I have very few fond memories of the first trimester. Nausea tends to have that effect on things, I’ve discovered. While every mom, and every pregnancy is different, I’ve noticed a few themes from my own time as a pregnant lady that seem consistent with what other women go through. So, I feel confident in saying there are some things moms should do before their first trimester ends, and some ways to use the time productively. Well, kinda productively, if you count making a dreamy baby-themed Pinterest board from your bed as productive. (And I do, because every ounce of effort you expend during the first thirteen-ish weeks of a pregnancy should count for something.)
Of course, what I'm encouraging every pregnant woman to accomplish before her first trimester comes to a close is completely separate from the technical, medical necessities that you're doctor will suggest you handle. This one is for you. This is about you, and only you. This is your time to be unapologetically selfish in every single way because, after all, you're growing a freakin' human being for goodness sakes.
So yeah, I make no apologies in sending all my best internet hugs and warm, fuzzy feeling to other women in the throes of the first trimester, because it’s not easy. When I wasn’t worried about someone finding out I was pregnant, thanks to those nausea-fighting wristbands I was trying to hide under my sweaters, I was stressing over every little twinge and physical feeling that my body gave me. So, if you're currently in the middle of your first trimester, may I suggest the following:
Rediscover Your Love Of Napping
At times, it may feel like the fatigue will never go away and you’re doomed to live your life horizontally until your baby arrives. Trust me, it does pass. However, until that happens, the first trimester is the perfect time to take all the naps your heart desires (and your schedule allows). Even if naps aren’t always an option, I’d take the excuse to do everything possible from a seated position on the couch.
Update Your Sweatpants Wardrobe
Or, if you’re like me, simply “borrow” your partner’s pajama pants for six weeks straight. He or she might not even notice or, if they do, will probably be OK with it because, again, first trimester.
Drink All The Tea And Juice Your Heart Desires...
Tea and fizzy fruit juice were my best friends in early pregnancy. Oh, and lemon water. It makes me sound classy and sophisticated, but really, I was clutching these beverages with white knuckles like my life depended on it. If you find something that brings you some comfort, any comfort, go for it (as long as it’s not on the list your doctor gives you of what to avoid).
...Or, Alternatively, Eat All The Nacho Cheese And Ice Cream Your Heart Desires
Same rules apply for foods. Some weeks, all I could stomach were plain bagels. Other weeks, I needed to find that elusive blend of creamy/spicy flavors to suit my stomach. When you're only able to eat (and keep down) a few things, it's tricky to stick to any sort of nutrition regimen. Still, I didn’t beat myself up over that (not that I had the energy to beat anything up, but still).
Revel In Your Secret-Keeping Abilities
I’m terrible at secrets, guys. I don’t like keeping them, and I especially don’t like knowing when they’re being kept from me. That being said, I did manage to keep my first pregnancy a secret from the majority of friends and colleagues. Anyone who does the same — or does an even better job than I did — deserves a medal.
Set Up And Enjoy Your Secret Pinterest Board
Just be sure to set it to “secret.” Otherwise, your efforts to keep your news to yourself will all be for naught.
Plot Your Big Reveal (If That’s Your Jam)
I actually gave this way more energy than I should probably admit. The Facebook pregnancy announcement can feel like a very big deal, though, so I fully support moms putting in the amount of effort that feels right to them.
Sign Up With Your Desired Pregnancy/Baby Website
Because nothing’s better than a timed reminded that you’re one week closer to your baby. And, that your baby has reached a new fruit size.
Thank Whoever Is Helping You
In my case, this would be my spouse, who was a total champ about my tendency to stay in bed for three extra hours a day, and the requirement that I not go more than 45 minutes without consuming a baked good of some kind. Donuts are not always as convenient as one might think.
Ask All The Questions You Want, Without Apologizing
Actually, this one can go throughout pregnancy and well into motherhood. I’m certain I asked my doctor the same thing multiple times, just as I Googled the same thing multiple times. I could pretend that it was about wanting the best and most updated information but, actually, it had a lot to do with the fact that there are just a ton of things to learn and remember.
Do Your Best With The Rules, But Don’t Beat Yourself Up
I don’t know a single mom-to-be who hasn’t slipped and eaten something she’s not supposed to it. I suppose she might be out there somewhere, but she’s not identified herself to me (if you’re her, I humbly bow in your presence). For the rest of us, mistakes can (read: will) happen (who knew egg yolks were in so many things?). I’m a proponent of learning from the mistake and moving on as best as possible.