Last week, I posted about the 5 things I’m glad I did during pregnancy. While I’m still in reflective mode looking back on my pregnancy, I thought I’d keep going and write about some of the things that helped me survive some of the rougher portions of my pregnancy.
Yes, it’s a miracle and awesome and I will gladly do it again but damn, it’s hard. Your whole body changes in ways that I can’t even describe. There’s a whole list of rules and things that happen that I had no clue about before I got pregnant. Sure, I knew about no drinking, no sushi, whatever but – No cold lunch meat?! I can’t sleep on my back?! Random aches and pains that aren’t contractions but sure feel like them that go on for months? Cool.
Here’s what helped me get through some of the less wonderful parts of growing a human.
My first sign that I was pregnant was a sore back and sore boobs. I wrote the sore back off to the two vacations I had just been on, including ATX Festival, which was a lot of line standing. The sore boobs thing was new, though. That is not a normal part of my cycle. When I was late, I took a test the next morning and ta-da! Baby.
I had “morning” sickness off and on from about week 8-20 of my pregnancy. It wasn’t every day. Sometimes it was just a wave of nausea and not wanting to eat much of anything. Sometimes it was multiple trips to puke in the stalls at work. The worst times were always when I was away from home and couldn’t just curl up in pajamas and cuddle the puppy. On a trip to DC to visit my best friend, I got sick in the airport bathroom, at her apartment and out to dinner with her boyfriend. At my work’s conference that I helped plan and needed to be ‘on’ for 24/7, puking at the convention center the morning after a big party and having attendees think I had partied too much the night before. The list goes on.
I mean, what I’m saying is, I was basically Princess Kate. #flawless
No, honestly, I didn’t have it that bad. Near the end, my doctor gave me some medicine that helped quite a bit and by midway through my pregnancy, I felt much better.
But during that period of generally just not feeling well, I lived on Trader Joe’s Gingermints. They helped settle my stomach if I was feeling a little queasy and I always carried them in my purse. Not a cure and maybe just a placebo effect but a big thumbs up from me.
My preferred sleep position is what I would describe best as a chalk outline of a dead body. Face down, arms and legs akimbo.
Hard to do that with a growing belly. I decided it would be best then to just flop down on my back but everything I read told me not to do that either. Sleep on your side, they said. It’s best for you and the baby, they said.
It is hard learning how to sleep comfortably on your side if you’ve never slept like that before! Especially when your whole body feels weird, your center of gravity is off and you have to contend with constantly needing to get up and pee. I tried sticking a pillow between my knees but it wasn’t cutting it. I saw a friend that was also pregnant comment about how sleep was difficult and someone mentioned that she needed to buy a Snoogle.
A what now?
Apparently these pillows are very popular with pregnant ladies and they are massive U-shaped body pillows. If you’ve seen the J-Lo “classic” The Back-Up Plan, basically that pillow. If you haven’t, here’s a visual:
Those just seemed way too big for me – and crazy expensive, too. I’m too cheap to drop $60 on a pillow, guys. But then I found the Mini-Snoogle.
It really helped the weird body aches and keeping me on my side when I slept. It was the right size for me, since I used my regular pillows for my head. And it’s great because we can still use it now with Mr. Baby. We curl it up like a little donut and pop him in the middle to hang out.
I loved nightgowns when I was young but when I hit puberty, the trend became pajama pants and wearing scrubs as pajamas. With my mom working at a hospital, I had access to steal scrubs she would wear home and from then on, I wore blue hospital scrub pants and t-shirts to bed, along with an array of Care Bears, Strawberry Shortcake and other character printed pj pants that I bought at Media Play with my employee discount. As I got to college, I started mixing in oversized basketball shorts and miscelleanous sweatpants, yoga pants and other lounge wear.
It wasn’t until I was pregnant that I rediscovered the beauty of nightgowns. An oversized sleep shirt is such a joy. I went on the hunt for this because I hated the feeling of pressure against my pregnant stomach, especially at night, and I was feeling overheated and needed something airy.
My favorite nightgowns:
Blue stripes. Less than $20 from Target (no longer for sale but this one is similar.)
My 2nd favorite nightgown was this sleep shirt from Old Navy.
It’s button down, which has proved to be really helpful for nursing now that the baby is here. Here’s one of the many, many times I wore this nightgown during my maternity leave and the lovely aftermath of a spit-up attack.
Neither of those are maternity sized – I just bought them a size larger than I normally wear and they worked out great for me.
I mean, not the healthiest choice but it was probably my biggest craving throughout my pregnancy and man, did a chocolate milkshake always hit just the right spot.
Props to this handsome guy for going out and fetching me milkshakes on the regular and for being a really awesome dad to our squish faced baby boy.
Coming soon: What I wish I had done during my pregnancy & new mom lessons learned.