I have been reminiscing about my pregnancy days that were coming to an end a year ago. Here are just a few things I learned, and would like to share with those women just embarking on their first pregnancy journey.
First of all, hang in there, the first trimester doesn’t last forever; you will feel good again. Really.
I never had real morning sickness, just a general nauseous feeling, mostly in the morning, but also at different times during the day. I found comfort in Saltines, ginger ale, and hard candies (like Lifesavers and Jolly Ranchers). I was also exhausted, and had food aversions. I couldn’t stand meat or vegetables. I only really wanted carbs (that was in the beginning; later, I wanted everything). For a while, all I wanted to eat were: quesadillas, macaroni and cheese, cup of noodles, and sweets.
Gradually, my repertoire would begin to include bean and cheese burritos (the frozen, microwavable ones), chicken nuggets dipped in barbecue sauce, and pizza (first, only vegetarian, then, any and all pizza). I started feeling better and better from about 11 weeks, and then a lot better by 16 weeks (and that lasted until toward the end of the third trimester, when the discomfort set in).
I also developed a love for mint chocolate chip ice cream that lasted my whole pregnancy and shortly thereafter.
Some of the things I did when pregnant that I’m glad I did were:
· Being very strict about “the do not eat, etc.” list (even those gray area items). If it was unclear, I did without. I thought, 9 months is a short time in the scheme of things.
· Reading pregnancy and baby books (especially “What to Expect”). It is all so interesting to read about what you’re going through and about to go through.
· Not reading about scary things that could go wrong (I didn’t want to dwell on that stuff).
· Taking notes/keeping a pregnancy journal throughout my pregnancy on various things – thoughts, symptoms, how I was feeling, doctor visits, etc. It’s amazing how much you forget, and it’s pretty interesting to go back and read it now (that’s how I know what I liked eating, when I started feeling better, etc. If I hadn’t written it down, I doubt I’d remember).
· Taking the hospital tour and birth class. Again, it was good to know what to expect. Plus, it added to the excitement of the upcoming birth.
Some of the things I didn’t do, but wish I had:
· Have lots of pictures of yourself taken while pregnant, at various stages, sizes, etc. It’s neat to see the progression from beginning to end. I only have pics of me toward the end, at my baby showers.
· Toward the end of pregnancy, have a professional photo taken of yourself in full pregnant glory. I think these photos are so beautiful.
· Do an ongoing video log/documentary of the pregnancy journey. Your child will love watching it when he or she is older.
· Exercise – even moderately, even just walking, yoga, etc.
· Take an infant CPR class.
· Schedule a professional newborn portrait session for soon after the baby’s born (Anne Geddes style). I know a great photographer for this in Ventura County. Contact me if you’d like her info.
A lot of my suggestions have to do with photos and memory keeping because I really believe that it’s important to document and cherish this short but important time in your life.
I think it’s a great idea to really “get into” being pregnant. It’s a magical time you will likely look back on fondly. Revel in it. Memorialize it. Make the most of it. Marvel in the magic of it. You’ll be glad you did.