Let me gladly report that I bring you this post from the other side. The other side of the First Trimester, that is. I am 17 weeks pregnant with my second little cherub (a baby girl!) and heavens to Betsy, the first trimester about killed me, y’all. Can I get an amen?!
Don’t get me wrong, I know it could’ve been MUCH WORSE. I have friends who essentially had to tie a puke bag around their neck, and fortunately, that was not me. Now, I certainly had my share of unbearable nausea, which threatened to take me down at the mere site of ANY vegetable; but I managed to keep it at bay with an absurd amount of Sierra Mist and Ginger Snaps (most of the time)!
It was the extreme fatigue that felt like it literally took over my life. Before the double-pink line appeared, I was probably running at my most efficient that I have in a long time! I was getting up early in the morning for quiet time, a workout, fixing hubby’s lunch, and working & blogging during my son’s nap time. So I was really thrown for a loop when I felt like I literally couldn’t get out of bed. (So was my husband, my child, and household!) I don’t know if I just forgot how tough the first trimester is, or it’s just insanely harder with a toddler. Not only did I want to nap ALL day long, but in the “spare” time that I did have to accomplish things, I had zero motivation and couldn’t manage put the simplest thoughts together. It was like my brain had totally stopped working on me. Our dinners consisted of frozen pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches, and nightly Netflix binging with my hubby was replaced with 8:30 bedtimes! It was like my body didn’t even have a choice. Even though I know everything related to babies is a season, and I was super thankful for the little nugget in my tummy, I honestly started to get a little depressed about it. I missed having energy, I missed my husband, and I missed just feeling like myself.
BUT…week 15 came around and it was like I turned a corner overnight. I feel motivated, energized, and able to stay awake for more than 30 minutes! I can’t say I’m working out anymore (let’s be honest, ladies, do y’all REALLY keep working out during pregnancy?!) but I’m back to my beloved early mornings and able to muscle through a Blue Bloods episode with the hubs after my son’s bedtime. I’m sure this is probably a short-lived window before the third trimester hits, but I’m enjoying it while I can!
So, mamas, if you are in that miserable, exhausted state of the First Trimester, my thoughts go out to you! But allow me to encourage you…it does get better!
In the meantime, here are my tips for Surviving the First Trimester:
- Lower Your Standards: That’s right. Whatever they may be (clean house, prepared meals, folded laundry), lower those standards, Mama. I finally decided that as long as we had clean underwear, necessary medications, and bacon in the house, we could survive. And we did.
- Lean into the need to rest: Don’t fight the need to rest. It will only make you feel worse and more irritable. I’m fortunate enough to stay home and so I was able to rest while my little guy napped. But I’m pretty sure if I worked, I’d probably go nap in my car! Don’t force yourself to stay up at night if you don’t absolutely have to! I’m big on straightening up after my son goes to bed, but in this season, I said “The heck with it.” Just watch the “What to Expect” app and you’ll understand why your poor body is so tired. (For example: in Week 9, your baby is pumping out 100 BRAIN CELLS PER MINUTE. Ponder that for just a second.)
- Stationary Play: I know that a lot of people envision that as a SAHM, I was able to lay on the couch all day while my existing child just quietly played on the floor. (Have you met a toddler?) Listen, my little wildcat is all over the place all day long (upstairs, downstairs, outside, inside) and he wants me to be “involved” in ALL of his shenanigans. Some days, my exhaustion and nausea just wouldn’t allow for it, so I started gathering “stationary” toys like puzzles, books, Legos, etc., that kept him in one spot for a little bit longer. I could still be involved but not quite so much on the move. Snacks and Nick Jr. can also be considered “stationary play,” too!
- Ready-to-serve-meals: While I joke about our meal situation, grilled cheese, frozen pizza, and BLT’s get old for anyone. I discovered some prepared meals that were a lifesaver! Eatzi’s, Costco, and Celebrity Café all have delicious dishes like lasagna, chicken tetrazzini, and king ranch casserole that are ready to go in the oven! Grab a salad and bread to go with it, and—voila! You have a wonderful meal on the table.
Most importantly, rejoice in the wonder of how a sweet baby is being formed inside of you. (I know this is hard when your main goal is sleep and keeping your lunch down.) But this too shall pass. And as we all know, the second you hold that sweet baby, all of it will be forgotten!