One interesting thing I’ve learned while being pregnant is how ridiculously unique pregnancy can be from one person to the next. Some people have easy-breezy-beautiful-Cover Girl preggo moments, and others wonder what on earth made them decide to do the deed (ha-ha-ha grow up) in the first place. Although, I’m thankful for my experience so far, I have definitely had my fair share of adjustments. Every article or book I read ended up leading me to the same conclusion – for the most part, my symptoms were normal, but were going to prove to be a pain in the ass.
Pregnancy is a time where if you don’t already practice gratitude, you certainly will learn to. It’s the little things such as being able to get up from the couch yourself or learning that back pain is a new norm that had me in shambles. Therefore, when you find something to make your life easier – you appreciate it 100 fold. In honor of that, I made a list of my top pregnancy lifesavers for you to enjoy.
(Disclaimer: Every pregnancy is SO diff, these lifesavers may not be for you, but putting them out there in case they help anyone else! Feel free to comment with your own suggestions, I am all for new ideas!)
I fought maternity clothes for the longest time. I didn’t want to waste money on a wardrobe that I knew was going to be temporary, and especially one that made me feel abnormally huge. As I started getting bigger, I realized that my jeans were now stopping at my thighs due to my newfound thicky thickness. Additionally, my shirts were getting shorter to accommodate my bump. What finally made me throw in the towel, was the sheer discomfort with lower back and waist pain. Turns out, the maternity clothing industry knew what they were doing all these years. I remember being forced by Hank to purchase maternity clothes, and the comfort I felt when I tried on maternity jeans – holy hell. The flap vs. zip area took me all but 10 seconds to get used to and my waist got to finally breathe. Comfort finally!
My advice: Bite the bullet & INVEST in (or borrow!) quality maternity clothing. Yes, it’s for a short time – but with all the uncomfortable variables of pregnancy, the proper fitting and support of your clothing is one thing you can absolutely control. My favorite brand thus far has been Pea In A Pod (if you head to Macy’s you’ll find super affordable deals). Also, Old Navy, Target have affordable options for maternity, as well.
This was another thing I fought. Shoutout to Amrit, if you’re reading this – yes this thing did change my life. This was another item I resisted because I wasn’t ready to accept that my pregnancy would change things. To be frank, I love cuddling up next to my husband – and I saw a pregnancy pillow as a hindrance. Alas, the husband forced me to get one as well, and initially I thought it was a waste. I opted for this exact C-shape Leachco Snoogle and every night I literally would clutch it for dear life, and ended up waking up every morning with a neck strain. It took some getting used to as you learn to make the pillow work with your body.
My Advice: If you can sleep without one, do so. But if sleeping becomes increasingly uncomfy – invest in one, at least to try it out. It may not work for you, but if it does – you’re helping yourself get good sleep, which is vital for a preggo body working in overload! There’s no one size fits all, so research and test out different pillows until you find one that works for you.
A Second, Third, Fourth, & Fifth Opinion
!!STORY TIME!! If you’ve read about pregnancy, you’ve read how important it is to listen to your instinct. I didn’t like my first OB. I felt really confused and upset during my first trimester, with new symptoms popping up almost daily. I tried to talk with my OB about some of these symptoms, only to feel dismissed as he would shrug it off as normal. Fair enough – these things are normal, but I needed hand holding and thorough explanations which led to strike 1. The second strike came when I experienced my first leg cramp. I woke up one night, jumped out of bed, yelling in pain. Hank woke up, jumped out after me, and calmed me down, but my leg was in pain for days after. I called my OB, asked them if it was normal, my nurse said it sounded unrelated to pregnancy and told me to make an appointment with my regular doctor. Luckily, my PCP is an ultra-communicative physician with excellent bedside manner. One ultrasound later, everything was fine and I was put at ease. My OBs office? Never once did they follow up. Huge red flag. The third strike happened when I went in for our midline ultrasound which was supposed to be a happy appointment (this is where they show you the organs and body parts your little egg has grown), the sono tech was so cold and barely pointed out anything. I fought back tears in the waiting room. It was after this that I decided to switch OB’s and it’s been the best decision ever.
My Advice: Do whatever it takes to make yourself feel better – seek a second, third, fourth or fifth opinion, if you need. If you feel unhappy with your OB, SWITCH. If people judge you for sharing pregnancy symptoms, give zero F’s – talk about your experience, and make sure you are getting the resolve you need. One thing I learned early on, is that your own mental strength and state matter the most – not the opinion of anyone else.
People will offer you help, learn to take it. We broke the news to my mom-in-law early on. I needed nourishment, since eating was challenging and bless her – she was a true lifesaver. She cooked me anything and everything I could ask for, with all my newfound specifications (I could not handle the smell or taste of onions or eggs). She also was there to provide support and kind words when I needed them most. Some people have their go-to’s (moms, sisters, or best friends) and my mother-in-law was mine. I was also very fortunate enough to have a few fellow moms friends, and mommys-to-be, both from Dallas & home who lent their support, wisdom, and advice to me. My point here is simple, asking for help is not easy, but when someone offers it to you in a vulnerable stage like pregnancy, take it, appreciate it, and make a mental note to pay it forward one day.
When signing up for labor & delivery classes, it’ll ask you to select a coach. A coach is someone who guides you and prepares you to take on a feat, and it’s an appropriate term for the job. From finding out I was pregnant, to every single one of my aches, pains, and emotional meltdowns – my constant sense of relief has been Hank. At the risk of getting overly emotional (because I am the queen of romance and sap), I’ll just say this – having a partner hold your hand through this process is a true blessing. I remember being at dinner with a few friends before I had announced I was pregnant, the company was great, but I felt physically awful – ill, tightness in my stomach and waist, and wanting to faint. I called Hank who left his own dinner, picked me up, comforted my crying all the way home, and tended to me all evening long (Literally, remembering this day brings tears of appreciation to my eyes). At times where I have questioned my future parenting ability, or through every single one of my irrational fears, he’s there to remind me that things will be okay. The process of labor & delivery scares and stresses me out, but I know I’ll get through it with my coach by my side.
I’ll be back to post next week and won’t let a few week long gap occur again (scouts honor!) In short, these have been my preggo lifesavers! I’d LOVE to learn more about any additional things that make this process easier. Please comment and let me know 😘