We are over the moon to share we are having a baby! Starting a family is always something I wanted to do and it feels a little surreal some of our wildest dreams started happening all in one year! Baby Cung-Van will be coming in April 2023 and we are feeling so grateful to be on this journey. I thought it’d be fun to do a little question-and-answer about my pregnancy since we are just at the halfway mark1
If you are struggling with infertility and to conceive, we are wrapping you in a hug and praying for you. I know pregnancy announcements can be tough to see when you’re going through a battle of your own.
How did you find out? How did you tell Johnny?
We found out together pretty early on! I stopped taking the birth control I’ve been on for about 10 years after our honeymoon in May. We feel so grateful to have gotten pregnant on our first try. Since we had started trying, we took a gamble and I wanted to take a pregnancy test the day my period would have started. I literally peed in a cup, passed it to Johnny, who dipped the pregnancy test into it and then we waited together! When Johnny went to go buy the pregnancy test, he didn’t get the ones that say Pregnant or Not Pregnant so we had a very very faint plus sign, haha! Johnny wrote “maybe” in his journal that day and we figured we could take another test next week. I lasted about three days before taking it again with a more surefire plus sign!
When did you tell family and friends?
We told our parents pretty early on, about the five to six week mark! We couldn’t wait to share. The hardest part was waiting for our parents’ announcement gifts to come in! After we told our parents, we told my siblings and our close friends. It was so heartwarming to see everyone’s reaction and how excited they are to be a part of our baby’s life.
What helped you conceive?
I want to reiterate, we feel so grateful to have gotten pregnant on our first try so I’m simply sharing what we did and what worked for us! Of course, talk to your doctor about what would be best for you. We used the Ava Bracelet in combination with these ovulation test strips. I wore the Ava bracelet every night when sleeping (make sure it’s fully charged!). You’ll get an estimate of when you’re ovulating and I like how it gives you skin temperature, which is an indicator as well. The Ava bracelet gave us a bigger window and then about a week before ovulating, we incorporated the test strips to be really precise and also to back it up. My recommendation for the strips is to take them at the same time each day and also keep them in a journal so you can reference how dark the line gets!
How are you feeling?
I’ve been feeling really good! I haven’t had any nausea whatsoever, so I feel like that in itself is such a big blessing. Thanks, Mom for passing down those genes! During my first trimester, the fatigue hit really hard and wasn’t like what I thought it’d be. I’ve powered through a lot of things before, but this made it really hard to be creative and brainstorm, which is an essential part of my job!
I did encounter some pretty bad tailbone, hip and back pain around the 12-week mark. In part due to my already broken tailbone from more than a decade ago and a really bad flight from Boston. From my tailbone, the pain started radiating into my lower back and eventually my hips.
About two months later, I’m starting to feel some relief after seeing a chiropractor, pelvic floor physical therapist and getting regular massages. The pelvic floor PT has made a world of a difference and so has doing my assigned exercises every day. I would highly recommend anyone who is pregnant to find a good one as it’s never too early! I’ve gotten most of my energy back and feel grateful to be in the second trimester.
How to pick an OBGYN?
I’m really big on word of mouth and prefer to go off personal recommendations of friends, family and those I know than online reviews. One thing I learned early on when it came to online reviews is unhappy people leave reviews, whereas those who are happy tend to move on with their life. I asked a handful of friends who their OB was and what they liked about their doctor. My brother is a physician and some things that were really important to me include:
- whether friends would deliver again with that OB and their personal review/recommendation
- the doctor’s experience with patients similar to me
- I personally wanted a female doctor, but I have friends with male OBs who love them!
- whether the hospital my OB has privileges has a blood bank and can do major transfusions
- proximity to OB’s practice and the hospital we would be delivering at
- the doctor’s outlook on care – are they more likely to encourage vaginal birth versus c-section, how my care would be managed during the nine months leading up to delivery and the actual care plan
- communication style
I want to stress everyone is different so what you are looking for in an OB could be different! These are just things I knew I wanted.
What prenatal vitamins are you taking?
I’ve shared how I take Ritual multivitamins on my blog before. I appreciate their approach, traceable ingredients and how they have a team of scientists, including a biologist, physiologist and registered dietitian leading the charge to create their products. Around Spring 2021, I switched to taking Ritual Prenatals at the recommendation of my brother to prepare my body for pregnancy. I’ve taken those ever since and love them! They go down really easily, don’t make me nauseous and I like the lemon taste. Code HKCUNG20 will get you 20% off your first month. I personally like the subscription model since I always have them and it keeps me accountable.
What lifestyle changes have you made?
To be honest, I haven’t made a ton. Before becoming pregnant, I already prioritized sleep, drinking lots of water and eating healthy. Now, I’m just more conscious of making sure I take my prenatal vitamins every day, drinking AG1 (make sure to talk to your OB before incorporating anything) and eating a variety of fruits and vegetables in addition to protein.
On the beauty front, this is where I noticed the biggest difference. I stopped using retinol and started referencing 15 Minute Beauty for what is and isn’t pregnancy safe. I still use pretty much all of the same makeup, but skincare is where I made some changes. I’m still currently testing out some products and will be doing a pregnancy beauty blog post soon!
When did you start showing?
The day we took our pregnancy announcement photos was actually the day I started showing! I remember telling our photographer I didn’t really want a ton of shots of Johnny touching my belly since there wasn’t a sizable bump there and it would be weird, haha. Sounds like baby understood the assignment because that day I popped!
I think it’s important to remember every single pregnancy and body are different. Everyone will have a different size bump, gain more or less weight, etc. and feel differently. What’s most important is how your OB feels and as long as you are happy and healthy that’s what matters. I am generally more petite and so I wasn’t expecting to show a lot. My Mom didn’t have a big bump when she was pregnant so I wasn’t expecting to. I’d mentally prepare yourself to feel some type of way as comments from colleagues, friends and family come in. Some comments will be nice, some may not, but just remember not to let either one affect you too much!
Thank you so much for reading and following along on our journey! I’ll be sharing more of our pregnancy journey soon!