There is was... The "plus sign" we'd been praying for. I can't believe it has been three years since we first found out about our Sweet P.
With that plus sign came a whole new slew of questions... What can I eat? What positions can I sleep in safely? ... Do you mean to tell me I can't have coffee AT ALL???
And with those questions came the advice. Oh, you know what I'm talking about. It's like now that you're pregnant, you have lost all ability to think for yourself. Friends, family, even strangers in the grocery store parking lot feel like they need to tell you the whats, whens, whys, and hows of being pregnant. And the "stranger in the grocery store parking lot?" That actually happened. "You know you shouldn't eat deli meat, right?" yelled Stranger-Danger from across the aisle as I was loading my groceries into my car. Thanks for your concern, ma'am.
But with each passing month, you become more and more aware. You're going to be a mom. Those motherly instincts kick in way before the due date, let me tell you. Trust your gut. You will be fine.
But if you're like me, you're still going to scour the internet for all things pregnancy. Amid all the uncertainty, all the "new," it can be difficult to simply rest and enjoy those 40 weeks. They may seem to be dragging by, but soon, your own little sweet one will be out in the big world.
For me, each month brought with it a new challenge. Here are my tips and tricks for staying healthy and sane for the next nine months.
Month one: Confirming the Plus Sign
Yay! We're pregnant!... Now what? First things first: call your doctor. Actually, call your mom. Then call your doctor. My doctor waited to do the ultrasound until I was eight weeks along. A friend's doctor did her ultrasound at five-six weeks along. It's really up to the discretion of your doctor. Be sure you love your doctor, by the way. The two of you are about to get really close. In the few weeks before my ultrasound, I started a prenatal vitamin, watched what I ate, and counted down the minutes until I would see that tiny jellybean of a baby growing inside me. Any questions, call your nurse. That's what she's there for!
Month two: The Reveal
Month three: Morning Sickness
Month four: Maternity Clothes
Month five: The Gender Reveal!!!!
Finally! The month you've been waiting for! At least, if you plan on finding out the gender of your baby. For me, that was the only thing I could think of. I HAD to know. If there had been a pregnancy test available to buy that said "You're pregnant. It's a girl," right away, I would have paid I don't even know how much money to buy that stick. The waiting drove me insane. And just like the pregnancy announcement, the gender announcement should be as special as you want. If you want it to be just you and your spouse in the doctor's office, that is just as good as a color-coordinate cake or a box of balloons, which by the way is what we did. Our ultrasound tech wrote the gender on a slip of paper in an envelope. We gave the envelope to a friend who met us at our house with a box of either blue or pink balloons. We counted to three and opened the box...
Finally knowing that our Sweet P was a girl was the best part. We got to call her by her name and pick out tiny dresses. For me, that made it even more real. My DAUGHTER was growing week by week.
Another thing that starts to happen this month... sleeping becomes a real issue. I couldn't get comfortable. If I laid on my back, I felt like I was suffocating. Laying on my stomach was not an option anymore. So, side-sleeping it was. My recommendation: get a BODY PILLOW!! Seriously, it was my best friend. It gave my growing stomach the support it needed so I could be as comfortable as possible.
Month six: Pregnancy Brain
Oh, its real, folks. Very real.
You always hear pregnant women blaming things on "pregnancy brain." Yeah, like that's even a thing. IT IS. One night, I had made a giant pot of broccoli soup (remember those cravings I was telling you about?). I was so excited. I was going to put it in individual containers to carry to work for lunch the rest of the week. Did you catch that? I was going to. Instead, I left the whole darn thing sitting on the kitchen counter all night, ruining it. Combine that fact with the crazy-pregnant-lady hormones, and you have all the necessary ingredients for a meltdown that would rival 2007 Britney Spears. Advice for dealing with pregnancy brain: make lists, get organized, and learn to say "no." There are things you have to do; write those down on a list. Meal-prepping should have gone on my list. It did not, and there I was, soup-less. But you do not have to do everything! Say no to the unnecessary things. Use that time to relax. Goodness knows, you won't get to for much longer.
Month seven: Maternity Photos
|PS- I got this entire outfit at a consignment store!|
Month eight: Packing the hospital bag
As if you couldn't tell from my pictures, by the eighth month, I was ready to pop. Literally. My doctor had said baby could come at any time, so for the next few weeks we waited for "any time" to come. We made sure hospital bags were packed and ready to go. Looking back, there are so many things I should not have bothered packing and so many other things I wish I had. The adorable set of pajamas I bought to wear in the hospital? The magazines? They stayed in the bag. Some things I highly recommend bringing? Two big, fluffy, dark brown towels. The white hospital towels were awful for postpartum. Not to mention scratchy and small. Another item is toilet paper. That one-ply nonsense the hospital supplied was not gonna cut it.
At month eight, I was so uncomfortable. My back hurt 24/7; my ankles were a thing of the past. To help with the back pain, I would stand under the shower and let the hot water hit directly on my lower back. It felt amazing. For my swollen feet, I propped them up on pillows. Not only did it make me feel like a princess, but it helped alleviate some of the swelling. That was also the month I went for a pre-delivery pedicure. If my feet were going to be hoisted up for all to see, I wanted my toes to at least look cute. I got pink polish in honor of baby girl. And the pedicurist doing it was so sweet. She gave me an extra long leg and foot massage before painting my tootsies. She was an angel! I highly recommend this little treat. You've earned it!
Month nine: Make Room for BABY!
A tiny, perfect, eight-pound, 20-inch-long bundle of joy.
I hope my tips and tricks work for you and your pregnancy. If not, you will find what does. Trust your "mama-instincts," and enjoy every moment of those beautiful 40 weeks! Time will fly by! And, trust me, it will never slow down again...
Thanks for reading!