Not long ago, I posted a blog about my pregnancy complications. Because I have four healthy, close together in age children, everyone assumes I had zero issues with getting them here. If you take the time to read that blog, you will find that was not the case. I shared my experience in hope that it could help someone who is going through what I went through.
I am inspired by a campaign that the American Recall Center is running on social media for the months of July and August 2015, called 9 Tips for 9 Months. I think this is a great idea, for those of us who have been through the process of having children to share our thoughts for a healthier baby and you!
As I think about this, I am reminded that it has been almost 21 years since I had my last child. Things have changed a great deal since October 1994. I am also reminded of my daughter who just had our first grandchild seven months ago. She is very old school, and so maybe a lot of you who read this are too. Even if you are not, many of the same tips I am about to share are still good in today's world.
#1....JUST BECAUSE SOMEONE SAYS YOU HAVE TO WAIT TO SHARE THE NEWS, YOU DON'T HAVE TO!!!!
Yes, that is right. If you want to wait, then that is fine, but if you want to shout it from the roof tops as soon as your pregnancy test shows positive, then go right ahead. We had a heck of a time trying to STAY pregnant. I had several early miscarriages, and I was really glad that I did not have to face it alone. Sure, I had the support of my husband, but sometimes, a girl needs girl support; someone that has been through it, or even someone who will just listen to you and cry with you.
Also, what about those times when you feel pucky...? Yes I do mean morning sickness, etc. Coming into work looking like death...people can figure things out. I remember when my daughter, who lived four hours away at the time, sounded horrible when I spoke with her on the phone. She hadn't even taken a pregnancy test yet, and I finally told her to do that! I knew she was preggers! So, don't be silly, share the joyous occasion when YOU want to.
#2...PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU EAT!
Now I don't want to scare anyone. True, you are eating for two, but that does not mean two Nutty Butty bars. Eating a healthy diet is not just important for your new passenger, but for you too. You will be more hungry, that is ok. You will need to eat more than usual, but eat the right foods. Your doctor can help. Fruits, veggies, lean protein, etc, is what you need to concentrate on, and yes the occasional treat is fine. This will keep you and your baby healthy, and be much easier for you to loose that weight after your child has come into this world.
Prenatal vitamins are a must. I would like to share an experience I had with them though. I am not a milk drinker, never have, it makes me sick. Ice cream, yogurt, cheese (which are high in fat), I love, just not a glass of milk...blah!!!! So, doctor gave me extra calcium. Within about six weeks, I started having contractions. Everyone told me, they were braxton hicks (which I thought was a bit early). Because of my history, I was really worried. I am so glad I did not listen to people, but called the doctor. It is not that common, but in my case I did not need that much calcium. It was actually putting me into real labor. I wound up in bed for a few days, but eventually the baby and I were fine.
This story leads me to
#3...MAKE SURE YOUR DOCTOR LISTENS AND THAT YOU LISTEN TO HIM.
The doctor is employed by you. Make sure he is aware of your concerns. That is what you are paying him for. Sometimes, you will need to talk to the nurse. Do not hesitate to call and ask questions.
You also have the responsibility to listen to your doctor. Make sure you have a good relationship with your doctor and nurse.
One other thing, is make sure you know what you are taking and the side affects of certain drugs (over the counter and prescription). For example, Zofran, a drug used to help with symptoms of morning sickness, has been known to have adverse affects such as birth defects. You can read more about this here. This actually is a good lead in to the next thing....
#4 BE INFORMED
I am not much of a reader, but when I was first pregnant with our oldest, I read everything I could get my hands on. At the time, there was no internet (yes, I am dating myself), and so I went to the library looked stuff up, bring home a lot of books. Today it is much easier because we have so much information right at our fingertips, literally! If you have a questions about ANYTHING, Google search it. Oh! and research about after the baby arrives...colic, nursing, sleep issues, etc.
#5 BUT IT TOOK FIVE YEARS FOR THE LAST ONE!
Once we figured out why we were not able to have children and fix that, our second child came really quick! Are two oldest are 17 months and 3 days apart....YIKES.... At first it was a bit of a shock. But you know, everything was fine. The bond between these two children were so close. So what if you have children close together. Yes, there will be times when you feel overwhelmed, but take a deep breath, and remember, this will be a short moment in time, and soon, they will be headed out the door toward their own lives.
#6 TAKE IN EVERY MOMENT!
Keep a journal. Write your thoughts. Not too long ago, I saw a book that I wished I had had when I was pregnant. I saw it just after my daughter had her baby. It was a mommy journal, where you can put all your thoughts into it. You can get yourself a notebook and write your thoughts and feelings, keep track of your doctor appointments, information about what the doctor told you, ultra sound pictures, etc. Sometimes being pregnant seems like a forever thing, and sometimes you feel horrible. Between morning sickness, aches and pains, not getting enough sleep, etc, you feel you want it to be over. But truly, it is just a very short time, and you know, I miss those little (and big) wiggles in my belly. Keeping a journal will help you remember.
#7 KNOW YOUR OPTIONS, HAVE A BIRTH PLAN, BUT DON'T BE TOO ATTACHED TO IT.
Today, there are so many options when it come to childbirth. Back in the day, you picked a doctor, went to your appointments, and when the time came, headed to the hospital and then you had the option as to what type of pain killer, if any you wanted, and then the baby was born. Today, you can go that route, or you can have a midwife, Douala, or doctor, and you can have your baby in the hospital, birthing center, or even at home. There is even an option to have a water birth, which my daughter really wanted. Sometimes, though, your plans will change. You may choose to give birth at a birthing center with a midwife, but due to certain situations, you might wind up having your child at a hospital. That is ok. My daughter had her heart set on a water birth, but her little Jewel came too quickly for that.
When looking for you medical assistant, make sure they are qualified. Call your insurance company and make sure they are covered under your plan. Again...ask questions!!!! You need to comfortable and safe with your decision....and make it YOUR decision, what YOU want to do....
#8 LOOK NICE AND BE COMFORTABLE
True, there are days, when you will feel you want to be in bed all day. The truth of the matter is, once you get up and going, things will be better. So, unless your doctor tells you to stay in bed, get up, enjoy the day. Be happy. Clean yourself up, put on a little makeup, get dressed, and be beautiful, because you are. It is true that when you are carrying that special little one, that there is a certain glow about you.
About clothing. Our first child was born in July, and we lived in the hot, humid south. I was working at the time and the air conditioning in our car was not working...blah! It was soooo hot!!! I found that loose clothing was the best! Cotton was wonderful, as it breathed, and I hated anything that was tight around my belly. Today, I see so many wearing tight clothing, and not sure that is the most comfortable thing. I learned that dresses were the most comfortable. Not only are they loose and more freeing, but they look nice. So give it a try.
One thing my daughter loved? A body pillow. When she mentioned that to me, I was reminded that I used several pillows when I slept. It cut down on the leg cramps, and since I am a belly sleeper, it aided me in sleeping better. Even if you are not a belly sleeper, you might want to try using a body pillow for a better nights sleep.
#9 LAST BUT NOT LEAST, THE ADVICE YOU GET, AND YOU WILL GET A LOT OF IT.
This is kind of a funny one, since this whole blog is advice. You can listen to all the advice, but in the end, do what you think is best. People are going to share their birth story. Remember, each pregnancy, and birth are different, even your own. Just because this or that worked for one doesn't mean it will for the next. The thing that matters is YOU and your baby. Mom's have that sixth sense, listen to it.
I remember when my husband and I first got married, we sat down with each of our parents and told them, that we would listen to advice that came from them, but don't take it personal if we do not follow that advice. The same goes for you and your baby, and when some of those stories get too graphic or scary for you, tell them to stop. Be nice about it, but let people know that you it makes you uncomfortable.
I remember, especially with my first, I was scared! That is normal, after all it is your first, and you have no idea what to expect. But know this, you and your baby will be fine. At then end of it all you get that wonderful little gift to love, and who will love you back not matter what.
Enjoy your new little one!