Yay, Spring! Peanut (or DeSean as my MIL calls him ;) is due any day or week now and we’re so excited to meet him! I’ve been feeling really good these last few weeks so I’m taking a little time to reflect on my pregnancy… you know, before life changes forever!!
I have some friends who loved pregnancy and some who really suffered. I guess I’m somewhere in the middle. Every month has gotten better for me! And I wouldn’t want to relive those first 20 weeks. Although I did buy a few items for pregnancy*, I’ve really focused my money and energy on other essentials to support my body and spirit. They will all help postpartum as well!
MY PREGNANCY ESSENTIALS:
1. My Doula: Shannon Padlog. I didn’t know much about doulas and still don’t know their history but Shannon is amazing. I had a really desperate day of morning sickness and thought, hey, there must be a coach for this! I looked on Yelp, Shannon popped up, and we hired her the next week. She’s a birth doula (versus early pregnancy or postpartum) so I haven’t even experienced everything she has to offer. Every step of this journey has been easier with her by my side. I get to go into labor with a really knowledgeable, supportive friend who also happens to have experienced hundreds of births.
2. Thorough Birthing Classes: My hospital offers birthing classes, my doctor’s office does as well but I chose to take them through my doula. There were two other couples and the experience was intense. The first week was so uncomfortable for me (and emotional) that I was wishing for the boring Powerpoint version from the hospital :D Every session got easier and more informative though. I learned so much, went through a journey, and feel incredibly prepared.
3. Pilates: I’ve been doing pilates for years with the meticulous and incredibly talented Caitlin. With the exception of all of the horrible nausea, my body has been mostly pain-free during this journey and I know this work is to thank. I haven’t been super consistent during pregnancy but my fitness beforehand has totally helped my strength and posture.
4. A “Do” Date for my “Due” Date: Shannon has a really good idea to plan something special for your due date since it can be a let down for the 50% of women who haven’t delivered yet. I think Greg might be planning something but I’m doing two things. I bought a travel set of some really nice True Botanicals face oils to use either in the hospital or starting on my due date. I also booked a prenatal massage with the fabulous Anastasia. I’m looking forward to the massage but more importantly, she does postpartum home visits within days of birthing!
5. A Breastfeeding Consultant: Again, this is to help prepare for the first week or two after birthing. The lovely Caroline does a prenatal consultation and then can be on call if and when any issues arrive. She’ll also do home visits days after we get home. It’s nice to already have a relationship with somebody I trust and feel comfortable with. Also, insurance can cover this!
++ Acupuncture: Insurance can also cover acupuncture! I did a number of weeks during morning sickness and I don’t know if it helped. At 36.5 weeks, I started acupuncture at a new clinic to help induce or get my body ready for labor. I see Rachel at Mama Lounge and really look forward to it every week. It’s a sweet space, very modern and clean. Again, I’ve been feeling really good recently and I don’t know if it’s from the acupuncture, but whatever.
Those are the things that have been getting me through this last trimester! My least favorite things about my pregnancy have been: morning sickness; gestational diabetes; digestive changes; the sogginess; and the constant congestion. My favorites have been: not getting any colds or flu; softer skin and hair (seriously, I could only take a shower once a week or so in the beginning and my skin was fine!); my strength and posture (see above ;); falling deeper in love with these two men in my life; and all those smiles from strangers!!
+ *I bought a pregnancy pillow early on (and it did help me get through the first hard months when I went to bed in pain every night) but haven’t used it since. There were also some meds and supplements plus those few clothing items.