The first trimester is by far the most bipolar of all the trimesters, hands down! You go from the very low lows of morning sickness yuckies to the super high highs of seeing your baby for the first time on your ultrasound. Even for a normal pregnancy this can be taxing. Add in your high-risk health issues and this makes for a roller coaster of energy levels and emotions.
So here are some things that helped me make it through the roughest trimester
7. Portable Puke Cup
Unless you are in the 0.000001 percentile and you don’t experience morning sickness, you will become very familiar with your toilet over the next few months. The thing that I didn’t realize would happen is that morning sickness doesn’t always happen in the morning. It can strike at anytime, anywhere, which can create some panicky, awkward situations. That’s why my mom’s solution of keeping a ziploc-lined plastic cup in my car was a lifesaver! It may sound gross, but it is waaaaay better than yelling frantically at your husband to pull over and having to upchuck on the side of the road.
6. Comfy Clothes
Even though you probably won’t start to show until your second trimester, your body is still going through some wacky changes. I remember my joint pain and inflammation was so bad one day, I literally just laid on the bed in my towel after a shower. So invest in some fat pants, soft jammies, big shirts, and – let’s be honest – lots and lots of stretchy, cotton undies.
5. Thick Skin
As I mentioned in my introduction post, people will say some of the rudest, craziest things to you when you’re pregnant. It’s like whatever social contract existed that prevented people from being offensive just goes right out the window. You being pregnant is not an excuse for your co-workers, friends, or family to get rid of their brain-to-mouth filter. Especially when you are high-risk, people get some weird fascination of sharing morbid statistics and medical horror stories with you. I wish I could say that as the newness of your pregnancy wears off so will the weird comments, but alas they will not. If anything, as your body starts to grow, so will the “advice.” Just try and remember that (unless it’s a frenemy) these people mean well but their over-excitement at your pregnancy has rendered them temporarily insane, believing that everything they are saying is helpful, interesting, and solicited.
4. Over Shoulder Boulder Holders
Pre-pregnancy I was a proud member of the itty bitty committee (c’mon ladies, you know what I’m talking about). But hormones and, oh I don’t know, growing a whole freaking other human inside of your own body can change your lady pillows. As your sweater puppies grown into full grown dogs, they might start to feel super sore and tender. This is totally normal. In addition to the temporary relief of frozen peas, finding a good bra can really help. And even though they are getting bigger, I strongly suggest getting one without underwire because otherwise they can really dig in to your already sensitive chest. You may even want to consider wearing a comfy, cotton bra to bed so that as you toss and turn, you have some support.
3. The B.R.A.T Diet
You might already be familiar with this if you’ve been frequently sick, but for those of you that don’t know, the B.R.A.T. diet is great for your ever-present nausea. B is for Bananas, R is for Rice (plain, white rice), A is for Applesauce (the plainer, more natural the better), and T is for both Toast (again, plain) and Tea (unsweet if you can stand it). This diet was designed to be easy on sensitive stomachs. This diet definitely helped me when my stomach seemed to be my worst enemy. One word of warning, if you are also experiencing constipation, skip the banana part. Or if you have a particular aversion to any of these foods, then feel free to skip it.
2. Bland TV
While no one has taken me up on investing in my great idea of a channel solely for nauseated people, you do still have some options. I found that sometimes I just wanted to turn my brain off (whether I was nauseous or not). Magazines and books normally were fun for me, but I would either zone out whilst reading or the words would start to dance on the page and – next stop – toilet town. So my new best friends became HGTV, Animal Planet, and that weird Public Access channel that just has nature pictures and mellow music playing. Netflix also has great options if you don’t have cable and Pandora has some pretty sweet mediation music if you don’t have TV. Either way, sometimes you just need to zone out. So turn your phone to silent, don’t feel guilty for saying no, take off your pants, and just let yourself zone out.
Having a great support network of friends and family is great, but sometimes there are going to be things you don’t want to discuss with them. Yelling into a pillow can only work for so long. I found writing in a journal to be a wonderful alternative. You can pour out all your frustrations and worries without fear of judgement. There were plenty of times my poor husband just wanted to help, but my pain-induced grumpfest was best subdued by pen and paper instead.
So those are some of the things that I couldn’t have done without in my first trimester! Hopefully this might help you traverse the murky waters of high-risk pregnancy. Or, at the very least, this momentarily entertained you. Either way, getting my thoughts and experiences out there has helped me declutter my pregnant mind, so thanks for the opportunity 🙂