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On Being Pregnant

Even though I read all the books and had some medical background, there were still a few surprises that came along with pregnancy. Here are a few pearls of wisdom I picked up along the way that you may find useful one day.

First Trimester
* The hormone overload will cause all sorts of weird symptoms. Most common are food aversions, nausea, and strange mood swings. I also had migraines. Fortunately you can take Ibuprofen during the first and second trimester. (In the third trimester you risk damaging the baby’s blood supply if you take Ibuprofen). Drink lots of water because migraines are often triggered by dehydration.
* Later in the first trimester I started having horrible stomach pains at night. They occurred randomly. Some weeks I would only have them one night and others I would have them three nights in a row. As an experiment I stopped drinking carbonated beverages (Coke) for a whole week and the pains stopped too!! I think the air bubbles were increasing the pressure in my tummy and causing all that pain. Now I weigh out how badly I want a Coke before I indulge.

Second Trimester
*I really wanted my tummy to show in the fourth month. It wasn’t until the fifth month that I really had a bump though. And then I had a new dilemna. None of my clothes fit right anymore. Shopping for yourself becomes sort of depressing. You don’t want to buy maternity clothes because they’re too big or else you’d be buying them once a month for the next few months. I always wanted to spend my shopping money on baby things, not on this transient maternity phase. So here are a few tricks I discovered that helped a lot. Goodwill has maternity clothes! Think about it. Aren’t you looking forward to donating your big mama jeans after you lose the baby weight? Well someone else already has. You can buy their jeans for $4 and not feel guilty. I found some really cute stuff at Goodwill and was very happy to leave without spending a fortune.
*Other clothes tricks: Consider the fashions. Right now flowing “baby doll” shirts are very popular. They look like maternity shirts on you now but next year you can wear them again when you’ll be skinny.
Try on all of the clothes in your closet. I was pretty sure that I couldn’t fit into a few things in my closet but I was surprised to find things in the back of the closet that did fit! A lot of times I would push pants to the back if they were too big or baggy. Now they fit perfect. I also was surprised at how many of my dresses fit too. The classic little black dress seems to expand by default. It was very slimming too!
*Start buying diapers now. You’ll need one pack of newborn diapers at least. And you’ll need lots of stage one diapers. If you start clipping coupons and buying different brands now then you’ll have a nice selection when the baby comes. I’ve had several moms advise me to do this because otherwise diapers will be really expensive when you buy them all at once. (Oh and don’t forget to buy wipes too!)

Third Trimester (updated April 2008)
*
Take your maternity pictures in the eighth month of pregnancy. Otherwise your face will be all swollen and you won’t like the pictures later.
*Walk as much as possible. In the summertime, when it’s too hot to walk outside, go for walks in the mall or in big box stores.
*Plan to be celibate for the last couple of months and the next six weeks after the baby is born. (Nobody told us to expect this). At a certain point your tummy just sticks out too far and everything is uncomfortable. After you have the baby, you have to heal for 4-6 weeks.
*Pack a hospital bag to keep in the trunk of your car. It should have a basic toiletries kit, pretty PJ’s, the camera, and something entertaining to keep you occupied in the hospital. Labor takes FOREVER and there will be some down time where you will be bored. Bring stuff to do!
*Have a second bag packed at home. You can send your Hubby to get it when you have some down time at the hospital. It should have your newborn outfits, leaving clothes, hair styling equipment and a note pad to write down directions and a list for thank you notes.
*You will need maternity clothes to wear home. Sadly enough, your tummy doesn’t rewind to nine months ago. You will lose the last trimester, but you will still be about the same size that you were at 6-7 months gestation. Pack loose fitting clothes to wear home.

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