Well friends, I’m through the first trimester. Anyone who has been pregnant understands the small celebration that is going on in my head right now. Even though this pregnancy has treated me a bit more kindly than my first, there have still been many moments and days that I don’t want to relive.
I can’t say I breezed though the first trimester with a happy, thankful heart every day. There were many days I had a bad attitude and would simply like to forget my demeanor. However, I do want to share a few things that helped me get through the hard days and keep some perspective.
Here are five things that helped me through the first trimester:
The funny thing about pregnancy nausea and other symptoms is that nothing really makes them go away. Even though everything in my physical body wanted to call it a sick day and watch movies all day, I have learned that this doesn’t help. I would still feel sick on the couch and if anything, be more aware of my discomfort. I have found that the days that I stayed busy and distracted, I didn’t notice the blahness as much. You may not be able to carry on as normal but having something to do or somewhere to go helped me tremendously. I am prone to throw pity parties so I have simply learned to stay busy.
Pregnancy is one of those times you really have to talk to yourself and not listen to yourself. What I mean by this is you have to fight to be thankful for the reason behind your symptoms. On the days that I found myself very prone to complain and wallow in my sickness and fatigue, I tried to send a prayer of thankfulness up to the Lord for blessing us with a child. I know there are thousands of women out there who would be happy to deal with the unfortunate symptoms if that meant being pregnant. I don’t want to take for granted that God in his sovereignty has allowed us to be pregnant while other women struggle for years to be in this position. It is a mental battle to be thankful when you don’t feel well but when you are able to be thankful it gives you the perspective you need to get through the tough moments.
Suck It Up and Soldier Through
Wow, this one seems a little harsh right? Well anyone who knows me well knows that I am not really a beat around the bush person. So it shouldn’t come to anyone’s surprise that this phrase really helped me. When I’m not feeling well, I have the tendency to wave the white towel and excuse myself from commitments and relationships in my life. This is not ok. I still have a responsibility to take care of my home, love my husband well, serve and love my daughter, keep up with friends, and not slack off at work. Everything in me wanted to do the opposite at some point but I kind of had to speak harshly to myself and tell myself, “Polly, suck it up and soldier through this.” This toughness may not speak to your heart like it does mine but I do think most of us need to be reminded that discomfort doesn’t entitle us to laziness in important areas of life.
“This Too Shall Pass”
In the first few tough weeks after my daughter was born, I had a gazillion people tell me this phrase. I seriously remember thinking, “If one more person tells me ‘this is a season’ or ‘this too shall pass’ I’m going to go off!” Now here I am, saying it to myself and other mamas-to-be. The thing that was different this time around is that I now have the life experience to know, yes, this will pass. It is temporary. I feel like I was able to handle this round a little better simply because I had the perspective that the yucky feelings would only last so long. All I had to do was get through them and get one day closer to when they would subside.
Listen to Your Body and Give Grace to Yourself
One of the biggest shifts a pregnant women has to make is to listen to herself and her body. A pregnant body is hard at work. Listen to it and set aside “the norm” you are used to for a while. For some reason this time around, I had a harder time with this. I wanted to keep up my exercising but just couldn’t. I wanted to eat healthy but sometimes the only thing that sounded good was a burger or a sugary cereal. I wanted to get more done at night but sometimes I just needed to go to bed at 8:30. I really struggled with not being able to keep up with my normal pace but finally succumbed to the fact that in this season, I simply need to listen to my body and give myself grace. It took me a while to be ok with a short walk instead of the gym. I gave myself more freedom in what I was eating. I didn’t throw a healthy lifestyle out the window- I just gave myself grace on the days it didn’t happen. It’s been hard to slow down a bit but it’s been good for me.
I’m sure there are so many other nuggets of wisdom veteran moms could add to this list. I just hope that my top five can be helpful to anyone out there struggling through those first few tough months.
(Like this post? Check out other posts specifically written for pregnant women and new moms!)