Everyone’s journey of pregnancy is different, and indeed, even the same mama can experience pregnancy differently with different children. There are many stereotypes of pregnancy: discomfort, irritability, nesting instinct, frequency of bathroom use, breakout, hair thickening, breast swelling, leg swelling, feet swelling, nausea, smell sensitivity, and the list goes on. Your particular body goes through its own cycle of hormonal increase during pregnancy so some of the aforementioned may pertain to you, and others may not.
Five things that may change when you’re pregnant, and that did for me this time (who can remember last time?) around:
1) Procrastination habits change.
God willing, your little baby will come into your family after a long (and short) 40 weeks, That means at some point you have to get the baby’s space ready, have some clothing purchased for him or her, have your little nest prepared, and face that long list of “must-do’s” before the fateful day! I wrote about pre-preparing for baby number 2 a while ago, and should probably face my real preparing now that I’m in the third trimester.
Even though you’re busy at work, trying to get the rest of your life in order, don’t neglect the home front on a physical or metaphysical level. Stop procrastinating on projects because when you have an infant, they are almost impossible to finish. You have neither the impetus, nor care about that back hall closet that needs to be sorted through. Also, prepare your relationship or family for a new member. Invest lots of time with your partner tackling things together. Read together (suggested short list, long list, and how to involve him more here), spend precious time being goofy and having fun together! Make deposits in the love bank, as it were. Soak up all those moments with your other child or children. I’m loving every minute of SuperBoy’s toddlerhood as an only child for these last few months of it.
Why does God curse us with insomnia during pregnancy, especially at the end? Well, before you blame the Creator, remember that your pear-sized uterus becomes a beach ball. Then squishes all your internal organs and sits right atop your bladder. So those midnight, 2am, or 4am trips to the bathroom are biologically sound. And perhaps it is to prep us for that little beautiful gift of a child that will never allow you to have pre-baby sleep patterns again. My insomnia this week has been paired with SuperBoy having RSV and the rest of us having the adult version of a bad cold, so when I wake up unnecessarily, I really curse the sleep gods, and my bladder.
3) Stretching body pain.
When you feel a jabbing brief pain in your hip flexor area, you think, is this labor?? Is the baby okay? If it’s sustained and terrible, or accompanied by bleeding or other fluid leakage, call your doctor or midwife. But if it’s like a bad side cramp from those days on the junior high track team, it’s probably your round ligaments down there stretching and making room for baby’s growth. Ligaments connect bone to bone and are pretty stretchy and amazing tissue. The round ligaments connect the front part of the uterus to the groin, hence the jabbing pain down there, typically during your second trimester. Quick movements that cause these to contract unexpectedly can cause the pain.
Massage can help, yoga stretches can help, and rest can help (not like you have all this “rest” time in your daily allocation of time, but do try).
4) Laugh, sneeze, piddle.
If you’ve been pregnant, you know what I’m talking about. Just keep those kegel exercises handy if you’re going to laugh suddenly or sneeze. Either that, or prepare yourself for a quick run to the loo. The title says it all . . . .
5) Insatiable food cravings.
I want Thai, no, Persian, no, eggs. Many women go through the I-want-food-but-don’t-know-what-but-I-need-it-right-now stage of pregnancy. For me, the all day nausea slightly mitigated by Zofran makes food unappealing in totum. However, now that I’m almost 30 weeks, I do have these insatiable food cravings. It’s like I’m starving but sitting pretty with a wad of cash at the Minnesota State Fair and can eat any of the 10,000 items that I want. But how to choose?
Word of advice on this from my mother (veteran of 5 pregnancies): start with water, as you may be dehydrated. Then examine the contents of your own fridge, cupboard, and pantry. Don’t forget the freezer where that delicious comfort ice cream may be hiding. Start small and eat little portions of nuts, fruit, or crackers while you decide what you really want. Don’t get half-way through chicken kiev to discover you hate hate hate chicken with a passion. If this happens, that’s okay too. Then if nothing looks or tastes good, call your mother and have her bring you your favorite take out. 🙂