Now that I’m just coming out of the first trimester of pregnancy I can clearly look back and see what was essential to surviving through this time. Enduring the weeks of the first trimester is one of the most difficult things I’ve ever had to go through, but here are 6 things that definitely helped along the way.
There were several times when I was so sick and so discouraged that I asked Sean to stop and pray for me. It was very hard to stay cheerful and upbeat when I was so fatigued that I could barely move. I was given the strength to keep enduring through those prayers, and could feel the love of my husband when he prayed for me. I also knew that my church family was praying hard for me, and that was a strength to me.
2. Letting go of Expectations
Seriously, I had to just let go of everything. The house, the meals, homeschooling, how I looked, what people thought. Most days I looked really horrible, the house looked horrible, and honestly…it’s still that way! My children have pitched in and helped a lot, our 10 year old does all the dishes, our 8 year old sweeps the floors, helps tidy up and set the table, our 6 year old has been doing a light bathroom cleaning and keeping her room clean. But with five children in a small house, it all goes back to messy very fast! When you are sick and extremely fatigued you can’t keep it up. It’s as simple as that. Making yourself feel guilty about it isn’t going to help.
It is hard for me to look run down for weeks on end. Sean bought two pairs of yoga pants for me to wear in bed. I was determined to get dressed in a skirt everyday, but after awhile I stopped caring. Being comfortable is the most important thing, and soft, stretchy yoga pants were wonderful. When I actually do go out, Maxi skirts are what I reach for the most.
3. Using a body pillow
You might think it’s strange that this made my list, but I’m so glad I have one of these. While body pillows and pregnancy are associated with the later stages of pregnancy, I’ve found that using a body pillow helps me sleep better. Sean bought me one at Costco and it is really soft and fluffy. When I was sick and fatigued, just being able to snuggle up to this pillow helped somehow.
4. Essential Oils
There is no miracle cure for morning sickness. At least not for me. Essential oils helped me during certain times, but I’m not going to tell you that they transformed my morning sickness. Peppermint has been a great help for headaches (actually headaches in my neck) and is safe for pregnancy.
Digize is good for morning sickness, and there were times it really helped me a lot. Just smelling it, or infusing it is great. During a few desperate moments I put a drop in my mouth, and loved the taste of it, but my midwife has asked that I not ingest essential oils during my pregnancy.
Peppermint was another oil that I smelled and it helped clear some nausea, especially when I was riding in the car.
When I would travel 45 minutes away to go get my progesterone shots at my doctor’s office, I found myself getting anxious the closer we got. I hated getting those shots! I used Peace and Calming, breathing it in deeply from the bottle and putting it on my wrists. At night it helps me sleep, I’ve put it on my neck, shoulders (especially if I’m tense there), wrist, and put a tiny dab right under my nose to just keep smelling it while I lay there. Other times I’ve put a drop in my hand and just held it close to my nose as I go to sleep.
I want to be super safe about what oils I use during pregnancy, so the Gentle Baby book has been on my nightstand for weeks. It’s a great reference book!
I started my essential oil collection with the Premium Starter set from Young Living. Since I purchased mine, they have made the starter kit even more awesome! Through the end of September, If you join with the Premium Starter Kit I’ll send you a copy of the Gentle Baby book for free!
5. Eat Whatever Sounds Good
This is kind of a no brainer, but you need to eat whatever sounds good to you at the moment. This pregnancy has been quite different – I’ve craved salads and baked potatoes! Not together mind you; they have to be separate. Sean has gone to Wendy’s countless times to get me baked potatoes, and one time I even had him get french fries, chicken nuggets, and a baked potato! Whew boy, talk about overload! 🙂
I struggle to eat any sort of protein when I’m sick, and while I know all the theories (bean diet, high protein/meat diet) that can help morning sickness, I just can’t do it. So I eat what I can. I learned it’s not good to stock up on food at Costco, because you might eat it once and love it, and then hate it the next day. So we got smaller quantities of different items at our regular grocery store.
Just plan that your food bill will go up during your pregnancy, but especially during your first trimester if you get really sick! You have to eat, and again let go of the guilt of eating something special while your children eat a PBJ sandwich. There is no way we can afford to get food out for every child whenever I need it.
6. Drink liquid – any liquid!
I can’t do water in my first trimester. It’s horrible. If I was able to drink a mug of water a day, I felt so proud of myself. I tried lots of different things, and had to rotate through what I could get down. I tried Sierra Mist and that was ok until I threw it up (ouch!). I finally settled on whole chocolate milk from a local dairy. I still can’t believe I was able to get it down as it was rich, but somehow I could. I’m just now trying to get back into drinking liquids better, and have started making chilled Red Raspberry tea and putting it in my water bottle every day. It is tasting great!
Some other helpful posts are
How to Spiritually Survive Morning Sickness in Pregnancy
How to Physically Survive Morning Sickness
The Ultimate Guide to Morning Sickness Resources
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