Pregnancy symptoms are different for every woman. I’ve heard women say that they absolutely loved being pregnant and they miss it. I tried to enjoy it, I really did. I had every pregnancy symptom possible to the extreme and it was rough! Of course, it’s worth it all now that I have a beautiful baby boy. I remember Googling “how to stay positive through a rough pregnancy”. I’m a positive person in general and don’t like to complain but I struggled so much mentally and physically as I went through each trimester.
The second trimester was the easiest for me. Not that it was easy, but much easier than the other two trimesters. If you are wondering what the heck a “trimester” is, think about your 9 months of pregnancy and divide it by 3. The first 12 weeks of pregnancy is the first trimester. The most common symptom associated with the first trimester is the morning sickness or nausea. In my case it was "all day long sickness". The second trimester ranges from 13 to 27 weeks. This is usually where all your wild cravings come into play. Check out our recent Instagram post below where we asked women to share their strangest pregnancy cravings. Click the image to view all the comments. It’s pretty hilarious! From 28 weeks until the end (40 weeks is full term) is the third and final trimester. Many women experience a lot of discomfort from all the changes and weight gain.
The below info graphic from The Bump and the Grind is my all time favorite pregnancy symptom by week reference. It was so accurate and helped prepare me for what was to come. I don't know if that is a good or bad thing but I was so anxious and nervous about being pregnant that I wanted to know all the details! Click on the image to see the full list of symptoms by week. The bump portion tells you what is happening in the womb! It gives you an idea of how big your growing baby is and the progress of development. For example, by the 16th week the baby will be the size of an avocado and will have a heart beat - yay! The grind portion is all the pregnancy symptoms. For example, after 30 weeks, they list general discomfort and shortness of breath. Brings me back to the days where I was waddling to the bathroom every 15 minutes and panting from simply walking up a set of stairs!
Even though you get a little miracle at the end of the 9 month grind, the symptoms can be enough to really bum you out. Your hormones are all out of whack, your craving strange foods or maybe losing all the food you eat from nausea. Below is a list of things I did to help me stay positive during the rough times.
- REST - I was worried about how much I was sleeping during my first trimester with my first child. Even after a full nights sleep, I was tired at work all day and then I would come home in the evening and fall asleep by 8pm and sleep through the night! I felt guilty and felt like I didn't have time for my normal activities since I was sleeping so much. If you feel tired then let your body rest. You are growing a human and that takes some work from the body! If you are pregnant and already have children then you may not get all the sleep you desire. Get your little ones on track right away! Check out our latest post on how to get your baby sleeping through the night!
- THANKFUL - As I was complaining to my co-worker with each new pregnancy symptom I was experiencing, she kindly made a point that some women don't get to experience pregnancy. At that moment I realized I hadn't even thought about being thankful for the gift of a child. I was too busy complaining! From that day on I changed my attitude and started to focus on the positives. Although there is a lot going on with physical changes to the body, it is so important to keep your mind healthy and positive through it.
- FOCUS ON BABY - If you feel like you're on an emotional roller coaster or feeling guilty from craving all those donuts at midnight, stop feeling bad about yourself and start focusing on baby! When I was pregnant with my first, it didn't even seem real for the first six months of pregnancy. I couldn't hardly fathom that I was about to becoming a mom and be responsible for a little human! When I started looking focusing on what was to come it really lifted my spirits! Look at baby names, pick out nursery decor and buy tiny clothes. These things will start to make it feel real and exciting!
- SEEK SUPPORT - Misery loves company, right? My husband is so great but he is so logical that he had no idea what to do when I would cry or get emotional for "no reason". He was confused and didn't understand what I needed from him. I finally just told him that he didn't always have to understand what was wrong or what I needed - just hug me. So he did. Find other women who are pregnant or who have had babies so you can help each other through the hard times. I was so lucky to have my sister and best friend pregnant at the same time as me (with their second) during my first pregnancy. It was so fun and I was able to share experiences with them and ask questions! Check out our recent post on the real struggles of motherhood for some extra encouragement!
- RESEARCH - There are so many natural and easy ways to help remedy these symptoms. Do some research on some things that can help you. I had HORRIBLE acid reflex and it was miserable. I read that I should avoid certain foods, especially before bed. I also learned that sleeping sitting up helps a lot so I bought some big foam pillows to prop myself up so I could try to get some rest. There is a myth that if you have acid reflex during pregnancy, your baby will have a lot of hair. This is true! At least it was for me. My baby boy came out with a thick, full head of black hair! I was shocked!
If you are having a symptom free, magical pregnancy - lucky you! What is your secret?! If not, well, hang in there because the results are so worth it all! Give in to your crazy cravings and don't feel bad about your mood swings. You're going through a lot and it's all normal. One more post that might benefit you: things to buy before baby comes - newborn essentials.
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