First Trimester — Growing Our Baby Girl

This is what pregnancy looks like for me so far... The softest, cuddly, comfy clothing possible. Daily naps. Sitting on the lounge with my shirt lifted up, marvelling at the swelling in my belly. Peeing multiple times a night. Frozen slushies, countless lychees, lemon cordial, driving to the cake shop at 9am because I absolutely need a fresh baked caramel mud cake. Afternoon nausea that feels like motion sickness, headaches, dizziness, low energy, fast heart rate, out of breath just from talking on the phone. Touching my face in the shower thinking "hm, my skin is quite clear, I wonder when my period is due" and then remembering I'm pregnant. Laying in bed and energetically sending love down to her, then smiling to myself when I realise I am literally overflowing with love and it's an infinite source with my soulmate by my side. Utter adoration from him, being welcomed with "hey, baby mumma" and a big embrace when he walks in the door. Melting like butter when he kisses my belly or lays next to it just watching and feeling. Gratitude, for being surrounded by so much love and support, gratitude for a natural pregnancy, gratitude for how easy this all is for us.

I'm writing this as my baby has been growing inside of me for 15 weeks. We are through the first trimester, and I have learnt an incredible amount about myself and becoming a mother in that time.

Welcome Swallows have guided me along so far. About a week before conception, I had two of them fly in my front door, through the lounge room, and into my bedroom where I was, flying around and around in circles. Someone looked up the spiritual meaning of seeing two of these swallows together, and it was a symbol of fertility. I was interested, but thought 'that can't be right' because I was on my period (near the end of it though, mind you). A few weeks later, the week I found out we had created a baby together, those swallows had newborn chicks in their nest just on our back porch. I smiled at the alignment we had together. A week or two later I woke up with a little bit of spotting, and freaked out at seeing blood, though this is quite common in pregnancy. I'll expand more on the emotion of fear later down, but my goodness I was so worried that something may be wrong and immediately put my walls up instead of continuing to soften more and more into my feminine. I went outside to sit and ground myself on the grass, and as soon as I opened my door, I was practically swarmed with about 6 swallows flying all around me and following me (they had never done that before and haven't done it since) and that gave me so much assurance that everything was okay, and baby was healthy (which she was). I've always felt such a beautiful connection to all animals, especially horses and birds, and these were such beautiful Snow White moments of guidance.

Back to the logic of the story instead of the spiritual 😋 So Sam and I found out at about 5 1/2 weeks. My next period was late, and when I checked my calendar, I was actually two weeks late. I texted Mum saying I'm taking a test, and she responded so damn excitedly, that it was pretty much confirmed for me. Mum's always been in tune and connected with me. I fell asleep that night also knowing I was creating life inside of me and feeling quite wondrous.

The two tests the next day were positive, and both Sam and I were quite "holy shit" about it. Happy holy shit. Sam Poli and Caitlin Potts are quite known to rush into things together, drop everything and run toward one another, and anybody who knows us can tell you it's because we're just meant to be and always have been. There's never been any denying the connection when the two of us are in a room together, be it apart at the time and with other people, nothing has ever compared to the love we have always had for one another. So we knew, everything has led to this. Looking at our history over the last 9 years, the growth and lessons we have both learned, now is our time. We both thought we'd be engaged by the end of the year, but our little one wanted to come through first, and we are so accepting and full of love from that gift. So much in life is planned - the proposal, the wedding date, the dresses, but you can't plan when your baby wants to meet his/her parents and join you in this world, and this is the time she chose.

There wasn't a single doubt in either of our minds that this is meant to be and is also what we want. Ever since I was little, I fell in love with the idea of creating a little human that is half you, and half the person you love. God, it still blows me away that it can even happen, creating life with your soulmate. And so I held out for that. My parents divorced when I was 2 and aren't particularly amicable, so I've seen that the person you have a child with, you are practically tied to in one way or another for the rest of your life (and then you share grandkids together!), so I think that's had a lot to do with valuing myself and being truly aligned when it does come to my life partner. I've certainly walked away from previous relationships because I want my little ones to see their parents utterly in love.

So, at the start of my pregnancy, I was pretty overwhelmed. Where the hell do you start?! I booked my doctor appointment for the next day, had my blood tests the day after that, booked my ultrasound dating scan and looked up what I can't eat (brie and camembert cheese?? No more medium rare steaks, sushi, or fresh prawns??). I went shopping, and bought The Baby Bible + Holistic Hypnobirthing, prenatal tablets, and lots of organic fruit and veggies.

The first trimester is tricky, because it's "all meant to be one big secret" which I talk about in my YouTube video. But this is the time where you do need support, when you will be reaching out to mums for guidance and help. There is so much to learn at such a fast pace, there are so many medical appointments and choices and decisions, it's overwhelming af and I'm still not feeling too much clarity in regards to the medical side of things (I'm hoping my next post could help more with this!).

Melissa Ambrosini (yes, I mention her a lot in my blogs and stories!) was one of the first places I went for resources, having recently given birth to her little girl Bambi, and knowing her lifestyle is very holistic and aligned with my own views. She actually has an entire category on her blog relating to pregnancy with weekly YouTube videos (gosh, what a lifesaver). In 2017, she posted a podcast episode titled "How to have an ecstatic childbirth with Dr Sarah Buckley" and I have had it bookmarked in my mind since, ready for these days. Explore her podcast, instagram, blog and YouTube for as much goodness as you can on this journey.

Favourite Instagram Accounts

@thenakeddoula - the style of this account is so engaging and the rawness of the information she shares is like no other. I've saved countless posts here for reference when I get close to birth

@the.kat.oconnor - Kat is no longer active on this account but she has incredible resources in her highlights about her own journey with her little one, all very nature and organic based, and has a free ebook to download too

@belly2birth - I haven't engaged too much with this account, but it's about hypnobirthing with lots of resources, and she has a podcast too

@hypnobirthingaustralia - Another page with tips for birthing, info about doula's and tens machines etc

@birthing_you_ - Amelia was the first doula I came across and the information she shares is invaluable. She is very real and raw and honest and outspoken, and that's what you want for someone to support your birth journey. She is based in Melbourne (😥) but I closely follow her account anyway

@nurtured_by_karley - This is the doula Sam and I chose to support our birth, who is local to the Camden area. She held a pregnancy circle at her home when I was 8 weeks along which I attended, and I loved her warm, mothering, supportive energy so she will now be supporting me in my pregnancy as my doula and attending my homebirth in June!

@melissaambrosini - I've given her a write up above, but her instagram is a great place to look at her pregnancy highlights while you are on your own journey

Just a note, click here for what a doula is, and click here for what hypnobirthing is.

Top Pregnancy Apps

My goodness I have lived for these! Watching my little one grow, comparing her to the size of fruits and seeing her real life size in my phone screen, learning everything there is to know about each week of my pregnancy and the developments of both bub and me!

Hello Belly: A free app with so much value it almost feels like stealing! I follow these updates religiously. It's how I knew I was making 100 brain neurons per minute for my bub, that I have double the amount of blood running through me (with more going to baby than my brain!), accurate symptoms literally down to the day such as increased dizziness or getting headaches again in week 10, tips for Dad's that I read out to Sam so he understands more of what I'm going through, and anything and everything else. This app is better than any baby book I've purchased.

Pregnancy+: This app was recommended to me by my friend Bryony who is also growing her first baby! I downloaded this one purely to have a "real life size" image of my baby which is so exciting to watch and blows me away when I hold the phone to my belly to see her size inside.

Ovia Pregnancy: This is another cool free one with daily updates on Bub's growth and development, with lots of tips for you as well

Sprout: This is one I use for a visual image of what size and stage baby is physically at. It was so weird when she was a tadpole, and so cool to watch her develop into a little person! This has a fruit comparison as well, so I text Sam weekly updates "baby is the size of an orange!". There's also weekly updates, and I think it's free but I may have paid for the upgrade on this one to continue watching the growth of bub.

Podcasts I've saved/listened to:

How to have an ecstatic childbirth with Dr Sarah Buckley (The Melissa Ambrosini Show)

The ultimate Ayurvedic guide to pregnancy & motherhood (The Melissa Ambrosini Show)

The ultimate guide to a healthy, happy pregnancy & baby (The Melissa Ambrosini Show)

Healing sexual trauma, mindful pregnancy and prgasmic childbirth (The Melissa Ambrosini Show)

Pregnancy & Self Care (Becoming Mama)

Birth as a sexual experience, blood rites & women's mysteries (Authentic Sex w Juliet Allen)

Just have a search through Spotify for words such as pregnancy, conscious pregnancy, or google podcast recommendations for pregnancy too and you'll find plenty of resources, there are so many out there!

In your first trimester (and some for your whole pregnancy), you can't:

Get a massage, ride a horse, get botox/injections/certain facial treatments, use much salicylic acid on your skin, have hot baths or showers or use a sauna, aaaand that's not even touching on the food limitations you are now welcomed to. You also can't really have sex. Because you'll want to vomit afterward (or maybe during). I completelyyy lost any sex drive I ever had, even with myself, and I missed that intimacy with my partner so much but if I did muster up the energy to have sex then I just felt so sick afterward. And look, give yourself permission to fully put yourself first during this time, because you need to. You're growing a human, you're growing it's placenta, you have an insane amount of changes happening in your body that don't make you feel too crash hot at all so just be gentle and honour what you feel and think. I'm so grateful for the patience and support Sam gave me during this time (and always).

What helped me most in my first trimester:

  • Very very simple foods while I was feeling nauseous, such as nice biscuits, plain pasta, fruit, lots and lots of water

  • Morning walks in our back paddock every day, this was an instant lift

  • Fruit, I honestly lived for it even more than I usually do, veggies too. Lychees, cherries, mangoes, raw carrots, banana smoothies, açai bowls (without granola, just fruit and seeds), kiwi fruit (amazing for pregnancy), apricots, strawberries and raspberries

  • Having sugar available when I craved it, which means carrying chupa chops wherever I go, stopping in at the servo because I need gummi worms, fruit tingles are great when you start getting heartburn too and I am for the first time in my life loving lemon cordial.

I haven't had too many cravings, except for gravy (whether it be on chips or on a chicken roll), literally needing a fresh caramel mudcake from the cake shop, and being obsessed with lychee crush's from Boost and frozen Pepsi from KFC (I'm sounding so unhealthy haha it's 90% usually fruit and veg though!).

Personally I am having a homebirth, because that's something I've envisioned for myself since I was a teenager, and upon my appointment with a midwife at the hospital she confirmed I am absolutely the perfect candidate for one. To have a homebirth in Australia you need to have two midwives booked and present, which you reach out to directly on Homebirth NSW (there's also links for a national list if you're in another state). This is something you organise even before you fall pregnant if you can! I'm 3 months in, and already the midwives I have reached out to are booked out for June, so be sure to get onto yours. Thankfully we do have our doula locked in though for the extra support, knowledge, tips and tools!

That's about it for all my tips for my first trimester, I really hope this post is helpful for you because I wish I had all this information collated in one place and even just had some guidance on what I need to know about a homebirth! I also wish everyone knew what a doula is and had an idea about hospital policies when it comes to birthing (follow those doulas above!) and for everyone to know that you don't have to do it the "expected" way. Feel into what feels good, right, and safe for you.

Being 15 weeks along now, I've already started typing up notes for my second trimester so keep an eye for that blog to be published next! I can't wait to share more of this beautiful journey ✨

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