Ya’ll. Pregnancy is hard. But that 1st trimester? That is a rare form of torture. We were in straight survival mode for nearly 8 weeks. (As you can tell, from my lack of blog posts!) My first pregnancy was a breeze, I was never sick, even one day. Fast forward to my SIXTH pregnancy (3 here, 2 called home early, and this one on the way) and I could barely hold down my dinner. Don’t even TALK about cooking, because the smell of it sent me straight for the trashcan.
I am finally out of the pit, and on to the beautiful 2nd trimester. It’s not all roses and cupcakes (I still get nauseous in the evenings) but we are on the mend, for sure! I have tried a LOT of things that did not work for me (sea bands, anyone?) and I everyone’s body responds differently to different things, but here is a little list of the things that got me through it!
1. Eating frequently.
If I let myself get to that point where I was truly hungry, all bets were off if I would be able to keep down, or even get down, whatever I ate. Eating frequently, and pushing the protein, really helped keep me to semi-function, which is better than not functioning at all! Believe me, I did get there more than once, but the further along I got, I remembered the old tricks and quickly adapted them. Almonds, almond butter, and watermelon were all lifesavers! Also, organic free range bone broth really helped after my many moments of tossing my cookies. If your sickness is primarily in the morning, I would say put something on your night stand to eat even before your feet even hit the floor. For me, mine was worst in the evenings, so I just had to make sure I was ready for when it hit.
2. Staying hydrated…with whatever you can keep down.
Obviously, drinking water in pregnancy or any other time in life, is essential for good health. But what happens when you suddenly can’t drink water because you SWEAR it tastes like old milk? (True story. I have no explanation.) We bought water by the gallon, and that helped. I added lemon or lime essential oil to my morning water, and that helped me get it down. Any days where I could drink coconut water or kombucha, were wonderful. They really made me feel SO much better, but at $2-$3 a pop, that wasn’t an all the time thing. Whatever you can do to push the fluids, do it, because when dehydration sets in, the nausea hits even harder, not to mention an whole other list of problems!
3. Magnesium oil.
Ideally, it is best to get your magnesium reserves built up BEFORE pregnancy, since your body has a hard time absorbing it during pregnancy. I did this, but only a few months in advance, and not frequently enough. I did use it some in the first trimester, and although my relief seemed to be short lived, I felt some better when I sprayed it on. I’ve read wonderful things about oil pulling for relief, but I couldn’t stand the smell of coconut, so that didn’t work out for me. If you don’t have a coconut aversion, give that a try!
4. Awesome supplements.
My Life Long Vitality vitamins has been invaluable to me these past few months. My diet has been a FAR cry from perfect, and I feel so much better knowing that my babies nutritional needs are still being met, even though I’m not eating all the leafy greens I should. While vitamins certainly aren’t a replacement for optimal nutrition, they can fill in those gaps on days where you’d rather die than eat some kale and pastured eggs I take the DōTERRA LLV (micronutrient, omega complex, and cellular vitality complex) daily, plus a good probiotic in the mornings.
4. Get outside.
Anytime I could get outside, it helped so much. Still does. The fresh air really seems to do the trick, and if nothing else, takes my mind off of it for a bit. Now, that’s not always easy when you are in the middle of a Texas summer, or when you have a VERY active toddler to chase after. But the times where I could make it work, it seemed to really help. We ate dinner outside on the balcony MANY times. You just end up doing whatever works!
Although it sounds like the most unappealing thing on the planet, it really does help. I wouldn’t recommend jumping jacks or anything that would rumble your stomach more than necessary But a good walk, swimming, or even just some squats, would get my endorphins going enough to help me feel some better and get me through the day.
More exhaustion = more nausea. The days after a late night were always my roughest. On those days (and others when I needed it!) I napped while my toddler napped, and my older kids had quiet reading time. If you have lots of little ones, call a sitter and take a nap if you need to! Any way you can get some rest, just do it. When I had trouble sleeping, balance oil usually seemed to do the trick. Still does, of course
7. Distract yourself.
Anything to distract yourself from your misery, is helpful. Having a friend over (preferably, a GOOD friend, that doesn’t mind the shambles of which your house/hair/life is in) watching a funny movie, reading books with the kids, park trips, swimming, bike riding, ANYTHING to get your mind off of how crappy you feel.
8. Avoid triggers.
For me, I had LOTS of things that triggered sickness. The smell of coconut. The smell of ANYTHING cooking. The smell of the grocery store, and sight of all the food. The smell of our dog. Being overly tired or hungry. The list could go on. For us, this meant we had LOTS of sandwiches and quick easy meals. Literally, I didn’t cook one thing on the stove for at least 4 weeks straight. Find out what sets you off, and avoid it like the plague. Give yourself grace, and remember, this isn’t forever! Just a short season, and it will be over before you know it.
9. Ask for help.
I honestly, could not have done it without help. My husband took over A LOT during this time, in addition to his full time job and studying for his insurance license. He’s pretty amazing He would cook dinner while I hid upstairs from the smell. He changed the diapers that we both knew I couldn’t handle, went on many food runs to get that ONE thing that sounded good at the time, cleaned, took over many bedtime routines…he is just all around awesome. My older kids were a great help, as well. They really stepped it up with chores, lightening my load a bit. There were many times when I was literally in the bathroom throwing up, and they would come in with a drink and some crackers, trying to help in any way they could.
This has been my first time being sick and pregnant with a little toddler at home. And a WILD, tantrum throwing, strong willed, fast as lightning, blink-and-he’s-gone, toddler boy, at that! I have lots of friends with 3, under 3, and have no idea how they did it. I have always had an older one (at least 4) to help, and help themselves, so this part is new to me!
I would LOVE to hear from you, and hear all the ways that you have survived those yucky early weeks. Comment below, and tell me about it!