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How does one survive pregnancy?
Patience. Lots and lots of patience.
When you are pregnant, you find yourself counting weeks, not months. Your life revolves on the age of your growing fetus. Most pregnant women probably know how many weeks pregnant they are better than the day it is. For example, I know that I’m 20 weeks 2 days pregnant, and have another 19 weeks to go. If asked the date, I’d have to look it up. Sad, but true story.
Anyhow, I’ve been through this pregnancy thing seven times (if you do the math, yes…I lost a few. And yeah, it sucks.). I’d almost consider myself a pro at pregnancy, but I figure my Grandma Davis (God bless her soul) has that over me. She went full-term seven times. I’m not sure how she managed.
Since I have experience with this incubating-a-baby thing, I’ve ascertained a few must-have items that help to survive all 40 weeks of pregnancy. If you’ve recently found out you are pregnant, you may want to take notes.
10 Things This Pregnant Woman Needs
1. Prenatal Vitamins
I started taking these darn things a few months before I got married in 2009. Yep, I’ve been on prenatals now for six years! And, here’s a secret, I HATE taking pills. But I do it. It helps my body prepare for the baby and keep the baby strong, even once it is born and I start nursing. While they aren’t always fun to take (they are horse pills after all), you need to take them!
I know this may seem like a strange one, but I don’t think I could survive without caffeine. I tried to go without with my first, but I failed. I deal with awful pregnancy headaches in the first trimester plus pregnancy fatigue. When I tried to give up caffeine, the fatigue and headaches only got worse. I gave up trying. Instead, I make sure to add up the caffeine I ingest. I’m not a coffee drinker; I drink soda. I make sure I limit my intake to one caffeinated soda a day. Just enough to help me survive and not throttle my husband or children.
(Oh, and for those concerned, most doctors and the March of Dimes don’t require that you go off caffeine altogether. The recommendation is that you drink less than 200 mg of caffeine a day.)
3. Zofran/Morning Sickness Medication
I always deal with awful morning sickness. My oldest made me sick until I was 34 weeks along! She tortured me. (I will hold it over her head when she’s a teen…”You made me sick for 34 weeks, the least you can do is….”) I wasn’t nearly as sick with my two-year-old, with my morning sickness stopping at 24 weeks.
I’m guessing that I’m dealing with my worst morning sickness ever with this pregnancy. It’s hard to know because I take a wonderful little pill, Zofran, that helps me manage. I need to take it every night at least 30 minutes before dinner, otherwise, I lose dinner. Fun times! The other day, I decided to see if I could go without the pill. Big mistake. Yep, I definitely need my Zofran.
If you can’t keep anything down, don’t be afraid to contact your doctor and ask for medication. There are a few options that might help.
Along with getting sick, my appetite suddenly disappeared. Not only do meals sometimes taste unappetizing, but I eat much smaller portions than normal. (I hope to keep that up once the baby is born so I can lose weight…but I doubt that will happen. Darn it.) One thing I’ve found that helps me is having lots of snacks available for when I do get hungry. There are days that I need to eat lots of small meals during the day. My stash of snacks includes Wheat Thins, apples, carrots, pretzels, and veggie dip.
Here’s a secret for you first-timers. You will never look at going to the bathroom the same way. Colace may become your best friend. I know it’s mine. I hate having to take it, but if I don’t, I’m miserable with constipation. Yep, I said it. Oh, and not to mention the resulting hemorrhoids (so get some Preparation H, too). Oy!
6. Body Pillow
I love my body pillow! I just pulled it from my closet last week. My belly has gotten large enough that I need a little extra support to get some sleep. The further along you get, the more uncomfortable it is to sleep. A body pillow helps you survive it. My husband and I sleep in a queen so I know he gets sick of it, but if it makes me happy, he doesn’t complain.
7. Poise Pads
Now, maybe I need these more because it isn’t my first pregnancy, but….I would highly suggest getting Poise pads (or a brand of your choosing). When you sneeze or cough, you will discover that any control you used to have is gone. It’s not pretty, but it’s reality. Get used to it.
8. Asthma Medicine
Most women don’t need asthma medication when they are pregnant. I’m one of the few who do. In fact, 33% of women don’t see an increase (or decrease) in their asthma symptoms. 33% experience a decrease in asthma issues. I fit into the last group of 33%, though, whose asthma worsens while pregnant. Each time I’ve been pregnant, my asthma gets worse and worse. I need to take special medication twice a day to keep my asthma contained so I can breathe. So, if you have asthma and have more issues, speak up and take care of it. It not only helps you, but helps the baby.
9. Comfy Bras
When you are expecting, your boobs will hurt! My daughters seem to know this because they love elbowing me in the boobs for no clear reason. I swear that children are little magnets attracted to hurting parts of your body that are already in pain.
A good, comfortable bra may help you survive pregnancy. I’m normally an underwire girl because my boobs are huge. But, I found underwires very uncomfortable as my breasts grew. I went shopping and found some decent supportive bras without the underwire. It made a huge difference in my comfort. The trick is finding what works best for you. Oh, and be ready to buy bigger sizes as your pregnancy progresses.
10. Maternity pants
Forget the dang Bella Band. Yeah, I bought it with my first child and was impressed with how it worked. But then, I discovered maternity pants! Oh my! Why hadn’t anyone told me that they were so comfortable? They are the best. I recommend full-coverage, too. Bella Bands and using rubber bands to help your old pants last take lots of work and don’t give your sensitive belly much comfort. Come to the dark side….go straight to maternity pants. I did with my next pregnancies. I’ll never regret it! (Oh, and they are perfect to pull out when you aren’t pregnant on Thanksgiving. Trust me!)
This post was originally featured on Denise’s blog, Jayhawk Mommy.