Surviving (Not Thriving) in the First Trimester
*For all the new mamas to be, or those who plan to be pregnant in the future... I want to say before you read on that not everyone has a terrible first trimester! May the force be with you.
Caption: I was told there would be glowing.
I found out I was pregnant when I was about 5 weeks along, which I feel like is pretty average. Some of my first symptoms (besides missing my period) were EXTREEEEME fatigue, sore moods, moodiness, mild cramps, etc. All of these made me think my period was going to start, but it didn't. Once I was 4ish days late (I have longer cycles, like 32-35 days) I decided to test to 'ease my anxiety levels and then my period would stat'......... ha, ha, ha.
Anyways, fast forward to telling our moms. I talk to my mom about 15 times per day for anywhere from 2 minutes to 3 hours. Like, when I say she is one of my best friends she actually is. She knows more about me than anyone, and she's known me the longest #obviously, so I was dodging her calls all week until we planned the day to tell them. So not telling her until 12 weeks was never an option for me, because I would have had to block her number! I was about 5.5 weeks when we told our moms, and my mom asked me how sick I had been. I told her 'I feel amazing, I don't feel sick at all!' and she said, 'oh, just wait'. Apparently, morning sickness can have a genetic factor and my mom was extremely sick with both of her pregnancies.
Low and behold, the DAY I hit 6 weeks I was hit with intense, intense nausea. All of a sudden, this Starbucks Gold Member couldn't even be in the same room of brewing coffee. All of my favorite foods from berries, or veggies, to all my protein shakes and healthy meals... I HATED! Like still can't even taste a berry at almost 18 weeks. I was in the McDonald's drive-thru almost daily, not even recognizing who I was anymore! When you're THAT sick (and by this point the vomiting has begun) you don't care how many calories are in what... you just want all. the. carbs. One day I would eat hashbrowns, the next they would disgust me. One day I loved chicken nuggets, the next I would gag at the thought of putting them in the air fryer. It was BAD, y'all! I lived in pajamas, clinging to the couch, dragging myself through the work day... sometimes in tears.
Caption: For weeks I could only eat hashbrowns but I also had a major ice cream phase...
Are you thinking 'why didn't she try preggie pops?'... oh, I did. I heard so many raving reviews of how they're a cure all for nausea and help so much. I ripped open that box so quick and I. HATED. THEM. They literally made me gag! I was so disappointed. However now, I like them as candy! So not a total waste. Greg got me a Bump Box that had a bunch of cute pregnancy finds. It also had a nausea wristband which I was so excited to try! I don't know if it was a placebo or what, but I felt like that made a small difference. Honestly, the wristband barely fit my wrist because it wasn't small enough but I felt a bit less nauseous when I wore it.
By week 10, I was inching towards what I thought was the finish-line of 12 weeks. However, things got worse before they got better. We had to go to the ER after 18+ hours of keeping nothing, even water, down. It was scary, exhausting, and tough for me. Once they showed us baby swimming around, unaffected, I was fine. I just wanted the first trimester to end. The prescribed me medicine that I never picked up. I hate medicine, so I opted for the Unisom/B6 combo. Except, I only took the B6. Idiot vibes. When I woke up 13 weeks, I was still nauseous every single day. I felt like it would never end. Especially after our second hospital visit around 14 weeks after another episode of all day vomiting. That is when they told me I have Hyperemesis Gravidarum and needed to take what they prescribed me. Reglan was a miracle drug for me. I took that every 4 hours or before I ate, and I turned a corner. I also took Unisom (now half a Unisom because the weirdo dreams it gives) before bed which I still do at 17.5 weeks. I still had a few off days, but I would say 15ish weeks was where the times I wasn't nauseous exceeded the times I was!
Caption: Greg asleep in the OB/ER. Poor man.
Now at almost 18 weeks, I finally feel like a human again. It was so humbling not feeling myself, not being able to workout, or clean the house like usual. I seriously didn't move from the bed or the couch... and I had to accept that it was okay. When you're pregnant, your sole priority is to grow a healthy baby. That's it. If you brush your hair that day, or manage to do some dishes, you deserve a medal! Growing a baby is HARD, INTENSE work. Don't allow the Instagram models or the glowing, pregnant reality stars on Bravo to make you feel less than. Every pregnancy is different, and that's okay. You're growing a miracle, and that's enough to be proud of.
Here's a round-up of what worked for me:
I used to wake up anywhere from 4:30am to 6:30am and during my first trimester I slept in till 8ish. You do what you have to do, but it's proven that low-quality or not enough sleep makes morning sickness worse!
2) Stick With What Works
If all you can stomach is McDonald's fries... eat them. I promise your prenatal vitamin (mine linked here) covers the nutritional gaps. After being a health coach for 3 years, and a health-nut for 6+, I felt like the worst mom ever eating like crap. I hadn't had McDonald's that much in my life. I ate carbs on carbs on carbs. (Try the Minute White Rice with some salt... yum) (if you're gluten free, it's so annoying when people say eat crackers. I found these Gluten Free Table Crackers By Schar and loved them) I was reassured by my doctors and my friends that doing the best I could, and taking my vitamin, was enough!
3) Nausea Bands
My best friend gave me a set of 2 bands and I swear that was the trick, wearing two. These grey ones were the best! I wore them every day and really noticed they helped!
4) Unisom Sleep
Unisom and B6 can be combined to take throughout the day to help with nausea. I took the B6 alone and noticed a slight difference, but the Unisom was a game changer. I didn't take it during the day, only before bed because it made me super sleepy.
I know. Instant eye roll, but sometimes all you can do is accept where you're at during this season and trust it will end. Maybe at 12 weeks, maybe later, but it will end! I liked to remind myself on my hard days the nausea was proof my body was working to grow my baby. Once you feel better, you'll forget all about those never-ending days!
I am so beyond thankful to be feeling better & finally have a bump!
Have anything else to add? Message me on Instagram and let me know what worked for you!
Good luck mama,