My High-Risk Pregnancy & What Got Me Through Each Trimester

Now that I’m only 4 weeks away from welcoming our baby into this world, I guess it’s time I finally posted my survival guides for each trimester during my high risk pregnancy, ha! That pregnancy brain thing is real people!

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Why am I high-risk? That’s because I have a heart condition, a tachycardia (meaning my heart beats way faster than it’s supposed to sometimes).

Remember, every woman and every pregnancy is different.

I was/am a high-risk pregnancy, but most of my symptoms are typical of an average pregnancy. Here are some things I experienced and what helped, hopefully it’ll help you too! I’ve put all three trimesters in this one post, so although longer, it’s a one stop shop for ya.

Up first, the first trimester:

YAY! Those two little lines showed up (whether you were expecting them or not) and you have a little miracle inside you, congratulations! Over the next 9 months get ready for the best and craziest adventure!

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The Symptoms: All thanks to those hormones that are adjusting your body for a mom-to-be, most women experience:

Extreme nausea

What I tried: small meals, snacking every hour/2 hours, ginger everything, Seasick bands, lemonade

What worked: unfortunately the only food I could keep down for 7 weeks was saltines, potatoes, toast (pretty much just starch foods) and an occasional apple. Some days it was so bad water was hard to keep down. I eventually was put on Diclegis and Zofran. I was on these until 17 weeks.

Constipation/ hemorrhoids

What I tried: Colace and lots of fiber filled foods, exercise

What worked: MiraLAX

Cleared by my doctor after all the fiber I could eat still wasn’t helping, 1/2 dose of miralx did the trick. As always check with your doctor before taking any medicine while pregnant.

Exhaustion

Sleep as often as you can. Go to bed early, sleep in as much as you can. Nap if at all possible!

The hardest part for me during the first trimester was keeping the pregnancy a secret. We didn’t want to tell anyone until the end of the first trimester, but as sick as I was there were a number of people who called me out almost as soon as we knew!


Second Trimester

Around 17 weeks I was fully winged off of all nausea medication and feeling human again! It was amazing to have an appetite again and finally eat more than a baked potato!

The second trimester is the golden trimester. Little to no nausea, increased appetite, less peeing at all hours of the night, sleeping better, and you have the pregnancy glow (whether or not you experienced pregnancy acne in the first trimester like I did, it clears up by now and the increased hormones gives your skin the ‘glow’ everyone talks about). Plus you start to show your cute little bump!

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During the first trimester my heart condition was very manageable, no medication and hardly any issues. As the pregnancy progressed my heart condition symptoms increased. I had multiple near fainting episodes due to my heart and started having Braxton-Hicks contractions around 21 weeks. These two things combined forced me to stop working halfway through this pregnancy and put on a moderate bed rest. For me that meant I needed to have my feet up for the majority of the day. I had to continue wearing my compression socks (superrrr sexy) and drink at least a gallon of water a day. I was still allowed to go to the store and walk around, but if I started having contractions, those feet went up!

Symptoms:

Round Ligament Pain: Cramping, pulling feeling you get in your uterus. This is just your muscles moving around making room for your growing baby. It can be very uncomfortable and sadly not much you can do about it.

Bloody/Stuffy Nose: Hormones man! They are a crazy thing! I had a bloody nose almost everyday for a week. When my nose wasn’t bleeding, I was very congested.

What worked: Humidifier next to my bed and Breathe-Right strips (also veryyy sexy)

Braxton-Hicks Contractions: These are practice contractions. Your cervix is not dilating, so not to worry, but your uterus is tightening up (contracting).

What worked: Put those feet up and get your fluids in! For me, if I started having contractions, as soon as I put my feet up and drank a big glass of water the contractions went away. If you have more than 8 contractions in an hour call your doctor.

Can be avoided: by drinking your fluids! Dehydration is a huge factor when it comes to contractions, so no matter how many times you have to go to the bathroom, keep drinking that water.

A Positive Symptom:

Baby Kicking!! Yay you’ve probably started feeling baby kick around 20 weeks! Isn’t it magical? By far the coolest and strangest feeling I’ve ever felt, but I light up every time I feel our little one moving around!

A trick to get baby moving, drink something very cold or sugary. That normally will get baby kicking pretty quickly! A fun little party trick to get baby to move on demand if you have family in town who wants to feel baby or you haven’t felt baby as much and just want to make sure baby is okay. Orange juice was my go- to!


Third Trimester

Ahh the home stretch! Let the nesting begin! This is the time to purge those closets, make those home improvements, clean those carpets etc. because as soon as baby gets here none of that is going to happen. I started nesting early, because well, bed rest.

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Symptoms:

Anxiety: Now it’s starting to hit that, “holy cow, I’m having a baby.” Yes, of course you knew that, but as the due date nears, it becomes much more real that you’re getting ready to push a watermelon out of your body. You want to make sure everything is ready for when the big day comes, and you want to make sure you’ll be a good mom. Let me tell you, everything will be fine and you will be a great mom.

What worked: I’m Catholic. For me my anxiety came down to this; Simply don’t be anxious. God is with you and when you have faith and trust in God, all will be okay. I know I’m in the best hands possible when it comes to my doctors, I’ve got the best and most supportive husband and family, and I know everything will be okay. It’ll be exhausting (both labor/delivery and newborn life), but it’ll be so, so worth it.

More Braxton-Hicks: Same as before

Back/Tailbone Pain: As baby grows, your uterus puts pressure on your lower back which can give you back aches or tailbone pain.

What worked: donut pillow (or any soft pillow) and walking. Stretching those back muscles! Use a foam roller if you have one!

Sleepless nights: Whether it’s increased urination, insomnia, or aches and pains, there are so many reasons you might not be sleeping well during the night.

What worked: Sleep when you can, if you get tired during the day take a nap, but no longer than 40 min tops. Otherwise this could keep you up at night. No caffeine within a few hours of bedtime, or depending on how sensitive you are to caffeine, none at all.


I hope this post helped! Whether it helped you feel like you’re not alone (because you’re not) and/or helped with some suggestions of what worked for me. Congratulations on this magical journey and get excited to meet your little one soon!

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