Sleeping on my stomach
The “experts” say you can tell a lot about a person by the way he or she sleeps. I sleep on my stomach with my hands under my pillow which apparently means that I am a “freefaller” and have an oversensitivity to criticism. Who knows how they figure these things out in these studies, right? Anyway, at about 20ish weeks when I really started to get a baby bump, my stomach sleeping had to freefall out the window and I was forced onto my back or my side for the next 20 weeks (and from what I’m told, apparently, longer than that due to giant leaking breastfeeding breasts… yayyyyyy *insert sarcasm here*). I am still sleeping okay, but there are definitely times during the night that I wake up just enough to roll over and realize that is not happening anytime soon.
Sidenote: when Carly and I were at the ABC Kids Expo last month, we ran into a booth with the Mommy Pillow. It is a pillow with two openings cut out of it, one for your chest and one for your pregnant stomach. When I saw it, I immediately jumped (okay gingerly lowered myself) onto it and holy comfortable position Batman. These pillows are AMAZING. Carly literally had to come pull me out of it before I fell asleep so we could go see other vendors. I will hopefully be doing a review on this pillow in a later post so get excited!
Eating cold deli meat sandwiches
Let’s start this one off by saying I LOVE HAM! You know how parents always joke with their kids that everything is “chicken”? What is this? It’s chicken, you love chicken. It looks darker than chicken and it smells different. It’s just a different brand of chicken. Just eat it. Well, for me, “chicken” was HAM. Any meat I didn’t want to eat, my parents told me it was ham and I would scarf it down. I fondly remember days of coming home from kindergarten and my dad making me a ham sandwich to eat while I watched Mork and Mindy. I think back lovingly on Easters where the moment I stepped out of the car in my grandma’s driveway, I could smell ham cooking in the oven and would eat leftover ham “sandwiches” on tiny dinner rolls for every meal the week following. Long story short (or not, as it were) I love ham.
From what my doctor told me, eating deli meat is a general no-no for pregnant women due to the listeria risk during packaging leading to meningitis and potentially serious problems with baby (ie premature birth, low birth weight, etc.). For me, it just isn’t worth the risk but once he makes his appearance in December, someone BETTER be ready with a ham sandwich on soft white bread with Miracle Whip and lettuce… mmmmm….
Dying my hair
I know it’s selfish and vain, but man, I have a lot of gray hair for a 33 year old! My mom dyed her hair for years and years when I was younger and when she stopped, I realized that my sister and I were probably genetically destined for the same fate. There is not a lot of factual research done about the damages to your baby if you’re dying your hair while pregnant, but with the burn that it gives my nose, I imagine that hair dye absorbing into my scalp cannot be great for a fetus, so I’ve avoided it for the last 33 weeks and I can’t wait to color it back and feel young-looking again!
Not feeling like an alien life vessel
Feeling baby movement started for me at 22 weeks. The kicks were few and far between for a couple weeks but now, at 33 weeks and I’m sure up until birth, I am feeling little Steven move around a LOT during the day and night. Now that things are really cramped up in there, it is started to get pretty uncomfortable and I’m looking forward to just feeling the normal gurgles of digestion in my tummy rather than playing “name that bump” when I feel something jabbing me in the ribs, belly button or bladder. Do I secretly wonder if I will miss feeling those signs of life inside me when they’re gone? A little.
To be fair, one of the unexpected perks of pregnancy has been new good habits that I’ve picked up and I’m also looking forward to keeping up on them. It’s funny how these are all things I had heard all my life that I should be doing to take care of myself, but until I was taking care of baby I just didn’t make them part of my routine.
Since I got pregnant, I have forced myself to floss daily in the evenings before bed and it really has become a routine for which I am grateful. Before baby, I would start flossing (like 70% of people, I’m assuming) a week before the dentist and then my gums would be so swollen and painful that I just couldn’t bring myself to do it again until days later when the vicious cycle would just start again until I was sitting in the dental chair bleeding all over the hygienist’s gloves and lying to her that I DO floss, I SWEAR!
I’m one of those people that looks like she has super nice teeth because they are straight and I never had to have braces but lord, do I love candy and that, in association with my poor dental hygiene has wreaked havoc on my teeth. I have had more fillings than I can remember and just recently had to have my first root canal (6 months pregnant in an endodontist’s chair for two hours = no fun).
When I first got pregnant, I was reading my What to Expect When You’re Expecting book and it said that a lot of women have a myriad of dental issues when pregnant due to a couple things: an increase in blood leading to what is literally called pregnancy gingivitis causing excessive bleeding and swelling in your gums and a general loss of calcium due to, you know, making a whole person inside your body. Most dental insurance providers offer an extra cleaning while pregnant, so you can have 3 cleanings in 9 months instead of just your twice-yearly ones. Part of me was like, oh ya, that’s what I want to do, go to the dentist an EXTRA TIME. Due to some severe dental anxiety, I don’t want to go to the dentist AT ALL! But, I look at this way, if I can go for an extra visit which leads to less scraping and less time with pointy, metal objects in my mouth in the long run, then I’m for it. Be sure to check with your OB about any dental work you may need as well as proper x-ray procedures (double bibbing of that giant, 15 pound apron thing) before you go.
When Chris and I started trying to conceive last December, I started taking a prenatal multivitamin with DHA. I have never been good at taking pills. Not because I don’t remember just because I feel like I’m going to choke on it, no matter how big or small the pill is and these prenatal vitamins are about an inch long. I knew that it was good for my (eventual) baby and also good for me so I forced them down every morning. It hasn’t become any easier but it HAS become a habit which is great. I’m on my 4th bottle now (they come in a 90 day supply) that I’m in the home stretch of the last couple months and I feel good that this has now become routine enough that I know I can continue taking them after birth while I’m breastfeeding and not have a problem.
Learning to listen to my body
I am generally a person that pushes through aches and pains unless I have an injury (I guess that bodes well for labor? Who knows…) but I have really had to start being more conscious of what I can and cannot physically do with a baby bump. Strangely, the thing that feels the most taxing on my pregnant body is sweeping and mopping (okay, using the Swiffer wet jet, who mops anymore?!) the kitchen floor. Let’s put aside for a moment the fact that this is my most hated household chore, which may be contributing to the physical aversion by using mind games on me. I think it’s just the constant bending over that makes me feel like either my baby is being shaped into a yoga pretzel or my lower back is going to burst into flames from the achiness.
Chris is always willing to help and honestly, I think it’s helping him feel more involved in the pregnancy. That may sound strange, but for a man, there isn’t much involvement with the whole pregnancy thing so he likes to help how and where he can. Whether that’s putting baby stuff together (furniture, strollers) or helping me with the normal household chores, he feels like he is contributing to the whole thing in his own way which is great for both of us.
Anything you moms couldn’t wait for when you were pregnant? Ham??