Someday, I'll have something to write about that isn't pregnancy related. I swore I wasn't going to be one of those annoying pregnant women who only talk about being pregnant--but it's weird how all-encompassing pregnancy can become, even right from the beginning. If you're sick, there is no escaping the fact that you're pregnant. Once you start to show, the gig is really up: your mobility is effected, as is your body chemistry and more.
I meant to write this post earlier, but I'm glad I procrastinated on it. There are many things that people will claim are "essential" to pregnancy (and that some people never use once). That's because nearly every pregnancy is different: what works for some women doesn't work for others. Some women never have to buy maternity clothes; some need them starting in the first trimester. I could list examples for ages. You don't really know what you'll need until you, well, need it, but I found a lot of value it learning what other people used to help them through. Here are just a few things I wouldn't have made it through the last 23 weeks without*.
(*I will be writing an updated list, probably, once Forrest is born.)
1. A heating pad.
From about 11 weeks to 16 weeks, I had the worst lower back lumbar pain. At first, I thought it was that terrifying back pain they tell you to watch for if you're having spotting and/or bleeding... but it wasn't. It lasted for about the same length of time as my morning sickness: let me tell you, it was super fun to have the two combined! My back perpetually ached as if I'd moved houses every single day, but a heating pad helped immensely. Recently, my back pain has returned, this time in a different spot (mid-back) thanks to pressure from Forrest. So my heating pad has made a return. I got mine at Target for $25 and it has truly the ugliest mossy green cover slip (that is terribly matted now), but I could really care less: I love it and refuse to part with it. I take it everywhere.
2. B12 supplements.
Note: If you're pregnant, please don't just start taking B12 if you're pregnant; talk to your doctor first. That goes with any vitamin or medication suggested by any blog post like this one!
I used B12 in combination with Unisom to help my morning sickness. I really do not know how I could have made it through without it. Originally, my doctor prescribed me Diclegis, which is basically a single-tablet version that combines the active ingredients of both B12 and Unisom. However, my insurance didn't cover it (and it's about $600 for 30 days worth), so I survived on samples until the 25mg B12 I'd ordered from Amazon arrived. For me, it was the simplest way to handle my morning sickness... and the Unisom helped with my insomnia.
3. New underwear.
As I've mentioned before, certain waistbands grew to be really uncomfortable to me. Anything that hits at a certain spot presses on my bladder and/or encourages Forrest to kick incessantly at that area. Early on, I had to resort to new types of underwear to keep myself comfortable. I really like Victoria's Secret "shortie panty" (basically, high-waisted boy shorts). I also really like Aerie's "girly shorts". Both brands are incredible comfortable and hit just high enough to avoid that uncomfortable bladder spot; also, their waistbands aren't binding, so they don't get in and cause muffin top or just general discomfort.
4. Sun protection of all kinds.
"Your skin reacts to the sun so differently when you're pregnant!" I read that sentence, in a hundred different ways, multiple times early in my pregnancy and I really didn't believe it. Then I got a sunburn. Firstly, I got sunburned on a part of my skin that A. was not really showing and B. I had definitely put sunscreen son. Secondly, the sunburn lasted, bright red and ugly, for two weeks. Only recently has my skin started to fade to a slight tan-ish color; I'm hoping it disappears soon. So now I cover myself in a coat of sunscreen right out of the shower if I know I'm going to be outside for any length of time; I carry a little bottle of sunscreen everywhere; and I try my best to stay in the shade even if I am outside. It's been so hot lately that I can't really bother with wearing long sleeves or long pants, but I do try to find ways to keep my skin protected. Because that two-week sunburn really sucked.
Along with sunburns, my skin has been incredibly dry since around 11 weeks. This is really strange for me as I typically have very oily (facial) skin and I've never really had to bother with having to put lotion on my arms and legs. I often did just for fun, however. I've used almost an entire jar of Burt's Bee Mama Bee Butter, as well as nearly half a brand new bottle of Bath & Body Works lotion. Everyday I use more lotion than I have probably used in the average week and a half pre-pregnancy.
6. Bullet journaling.
I don't mention this very often, but I use bullet journaling at work to keep my deadlines and to do lists straight. I have used two Moleskine notebooks in a year of work and I'm on my third now. With pregnancy, my previously amazing memory disappeared; if I don't write down a task or something someone tells me, I will almost always forget it within 10 minutes... sometimes when they are still in the same room! Obviously, that's embarrassing. I'm really glad I got into the habit of bullet journaling pre-pregnancy because it's been a lifesaver with remembering tasks at work (not that there have not been some slip ups). Everyone bullet journals a little bit differently, so here is a search on Pinterest. Maybe someday I'll write a post on how I bullet journal, but alas... not today. (Mainly, I don't use fancy symbols for my to do lists; that is way too much work!)
A few examples of things I didn't need or use: body pillows; a belly band; those morning sickness lollipops (they cut up your mouth); Seabands; and baby apps (although I downloaded a ton of them).
Fellow pregnant ladies & mommas, what were your pregnancy essentials?