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March 9, 2019

A Few of the Things That Helped Me Survive Pregnancy

This week The Mini makes 38 whole weeks brewing in my belly. Full term. Technically you are considered full term at 37 weeks, which also means I’ve spent the last week trying the jiggle the baby free and hoping he comes. Any. Day. Now.


I had joked with a friend who has really rough pregnancies (Think: terrible first trimester nausea, swelling, acid reflux and heartburn, and pytalism--something I’ve never even heard of before but apparently is a symptom where you produce a LOT of excess spit) before ever becoming pregnant that I would be a joy to be around, glow, and love being pregnant. It was possible.

Of course, now that I’ve actually been through it I will acknowledge I was not a joy and did not love it. Even though I’ve had a relatively easy pregnancy, even by my own standards, there were many moments when it was not fun. When you can’t lean over to tie your own shoes or pick something off the floor because your belly is so large. When your butt hurts because of sciatica and you have a client event all weekend. When you can’t drink alcohol while your husband and friends enjoy whiskey and wine pairings.

Pregnancy is hard. But there were a few things that actually made it a *little* easier. If you’re looking at your first pregnancy here are some of the things that personally helped me survive. I can’t guarantee anything, but as has been my motto throughout these last 38 weeks… “it can’t hurt" to try.

The Internet: Honestly, what did women do before the internet? Not just to google everything from weird symptoms to make sure that what they’re experiencing is “normal” (though let's be honest there is nothing “normal” about something growing inside of you that regularly elbows your ribs). But also Amazon Prime is basically a necessity to keep track of everything you think you want/need for baby and to read reviews by other parents (and even better, get a discount on them, thanks Amazon Registry)? It’s a magical, magical world that we live in.

Compression Socks & Magnesium Pills: Sometime during the second trimester I got a few really terrible leg cramps. The kind that would leave my leg tight and still sore and walking with a limp days later. Through a magical combination of wearing compression socks every night and daily magnesium pills I’ve been able to keep them (almost entirely) at bay. Of course, now that I’ve said that I’m pretty sure I’ll wake up tonight with a leg cramp. Such is life.

Prenatal Yoga: This one is filed under the “can’t hurt” category. I have no proof that the 10-20 minute prenatal yoga courses actually helped or will help. I wasn’t very consistent with doing it either, though I tried my best, but I liked to think that they helped the sciatica and leg cramps. But at the very least, watching Todd do a few sessions with me was entertaining.



Nursing Bras: I tried going with the bra extenders from Amazon and they worked for a few weeks but honestly the nursing bras from Target are in my opinion well worth the price ($17), plus in my mind you can use them after you have the baby too. Of course I had friends who said not to buy your nursing bras till you’re well into your third trimester but mine still fit all these months later and I think any tiny amount of comfort you can give yourself is a good investment.

Pregnancy Pillow: I got one of these sometime in the first trimester and honestly, I may never part with it. Even after baby. I have always enjoyed the cacoon-like coziness of sleeping surrounded by pillows, which Todd calls my “pillow fort.” But with the pregnancy pillow it’s honestly a little out of control. Even without anyone in the bed it looks like I’ve piled two bodies on my side. But I think Todd enjoys using his side of the pregnancy pillow so probably won’t complain too much if it stays.   **Disclaimer it's a real pain to change the cover. I make Todd do it (which he does with minimal complaint) but just be warned. 



What to Expect Community Daily Email: Every night I looked forward to reading these emails in bed. Not because they were helpful and doled out wisdom but because they are so ridiculous and the entertainment value so high. These are threads where someone posts a question and dozens of people respond. Think: Women complaining left and right about people not buying stuff off their baby registry or RSVPing to their showers, issues with in-laws and more.

A Supportive Baby Daddy: Last, but the most important (as you will quickly deduce from your What to Expect Community emails and forums), is to have a baby daddy who will support you through the craziness both big and small. Like buying and renovating said house six months pregnant. Or making sure I always had a snack so I didn’t yell at people (and him) when 5pm rolled around. Regular foot rubs. And all that other good stuff (like you know, raising a kid with you for the next 18 years).

What helped you survive pregnancy? Tell us in the comments below.

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