I'm 10 weeks into this pregnancy and so far it has been a pretty rough first trimester. I don't think I've had such a sick and fatiguing first trimester since my first pregnancy twelve years ago. Even though this time is difficult, I'm struck by how much more humane my life is now, and how much easier it is to weather this time and not have everything (including me!) go to pieces. Twelve years ago, I was getting great advice like, "even though you feel awful, it is still important that you are at work at the right time. Throw up in your wastepaper basket if you have to." And then there was this gem from my midwife, when I asked her if all my sickness, fatigue, and long hours at work would harm the baby. "Well, it isn't like you have several children at home already and you're working all day in the fields. You'll be fine."
Now I have bigger kids who can to help entertain the toddler, clean and tidy the house, and even help with the dishes. My husband works from home, so I can go take a long nap while the toddler naps and I know there is another adult that can help the kids if something happens. He can also step in to help with dinner prep if I'm at the point where I can't do anymore, as well as help in a myriad of other ways. I'm older and at least a little wiser and more experienced, which makes focusing on meals and laundry less daunting than it used to be (and it is easier to recognize the absolute brilliance of that particular blog post!). Sure, there are sacrifices involved - lost income, a perpetually unfinished house, (very) modest vacations, few outside activities - but I'm very grateful for where we are and the general livability of our family life.