Some women seem to breeze through pregnancy without a care in the world and certainly not with any pesky bodily-discomfort. These women must be humanoid robots, they certainly aren’t ‘normal’.
I had a few challenges in my first trimester, had I known a few of the below things in advance then life would have been easier, less painful and perhaps even less stressful!
I’m jotting these down for myself mostly, but if they help anyone else then that would be fab.
Cramps and pain relief:
Cramps, abdominal pain and discomfort in the stomach region are often described as “normal” and the general impression that doctors and the internet give is that they are a bit like period pain, a mild pest but nothing dire.
My cramps so much worse than anything I’ve ever felt before. They reduced me to tears and rendered it so I couldn’t move for a good 20 minutes.
Paracetamol does take an edge off and is ok to take in pregnancy.
But do not take nurofen or anything with ibuprofen in – these increase the chances of miscarriage and abnormalities to the baby/fetus/whatever you wish to call it at this stage.
Churning stomach and feeling sick:
Often lumped under the term Morning Sickness this really isn’t an accurate term. Feeling constantly sick and with a constantly churning stomach is more accurate.
I was advised the peppermint tea would help, it didn’t.
(Photo from etsy)
However Gaviscon does take an edge off and is safe to use.
Eating plain foods seemed to help and small portions of carbs on a regular basis.
Sometimes you will feel that someone has hooked up an air hose to your stomach, you will feel bloated and full of air- air which wants to come out with a burp or through breaking wind. You may feel mortified but there is nothing you can do – except find a quiet corner if you feel the air might escape soon!
(Source unknown as it is all over the internet to the point where I sort of want to slap her)
Tired and Emotional:
Feeling stupidly tired and flat-out exhausted is normal for the first trimester, it is also miserable.
Randomly feeling sad or angry also seemed to be par for the course, listening to music was a way of trying to level out but this wasn’t always reliable. Sometimes going on a crying jag for an hour was going to happen whether I wanted to or not
Adding to the fun was bloating of the stomach, there doesn’t seem to be a way around this but it really doesn’t make you feel good about yourself. If your partner has any sense they will pay you lots of complements and generally try to be helpful – they have to develop a thick-skin as sometimes nothing they will do will be right!
(Photo from National Geographic)
Appointment times are more advisory than fixed – make sure you have a book, some water and a small piece of comfort food.
Unless you are very lucky you will find that the medical staff that you encounter will have a tendency to see you as a number. You will spend a lot of time waiting around; this can be very stressful but is a good time to practise deep calming breathes.
I am a bit ashamed to admit to this, but having waited 90 minutes after my appointment time to have a scan that revealed absolutely nothing the staff wanted me to join the ten people queue to get processed back into the department so I could to get a blood test.
I may have politely turned around and said in a clear but distressed tone of voice “no, it is ok, I’ve had enough, and I am going home.” At which point I may have been dealt with very quickly and was done in around 5 minutes – although I stress that I inconvenienced no one else by doing this and I really was planning to walk out.
Last but not least:
In the event that something does go wrong, and you tried your best, then it isn’t your fault, sometimes things just don’t work out.
Talking to someone might help, my preference is someone who doesn’t know me and who I don’t have to worry about interacting with again.
Set some time aside to get your head straight and to put yourself first. Your partner may want to do the same for themself too.
Then find a way to face the world together and carry on going.
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