My first trimester started so well. Those first weeks after my positive pregnancy test were blissful (scary but blissful). I was thrilled with the news about the little one joining our family and felt completely normal. In fact, I was almost struggling with the idea that I was pregnant because I felt exactly the same. Then it all came crashing down when we went on a trip to Washington DC for my sister’s wedding. It was, of course, terrible timing for morning sickness to make its appearance and for my bladder to start rebelling against me. We survived thanks to lots of water and naps. My poor husband felt useless, there isn’t much he could do to help. But he found a job, the second I ran to the bathroom he was behind me with a glass of water. This process continued through my first trimester before the bliss returned in my second trimester. I made it through and so will you!
Here are a few things I experienced:
- “Morning” Sickness – Mine was evening sickness and all the time nausea. I felt nauseous and tired most of the time, like I had the flu FOR MONTHS. I actually got sick in the evening after dinner. It was awful; my appetite was completely gone and yet I was constantly reminded that I was now eating for two (I ignored my urge to kick people who said that in the shin). My doctor made me feel better, she explained it was normal to have little appetite during this time and to just eat whatever I could. I ate cereal… so much cereal. I easily doubled the amount of milk we were going through! It was the one thing that consistently sounded good and it wasn’t the worst if it came back up.
I know every woman’s experience is different, some don’t get any sickness (so lucky…), others are sick all day every day (I remind myself it could have been worse). After accepting that I just had to eat what I could keep down (crackers and ginger ale are ammmmazing) I felt the stress of eating healthy for the baby come off my shoulders. I then focused on survival.
- Exhaustion – Saying I was tired just doesn’t seem to explain the feeling correctly. I was exhausted my first trimester. I never take naps but afternoon or after work naps became a norm (I take so few naps that falling asleep one afternoon was the reason I bought a pregnancy test!). By the end of the work day I was mentally and physically done. I came home, laid on the couch, and then didn’t move. It seemed like too much work to text people back or change the channel. I am a doer, I like projects and socializing, it was a struggle for me to admit that I just needed the rest. I cried a few times because I was so tired and I felt isolated by my fatigue. Don’t fight it, your body is making a human, you need the rest (my hubby told me that all the time)! Bask in the knowledge that in second trimester everything gets so much better.
- Bathroom Breaks – This is exactly what it sounds like, I had to pee all the time… ALL THE TIME. This is your bodies reaction to baby and I was aware it was normal, it didn’t make it any less annoying. My water intake also increased substantially during this time. I gave up caffeine, sugar heaving drinks, and alcohol, which meant more water but I was also craving water. These factors didn’t help the bladder situation.
- Sore Breasts – I wasn’t prepared for how uncomfortable my breasts were during this period. They ached, it was terribly uncomfortable but nothing seemed to help much. Using a sports bra alleviated some of the discomfort and warm baths were a Godsend (warm baths and pregnancy just go hand in hand… buy some bubble bath and a loofa!).
- Lower Back Pain – For some reason, I experienced lower back pain very early in my pregnancy. It was an ache that wouldn’t go away. I would lay on the floor (the hard surface helped) with an ice pack under my lower spine to help relax me. If you are an essential oils user, Peppermint essential oil helped (do your research on oils if you are using them during pregnancy). Finally, the warm bath, the pregnant woman’s best friend.
The list seems intimidating but I will say all these things didn’t happen at one time. Everyday held a different challenge during my first trimester. I cried a few times and questioned how women could do this more than once but those feelings passed quickly (the first time I felt baby kick these thoughts were long gone). Take each day a step at a time. Pregnancy is a marathon, not a sprint, and your baby waits at the finish line.
You will survive!