My Pregnancy Essentials

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 belly from six to nine months!)

(my belly from six to nine months!)

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.