While growing a baby, you spend nine months in agony and pain. Ok… not everyone has miserable pregnancies. I have a sister-in-law that adores being pregnant. She looks amazing the entire nine months, never feels sick and loves every minute of it. Me… not so much. I have never had heartburn in my life… except when I’m pregnant. And this time, well, let’s just say I have to count the number of antacid tablets I take in a day so I don’t go over the maximum dose. Seriously. And morning sickness is an all day thing for at least six weeks. My feet swell, my ribs are so incredibly sore sometimes it hurts to breathe, those horribly painful calf cramps, the round ligament pain, the Braxton-Hicks, the acne. Don’t you just want to run out and get pregnant?!?
Actually, I’m pretty lucky. I spend my pregnancies (at least, so far) uncomfortable and slightly miserable, but I haven’t had any serious health issues. No gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, edema, eclampsia, placenta previa or other problems and I always manage to gain a healthy amount of weight without too much trouble … except when I went to the doctor a few weeks ago and they told me I’d gained almost 15 lbs in three weeks. I about died. Turns out, the nurse was in a hurry and didn’t bother to be very accurate. I’d only gained about 3 lbs. Whew.
So, what’s a gal to do? Accept misery and defeat? Nope. There are some things these days that make those nine months as an incubator bearable. Now, are these items truly “must-have” items? No. Millions of women have survived pregnancy without them. But, I sure have found them handy these last few months…
1. Antacid Tablets. I live off of these babies. Like I have to count out the tablets and limit how many I take a day, so I don’t exceed the maximum dosage. This kid will not have any sort of calcium deficiency, that’s for sure. Are they gross? Yes. I have a texture issue with them. But, the nasty chalky texture is a mild step up the throat-on-fire issue.
2. Drawstring pants. Oh my heck. Especially this pregnancy, I have a lot, I mean A LOT, of yoga-pants-days. Thank goodness for knits. And with a drawstring, I can loosen the ties as I continue to expand. The pressure on my belly from tighter-fitting pants is just too much most days.
3. A rubber band. Actually, I use a hair tie. Not for my unruly mane that has a mind of it’s own more than ever before, nope, I use them to hold my pants up. Or at least together. Sometimes, the “up” part is a whole ‘nother issue.
4. Belly band. These babies are pricey. My mom bought me a couple when I was expecting Little Monkey. However, it’s crazy how heavy babies get to be. And it’s not like I had amazing abdominal muscles before I was pregnant. I have more stretch marks on my hips than I do on my belly. The belly band is soo nice for the extra support. It’s like finally finding that awesome bra that holds everything up… only it’s your belly. Over at Make It and Love It, there’s a tute for a DIY version of the belly band. And you can wear your pre-preggo pants with a belly band, at least for a little while longer. With Little Monkey I was able to button my jeans the whole pregnancy. I have no idea how long the rubber band trick has been in play this pregnancy, but I’ve used it more than I haven’t this time around. And the belly band helps with the aforementioned “up” issue.
4. The rice bag. Oh goodness, this thing has been a life saver. My back has been so sore this pregnancy I think I might have died without spending hours and hours with this thing on my back. Some days I spend more time with it than I do my husband. And with my hormones, he’s probably grateful for that. I’ve had a lot more back pain this pregnancy, especially after sitting in horrendously uncomfortable chairs for three hours every week at church. They should have a section of La-Z-Boy recliners for expectant mommas… (and maybe a snack bar…)
5. Shoes that you don’t have to tie. While pregnant with Little Monkey the last few months were in the summer time. Hello, flip-flops. This time… it’s January. Flip-flops are a no-go. So, boots have been my new besties. The lame, boring ones that don’t tie or zip or anything. I can’t even see my feet anymore… what makes you think I can reach them?!
6. A good bra or two. Now, I’ve always had a hard time shopping for bras. There just aren’t many companies that make a size 34D. A size 34DD?! Ha. It’s nearly impossible to find. And bras are expensive! Seriously, I’m gonna be changing bra sizes again in three months and again in six months when I start nursing. And when I stop nursing, the changes will continue… I don’t have an endless bra budget! The trick is to invest in just a couple good quality, supportive bras in the sizes you need. ‘Cause those girls will get so heavy they’ll hang to your belly button. Wait until you need them though, so you’re sure to get the right sizes.
So, with Little Monkey, I invested in a couple basic nursing bras that were sports-bra in style that I could sleep in comfortably (and my grandma gifted me with a few, good quality nursing bras… that fitting session was a little awkward, but you get over it quick when you see the total on the cash register). And I invested in two good bras for this pregnancy. You know, the kind your grandma wears (and leaves hanging in the bathroom when company comes over…) – the ones with thick straps and so many fasteners it nearly takes two people to do them all up… they are my baby-growing bras (not to be confused with ‘baby-making bras’… those ones live in the drawer labeled “mommy’s pretties” which has been locked since about week 23 of this pregnancy…)
7. An extra pillow. I’ve needed some extra support while sleeping with this baby. Our memory foam mattress is pretty great, but that totally unflattering pillow between your knees can feel like heaven to aching hips. I often sleep with my back against My Mr Right’s back for a little extra support too. Or you could go with a pillow like this… although I’m not sure my bed is big enough for all of us…
9. Healthy snacks. As you run out of room in your torso, your stomach will lose the space to expand when you eat. Therefore, you will find yourself eating much smaller portions and ALL DAY LONG. Having snacks like yogurt, string cheese, rolls and lunch meat (after you heat it, of course), and fruit will be so much more convenient. Once you’re hauling around an extra twenty pounds, you won’t want to do a whole lot of standing in front of the stove… Just sayin’
10. Extra undies. Well, let’s sit an extra 15 pounds on your bladder, wiggle it around and see what happens… ’cause every time you sneeze, laugh, cough or when your baby moves, you’ll be glad you sprang for the ultra bulk package.
Any more suggestions on Maternity Must-Haves?