Pregnancy is supposed to be this beautiful, amazing, glowing experience. And it is. I get all kinds of compliments on my growing bump, and I love feeling Thumper moving around in there. Plus, my skin has been mostly clear, which is an added bonus. But it’s also icky and uncomfortable. I’ve had it relatively easy. No throwing up. No bed rest. No scares of any kind. Just a few minor ailments and discomforts here or there:
I’ve never been “regular,” even before fertility treatments and pregnancy threw my system further out of whack. I was expecting this to be a problem during pregnancy, and so far, I’ve been proven right. I’ve tried one remedy after another, and just when I think I’ve got things figured out, my body throws a wrench into the works, and I get all backed up again. Here’s what has worked, at least in the short term, for me:
Solution #1: stool softener + magnesium + probiotic. This worked great for the first few days after I figured out the dosage of the magnesium supplement I bought was three pills a day, not one.
Solution #2: stool softener + magnesium + probiotic + high-fiber granola bars
Solution #3: stool softener + magnesium + probiotic + high-fiber granola bars + shredded wheat cereal with almond milk instead of 2%. This was a completely accidental discovery. After one too many head colds, I decided to try easing into a dairy free diet to see if that would help clear my sinuses. Instead, it had the unintended and welcome consequence of making me poop every morning. For a while…then the stomach bug happened. Those 12 hours messed everything up.
Solution #4: stool softener + magnesium + probiotic + high-fiber granola bars + shredded wheat cereal with almond milk instead of 2% + apple juice
It also helps that I’ve been trying to eat plenty of fruits and veggies and whole wheat bread and cutting out some of the junk. We’ll see how long my latest regimen lasts before it’s no longer enough to keep things moving.
I’ve always had naturally oily skin, even living in the dry environment where I live now. I couldn’t go even one day without washing my hair, or I’d turn into a total greaseball. But since becoming pregnant, it’s like my uterus is sucking all the moisture from the rest of my body. For the first time ever, I don’t have to wash my hair every day. That part is kind of awesome, but as for the rest of it, here’s what I’ve been using.
Trader Joe’s A Midsummer Night’s Cream body cream smells like an herb garden. I slather this stuff all over every time I get out of the shower.
Burt’s Bees Honey & Grapeseed hand cream absorbs completely and doesn’t leave my hands greasy or sticky. Plus, it keeps them soft all day, even through hand washing.
I have yet to find a lip balm that doesn’t cause the gross white goo on the inside of my lips, but so far my best bets are Burt’s Bees and eos.
I may have to switch to coco butter or just straight coconut oil as my belly stretches, but for now, I’m happy with my moisturizing routine.
Sometime around the beginning of the 2nd trimester, I started having trouble sleeping. Not because I was getting up to pee every night, which has been happening since before I saw those two pink lines, but because all my weight was somehow honing in on one pressure point: whichever hip I was lying on. I would toss and turn all night and wake up achy, and it would last for a few hours every morning.
Since then, I’ve been amassing a growing collection of pillows. I bought a smallish pregnancy pillow designed to curve around my belly or back and between my legs. I tried using it this way for a few nights, but it didn’t help. I ended up curling it around into a kind of doughnut shape and using safety pins to hold it in place. I sleep with my hip inside the doughnut hole to relieve the pressure. But then I had to add another pillow at the end of the bed to support my legs. And one more small pillow between my knees. Getting into bed every night is quite a production, but once I’m in, I sleep like a baby.
I think this has been eased slightly by figuring out the sleep issue because, previously, rolling from side to side was excruciating. Changing positions without pain is still a challenge, and I’ve had to tweak a lot of my normal movements to avoid causing more damage. Since the source of the pain is still unknown, and I couldn’t afford to see a physical therapist who might’ve been able to figure it out, I’m just trying my best not to make it worse.
I haven’t been exercising as much as I’d like. Walking seems to make the pain worse, so that’s out. I have recently discovered that I can ride the stationary bike, though, so at least I can try to get some cardio in. I’ve also been doing a lot of squats, which not only don’t hurt while I do them, but actually seem to relieve the pain.
As for things like getting dressed, I have to sit to put on or take off pants, socks, and shoes. I spend a lot of time on the floor at work, and I have to be careful about how I get back up. I also try not to sit cross-legged on the floor.
Sex, unfortunately, seems to make the pain worse, so there hasn’t been much of that around here.
I gained two tenths of a pound since yesterday! Hey, it’s progress. I also ate chocolate chip cookies and a chocolate muffin yesterday, guilt-free. Hopefully I can eat enough during the day to keep the weight on, but either way, I’ll ask Dr. P about it when I go in for my colposcopy on Tuesday.
My sister joked that I’m the only pregnant lady she knows who would complain about not gaining weight. But after everything we’ve been through, I can’t stand the idea of Thumper not thriving because I couldn’t keep her fed.
So my mission now is to keep us both healthy and packing on the pounds. Slow and steady.