Tuesday, July 28, 2015

9 Tips for 9 Months

I'm now in single digit countdown mode when it comes to weeks left of this pregnancy. Kind of crazy to think I'll hit 33 weeks in a matter of days. In some ways it feels like this pregnancy has flown by - this past 8ish months has been so insanely busy and hard and I've been chasing after 2 other little ones - most of it has flown by in a blur.

I'm at the 'so close yet still so far' part so with pregnancy still pretty fresh on my mind, here are my 9 Tips for 9 Months, in no particular order:

9. Move!

This is the hardest one for me because I generally feel so bad my first trimester and I don't get into great habits while pregnant, but even a short walk around your neighborhood will help. Staying active, even in little ways, can actually help with morning sickness, weight gain and labor and delivery. {Then again, I am chasing a couple little boys around all day long and I'm still gaining weight like a champion...}

8. Crackers & Water!

Keep crackers in your bedside table, especially for that first trimester. I have been really fortunate to never suffer extreme morning sickness with any of my children. I am always extremely nauseous and queasy and dry heave constantly for about the first 16-18 weeks, but I never really throw up. However, first thing in the morning I HAVE to have something in my stomach or I'll be dry heaving for hours. Grabbing a couple crackers and having some water before getting out of bed really helped.

7. Advice

You'll get lots of unsolicited advice (like mine!) from all kinds of people when you're pregnant.

Everyone from strangers at the grocery store to Great Aunt Henrietta will want to tell you how their pregnancy and delivery went. Absorb about 25% of it, and let the other 75% roll off your back. Some of what happened to them may very well happen to you, but most of it won't so try not to overthink advice! One that I dread hearing is "Enjoy it now, it'll be over too soon" I have a 14 year old so I think I can say with a little authority - it's ok not to enjoy throwing up or feeling like death or waddling like a penguin. There are many things that you may find enjoyable about pregnancy, but let's be real - a lot of it is NOT enjoyable! Thankfully things like hearing his or her heartbeat for the first time, getting those first glimpses of your precious little on a sonogram screen and holding your child for the first time completely and totally make up for all the months of discomfort.

6. Nutrition

If I'm being completely honest, I find that I'm MORE in tune to healthy eating when I am NOT pregnant than when I am. It takes focus and motivation for me to make sure I stay on top of it when I'm pregnant. I'm usually exhausted and nauseous and will go for whatever is easy, quick and doesn't make me want to gag. If this sounds like you, don't beat yourself up. Do the best you can and try to remember your prenatal daily. On top of that, I really like to incorporate a great green smoothie into my daily diet. It's a fantastic way to get nutrients in all at once and sometimes a smoothie was all that sounded good. Some women can't stomach a lot of greens during pregnancy, so trial and error will help you discover what kinds of healthy things you can use in a smoothie. {This is my favorite green smoothie recipe of all time, and you can follow my Smoothie Love board on Pinterest for more ideas}

5. Pictures

I was pregnant with my first child at 21 years old. I hated my pregnant body, felt ugly, huge and self conscious. I think I have just one picture from that pregnancy - one someone snapped at a baby shower without my knowledge. With my next 2 children, I decided to get over myself and get maternity photographs taken (Helps to have an amazing brother in law who happens to be a professional photographer). I'm really glad I did it - Yes, I always struggle with my self esteem while pregnant but it has been fun to look back and see how my body changed. It's really pretty amazing! 


4. Plan & Un Plan

It's always good to have a birth plan in place. As women, we should feel empowered to decide how our birth story will go. Talk to your doctor, your friends, read about other people's experiences and educate yourself on the birthing process. You have way more ability to make choices than you might realize. At the same time, every single birth is different and some things you won't be able to prepare for so keep an open mind and try not to get too upset if your labor and delivery isn't going according to the plan. Make a plan, but also plan to scrap if it your body decides to do something different. My sister recently had her third child - she'd had two normal vaginal deliveries with her first two children but ended up in a c-section with her third. He was in the brow presentation, and after 18 hours of laboring they needed to do a caesarean to keep him (and her!) safe. Those third babies are supposed to be easy! You just never know...

3. Care

Going along with Tip #4, pick a great care provider that YOU relate to and are comfortable with. It's great to get opinions and recommendations but ultimately it's you and your provider for your entire pregnancy so you want to be with someone you trust to take care of you and respect your plan for the birthing process. That way, if something changes, you'll feel better knowing he or she probably did everything they could to make your wishes happen. Don't worry about hurting feelings either - if you don't click with the first provider you see, ask to see someone else. This is about YOU feeling comfortable enough to entrust yourself and your unborn child to someone else. Do what feels right for you.

2. Un Medicate

You'll want to try to be as medication free as possible throughout your pregnancy. At one of your first appointments, you'll probably be given a list of what you can and can't take. Always talk to your provider if you have any questions or concerns. Taking medications certainly isn't banned, and some of them will be absolutely necessary - just make sure to run them by your provider and call the office if you ever have any questions. And stay up to date on current issues regarding safety for certain medications. The medication Zofran, a popular choice in the past to alleviate severe nausea and vomiting, is currently under scrutiny for some adverse side effects on unborn babies.

1. Slack

Yes. Slack. As in cut yourself some. Pregnancy is HARD. Really hard. It's emotional, it's scary, it's exhausting, exciting, intimidating, amazing and a million other things rolled into a roller coaster 9 months. Make the best choices you can and don't beat yourself up if you do something you didn't know you weren't supposed to, if you can't get out of bed to shower for 4 days or if you gain too much weight. Just make good choices when you can, stay in touch with your provider so they can monitor your health consistently and tell yourself 'this too shall pass' (Sorry, some cheesy cliches ARE true!) It took you 40 weeks to grow that tiny human, it'll take you just as long (and probably more) to get back to feeling like yourself again. Try to remember you have just done something truly amazing and don't freak out if it takes you awhile to feel like you again.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for sharing your experience, strength and hope.