Hey there, friends! Now that I’ve made it to my second trimester, I thought I’d put together a little recap of what I experienced and what made me feel better. I remember being so completely clueless as this is my first pregnancy. I’m also in a country where I am so new to how their healthcare system is handled when it comes to perinatal care. Moreover, I didn’t have the energy to really figure it out so, I went and cried to my friends who were already Mom’s to give me allll the tips, hah! They truly got me through …. you know who you are! So much of this post is thanks to their recommendations per their doctor’s!
Keep in mind! Some symptoms won’t have a solution for your particular experience so just know all of these aren’t the end-all-be-all but, you never know, what I mention COULD be helpful to you. For example: I couldn’t shake the fatigue and lack of energy. It was just something I had to make the best of and allow myself to just embrace until my body let it subside on its own. So, also keep that in mind. Sometimes, your body is going to win and we just need to do our best to be okay with it.
Here are some of the things that got me through:
While I never found a cure for fatigue, I did find it is absolutely essential to love your loungewear pieces because they will be getting the most love during this time! I’d sleep in literally whatever was clean but this is a super soft set if you need something new. When I had energy to put something else on, I lived in joggers – size up so the elastic doesn’t bother you’re newly growing bump! And, for the days where you just can’t bother with pants, wear an oversized sweatshirt around the house and have no shame your hair is dirty, you have some breakouts going on and you’re stuffing you face with toast and strawberry jam. Slippers are also key!
Another symptom I experienced, although an ‘unofficial’ one, was ‘absolute cluelessness’ when it comes to the topic of pregnancy. Since we weren’t technically trying, and it has been over ten years since I was in nursing school, I felt completely clueless. I wasn’t on a prenatal vitamin. As I shared in our announcement post, I had literally made so many terrible choices I most certainly would I have made had I known I might be pregnant. I really needed to up my game. The first thing I did was download Ovia and The Bump app, both of which gave you just the perfect amount of insight into your pregnancy, your baby, and relevant articles for you to read at that point in your journey. I also ordered ‘What To Expect When You’re Expecting’ and a pregnancy journal to document when I felt up for it. John was really intrigued and wanted to participate in learning more about what I’ll be experiencing so he has been reading ‘Pregnancy For Men’, which he is really loving. It’s written by a British person so the humor and the references may be a bit different than what you’re used to but he said he appreciate the knowledge, tips and that it has humor sprinkled in, as well. Towards the end of my first trimester, I started getting into ‘Expecting Better’, which is written by an American economist who breaks down a lot of pregnancy recommendations with evidence so you feel empowered to make your own decisions and not just go off of what your doctor says. It’s really really interesting so far! I’d highly recommend!
Nausea wasn’t one of my biggest symptoms but I did struggle with it for about two weeks and, gosh, it’s miserable. If this was one of yours — I truly feel for you. It’s so uncomfortable! I tried to power through mine and when it finally got to be too much … it literally went away so I haven’t actually tried any of these personally but they were recommended to me when I was at my wits end with my nausea. The first thing I’ll say is … especially early on, when your symptoms are just starting, keep something in your stomach. I found my nausea was worse when I would go too long without eating. I kept cookies and crackers next to my bed at night with water and whenever I got up to pee [because you do that so much more than normal in your first trimester and beyond, I’m sure] I would eat a few, even if I wasn’t hungry. And, throughout my entire first trimester, I didn’t worry so much about making sure I was putting ‘the best’ food in my body. I would just eat what I wanted because you become so picky during this time. So, first tip – eat even when you don’t want to and don’t be so hard on yourself if it’s ‘unhealthy’! AND, keep yourself hydrated!
My other tips for nausea include trying these Sea Bands. A few of my friends raved about them and said they work wonders! Another recommendation was having your doctor prescribe you a combination of Vitamin B6 and Unisom. Also, ginger candies and peppermint tea are supposed to soothe your stomach and ease that nauseous feeling that never seems to go away.
Of course, start taking a pre-natal vitamin. These were highly recommended to me. Be sure yours has folate instead of folic acid as it’s the most natural version of B9 and helps to prevent birth defects. Sadly, mine didn’t help my energy the way they do for some. I wish they did but, regardless, they’re good for the baby!
My other tips aren’t really products but more things I wish I had someone tell me or that people did tell me and was helpful:
• Don’t compare your experience to someone else’s. It can be hard to do but try your best to remember that this is you and your baby’s journey together and it’s going to be unique. It doesn’t need to be like everyone else’s and whatever it is that you’re feeling is valid.
• While some are uncomfortable and not-so-fun, pregnancy symptoms are a sign that your baby is doing well and that your body is doing what it’s wired to do to knit your beautiful baby together. So, keep that in mind when you’re struggling!
• Reach out to your people. One of the most beautiful aspects of this season of life is just how much richer some of my friendships are now that I have this in common with my friends who have kids. Many people keep their pregnancies quiet because of the risk of miscarriage and I think there is absolutely no shame in that. I took a bit of a different approach and told friends about my pregnancy not long after I found out. I’m a sharer after all – I think to feel connected to people. I can’t sit with such big news and just have it to myself. It’ll drive me nuts. And, to be honest, it has been nice to have them so close to me during this season. It’s like they are helping me into the world of motherhood and I absolutely love it.
I feel like I’m probably missing a few things but I’ll pop them in as I remember them because that’s all I’ve got for now! Leave any of your personal must-have’s in the comments below as all of our experiences are different so something that worked great for you might be helpful to someone reading! Before you leave, check out the comments for additional rec’s below! Thanks for stopping by! xo.