My First Frimester

I am currently 22 weeks pregnant with a boy (check out my Gender Reveal Cake post on my other blog).  I didn’t start this blog earlier because, well, mainly I didn’t think of it sooner.

22 weeks and 5 days. Ignore my laundry on the floor…

Michael and I are planning on having another baby in a few years, and I was thinking of all the thing I don’t want to forget for next time. So I thought would write it down for myself and other people to learn from. I hope it can helps anyone who has a rough time in their first trimester like I did.

I am going to be honest, I hate being pregnant so far. Don’t get me wrong, I am very very grateful to be pregnant and already love my baby very much. But the process of making him sucks. Looking back now there are things I wish I did differently to make it easier in my first trimester:

  • More prepared: My pregnancy was a surprise (and there is no shame in admitting that, it’s happen for centuries and it does not make it any less important to us), so I was not prepared for anything. I wish I had ginger tea, preggie pops, and coke (I know not healthy, I’ll explain later) stock piled in my house from the start. And before I found out I was pregnant, I originally thought I had a stomach bug or food poisoning so I had not been eating much. So when morning sickness really hit, I was kind of weak and not prepared to eat anything—which any pregnant women can tell you makes morning sickness worse. However, there is not much I could have done about this one (short of building a time machine and going into the past to tell myself). I also don’t think I could have avoided horrible morning sickness, it seems to run in my family.
  • Stay Calm: Do you know what sucks more than losing your job in a shady way for no reason? To lose your job the day after you find out you’re pregnant. I was so worried about everything the for the first few weeks that I stressed myself out.  How can I pay all my bills? Should I sell my brand new car? How will we eat? How will we pay rent? Then all the horrible things popped in my head. What if we are horrible parents? What if we are so broke they take the baby away from us? What is something is wrong with the baby, how will pay for care? What is something happens to me and I need care? What if I lose the baby? What if something happens to Michael? In the end, do you know what good all that worrying did? Nothing. I cried on the couch for days and made myself a nervous wreck for nothing. Everything has worked out very well so far. It was not easy for awhile, but I am so happy right now that I almost can’t believe it. I really think that emotions play a role in morning sickness too. Once I started to calm down, I started to feel better. And I think losing my job was the universe’s way of giving me a break. I could not have worked those 10 weeks or so, and would have just stressed myself out trying.
  • It’s okay to be sick: I was convinced that I need to be one of those women who never has morning sickness and gets everything done like Wonder Woman. I know I just said I needed those 10 weeks of rest, but I did not comprehend that at the time. I would beat myself up for not going to the grocery store or doing the laundry. As I was sitting next to the toilet waiting to puke again, I would start crying thinking of Michael hard at work earning money and I wasn’t even going to make him dinner. And on top of it he was being soooo sweet and taking care of me—and all the household chores! He would tell me he doesn’t mind and understand that I don’t feel good. That just made me feel worse. Now I look back and realize I was doing a very important job, making a baby! The first trimester is when your baby goes from a dot to mini human—and that is a lot of work for your body. And, Michael knows I am not a some spoiled princess who expects to be waited on for the rest of her life. I needed help and he loves me enough to give it it to me. Next time, I will give myself a break. I will focus on keeping myself and the baby healthy.
  • Drink More Smoothies: I had a hard time keeping anything but plain bread with butter or ramen noodles down for weeks. That is not a very healthy diet at all. A few times I made smoothies with berries and soy milk, and drank them slowly over the course of the day. They still upset my stomach, but as long I went slowly, I kept them down. I know the obvious answer is I should have done this everyday, but I felt so awful that forcing something down was the last thing I wanted to do. Plus I didn’t have a blender at the time, just an old school food processor that is a pain to clean. A few days ago we bought a NutriBullet and I am in love. Michael offered to buy me one months ago and I don’t know why I ever hesitated. It’s quick and easy to clean. Plus, they resealable, so even if the smoothie makes me sick, I could freeze it for later. I drink a smoothie almost every morning now, and will make myself next time I am in the my first trimester.

And there are somethings I did right and I will do next time around too:

  • Help from Mom: Even before I told my mom I was pregnant, she knew something was up and throwing out dates for her to fly down. Once I told her the news, she pretty much was on the next flight here (she is the definition of someone dying to be grandma). She took care of me and helped around the house. I am still very grateful for her coming, it was a huge help. Plus nothing helps you feel better like a hug from your mom.
  • Acupuncture: I had acupuncture for the first time while I was in Hawaii to treat insomnia and recover from my car accident. I loved it (major shout out to Kim, you are seriously an amazing healer, check her out if you are on the Big Island). I found a deal on Groupon for 3 sessions at a place in Campbell and decided to give it a dry for my morning sickness. I did not really like the acupuncturist, but the sessions did help. I went from the room spinning and wanting to throw up every time I stood to just an upset stomach and headache when I walked around too much. It wasn’t a 100% improvement, but when you are that sick, anything is better.
  • Benadryl: When you have already existing insomnia and add nausea, you are guaranteed to not get any sleep. I had all day to take a nap and recover, but I kept Michael up too. The doctor said I could take 1-2 Benadryl as need to help me sleep and reduce morning sickness. At first I was reluctant to take any medication, but I realized it wasn’t doing me or the baby any good to be exhausted and sick all the time. So I tried some Benadryl a few nights a week and it was amazing! I slept and my stomach calmed down. I still needed to lay down for bit and munch on crackers before I could really start my day, but it was an improvement for sure.
  • Not reading ahead:  I knew a bit about pregnancy and babies already. I love kids and have babysat for years. I also was thinking of becoming a neonatal nurse for awhile too. But somehow I got this crazy idea that it would be a great to get all the baby/pregnancy books and be totally informed right away. It started to skim through them, and got slightly overwhelmed. So I decided to return them and just look on sites like week by week or just for that trimester. My mom bought me The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book, which I read as needed. Why make yourself worry each time something new happens? Or the books says something should happen and doesn’t? Plus who really needs to read about episiotomies when you still your baby is still the size of blueberry?

There are two things I am still not sure were the best idea, but would not go back and change them:

  • First Trimester Marriage: I am not saying I regret marrying Michael. Not at all. I fell in love with him on our first date and knew he was the one about a month later. I wake up every morning grateful to have such an amazing man next to me. I am saying that is was very stressful planning a wedding when I was feeling like death. We had a trip to Vegas booked for Michael’s birthday anyways, so decided just getting married while we were there was easier. My mom was all excited and want to start booking everything right away. Did you pick a place? What about a dress? Upgrade your room to a suite? Where are you going for dinner? What show do you want to see? All that is a lot to deal with when you can’t even keep water down and are already stressed. However, I am not sure I would have wanted to wait until I felt better. I liked not needing a maternity dress. I got the dress of my dreams (curve hugging trumpet with a sweetheart neckline and pearl beading). I liked that I could still run around The Strip in cute little mini dresses and feel like a sexy new bride. Also, I was not showing so I didn’t get the “Why is she even here? Shouldn’t she be home resting? I bet she is drunk, too!” judgmental looks. I loved my wedding and love my husband, so I cannot complain. And maybe it’s just my warped sense of humor, but it’s kind of funny to say I had a shotgun wedding in Vegas!
  • The Belly BandLike most women, I went through that “bloated but not really showing” phase. My normal pants just barely didn’t fit, but I wasn’t big enough for maternity pants. So I bought a Belly Band. I read the reviews first, and the most common complaint was that it unravels if you wash it a lot, especially in hot water. I decided it would be fine to just wash it as need with Michael’s delicate bike clothes and never dry it. I have to say it did the basic job. I could wear my normal pants unbuttoned and it did not look weird. Just looked like I had a tank top on underneath. However, the band does not stay up that well, which annoyed me. It didn’t fall directly off or expose my unbuttoned pants. But I wanted it to stay around my lower belly, over my button, and go down a half inch or so. It would slide a little and cover only two of the three areas I wanted. It was only $20 so it was not a giant waste of money, so meh.

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