First Trimester Survival Guide

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Now that I'm nearly a week into the second trimester (thank fuck), I'm nearly fully able to appreciate what it feels like to be human again. I was about six weeks along when I confirmed that #babything was a thing — and as any book or app or website will tell you, that's right when the symptoms will kick in. And sure as shit, after finding out on a Saturday, come Monday I was a fatigued, barfing, uncomfortable mess. And it was not awesome. My “morning sickness” generally lasted all day, with the very worst coming right around what would normally be happy hour. My social life went to shit because the time that I would be out with my friends became my the time I'd ritualistically pray to the porcelain gods. Fun!

While largely sticking to the *rule* of not telling anyone until about 12 weeks — the Safe Zone — there were some key players that came in the know almost immediately. Among these key players are friends of mine who are newly minted moms themselves and who know me well, therefore know the level and realness of advice I'd like — ie: don't sugar coat that shit. And they were invaluable, whether through sending care packages or just suggesting the items that helped them survive the first trimester and beyond. And thank goodness, because there were a few truly invaluable suggestions among them.

1. Sea Bands – These acupressure wrist bands eased my nausea during the worst time periods. By putting pressure on a particular point on the inside of the wrist and working some serious voodoo shit, my nausea was lessened — though it never really disappeared. The Sea Bands came in especially handy when I had to travel for work in my seventh week.

2. Snoogle Total Body Pillow – Guh. This pillow is my everything. When I found out that pregnant women aren't supposed to sleep on their backs, I immediately began training myself to sleep on my side, which isn't normally a huge feat as I'm a fetal position sleeper mostly anyway. However, being utterly conscious of it and trying really really hard to stay on my side soon took a toll on my hips. The Snoogle wasn't just recommended, it was probably the most-suggested item. I worried it would take up too much room in our bed — especially with three very snuggly kitties, but it works like a charm, and because it's slightly long for my 5'2″ frame, #MFE can even use it between his legs. It takes the pressure off my hips and sides, helps keep me at an angle if I start gravitating toward laying on my back and the cats love it.

3. Preggie Pop Drops – Hate the name, love the product. These, in addition to ginger ale, water and the Sea Bands were integral to helping me fight the never-ending nausea. Truth be told, I kind of hate any candy flavor that's not red — so that's the only flavor I had out of the tin. But these candies helped ease my wooziness through Affiliate Summit West — a conference of nonstop sessions, meetings and socializing.

4. Kate Spade Glass & Glitter Silicon Water Bottle – Here's the thing with puking all damn day: You get dehydrated super fucking easily. In addition, it's recommended that pregnant women drink at least 64 oz. of water per day. One of the keys to keeping myself hydrated has always been a snazzy water bottle — one that I actually like to look at and that's not overly cumbersome. I've run the gamut of all kinds, too, from Nalgenes to huge trigger-top glass bottles to metal canteens, and this is the first one I've found that I really, truly love. I mean glitter, obv., Kate Spade, obv., but it's also easy to drink out of and not too big (16 oz) so I can clear a bottle quickly. I prefer glass because BPA scares the shit out of me and I hate that tinny taste that comes with metal bottles.

5. Vernor's Ginger Ale – Any ginger ale would do, but Vernor's happens to be my fave. Man, you guys, I guzzled this shit pretty much nonstop. The carbonation and ginger helped ease my hurricane of nausea, and it's not as sugary or offensive to my newly-sensitive taste buds as Sprite or other sodas.

6. Drapey T-Shirt – Between my growing boobs and the intense discomfort anything even close to body-hugging provided, I had a near-immediate need for some legit comfy clothes. A quick trip to Target and I walked out of the store with this amazingly comfortable shirt. While I don't live the side slits (they go way higher than I'd anticipated), the shirt is drapey and cute enough to wear with leggings or skinny jeans (and I can even do the hair tie trick on my jeans button and no one is the wiser).

7. Humidifier – The pregnancy boogers are real, y'all. I've been congested like whoa, and friends recommended getting a humidifier to help. And help it does. Since moving south, I've had such interesting sinus experience — hello, allergies! — but even those pale in comparison to the wall of boogers I get building up in my nasal cavities on the regs. Keeping the humidifier going, especially at night, has helped me at least be able to breathe through one nostril, if not both.

8. Leggings with a wide or fold over waistband – When I ventured out to get the aforementioned drapey top I also had my sight set on some leggings. Not just any leggings, mind you, but leggings with a waistband that was going to be a bit more forgiving than your standard elastic waist. Not quite maternity leggings but not you standard skinny waistband ones either, fold over waistbands are a godsend. They aren't so tight that I feel like I'm getting cut in half, but they aren't so loose that I feel like a slob. 

9. Odwalla Superfood Smoothie – #Babything was bound and determined to not let me keep down food for about two solid months (super fun), but considering I'm growing a human inside of me I know it's super important to keep up my nutrient levels. Thus, these fruit and veggie packed smoothies became a saving grace. I've always been a big fan of these green smoothies (when my mom passed and I literally couldn't do anything but cry, they stepped up and provided me with essential nutrients), and I continue to drink a little every morning. They don't upset my stomach, they taste good and they're packed with good shit that I normally would just pass over, since I'm not a huge fan of fruit.


What helped you survive that hell, otherwise known as the first trimester?

Author: Christen Moynihan