pregnancy essentials

My Top 5 Third Trimester Pregnancy Essentials

Depending on what your doctor says, the 3rd trimester starts at either 27 or 28 weeks (there is some debate). However, the real slog doesn't seem to really start until about 30 weeks. This seems to be when the exhaustion starts in. If you've known about your pregnancy since very early on (3 or 4 weeks early), you've been excited and mentally preparing for a very long time. By 30 weeks, you're ready to have the freaking baby already... and you're not even full term yet!

In my case, by the time I was 30 weeks, I experienced a few things: none of my shoes fit; none of my tops fit; my back hurt, I had heartburn, I cried all the time, and I just wanted to spend all day eating chicken strips and chocolate cake. Who could blame me? 

When it comes down to it though, my 3rd trimester has been relatively smooth sailing (so far). I have days where my feet aren't bloated (although my carpal tunnel means me hands are pretty permanently puffed up) and I haven't had any pregnancy-related health problems. I'm not plagued by extreme symptoms like some women... but that doesn't make for a "pleasant" 3rd trimester by any means!

Here are my top 5 essential for surviving the last few weeks... and hopefully, the last four.

1. My Kindle

Where would I be without my nightly bath-and-reading session? I'm pretty sure I would have ran away forever by now without having the escape of a good book after a long day at work. Plus, holding a Kindle is much easier on my carpal tunnel plagued wrist than a book. It's lighter and I don't have to worry about turning pages. Win-win. 

2. Camisoles.

Remember that bit about none of my shirts fitting? It's not that they're too small... it's that they have gotten too short. My solution to this problem was long camisoles. I can wear them under tee shirts and sweaters to lengthen them and cover the three inches of belly that sometimes show. I can also wear them plain under cardigans and scarves for a somewhat lighter fall look (since I get overheated super easily these days). My favorites are from Forever 21--and at $1.90 a piece, they are a steal. (They also come in v-neck, which I love as well!) 

3. My "Husband" Pillow.

I don't think the technical name for these pillows is "husband" pillows, but that's what Danny and I call them. I got mine from Target for $14.99 (and you can get it for 10% off with a code!) I use it to prop myself up at night to prevent heartburn, to read in bed, to elevate my feet when they get mega-puffy... It's soft. It's cuddly. I love it. 

4. Faux-Uggs... or Fuggs.

I bought a pair of Faux-Uggs for $15.00 at Wal-Mart. They are two sizes too big and seasonally inappropriate, but I would not have made it through the last few weeks without them. Why? They fit my feet even when they are dramatically swollen. They support my ankles. They are easy to take off and put on. They are extremely comfortable when my feet hurt. They aren't the most attractive option... but at a certain point in pregnancy, you have to give it up and accept whatever you can to be comfortable. 

5. Water Bottles.

I keep a water bottle with me at all times: at work, in the car, at home. I also try to keep one or two extras in my fridge, full of ice and water, for the middle of the night (so I don't have to use the ice maker and wake everyone up). Staying hydrated during pregnancy is insanely important. Basically, most unpleasant pregnancy symptoms (Braxton Hicks, back pain, swollen feet) are given the advice of "drink more water." Drink more water! Drink it! Water has also helped my heartburn in the middle of the night: when I just can't bring myself to eat another Tums, I take a big swig of water... and it calms my heartburn enough to let me sleep. It's the little things. 

Have your own pregnancy essentials? Share with me on Twitter or in the comments below! 

My Pregnancy Essentials

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. 

5. Lotion.

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?