I just survived my 4th, first trimester of pregnancy and it looked something like this…
Mixed with a lot of heaving my guts out and crying from about 5 weeks to 14 weeks. Fortunately, maybe unfortunately, I don’t throw up much, but that also means there is no reprieve (even for a brief moment) from the constant debilitating nausea. We live in survival mode and just do the bare minimum to get through the day.
All this to say, when it comes to emergency preparedness and first trimester there is none. In fact if I’m being totally honest, my first trimesters of pregnancy are where my preps go to die. My food storage is a food storage of “store what you eat, and eat what you store.” So, I keep a lot of convenience foods (frozen foods, granola bars, apple sauce pouches, crackers, etc) in my food storage. Well, I have three young kids (and a husband) who spent a good 2.5 months living off of convenience foods, while I lived off of the crackers. My husband is great at many things, but his culinary skills leave much to be desired. When I would do grocery pick up I wasn’t focusing on what I was needing to replenish my food storage, as much as I was focusing on what I could buy that would keep my family from feeling like they were going to starve to death while needing minimal preparation. By the end of 2.5 months my food/home storage needs some serious help.
So, what does emergency preparedness look like during the first trimester? For me, it looks non-existent, and that’s totally okay. There’s a season for everything, and when you are sick, miserable, and just trying to survive the day that is not the season to do a ton of emergency preparedness.
However, the hard truth is that emergencies don’t care if you can’t get off the couch because you have debilitating nausea. Mother nature doesn’t care if you are so beyond exhausted that your house looks like a tornado hit it. The economy isn’t going to wait until you are primed and ready to go before a recession hits, causing lay offs. Hard times are going to happen regardless of what is going on in your personal life. So, what do you do?
For me, in the weeks/months leading up to trying for a baby I plan for those 2.5 months when I know very little is going to get done. I get my house cleaned/organized. I make sure we are stocked up as well as we can on all the convenience foods and everything we might need to get us through survival mode. I try and think to myself if the worst-case scenario happened where a devastating earthquake hit leaving us without a home, power, running water, in the middle of winter, while I can barely function what will I need and what would I do. It’s never a very fun exercise to think of myself being in survival mode during a catastrophic earthquake, but getting/being prepared for it helps the anxiety and vulnerability. I create a plan of what I would have to do, and what I would need to get through it all. I also have conversations with my husband and our support system so if something like that does happen we are all on the same page.
Planning and getting ready for the weeks/months leading up to trying for baby only works if you know you are going to start trying. So, what do you do if find yourself pregnant and sick and you weren’t quite expecting it? Well, in this case I’d say you have two options. Option one is talk to your spouse/significant other/support system and see if they can help you get prepared. Or option 2… a less great option, is go with the hope and pray method. Hope and pray that nothing too catastrophic happens when you are in survival mode. Do what you can with what you are given, and then make a promise to yourself that when you get feeling better, and you’re no longer in survival mode that you are going to do your best to get yourself prepared so you don’t have to feel this vulnerable again.
First trimester of pregnancy is rough for so many women and families. If you find yourself in your first trimester of pregnancy and you’re in the thick of it, give yourself some grace. Do what you can with what you’re able and then let the rest go. You’re doing a great job mama!