Wednesday, September 8, 2010

my pregnancy survival guide

So as "the day" quickly approaches, I decided to write about the things that really got me through this pregnancy. And despite all the moans and groans I've shared throughout this whole thing, I must admit that I really did love being pregnant and think I'll miss it a bit when it's all over. Yes there's a lot about it that was hard to tolerate but most of it was really something else. I loved my round belly, if I was having a crappy day at work she'd somersault around or poke a little foot out, I loved watching my belly move around late at night, I loved lounging on the couch with Marc's hand resting on my huge belly like it was a pillow -- all in all your body does some pretty amazing things and if nothing else, you are never bored.

Anyway, to get me through the less than fun times, the following things really saved my butt:

From the Hips: This book is really the only pregnancy book you should read. Under no circumstances should you go anywhere near "What To Expect When You're Expecting" -- it's the worst book ever! "From the Hips" has lots of real stories from real women and approaches everything frankly and honestly as opposed to WTEWYE which pretty much terrifies you.



Stappj: While my morning sickness was relatively manageable compared to some other pregnant women I know, it still levelled me a few times. Stappj, which is an Italian bitter, did wonders to take the edge off the nausea. You can find it at pretty much any Italian grocery store.

Milk: Now I drink milk by the gallon at the best of times but with this pregnancy, I went through milk like nobody's business. Not only was it often the only thing I wanted to ingest but it also worked wonders on my heartburn. Oh the heartburn...

The Alpha Mom Weekly Pregnancy Calendar: If you're anything like me, you'd likely be desperate to know what's going on in your belly from week to week. These kinds of calendars are super easy to find online but often read like a medical journal and are zero fun. Amalah's calendar is honest, funny and no holds barred which is exactly what I wanted. Marc read them too actually so he could know what this tiny person was up to for the week.

Maxi dresses: Being pregnant during the hottest summer our town has had in 50 years was a challenge. A really, REALLY big friggin challenge. Needless to say, that meant that dresses were a must. For me, my feet and legs swelled up really early on in this pregnancy and showing off my newly puffed up limbs wasn't real high on my list so the maxi dress really was my saving grace. Cool enough for the summer, easy to throw on, it hid all the stuff I wanted to hide and with the right accessories they're easily adaptable for pretty much every occasion.


Pre-Natal Yoga: Of all the things that saved me, my pregnant lady yoga is really high on the list. I learned ways to sit and relax that helped my aching hips, learned ways to get the baby in the right position, learned some tricks for labour etc. But mostly it gave me an hour to just sit and breathe and, cliche as it sounds, really forget all the stress that comes with being a big fat pregnant lady.


Swimming: Whoever invented swimming should be given some kind of really big prize. Best. Thing. Ever.


Walking: I tried to walk as much as I could and surprisingly, walked to and from work right up until I was 39 weeks along. I even managed to hike through most of it -- I think we took our last hike when I was 7.5 months pregnant. Even though some days are harder than others and some walks feel like the worst idea ever, I really think they work wonders on your hips. Just keep an eye on the crazy swelling - after a walk my feet would balloon up like mad.

President's Choice De-Alcoholized Beer: Again, being pregnant during the hottest summer on record made me really miss icy cold summer cocktails and chilled beer. Thankfully one night Marc came home with some fake beer for me and my summer changed. The small pleasure of being able to crack a "beer" alongside Marc on a hot summer night did not go unnoticed.

Birkenstocks: Never in my life did I think I'd be going on about Birkenstocks on this blog. They are ugly, totally uncool, certainly not pretty or cute in any way but sadly, they became the only shoes my ultra-swollen feet could tolerate. They're crazy comfortable and soft and my feet were finally able to tolerate more than 20 minutes of walking. So my feet were happy but still totally ugly and uncool.