We’re excited to announce that our family is growing – we’re having a baby! Baby is due late July which now places me in my second trimester. My first trimester was not the healthy inspiring one I’d always thought I would have. You know, the one where you stay relatively fit, eat well to nourish you and baby…with the goal of later getting that ‘Yummy Mummy’ body. With reality being so far from my expectations, this has been mentally a very difficult time for me. This is my perhaps uninspiring, although honest experience of 1st trimester pregnancy.
To be frank, first trimester was awful. I was sick, almost constantly bloated and had bad gas. I have so much more empathy for women who have been through this now! My energy levels were low and I found I had to sleep for 2-3 hours at lunchtime to get through the day.
Diet and Exercise
I’m sure my change of diet contributed to my gut issues. All I felt like was carbs to quell the nausea – chips, croissants and sausage rolls. So that’s what I ate. My doctor and friends told me, do what you have to do to get through. It didn’t help that I was eating to deal with my crazy emotions too.
With so little energy and a lot of nausea, I didn’t feel well enough to exercise anything more than walking (a massive change in lifestyle for me). I also really struggled with my changing physical appearance – I put on about 6-7kgs in my first trimester. It’s hard though because I didn’t look pregnant, just chubby. I worried people would judge me at the gym. I worried I wouldn’t be able to do my usual exercise – so what was the point in even trying? It takes 30 minutes to get to my gym and by the time I got there, I had filled my head with doubt and some days I even talked myself out of going in! I’ve lost a LOT of confidence and I am still working through all this.
In some ways pregnancy came at a bad time – in the middle of the move from Brisbane to Sydney, a few interstate weddings, Christmas and 3000kms of driving (pregnancy car sickness is not fun). In other ways, I’m thankful that it started at the end of last year so it isn’t taking up the whole of this year and it won’t be sweltering hot when I’m about to pop! I’m also thankful that I didn’t have to work throughout my first trimester and could rest when I needed to.
I had always planned to work for another couple of years at a law firm or in a government lawyer position. I had studied for 7 years, so it would be nice to enjoy the workforce for a while longer before kids. I know it would be highly unlikely for an employer to hire me knowing I had a baby coming in 6 months (anti-discrimination laws or not).
Everyone’s pregnancy is different
Accepting that this is my experience and I can’t compare my pregnancy to others has been something I’ve had to come to terms with. I’m not the fitness fanatic that only puts on the bump or the ladies that don’t experience food cravings/ have enough self-control to deal with it. I’ve had a lot more change to deal with than most during this time which has impacted my wellbeing.
Questioning God & Spiritual growth
For a while I was frustrated with God, I remember thinking ‘where are you? How can this possibly be a good plan RIGHT NOW?!’ but as time went on I realised God’s the only one that can give me lasting peace and joy in every circumstance – so I needed to drop the walls I was putting up and run into his arms which were still (and always had been) outstretched. To be honest, I hadn’t consulted God about my plans for this year – just assumed I would work, which is probably why it all came as such a shock to me. God’s put this verse on my heart the last few weeks and it has been a great encouragement:
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
When I get anxious now, I try to stop and think of this verse, which in summary says to:
- Not worry;
- Tell God about everything causing me worry and ask for what I need;
- Reflect on God’s faithfulness in the past and be thankful (read more about implementing daily thankfulness here);
- Trust in his sufficiency for the future and that if I follow the above, through Christ, he will fulfill his promise for an unexplainable peace that will guide the way I think and feel.
Learning to be kind to myself
I am trying be kind to myself, to still love my changing body and accept that life will be different, but still filled with God’s love and his blessings. I am feeling much less nauseated now which is GREAT! I’m trying to focus on the positive so not to be overwhelmed by all the changes of the last few months. I’m creating a new daily routine including some relaxation activities to keep me enjoying life. I’m also hoping this will mean more blog posts, with a few more personal posts thrown in there – because I’ve missed writing those! I do look forward to meeting my little bundle of joy in July and sharing with you a better experience of trimester two in a few months time.
Do you have any pregnancy tips? If you have a baby, how was your first trimester? Let me know in the comments below.