First Trimester Survival Kit

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The first thirteen weeks of pregnancy have come and, more importantly, they have gone.

These days, it is common to find out you are pregnant even before a missed period. Not me! I didn’t find out I was pregnant until the 6 week mark. I had a hunch that grew stronger by the day, but didn’t find out for sure until just about halfway through my first trimester. If I could go back and pee on that stick sooner, I wouldn’t.

The first trimester was notably stressful and exhausting. I had some nausea during week five that was in full force week six (no vomiting!), but after that it weened down until it was sporadic and then non-existent by my 11 week ultra sound.

The exhaustion was much more debilitating. Through weeks six and seven I was waking up at 6:30, napping at 8:30 and 12:30 and going to bed by 7:30. The naps stopped at week eight, but sleeping eleven hours a night and not having energy to cook, clean, get dressed, or even do my skincare routine, didn’t end until week 11. I’m still sleeping 9-10 hours a night, but my house is much cleaner, my face much brighter, and my life is livelier.

So what got me through it? That is, besides my sweet boyfriend who let me fall asleep in his lap every night while he watched TV on the couch, and (when I started feeling extremely sick every time I woke up to move from the couch to the bed) even started going to bed early with me even though he wasn’t even tired.

I quickly found myself relying on these four things to get me through the day. Keep in mind ladies, EVERY pregnancy is different. What worked for me may not work for you or a friend/relative. But if it does, I am so happy to share my experience.

Honest Kids Juice Boxes

I wasn’t expecting to be repulsed by water during pregnancy. At a time when I need to stay hydrated and when things with strong flavors can be a turn off, I thought water would be my trusty side kick.

Unless the water was ice, ice cold (I usually prefer my water room temp), I simply couldn’t bring myself to drink it. I really wanted flavored drinks: soda, juice, Gatorade. Obviously the problem with these drinks is the sugar content. There were a few times I cracked a can of coke just to take a few indulgent sips before dumping it out. I had mini cans of gingerale when nauseous. I watered down (ice cold) gatorade or put a splash of juice in seltzer water. But what was my daily treat? The one beverage I looked forward to having all morning and occasionally even let myself have two??

Honest Kids apple juice boxes.

Still sugar water? Probably. But you have to trust me when I say the first trimester is not the time to guilt and shame yourself or what you eat or drink. EVERY day felt like pure survival mode. I never knew how good or bad I was going to feel and definitely couldn’t predict what I wanted to eat. Frankly, my only goal was to make it back to my bed at the end of the day.

I have a friend who is also pregnant and, during her first trimester, she also couldn’t stomach water and was extremely dehydrated when she went for her first doctor’s appointment. I recommended these juice boxes to her and she was able to stomach them! If your or a loved one find yourself unable to look water in the eye, these juice boxes are a mild and delicious option!

Stretch Mark oil/lotion

One of the first things I did when I found out I was pregnant was start lathering myself with lotion every morning and evening. I’ve heard getting stretch marks is genetic, and oil/lotion isn’t able to stop them. I already have stretch marks around my hips from a major growth spurt during puberty, so I’m sure I’ll get plenty later on in my pregnancy. But if oil/lotion can even help in the slightest, I’m bathing in it.

Knowing I try to be conscious of the chemicals in my beauty product (key word is try), Mark surprised me with a stretch mark body butter from The Spoiled Mama.

If you are looking to get a gift for a mom to be, I recommend checking out this brand. The products are vegan and organic and they have a range of mama beauty products. They are pricier (around $50 for the body butter), which is why they make great gifts.

Body oils are a common product for stretch mark prevention as well. I bought myself the Palmer’s skin oil at Target. It’s much more affordable ($10 for a bottle) and smells as good.

I use both products together – first the oil, then the lotion. Remember to do more than just your belly! I lather up my pelvic area, belly, hips, front thighs, booty, lower back, and lots on my breasts. All of these areas are going to get bigger during pregnancy and all are prone to stretch marks!

“Expecting Better”

Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong--and What  You Really Need to Know (The ParentData Series): Oster, Emily:  9780143125709: Amazon.com: Books

In general, I’m not one of those women who are reading everything I can about pregnancy. Frankly, I don’t really care what others say about what they think I should be expecting, experiencing, buying, avoiding, indulging in, etc. At the end of the day, this pregnancy and this baby are mine. They are completely different from yours, your friend’s, your author’s, and I am most definitely the one who knows them best. If I have any questions, I’ll just ask my mom J

The only exception is a book called “Expecting Better” by Emily Oster. And let me tell you, I geeked out reading it.

This book basically takes everything they tell you about pregnancy and shows you the research (or lack there of) to back it up. The taboo of having a glass of wine? Going cold-turkey on coffee? How much of a concern is gaining more weight than the recommended range? Do we all need to become left side sleepers? Should we induce labor the minute your due date passes?

I truly think I would have enjoyed this book even if I wasn’t pregnant. It was fascinating and I found the book truly objective. The author is, by trade, an economist, and this book had that feel. Pros and cons were acknowledged, explained, and while they were sometimes weighed against one another, they were never labeled as the right or wrong thing to do (except smoking, which was blatantly advised as the wrong thing to do).

Extra pillows

I started experiencing round ligament pain in my hips around 9/10 weeks. Even weirder, I felt like I could feel the inside of my abdomen stretching. It didn’t really hurt, it just felt like it was being stretched out beyond its limits. The combination of these sensations caused me to be very uncomfortable when lying down in bed.

I’ve heard most women say that they started sleeping with support pillows in the third trimester. One way my pregnancy has been different is that I started sleeping with support pillows in week ten.

Support pillows can be many different things. I’ve heard of people who use wedge shaped pillows, body pillows, and pregnancy pillows (basically two body pillows sewn together in a U shape).

I haven’t gotten so fancy. What I have been doing is sleeping on my (right :-P) side with a pillow between my legs. This is by far the best relief I’ve found to my middle-of-the-night hip pain. To be comfortable on my back, I usually put a pillow beneath my knees. Or, I keep one leg straight and bend one knee (think tree pose in yoga) and rest the bent knee over a pillow. This helps with hip pain and belly discomfort. If sleeping on my belly (I am a stomach sleeper at heart- dreading the day my belly is too big!), I hug a pillow so I am slightly tilted. This relieves pressure from my belly!

These were my tricks that got me through the first trimester. It took a long time and a lot of energy to work through it, but ultimately I did!

To follow along on my day-to-day pregnancy journey, make sure you follow me @klosetbykrista on IG, and you can shop my favorite pregnancy finds and fashion by following @klosetbykrista on the free LIKEtoKNOWit app!

Other key items:

Pre-natal vitamins: Ritual

Face Wipes: Peach and Lily lazy day pads (after too many weeks of not having energy to do my whole skincare routine, I invested in these towards the end of my first trimester)

SLEEP!

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