I am here to tell you that I am an incredibly accomplished person. I’ve run a full marathon. I’ve given birth naturally. I’ve become a foster Mom.
AND, I have survived the first trimester of a pregnancy. While I had other kids running around.
Anyone else feel like this is probably the greatest accomplishment of their life?
“12 weeks”, they say. Just 12 weeks. “You’ll be fine”, they say. It won’t last long! “Eat some crackers”, they say. Then you won’t feel sick at all! “It’s a good sign”, they say. It means the baby is doing great!
Well, I don’t know who gave “they” the authority to say all those things, but most of them certainly weren’t true for me. I had 16 weeks of horrible, terrible, 24/7 nausea and vomiting. I had an 18 month old and a 6 month old, and I wasn’t really sure how to keep them (or myself!) alive.
Maybe you are in a similar boat and you need to hear something besides a list of potential remedies. Maybe you just need to hear that I survived, and you will, too.
I tried everything. I tried crackers. I tried sea bands. I tried exercising. I tried sucking on jolly ranchers. I tried eating protein. I tried napping when the baby naps. I tried it all. Some days, it actually seemed to help! Some day I finally felt like I had found the magic remedy! Post it to Instagram! Share it with all the other pregnant ladies! And then, the next day, I would be sick as a dog again and so incredibly discouraged. I’m guessing I’m not the only one who felt this way.
So, Mama, if you are struggling through your first trimester (and beyond), trying to come up with the energy to make your toddler lunch, here is my heart to you.
Try the remedies, Mama. Listen to what someone else is saying, and maybe it will work for you. Avoid the eyerolls and desire to puke all over them, and just give it a try. If it works, it works. And if ginger actually makes you puke, well, then….you know not to try it again!
Talk to your doctor, Mama. Know the difference between hyperemesis and morning sickness. You may have easily made it through your first trimester with your first baby without any prescription medication, but remember that each pregnancy is different and any pregnancy that involves taking care other children is harder. Much harder.
Assess your priorities, Mama. On a normal day, you may be able to go to the park, make an awesome lunch, work a side job, run 12 miles and give your husband a little (or a lot!) of love. Your house could be spotless and your family well-fed. But if you are struggling through a difficult first trimester, you need to step back and drop some of those responsibilities. Dishes might pile up, the floors might go unswept and your child might miss out on park day once in awhile. Don’t try to do it all.
It’s a mental battle, Mama. It feels like it’s all physical, but it’s not. Your mind is fighting the exhaustion, the discouragement and the lies that you are not enough. You are struggling with the fears of unknown outcomes. So you need to fight that mental battle, Mama. You need to throw out those negative thoughts and be able to replace them with positive ones.
It will end, Mama. It might not magically end at 12 weeks. But I promise it will end. There is hope!
You got this, Mama. Whether planned or unplanned, welcome or terrifying, you are growing an human. You are growing an entire body, mind, brain. And an entire organ (the placenta). Plus, you are keeping another human child alive. You are INCREDIBLE.
You, my Mama friend…are also an incredibly accomplished person. Because you are surviving the first trimester.