Even after being pregnant 7 times, the 1st Trimester always seems to catch me off guard. I know what’s coming when I first get that positive result, but still tend to forget that life will be forced to come to a crawl for a while not long after. With a growing family you can’t just stop life, but there are ways to get through more peacefully. It’s a fine balance in taking care of yourself and everything else. You can set yourself up for success by keeping in mind that this is a season, and being okay with not getting a lot accomplished until you start to feel well again.
When you’re pregnant again, not only do you have to focus on attempting to keep yourself fed, but you also have other young ones dependent on you for their very survival. It’s not an easy task when even the sight of food makes you want to gag. So just do it, just gag. I know it’s gross. It doesn’t feel the greatest to be leaning over a toilet with tears streaming down your face, but you may feel well enough afterwards – long enough to get some food going for your kiddos. …and maybe even yourself.
They say to eat some crackers or protein before you even get out of bed. I’m sure that works great for some people, but if it doesn’t work for you that’s okay. I find that I need to gag, give myself a little time and maybe even a few sips of water before I can eat anything. Then I do find those suggestions helpful. Protein seems to be especially helpful with morning sickness in whatever form you can stomach. Cheese sticks, eggs (sometimes), meats from the frozen food section, and leftovers have all helped me get through the morning.
If you can’t seem to stomach any of that, ask yourself if anything even remotely sounds good. Then just go with it. Sometimes I’ve found that fruit is more helpful, particularly bananas. I’ve also been known for adding random items to the grocery cart that look good. Many times I find that I can eat them, while a few of those items are still in my pantry.
Feeding Your Family
Create a Weekly Meal Plan
I’ve always found that having a meal plan really helps in making sure food gets on the table each day and that we stay within our budget. I think it’s even more helpful when you don’t feel well.
Although there are so many meal planning ideas out there, it doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as pulling out a calendar and jotting down some dinner ideas for the week. You can give them a designated day or you can just have a list and make whatever is easiest on any given day. Great! Dinner is done.
Breakfast can be as simple as having cereals and milk available (if you don’t normally do cereal, just remember that this is for a season). Or you could do granola and yogurt. Keep it simple, keep it light. However, it does help to have a few eggs on hand in case that’s something you have a craving for yourself.
Lunch can be kept just as simple. PB&J supplies, crackers, and maybe even some chips or veggies all come together for some great kids’ meals. Then just pull out the leftovers or have something on hand that sounds appetizing for yourself if PB&J doesn’t quite cut it.
Once you know what you’re having, write your list and you’re good to go!
Plan Easy Dinners
The time for more elaborate fare will come again. For now, it’s okay to stick with what’s easy to make and easy on the tummy. Rice skillets, such as my Sausage/Rice Skillet, are a real lifesaver. If you like the crockpot and can handle the smell all day, go with it. We even had buttered pasta with parmesan cheese on those many nights when I couldn’t do any more. If your hubby can cook or can at least follow simple directions (like boiling pasta), see if he can make dinner and call it a night. Once you have a few easy recipes that you know you can handle, rotate them through your meal plan each week. I’m pretty sure we’ve had Sausage/Rice Skillet nearly every Monday since I’ve been pregnant.
Utilize Grocery Pick-up or Delivery
During my 1st trimester, grocery pick-up had just arrived. Let me tell you, it is a LIFESAVER! All I have to do is plug my list in to the Walmart Grocery App, reserve a day and time that I want to pick it up, then arrive at Walmart at that designated time to find it all ready for me. I’ve never received bad produce and the employees have always been friendly.
We’ve all been told about the importance of taking our prenatal vitamins, but that’s a pretty scary concept when every time you open your throat everything goes the wrong direction. Many days, I just did the best I could. If I could get at least one vitamin down (my brand calls for 3 a day), great! If I couldn’t get anything down, then I just tried again the next day without stressing about it.
Many women find that the gummy vitamins are easier to handle while dealing with morning sickness. If that’s you, then go for it. I used to buy the gummies, but they contain folic acid (synthetic form of folate) vs. folate (naturally found in foods) and decided that they weren’t for me.
If you’re like me, and would prefer the natural version of folate, you can hop over to amazon and get the Vitamin Code Prenatal that my midwife recommended (affiliate link). Even though this prenatal isn’t a gummy, you can still get around having to swallow it whole. The vitamins are contained in a vegetable capsule. This means you can pull them apart and pour the contents in a smoothie, applesauce, or any other food that you can handle.
Let’s face it, you probably gave up sleeping when you had your first kid, but that doesn’t mean you won’t feel exhausted. I find that it’s best if I just go with it, and allow my body to rest as often as I can.
Sometimes this means that they day gets off to a slower start. I sleep in for as long as the kids will let me, then move to the couch and continue to rest while supervising breakfast and attending to the needs of the kiddos. Let’s face it, some days are pretty much lived on the couch. If you homeschool, school work can be brought to the couch and completed there. If your kids are younger, then the family room becomes the play room (if it isn’t already). Basically, it’s okay to rest and rest often in whatever way you can.
I don’t know about you, but I struggle with housework even when I’m not pregnant. Add in all of that resting, and my house looks like a tornado went through it within 10 minutes of the kids waking up. At this point, it’s a battle between trying to keep up with it yourself, and asking for help. If you can, ask for help.
Start with the kids.
Are they old enough to do anything? They’re more capable than you think. This year we had a breakthrough when I realized that my kids were old enough to start helping with the bathroom chores! Even if your kids aren’t quite there yet, the younger ones can be pretty helpful. My kids started unloading the dishwasher when they were around 5. It may also be helpful if all of the kids did a 10 minute pick up every couple of hours to help calm the clutter. I tried having them pick up after breakfast and lunch, then we had our EHAP (everything has a place) around 4PM.
What can your hubby do?
Can he prep anything before he leaves for work, or change that early morning stinky diaper? Maybe he’ll be the one in charge of meals and/or clean up at the end of the day. I find that the mornings start a little more peacefully when the house is picked up and the dishes are done the night before. Ask your hubby if he can take that on while you’re not feeling well after the kids are in bed each night.
Do you have friends, neighbors, or family available?
It doesn’t hurt to see if they can come by to help with the cleaning. The hardest part is asking. Then have a list ready of tasks that need to be completed. Is laundry backing up? Are those bathrooms getting a little grungy?
Finally, it’s okay to hire out if you’re financially able to. This has never been an option for us, but I did have some wonderful friends who paid their teens to come out and help clean my house. My friends came as well to help get the job done. It was a humbling experience, but I was also so grateful to them and felt so blessed by their friendship.
We all love our kids. Isn’t that part of why we’re able to go through pregnancy again? However, taking care of their needs can be a challenge in the 1st trimester. Honestly, my main “trick” is being okay with more TV time than normal – especially during the colder months. It is just a season due to your need for rest – it is a true need that needs to be met. I promise, it won’t ruin your kids.
You can keep things simple like I mentioned above by having toys and school work in the area that you’re resting. Keep the diapers and wipes handy and feed simple foods.
Again, ask for help. Is grandma able to come by and watch the kids or take them to her house, or even go yourself? My parents have a much larger house and yard than we do, so it was extremely helpful when I could head over with the kids. They could run around and play and I could lay on the couch or just sit and be for a bit. I still have a few siblings at home, so they also helped take care of the kids while we were there. Honestly, even though I’m no longer in my 1st trimester, we still go over when the kids or I need a bit of a break.
Involve the Kids
Talk to your kids. No matter what their age, you can explain that a baby is growing in mommy’s tummy and makes you feel tired and sick right now. Reassure them that it’s okay, and that mommy just needs to take it slow for a little bit. Many times you’ll find that even they can be more sympathetic to your needs, they may even ask how they can help you. You’re forming them, you’re teaching them about compassion for others.
It Won’t Last Forever
I know it feels like you’ll never feel well again, but you will. Keep in mind that this is a season, and you’ll be right back to your normal routine in a couple of months.
Congratulations On Your Newest Little One!
Please let me know if you found any of my suggestions helpful as you eagerly anticipate the end of your morning sickness, and your baby’s first distinguishable kicks!
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