I wish I was writing this to tell you the big secret on how to avoid anxiety in the first trimester. I wish there was something magical to make all your worry and fear disappear, but the truth is, there is no secret. There is nothing magical. Pregnancy after loss is HARD. Whether thats one loss, 5 miscarriages, a still birth, whatever your loss is, I can promise you that your next pregnancy will not be the same. Instead I’m writing today to share some of the things I did to help me survive the first trimester. I really do believe it’s a survival season of life. There was no striving, at least not for me and THAT’s OK. Accepting that it’s ok is a big part of it too. 
Oh yeah, in case you missed it, we’re expecting! It took me a while to feel comfortable to share our news widely and to be honest, before I pressed the “post” button, I was very hesitant. It just made it seem so real and I wasn’t sure I felt it was that real. It still doesn’t, but I know it will come eventually so I’m doing my best to give myself that time. 

First Trimester Survival Tips

1. Don’t Keep it to Yourself

I get the whole, wait until the end of the first trimester, before sharing your pregnancy, but why? How is this helping you? Sure, maybe don’t tell the whole world if you aren’t comfortable, but telling your close friends and family can be really helpful. Feeling nauseas, anxiety ridden AND keeping it a secret all while trying to act normal DOES NOT HELP! For me, telling people who I saw regularly helped because I didn’t have to pretend to be okay when I wasn’t. They knew what was going on. And the random check ins from others who knew my situation was always much appreciated. Isolating yourself when you’re already in one of the toughest seasons of life just makes things harder. 

2. One Day at a Time

This has been my mantra for a LONG TIME. I really took this to heart for the first trimester. I counted the days, each milestone, each doctors appointment, each ultrasound, each time I took medication, each blood test. Whatever you need to do to get through that day and make it to the next appointment. Instead of focusing on the next ultrasound that would be weeks away, I would do my best to focus on getting through that day, then the next day and then the next. If crossing the days off your calendar helps then do it. I told myself over and over, one day at a time. If you tell yourself something enough you’ll slowly start to believe it. You got this, one day at a time. That’s what I would tell myself. 

3. Give Yourself Grace

Be kind to yourself. If that means, allowing your other child/children to watch several episodes of Paw Patrol so you can rest then so be it. Or maybe it means ordering take out. That’s okay. Isn’t it better to eat out then not eat at all? Or maybe it means buying connivence foods you wouldn’t normally eat. Remember, you are in a tough season, you’re not here to strive, just survive. I think it’s perfectly okay to allow yourself to just survive. 

4. Dealing with Nausea

On top of the anxiety nausea also SUCKS! I was so sick, throwing up, barely eating, feeling weak, so tired, I’m sure it all sounds familiar. I still have a hard time eating, but at least I’m able to hold my food down. A few things that helped were adjusting my eating habits from eating three large meals a day to snacking throughout the day. For months I carried a bag of pretzels in my purse and would snack on them when I needed to eat. Eating less, more frequently was one of the few things that actually helped. Plain food, cold food and no meat were also things that helped. I was very reluctant to take diclectin to help with nausea because I was on other medications that I wanted to stop before trying it. Then I had a bleeding scare and was basically scared to move, never mind take another medication. After that settled I FINALLY tried diclectin at about 10 weeks and it was a life changer. It did not make me feel 100% by any means, but it allowed me to hold my food down. It also made me VERY tired. I would have a long nap in the afternoon when my daughter was in school and still go to bed early and sleep through the night. I figured my body was happy to get the extra sleep and again, and I did my best to allow myself grace and sleep when I needed to sleep.

5. Mindless Distraction

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t watch a lot of Netflix/Prime during the evenings. I liked having a show to escape to, something to just take my mind off everything. Or maybe that’s reading a good book for you. I binged Virgin River (twice because it was so good, haha), and Dawson’s Creek on Prime. I’m sure there were a few other movies in between, I can’t think of them right now, but find something that can be your escape and allow yourself to enjoy it.  

6. Accept Help

The worst part of the nausea for me was over Christmas and luckily my husband was home. He did a lot of cooking and extra care for our daughter. There’s also been a few extra chores for our 5 year old and that has also been helpful. Our neighbours have also been so helpful when it comes to snow shovelling, which has been very much appreciated. Who ever is offering help, just say yes! 

7. Support Groups/People

If you’re alone or really struggling, reach out to the professionals. There are lots of different options for talking to people and you’ll likely be surprised at how helpful it can be. It could be one on one counselling, talking to your doctor or joining a support group in person or online. There are also organizations out there like Pregnancy After Loss Support. Although I have not used their services I do follow them on Instagram and enjoy reading their quotes and the content they share. You can check out their website HERE.  You might also find support or comfort in journalling. To be honest, I usually do, but I haven’t been this time. A part of me just wanted to get through each day with thinking about the pregnancy as little as possible. Sometimes you don’t want to write it down because you want to forget it, but I’m feeling ready to start journalling again. There are also books that can offer support. I have been reading “Joy at the End of the Rainbow.” I’ll link it below if you’re interested in checking it out.  

8. Expectations

Having had a pregnancy before any losses, one that went down without a hitch and now this pregnancy following 5 miscarriages, I have definitely seen both sides of the fence. Sure, there is always some worry for all pregnancies, but the worry is NOTHING like it is now. It’s hard to explain what pregnancy after loss feels like, but for me, it hasn’t been that enjoyable, it hasn’t been something I’ve been excited to celebrate yet (I’m now writing this at 17 weeks), and it hasn’t been sunshine and roses. If I had to tell you one thing, I’d say have NO expectations. Know that it isn’t going to be the best time of your life and know that you might not feel that connected to your baby, but it’s okay. Just feel the feels and don’t feel guilty for it. At least that’s what I’m trying to do. 

Just remember, one day at a time, YOU GOT THIS!

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This post is NOT sponsored, but may contain affiliate links. The opinions and photos are of Sew Bright Creations’.

Want to collaborate? Email Jackie at sewbrightcreations@gmail.com.