First let me set the record straight: I am by no means an expert on pregnancy. I have, however, learned a few things from my two pregnancies including ways to better navigate and actually enjoy those first twelve weeks of growing a human which can be tough. Everything is all new and exciting but also terrifying and smells bad for some reason. So many friends have asked me about my first trimester and I know as both a first and second time mom I was always googling or asking my girlfriends for advice so I compiled my own little list of what helped me in hopes it will help another mama!
Eat whatever you can and hydrate – Typically in the beginning of pregnancy it can be hard to find food that even sounds appealing and you may struggle to keep food down some days. If you find something that sits well and has some nutritional value that is a WIN. Also, drink all the water – dehydration leads to a myriad of awful symptoms so keep that Yeti filled and sip on it all day every day.
Choose rest over everything – This was definitely easier to do during my first pregnancy when I didn’t have a toddler to chase around, but something I had to make a priority with both. Your body is working overtime so the exhaustion is real. During my first, I took every opportunity to sleep in, take quick naps during the afternoon and make sure I had plenty of downtime to put my feet up and do nothing. This isn’t being lazy – it’s called taking care of you and that sweet little baby who’s slowly taking over your body. The second time around, my husband was such a champ to make sure I had plenty of opportunities to lay down or veg out or whatever I needed to do to feel more rested. Also, there is no shame in the 9pm bedtime!
Try anything and everything to combat your nausea – During this second pregnancy, I had some rough days where I was so nauseous I didn’t want to eat more than toast or crackers. At the height of feeling sick we were on vacation with my family and me + the ocean + sea smells didn’t always mix. It was then I tried Sea Bands as a last-ditch effort and it worked like a charm for me. I also found it helpful to eat first thing when I woke up and then eat small snacks throughout the day to keep my blood sugar stable and something in my stomach – crackers, nuts, a spoonful of peanut butter or something with some protein.
Lean on your people – This includes your spouse, your best friends, your mama and your OB/Midwife. Having a tribe of people as a support system isn’t just for the hard times but for those weird questions you’ll most likely have along the way. You may have questions that you would want to ask your best friend about symptoms that are funny or seem strange or you may need help with your older children if you aren’t feeling well – don’t be afraid to lean on your people.
Pray, pray, pray – The first twelve weeks of pregnancy can be incredible nerve-wracking. There are so many what-if scenarios you can easily play in your head and whether it’s your first or not, it’s easy to slip into the worry trap. I have found the best thing to combat that has been prayer. When I’m pouring my heart out to God and sharing with Him all my fears and anxieties, I let go of so much of what I can’t control and allow myself to praise Him for making me a mama.
Cut yourself some slack and remember, it’s not your fault – it’s the hormones – There are so many ups and downs during those first weeks and you’ll likely lash out irrationally multiple times on your husband. When that happens, remind yourself – and the man you married – it’s no your fault. It’s the hormones.