It’s List Week here on Sarah with an h. I love lists and lists for lists, etc… So, this week I will have a list a day on various themes. Please feel free to add along!
Next to puberty, becoming a personal incubator is probably one of the most transforming body experiences for women. And, sadly, going through pregnancy can be just as frustrating, awkward, and unsightly as puberty. However, at least companies make special products for pregnant ladies, so that takes the edge off.
(Please note: There are a lot of opinions out there about maternity this and that. Probably even more opinions about what pregnant women should do/not do or think/not think than there are opinions about how to go about Middle East Peace talks. So, these are simply things I think and what worked for me. Not instructions. I found other pregnant women’s list useful, so I thought I would share mine. But, if you hate my suggestions, that is cool, too. Rock on, pregnant friends.)
1. Bellybands: There are a couple of types out there, but I have the cheap one from Target. Basically, these bands are like a tight tube top one wears around one’s middle when one can no longer button and/or zip one’s pants. Please note, these do not seem to work for all women, so perhaps do like me and buy the cheap one from Target first to see if it works for you before upgrading. I think some women have trouble with it riding up or cutting off circulation to their body or pressing like a vice grip on their bladder. I did not have any of these issues, which is a nice reprieve. I used the bellyband in the beginning of my pregnancy when my regular clothes were a bit too snug and maternity was way too big – a frustrating time for most pregnant women. The band help extend my wardrobe until I could fit into regular maternity pants. However, I grew tired of my maternity pants and did not want to spend more on additional pants, so I still use the belly band to hold up my regular pants. Maternity shirts are super long, so they cover the band. I find it more comfortable, and I like how I can extend my wardrobe using my old stuff.
2. Old Navy Maternity line: Is Old Navy the best quality? No. Can you get a bunch of shirts for $10 each. Yes. Is that good enough for five-ish months you will wear them. In my opinion, yes. I could still fit in to some regular shirts, but I was worried about stretching them out with my growing belly. So, I bought myself some maternity shirts from Old Navy because they always seem to have lots of deals. Now, they are not as high quality as say something from A Pea in the Pod (I know this because my mom bought me some stuff from there, but I found it a little too expensive), but they can get you through. And I tried to “style” them with belts and fabric flower pins and my regular cardigans/blazers. They work just fine. I liked the styles that were more form fitting because I found they made me look less like a tent.
3. Kashi Seven Whole Grain Crackers: This stuff was like crack to me during the 14 weeks I spent with my good friend Nausea. I pretty much could not stand the thought of food, but going around on an empty stomach proved to be a dangerous recipe for extreme sick to my stomach-ness. So, I needed to keep my stomach stoked with something at all times. And these Kashi crackers were a saving grace. They have just enough salt, a nutty flavor, and the right amount of whole-grainy goodness to keep myself afloat during the day. Other brands will probably work, too, but since I had a good thing going, I dared not change my eating formula at that point in my life. So to all you nauseated friends out there, force feed yourself some of these crackers and see if that helps get your through the first trimester.
4. What To Expect When You’re Expecting: When I found out I was pregnant, I bought this book, as I am sure a million other pregnant ladies did, too. I wanted to peruse through some other books in the baby section, but Dan was with me and too embarrassed and concerned someone might see us (like we were performing illicit activities in Barnes and Noble), so I had to make a quick decision and picked this book. I found it an easy read, simple to understand, and a good way to get a feel for what the heck is going on in there. The companion Web site also offers good tools. The book and Web site have useful Q & As and provide insight without getting too scary (in my opinion). I tried to stay away from other sites because some tend to be a bit too alarmist or freak me out. And, some are not written by anyone with actual medical knowledge, which should also be avoided. The only other Web site I found authoritative and useful was www.babycenter.com. And, some people swear by the Girlfriend’s Guide to Pregnancy, and I skimmed through a copy I borrowed from a friend, but I did not find it particularly helpful. I especially did not like her tone and her belief that pregnant women should not exercise because they are going to get fat anyway. My OB is all about the exercise, as am I, so I found that to be misleading (of course, everyone should check out with their doctor to make sure they can engage in activities).
5. A good sense of humor: In the end, products can help make this awkward time a little easier, but I found the best resource of all was my own sense of humor. Fretting and worrying and second-guessing only led to misery. Use your ample meetings with your OB to clear up any issues, and then just go forth, with your baby in tow. My OB’s philosophy is “live your life because pregnancy is not an illness,” and that is how I choose to look at the situation. Fortunately, I do not have any complications that would require me to act otherwise, so I choose to go about my day, starting with my Body Step class, and not get caught up in anxiety or buying massive quantities of baby items. And this relaxed route is so much easier than the high anxiety route. I am not going to sweat it if her nursery is not perfect before she comes home because, lucky for us, she will have no idea. And there is nothing I can do to speed up the Easy Bake Uterus process, so no sense in whining away my time counting the minutes until she arrives. And, no, I do not have a birth plan. My only plan is to have the baby at some point after 38 weeks. Because if there is one thing I have learned, it is that I have just about zero control over the entire situation. So no sense in getting worked up.
Okay, all my must-haves as I see it here at 30 weeks pregnant. Any other ideas out there?