I am surely not an expert on childbirth or pregnancy or all things obstetrical…
But I have done this 4 times and every time I learn a little more.
You really do learn a lot during those 40(ish) short long weeks,
but there are a few things that I wish I’d known going into that first pregnancy:
- Just go ahead and buy a Bella Band or get a similar BeBand from Target. I admit that I’d heard of these during my pregnancy with Asa, but felt like it was just one of those things that was over-rated and not really necessary. Now? I may never not wear one…even after the Little Diva arrives! In the beginning, it helps you use your regular pants a little longer by holding up unbuttoned pants. Then when you hit the “I’m-not-fat-I’m-pregnant-you-idiot” phase, it helps hold in all the jiggly bits. And then, when you are stretched to the max and even your maternity pants don’t fit anymore? That little piece of fabric does its thing and keeps those pants in place. It’s a mini-miracle, I tell you. I can’t believe that I tugged and pulled on droopy pants unnecessarily for 3 pregnancies.
- Another one of those things I always dismissed as just another way for companies to pull a few more pennies out of moody mamas? The Snoogle Body Pillow. I mentioned on Facebook that I was having trouble getting comfortable at night. A friend said that she was planning on getting rid of hers and I snagged it from her. Thus began the love affair of the century. (Although I must admit that I love it much more than Marshall does!) It wraps around and supports your head, neck, back, belly, hips and knees. Seriously? It should be called the Miracle Pillow.
- Exercise ball – buy one. Recently I had a baby banging her head on my hip bone and it was extraordinarily painful. And now at this point, my back aches nearly constantly and the pressure on my girly bits is less than enjoyable. But sitting on that big, forgiving ball really did a lot to relieve a lot of that pressure and pain. Someone also mentioned that it’s great after the baby comes, too! Bouncing up and down with a crying or colic-y baby…brilliant.
But it’s not all about stuff you should buy. There are practical things, too. Things that no one ever told me…
- I’m convinced that constipation is God’s way of preparing you for childbirth. You’d be wise just to embrace it and be grateful for the practice. I could really say a lot more, but I’ll refrain. But do also know that stool softeners are your friend; hemorrhoids are not. Enough said.
- Your feet will probably grow. Mine have grown with ever single pregnancy. I used to wear a size 7. Now I’m somewhere between an 8 or 8.5. I’m banking on being a 9 next time I go shoe shopping.
- All that stuff they tell you not to eat or not to do? Well, I followed all the “rules” with my first child and he was born with 8 toes. I followed a few of the “rules” with my second and she was a horrible baby. I broke all the “rules” with the 3rd and he was pretty much the perfect baby(well, mostly…). I’m not saying the rules aren’t good ones, I’m just saying if you want to eat lunch meat or soft cheeses, then eat the meat and cheese. Just use common sense. I’m certainly not recommending that you binge drink or smoke or do drugs while you’re pregnant. (For the record, I really don’t recommend that you do those things when you aren’t pregnant either.)
- These days you hear warning after warning about postpartum depression, but not a lot about depression during pregnancy. You are almost guaranteed to hit a low point (or two)(or three) during your pregnancy and you may hit a point where the anxiety is nearly crippling. I don’t know why people don’t talk about this, but I promise that you aren’t the only one who feels this way. Talk to your health care provider, your partner, your friends, your family…anyone to whom you can say: “I know this sounds crazy, but…” and they’ll listen and nod in all the right places and not think that you’re going to jump off a ledge at the end of the conversation. (If you don’t have a person like that in your life, email me. I promise I get it.)
- Reading baby books can be fun. So can getting those little emails that tell you what your baby looks like at XX weeks gestation. But don’t forget to read other books that you like and watch movies that you want to watch and go places that you want to go…because (especially if this is your second, third or tenth child) you won’t have a whole lot of time to read/watch/do what you want to do for a while once your bundle of joy arrives.
- It doesn’t really matter if you have a “natural” birth, a home birth or a meet-me-at-the-door-with-that-epidural birth. Talk to your doctor and your partner (but don’t over-Google the hell out of it), then make your decision. Pick what makes you happy, then (by all means) go ahead. You can even make a birth plan if you want, but remember that sometimes(and by sometimes I mean often) things don’t go the way you plan or expect. This won’t be the last time your little monkey throws a kink in your plans, I assure you! But you’ll love her/him anyway (even if it isn’t love at first sight).
- Babies are icky when they come out. It’s kind of gross. And there are so many things going on(like getting that placenta out…YUCK!). And you may look at this new cheesy-covered creature and immediately fall in love…or you might not. Even after they clean her/him up, you may still hold him and think “meh“. It’s ok. It’ll happen. I promise. I really do. And if it doesn’t and if you start feeling more than just the “baby blues”, talk to your provider. There’s no shame in a little pharmacotherapy.
Really? This is just the beginning of the things I’ve learned.
I’m sure as soon as I hit “Publish”, I’ll think of a hundred other things I wish I’d added to this list.
Is there something imperative that I’ve left out? Most of you guys are moms…let’s hear it!
None of these are affiliate links.
None of these things were given to me to review.
None of these things make any money for me.
I’m just being nice and sharing my opinions…for free.