Part 1 – Pregnancy:
- The rhythm method doesn’t always work. Even if you have been charting for months and you know for a fact that you ovulated 3 days ago, you could be wrong. Don’t believe me? I just gave birth to the rhythm method.
- You are a woman. You know your body, and you have a strong intuition. If you have a gut feeling that you are pregnant, (even if you have had this feeling before, trust me, it’s different this time) you probably are.
- Just because it’s written in the baby books, it’s not necessarily true for you. Every woman is different, and every pregnancy is different. So don’t freak out if what they say is normal, isn’t normal for you.
- On the other hand, read the baby books. You just might avoid a major freak out if you know ahead of time what to expect.
- A good way to avoid/lessen morning all-day sickness is to never let yourself get hungry. Eat small meals and have a snack in-between. Even if you’re not hungry at the moment, eat a bite. You will be so glad that you did.
- Yes, your boobs will eventually stop hurting so bad. No, your husband will never quite get the point that your boobs are sore and are off-limits. Never. Well, until your colostrum starts to leak and then he won’t touch them with a 10-foot pole.
- There is a long list of foods that you can’t eat. Most of you probably already know about sushi, undercooked meats, and alcohol. But if you are like me, you might not know that you can’t eat lunch meat or hot dogs unless they have been heated through. You can’t lick the brownie/cake/cookie batter out of the bowl because of the raw eggs. And you can’t eat any soft cheeses (like bleu, feta, queso blanco) unless they were made with pasteurized milk. Why, you ask? Listeria. It’s a bacteria that is very uncommon, and it is very unlikely that you will ingest anything affected with it. But if you did, it could kill your baby. Or make him/her sick, or cause you to have a miscarriage or deliver prematurely. So don’t take the chance. Put the sliced turkey in the microwave!
- Poking your stomach out as far as it will go before you are actually “showing” will not only make you look like you just ate too much, but it will also give you a glimpse of how bad your back will hurt when you are 9 months pregnant. But since I know you want everyone and their mother to know you’re pregnant, go ahead girl. Be proud. Stick that thang out.
- Opinions truly are like buttholes – everybody has one. And while you are pregnant, everybody will share theirs with you, whether you want them to or not. I know, I know. You’re pregnant, hormonal, and people should be nice to you and keep their mouths shut. People should have positive, happy, congratulatory things to say, (because after all, you are having a baby, which is a wonderful, miraculous experience) but they won’t. Just let your mind wander while they are spouting off at the mouth. They will eventually run out of horror stories and reasons why you should/should not do this, that, and the other.
- Oh, those horror stories? That’s exactly what they are. Stories. Take them with a grain of salt. Oh, screw that. Don’t listen to them at all. They are about as accurate as the stories at the end of the “telephone” game that you used to play at sleepover parties. More likely than not, you will have a normal pregnancy, a normal birth, and a normal baby.
- But if you don’t, there are doctors who will do everything possible to make sure that you and your baby are safe and healthy. Stop worrying so much. What’s that? You haven’t felt the baby kick in a while? No, he’s not dead – he’s sleeping. Something you better hope he still does once he’s on the outside.
- Baby names: got one picked out? Fabulous. Do not share it. If anyone (and I mean anyone – your mother, sister, best friend) asks, tell them you haven’t decided yet. It will save you a whole lot of trouble and frustration and hurt feelings. Just as everyone has opinions on everything else, they will have an opinion about the name. And just because you think it is the most beautiful, most perfect name in the whole wide world, someone will find fault with it and make you cry because they think it’s ugly and they will then offer half a dozen alternates. So just keep it to yourself. After all, you will be the one saying it 100 times a day, not them.
- Don’t buy a lot of clothes before the baby arrives. Yes, I know that they are so tiny and cute, but guess what? Everyone else thinks so too. And do you know what everyone is going to buy you for your baby showers? Tiny, cute baby clothes. Plus, you could end up with a huge baby who won’t fit into half of the newborn sized clothes that you bought and already took the tags off of and washed. So go ahead, buy a few pieces that you just can’t resist. But then go and spend the rest of your money on things that you desperately need, (and will register for but nobody will even look at that piece of paper that took you 2 hours to walk through Babies-R-Us and make) like a carseat. You cannot bring the baby home without a carseat!
- As you near the end of your pregnancy, do not sit in a recliner with your feet propped up. If you are swelling and have been told to keep your feet elevated, lay on your side! Your baby’s back is the heaviest part of its’ body, and if you are on your back, gravity will pull that baby around and trust me, you DO NOT want that to happen. It will hurt. Bad. So always lay on your side. Go swimming on your stomach. Not only will it pull the baby’s back to your front, but you will be weightless in the water. Awesome. Another great way to get the baby off of your back is to get down on your hands and knees for a few minutes, a few times a day. Yeah, you will look silly, but it will feel so much better.
- You can never, ever drink enough water. What’s that? You don’t like water? Drink it for a while and it will become the only drink that you do like. Everything else will suddenly taste weird and be too strong. And if you’re really lucky, your ankles will thank you for it by not swelling.
- For the love of God, do what is going to make you happy. Because honestly, nobody else matters, it’s all about you and the baby. No matter what you decide to do (find out the sex or be surprised, get the epidural or go all natural, breastfeed or formula feed, use cloth diapers or disposables, etc.) somebody is going to get their panties in a wad. So just plug your ears and do what you want to do.
- Although they may occasionally be uncomfortable, treasure each and every kick. Because once that baby is out, you will miss them horribly. Hiccups, too.
- Blame it all on the hormones while you can.
- Rest! Sleep! As much as possible!
- The last month will be the longest month of your life, so find something to do to pass the time. Rent movies. Go for walks. Start a project. Just do something!
- Even though you might hate your body and think that you are as large as a house, take pictures! You are going to want to remember being pregnant when you aren’t pregnant anymore. You will want to remember what you looked like with a huge belly (the huge thighs and butt? Not so much). And if not, you can always stick it on the refrigerator door as good motivation to lose all the weight after you deliver.
Coming up next: Part 2 – Labor