How I Survived My First Trimester Symptoms

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I am now almost 15 weeks into my second pregnancy and boy, did I feel the difference. While I had very few minor issues with Liams pregnancy towards the end like severe hip and back pain, all in all, my pregnancy with him was easy breezy. I’ve always thought that but even more so now.

I started to feel the effects of this pregnancy what I considered to be a little later on, as in, not from the very beginning, however, in hindsight, my symptoms were probably right on time. Since Liam wasn’t planned and I didn’t really have any prominent symptoms with his pregnancy, it’s hard to gauge when the “right” time for me to start feeling these symptoms would’ve been. In this case, I started to really feel the bout of my pregnancy symptoms at approximately week six or seven. Having planned this pregnancy and knowing from the beginning, for the first few weeks, I was bouncing around telling everyone who knew the news (a select few) how great I was feeling and optimistic this pregnancy would be as smooth as my first, but, boy! was I wrong.

Going from being a very active person to running out of breath while climbing a flight of stairs was awakening and I hadn’t even started to show yet. I’ve shared some of my most prominent symptoms and how I dealt with them below. I had a few other symptoms which I’m still experiencing such as headaches, which may be a combination of pregnancy hormones and the fact I’m anaemic and a bit of indigestion here and there.

Here were my top symptoms which are also the most common pregnancy symptoms:-

Exhaustion

The first noticeable symptom I had was lack of energy. I found I was often lethargic, literally having to convince myself to get out of bed in the morning or bribe myself off the sofa. No joke.

Being someone who was quite active, from attending the gym mostly every morning and working a desk job which still involved a few trips up and down two flights of stairs, this new change in energy levels wasn’t quite welcome. Once I began working from home and then subsequently furloughed, it became even harder to find the drive to get up and get out. My various Baby apps on my phone were all filled with posts and blogs about moving and getting exercise in early pregnancy but I couldn’t find it in me.

Having a somewhat hyper four-year-old didn’t quite help the situation, either. I physically could not keep up and with having hubby working from home coupled with looking after my niece, with my sister still going out to work, it’s safe to say I had no idea what I was about to be up against.

As I slowly edged into my second trimester, I don’t know if it was my energy coming back or my will to get moving but I found myself more motivated to get out of bed in the morning and have even started exercising a few mornings of the week, granted I get an early enough night.

My Remedies:-

  • Be patient– There are numerous changes happening to the body when you’re pregnant so be patient in allowing these changes and don’t be so hard on yourself.
  • Try to set a sleep schedule– Not working, being furloughed and having picked up a new business venture and a new professional certification, I can admit I was going to bed a lot later at night and still required to wake up early-ish every morning to deal with the kids. Now, I ensure I have wound down from the day by 10PM most nights and end my nights tucked into bed reading a book and avoiding social media. I wake up feeling refreshed at 7:30AM. Everyones sleep schedule will be different so find what hours work for you.
  • Be active when you can– This one may seem contradictory but getting in exercise or activity at any time I could or felt motivated to- taking a walk with Liam, cleaning the house- was usually enough to tire me out and served to help me settle better at night which led to more restful sleep.

Nausea

I can admit, my “nausea”, in hindsight, might be every pregnant womans, who really has morning or all-day sickness, dream. However, pre-prgnancy, I have never been one to easily be sick physically just intense nausea and this was no different. It also helped to contribute to my exhaustion as I was feeling sick but with no relief from it.

I had food aversions to most of the sweet things I loved, and gravitated towards anything high in citrus content and salty or savoury foods. Most days, the nausea was intense to the point where I felt like I would be sick every time someone spoke to me. Like, I couldn’t carry on a conversation. Luckily, once I entered my second trimester, the intensity of nausea vanished just as quickly as it had risen. Some days, I still feel a bit squeamish but nothing compared to my first trimester.

My Remedies:-

  • Drink more water– Although this may seem like the last thing you would want to do, especially if you are being physically sick quite frequently, staying hydrated is literally the number one important tip in pregnancy, even more so if you can’t keep solid food down. I would rarely consume ice cold water before falling pregnant, but I found slowly sipping an ice cold glass of water helped my unsettled stomach. If you can’t muster the water, I also found sucking on ice cubes and fruit lollies helped, too.
  • Lemon and Ginger- Lemon and ginger tea was an absolute saviour! I know ginger can be quite an acquired taste but it’s also so good for you so win-win as far as helping wih nausea. I drank a cup of this anytime I felt unbearingly nauseous during the day and at least one cup every single night. Alternative to using the tea bags, a slice of lemon and a dash of ginger powder in hot water is just as effective and even yummier. Now, in my second trimester, I’m still drinking a cup of this every night as its also fab in helping to settle my dinner and reducing indigestion.

Heartburn/ Indigestion

The heartburn and indigestion was also pretty intense in the beginning and is still happening from time to time, now. As expected, it was always most intense directly after eating but would sometimes be present upon waking up in the morning, too.

Due to increased eostrogen levels at the beginning of pregnancy, there is an accumulation of gas in the body, and if, like me, you also have heartburn, then you’re probably experiencing the Breath of Fire- or a burning burp or acidic burp. It’s as unpleasant as it sounds, trust me.

My remedy:-

  • Avoid/ Reduce Acidic Foods:- I know this is easier said than done, especially when you’re having food cravings. I, too, struggled with this especially since I was craving a lot of sharp or tart foods which are naturally quite acidic. However, reducing my consumption of condiments like ketchup or tomato-based sauces and spicy foods help to reduce my heartburn.

I appreciate every woman experiences pregnancy differently and I may not have even covered your symptom or symptoms here. Similarly, while a lot of these remedies really made a huge difference to me, you may find an alternative coping mechanism for your symptoms. If you’re one of the lucky ones, your morning sickness may be just that, and once you’ve cleared your first trimester, your symptoms will be obsolete.

Going into week 15 of pregnancy now, I’m feeling quite ready for the new baby now I’ve gotten over the first trimester hurdle. I expect as I journey through these next two trimesters, other symptoms may become present but I’ll welcome them with open arms, as long as the baby is healthy.

You see, these symptoms are temporary but being a mum is for a lifetime.

So, bring it on.

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