So…you’re pregnant OR thinking about starting to try. You scroll through blogs, read books, and ask family friends about their experiences with pregnancy to hear the generic “you’ll gain weight or get a little sick”. I’m here to tell you that I wish someone had told me all of the gross things to expect. What are those you ask? Well, I’m talking about the things that may make some people squirm or maybe you’d feel weird going on google to search…which I found out is extremely common to feel.
My little one is now 4 months old and although there are major challenges with him being here I find it easier to handle those daily struggles than when I was pregnant.
Ladies, this one is a BIG OL’ FAT LIE! I feel like a man must have named it morning sickness because this pregnancy symptom does not discriminate what time of day it is. I was sick…like, ALL THE TIME! When I got to 5, 6, and even 7 weeks I thought “maybe I’ll be one of the lucky ones. I haven’t had any symptoms and most of my friends had by that point in pregnancy.” I was wrong! Mine kicked in at the end of 8 weeks and lasted all the way until 19 weeks. People thought I was kidding but it stayed with me until my second trimester. Not to mention it came back the last few weeks of my third trimester. I was so used to it by that point I almost forgot! Here’s how I handled it. What I thought about morning sickness is that I would physically be getting sick. That wasn’t always the case and for several weeks I actually just suffered from nausea. That sounds better right? Wrong. I laid on the couch for hours on end trying to feel some sort of comfort. I work for myself so thankfully I was able to manage it but Ben would come home from work to see me in the same spot I was in when he left. I talked to my doctor and got onto a medication. It helped but it didn’t take it away completely. Ladies, this was a symptom you just had to learn how to deal with. Eventually, my nausea started to go away and I was physically getting sick. I actually preferred that to nausea. Drink lots of water, sleep when you can, and try to move around. I had to cut out workouts and a lot of my daily movement but when I could I would try to get some steps in around the house. Remember that this is temporary. Once I got passed it my second trimester was a breeze!
2. IS IT HOT IN HERE OR IS IT JUST ME?
Guys. This one was a doozy! I get hot in general but once I started to notice my bump I felt like Johnny from the Fantastic 4 and I should just say “Flame on!”. I got pregnant in August and by September I felt like the A.C. had turned off. I’m so thankful the winter months came because I could take a step outside and cool down. Seriously, it would be 30 degrees outside and I was on my porch with no coat or shoes just enjoying that slight relief. I know Ben wasn’t too pleased because he loves the summer and warmth and I had our house cold enough to leave a popsicle out!
Here’s what I did. I drank water and Pedialyte often. I have a 32 oz. cup that I drank at least 3 of those daily…at least. I either drank the Pedialyte straight or I’d put a splash in my water to give it a little flavor. Those electrolytes kept me hydrated and helped me feel cooler. I also grabbed ice packs out of the freezer which felt amazing.
3. DRINK WATER! DRINK WATER…DID I MENTION, DRINK WATER?
I feel like doctors felt like this was a cure to everything through my pregnancy. I told them I had a headache and they’d say “oh, drink more water”. I told them I couldn’t go to the bathroom…”oh, drink more water”. I’d say I couldn’t stop going to the bathroom…you got it! “Drink more water!”
But they are telling the truth! When I had a day that I was really busy or just down-right forgetful and didn’t drink the way I was supposed to I felt horrible…miserable, actually. That’s because your body is in overdrive and NEEDS that! I feel like I was constantly asking Ben to refill my water that he would just know what times I needed it done and have it ready for me. I was already a pretty big water drinker prior to getting pregnant so it just took a little practice to get better at drinking so much. If you don’t like it try adding fruit like lemon or strawberries for flavor. I loved adding mint as well and crushing it at the bottom of my cup. It felt like I was drinking a specialty drink.
4. BRING EXTRAS!
Okay, ladies. I’m about to get real. If there are any gents reading this post or people who don’t want to hear about bodily fluids, skip to the next bullet point. When you are pregnant…weird stuff starts to happen. I noticed around my second trimester that near the afternoon that my panties were soaked. At first, I kept thinking “Did I just pee myself?” which ladies, that happens too. With your body in overdrive, you could end up producing more fluids. My nose would get stuffed up, I swear my deodorant stopped working, and I’d have to change my underwear 1 to 2 times a day. Also, for some lucky ladies (AKA me…) your prolactin can start early and you can produce breast milk before the baby even arrives. Pack a little hygiene bag and put it either in your purse or car. I had a toiletries one that was big enough for all of these items. I’d pack an extra deodorant, bra, and panties. Also, snag a pack of thin panty liners at the store. Those helped as well just in case.
5. MAKE A PLAN PRIOR TO BABY’S ARRIVAL
One thing Ben and I agreed on is that the process of what you need for your baby taught us so much about what we physically needed for our baby. People gave us a million suggestions on what to get, what diapers to try, what swing to purchase…the list goes on! What is didn’t prepare us for and what we felt no one was talking about was how to emotionally deal with having a baby. No one mentions how to handle your marriage and communicate once a baby was in the picture. What y’all? Is this taboo? WHY?!?! We quickly realized that this was going to become an issue if we didn’t figure out something quickly. Here’s what we did each evening…
We sat on the couch and debriefed about who needed what and how we thought the day went The main thing to remember is to be honest. If you truly feel like something didn’t go well be open and talk about why it bothered you. There are no right and wrongs…only being vulnerable with each other. I realized that I needed more sleep and that staying up until 11 pm or 12 pm like I used to was detrimental to how I functioned the next day. So we started breaking the night into shifts. This doesn’t always mean that person is up with the baby for that duration of time. A lot of times he slept through someone’s shift but it just meant that Ben or I had him during those times and the other person could fully relax and do what they need to do to be mentally prepared for their 3 hours.
6pm-9pm Heather shift (Weston bath time, feeding, sleep) Ben would make dinner and I would pump so that if Weston woke up that we would have bottle ready. During this time Ben would get all the things he needed done AKA shower, work emails or extra calls, a few moments gaming.
9 pm-12:30 am Ben shift (Weston asleep) I would aim to be asleep by 9:30 pm each night. When Weston was in his first month he typically went to sleep around 8-8:30 pm. Now that he is 4 months he goes to sleep earlier around 6:30 pm so we have changed the schedule a bit. This typically gave me an extra 2 to 3 hours of sleep before I’d have to wake up to feed Weston or pump again.
12:30- 3:30 am Heather Shift (Weston feed/pumping) Typically Weston would eat every 3 to 4 hours so there were times during this shift that I would have to feed him twice. He would usually go right back to sleep and so would I.
3:30-6:30am Ben Shift (Weston feed) Weston would typically be up by 6 am for a feed plus or minus a few minutes.
6:30am- 8am Heather Shift. Ben would usually need an extra hour or two before work so we’d switch off so he’d be good for the day. I stay home with Weston so I can always snag a nap when he does.
Again, we weren’t always awake for this entire duration of these shifts but it allowed us to get bigger chunks of sleep versus constantly switch back and forth. It gave each of us a chance to really learn how to soothe the baby and what he needed and we felt so much better in the long run.
We went from 3 to 4 hours of sleep a night to 6 to 7 almost instantly. As he started to sleep more we were getting full nights of sleep.
Make sure to express how you feel each day. Prior to having a child, Ben and I could let little things go and honestly we very rarely ever had a fight. With a baby, tensions run a little bit higher and we find that sitting down and finding a time to talk really helps our relationship.
That’s all for this blog! Let me know what you think down below 😉