This Is and Is Not My Fantasy Pregnancy: all at the same time.

In bed all day that day

I’ve been vacillating on what this next blog should be about. Should I write about my new favorite this or that? Or should I share with you a couple new books I’m reading about newborn care? (I will don’t worry). Or, should I take a risk and do what feels really uncomfortable to do, which is write about how I’ve been feeling and perhaps share my reality to possibly help you with yours? Yes, that. So, here goes…

I’d like to dedicate this blog to a concept a friend shared with me years ago about being “mindful” and being able to be both really one thing and also really something else, all at the same time. Part of being mindful is accepting that it’s okay to be all the things you are at this moment, and there’s peace in that. I can be in bed with a migraine for 4 days straight and also so happy and grateful to be blessed with this pregnancy. I am all of the emotions and feelings in both of these things, all at once, with out judgment and that is okay. (And there’s my migraine selfie to the left from the other day).

Often times we feel we are only allowed to be all one thing. For ex. I’m pregnant and it’s this one thing I’ve dreamed about my whole life: becoming a mom some day and now I’m actually doing it. So, I think I should be grateful, elated, happy and bursting with joy all day and night. I do feel all those things in my heart and soul, but my pregnancy has not been an easy one. I often feel pretty horrible every single day. At 19 weeks pregnant now, I’ve not felt well for one day since about week 5 or so. Does that mean I am not SO happy to be pregnant? Not at all. In fact, ask my husband, on my hardest of days, in his hour of concern for me and feeling so bad for how I’m feeling, he asked me how I may be able to do this again if I have a similar pregnancy and with this little one running around? My answer to him with out blinking or taking a breathe was, “I’ll do this again. We’ll work it out.” Because I know that I will do this again because I do want more than one child and I know we will work it out. Whatever that means at the time, just like we are now. My desire to be a mother is greater than my need to feel wonderful for 9-10 months of my life. I can handle it because I am so grateful, blessed and happy to be this lucky to have my dream come true.

Each pregnancy is different. The one of my dreams was amazing. I had that “glow” about me…had tons of energy and felt very earth-mama-connected-zen-ed out-peaceful and full of life. The one in my dreams, man, it was awesome. Many women get to have that kind of pregnancy and they feel amazing the whole time. If this is you- you’re so lucky! Enjoy it! Many women (like me as it turns out) don’t have the easiest time. There can be issues with morning (or all day) sickness, headaches, fatigue, constipation, Thyroid issues, Anemia, dizziness and much more. Some women even have to be on bed rest (God forbid). For me, I was nauseous all night and day until about week 13-14 on top of daily headaches which at times turned into migraines. Sometimes those migraines would last for days and nights at a time. There were several days where getting into the shower, walking the dog, doing an errand, felt like a small feat. I have chosen not to take drugs as much as I can control during my pregnancy so, despite being told by my OB that Tylenol is “pregnancy safe” I only took it one time this whole time. (This is a personal choice and not for everyone).

The books and blogs say that if you’re suffering in your first trimester you’ll probably see the clouds part in the second one. You’ll miraculously feel a surge of energy, all your issues will subside and you’ll experience the “honeymoon” period of pregnancy. Well, around week 14 and my second trimester my nausea went away which was wonderful however, the headaches did not. In fact around week 16 they reared back up again and it was so bad that I wasn’t able to fly to my Grandmother’s funeral this past week because of it.

So, what now? Nothing. I just keep taking it one day at a time. I wake up and feel my growing belly and talk to my little girl in there (who is now fluttering around and dancing a bit- she get’s it from her mama). I tell her I love her, her father loves her, her grandparents and aunts and uncles love her. I tell her everything is going to be okay. I’m telling that to myself too. It can be scary to feel bad during pregnancy. It’s important to try to keep calm and peaceful and not let the worry or stress of feeling bad overcome you. So each day, I check and and see what I can do to try to work with what needs to be done that day and how I’m feeling. Then, I just do the best I can and make smart, safe choices all day with what I eat, what I do and do not do, for this baby I’m in charge of.

If you are having a hard pregnancy, it’s okay. The light isn’t at the end of the tunnel, it’s inside you, growing there, so let it shine from the inside out and be okay with it all. You can be upset about being in pain, exhausted from struggling through headaches and nausea all day AND also filled with the love and light inside you, for and around your baby. Shine on, even if it’s from the couch.

Note: If you’re suffering from headaches and don’t want to take Tylenol here are some tips and tricks I’ve found that can help:

-Drink tons of water

-Try small doses of caffeine

-Try some sugar (in my case fruit didn’t cut it, I had to actually eat some real refined sugar or chocolate which is sugar and caffeine).

-Move slowly. Getting up and down fast can cause your headache to pound more. Don’t forget your blood volume has increased by 50% and so this could also be why you’re having these issues. Move slowly honey…don’t have to rush, it helps.

-Listen to your body! If you’re body says to lay down, go lay down. If your body says to eat, go eat. If a long hot bath sounds like it may calm your nerves, go run one.

-Get a pregnancy massage by someone trained in prenatal massage. It can help relax and relive some of the pressure. 

-Try acupuncture with someone trained to work on pregnant women. It can help. 

 

 

 

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Bring On The Stretching But Not The Stretch Marks!

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I’ve been asked many times what I’m doing to protect against stretch marks. Well first of all we should all understand that there’s only so much you can do to protect your skin from getting stretch marks because much of this will depend on your genetics. Chances are if your mom got them you might be prone to them too. That said there is no reason not to try with all your might to avoid them. One of the things that will most certainly help is not to gain too much weight too fast. It’s important to have a steady weight gain while pregnant and that will not only be healthy for you and baby but also it will allow your skin to stretch slowly. Other than that all I can say is lube it up!!! (Not that kind of lube)!

Here’s what I’m obsessed with and using diligently every day!

#1 Coconut Oil

If you’re like me and have sensitive skin you will love coconut oil. It’s SO calming to the skin, feels luxurious going on and lasts the whole day or night. I also put some in my hair before bed too as a conditioning treatment if I’m going to wash my hair in the morning. I’m loving the coconut oil from head to toe! Note #1: When you’re rubbing it on your body, make sure to really take your time with it and even it out everywhere. Get all the areas you can think of- it’s totally safe for the entire body. My husband always comments on how amazing I smell after I’ve had my coconut oil moment. Note #2: For sensitive/painful nipples this works wonders and my friends who are nursing tell me this is so helpful on nipples when nursing so I’m happy to share that with you although I’m not there yet! Soon enough!

The benefits of coconut oil go on and on it’s good for your insides and your outsides. I have some in the kitchen to cook with and some that’s in the bathroom for my moments of massaging my growing baby belly and body. Ladies, it’s nice to use that time to talk to your baby, embrace your new body and all the changes happening to you. Let go of any stress or concerns you’re feeling. Use the massage time to focus on loving yourself and that beautiful baby you’re growing inside. Lately when I do this, I can feel her flutter around and it’s just the most amazing thing. They respond to touch, sound and love even now.

#2 Mama Mio Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Butter

I did a ton of research when I found out I was pregnant to figure out which cream or lotion or potion I should use to avoid stretch marks. This is something I decided to start a regular daily regime with right away and before my belly even started to grow. Clearly I’m taking this quite seriously. I also realize that despite my efforts, I might get stretch marks anyway and if I do- I will embrace them because I got them from making our child inside my body. Buuuuuut….I’m doing all I can do avoid. So, Mama Mio Tummy Rub by far got the best reviews out there. I’ve been using it this entire time and I do just love it. As you can see with #1 I am using coconut oil as well. So what I do is I use the coconut oil all over and the Mama Mio Tummy Rub only around my belly and hips. It feels and smells wonderful and I plan to continue this all the way through and then when I’m on the other side and trying to get my body back.

#3 Mama Mio Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Oil

This oil is awesome but it also feels a bit more like oil than let’s say, the coconut oil I’m using. So, I have used this sparingly and only when I feel my skin is itchy (which will happen as your skin is stretching) or dry. I have a feeling as I start to stretch more and grow more I will add this oil into the mix even more and probably only on “problem areas” such as oh let’s see….my belly! Oh shoot I can’t call that area a “problem!” You know what I mean!

The bottom line on avoiding stretch marks is to try your best but also embrace reality. If you get them, you get them and you can wear em’ like a badge of mama honor and love them when you look at the smiling face of the baby you carried. Also, if you’re like me and you love being naked a little coconut and tummy rub secret- it makes your body look quite stunning right after massage time. And hey- if I do get stretch marks I’ll still dance around and want to enjoy being naked with those puppies on my body. I’ll be a mom and that’s frickin’ sexy! Own it ladies! Use these moments to love and embrace what’s going on. It’s beautiful, it’s a miracle and it can be sexy as hell if you let it be baby.