When I first found out I was pregnant in October 2010, I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. Then, what I like to call "Pregnancy Anti-Social-itis" set in with the morning sickness, and I did not want anyone to know. This was my first pregnancy and none of anyone's business-- thus, the 4 or 5 total pregnancy posts (ok, more like 8). E was getting the brunt of my venting, baby name obsessing and pregnancy rage and I didn't feel like airing my crazy to the world (you're welcome). But there are things I wish I did differently. Here they are:
5 Things I would do differently for my next pregnancy:
1. Take a belly picture every week, starting the week I find out I'm pregnant: If you were to look in my pictures folder on the computer for my last pregnancy, there were maybe 8 weeks I took belly pictures. I just didn't have much motivation when I was exhausted, constantly nauseated, and the baby bump didn't show up until I was over half-way through. Let's face it... this is not a belly bump. I carried really low and the baby belly didn't "pop" until 24 weeks. I just looked like I was "letting myself go", as one person I know so lovingly put it. But I wish I had a weekly picture (preferably in the same clothes) just to document the small changes.
2. Keep a Pregnancy Journal: I didn't order my pregnancy journal for Isla until she was about 3 months. And it's still sitting next to my bed, ready to be filled with memories I know I won't be able to remember. Of course, I also have a mostly empty baby book that's waiting to be filled as well. Maybe I am becoming more like my mother every day, with picture projects piling up that will never be finished. (I really will get to it, I swear). But it would have been a whole lot easier to just write in a pregnancy journal once a week. You can get great books on Amazon full of writing prompts to help you document your journey. I bought The Belly Book and even though I haven't used it yet, I love how it is set up. I like to reminisce on my last pregnancy and I know Isla will like to read about it when she's older.
3. Prenatal yoga to soothe sore muscles & keep my pregnancy rage at bay: Am I the only woman that turns into a rage monster while pregnant? (A quick Google search proved me wrong. IT'S NOT JUST ME...!!!) I am normally pretty calm. But Pregnant Tracie is decidedly NOT. Cut me off? Tailgating my car? Turning without using your blinkers? E coming home five minutes later than he told me? Being late to anything? Say something to me in the perceived wrong tone? Watch out, world. You don't want to mess with Pregnant-y Rage-y Tracie. Yoga & meditation definitely would have helped. It also increases flexibility and soothed my hurting hips. I prefer classes where a teacher can correct your poses and help you move deeper into them, but this and this and this are good substitutes if you can't find a good class near you. Crunch Yoga Mama (first link) was my favorite after my belly started getting in the way.
4. Daily arm & leg toning exercises- no longer than ten minutes- to help with labor & delivery: I was an exercise FIEND in my second trimester. I had so much energy and was swimming up to a mile and a half three times a week. But once my blood pressure dropped for my third trimester, my doctor told me to cut back on the exercise-- I took him a little bit too literally and sat on my pregnant bum for the next 2.5 months (any excuse to sit and watch Netflix!). I couldn't do CARDIO anymore... but I definitely could do 10 squats, 3 times a day. Or lift my 10-lb weights for 3 sets. The pushing part of labor & delivery was a LOT more strenuous than I anticipated. And my body tired out earlier than it would have if I kept up with little exercises once a day.
5. Wait 20 minutes when intense cravings come: I did not expect the cravings to be so all-consuming. They mostly happened while I was at work, and I would take a break and go get Subway (turkey on wheat w/ all the veggies & red wine vinaigrette! Toasted, of course.) But I noticed when I waited at least 20 minutes, the cravings usually went away. And that helped me keep my weight gain in check, something I was pretty fanatical about during my entire pregnancy. And if the craving DIDN'T go away... well, I definitely caved in and got it. (Four months straight of PB&J's and ice-cream cones, anyone?)
Good ideas in theory, but I have a bad feeling I will be too tired and/or sick to care to follow #3-5 next time. What would YOU do differently?
Read what Jessica from The Morning Letters had to say here!
Read what Mary from Twisted Lemon had to say here!