Friday, 26 October 2012

Surviving the First Trimester

Ok let's be honest, this post would be better titled Surviving Morning Sickness. What else is there? Sure, conception, your baby growing limbs, daydreaming about names.... Not! Please tell me I am not alone here. This was the most hellish time of my entire life. I'm no expert, but if any of my growing wisdom on this topic can help someone, I'm happy.

I found out I was pregnant right away. I was nearly 5 weeks pregnant when I noticed the first symptoms of pregnancy. I was exhausted. My legs were tired after long days chasing my students around. I had headaches. I was grumpy. And am I really having to pee all the time already?

Strange as it sounds, your urge to pee all the time begins right away. I know, there's no heavy uterus pushing on your bladder, but with all the bloating, changing, and expanding happening in that little uterus, pee pee is always on your mind.

I knew for a fact that my mother had pretty bad morning sickness with all 4 of us, so I was expecting the worst. I kept thinking any day now, I would wake up miserable, but the days kept passing, and I felt fine! What a relief! I thought maybe I'm taking after my grandmother and will feel like superwoman everyday.

I couldn't have been more wrong. I had just moved to Georgia to be with Brandon, and was exactly 7 weeks pregnant. I busted out the juicer and made us Super Green juice for breakfast. I was going to fuel my little embryo with only the finest, healthiest food. And then I painted the town green!

After that point, I was miserable. It's like the worst flu of your life combined with dizziness, exhaustion, night sweats, and urge to vomit all day and night. I was not one of the women fortunate enough to get sick after I ate something, run to the toilet, and then carry on with my day. I was sick all day, every day. Getting out of bed to let my dogs out became an awful chore. Weeks went on this way. I read all the books, tried all the tricks. I tried eating crackers before getting out of bed in the morning. I tried eating crackers in the bathroom in the middle of the night when I was up to pee. I tried Sea- bands on my wrists. I tried eating every 2 hours. Nothing helped.

I had lost 8 lbs by my first doctor appointment and they decided to introduce me to the miracle drug Zofran. Besides being pretty expensive, this is the best stuff to knock out morning sickness. It didn't always knock it out, but it helped more than anything else I had tried. I was actually beginning to feel more human again.

If you're in my boat, I am so so sorry. No one can quite understand how bad it is unless they've been there, sitting on the floor with a towel between their legs (yes because you pee), dry heaving with us.

Along with my Zofran, there were a few other things I found to help. Everyone is different, but these are the foods that helped me survive my first trimester.

  • Screw saltines, they are miserable to try to chew and swallow when you are that dehydrated. Honey wheat pretzels were my jam! I ate these all the time. I kept some in the bathroom to try to ease my tummy, or just to give myself something to throw up besides bile.
  • Diluted Gatorade and diluted ginger ale. And lots of water. Don't chug it or it will come up just as fast. I had small sips throughout the whole day to keep me from getting dehydrated.
  • Chewing gum and jolly ranchers. Sometimes, the sugars just kept the nausea at bay. I especially liked to keep them in the car.
  • Mashed potatoes. These became a staple this pregnancy. I'm actually still all about the potatoes. They are filling, but are bland enough not to bother you if they come back up.
  • Easy Mac just happened to be one of those foods I could tolerate. Find what works for you.

Other helpful tips:

  • Keep pee pee towels near the toilet to kneel on. Listen, don't judge! You really start losing control of those muscles when your body is straining that hard. Wait til you start peeing your pants with every sneeze in your third trimester!
  • Keep washcloths next to the sink. A cold washcloth on my neck helped with the cold sweats when you are sick.
  • Keep plastic bags available in the bathroom. You never know when you will need one when still sitting on the toilet. Just let it out both ends, we aren't judging! Keep those plastic bags in the glove compartment of your car too.
  • No one should have to live life so constipated. Ask your doctor for 3-4 different recommendations, some don't work for everyone.
What were your first trimester must-haves? What helped you survive?

1 comment:

  1. ahhh totally understand you on the morning sickness. I was brutal for about a month straight. There was even a time where I actually missed about a week and half of work because getting out of bed was even too hard! and the peeing hahaha totally happened to me all the time. I think the only thing I could keep down was soup...everything else came up lol. dont worry it gets better and you will go back to that loving be pregnant all the time!!