Last week, I sat down and spoke with my friend Mae, who is pregnant with her first child. She had a really difficult first trimester, and has also been working as nanny throughout her entire pregnancy.
“I had some pretty severe side effects in the first trimester. I was nauseous from the moment I woke up to the moment I went to bed. I tried everything short of prescription drugs- nothing helped. I got so sick of ginger because I kept thinking it might cure my nausea. Now ginger makes me sick. I was basically out of commission for 10 weeks. I’d throw up about 3 times a day. I couldn’t keep anything down.
During the first 10 weeks, even talking about food made me sick. If (my husband) started discussing plans with friends, and what restaurant to go to – I had to ask him to stop. Even thinking about where to eat was more than I could handle.
But I still had to work. I’m working as a nanny right now. Being a nanny during my first pregnancy – now that’s been an experience. It was hard because I couldn’t turn it off. There were always kids I had to entertain. I never felt good, and because they weren’t my kids I couldn’t just turn on the TV. I had to be there for them, give them what they need.
There was this one moment in my 6th week of pregnancy when the 5 year old was crying in the living room because his toy broke, the 3 year old had thrown his body on the kitchen floor and was screaming that he wanted candy, and I was kneeling on the bathroom floor puking. That was terrible. In that moment I was just wishing there was a way I could be put under for the next 2 months.
It was really tough. I felt like I was on my third child but it was my first. I had to do what my boss expected of me, and I didn’t tell her for a while. I didn’t ask for any time off because I hadn’t told her I was pregnant.
I didn’t want to tell her until I was in my 2nd trimester. I’ve had a few friends who miscarry early on and I didn’t want to have the risk of coming into work and telling my boss I wasn’t pregnant anymore. The risk drops significantly in the 2nd trimester so I wanted to wait until then.
I thought being pregnant would just be fun and cool. I thought growing a little life inside me would be a magical experience. And that is happening, but it isn’t nearly as magical as I expected.
It’s much harder than I thought; I didn’t expect to be so sick and so tired. Also, you don’t look cute at the beginning. You get wide everywhere before you start growing out and showing. I ended up hating all foods. Actually, I still don’t love food. Food has not been something I’ve enjoyed during pregnancy.
It was also tough being with my husband. Being sick was tough on our marriage. But I think looking back, it has brought us closer together.
Before I got pregnant I wanted it so badly. I would say, ‘Oh, I cannot wait to have a baby.’ And now I’m excited but more nervous. I keep asking myself: Am I ready? Is this going to be good? Will I have to give up things that I want?
I’m definitely more selfish with my time now. There are a few things I was wanting to do before the baby comes. One thing was to take a short “baby-moon” – that was great. We went up to Madison, WI for the weekend. It was great to have time to celebrate being pregnant before having the baby and just enjoy each other.
Another thing I’m trying to do is be a little more intentional about my health. To be working out, figuring out meal planning, get used to waking up early, etc. I want to prioritize those things now so that the systems are in place when the baby comes.
One thing I did not know would happen during pregnancy is that your nipples grow and crack and get itchy. This is probably the most annoying thing because you’re constantly itching your boobs. I would recommend this really good nipple cream by LUSH – it’s called “Lovely Jubblies“.
Also, I had a hard time with the regular prenatal vitamins because they were so large and difficult to swallow, and I was already feeling nauseous all the time. But I discovered that they have prenatal vitamins in gummy form, so I switched over to those, and they’re really great.
I’m feeling much better now! I still don’t really enjoy food. But I don’t feel nauseous all day like I did before. I still can’t eat meat by itself. Like, the idea of a piece of steak or a burger patty, makes me feel sick. But I feel so much better than during the first trimester. In fact, I almost forget how bad it was, until I start thinking about again, and then I’m just glad it’s over.”
Mae is a nanny for two little boys on the West side of Chicago, and is currently growing a little girl inside of her 🙂 She is due in February and is getting excited for a massive baby shower with all of her friends and family.