I know it probably could’ve been worse. The constant nausea was the issue I had the toughest time with. Luckily, I work from home so I was able to wear comfortable clothing and take walks/naps as needed. I have no idea how some women get dressed up and go work on their feet for 8-10 hours, 5 days a week feeling like that. If you are one of those women, you win everything.
Of course there were other symptoms I was not exactly prepared for (increased body temperature, rapidly growing body parts, extreme exhaustion and frequent crying) but those have all outlasted both my first and second trimesters and are apparently here to stay for the rest of the party.
Below are a few tools that made the first 12 weeks (and those that followed) bearable. I’d love to hear any tricks or treats that you found to be helpful too!
1. S’Well Water Bottles – These non-toxic, BPA free, insulated bottles keep drinks cold up to 24 hours. When I say cold, I mean the ice literally stays frozen all-day, even in a hot car, sweltering sand or the afternoon heat. Mine might as well have been surgically attached to my hand during those summer days here and while we were traveling though Italy. I still don’t leave home without it. Spend one South Florida second with this bottle and you will be a believer. Plus, if you like hot drinks, these bottles will keep yours steamy for up to 12 hours.
2. Preggie Pop Drops – Nothing else was a match for the constant nausea that consumed my life from weeks 6-13. I tried ginger everything, pretzels, crackers, if it worked for someone somewhere I gave it a shot. These little sour candies were my best friend. I kept them in every purse and bag I owned and popped one anytime the nausea became unbearable. They helped tremendously, tasted great, and were discreet so I could keep my pregnancy under wraps during the early weeks.
3. The What to Expect App – Dave and I decided to share our news with only family and our very closest friends during the first trimester. I don’t regret that decision but it was a bit limiting in terms of being able to ask other moms about what was and wasn’t supposed to be happening to my body during that time. I didn’t want to bombard my doctors or take google’s word on everything so I found this free little app (and the book behind it) to be quite helpful. I still enjoy checking in to see how my baby’s developing each week.
4. My best friend Vitamix – I know what you are thinking. I must’ve been out of my mind to spend several hundred dollars on a blender. Thankfully, we found ours at Costco for a $150 less than they are listed for online but even if we had not, it would still be worth it. I doubt we’ve gone one day without using it since we brought it home in February. My quick math says that means it has cost us less than a dollar a day to enjoy and we will still get a lifetime guarantee’s worth of use out of it going forward. Need I say more? This whirling wonder was crucial for me when I was too nauseous to cook myself a meal. Even now at 31 weeks, it is my first stop out of bed each morning to make sure I get some healthy goodness down to start the day.
5. Netflix – If you are like most people and have a TV in your house, you can probably skip this one. Dave and I decided to eliminate television from our home a few years ago and I could not be more happy with that decision. I hate noise and commercials have a way of sending me over the edge. Plus the cost to get any decent television channels made it an easy choice for us. We stay too busy most of the time to even notice. However, when you are physically and mentally incapable of doing anything productive you are left with nothing to do but veg. This is where Netflix came in. I took in entire seasons of Downton Abbey and Parenthood. I’d say that was $10/month well spent.
6. Protein Powder – To my surprise, I found that consuming protein rather than carbs actually kept my nausea at bay longer. However, meat was literally the last thing I wanted (thank you Forks Over Knives) so I decided to give powdered protein a try. I chose one from Garden of Life because I am familiar with their products but I am sure any would do the trick. I’d throw a half-scoop into my smoothies each morning and felt almost instant relief from the nausea. I still use it every morning mixed with spinach, kale, OJ and frozen fruit in the Vitamix for a power smoothie to hold me and baby over until we decide what’s for breakfast.
7. Praying Through Your Pregnancy – I am cheating a little here since I did not begin this book until my second trimester but I wish I would’ve had it sooner. It is a week-by-week guide to what is happening in your pregnancy along with scripture and prayers that correlate with your baby’s developmental stage. It even has a section in each chapter to journal what you are feeling and praying that week. I have really enjoyed the Christian perspective on the experience and it has served as a great reminder of what a miracle is taking place inside of me.