I loved being pregnant, feeling my baby girl kick, her little hiccups, and her stretch inside of me. But there are unfortunately some annoying aspects to pregnancy as well, due to hormones and our bodies being stretched to its limit.
In Early Pregnancy, I was not told:
1. How bad morning sickness really can get! I was throwing up at least once a day, and felt sick ALL day. "Morning sickness" my butt. I went to bed nauseous, I woke up nauseous.
- Acupressure wrist bands (made by Sea Bands). These puppies kept me going and allowed me to go to school and work.
- Preggi Pops. I was not told about these till the end of my morning sickness, but boy did they help!
- Saltines, or Ritz crackers. It is true, keeping your tummy full at all times does wonders for feeling sick. It seems to be the opposite of what you want to do though. We are so used to how to deal with the stomach flu (not wanting to eat, and eating is counter intuitive)... but with morning sickness if you don't eat a lot of bland foods then you are more likely to throw up (and also not get the nutrition you need for your growing baby).
- As a side note, sometimes I would get sick when eating one set of these crackers, so I had to mix it up with the foods I ate. My morning sickness was a little odd. In the beginning I hated chicken, and ironically eating Italian foods helped (spaghetti, chili...). However, later with morning sickness I couldn't eat any of these things. For me the best solution was trying foods and if I threw up then I knew not to eat it. Also I went by my nose (as best as I could), meaning I went by smell. If something sounds disgusting or smells disgusting don't eat it!
- Getting plenty of rest. For me, sleep helped a lot. If I was having an exceptionally bad day with nausea, I called into work sick, relaxed, and took a nap. It did wonders for me.
2. How bad your boobs hurt. Geez did mine hurt, for pretty much the whole pregnancy. But boy did they look good! Ha. For someone who has been relatively flat chested her whole life, it was nice to get a pair of boobies even if they were painful.
- For me, wearing sports bras to bed helped sooo much. At night, they seemed to hurt worse, but a bra that kept them in place helped.
- During the day, if I could, I wouldn't wear a bra. I tried to take off my bra as soon as I got home, and letting the puppies breathe seemed to also do wonders for me.
- If I had to wear a bra, I only wore bras that had no underwire. I was planning to breastfeed anyway and an underwire is horrible for your breasts, especially when breastfeeding.
1. The leg cramps. Oh the leg cramps! I had heard about them, but mine seemed to have the strangest pattern. They would only occur if I stretched in the middle of the night, or if I had been laying flat for too long. So then I would be in excruciating pain that left me contorted in strange angles trying to deal with this pulsating pain going on in my leg.
- Try not to stretch in bed. This usually kept the cramps from coming.
- If I did get a cramp, I worked on slowly relaxing my whole body and breathing through the pain.
- Stretching before bed. Butterfly stretches are really great for opening up your pelvic floor and leg muscles.
2. Restless Leg Syndrome. Oh this was another fun one. I would be laying there relaxing with my husband when suddenly my legs just felt so restless. I felt like I needed to get up and walk to relieve this weird feeling. It was so irritating.
- To be honest, sadly, I didn't really find a solution. It did help to stretch and to walk around, but that's about all I could figure out to do.
3. You can't lift anything and it sucks! I like to think that I am a fairly independent woman. I like to get things done around the house without my husband's help, mostly at my own peril though. Haha. Not really, but man you should see some of the botched up jobs I have done with a drill because I didn't want to wait for Mr. Picturesque to get around to it.
I tried pushing my "no lifting" limit, and very much regretted it. I pulled my stomach (and that hurt for weeks) and I pulled my shoulders. When you are pregnant, your body excretes something called Relaxin which relaxes your ligaments to prepare for a baby (with the head the size of a melon) coming out of something the size of an olive. Anyway with this hormone being released, you can pull muscles easier. Unfortunately I found this out the hard way. Not only do you feel like crap when this happens, but you also worry that you hurt the baby by accident (which of course you didn't, but oh those mom hormones).
4. How you feel about weight gain or the lack thereof. Geez if I gained a pound I felt like I was pushing it or if I didn't gain then I felt like I was depriving my baby (unintentionally of course). By the end of my pregnancy I had gained 43 pounds. But for me I was constantly worrying "am I gaining to much" or "what if I am gaining too little," "uhoh, I didn't gain anything this week... what does that mean?"
Don't worry about it. Try hard to eat healthy and do safe exercises but just let your body do its thing. Don't worry about getting the weight off later, but at the same time don't use this as an excuse to overeat and eat things that aren't good for you and the baby.