A handy guide on what you’ll need for surviving your pregnancy:
- A pregnancy pillow. As you get bigger, sleeping becomes more and more uncomfortable and you might need some belly support. These pillows also help for breastfeeding and for creating a blockade so that your partner can’t roll into your space in the middle of the night. Believe me, when you’re hot and tender, you don’t want anything touching you.
- Woolworths’ male, seamless tight boxers. They hold in your stomach whilst not pressing on it and pull in your burgeoning thighs. Great for under a dress and for just giving your tummy a bit of support.
- Vitamins. Get your daily vitamins and minerals in and give your baby a kickstart. With most of your nutrients being sucked up by baba, your body will need the extra assistance.
- Fruit teas. With caffeine being such an issue and the prospect of plain water becoming a hated word, fruit teas have been everything to me.
- Bigger bras. You’re gonna have to get a bigger bra unless you like the feeling of cramming your breasts into what feels like the crop top of a Barbie doll.
- Squats. Get that bum and legs tight my friends and don’t forget your pelvic floor exercises. A fitter body means an easier recovery after labor and, generally, an easier labor…which sounds like a total oxymoron.
- Skin-tightening body cream. Stretch marks are going to happen and whilst many doctors say that there is no fix, it doesn’t mean you can’t try. You’ll also get considerably itchy as the months move on so go nuts with the cream because no one wants to feel like they have fleas.
- A good beauty routine. As I am no longer able to control the expansion of my waist, stomach and thighs, the one thing I can have some say over is how my skin looks and feels and it’s nice to be able to pamper myself a bit.
I’ve been blessed with lovely skin throughout my pregnancy and I’m really taking extra care of it. I’ve invested in anti-aging night creams and serums because with the lack of sleep, I don’t want to look like the zombie I feel.
From your second trimester on wards, your skin becomes more sensitive to burning so I slather on the factor 50 and am careful about how much time my bump spends in the heat.
I’ve bought new nail varnishes because pretty toes make me smile and from 30 weeks on I know I’m going to struggle to do anything that involves bending over.
I have 3 lovely new perfumes that I spritz all over myself to smell fabulous and to feel more royalty than troll under the bridge.
- A slimming mirror. Unless you were previously a Skinny Minny and now carry like you’ve just had one too many cream eggs, you’re gonna have horrid fat, flabby days when nothing in your wardrobe looks right and you won’t want to go to the shops because a) you have nothing to wear to get there and b) you refuse to buy a tent.
I have a mirror that gives me the illusion of looking half decent. But then I must never look in a changing room mirror because then the spell is broken and I turn into a pumpkin.
- A good sense of humour. And here is where I am lacking. Some days are better than others but I’m at that stage where I can no longer hide my disdain for people who make crappy jokes. My facial muscles don’t allow me to smile when someone makes a comment about me being round or does a poorly executed impression of me walking -and it’s usually men. Men are really annoying when it comes to pregnancy and I do advocate the use of sarcasm and Shakespearean put-downs when having to deal with them. My favorite is “Out, you baggage! You tallow face!”
Mr H is very good at fake laughing with them and then gently, but firmly, holding my fists back.
You’ll also need to laugh at 3 am when you’ve just been for your 14th wee of the night or, when you’re trying to wash dishes and you realize that you’re having to stand further and further away from the sink. Good excuse not to wash up I say.
- Good friends. Don’t expect all your friends, even your close ones, to erupt in the same joyous merriment as you. Having a baby will inevitably change things and some people just don’t like kids. I’m one of them. Seriously, I really struggle to enjoy other people’s children. I’m so weird. And terrible. Anyway…
Seeing close friends distance themselves from you because you’re starting a family is horrible but rather they do it sooner than later. I think a re-shuffle of your friendship circle will happen more if you’re a younger couple as your choice of weekend and evening activities becomes more restrictive and you will start to align yourself with different wants and needs – it will definitely shine a light on those who really cherish you and I have found that my childless friends have been the most supportive.
I have a brilliant business partner who is so baby-orientated that if she could, she’d probably try and carry this child for me. I have girls I’ve met and gotten close to from foodie events who always say the right thing and always seem to be excited when I accidentally gush about my baby.
And then there have been those who will never ask you how you’re doing or how your baby is and that’s okay too. I promise.
- PATIENCE. 41 weeks is a looooong time. I’m now 6 months and I’m feeling the itch. I’m getting jittery and impatient which is really not cool considering I have 15 weeks to go.
You’ll also need patience with those around you and with your husband because how is he to know that your body really needs that tub of ice cream for breakfast or that you’re feeling particularly murderous today so he probably shouldn’t make any comments.
- Humility. I am currently struggling, really struggling, with the lack of control; some foods are banned, wine is banned, certain exercises are banned and my body has given me the finger and is letting everything get rounder and softer sort of like sponge cake.
I don’t like being kicked in the bladder from the inside and nor do I enjoy having to sleep only on my side. But this all does, and must, pale in significance when up against the gift and blessing that is having a baby. With so many people struggling to conceive, who am I to complain about not getting a measly glass of wine when I have a princess to meet.
This is not to say that you can’t utter a single word of annoyance, venting is good and we don’t want you blowing up with frustration. I just have to be mindful of where my perspective is.
Anything you think I have missed?