Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pregnancy for wimps

I am a wimp. I am also seven months pregnant. These both being true, it's been a bit of a challenging summer. I was asked yesterday for advice for the newly pregnant, and while my first instinct was to beg off (I am not the pregnant woman anyone would want to emulate), I've found that I do have a few things to say and suggestions to make. Overall, my pregnancy is progressing well and I'm in mostly good spirits despite telling anyone who will listen that turning food into a human is HARD WORK. So...here goes. Pregnancy for wimps:

1) Find a way to sleep on the softest mattress possible. I was having a hard time sleeping at night once my bump started to pop around month 4/5. I used to love my firm mattress, but it just wasn't working for me anymore. I switched to sleeping on our old and busted guest bedroom mattress and it has really helped. If you don't own an old, broken down, super-soft mattress, I recommend asking friends and family if anyone has one you can borrow for a few months, or, failing that, buying a sheet of that foam egg crate business to put on your regular mattress. You want to feel like your whole body is surrounded by pillows.

2) Sign up for a prenatal yoga class. Even if you weren't a yogi before, I highly recommend prenatal yoga. The class I found is relaxing and low-key, yet invigorating. It's great to be around other pregnant women--we have a half hour after class just to chat with each other. We also do some poses designed to help us get ready for Go Time. I love it. Despite my wimpitude, I enjoy it so much I'm beginning a second six-week series of classes beginning in this, my 31nd week of pregnancy.

3) Get a maternity support belt. The hardest week of my pregnancy so far was when I pulled a muscle in my lower ab. I wasn't being careful enough about my new girth (which is easy to do...living with compromised abs is so very strange), and I hurt myself. Go buy a belt before you think you need it. Trust me.

4) Think about joining the Y or a gym with a pool. I actually didn't do this, and I'm regretting it. I wish I had started a regular swimming or water aerobics class right from the start. I've been feeling more lethargic than I'd like lately, and I think some regular pool time would really help. As soon as it warms up a touch here in Madison, I plan to hit our public pool much more often (I prefer to swim outside if I can). The compression and buoyancy provided by water is wonderful for the preggers set.

5) Don't be too hard on yourself about taking tylenol. I asked my doctor and it is perfectly fine to take an extra-strength dose before bed EVERY night if you need to. By the end of the day, sometimes everything hurts and I've found that taking the tylenol helps me sleep better.

6) Dedicate yourself to eating awesome food. I've always been into good food, but now I've taken it to the next level. Gooey pizza, dumplings, stuffed croissants? Yes, yes, yes. I intersperse the rich stuff with lots of fruits and greens, but the point is, pregnancy is a great time to have lots of interesting food experiences. Make lunch dates and happy hour dates with your friends and create a project out of finding your town's best apps. :) This is one (somewhat satisfactory) way to cope with having to skip cocktails.

7) Take baths. Yeah, yeah, I know I need to be careful about overheating, and I am. The temperature of my near-daily baths is much lower than it was pre-pregnancy. I still find them very relaxing. That reminds me, I need to buy new fancy soaps...

8) Hit the garage sale circuit. I was feeling a little stressed about ALL THE THINGS new parents feel they need to buy when we went to register at Target. Baby gear is very expensive. Thankfully, our neighborhood had a huge garage sale weekend not long after and we scored most of what we'll need for less than a fifth of what we would've paid new. A Diaper Genie AND a high chair for $20? Awesome. Of course, we couldn't fit the changing table in the Civic, so my husband had to carry the thing five blocks, but it was worth it.

9) Target brand prenatal gummy vitamins are only $9 and pretty tasty. Yes, I am 34 years old and I like my vitamins in gummy fruit flavors.

That's all I've got for now, but I'll add to this list as things occur to me. Pregnancy is tough, but overall I figure if I can do it without completely freaking out, anyone can. I should also add that I feel lucky and thrilled at the prospect of meeting our daughter soon. :) Yay babies!


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