Jasmine Van Allen
Oct 17, 2022
Pregnancy: The Struggle is Real
Early last week, as I entered my 27th week of pregnancy and third trimester (also what I lovingly refer to as the home stretch before we meet our tiny human for the first time)! I also found myself reflecting on many things I’ve learned these last 27 weeks, and how they vary per trimester.
The First Trimester
I thought of everything to navigate in the first trimester: those first doctor’s visits and ultrasounds, done in secret from loved ones and colleagues/supervisors, because no one except my husband and myself knew of our good news yet; the seemingly never-ending first 12 weeks of waiting to share our news, because I was terrified of jinxing this miracle of ours by sharing too early; the super fun symptoms (nausea, weight loss, food aversions, no energy…) and navigating them.
Then there’s trying to find trustworthy literature online or in books that didn’t add to my worry and anxiety; navigating symptoms while also navigating my own preexisting health conditions and worrying some more about how that may affect my growing fetus. I’m very thankful to my family doctor for being so patient with me during this time and calming my worries. The how and when of telling everyone our good news along with everything else, and more, happened in those first three months.
All I can say to the mamas to be out there, living the first trimester struggle, is that it does in fact get slightly easier in the second trimester. Even if only because I found time went by much faster than in the first trimester.
The Second Trimester
Personally, the beginning of the second trimester entailed my daily noon to midnight nausea finally lessening. My numerous food aversions lessened as well, allowing me to regain some of the 15 pounds I lost. My doctor, and other health team members, were extremely relieved. Most thankfully, I was regaining my energy. Being a kindergarten teacher, with a challenging group of littles at the end of the last school year, and having a hard time standing up and speaking without gagging was not a good time.
But, thankfully, the second trimester is the light at the end of the tunnel, for the most part anyway. It does come with its own set of struggles, but mostly it’s the excitement that helps the weeks fly by!
Sharing the good news of your bundle of joy with family and friends, seeing changes in your belly and feeling tiny movements from your growing tiny human, preparing the nursery, and doing your research on the best products you’ll need for when the baby comes. The list goes on.
There’s also a lot in these weeks as well and one of the most important is to have a great support group with you. These are trusted people you can go to for advice and who will understand and listen to your struggles. These wonderful humans will help immensely as you enter the third trimester because that’s when things get real, really fast!
Tips That Work for Me
It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed at times by all the information out there (because there is so much) but, here are some little nuggets I’ve found very helpful over the last 27 weeks:
1. If, like I was, you’re feeling anxious about the daunting task of choosing the best items for the baby, especially the bigger items, I highly recommend visiting a store in-person. My mom and I took a weekend and visited some stores and I am so, so glad we did! The people at Babies R Us were able to answer all my questions, were very knowledgeable and helpful in narrowing down the options so I could do my research and choose between 2-3 items instead of the 30 or so available. Then I put the chosen one in our baby registry. They truly made life so much easier!
2. When you receive conflicting advice from family and friends, especially if you come from a big family like me, thank them for their suggestions as they usually have the best of intentions. But make a note of it and bring the information to your doctor or midwife. They can help you make sense of things and will have the most modern medical advice. They will also have great suggestions for the best literature for you to read on the bigger subjects, such as breastfeeding, if that’s something you’re thinking about.
3. This is the most important one: no matter what, you and your partner know what’s best for you and for your baby! You are their parents to be, and whatever feels right for you, is the best choice. Trust in yourselves to make the best possible decisions, based on the information you’ve gathered. You’ve got this!