Being pregnant is a blessing, a miracle , and a gift. But, hey, I'll say it - for some of us - it can also be a pain. I had always hoped I would be one of those women who breezed through pregnancy. Glowing, getting more beautiful by the minute, feeling great and bursting with energy. I was not one of those women. I was sick my entire pregnancy and certainly didn't feel beautiful.... but knew the little one I was carrying was the biggest blessing I had received. Here are things I learned (mostly the hard way) during my pregnancy.
First things first. "Morning" sickness.
Nothing took away my morning sickness. Not even prescription medication. But these things helped me through the work day.
Ginger Gum - Available at CVS
Preggie Pops - Available at Walmart
Maternity Clothes. Why so much money?!
Walmart - Walmart.com (and select Walmart stores) have really great maternity clothes for incredible prices. They are decent quality.
H&M - I wish I would have know they had maternity clothes when I was pregnant. Cute, modern, and a great price.
Target - Target's maternity clothes go on clearance often so be on the look out for good deals.
Old Navy - Cute, modern, basic, comfortable.
Hot Flashes?! How old am I????
Hot flashes can be brutal. And come when you least expect it.
1. Make sure you are wearing a quality antipersperant
2. Try to wear clothing made of material that will let your skin breathe, like cotton.
3. Make sure you always have water with you.
4. Carry body spray with you
5. If they get unbearable... I'd even suggest having a spray bottle of water for yourself
They sell dopplers!
If I knew they sold these, I would've bought one just for peace of mind. If you're someone who tends to get anxious or worries... watch out. Pregnancy can make you worry over every little thing. Having one of these would have probably calmed me down.
DO NOT READ THE PREGNANCY FORUMS!
I repeat DO NOT READ THE PREGNANCY FORUMS! Sometimes there is good advice but most times you'll be reading horror stories from misinformed people or people who are leaving out that they did something like drink/do drugs throughout their pregnancy. Unless you want to spend your nights panicking and crying (like this lady did) then DO NOT READ THE FORUMS. Buy a ton of pregnancy books, speak to your friends/family who have been pregnant and call your doctor if you have any concerns.
Speaking of Pregnancy Books...
Here are the ones I recommend.
Take a Birthing Class
I didn't. When I was laying in the back of the car screaming in pain while my husband rushed me to the hospital... I wish I had. Some Destination Maternity store locations hold free classes (and free daddy boot camps!)
Get Ready For Baby As You Go Along.
Doing little by little throughout your pregnancy will make the experience a lot more enjoyable. Trust me, by your third trimester you will feel tired and having a ton of stuff to do on your baby checklist will likely cause unnecessary stress. You may also want to make sure you have the things you absolutely NEED ready first, in case baby comes earlier than expected.
Register For Your Baby Shower
If you leave it up to the guests, you'll likely get a lot of small cute baby clothes instead of the practical things you need. Let's face it, everyone loves picking out outfits for a new baby. It sounds a lot more fun than picking up some bassinet sheets or bottles. But when it comes down to it... you'll need the bottles over the cute outfit with the bows.
Stock up on Laundry Detergent
You'll be doing a lot of laundry. I'm STILL doing a couple of loads of laundry a day and I have a feeling that's going to continue for awhile.
Gerber's Cloth Diapers Make the Best Burp Cloths
I promise they do. Those thin, small, cute towels they market as burp cloths... yeah, baby's fluids soak right through those and onto you. They don't do much. Gerber's Cloth Diapers are cheap, super absorbent and soft. Plus you can also use them as a protective pad to place under baby when laying him/her down.We can all thank my mom for this tidbit.
This May Be The Most Important - Give Yourself A Break!
My doctor would always tell me - Listen to your body. If you're STARTING to feel tired STOP. REST. Do not wait until you are exhausted and can't go on. Don't push yourself and don't feel like you have to make dinner or you have to get that cleaning done right now. Trust me, over working and pushing your body while pregnant can lead to a trip to the hospital. Your health and the health of your child takes priority over everything, especially right now. Don't feel guilty for stopping to rest.
Love your Doctor
If you don't fully trust your doctor...look for another one. This is the MOST important doctor in your life right now. You're not just going for a physical or for a sore throat. This doctor literally has your life and your child's life in their hands. You should feel 100% comfortable with your doctor and have complete confidence in him/her.
They will try... but they just can't.
Your husband, your brothers, your friends who have never been pregnant... They will do everything they can to be there for you. They will try to offer comfort. But remember to give them a break if they say something or ask something silly. They just can not understand what you're going through. Not completely. I now see that there is no way I could've known how vulnerable pregnancy can make you feel before I was pregnant. How could I? I had never been there.
Example : You feel a pain in your side that feels a little different than usual. Not excruciating but something about it alarms you. You start to become concerned and tell your friend who has never experienced pregnancy. She tells you she wouldn't worry about it and wait to see if it goes away. What she doesn't understand is you're not worried for yourself. Your instinct has taken over and you are worried for your baby. And once that instinct kicks in. Oh boy, watch out. Nothing is going to stop you from making sure your child is ok.
Don't Be Afraid To Ask For Help
With housework, with baby stuff, with lifting, with errands and most importantly with health issues. Depression can occur during pregnancy as well as after (postpartum depression). It's not a sign of weakness, it's a complication of pregnancy/giving birth. Familiarize yourself with the signs early on in your pregnancy. Be honest with yourself and those around you and ask for help if you find yourself exhibiting any signs of depression. Not only for yourself, but for your child.
Everyone is different, Every Body is Different, and Every Pregnancy is Different.
One thing that really got under my skin when I was pregnant was other women snootily saying "Really?! Well when I was pregnant I never had that!" In the words of Stephanie Tanner, "Well pin a rose on your nose". Every woman experiences each pregnancy differently. Don't let others feel as if you're an odd ball or you're being dramatic. Listen to/communicate with your doctor. Surround yourself with supportive, understanding loved ones. Don't feel as though you need to justify anything regarding your pregnancy to the others.
Get Headaches? Have Sinus Pain? Use this.
I am someone who gets bad headaches, sometimes migraines. While pregnant, especially in the first trimester, my go-to headache meds were off limits. So I found this. I used it warm and it really did help.
Get a Sound Machine
I had horrible insomnia during my third trimester. I downloaded some nature sounds on my iPhone but I really should've gotten a sound machine that played rain, ocean, nature sounds. Plus, you'll probably use it once the baby is born to help him/her go to sleep.
Exercise. At least a little.
I recommend prenatal yoga type exercise. Nothing strenuous. Something that helps you relax. I bought a ton of prenatal exercise DVDs and the DVD below is the only one I ended up using. I also used their postnatal ab workout(also on this DVD) to get my flat tummy back.
Try to Enjoy Your Time
Even if you're sick. Even if you're anxious to meet baby. Enjoy the time you have [literally] connected to your child. Indulge in feeling his/her kicks. Let others pamper you. Enjoy it while it's "just the two of us".