Up Next, Mother of 3: Tips To Surviving the First Trimester

24 Weeks Pregnant, baby is the size of a pomegranate.

It has been a while since I have written on here… well, here is the update!!! We’re pregnant with baby number 3! The moment I woke up with that queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach, I instantly thought, maybe I need to take a pregnancy test. Sure enough PREGNANT. I have an enthusiastic 3 year old daughter, my baby boy just turned 1, and now I am pregnant with my third little blessing.

My first two pregnancies were very hard, my last pregnancy with my son was the WORST! Being admitted several times, having placenta previa (where the placenta covers the birth canal) with both pregnancies which caused excessive bleeding, suffering though morning sickness causing hyperemesis gravidarum and all the other symptoms that comes with pregnancy and some that was unknown, I quickly had to figure out how to get through this third pregnancy while caring for two young children. The thoughts that would run through my head were vicious. I was terrified of a miscarriage and doing anything that could harm this growing baby in my belly, but at the same time I hated it all together. Spending most of my days trying to figure out how to feel like myself again while struggling to stay awake and away from the bed and vomiting in the toilet was my biggest challenge. I found comfort in reading the stories from other expecting mothers going through that same things that I was! I’m here to tell you you are not alone. The first trimester will feel almost impossible to get through, but know that it doesn’t last forever, and even though it feels like you will never get better, there is someone in the world that is dying to be in the position that you are in. Meanwhile, below are some tips that helped me get through my first trimester.

First Trimester Tips

  1. Drink and Drink Often: If you are having a hard time holding down water try decaffeinated teas, real fruit juices, and sports drinks.
  2. Eat First: Grab a snack (crackers, dry cereal, toast, tortillas) first thing in the morning to prevent morning sickness.
  3. Snack and Snack often: Try to avoid eating 3 full meals but smaller meals through out the day.Feeling too full can make you feel sick to your stomach.
  4. Ginger: Having a sip or two of ginger ale really helped me feel better. Some expected mothers make ginger teas and/or add ginger to their drinks to help settle their stomachs. Ginger candies too (Preggi Pops) The ginger root didn’t help me much but it is worth the try!
  5. Rest: Get as much rest as you can! Your body is going through some phenomenal changes when creating life; take the time you need to give yourself the much needed rest.
  6. Get Up and Move: Even when you feel like you can’t shower, eat, sleep, or even get some chores or work done, try to take a 20, 15, or even 10 minute walk. Sometimes a little movement and fresh air makes a world of difference.
  7. Meditation: There are many meditation apps, some even geared towards pregnancy. Try them while relaxing on a lunch break, or even before bed.
  8. Aromas: Aroma Therapy is great! The next time you are at the store try smelling a few essential oils to see which ones are the most soothing: My go tos were rosemary, lavender and eucalyptus. Believe it or not, even the aroma of rubbing alcohol soothed my nausea. Find out which ones help you.
  9. Support: Evaluate your support system. Pregnancy it not only physically tough, it is just as mentally tough. To keep yourself from slipping into that dark space, cling to your support system, vent, and allow them to be the shoulder you lean on. I can’t tell you how many times I called on my husband, best friend, or mother to let them know what was going on. Sometimes reading an Instagram/Blog story from an expecting mother made me feel like I was not so alone. If you feel like your little blessing is taking over what you think should be “the joys of pregnancy” just remember you are not alone. Discuss these concerns with your partner and please talk to your doctor. These feeling are very normal, however you don’t want to go on a downward spiral into depression when carrying this bundle of joy!
  10. Call Your Nurse: If this is your first pregnancy, and you have concerns, don’t be afraid to call your nurse! That is their job, they really want to make sure you and baby are safe!

Just remember, if you’re bound to the bed, feeling yucky, and can’t even get in the shower to freshen up; grab some water and try to relax because there is a miracle growing inside of you, it will not last forever!

Where it all began – My Inspiration

There is no way I can start this journey without the recognition of my biggest inspirations. My grandmother whom we all affectionately called, Big Mama, and my mother are my biggest daily inspirations. My Big Mama was a strong, faith-filled woman who loved family, cooking, baking, and Interior Design. As a matter of fact, it was her love of family that motivated her to want them to enjoy a clean, comfortable and beautiful home. She expressed her style through her love for warm vintage interiors. It’s that same love that motivates my mother to pursue her love of writing, baking, interiors, and sewing. Their creativity boldly expresses their style and their hearts.

The interior of one’s home tells a story that can inspire you, relax you, or make you wonder the journey of one’s life. When you look at this furniture in the photo, what do you see in its past? ….

This furniture was owned by the Late Helen (Lewis) Streety, my Big Mama who was raised in Ridgeville, Alabama (but I remember her saying Forest Home, AL). She later worked as a maid while putting herself through Alabama State University and received her teacher’s certificate. She returned to Ridgeville and taught elementary school down on the ridge and after some time, she would return to Montgomery where at the age of 23, she met and married my grandfather, Ned Streety (known by all as Big Papa) and made their home in Montgomery, Alabama... Ahem... ROLLTIDE!!!...

Moving on… 🙂

She was a stay-at-home mother (known as homemakers in those days) of 3 boys and 2 girls, but raised many neighborhood children. As a young girl working as a maid for Mrs. Brock (whose family checked on her until her death) she always admired the beautiful homes and all of the old victorian furniture they contained. There was never a day she didn't think about having that furniture in the formal living room of her own home. Yes, that living room where no one was allowed to go except for a family portrait... yes, yes... THAT formal living room that may have been covered in plastic, with its whitest, fluffiest, never been touched, perfectly vacuumed carpet. She called the furniture her "Classy furniture".

After my Big Papa passed, she sold her house and their belongings were divided amongst her children. The beautiful victorian furniture was passed on to my mother. When my husband Michael and I bought our first home, my mother gifted the furniture to us. A 85" floral print sofa, the mustard yellow love seat, two winged-back chairs to match all trimmed in wood, a marble top coffee table with two end tables to match, brass lamps and mirror. This was my "Big Mamas' furniture".

This strong African American woman, blessed with the gift of loving others, opened her home up to protestors during the Civil Rights Movement to give them a safe place to rest and eat a nourishing meal from the trials of the day as they marched through her neighborhood to downtown Montgomery. As a two time breast cancer survivor and stroke survivor, she lived 95 beautiful years. She loved sharing her home with this beautiful furniture for family, friends, and neighbors to enjoy.  My heart rest easy because before she passed, she was able to see her furniture in my home. She said to me, "Baby, it is beautiful, you have your Big Mama's Taste!”CLLLLAAAASSSSYYYY" 😂😂😂. Her voice and those words I will never forget.

Eight years ago, April 7, 2009, My Big papa passed, I sure do miss him too. I can hear his raspy voice as he creeps down the hall, mason jar in hand, for a glass of ICE water!!! Seven years later, on April 7, 2016, Big Mama passed to be with the love of her life. Today, I start a new journey, in honor of Big Mama, I am so happy to share xoErin.com. There is so much I can not wait to share!

Last thought... as my mother and grandmothers are my biggest inspiration. I know I was probably inspired by you too! In one way or another, we are all inspired by this universe. Maybe inspiration came yesterday, or a couple weeks, months, or years ago… maybe you will inspire me or someone tomorrow, I hope so!

XoErin