Monday, September 14, 2015

Pregnancy ProTips

Hi all! I am now firmly in my third trimester (just over 6 weeks left!) and I thought I could share the oh-so-popular “here’s what I’ve learned” pregnancy post. Maybe not completely unique, but every pregnancy runs a little differently, so the content is a little different. Anyway! Here’s a bit about what I’ve learned.

1.     Morning Sickness!
a.     What Worked: Although my nausea was fairly mild, I found that seabands really helped take the edge off. For all my Crohn’s pains, nausea is the one thing that I struggle to just work through and the seabands took the edge off enough. I also particularly enjoyed sour candy through this phase. Any of the preggo pops are actually sour – and since I couldn’t find them fast enough and wasn’t patient enough for Amazon, I had a lot of Shockerz.
b.     It also helped to be completely flexible with meals. Meal Planning wasn’t so hard, but the execution was rough for about a month there. Every day was a gamble – would this taste like dirt? There was one particular occasion when, after frustrated that I wasn’t eating enough, Hubs went to get our local standby, Taco Time. I tried a bite of everything, and it all tasted like dirt. It didn’t make me sick, but I was just uninterested. He had so much patience with me during this phase, which is great because I couldn’t control it and getting frustrated at me only would have made me cry. I did manage to drink a lot of Jamba Juice during the first tri. Sometimes twice a day.
c.     Note to men: be patient. You mammacita isn’t doing this on purpose, and tiny humans/hormones are jerks. While you probably don’t need to run out in desperation, Hubs’ patience and flexibility were so important to me.
d.     What Didn’t Work: Ginger. Morning Sickness Teas. I have nothing against ginger (I actually normally enjoy ginger ale or candied ginger), but it just did not help. And any of the special teas tasted like the earth to me. I couldn’t drink them enough to know if they helped at all.
2.     Fatigue
a.     I should get a medal for my napping expertise in the first trimester. I had a 2-3 week spurt where I could sleep for 10 hrs, struggle through work, nap for another 2-3 hrs, wake up to (maybe) dinner and talk to Hubs, then go immediately back to bed. On one particular weekend, I napped twice each day.
b.     What worked: Giving in to the naps. And have a patient, confused husband who is willing to do enough laundry to make sure you don’t have to resort to turning undies inside-out.
c.     What didn’t work: Caffeine. While I tried as hard as I could to stay under 200 mg (I averaged close to 100 mg per day), even fully leaded coffee could not shake this. So I do not advise that you do – it will not do much, if anything, and both you and the baby will feel better if you just go nap.
3.     Books
a.     This is a touchy subject because everyone has their favorites. And I have to admit that I have purposely avoided doing a lot of reading on this topic so I can (try to) avoid being over-saturated with information. I will start by saying that What to Expect did not speak my love language. It was a little alarmist and overall did not share a bulk of new information. It tries to speak to every pregnancy, which includes a lot of scary stuff. While this is important, it is certainly not the norm.
b.     Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn. The leading doula team in the Seattle area authors the book. We took Penny’s class that goes with the book, but the book on its own offers wonderful, balanced information. My favorite take-away was the way that it empowers the partner, not just the mother, to participate in the birthing process. I found it to be balanced between natural and traditional methods (hospital and home births).
c.     Bringing Up Bebe. I really liked this book, but I can see how it can be polarizing. Who doesn’t want quiet, patient, well-behaved children? Obviously the effectiveness is yet-to-be-proven in our own home, but I liked the authors voice (even as she struggles). The author is an American, married to an Englishman, and they live in Paris. She is struck by the way that her child differs in behavior from the French children surrounding her. While I don’t agree with every method, I enjoyed reading it, and I might have a few take-aways for our own child.
d.     Belly Laughs. I did not care for this. I read it in one night, and I basically felt like it could have been a series of blog posts instead of a book. I didn’t find it particularly relatable or even funny.
e.     Mommy IQ. I read this because I used to be Obsessed with the Pregnant in Heels show on Bravo. Have you seen it? It may have been my most favorite reality show ever. So I read the book. But after I read the other books, I did not find a single piece of unique information. And I didn’t think it was comprehensive enough to replace any of the other books I’ve read, including PCN.
f.      On my reading list:
                                               i.     TheWomanly Art of Breastfeeding (recommended by our lactation consultant in class)
                                             ii.     TheHappiest Baby on the Block
                                            iii.     BabyWise
                                            iv.     SleepingThrough the Night
4.     Stretch Marks
a.     These happen. You cannot avoid them. Unless you have excellent genes. In which case, congratulations. Don’t brag too much. I did try a few belly balms, and as my marks started to appear, I found that using the balms helped reduce some the itching and pain associated with the new stretch marks.
b.     Mama Bee Belly Butter. I used this first and liked it the most. It is thick and has subtle scent. I didn’t find that it absorbed very quickly, so I used it mostly in the evening so it could soak in overnight.
c.     Lovely Jubblies. I received this as a gift and used it when my first jar of Belly Butter ran out. I think I lost some ground with this. I will try it again when the baby is out to see if it helps tighten up (when I’m not growing any more!). The scent was stronger, and it felt a little greasier.
d.     Palmer’s Skin Therapy Oil. I love this stuff! It absorbs quickly (I was really surprised by this) and it has a really subtle scent. I use it twice per day. Once in the morning as soon as I get out of the shower and I follow it with normal body lotion; and once in the evening before my Belly Butter. I still got new stretch marks, but in general I’m more comfortable since using it. So that’s a win!
Those are my favorite things I’ve learned so far! What was your favorite pregnancy tip or book you can share with me?