Pregnancy certainly comes with its highs and lows – from excitement and preparation to morning sickness and discomfort.

I recently announced that I’m expecting my first child in September. I thought it might be helpful to share my first hand experience through the first half of my pregnancy. Perhaps my remedies may work for someone else. 

Before I knew I was pregnant.

I was frequently dizzy and lightheaded and none of my usual remedies were working. I tried drinking more water, eating balanced meals, getting more sleep, avoiding sudden movements – none of it helped. Since these aren’t typical symptoms for me, and they were becoming more frequent, I asked Dr. Sarah to conduct a neurological exam. When everything came back normal, it dawned on me that my period was due and this was beyond my normal PMS symptoms. In hindsight, I now realize that my body was producing blood to accommodate the baby that was growing inside of me.

“I’m pregnant!”

When my pregnancy test came out positive, I first felt scared. Even though my husband and I had been trying for several months, I wasn’t jumping for joy for some reason. Because I work with the perinatal population, I’m hyper aware of everything that can go wrong, especially early on in a pregnancy. Several hours later and it still didn’t feel real and I couldn’t shake the fear, even to this day. This is a common reaction, so if you’ve felt this way before, you’re in good company.

The first trimester.

I felt totally normal for the first 6 weeks. I naively thought I avoided the typical nausea, morning sickness, mood swings, and fatigue that most women experience in the first trimester. Unfortunately I wasn’t that lucky. Despite having no aversion to food, I had no appetite during weeks 6-8. I still tried to eat balanced meals and snacks as often as I could because I know that it’s so important. 

At 8 weeks, all of the symptoms I thought I avoided kicked in. Nausea slowly crept in if I went too long without eating. I tried to overcome the sick feeling by making sure I packed easily available snacks to eat quickly between seeing patients. The “morning sickness” wasn’t just in the morning – it was constant. It didn’t matter what I ate, how often I ate, if I drank water or not,  how big or small my meals were, or if I avoided food. I was nauseated from the time I woke up until I went to sleep. The only thing that got me through this trying time, is that the symptoms were temporary whether it was for 12 weeks, 20 weeks, or the duration of my pregnancy. 

Pulling out all the stops.

It was becoming increasingly difficult to treat patients and I was willing to try everything. I tried every remedy I could think of. Some were helpful, but many weren’t. 

  • Ginger ale
  • Ginger candies
  • Hard candy
  • A small meal first thing in the morning
  • Balanced meals
  • Nutrient dense foods
  • Extra sleep
  • Vitamin B6
  • Promethazine
  • Zofran
  • Motion sickness bands
  • Acupuncture

My midwife prescribed Promethazine, but it wasn’t helpful. After suffering through a work trip, I was prescribed Zofran and although it was a lifesaver, it did cause constipation. It was finally the winning combination of Zofran, weekly acupuncture with Dr. Jacki Fitchner at Living Yin Acupuncture, nutrition recommendations from Dr. Rachel Stummer, and motion sickness bands got me through to 18 weeks when I finally had relief from my symptoms. 

The half-way mark.

I am currently half way through my pregnancy and feeling better and well rested, but still a little scared. The anatomy scan showed that Baby Simpson is growing as expected and I let out a large sigh of relief! My mind is at ease now that I know everything is progressing as well as can be expected, allowing me to feel more joyful during this exciting and happy time. I’ve returned to some physical activity, enjoying long walks with my dogs and reintroduction strength training. 

Follow me on Instagram to find out if Baby Simpson is a boy or girl when they arrive in September.