Pregnancy is the oddest experience.
I know I've done this once before, but this time around has been a brand-spanking new experience. Headaches for days, nausea that just won't quit, and a superpower called hormones that has made me that crazy pregnant lady.
More than once I have definitely found myself crying and frustrated at Stevie about something, and then a moment later I forgot what I was even upset about. Like, I forgot in the middle of the argument that I was trying to win. Craaaazzzyyy lady. Poor guy. He deserves a medal for this pregnancy go-round. But I must say, so do I.
The first trimester has definitely been more challenging than my last first trimester, and I've had to find some new tricks to make it through the days and months. Oh the lengthiness of the first tri. It's such a looooong time when you're exhausted and throwing up and headaching and you still have to feed your toddler and, you know, live. A few things that helped me this time around (even if some were strictly placebo-effect):
1. Sea Bands for nausea.
My amazing doula recommended that I try out Sea Bands for the intense nausea that came in those early weeks of pregnancy. Sometimes I felt like they immediately stopped the sea sick feeling, but sometimes the nausea persisted. They were really 50/50 for me, but I wore them throughout the beginning of my pregnancy, hoping that they were decreasing what could have been even worse nausea. I was willing to try anything!
2. Prenatals for energy.
I noticed an immediate difference in my energy level when I switched prenatal vitamins. I was so exhausted for the first trimester, but I felt a significant improvement when I started taking this Garden of Life RAW Prenatal along with the Garden of Life DHA. Game changer.
3. Sleep for sleep.
I had to nap every single day of my first trimester, and I am still napping a lot now. But I literally wouldn't have made it through the day if I hadn't slept as much as I did. Having a high-energy, busy toddler definitely didn't help in the energy department, so the moment I put him down in the afternoon, I hit the pillow. Only to wake up to his screaming when his nap was complete. Mine was never complete. I could put my head down on the desk now and just zzzzz....
4. Newton Labs Homeopathic Remedy for morning/all day sickness.
My sister swore by this little homeopathic remedy during her second pregnancy, and reminded me of it when I was so, so sick. I would take it in the morning, along with my other vitamins, and then take it as needed throughout the day when I felt the nausea increasing. A little tip - it absorbs into your body faster if you place the drops under your tongue! Per the advice of my naturopathic chiropractor.
5. Tracey Anderson: The Pregnancy Project for stretching/exercise.
I've shared about dear this amazing DVD set before, and I'll do it again. My first trimester was extremely hit or miss when it came to exercise, and I am just now getting back into the routine of moving a lot every week. But if you do this video you will stay suuuuuper toned. I love that she focuses on the pregnant body, and she is pregnant herself in the videos! And it's a great thing you can do at the house if it's too hot to go outside or you can't quite make it to the gym (hello, toddlerhood.)
6. Water + Coconut Water for headaches + hydration.
Because I battled with migraines and headaches during the first trimester, I had to be extra mindful to drink lots of water. Even when water tasted gross (because it totally did.) One way that I could get something hydrating into my system was loading down an enormous cup of ice and sliced lemons, and then pouring this coconut water over the top. It actually makes me a little nauseous to think about this concoction now, because I drank it so much when I was so sick. Oh the memories.
7. Support System for NEED.
I am so grateful I am living back home for this pregnancy. I don't know how I would have made it if I didn't have the help and support system of my family and friends here. On many occasions, my mom came over when I was having a migraine, or my sis-in-law would take Everett to play at her house, or my sister would make me toast and keep Everett occupied while I took a nap. It was seriously survival mode in this camp for a while. And I am so, so, SO grateful for these beautiful souls who kept my pregnancy a secret but checked in on me so lovingly for months on end. If you live without family around you, you can totally do it, but you just need to have a support system that you can count on when things get rough.
8. Preggie Pop Drops for nausea + metallic mouth.
Sometimes your mouth just tastes weird. I can't swear that these Preggie Pop Drops necessarily helped my nausea, but they sure tasted good and gave me something sour to suck on. My sweet friend Natalie sent these in the mail when she knew how sick I was, and every time I ate one of these I was reminded of her sweet thoughtfulness. This might be the one item that had a placebo affect versus a real affect, but it sure left a good taste in my mouth. Pun!!!
9. Stretchy Clothes for all that growing.
I pulled out my stored pregnancy box of clothing at about 6 weeks pregnant. No joke. Things have swollen up so much more quickly than the last time around, it's literally been overwhelming and shocking. I'll share a separate post on 1st tri clothes, but let me just say that you need some seriously stretchy pants (I've been loving these) and some comfy, non-constricting tops to bridge you from burger belly to "oh, there's a baby in there!"
10. Belly Balm for stretch marks.
I've readopted The Honest Company Belly Balm for this pregnancy. They've updated the formula and it's not quite so greasy as it used to be. It's a bit more creamy which works well when you want to apply it and then immediately get dresses afterwards. I didn't get belly stretch marks last time, but my hips and thighs tell a different story. I'm hoping not to gain any other new markage during this pregnancy - fingers crossed!
P.S. - Mamas, any 1st trimester survival tips that literally kept you going during those trying first months of pregnancy? I'd love to hear about them in the comments (and so would all the newly pregnant gals who are still in the early phases, hiding their pregnancy but looking for some relief!) xox
P.P.S. - My 1st Trimester Survival Guide, the last time around.