Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Jello Cube State of Mind.

I just read my summer bucket list - my last post on this blog, in June. I forgot that I have written it! Well, it seems that some of the items can be checked off the list, and some - we'll keep them for next summers.

There is a logical explanation for this more than half a year silence. Not an excuse, but a logical explanation. Yep, we've got a baby on the way. Exciting news, for sure!

Pregnancy is a new world, that consumes you. At least it did consumed me for these 6 months, but I really would like to come back to writing more often. And this post has a very specific purpose - to create notes to come back to when (and of course if) I am pregnant again. And if it helps a few others on the baby journey - well, even better!

1st Trimester

  • Actually, this is for any trimester, and I hope to keep this mindset for the entire pregnancy - right from the start I assumed an imaginary role of a jelly car. Jelly Car is an iPhone game, where you operate a car made of jello. It is rather convenient proposition, if you think about it - when you need to roll over something - an obstacle or a gap - you just tumble trough, or if you need to squeeze through something - well, you are made of jello - you can do that too! You need to play this game for at least a minute to completely get the picture. And ... this is how I decided to envision myself - as a jelly car, now that I realized I carry a possibility of another person inside of me. A possibility, because, as you know, everything isn't quite established and not certain until 12 weeks in, so it is better not to make a big deal out of it until then. Quite impossible not to, and I think I failed in that, but I tried. So, the mindset of a jelly car at least helped not to worry, not to fear any complications and unexpected circumstances. I thought - I am a jelly car, encasing a possibility of a new life, so even if we have to tumble over something unexpected or squeeze through a narrow pathway - we can do that! It also helped to feel protected from some comments or suggestions - the ones that I agreed with I "let through" and the ones I didn't like bounced off the jelly exterior. I'd say even up to now that is the best "tool" I've got in my pregnancy "box". 
  • Prenatal vitamins: they taste nasty! It is very typical not to enjoy your prenatal vitamins. For some reason, even though they are usually made to smell like vanilla or candy, within a course of a month I couldn't stand even the thought of them. Yet you absolutely want to take one every day. So I kept switching and switching, asking all experienced mommies I know of recommendations. This is how I came to try Garden of Life Prenatal vitamins. These vitamins smell like ... bouillon cubes, and ... that was a wonderful thing! Besides all the usual things in prenatal they also contain ginger (should be helping with morning sickness) and probiotics - to help the digestion (which did become a problem during the 1st trimester). Prenatal vitamins problem was solved and forgotten! 
  • Morning sickness - I got off easy - not too many instances of leaning over the toilet bowl. I have read up on tips - and one of them really did work. Before I even got up I ate a Finn Crisp with some salt. Made a huge difference. Eating small portions and often helped as well. 

2nd Trimerster

  • Overall, second trimester I felt just great. To the point that if not for the growing belly, I literally forgot I was pregnant. No more morning sickness (with a few sudden flashbacks), no more tiredness, it felt like I finally woke up from a 3 months sleep. That makes the 1st trimester sound bad, but it actually wasn't that bad, it is the 2nd trimester was that much better in comparison. 
  • Stretch marks - as research says, actually you have no control over them. Either you will have them or you won't - all depends on your genes. However, I wanted to believe I can help myself even if a little bit by using some lotion. I chose Bio-Oil for no particular good reason, but since it was very much in your face everywhere - they really do good marketing. I did start using it on recommendation, but the recommendation was also unsubstantiated - "I just used it, and ... no stretch marks!" At least it eases the itchiness from when you belly grows. No stretch marks so far. However, my mother also didn't have them. 
  • Baby prep 101 - stage 0. By the middle of month 6 I felt we needed to start preparing for the baby - get books, sign up for courses, start planning the baby shower.  The collection of books is gathered - I will write about them separately. Some of the courses are finished - we even received a certificate from the hospital! Baby shower is not planned and no registry created. I know some of the future moms get really excited about getting all that baby stuff, but not me. I'd rather have all of this already done and bought (and the less the better - if I only knew what I would really need - I'd buy just that, or better - borrow). For me the biggest excitement is just about meeting the baby. Ever since wedding planning in 2009 I remembered that The Knot gives a nice calendar with activities for each month of what to do at that stage of wedding planning. Their sister site, The Bump, as I suspected had a similar list for preparing for a baby, and it did! It helps a bit with knowing what to do when. 
  • Hip pain - I am a back sleeper naturally, and during pregnancy you should sleep on your side (actually left side in particular, since it will help your own organs to have more room). I was trying to follow this guideline, and because of considerably more side sleeping one night at around 6 months I woke up from dull, but strong hip pain that wouldn't go away, even during the day. Researching this topic on the Internet convinced me I am in for 3.5 months of torture, and that I would accept labor pain as relief. I panicked, but decided to try the first and simplest remedy suggested - body pillow to keep your whole top leg more parallel to the bed/floor. That really cured the pain - it went away! It just took a $10 Target pillow. I did try a special pregnancy pillow - in a form of a C - it was too hard and uncomfortable and needed to be returned. 
  • Yoga - since I had no physical activity restrictions anymore, I decided it is time to come back to yoga. Yoga has become one of my favorite ways to keep in shape in the last few years and I was keeping up with it pretty regularly, time and laziness permitted. I was already looking for prenatal yoga classes, when my favorite teacher Marina, the owner of Mind Body Flow Yoga made a huge discovery for me - I actually can continue the usual, not prenatal yoga classes with a few modifications of poses. Coming back to my regular practice made a world of difference. Overall, it seems yoga was created especially for pregnancy - all the focusing, breathing through difficult poses, all the stretching, constant training of your concentration can become a huge help in labor. In theory. We will see. 
Overall, the second trimester is really so nice and easy. Just as they say! As an added bonus you get a chance to learn the gender of the child - this was a very exciting day! It is the day when you know a bit part of your own history is revealed to you, and you can almost touch it.

One of the most worrisome days for the pregnancy is the day you have a screening for various genetic deceases - they give you probabilities of the baby having any. I tried to calm my nerves that day with observing nature, which did give us a glorious morning that day - I even have a photo of it:

Observing nature overall gives me power, balance and harmony and - it did help that day! We received reassuring news for that screening.

You also get to feel the first kicks, and then more and more. It becomes daily entertainment. The first thing I felt wasn't a kick, though. It was a feeling that somebody is simply leaning on the inside of my stomach. All of a sudden I had an ability to feel the inside of my stomach. At this point-  kicks are coming almost every hour and become more powerful. I suspect our baby boy is preparing for the Olympics. :)

These are the main things I wanted to remind myself of for the next time - if and when. Hope this helps if someone else is reading. As a general guidance - please do consult with your doctor before following any of my tips and thoughts - everybody is so different! 

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