I want to begin by making it clear, I do not have any real desire to go back to the first trimester of pregnancy, for many reasons! As a first-time mom, those first 13 weeks were tough on me. From constantly feeling like I had a massive hangover, the never-ending exhaustion, and fear of the unknown, I would really gracefully decline the offer to start over and try again.
Though I will not deny that the first trimester of pregnancy is not pleasant, I am still so grateful for having the chance to go through that experience. There were so many amazing moments during my first trimester I will cherish forever. Also, every week I’ve completed means I’m one step closer to snuggling my sweet baby, so no way I would push rewind! With those weeks well behind me, I now at times think about what I would have done differently if I would have had the insight I have now. Not only are there things I would change before getting pregnant, but I have quite a few suggestions for my past self that likely would have made my pregnancy more enjoyable and most importantly, healthier. Sharing these little regrets of mine may serve as advice to those mamas in the beginning their fertility or pregnancy journey, and I plan to keep them in mind for my future pregnancies as well!
Re-Do Number 1: Get my pre-pregnant life in check!
- Eating healthy, exercising, and taking vitamins are all among the major health tips for anyone, especially when trying to conceive. During the time before I got pregnant, I was traveling 4 hours away from home as a travel nurse to work long night shifts and stay in a hotel for half of each week. This did not make a healthy lifestyle very easy. I survived mainly off of fast food or meals from the hospital cafeteria when away and did not have much motivation or energy to cook when home either. So, a healthier diet would have been one of my first changes I would have made for sure.
- In general, I am unfortunately not someone who enjoys working out, so exercise was not a huge priority in my chaotic life. I was sporadically doing yoga which I love, but I wish I had an established routine going to make the transition to exercising during pregnancy easier. So, plan for next time? Live that fit lifestyle and 6 pack abs before baby comes along 🙂
- Finally, at about 6 weeks before I got pregnant, I had a massive allergic reaction with full-body hives that would not go away. I was on a ton of medications just prior to getting pregnant which made me really nervous once I found out. Luckily almost everything I was on was safe, but for future reference I would want to be more careful with what meds I take because you never know when that test could be the one!
Re-Do Number 2: Happy Mom = Healthy Baby
- I’m not saying that I was completely unhealthy and unprepared for pregnancy, but I think we all have thought about how our habits can be improved. The instant first trimester sickness I experienced was really somewhat of a shock to me. I did not expect to feel sick constantly and think I could have handled the symptoms better if I had been more prepared. Like I mentioned earlier, I really wish I had an exercise routine in place when I got pregnant because becoming active or starting a new routine is almost impossible in the beginning of pregnancy if you ask me. Regular exercise has so many benefits physically and mentally so this should have been one of my top priorities. Because I am not a super fit or active person anyway, I think exercises that I enjoy like yoga, pilates, dancing, and low-impact cardio would be a great place to start. If it is something I like to do, I am much more likely to stick with it and maybe would have been able to incorporate it into my pregnancy routine. I’m trying now to not be hard on myself for not being super active during a large portion of my pregnancy…I mean realistically who feels great enough to maintain a full on fitness routine, right?!
- Let be real though, at this time, I had no routine to my life period. So, my wish/goal for my next pregnancy; be living and/or working at home! Travel nursing was a really great opportunity for me. It had always been one of my nursing career dreams, so I am forever grateful that I made the decision to pursue it. That being said, I also was at a point where I had little hope pregnancy without fertility treatment was a possibility for Steven and I so I didn’t have a plan in place if I were to become pregnant while working away from home. This was one of the absolute hardest parts of pregnancy for me. 26 weeks of craziness, traveling, and loneliness did not do this girl any good. Because I can’t change the fact that I had to be away, I will cherish the remainder of time I have now at home, that is for sure! It is true when people say there is never a “perfect time” to have kids; but words for the wise, maybe have some sort of plan in place for when that time comes 🙂
- Another honest admission; I am not a nutrition expert and I miserably failed eating healthy during my first trimester. Seriously, I lived off of saltines, 7-Up, and the occasional added carb for a long time. When I did have an appetite, I went straight for easy and quick which meant a lot of take-out. This probably made me feel worse, and I will make a real effort to not repeat this pattern again. I feel so much better when I am able to eat healthy home cooked meals!
- Journaling and tracking pregnancy progress is such an important thing for moms to do. I started using an app to track lots of things but didn’t do the greatest job of journaling. My notes about what was happening and things I want baby to know are pretty sporadic and I am already regretting that. Oops. I always have good intentions and then don’t do the best following through lol. Being on the road, my bump progress pictures aren’t as frequent or as high quality as I wanted them to be. I guess I have the last trimester to catch up and be the Pinterest mom I am at heart!
- The most important suggestion I have? Be happy!! Due to all of the things happening in my life (and possibly the added mix of pregnancy hormones) I did not take full advantage of my opportunities. I used feeling like junk as an excuse to lay around and watch Netflix, a LOT. Though I may not have been able to do as much because I was sick and my body NEEDED rest and lots of it, I could have still made an effort to do some things that I love and make me happy. Reading, yoga, spending time outside, taking a scenic drive, all would have made early pregnancy more enjoyable. Even adopting a hobby I could do that didn’t entail me to be super active could have helped pass the time. Maybe I should have started this blog months ago??
Do you have wishes for how you want your beginning of your pregnancy to go? Those that have been there, any suggestions on how to be a healthy/happy mama in the first trimester or things you would change if you could go back?
Much love and thanks for reading.