Pregnancy & Birth

I Hate Pregnancy: A Handy Guide for a Tough First Trimester

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?

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  • Megan
    February 21, 2013 at 9:45 PM

    Acupuncture! I’m pretty sure it shortened the duration of my nausea and vomiting.

    • Haley
      February 21, 2013 at 10:44 PM

      Great advice! I tried acupuncture for the first time when I was trying to avoid an induction (my second baby was almost two weeks late!) and it worked like a charm: I started having contractions on the table! So I’m a believer now and I really should try that if I have terrible morning sickness for my next pregnancy (God willing we’re blessed with more little ones).

  • Rachel
    February 21, 2013 at 10:05 PM

    Thank you for your honesty! So glad someone else knows the pain or morning sickness. Mine was more light morning, noon, and night sickness. I averaged getting sick about 15 times a day 🙁 the only thing that got me through the day was egg and cheese biscuits from McDonalds. I also kept a ultrasound picture in the bathroom to remind my self why I didn’t hate my life. I continued having morning sickness until the moment I delivered. It was like once that baby was out the nausea went away.

    • Haley
      February 21, 2013 at 10:46 PM

      So funny that you mention those breakfast sandwiches! When I’m not pregnant I’m a super healthy eater but for morning sickness, a fast food breakfast sandwich is my greatest craving and it really does help the nausea. I’m glad I’m not the only one! And I don’t know why it helps because when I make high protein breakfasts or even breakfast sandwiches at my house it doesn’t satisfy the cravings and kick the nausea like a fast food bfast sandwich does. So weird!

      • Rachel
        February 22, 2013 at 1:16 AM

        It is weird! We have chickens and all the fresh eggs we want but they do not do the trick. My doctor was the one who suggested McDonalds because she had other patients suggest them. Since that was the only thing I could eat and still throwing up I had to eat 3, 000 calories a day of them hoping I could keep something down. It took me 3 years before I could eat them again.

  • Rene
    February 21, 2013 at 11:28 PM

    This is a great post – thank you! I always reminded myself that others had it far worse than me..I mean, I didn’t even vomit blood once! 😉 I think it’s a great point that we should ‘make hay while the sun shines’ because before you know it you’re into the next phase and you might have missed a golden opportunity to make meals, clean out the fridge, etc.

    • Haley
      February 23, 2013 at 4:19 PM

      Thank you, Rene! I always psyche myself up into thinking I’ve got it THE WORST and then i think of my friends who had to be hospitalized with IVs to survive their pregnancies and I feel like a big whiner. Speaking of making hay while the sun shines, I need to start filling my freezer with meals for post-partum before the third trimester fatigue really kicks into gear!

  • Kelley
    February 25, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    My first pregnancy I had no morning sickness at all, but I got horrific preeclampsia, 2 weeks in the ICU for me, and 67 days in a NICU with my baby, who was born at 28 weeks while my blood pressure hit 210/190. Second time, I was nauseous ALL THE TIME for three months. Morning, afternoon, and night sickness, the kind where you wish you could vomit but never do … but, trust me, I’d much rather that than pre-e again (and, thank goodness, I didn’t have to deal with pre-e again – Baby #2 was born at full term). Every pregnancy has its own challenges and struggles, of course, but I actually liked the reminder that my pregnancy was progressing normally when I had normal things like morning sickness the second time around.

    • Haley
      February 25, 2013 at 12:52 PM

      I’m so glad you didn’t have the same struggles with Baby #2!

  • Randa
    March 7, 2013 at 9:06 PM

    My holistic practitioner told me that I could use vitamin B-6 pills for acute nausea, if needed. Swanson Vitamins sells them… hopefully that helps someone!

    • Stephanie
      March 8, 2013 at 12:38 AM

      B-6 works great for nausea most of the time!

  • Nat
    August 9, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    I am 10 weeks pregnant and absolutely miserable. Have been to the ER several times to get fluids because I can’t keep anything down:(.. Definitely feels like a never ending journey right now! My doctor gave me zofran but its not really helping. I wear my dorky sea bands constantly and I think I’ve tried every single home remedy ever thought of without relief. Hoping this all ends soon!

    • Stephanie
      August 9, 2013 at 6:27 PM

      Look up my post on magnesium, there is new research that suggest that morning sickness, especially the kind that last the entire pregnancy is from a magnesium defeciency.

  • Noel
    November 4, 2015 at 11:46 AM

    I’m on week 6 and while the nausea comes and goes in waves so far, only making me puke once or twice a day, the exhaustion and emotional roller coaster and food aversions are the worst for me. This was a planned pregnancy- one planned by very very naive people who thought it be fun and pleasant for some reason. I cry every single day without fail, lose my shit over absolutely nothing constantly, and can’t seem to get my blood sugar stable. One minute I’m starving and dying, then eat 3 bites, nauseated, then don’t eat, starving and acid reflux. Then I’m crying over the toilet barfing and hysterical- why did no one talk about how absolutely horrible this was going to be?! They all lied. They said I’d be glowing. They said it’d be a happy time. I’ve never been more of a raving lunatic in my life and I’ve got how many more weeks of this?! How exactly am I expected to do my job as I’m sobbing at my desk for the third time today?! I HATE FIRST TRIMESTER! Also thank you for speaking truthfully about how hard and crappy this is. I wish more people would.

    • Sarah
      November 19, 2015 at 5:12 PM

      I love you! This is exactly how I feel.

    • Dilea
      November 30, 2015 at 12:19 PM

      I feel you to the tee. In the same predicament and I feel scammed.

    • Richelle
      December 1, 2015 at 9:15 AM

      Omg, yes!! I feel like I have been lied to. It is so, so much worse than I imagined. For me it seems to be getting worse. The thing I can’t stand the most is being hungry, which I am all the time. But the cruel thing is I can’t eat anything! And if I haven’t eaten then I just throw up and if I do eat I still throw up. The worst thing is, is I’m in my first semester of grad school, and I have zero money. I am so sad and sick all the time.

    • Nicole
      December 20, 2015 at 1:41 PM

      Yeah she hit it head on. Im 6 weeks and Im always super hungry but the smell of anything other than water makes me nauseous. I dont like this one bit. Then I feel bad because I know this can’t be healthy for the baby… I want to eat but I just cant. Ive been drinking Ensure which is actually helping boost my enery, but food seems far fetched right now.

    • Miserable Mom-to-be
      December 27, 2015 at 8:50 AM

      Omg you have put every one of my emotions into words right now :(!!! As I write this in the dark, miserable, on my iPhone in bed at 5:30 in the morning—woken up once again by nausea, migraine, stomach cramping and overall misery! I feel lied to as well my friend! This absolutely sucks & I feel no one can help me! Praying to God the misery ends soon and I can be that glowing happy pregnant lady everyone always talked about….

    • elif
      January 16, 2016 at 1:28 PM

      ı am feeling exactly the same. ı hate it

  • Laki
    December 22, 2015 at 12:06 AM

    I too have hypermesis. I threw up nothing but bile and streaks of blood for the days and lost 4 pounds. I’m only 100 pounds. I tried everything. Doc gave me a shot of zofran and pills. They take a lot of the edge off but make my IBS constipation unbearable. I didn’t sleep at all last night due to it. I didn’t eat all day today and the nausea is back. I’m high risk as well due to incompetent cervix. This is my 7th pregnancy. I have one living daughter who is three that I can’t even take care of right now. We are broke because dh was laid of and we have to move. DD has to stay with my mom until we get settled. I haven’t even gotten a sonogram yet at 12 weeks. Live on a remote island with no prenatal care. To go to my ob its a three hour trek with a ferry ride. All I can do is try to eat and not throw up and cry. I even considered terminating the pregnancy I’m so miserable and I’m pro life. I wish there was a light at the end of my tunnel but with five dead children due to stillbirth and miscarriage its looking grim with all the pain and nausea. I just need a break…

  • Helica
    February 20, 2016 at 4:57 PM

    My first trimester is completely terrible. I throw up at least 9 times a day , every single time I eat. I work fast-food . I was taking orders and felt as if I was gonna barf or pass out on my customers . I’m 8 weeks and get my first ultrasound Monday . my dr told me to eat hard candy , chew peppermint gum and etc. But it still don’t work . any suggestions?

  • Natalie I
    February 21, 2016 at 9:56 PM

    Holy cow it’s nice to know I’m not the only crazy person in the room! I thought getting pregnant would be fun. I thought getting pregnant would be exciting. It’s none of those things. It’s absolutely miserable and every person I complain to says “oh, it’s all worth it in the end” honestly I just want to punch them in the mouth. I’m 8 weeks and so far every aspect of this experience has been absolutely awful. I have morning sickness all day, heartburn, random nasty headaches, I’m freaking tired all the darn time the list goes on and on. I honestly cannot wait for this to be over because so far this has been an absolute nightmare!

  • kiki
    February 25, 2016 at 2:08 AM

    Thank goodness I’m not the only one feeling like this. I’m about 6weeks pregnant with tons of sickness. I get nauseated like crazy, sometimes have heartburn so terrible that I cry. I’ve also being spitting excessively. Don’t know why I couldn’t be among the lucky ones that don’t feel this miserable during pregnancy. So annoying and to crown it all I hardly sleep.i keep thinking of the other weeks I still have go thru this. My first baby was also like this. I just pray the weeks roll by faster cos I feel my 2nd trimester will be a lot better than this.# hopefully#. Well girls these are the sacrifices we do to be mothers. I pray for God’s strength to go thru this. One Luv u all.

  • Helen
    April 6, 2016 at 1:21 AM

    Thank God for all of you beautiful women! I am sitting here crying my eyes out because I am physically exhausted. Everything I have gone through so far has been utterly miserable and I am now 10 weeks and a few days. I first started my symptoms 5 weeks in and it has been so hard ever since. I literally pray every night “Please, please God give me the strength to make it through the day.” I’ve had to go to the ER already a few times, I can’t use the bathroom, my mouth constantly has saliva, I am puking constantly and all I want to do is eat. I’m so hungry, so thirsty, but the thought of putting anything in my mouth makes me want to gag. I’m so exhausted and like everyone said, looking at my ultrasound picture or looking at the baby apps pictures of the “baby now” definitely helps. I’ve tried everything and spent so much money on different foods, teas, candies, snacks and nothing seems to help. 🙁 Tonight I find it mentally challenging and some of these posts on here are older so it gives me strength knowing you all have made it through. someone mentioned terminating the pregnancy was a thought because they were so miserable. Tonight the thought came across and I feel so awful because we actually have been trying for 5 years. We actually gave up the thought of having a baby. So I need the courage to make it through. I keep telling myself I’ve got this. I’ve taken 2 weeks off of work in hopes I would feel better. Tomorrow I’m suppose to return to work and Im not better at all and now it seems mentally after all this time it’s taking a toll. Thank you everyone for your stories and giving me some hope. I will wipe my tears, pray and remember the outcome is well worth this misery. Hopefully a few more weeks and I will feel better, I can eat and drink and this nausea will go away. Ugghhhh I am so hungry! Good night everyone and thank you all again for being so honest.

    • Sandy
      April 9, 2016 at 10:35 PM

      I am between 5-6 weeks and miserable the last few days. Emotionally and physically exhausted and feel like I could crawl out of my skin. I feel so bad because I am so short with my fiancé. I am glad to know that we aren’t the only ones feeling so lousy. Here’s hoping the 2nd trimester is a walk in the park. Hang in there!

  • Lisa
    September 4, 2016 at 4:34 PM

    I am almost at 8 weeks and have been getting nausea since week 6. I’ve taken numerous days off of work hoping it will help me feel better. I’m nauseous all day every day. I’m constantly hungry and CRAVE a decent meal, but can’t eat one due to feeling sick just thinking about it. I pray everyday hoping that this will end soon.

  • Delila a
    September 12, 2016 at 4:26 AM

    This is AMAZING.
    I am 8 weeks , and for the last three weeks Ive been stuck in bed with the worst nausea all day. I also have gerd that decided to kick back in with pregnancy. I cant say anything to anyone without the ” youre only 8 weeks and you are already complaining ” comment . Im excited for our first baby , but so far I hate being pregnant and i feel guilty feeling that way.