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Time for some honesty: I hate being pregnant. Now don’t get me wrong. I love my babies. I love motherhood. But the first trimester and I are not friends. The first 3-4 months of pregnancy are a roller coaster of misery for me. The unyielding nausea, vomiting, and exhaustion make labor seem like a walk in the park in comparison. It’s like 15 weeks of the stomach flu. I’m pregnant with baby #3 and I’m so grateful to be ending my second trimester now!
Now I know some women are not on such bad terms with the Infamous First Trimester. Some women breeze through with nary a day of nausea. They’ll say, “I never feel better than when I’m pregnant!” If this is you then I’ll try to refrain from giving you a good scowl for your amazing luck.
But if you’re like me, here’s some ideas to help you survive those first few weeks if the morning sickness is going to keep you down for the count. Even if you’re one of the 25% of gals that doesn’t experience morning sickness, you will most likely experience some pregnancy fatigue and these ideas will help you make it to that second trimester burst of energy!
When you find out you’re expecting, now is the time to celebrate before those wretched food aversions creep in. Kick up your heels! Go to your favorite restaurant! I always want to enjoy a few delicious dinners of Italian food that I know I won’t be able to stomach when my pregnancy aversion to basil inevitably kicks in (to the great sorrow of my basil-loving husband.) Enjoy it!
Freeze some meals. If you’re one of us special gals that pukes at the slight cooking smell, you will thank yourself later if you stock your freezer with meals that just have to be heated or made in the slow cooker. Stephanie’s eCookbook of real food slow cooker meals is a great resource for this! You can dump your bag of already chopped and prepared ingredients into the slow cooker and call it a day. Having lots of meal options available in your freezer also helps cater to your pregnancy cravings. If the thought of certain meats or veggies make you nauseous, you’ve got several other possibilities ready to go. I really wish I had done a better job of stocking up on freezer meals during this pregnancy because we went way over budget on grocery bills during my first trimester trying to find something I could stomach at the last minute.
Do a household deep clean before the fatigue and nausea set in (for most women this is around week 7 or 8 but for me it’s week 5 so I have to get prepared early). Make sure your fridge is sparkling clean because your superhuman pregnant nose will pick up the sligh
whiff of icky food smell.
Enlist some help. Even when I’m in first trimester vomiting agony, it’s not an option for my husband to stay home from work to watch our other two little ones. Talk to friends or family about whether you can call them in an emergency for childcare, a grocery store run, or to drop off whatever food you think you can stomach on that particular day. This time around, my queasiest pregnancy yet, my older brother made a few valiant last-minute runs to pick up Chinese take out when all I could keep down for several days was egg drop soup. If anyone offers to help out, say YES! If they say they will fold your laundry, do your dishes, or watch your kids so you can take a nap, they probably mean it and really want to be helpful. Let them!
Explore some remedies that might alleviate the nausea. Is it drinking lemon water? Candied ginger? Nothing completely tames my morning sickness at it’s worse, but here’s a few tips that have helped me survive morning sickness in the past and this is a great post about homeopathic morning sickness remedies.
For my morning sickness sisters, it’s easy to wonder in the midst of your misery, “is this even worth it?” Take heart. I promise it is. Feeling those little kicks and flutters in the second trimester help me remember the whole point: a new precious life. A friend of mine kept an ultrasound picture of her baby in her bathroom so she could remind herself why she was going through the miseries of pregnancy each time she had a vomiting episode. Reaching the enjoyable and energetic weeks 20-27 before the discomfort of the third trimester hits give me a chance to pull myself together and get some perspective. No matter how dreadful I felt during my pregnancy, on the miraculous day that I meet my sweet baby, I always look back on the past nine months and think, “Oh that? That was nothing, little one. I’d do it again for you in a heartbeat.”
Now, would you just remind me of that truth as I enter the sleepy, uncomfortable, puffy third trimester in which I usually get so huge that well-meaning strangers pat my shoulder and say, “Any day now!” when I’m still two months from my due date? Thanks.
Do you struggle with morning sickness during pregnancy? What are your pregnancy survival tips?