Seeing as this is only my second pregnancy, I in no way consider myself any kind of maternity expert. But, I am a firm believer that you learn a little something with each new experience as a mom, and being pregnant once before was helpful in knowing what to expect/avoid this time around. This pregnancy has been easier in some ways, much harder in others. So, I thought it might be fun to share the things I CANNOT live without while pregnant.

Pregnancy Must Haves

1.  During my first pregnancy, I think I had something near 5 apps on my phone for tracking pregnancy, milestones, growth charts, doctor visits and stats. Part of “second baby syndrome” has been a much more streamlined (ahem, lazy) approach to information. For that, I am loving the Ovia Pregnancy app. It includes all the basic week by week changes for baby and mommy, but also includes fun facts, places to jot down milestones and memories, various trackers and even some helpful lists on medication and food safety. It’s a winner.

2.  I’ve never been much to feel terribly inclined to buy completely natural, organic, pure etc. products. Usually, because the price is double my usual brand. But as we’ve welcomed a kiddo into our home and I’ve watched him eat off the floor, lick a doorknob and put his hands in unthinkable places, that has changed a bit. The same goes for this little fetus I’m growing and my body. For that reason. I have come to love The Honest Company and their products, particularly their Organic Belly Balm. I am in NO WAY going to claim EVER that you can prevent or get rid of stretch marks. Sorry ladies, it’s a game of heredity and genes and you either get them or you don’t, regardless of how many exotic creams, oils, lotions and balms you slather on. I, unfortunately, did not win the gene game and do get stretch marks, though only a small patch. Regardless of those not-so-cute tiger stripes, I do like to keep my growing (sometimes itchy) belly moisturized and I love this balm for that. It is super natural and super emollient and has become a nice part of my evening routine as I massage my big ‘ol belly and think about the little one growing in me. I will say, it definitely smells very “natural” (herbal, woody, organic) which is not my favorite, but I can get past it when I wake up and even hours later still feel the softness on my skin.

3.  “Get your rest now, because you won’t be able to when baby comes.” Guess what? That’s a total crock. Pregnancy, however beautiful you think it is, tends to be very uncomfortable. Evenings are no exception. Many a night I have crawled into bed, utterly exhausted, and laid awake for hours because my mind wouldn’t stop churning, my back and hips would not stop aching, and baby would not stop moving! Finding comfort during sleep, particularly in trimesters 2 and 3 has been very important to me. When I first saw the Leacho Snoggle pillow (and the huge price) I had to giggle and shake my head. It looks like something out of a Dr. Seuss book. But out of desperation and sleep deprivation I decided to throw down the cash and give it a try and I am SO GLAD that I did. It is super supportive, fully adjustable and comforts every weird little curve of my body. The only tough part is navigating the several-times-a-night ROLLOVER routine… but that was tough before the pillow, so I can’t blame the pillow. I shall forever call it “The Pillow”.

4.  After I found out I was pregnant, I immediately started doing the math to discover my due date and about screamed when I realized I would be in my third trimester during the peak heat of summer (often 100+ degrees where I live). UGH! I wanted to cry. And hormones were raging, so I did. I don’t do heat. Pregnancy makes you very hot anyway. So, I pretty much live in super unflattering maternity shorts (why do maternity clothing makers assume you want to wear daisy duke shorts while big and pregnant?!) and these SUPER CUTE and CHEAP maternity tanks from Old Navy. I LOVE these things and I have bought them in several colors and patterns. They are great for layering if you don’t live near the gates of hell in summer (sorry for the drama), but are cute paired with shorts or a maxi skirt and simple accessories like cute sandals and sunglasses.

5. Oh, to sing to ills of “morning” sickness. My 15 week round of morning sickness was no walk in the park this time, and like last time, never just stuck to the morning hours. People insisted this meant I was having a girl (wrong) or having twins (wrong). It just is what it is, and it sucks! Once again, I subsisted on hard candy, saltine crackers and cold, flat, ginger ale. Some days it helped, some days it didn’t, but something about it had become part of my routine. I fear that even years from now, the thought of ginger ale and saltines will forever be attached to pregnancy and will freak me out a bit. As a celebratory gesture, I ended up making old fashioned cracker candy with my leftover saltines when morning sickness finally waned. I will have to post the recipe soon.

6.  Let’s talk pregnancy cravings. I never had extraordinarily strong or strange cravings with Baby C. It was mainly a huge craving for Mac N Cheese and gallons upon gallons of lemonade. Something that clued me in to the fact that I might be having a boy again was the almost immediate craving once again for lemonade. Gallons upon gallons of it. I’ve become quite partial to the Simply Lemonade brand but also love the organic stuff you can get at Costco (in a twin pack of HUGE bottles). I’m a big proponent of indulging in your cravings (within limits) as I feel like it’s the body’s way of telling you that you need some sort of nutrient in that craving. Maybe not all the sugar that’s in my lemonade craving but…. whatever.

7.  I tried to be very practical about my approach to reading too many pregnancy, parenting and baby books the first time around. I had heard horror stories of friends going into complete panic-mode upon reading of the many potential issues, diseases, complications and dangers that were described in the all-too-famous What to Expect books. I resorted to just a handful of books to educate myself but found this book, The Happiest Baby on the Block, to be the most informative and helpful. It was recommended to me by friends of ours, who are a pediatrician PA and labor and delivery nurse, so I felt it was probably good advice. This book is incredible and the methods worked like a dream on Baby C. I’m a believer, and I’ve been reading it once more as a refresher to prepare for Baby 2.

8. Among a million other health conscious decisions you must make while pregnant, drinking plenty of water is highly recommended. Fortunately one of my constant symptoms during my entire pregnancy is extreme thirst (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it?). This freaked me out because, of course, I was told that thirst is a huge indicator of diabetes. One glucose test later proved that theory wrong in my case and my doctor assured me that thirst is normal because the pregnant body produces double the amount of blood, etc. and as we know, water is vital to all things in the body. As a result, I cannot be without my water bottle at ALL TIMES. I am hugely partial to the Contigo ones but I really can’t tell you why. I just like them and I can get them at my local Target. And yes, I’m saying “them” because I now have three of them. It’s a strange addiction.

9.  “Tum tum tum tum tummmmmms!” Lucky me, because once my morning sickness wears off, I get extreme and constant heartburn. Isn’t that just the best?! So, along with my water bottle, I am also constantly carrying and popping Tums in my mouth. I have the big size, the purse size and every one in between. If you have a tummy ache, come see me. Chances are, I’ve got something that can help you. 😉

10.  I don’t know about all those gals that claim they adore being pregnant and feel the most beautiful they’ve ever felt. I cannot relate at all. I feel hideous pregnant. I feel fat, puffy, pale, swollen, tired, achy and ugly (which is why you won’t see many photos of me during this time). I love the miracle that comes at the end, but the journey is hard for me to bear. As a result, I strongly believe in treating myself in little ways to make me feel better. One favorite way to do that is to get a pedicure. Longtime blog readers and friends know my obsession with nail polish and painted nails but there is something so lovely and relaxing about a pedicure. And, not having to bend over and attempt to bypass the massive bump to get to my feet, really makes me feel even better! 🙂

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