Pregnancy Side Effects: Coping

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

One of the first things a nurse in my clinic told me when I went for my first pregnancy appointment is that pregnancy is hard on the body. I didn’t want to believe it but now I totally do. Now that we are getting to the end of our second journey, we are often asked how do you do pregnancy and the other kid at the same time. I have found a few ways to cope with the side effects of this wonderful season as we get close to birth day:

First Trimester: During my first pregnancy the major thing was being tired. I would sleep sometimes but not often. This time around not only was I tired but I had all day nausea. I quickly learned to sleep when baby sleeps and I asked for meds. I just could not feel sick a whole day and properly care for my son who was 7 months at the time. The important thing is to find a soothing solution.

Second Trimester: It felt like a honeymoon the first time I got pregnant. I looked great, felt great and I was exercising a lot. This time I felt like I just came out of the dessert and found relief. If we had major projects such as getting the nursery ready, we tackled them during the second trimester. I heard that waiting til the end to paint and do other major repairs can be tough though many have done it. I enjoyed this season because I didn’t know what the next 3 months would bring.

Third Trimester: I nicknamed these last months as 'the third trial master.' It’s been tough! During my first pregnancy I worked full-time and did consulting work until week 37. I guess I was so focused on work that the time just flew by. Time is not dragging this time but my current circumstances are mixed with pregnancy side effects. Heartburn has been the main one this time around. Last time it was hemorrhoids (not glamorous, I know but very true). It’s been easy to manage the heartburn with meds. A lot of rest is needed now. Some days I feel like I could sleep all the time. Pair that with an extremely positive attitude. Pregnancy is definitely not the best I’ve ever felt (It’s hard to feel good about nausea and hemorrhoids) but it is one of the happiest seasons of expectation.

Here are other tips that work every season:

• After two totally different pregnancies I must recognize that fit is better. The fitter you are, the easier it is to go through 9 awesome months of body and mind change. I told my husband that next time I’ll do better in that department.
• Choose a recovery day. When I was working full-time Saturday was it. Now that I’m working at home, we chose Mondays as our recovery day. We stay in, rest and get our nap/rest routines back together after a busy weekend. Make it your personal Sabbath if you will.
Eating clean helps any mother and child. Your baby benefits from fruits and veggies however you can get them. Sometimes it works for me to get a lot of fresh ingredients. Other times the best we can do is get canned black beans, rice and frozen broccolis. It’s alright, as long as we are mindful of what we are eating. It’s never too early to give those little taste buds a flavor of health
Talk to your baby. I felt weird at first and it’s even weirder when other people do it (even through e-mail of messages on my pregnant pics). They know your voice and respond to you. Once they are born, I miss the closeness, the movement and the fact that I am the only one to nurture her that way. Words can nurture as well.
Stay away from stress. This is not the season to be worried about things. Stress can affect your pregnancy in the worse manner and you don’t want that. Practice contentment, laying your cares on Jesus for He cares for you. Learn also that there is a time and season for everything and worrying won’t change that. Take the healthier, peaceful pathway. Learn what makes you relax: a pedicure? A short walk? Watching a comedy? Pursue peace.

I don’t think it’s taboo to be real about what women go through. I think it’s healthy to be honest but honesty is better with hope. I cling to God, my source of joy and strength. If my mind is not focused on things above, life would be miserable. Change your mind to God’s plan and what He’s trying to teach you. At times I think that millions of women have been where I am but for some reason the thought does not help me at all. Only God’s words and having a rested mind to receive His love helps me.
I pray that you have an awesome pregnancy. I believe yours will be better than mine. Be sure to live your own happy experience!