Pregnancy is Hard
Everyone has a completely different pregnancy story. Everyone’s pregnancy is different. I want to establish that from the start, because my tips may not work for you. I want to share a variety of tips that hopefully you can come out of this post feeling like you got something out of it!
My first pregnancy was pretty easy, the first trimester I experienced general exhaustion, minor day to day nausea (especially when I was tired), I had horrible food aversions. My second and third trimester with my first was honestly not bad at all. I really enjoyed almost every second of it.
My second pregnancy (I am still currently in, until October 2019) has not been quite as breezy as my first. I’m not sure if it has to do with my child being a boy this time or what, but these pregnancy symptoms, hormones and all the above have really been more challenging this time!
I just want to say, don’t judge the other mother who complains a lot about her pregnancy, don’t judge the mom who is happily enjoying her pregnancy. We never know what is truly going on, and until we have walked in their shoes we will not fully understand.
Hormones are Insane During Pregnancy!
Holy Cow! I have never been an overly hormonal person (compared to people I was around in school). My period rarely made me a raging B. I’m sure my parents don’t agree, I’m sure I was irrational and emotional at times, but WOW, my second pregnancy brought out a scary side of me.
This lovely hormone called progesterone reeks a lot of havoc in our bodies. Although super necessary for pregnancy, it can make it really challenging for women. This particular hormone for me messes with my libido, my emotions, my digestive system, my taste buds and I’m sure so many other things.
If you just found out your pregnant and or are trying to get pregnant, prepare your husband to understand that hormones are super super real. You may not see these hormones and how it adjusts your normal behavior or body functions, but it is there. It was very challenging for my husband to understand that my emotions were very out of my control at times, especially in the first trimester when you don’t see that baby bump quite yet.
Each New Trimester Brings a New Challenge
The first trimester gets a bad rep, for very good reasons. Most people associate the first trimester with frequent trips to the bathroom to not only pee, but to possibly throw up. I think it is fair to agree that, that sucks! If you didn’t already know the nausea, food aversions, food cravings, and frequent bathroom uses are due to that lovely hormone progesterone. In the first trimester that level is higher than it is in any other trimester, but luckily for most that generally levels out around week 12-14.
The second trimester is my favorite trimester, because it is like a breath of fresh air (literally for me, because I can actually breathe again) for most. Like I said a lot of those really unfortunate ailments from the first trimester lighten up. However, you start to experience round ligament pain. That is the stretching of your uterus to make room for all that growing. This can be very uncomfortable. It feels like a sharp pain in your lower abdomen, usually on the right side, but can also be on the left. This is also the time where you start to put on the most weight in your pregnancy, YAY! Here is a list of to do’s for the second trimester.
The third trimester is just plain a fun time (I say that half heartedly). Baby is getting bigger and bigger, and so is your tummy. Many are experiencing stretch marks, possible discomfort from baby kicks, and definitely back to the frequent bathroom trips to pee. Although you are nearing the end of your pregnancy at this time, you are also starting to feel the overwhelm of a new arrival and wanting your house to be perfect for when baby gets here! It can be a challenging time for your husband, because he may not understand the importance of why baby must have that exact pacifier or blanket, but hopefully he will be understanding to your feelings. Maybe he will also offer relief by giving you regular massages.
Each Trimester Brings New Excitement
Now that we have covered some of the discomforts of each trimester, let us lift our spirits and talk about the really awesome parts of pregnancy.
First trimester although is tough, there is a ton of excitement around finding out you are expecting! This is a great time to plan ways of announcing your pregnancy to your family and friends. This is the time when you have your first ultrasound (usually, not always). Get to hear the first heartbeats. This is the time where you can really grow with your spouse/significant other and bond over this exciting news. However if you are a first time mom, there is definite anticipation for getting to see that little bump!
Second trimester is like I said, for many a breath of fresh air. Less exhaustion, less nausea, less food cravings, less hormonal outbursts. This is the time to bask in the moment and really enjoy your pregnancy. During your second trimester, you start to see a little bump forming, as well as starting feeling those tiny little movements of your little one. I love feeling the little movements, it brings so much comfort to me! I just love the second trimester, can you tell?
Third trimester is such an exciting time. You are in the last stretch of your pregnancy. This means you are just a few weeks away from meeting the little cutie that has been growing inside of you for the past 9 months. During this time, many people are visually recognizing your pregnancy. You are getting congratulations, and sometimes extra help at the store. You get to have a baby shower and celebrate! It is honestly so much fun.
You Can Still Exercise During Pregnancy
*Let me be clear, I am not a doctor, and I am not your doctor. Consult with your doctor. Of course if your doctor advises you not to workout or to lower your workout, please take your doctors advice.*
If you worked out before your pregnancy, you should be able to continue to do so. However, listen to your body, you may have to peddle back a little bit depending on your body. Personally, I don’t feel super great in the first trimester, so I definitely don’t push myself. Once I am in the second trimester, I slowly add things back in that I did before, keeping in mind what I know I am able to do.
One thing to keep in mind though is working your core. Keeping your core strong is important, heck during delivery you use your core to push that baby out. Just be careful when doing a lot of sit up motion ab exercises. I personally will just focus on doing ab exercises that I don’t have to do sit up motions, so planks, side dips, or just doing all over body exercises.
Newborns go through a ton of diapers, for real! If you can have a diaper party, or incentive for people to buy you diapers for your baby shower, you should! It saved us so much money to have a diaper raffle at my baby shower. I didn’t have to purchase diapers for the whole first year. As long as the box is unopened you can exchange sizes at the store, so don’t worry about the sizing too much.
Maternity Clothes are Pricey!
Unless you have already budgeted for spending a ton of money on maternity clothes, don’t stress about buying a ton. There are awesome things like belly bands for your pants and they help with your shirts being a bit too short. Purchase clothing you can wear after pregnancy, loose dresses, loose fit/flowy tops, or longer stretchy shirts. I personally love dresses while pregnant, and you can get some really comfortable flow dresses that will work while pregnant and postpartum.
Take Time to Relax During Pregnancy
Especially if this is your first, you should put your feet up and take advantage of that sweet “me time.” I get that life can get crazy sometimes, but if you do have a crazy schedule it only gets that much crazier when you add another little human to your home and now need to take care of. Please take time for yourself.
On that same topic, soak up every minute of alone time with your spouse you have! You will find that it isn’t quite as easy to come by without extra work and effort to have much needed time with your spouse. Have very open conversations about planning time together once baby has arrived. It is really easy to put your focus off of your spouse and all on the baby. Make sure you schedule time, and be intentional with your time with your spouse.
Don’t Read into Everything
This may be a challenging one for most expecting moms. Google is a super amazing tool, and heck maybe you even found my blog through google. However, try to not overthink absolutely everything, and try to just enjoy your pregnancy. Obviously you should educate yourself on the new mothering role you are taking on, but google can really freak you out. You know that saying, “I had a cough and googled my symptoms and found out I had brain cancer,” well everyone has probably fallen into that trap a few times.
I hav found that the less googling I do, the happier I am. Of course if there is something you are concerned about take it up with your doctor. They are ready to answer your questions and put your worries at ease. I fell into the google trap earlier in my second pregnancy, and it just put me in panic and worry mode. There was nothing wrong.
You are Still Beautiful Even During Pregnancy!
As cheesy and cliché as this may sound. You are still beautiful. Goodness, I remember in all of my years of growing up I always admired the beauty of pregnant women. I thought their belly’s were so cute! Every single one of my friends, I have heard the words or similar to “I feel like a whale, I’m huge, or I feel so ugly.” I can tell you it is not true! You may hit a point in your pregnancy where none of your clothes are fitting or you don’t like the clothes you are wearing, or maybe your face is fuller, etc. Whatever it is, what you are doing is literally amazing and miraculous.
If you are feeling down about your appearance, that is the perfect time to give yourself a pamper day. Get your nails done (who doesn’t like a foot or leg massage when pregnant?), get dolled up, tell yourself you are beautiful, relax in a warm bath, and just really treat yourself.
Like I said in the beginning, pregnancy is hard. Pregnancy is also incredible and such a selfless act. I really thought hard about what to put in this post, because I really wanted to focus on the YOU part in all of this. There is so much information about preparing for the baby, but you are a huge part of this whole baby growing process. You matter, and your experiences matter. Your feelings are valid, and your experiences are real.
Please share your best new mommy tip below! I would love to hear what was the best tip you have learned.
Love, Mikaela Smith