Surviving the first trimester

I know, this is super late considering I am in my third trimester, but that first trimester, dang.
There are many reasons the first trimester is tough. (For some.) Finding out you're pregnant is a pretty big bombshell, and I can't know for sure, but I feel it must be a little scary even if you're planning for it. A child is a pretty big deal. As soon as the news settles in, you're hit with all the glory of being a pregnant woman. Well, some of us. Which is where I would like to start, about the sometimes "myth" of "morning sickness".

Morning Sickness (Yeah, right.) So some lucky women only experience morning sickness, some have no sickness at all. And I have to admit that I feel a guilty pang of satisfaction when a woman who bragged about never getting sick and loving pregnancy, is faced with sickness for the first time their second time around. You don't get it, until you get it. I was neither of these women, I had all day sickness through the entire first semester and a few weeks of the second. Somebody is probably considering me lucky because their's never stopped, and for that I am truly sorry. Here are some things that worked for me, and I understand every case is completely different and while these may not apply at all to some.

Eat what you crave. This isn't always easy, considering the only things I could stomach for a while were cucumbers, lemons, boiled shrimp, and milk. Not many calories, especially when you threw up your meal. But it was allowing me to get some nutrients, I got fruit and vegetable, calcium, and the shrimp was high in protein. Once in a while I would crave an actual meal or restaurant and be able to eat a tiny amount of it. Sidenote: Take it easy the first few times out in public if you are nauseated all day. There were many times at restaurants I thought I was going to have to run to the bathroom, which is terrifying. It also helps to get takeout and eat at home, just to be safe.

Try some natural remedies. It took us a while to even get in to see a doctor, but I had decided beforehand that I didn't want medication for my sickness. It didn't settle with me that a lot of them become lawsuits for birth defects. But I also understand using them, because if I had a 9-5, I probably wouldn't have made it through the day without extra help. I did some research and tried different approaches, like the wrist bands for nausea or peppermint candies and tea. Unfortunately these things didn't do it for me. If in public, I could find some relief chewing peppermint gum, but only for a short amount of time before it started making me sick. Something I didn't try was ginger, which I hear is also good. Hindsight, man.

Exhaustion. I also underestimated this little detail about pregnancy. It's one I never really heard much of, or never paid attention to, the sickness being the star of the pregnancy show and all. Do not underestimate it. I could get ten hours of sleep and still take multiple naps in the day. I was always tired and weak and had no motivation. I felt so lazy, and was afraid people thought I was taking advantage of the situation, but no. And my 400 calorie days were no help I'm sure.

Sleep. It's all I can say helped me. If you don't have sickness or food aversions, exercise may help get you energized, but while getting little nutrition and very limited calories, I didn't want to risk burning any, and I'm not sure if I could have worked out very effectively. If it helps, read a baby book, they say to sleep while you can and listen to your body, which sounded good to me.

In General. While sickness and exhaustion were the big ones for me, there are other things that played a small role in making me miserable, such as frequent urination and body changes already happening. There were some things I would have tried harder at if I could go back. (Not that I want to.)

Hydrate. A lot. So this one is obvious, unless you were like me and had a water aversion during the first trimester. I had to force myself to drink what water I could and pray I could keep it down. Which wasn't enough. Why hydrate? Besides the obvious, your body needs to stay hydrated during it's growing to help with skin moisture and elasticity, which prevents? Ah, stretch marks. Fortunately, my stomach is still all good. Unfortunately, my thighs and breasts are not. I now hydrate more and use preventative and treatment creams for the target areas. Genetics may also play a bigger role than treatment, but considering the women in my family are prone to stretch marks, I really hope that's not the case.

Don't compare your situation to someone else's. This should go for anything in life, really. My situation was going to be a little different than the person who was trying to get pregnant and has a pregnancy free of sickness and is always feeling a "glow" that I do not get to experience. Sometimes envy clouds our perception, when I would rather be in my situation than in someone's who is riddled with health problems or high risk. I've had to meditate on the fact that I am still lucky so far, and that anything I go through will be worth it for a healthy baby.

Give yourself a break, even when others don't. The crappy thing about being a woman is that you will be judged no matter how you deal with a situation. If you have a great situation and are thriving, people will envy you or think you're putting up a front. If you are dealt a tougher hand and having trouble adjusting, people will think you're weak or making a big deal out of nothing. There is nothing you can do about that, so deal with what you have in the way you can manage. People expected me to go on trips and do difficult physical tasks when it took all of my energy to stand up and run to the bathroom to lose all of my food for the day. It's hard for people to be empathetic to a situation they don't understand, know little about, or just haven't experienced themselves. Give them a break, and give yourself one.

Here are some of the products I was talking about.

Anti Nausea Wrist Bands// Like I said, these didn't work for me, but there are a lot of success stories for others.

Bella Joi Stretch Mark Cream// This is the cream I am using to help fade the stretch marks I have already required. It's not a miracle cream that some have boasted about, for me anyways. But it has faded them a little and is supposed to be preventative as well.

Rosehip Oil// This is what I currently use for a preventative treatment of stretch marks. I really like it, and it's good for your skin, so you can apply it to your entire body to moisturize. I use these daily, or apply some if my stomach starts to itch, just to play it safe.

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