General Pregnancy Advice: First Trimester

There is obviously a huge conspiracy among women not to tell each other pre-pregnancy just what to expect, and what kind of ridiculous things you’ll have to endure. If people were honest, the human race would end abruptly. If my readership was larger, I’d be endangering our racial survival, so make sure and share my blog with your friends!

I don’t plan to turn this into a pregnancy blog by any means, but having a baby is obviously having a big impact on my life. To help all you non-breeder-readers endure me, I plan to intersperse pregnancy posts with regular blog posts. Keep in mind, I don’t have my head up my ass about making a baby. I am not Gaia the Earth Mother, I am not a unique and beautiful snowflake, and I know I have a giant parasite in me I’ll have to feed for the next 18 years and six months. I am going to have fun with the pregnancy, and try to not take myself too seriously, and this is the strategy I recommend everyone follow. It really helps reduce the stress related to pregnancy and creating a whole new person you’re in charge of not ruining.

You will be insanely sleepy: people and pregnancy books will mention”fatigue”, but this does not describe the depths of my sleepiness. I felt like I had chugged a half bottle of NyQuil constantly. I could barely hold my head up at work, or form cohesive sentences. This also led to my drastically reduced blogging during that time period. Making food was a chore, and I was often ready for bed by 6pm. This is totally normal, but horrible. Supposedly this gets better in the second trimester, but I’m a month in and only marginally better. I keep hoping some energy will manifest itself.

Pregnant brain: This is mentioned in baby books as well, usually under a euphemism like “forgetfulness”. I noticed this getting worse starting my second trimester, but that may also be because I’m slightly more awake now than I was then. I made several mistakes at work, mixing up cases being worked on, etc, but fortunately nothing serious. I forgot to feed the dogs a few times as well. Mine hasn’t been that bad, but I’ve had a terrible memory for years, so many of the methods I use to adapt to that, such as always having a notebook with me for calendar, grocery lists, and to do items, have prevented the worst disasters. I did leave watermelon in my office overnight and it was gross in the morning.

Start a journal: You’re going to have prego brain, so keep a notebook, or app or Word document available to write down the funny, weird, or interesting things that occur in your pregnancy as they occur. Hubby was singing the Star Wars theme song to our baby NachoNacho the other day, and I never want to forget that. If we decide to have another kid, this would be a great self-help resource for pregnancy info. I also know I have a million questions for Mi Madre about her pregnancy with me, and I would be amazed to remember half of this stuff 30 years down the road.

 Morning Sickness: The first trimester is famous for morning sickness. If you’ve read any baby books or websites, the first thing they’ll point out is that it isn’t really “morning” sickness, it can happen any time of day. This is true, and mine chose to appear the entire day, constantly. I never actually had to throw up, but I was consistently nauseous for at least a month. I figured out a few ways to reduce this:
1) Eat a little bit, constantly – nausea happens mostly when your stomach is empty, so by snacking on carrots, grapes, cherry tomatoes, or crackers all day long, you can prevent the worst of it.
2) Soda – Many people recommend ginger ale, but anything sweet made my throat feel gummy and disgusting, leading to more nausea. Mineral water helped me more than any other soda or bubbly water.
3) Tums – I don’t know why but having a couple Tums really helped with my nausea. If you find something like this that helps, keep it with you AT ALL TIMES. I have Tums in my desk, next to my bed, and in my purse. As you get further along in pregnancy, heartburn will become more common, so your little stashes of Tums will continue to come in handy.

Don’t read too many books: I’m enjoying What to Expect When You’re Expecting, and they also have a fantastic website chock-full of information. They do a good job of explaining the basics of pregnancy as well as common fears and why you shouldn’t be worried about them. Don’t read EVERY book though. I read Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy, and that book was much more focused on your appearance and other shallow (to me) concerns. I wouldn’t bother with it. Reading too much can overload your poor prego brain, and cause all kinds of unnecessary anxiety. Save yourself the time and energy. Ask your girlfriends for their favorites, or read reviews on Amazon. I have also found the Baby Bumps subreddit to be very helpful. You can ask questions from other women who are currently pregnant, and it is a very helpful, supportive community.

As I think of more advice, let’s hope I remember to write it down to share with you.

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July 15, 2013. Tags: , , , . Baby Stuff.

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