Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Lessons from the 2nd Trimester

About 3 months ago I posted a list of lessons that I learned from my 1st trimester of pregnancy. It was a list of things I found helpful, and perhaps could help someone else during their pregnancy.

Well, the 3rd trimester has arrived and so I thought it was time to do a recap of the 2nd trimester, and pass on a few tips.

I hope they're helpful.

1. Therapedic™ Grand 3" Luxury Quilted Memory Foam Queen Mattress Topper This is my #1 piece of advice and one which you should not ignore. It is amazing. It is life changing. Buy it now. Even if you're not pregnant, male or female, you need one. It is 3 inches of the most amazing Therapedic foam you will ever experience. I am unsure how I made it for 28 years without it. It is worth every penny. Do not skimp and buy a cheaper one. Bed Bath and Beyond has 20% off coupons all the time, find one, buy this. Immediately.

You cannot sleep on your back after your 1st trimester as the weight of your growing uterus puts pressure on your vena cava. The pressure can cut off blood flow to you and your baby. Not good. However, sleeping on ones side...not comfortable. Your hips hurt, your shoulders hurt, your arms fall asleep. It's bad.

This is the answer. Thank me later.

2. This tip relates to the previous, so perhaps it should be #1 a., but we'll call it #2. A plain, simple, body pillow. They sell all kinds of maternity pillows, but for me, the $9.99 body pillow was the answer. I love this.

3. Always keep snacks with you. Husbands, always keep snacks for your wives. If she starts acting strange, irrational, exhausted, unable to put together coherent sentences, feed her. I had a hard time adjusting to a new eating schedule. It has helped me to eat small meals about 2-3 hours apart.  Keep snacks with you. Normal, every day hunger, pre-pregnancy, becomes all out rage/tears/exhaustion while pregnant. So, keep some little snacks with you so your blood sugar doesn't drop. And so you keep your friends.

I had a moment this past weekend where I had not eaten in WAY too long. Fortunately, I have amazing friends, who know me well, and understood the problem. So, instead of questioning my sanity or fighting with me, they found the fastest possible way to get me to a meal. And then forgave my moments of hunger insanity. However, you may not be around such compassionate company. Feed yourself often.

4. Drink a lot of water. Experts recommend Eight, 8-Ounce glasses of water per day while pregnant. Drink at least 8. And mix in a Gatorade if it's hot outside.  Really, really focus on drinking a lot of water. It will also help your gastrointestinal issues which you may experience. To put it politely.

5. So about those gastrointestinal issues, eat fiber. Lots of it. Fruits, veggies, fiber-rich cereal, whatever you need to do. Turns out pregnancy does some very interesting things to your insides. Consume fiber.

6. Air Travel. I traveled a lot throughout my pregnancy and was not comfortable with the full body scanners while pregnant. There are mixed reports on the safety of these scanners and while almost all research points to their safety, I personally, just wasn't comfortable. Everyone has the right to request a pat-down instead of the scanners, so for my first few flights, I opted for the pat down.

Then, I realized one interesting thing. Most airports have one line without the full body scanners. They are quite expensive, and they have not purchased them for every single line. So, if you are in a hurry, or don't want a pat down, just look for the line with the metal detector only, and no full body scanner. It saves you time, and an argument with TSA about the safety of the scanner. Most of the time they were beyond kind, but there were a few instances where the TSA agents thought it was appropriate to argue with me and my request to avoid the scanner.

7. Go to the dentist. Pregnancy puts you at increased risk for periodontal disease and bloody gums. It is most important at this time to care for your teeth. So do it, go to the dentist.

8. Whatever you are feeling, it is normal. I promise. You are going to go through some crazy emotions. I have cried at nearly every commercial during the Olympics. I was teary eyed when I arrived home last night and found that my dad dropped off some of his old tee shirts for me to wear to sleep because I thought it was so sweet. I had a melt down last week because I was, "bored with pregnancy". These are normal feelings. Well, I'm not a psychiatrist, but I think they are. So let's go with that.

9. Work out. I mean, this is a tip for life, but especially for pregnancy. So far, I still feel really great and I would say it's largely attributable to working out. Walk, bike, swim, do whatever you enjoy, but stay active. Your body goes through some very strange changes, and they are only made more difficult if you do not move. I know it's the last thing you're going to want to do, but do it.

10. Try to laugh. Pray that your husband has an excellent sense of humor. Crazy hormones are surging through your body, a little person is jabbing their hands, feet, head etc...into your belly, your body is growing every single day, people are making strange comments to you, strangers are grabbing your belly. You just have to laugh. It's essential. Don't take things to seriously.

*When the lady at the bakery grabs your belly and starts talking to it, just laugh it off.
*When you find yourself laying on the floor of your bedroom, too tired to shower, too tired to eat, and too hungry to sleep, just laugh.
*When you think it's perfectly normal to serve tater-tots and smoothies for dinner...laugh, and then go find more normal food.
*When you suddenly realize at midnight, you have spent the last 5 years spoiling and ruining your dogs past the point of training and remember that you are bringing an infant into their lives...just laugh. And then make a plan to fix that problem. But keep laughing.
*When you decide at 2:00pm on a workday, 4 months before your due date, that you do not have a plan for furniture assembly/delivery after the baby is born (more on this topic at a later date), and then email your best friends giving them very specific duties for getting the baby room together. Then, creating a room assembly itinerary and assigning duties along with a call tree to tell when your duty is complete. Just laugh.

It's really not worth being upset, stressed or scared. Well actually, it really is. So be all of those things too, but mostly, try to maintain your sense of humor. It really does help.

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