9 ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR SURVIVING THE FIRST TRIMESTER
I DID NOT LIKE BEING PREGNANT, BUT I REALLY DID NOT LIKE BEING PREGNANT IN THE FIRST TRIMESTER
I know it’s a miracle, and I am insanely grateful to have been blessed to grow my baby. I really am. But being pregnant sucked. The first trimester sucked, the second trimester sucked, and the third trimester was like something straight out of a horror movie.
But today we’re just talking about the Joy of the First Trimester.
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I MADE IT 6 WEEKS BEFORE I GOT SICK.
We had just landed in Hawaii and so far I felt great! I had been enjoying my first few weeks of pregnancy, right from deciding how to tell my husband I’m pregnant to planning our nursery. (I was sad I couldn’t have any drinks, but I was happy to be in Hawaii and determined not to let the drink-less-ness of the holiday ruin my mood.) We had a condo, a rental car, and a beach umbrella. And we had a trunk full of steaks, chicken, and salads from Costco for our ten-day trip.
Then I BBQ-ed some chicken after a gorgeous day on the beach.
It was all downhill from there.
SO I tried salad. (Not better.)
I tried steak. I tried a hamburger. I tried all the food.
I was just about to give up and cry when it suddenly occurred to me that bananas (which I don’t like) and cliff bars (which I don’t eat often) were totally acceptable food.
So we went straight to Wal-Mart to scrounge up some of those things. And then came straight back to the condo to lay on the couch, followed by an early bedtime and some sleeping in. And then some throwing up and complaining about the cramps. The constant cramps. (Just FYI, you SHOULD check with your doctor regarding any cramping – but don’t panic about it. I had cramps until about 4 months in.)
And thus began the Joy of the First Trimester. (And I don’t mean actual joy as in having fun “shopping for all the things to buy when you find out you are pregnant“. I mean “joy” like “misery”.)
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ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR THE FIRST TRIMESTER + TIPS FOR DEALING WITH MORNING SICKNESS
Now, if you feel great – congrats! This advice might not be that relevant to you. If you can keep working out, that’s AWESOME. If you can eat spinach and chia seeds and keep your pre-natals down, good for you!
But if that’s you, then don’t judge me for what I’m about to say, because you just don’t understand.
♥ FIRST AND FOREMOST, CUT YOURSELF SOME SLACK.
You are growing a human – (and it feels like that human is trying to destroy you) – stop worrying so much about “staying healthy for the baby.”
Sure, do your best to maintain your health, your home and your job, but accept that maybe you just can’t. Wear the stretchy pants, lay on the couch, and watch Netflix. If you have to go into the office, ditch the guilt when you have to lay your head down on your desk for 15 minutes. Three times per day. (Yup, I totally did that.)
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♥ EAT WHATEVER YOU CAN, WHENEVER YOU CAN.
Seriously. My sister convinced me of this.
One of the reasons that “morning sickness” can be worse in the morning is that having an empty stomach tends to bring it on.
But when all the “healthy” food is gross, your stomach might be empty… alot.
So don’t worry about nutrition, don’t worry about calories. If you find something that you can eat, eat it. For weeks I stressed about nutrition. One day I spent half an hour forcing down a protein powder and fruit smoothie. It was SO awful. But I got it down.
And I kept it down for approx 3.5 minutes.
The day I discovered that I could eat potatoes was the best day. Any form of potatoes! And I could eat cold white food. Ice cream, plain yogurt, vanilla milk shakes. Those things were all ok.
I admitted to my doctor that I was eating nothing but potatoes and ice cream, expecting a lecture. I was SO relieved that he just laughed and assured me that my baby was more like a parasite than a pet, and it would take what it needed from me.
You will feel one hundred times less nauseous if you feed yourself something. (If you can’t find anything that sounds good, saltine crackers are usually a safe bet.)
♥ SLEEP. CHOOSE SLEEP OVER FACEBOOK. CHOOSE SLEEP OVER TV. CHOOSE SLEEP OVER ANY OTHER LEISURE ACTIVITY.
This might actually be uncontrollable. I have never (and I do mean never – apparently even as an infant) been able to just lay down on the couch during the day and fall asleep.
Except for during the first trimester. And the more I allowed myself to sleep, the better I felt. (PS, if you’re already uncomfortable, don’t wait to get a pregnancy pillow. You can grab one for 50% off here with the code mommyonpurpose50 – just for my readers ♥.)
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♥ TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR AT THE FIRST APPOINTMENT ABOUT TAKING VITAMIN B.
I had read some theories online about how taking B vit might prevent morning sickness and I was taking a liquid B (this is the one I took, and it says right on the bottle “for use during pregnancy to prevent neural tube defects”).
My Doctor said the idea that B Vit could prevent morning sickness has never been proven, but it just so happened that I got sick in Hawaii … where I couldn’t take my B vit because we had traveled carry on only and I couldn’t pack the liquid bottle. I certainly found that it seemed to help.
♥ READ UP (AND STOCK UP) ON A FEW SAFE NAUSEA REMEDIES BEFORE YOU ACTUALLY GET SICK.
Don’t fight it! Just give in and throw up.
If you still don’t feel better try
- Deep breathing
- Inhaling peppermint essential oil
- Drinking some ginger tea
- Plain toast or crackers
- Sea Bands
- Getting in bed and staying in bed
- Crying really loud and demanding sympathy
(This pregnancy subscription box gives you some awesome pregnancy sickness remedies in the first box!! I got cute nausea bands and preggie pop drops in mine, as well as an adorable pregnancy journal and weekly bump photo stickers!)
♥ STOCK UP ON PRUNE JUICE. FOR CONSTIPATION. REALLY. (IF YOU DIDN’T KNOW THIS WAS AN ISSUE… YOU WILL LIKELY KNOW SOON.)
I don’t fear over-sharing, so I’ll tell you flat out- there’s a good chance that terrible pain off to the lower left in your stomach is poop. Things are changing rapidly in there, and you’re taking iron to boot. (Which can REALLY back things up.) Prune juice is your friend. As is coconut water.
♥ TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR AT THE FIRST APPOINTMENT ABOUT TAKING TYLENOL / USING HEAT / ICE.
I swore I wouldn’t touch tylenol while I was pregnant so I didn’t bother talking to my Dr about it. And maybe you’ll be able to hold out. But when it’s 47 hours into the first migraine you’ve ever had, or four days into your first cold as a pregnant lady, you may just break down and take it.
So know if your Doctor says it’s ok, and know how much is ok.
(Just FYI, I would rather give birth again than have a cold again while pregnant. I DID take the Tylenol, after a complete break down at the pharmacy when they told me that’s all I could have.)
♥ WHEN YOU ARE OVERWHELMED BY ALL THE FEELINGS, REMIND YOURSELF THAT IT’S NOT YOU (…OR YOUR HUSBAND) IT’S JUST THE HORMONES.
Recognizing your crazy emotions as a force that you aren’t in control of can allow you to feel less overwhelmed. You might still feel sad or scared or confused, but knowing that it will pass and that you don’t have to get it together is sort of freeing.
And if you haven’t grabbed one yet – consider picking up this printable pregnancy and baby journal. It was actually made BY a mom, so she included the REALLY important things you’ll want to remember about this time in your life (because it will be important in another ten years).
♥ Really focus on WHY you’re suffering.
I swear – even if you’re not sure you really want kids – when you meet that baby it will all seem worth it. You might even sign up to do it again.