I've finally managed to find some semblance of normalcy in my life, due in no small part to hitting my second trimester last month and the rush of hormones rampaging through my body gradually abating to something more manageable. I had a pretty rough first trimester, and having to juggle work and the copious amounts of nausea and vomiting was not a pretty sight. I had very few good days in my first trimester, and feeling ill for me started very early on. Josh and I had been trying for several months to get pregnant, so we were watching my period like hawks and found out almost immediately after I missed a few days in my period that I was pregnant.
I remember being so miserable, laying in bed with massive headaches and feeling as if my world was about to end (an exaggeration, I know, but I digress), unable to eat or drink because I'd be throwing it right back up. It seemed as if whatever I could keep down during one week was entirely repulsive to me during the next week, and I seriously began to question our decision to have a child this way. Adoption had been a possibility for us ever since we'd began discussing children in the first place, and neither of us was averse to it. When we were having a bit of trouble getting pregnant, we immediately thought to adopt instead, and set a time limit to our trying to get pregnant naturally. We're big fans of 'going with the flow', so if natural conception didn't take, we figured we'd start researching the local adoption process for real.
Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), regular conception did take, and with it came all the "joys" of pregnancy. My mother never had too many horror stories about her pregnancy with my brother and I, and I had always assumed I'd be able to handle whatever my body threw at me. Had I not worked through shingles? (Doubled over my computer in pain and pathetically pushing my mouse around my desk, but I worked nonetheless). Hell, I even completed a full day's work when I had amoebiasis from the (incredibly non-drinkable) water in Boracay before crawling to the hospital. But apparently my determination of iron stops when faced with my first trimester of pregnancy. Who would've thunk?
In any case, what helped me greatly was reading through the accounts of other pregnant and miserable women, and finding out what helped them cope. Not everything worked for me, of course, and some of them worked for a few days and then stopped the next. But sharing what little tips I have might help someone, so I figured I might as well put them up.
1) Eat small, frequent meals. Everyone says this, and it's mostly true. My doctor initially gave me a list of things to not eat/drink during my very first visit at week 8, but by the next few weeks, she was begging me to eat anything I could keep down. I lost 10 pounds during my first trimester (which I have still not gained back at week 17), and really-- eat small bits of whatever you can keep down. For me it was a rotation of almonds (unsalted, plain), crackers, very small amounts of oatmeal, half of whatever pastry my husband brought home, sour candies and, very occasionally, a few spoonfuls of meat and rice.
2) Caffeine. This is a controversial issue, I know, but recent studies have proven than one cup of coffee per day (or 200mg of caffeine) will not harm your baby. My THS levels were extremely low during my first trimester, and I could barely get out of bed from exhaustion. A little caffeine (whether taken in chocolate bar form, a mild cup of tea, or a decaf latte), would help give me enough energy to get through a few hours of work. Of course, I was never a big coffee drinker before I was pregnant, so I haven't built up a tolerance to it. The tiny amounts that made a huge difference to me might not make any difference to a regular coffee drinker, but I figured I'd just put it out there.
3) Meds. I tried Tums but this didn't help me at all. In fact, it made me feel even sicker when I had some pretty bad heartburn. I also got prescribed some other pregnancy-safe, anti-nausea medication that didn't really work either, so in the end I just went cold turkey on all of it. Some women have sworn by whatever meds their doctors gave them, and it was a personal choice for me to just stop trying with the meds. There were even some women who were advocating the use of Zofran, which is the same drug they give cancer patients who undergo chemotherapy, because it really helps with the nausea. While I had some pretty horrible days, I never considered taking it and opted to just ride out the discomfort. I'm certainly not one of those militant 'organic or nothing' people, and I have nothing against the mothers who decided to take it, but it just wasn't for me.
4) Cold, frozen anything. Ice water, fruit juice slush, ice cream. Anything cold helped settle my stomach a bit, and while you obviously can't exist on shakes alone, a trip to the local Jamba juice when you can't keep anything down helps.
When I hit my second trimester, the vomiting got worse before it got better. I think I peaked at about week 12, and none of the above worked any longer. The best I could do was ride it out, eat what little I could, and hope that I wasn't going to be this sick for the remainder of my pregnancy. It got better little by little, and now, at week 17, I'm eating almost normally. I eat about half the portions I used to with every meal, and I pair that with eating five times a day instead of three. There are still some food aversions and the occasional bout of nausea (mostly during long drives), but I'm more or less functional.
Pregnancy is different for everyone and I'm not sure if my nausea will return in my third trimester (like it does for many), but I've got my fingers crossed and I'm keeping positive!
Monday, July 21, 2014
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
After a two-year hiatus, I've deemed my old Fashion blog to be officially closed. Writing about various beauty and fashion topics was great fun for quite a long time, but as I tackle another looming milestone in my life, I've been feeling significantly less enamored with my old hobby. That said, motherhood is quite a life-changing thing to look forward to, and I imagine that it will be an interesting subject to blog about. I'm not quite sure what main topic this latest incarnation of my blog will have, but it's safe to say that my pregnancy and subsequent child will probably feature in quite heavily. :)
Additionally, I'll no longer be accepting paid posts or products for review, so please do not ask. Commercial blogging took the fun out of writing for me, and I'm sticking to the bare essentials for this one.