I'm pregnant! SURPRISE!
I would first like to thank my body for the warm welcome into motherhood. Particularly, the unwavering constant state of nausea, cravings for everything that isn't in my fridge, aversions to all the healthy favourites and my taken-for-granted-and-now-depressingly-sluggish digestive system.
Don't get me wrong. I'm over the moon and feel incredibly fortunate. Let's just say I'm not physically jumping for joy nor would I describe myself as "glowing" yet.
Though everyone's experience is unique, here's a peek at what the first trimester of pregnancy can look like.
1. You are always nauseated until you're suddenly eating-your-insides starving.
Nausea, nausea, nausea, nausea... BAM! I NEED FOOD OR I'M GONNA DIE. Getting hungry doesn't happen anymore. You're nauseated or instantaneously starving. Your metabolism is in overdrive at this time because you know, it's making a human life-form and constructing an entirely new organ to help it survive and stuff.
2. Eating small, frequent meals can help.
I found nausea peaked when I was too hungry (at the 3-hr mark) or even too full. Breaking down my meals into smaller portion sizes and eating more frequently helped keep my nausea at bay including those startling pangs of hunger.
3. Your sense of taste changes and therefore, you become a terrible cook.
I sincerely apologize to my husband for all the under-seasoned, incredibly sour meals I've made in the last three months. We now leave the lemon wedges and table salt on the side to add individually.
4. There is new meaning to "cravings".
Cravings is not the right word. It is actually borderline obsessive. Once those thoughts are triggered, they never leave the mind until satisfied. I've also had to unfollow several foodie Instagram accounts for this reason. If you're pregnant, I suggest you do the same.
5. There is a real sense of loss when you can no longer have runny eggs.
6. Sleeping becomes your specialty.
When you're not eating or on the verge of puking, you're probably sleeping. The first stage of this is denial. Am I actually tired or am I just lazy? According to my Fitbit, my average hours of sleep reached record highs (and steps were at an all-time low). Embrace this one. No matter how crummy you feel for sleeping so much, your body needs it.
7. High-protein snacks are your BFFs.
Your daily requirements for protein increase during pregnancy since it's an essential building block for muscle, bones, skin and hair. High-protein snacks also help me feel more full, less nauseated and carry me through mealtimes. While I try to incorporate a source of protein in every meal, my snacks often include nuts, nut butter, hummus, edamame, or protein powder added to smoothies, cookies or granola bars. And more nut butter.
8. Water and fiber are your other BFFs.
Real talk: things just ain't the way they used to be down there. Drink a ton of water and pay attention to your fiber intake to help move things along. A magnesium supplement can also alleviate constipation. It doesn't hurt to see a perinatal naturopathic doctor as well to assess what other supplements and tricks you can benefit from.
9. New house rules might be in effect.
Junk food is now strictly prohibited in our household. If my husband wants chips, he has to eat them before getting home. This is less because I'm a clean eating psycho and more because I am utterly, hopelessly, uncontrollable when these items become accessible to me. I will eat the shit out of that bag of chips.
10. "Eating for two" means eat better not more.
We love this saying. It helps us reconcile with ourselves when we overeat. During pregnancy, your body only needs an extra few hundred calories, not double the amount.
We are what we eat, and suddenly we're responsible for the health of not just ourselves but baby too. What we eat affects how that little brain develops, the muscles and teeny tiny toes. I've definitely had my bout of "obsessive" cravings and unhealthy indulgences. But reminding myself that I'm "eating for two" in this new sense of the definition often helps, even if just a little.
For all the mommies, do any of these symptoms and feelings ring the bell for you? How did you deal with pregnancy cravings, food aversions and nausea?