So here I am at 31 weeks! Be glad I didn't pull my shirt up and show you my oh so sexy GIANT waist band on my pants. There is nothing better than feeling like a geriatric with your pants under your boobs! A preview of topics for this upcoming week. Bassinets versus Pack and Plays and Maternity Clothes. Please keep reading and tell your friends!
Friends have always been a very important part of my life. One of the greatest compliments I ever received was from one of my friends. She said, “One thing about Amy, she is a great friend.” In order to have good friends you have to be one yourself. Friends are a necessary part of life, they gossiped with you during high school, held your hair back during college, took road trips when you were in your mid twenties and saw you through every bad hair do and decision.
No matter your age if this is your first pregnancy, you better have a friend that has gone through it first. If you don’t have a friend that has taken this leap, then go find one somewhere! Thank goodness the majority of my friends have all taken the plunge. I have many friends all who have their own fabulous characteristics. I have three main friends who have seen me through this pregnancy thus far. They were the first to know about my unexpected miracle. I refer to them as my general council. I have been friends with each of them for more than 17 years, and pray for at least another 60 years with them.
I have given each of them a descriptive name out of respect for their privacy. My first friend, I will call her Sophia Petrillo. She is a tell it like it is kind of girl who is always good for a laugh. She is the one you want to go shopping with when you want honesty and not flattery. Once my roommate, Sophia is also one of the most giving and best friends. When I realized that I was “late” I called her and headed to her house. She thought it was hilarious that I might be pregnant. I peed in a cup and left her in the bathroom playing scientist with a dozen pregnancy tests. When she came out laughing saying they all were positive I called my other two friends to tell them the news.
Laura Croft was at a major college football game and couldn’t hear me. I was screaming into the phone, “I’M PREGNANT!!!!!!” Laura is physically fit. Two months after her son she was back in her size 4’s (skank!) Since her baby she has turned into Super Mom. She called me back when she could hear and thought I was playing a joke. I had to swear on my life that I was telling the truth. Our friendship has been through a lot and I have so many hysterical memories with her I could write a book.
The last member of my general council is Claire Huxtable. She is smart and a wonderful mother of 2. She and I have many memories together as well. Most of which involve tequila and Shaina Twain (her good CD) She also thought I was joking when I told her I was pregnant. Funny how no one believed me.
These three friends have been my advisers from the moment I found out I was pregnant. My Mother and sister have also been great support. My sister’s kids are 16 and 18, so she has been out of the baby game for a while but not nearly as long as my mom. Mom’s are great but if they are anything like mine they constantly repeat, “They didn’t have all of this when you were born” and “You don’t need that, I never used that with you”.
The bottom line is when you find out you are pregnant you need people around you. People that love and support you. People that will give you their old baby stuff, tell you realistically what you need and what you don’t and people that will lie and tell you, you don’t look big in that!
When I found out that I was pregnant I was due for a hair appointment. Having dark hair, my "natural blonds" (for those of you who don't know that is a better word for gray hair) were beginning to show. I had always heard that you couldn’t get your hair colored while pregnant. This was detrimental to me because, if I don’t color my hair I start looking like my Mother. Not that my Mother is not beautiful, but looking like your Mother means you look old. (Sorry Mom)
I spoke with one of my good friends who is a hair dresser, and she said that was an old rule that women followed in the 70’s and 80’s. Mothers didn’t follow anything in the 50’s and 60’s, drinking and smoking while pregnant were the norm back then so no one was thinking about the effects of bleach and ammonia on an unborn fetus. Today the hair colors produced have lower levels of these ingredients so they are safer. There are also some all natural hair colors that don’t contain these ingredients but are not permanent.
If you google “hair color while pregnant”, thousands of websites are prompted. Although, I didn’t read all of them (OK I looked at 3) the general consensus was that it is safe. Talk with your doctor. Some doctors will tell you, as mine did, to wait until you are through your first trimester then take care of your “natural blonds”.
Here is a quote from Pregnancy Dos and Dont's by Elisabeth Aron, M.D., “If you chose to dye your hair while pregnant, consider using the shortest possible time of exposure to the chemicals used and waiting until after the first trimester.” (p.92)
If you have a comment or funny story about hair color while pregnant please post it!
Books: There are millions of books on pregnancy, child birth and raising children. What I am concentrating on at the moment is pregnancy (don’t want to get ahead of myself). Everyone always recommends “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”. This book has been around since the turn of the century (ok I exaggerate, but only a bit). Even the girl on the cover looks like she is stuck in a different decade. Don’t get me wrong it is a good book and very informative. My advice is to go to your local library and check out some books you may be interested in buying. That way you won’t be stuck with books you don’t like.
In my opinion, for what it’s worth, the best book is Jenny McCarthy’s “Belly Laughs”. This book is a hilarious look at being pregnant. She is no holds barred on topics such as peeing, constipation and nipple size. The book informative as well as funny and gives you a real expectation on what to expect. Especially, if you were like me and were still trying to figure out how you got pregnant!
Melasma, also known as the pregnancy mask is not something you want to see in the mirror. I have had the privilege of having these dirty little spots on my face since I was 24. I was horrified when my doctor told me they would probably get worse during pregnancy. YIKES! I didn’t do anything the first trimester except cover heavily. My doctor said I could use Tri-Luma every other day once I was in my second trimester. If you do get melasma, talk with your doctor. If it doesn’t look like you have been playing in the dirt (meaning the spots aren’t that dark) then perhaps some of the over the counter products would work.
Weight Gain: This is probably the most dreaded thing about being pregnant. If you are not pregnant my advice is to try to get in to shape BEFORE you get pregnant. I have been practicing yoga for 10 years and started Pilates about 2 years ago. I have been able to keep up my work outs. I am not one of these die hard women, if I can get a workout in great, if not O WELL! An awesome website for workouts is www.wexer.com . This website allows you to view your choice of workouts for free. You can choose the type of workout and the amount of time. Sometimes all you need is a 15 minute workout to….say you worked out and feel good.
I did not get any crazy cravings so far during pregnancy. I am almost 30 weeks. I did eat apples more probably because they were in season in the fall. Make smart choices when eating. Watch your portion sizes and sodium intake. Remember everything you eat your baby eats too!
I haven't had any problems with swelling...yet but will keep you posted. Hopefully, I won't have any problems. I am drinking a lot of water and watching my sodium intake.
If you have any comments about any of these topics please let us know.
So after coming to grips with the fact that I was pregnant, the first thing I thought was how is this going to affect me?! Being a slightly vain (ok really vain) person I thought about stretch marks, weight gain, melasma (discoloration of the skin), swelling of my feet (not being able to wear my 3” heels) and what I could do about preventing them.
Stretch marks: There are many lotions, oils, and potions that claim to prevent stretch marks. A few friends told me about some of these products one of which was Clarins Body Treatment Oil. This 3.4 ounce bottle cost me almost $60. I was also told to buy Mustela lotion, but decided to get Palmers instead. My advice is to get some Palmers from your local drugstore. If you get Palmers you may want to mix it with another lotion because it doesn’t have the best smell. (It smells like a band-aid.) Also, check out Bio Oil (Walgreens and CVS both have their own version which is about $5 cheaper than the original Bio Oil). Use the lotion in the morning and the oil at night. For me, so far so good. If you have tried some of the other brands of lotions please post your experience.