant!

E A T I N G 

My goal from day 1 was to stay keto, continue my workout regimen, and essentially keep my lifestyle the same. Ha! How naive of me! You’ll hear women say every pregnancy is different and that is SO true! This pregnancy has been my hardest yet! I was so sick the first 9 weeks! I could not eat anything more than plain bread and crackers. Forget eating anything keto! I was in survival mode and eating whatever didn’t make me sick or miserable feeling.

When you’re pregnant, your body produces the hormone progesterone. This hormone slows down your digestive tract and causes (in most women) constipation, gas, heart burn, etc. Trying to eat high fat meals has been extremely difficult for me because they make me feel so miserable afterwards (because of the aforementioned).

I have had to eliminate almost all dairy from my diet because of the constipation it causes. Now that I’m heading into my 2nd trimester, that has eased up a bit, and I’ve slowly started reintroducing it. I also ate bacon for the first time in 3 months this week! I know, I know…how ghastly!

I wouldn’t be a transparent blogger if I pretended that I haven’t indulged and satisfied my weird pregnancy cravings either. I have. OFTEN. Taco Bell, y’all. I don’t know what it is about this baby but it wants ALL THE TACOS! What is wrong with me?!? Haha!  Aside from my bizarre Taco Hell cravings, I’ve tried to eat low carb (not keto) as much as possible. Since my husband still wants to eat keto, I am fixing suppers as I would have before which helps me eat balanced meals. However, I might add a small baked potato or some extra veggies to my dinner that he wouldn’t eat.

Overall, I have not followed a strict ketogenic or low carb diet these past 12ish weeks. I do have goals/plans for future trimesters but we’ll get to that in a second.

E X E R C I S I N G 

Obviously, pregnancy has some pretty noticeable and exaggerated side effects. I already mentioned the digestive issues. Another one can be dizziness. I stopped going to the gym around 7 or 8 weeks because I was getting so dizzy and nauseous during my workouts that I didn’t feel safe. I was also too sick to get off the couch most days which didn’t help either.

I’ve gained 8 lbs in my first trimester which is a little bit more than recommended (3-5 lbs is “normal”). I think a big reason for that is not going to the gym. I feel flabby and have noticed my legs/arms aren’t as lean as they were before. I suppose that’s to be expected when you don’t work out but it has created mental hurdles (I’ll get to that next).

F E E L I N G S 

The weight gain and shift in diet has had a profound impact on me mentally. This is something I haven’t addressed with anyone, even my husband.

Switching from a weight-loss state of mind to a pregnant state of mind overnight wasn’t easy. Having lost 40 lbs this year, I was/am terrified of undoing all my progress. I see pictures from when I was pregnant with my son (who is now 2) and I cringe at the thought of ballooning up like that again. Obviously, I’m not going to try and lose weight right now, but I also don’t want to gain more than I have to.

With pregnancy comes unavoidable bloating. My face is very puffy and will continue to be that way until after the baby is born. That has been hard to see in pictures when I was so lean before.

One thing that helped me jump one of those hurdles was pulling out my old maternity clothes. They were all WAY too big for me, even if I was full term. I was much larger before getting pregnant with my last child. So the reminder of how far I’ve come reassured me that I’m not filling out as much as I feel.

For those of you who want to become pregnant soon or are pregnant now, remind yourself that pregnancy is temporary and you’re growing a HUMAN BEING! Try not to fixate on your body image and just embrace all that pregnancy brings to the table. I’m going to do the same!

G O A L S 

As I enter my second trimester, the glorious unicorn trimester, I have goallllllls girlfriend!

I really want to get back to the gym at least 3x a week. Not only will I feel better, it will help make my delivery and recovery easier. Since this will be my 3rd c-section, I want to have the strongest tummy possible. I’m also hoping it will help slow down my weight gain this round.

I plan to eat healthier than I have been. I’m going to go back to my bunless burgers and omit sugar as much as possible (I have eaten sweets). I don’t plan to eat strict keto but I will watch the carbs and stay away from processed foods. It would be naive of me to say I won’t give in to cravings or ignore food aversions, but I’m going to try and be as good to my body (and baby!) as possible! I’ll get my husband to hold me accountable (though he’s probably scared of me right now, ha!).

You can follow my pregnancy journey on Instagram (@keto_in_pearls and #ketoinpearlspregnancy). Are you pregnant and keto? I’d love to hear how you’ve managed it!

Happy Thanksgiving y’all!