Hi friends, and happy Monday!
I hope this post finds you well and enjoying the summer sun!
In case you didn’t know, you probably do after reading the title… Brandon and I are expecting baby # 2! We are over-the-moon excited about this news, but I had to wait to post this because we have been keeping it a secret from our families for THREE months!
Now that the news is out, and I’m officially pushing through my second trimester, I thought I’d share how I survived the first one. Because let me tell you, it was HARD. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I’ve never been more exhausted in all of my life. I’m thankful Ben is still taking 2 naps a day, because some days, I had to too (definitely at least one, or I wouldn’t have made it through most days).
Unlike in my first pregnancy, where I was working back-to-back 12 hour night shifts AND picking up overtime day shifts, working on our kitchen renovations, and going to CrossFit 5-6 days a week during the first trimester, this pregnancy has been full of going to bed early, being nauseous all day with no appetite, and resting as much as Ben will let me. It’s funny how life has changed in two short years. I was so active, determined to have a fit pregnancy last time. That still sounds great, but this time around, the thought of going for a run makes me need a nap so desperately. Thankfully, much of my energy has come back with the start of my second trimester, and I’m hoping to work out again soon. But for now, I’m listening to my body. The demands of taking care of the house and my very spirited toddler are how I’m staying active. Here are my most helpful tips on surviving that difficult first few months when you need to be a mama first.
Tip #1: Small snacks and bubbly water.
I don’t know why people refer to it as “morning” sickness, when it really lasts all day long. When you’re feeling yucky and your appetite is nonexistent, it’s best to keep something small in your stomach at all times. That really helped me to keep nausea at bay, since I found I felt my worst when my stomach was totally empty. Instead of eating 3 large meals, try eating 5-6 smaller ones, and always keeping snacks around. I also drank lots of LaCroix, which is carbonated water with natural flavors. It helped to keep me hydrated when even water didn’t sound very good.
Tip #2: Ask for help.
Brandon was so helpful and understanding of how terrible I felt. As soon as he got home from work, he’d step right into Dad duty so I could rest, cook dinner, or some days, take a nap. It’s okay to ask for extra help. Your body is going through so much, and a little break could keep you from totally breaking.
Tip #3: Celebrate ALL Victories.
Every ultrasound, every new week, every load of laundry folded deserves a reward. Take it easy on yourself, and celebrate even the smallest of victories. Reward yourself with a little treat, a face mask, a solo trip to Target, or even an early bedtime. Growing a human deserves some recognition, Mama! That’s multi-tasking at its finest!
Tip #4: Diet is KEY.
Cravings are REAL. Aversions are REAL. But try to remember that whatever you eat, your growing little baby is eating, too. Since working out hasn’t been in the cards for me much (yet) this pregnancy, I’m working on focusing on what I can control, which is what I eat and how much I’m eating.
- You aren’t actually eating for two whole people, so most doctors recommend only upping your calories by 150 during the first trimester. That could be used on 2 Oreo Cookies, or you could enjoy something filling and nutritious instead, like some rice and veggies that will help you power through your day. (And really, who can stop at just 2 Oreos?! NOT ME.) Also, don’t drink you calories!
- Protein is also really important, so I’ve been fitting it in throughout my day wherever I can. I’ve been choosing eggs over a bowl of sugary cereal, chicken with my salads, or a protein bar snack. Comparing my diet thus far with my first pregnancy, I really believe this is the main contributor to the reason I’ve been able to successfully keep my growing belly relatively small and hide-able for months (and fit into a bridesmaid dress at 16 weeks that I ordered prior to getting pregnant!). I’m still gaining a very healthy amount of weight, but I’m just making smarter choices.
- I’m also not giving into every single craving I’ve had– I’ve found that usually a few bites is all I need to satisfy it.
- If there’s ever been a time to go organic, this is it. Brandon and I had already switched must of our produce and daily staples to organic ones, but I’ve been trying to really step it up. After learning about the pesticides in literally EVERYTHING we eat and realizing that they all add up, and thinking about the little person growing so quickly and depending on you for nutrients, I’ve realized I want to give them the best start I can.
Tip #5: Plan Ahead.
Prepping meals ahead of time– even pre-making PB&Js to throw in the freezer, pealing/cutting fruits, or portioning out snacks– will save you tremendous amounts of time, as well as help you to make healthier choices for you and your family. Each week, I made sure to keep up with my menu planning and grocery lists and do what I could on Sundays to prepare for the week while Brandon was home to help me. I also looked ahead at any local activities going on for kids and families, which helped to keep Ben busy and engaged with other kids without as much planning on my (already fatigued) end. Some of our favorite days were spent trying out new playgrounds and activities put on by our library!
Tip #6: Go outside!
I’ve been really fortunate to be pregnant during beautiful weather. Getting some fresh air and sunshine totally changes my mood. It’s also great for Ben, who would be outside from morning to bedtime, if I let him! Playing in the rocks or with bubbles keeps him entertained for hours, and wears his little body out for naps and bedtime, which I consider a mom win! Just some chalk, toy trucks, and a bubble mower will provide endless fun without any stress or mess for me, and watching him play and learn is the best part of ANY day.
I hope you’ve found this list helpful! Do you have any tips for mamas trying to survive pregnancy with a toddler? (Any third trimester tips? It’s creeping up on me REAL QUICK!) I’d love to hear them!
(I surprised Brandon– and apparently Ben ^^– with a mini photo session to tell him our news, and it was a success! I’ll post more about that soon!)