Thursday, March 20, 2008

What I’ve learned so far

at 24w6d:

Emotions: You will be emotional. Severity differs but you will find yourself emotional.

Going to a baby store: no longer elicits terror but a wild imagination similar to the one you probably have when playing with your dolls. For example, Easter outfits for girls can cause your mom to get really sappy. Be prepared to be dressed in a dress with a matching hat, purse and shoes.

Bathroom Tip #1: Not one single pregnancy book will tell you this but going to the bathroom changes in your second trimester. Sure, the act of going to the bathroom is the same but the execution is different. See, by the second trimester, your belly becomes a giant water balloon slinging around. When you sit on the toilet, you have to reposition yourself.

Bathroom Tip #2: When you tinkle and you think you are finished, lean forward before you wipe. I promise you will have residual tinkle waiting. Once that’s done, then wipe.

Bathroom Tip #3: When the urge to poop comes over you, go poop. Don’t wait. Don’t try to hold it. See, your organs are squished inside of you when you are pregnant. If you wait, you run the risk of discomfort as the baby moves around pushing onto your full bladder and intestines. You also don’t want to suffer from a hard poop. You know what I mean, the kind that requires you to bear down. When you are slinging a water balloon around, bearing down is the last thing you want to do.

Bathroom Tip #4: Have a fluffy robe handy for showers and baths. Nothing is more comforting than to have a warm robe envelope your pregnant body after a shower. Keeping a towel up around your growing belly will be challenging and if you don’t have body size towels, you will notice your belly will protrude out of your towel. This will be an emotionally crippling moment.

Bathroom Tip #5: Whenever possible, take a nice warm bath. I’m not sure if it relaxes you or if it’s the baby but you will surely feel the baby moving around while soaking. It’s kind of neat and makes you feel closer to the baby. Make sure the bath isn’t hot hot though. It also alleviates some the back pressure and leg pressure you may begin to feel.

Hygiene Tip: Get a pedicure. No matter how much money you think you are trying to save, do yourself a favor and get one. Your mom spent way too much time trying to crunch down and remove paint from her pinky toe. Sure, you can’t see your toes when you stand, but when you elevate them as you will be doing often while reclining, it’s nice to see pretty pink toes. Also, it’s a nice treat for the dad as you will now have him help you with…

Hygiene Tip #2: moisturizing your body. You may feel awkward allowing your man to see you in your pregnancy glory, stretch marks, linea nigra, Lord knows what else is going on down below and behind you where you can’t see. If you don’t want him to help baste you and moisturize you, the one thing you should ask him to do is to moisturize your calves and feet. He most likely oblige you as you are carrying his offspring. Your dad massaged the Dickens out of my calves and feet. I loved him for every moment of it.

Dressing Tip: You will find it harder to put on socks and shoes that require buckling or tying. In the winter stick with long boots you can slip on and off. For the summer, slip ons will do but for heaven’s sake, please, please don’t wear flip flops like they are standard shoes. Your mom has an issue with this. Flip flops are fine for the house and errands but not for work or going out.

Braxton Hicks Contractions: You may begin to feel them around your 5th-6th month. You won’t know the difference between menstrual cramps, poop cramps and BH contractions. For me, they started off feeling like poop cramps and lasted for about 20 seconds. You will notice your belly gets tighter. By the time the cramps are done, your tummy gets a bit looser. This is normal if a bit disconcerting at first. The main thing to remember is it’s your uterus preparing itself and as long as it isn’t painful, you are doing okay.

Your dad always knew when they were happening because I’d make a poo face. It’s not so bad except when it happens while you are with a bunch of people and you can’t help but clutch your tightening belly and make a poo face. Then you have to explain to people that a) you’re not going into labor and b) no you didn’t poot. Plus if you are with a bunch of people who aren’t used to being around a pregnant woman or wasn’t pregnant themselves, telling them to continue what they were talking about will be fruitless.

Belly Talk: You will talk to your belly in public and you won’t care. Your mom will probably talk to the belly in public and she won’t care. Strangers will touch your belly without asking. Smile nicely and casually place your hand on your belly. You will feel like you are protecting your baby and most people will move their hands away naturally. This avoid that uncomfortable, ‘Get your hand off my belly' stare.

Temperament: Whenever possible, live life happily and focus on the good and not the bad. Laugh. Smile. Try not to worry. I know, your mom should be the last person to say that. Why? Well, right now, as I write this, I can recall the many times I’ve felt you moving around inside me and each time was during a period of joy, happiness, contentment and lightheartedness. Last night alone, your mom found something extremely funny. You will soon learn your mom has a weird sense of humor. She laughed so hard she cried. She was in tears for a good 5 minutes. Afterwards, you moved around so much it felt like you were laughing inside.