The first few weeks after you find out you’re pregnant are a little surreal. Nothing really changed, even though you know there is a little life forming in your womb. For me, it was easy to forget I was pregnant, because I didn’t feel any different. Maybe I was a little more tired than usual or a little hungrier, but aside from that, life was the same. We shared our news with our family and a few close friends, but otherwise we were waiting until I was a little farther along to tell everyone.
I have been blessed with fairly easy pregnancies. I have friends who are sick the entire 40 weeks or who have had to be on bed rest for weeks on end. I can’t imagine! For the most part, my biggest complaint with my previous two pregnancies were that I had trouble sleeping. And everyone says that just prepares you for what’s to come.
This pregnancy seems like it’s been different. Thankfully, I’m past the first trimester now and nearing the halfway point! I don’t know if the first trimester was harder this time because I was already worn out from chasing two toddlers (Emerson is 3 and Foster is 18 months) around all day or if I’m getting older, but I feel like I was in survival mode for about a month. I was exhausted. All. The. Time. I was nauseous off and on all day (though, thankfully, I never got sick). And nothing sounded good to eat.
Here are some of my tricks for surviving those first 13 weeks.
1. Give yourself a break.
This is a hard one for this type-A, always active, multitasking girl. But remember, growing a baby is hard work! Give yourself permission to sleep when you can, even if that means going to bed when the kids do! There were many nights during those first few weeks when keeping my eyes open past 8 p.m. was a challenge. As much as I wanted to enjoy some time to myself or hang out with my hubby once the kids were in bed, rest is more important! Also, take naps if and when you can. Especially if you aren’t able to go to bed as early as you’d like.
2. Do what you need to survive.
I try really hard not to let the boys watch too much TV. But when I felt terrible, I bent my rules and let them watch an extra show (or two…) so I could lay on the couch and rest. I also ignored cleaning. It kind of drove me crazy that the counters were sticky and the floors were covered in crumbs, but I was in survival mode. At the end of the day, it was more important that I was still feeding the kids and loving on them than cleaning the house.
3. Find something you can eat.
If you’re nauseous, the last thing you want to do is eat, but you have to! And honestly, sometimes it does make you feel better. So if the only way you can eat is by ordering takeout or serving your family frozen pizza for more nights in a row than you care to admit, that’s okay. This is only a season. Even if you don’t want to eat, unfortunately, they still need to. Make it as easy on yourself as possible. I survived on McChicken sandwiches from McDonalds and quesadillas. I’m also a big fan Bolthouse protein plus chocolate drink, ice water (the more ice, the better!), popsicles, and smoothies. Does anyone else crave cold, crunchy things when they’re pregnant?
4. Let people help.
This is another hard one for me. I like to think I’m self-sufficient and can do everything myself. But when I can barely keep my eyes open at 11 a.m. and feel like just getting out of bed is progress, it’s time to call in reinforcements. If someone offers to watch the kids so you can nap, let them! If a neighbor offers to bring you a meal, say yes, that would be wonderful.
5. Break out the maternity clothes early.
With my first pregnancy, I didn’t have any maternity clothes, so I squeezed into my current wardrobe for as long as possible. I did the rubber band on the button of you pants trick, wore a belly band, and in the end resorted to wearing my pants unbuttoned and hoping no one would notice. Yes, it’s frustrating to not be able to wear your favorite outfits, but in my book, comfort trumps style when you’re pregnant. This time, I busted out the maternity jeans around eight weeks and haven’t looked back! There is plenty of time to be uncomfortable in your third trimester when nothing fits well anymore and you can’t see your feet. Enjoy your maternity clothes while you can!
Now I’m in the sweet spot of pregnancy, where I’m not too huge and uncomfortable and I have a little more energy. I know I need to enjoy it while I can, because that last month can stretch out forever!