Hey, guys! As I said in my last post, it’s the final countdown! I’m super excited and in awe. As we’ve been preparing ourselves mentally and emotionally for this new chapter of parenthood, I’ve also spent some time reflecting.
There are some things I wish I knew about before pregnancy that I want to share with you. I’m no expert, medical professional, etc. but I am an expectant mom, and although our experiences won’t be the same, I want to shed light on some things that you might not have thought about.
You and your hubby have baby fever! That’s great! You’ve always known what gender you wanted your firstborn to be, and you’ve picked your names out since childhood—but how prepared are you?
In this “before pregnancy” stage, do as much research as you can. Know what your insurance covers. Decide whether you’d want a midwife or OB, and research the differences between them to know which would better serve you. Understand what a birth plan, a doula, and a labor coach are and figure out where you’d want your birth experience to be: hospital, home, or birthing center.
I’m 38 weeks pregnant, so my body is already preparing for the delivery of my son. I stated on my birth plan that I want an all-natural vaginal birth with no medications for pain management. Will that change on delivery day? Maybe, maybe not. Yet knowing that I’ve prepared what I desired ahead of time and armed with a team who will advocate for what I want when I cannot, I’m at peace. However, I am flexible if things go unexpectedly (for example, a change in his birth position that can’t be corrected naturally, etc.).
Did you notice that? Flexibility. At a time when your hormones are the craziest, you have to be flexible and learn to go with the flow. You can only control but so much. If you’re like me and want an all-natural birth but for whatever reason you can’t get it, release your preferences and continue to feel empowered knowing that what really matters is the health and life of you and your baby.
Word of Mouth
Talk to other seasoned moms or those who’ve recently gone through pregnancy but just say no to their horror stories. No two pregnancies are the same, even if it’s the same woman. At best, the feedback and input you’re getting from others (even from this post) pertains to experiences that are unique to that individual. Your pregnancy journey will be unique to you. For example, you may not deal with morning sickness at all or you may have a case of hyperemesis gravidarum. Take what you hear (and read) with a grain of salt. Some advice may prove to be more advantageous than what you hear from a medical professional, whereas other tidbits will be pointless to entertain.
Water is Your Bestie
I’ve been to the hospital four different times and every time was related to being dehydrated—and I didn’t even know it! Dehydration is real! Each body is different. You’ll see the standard, “Drink 8 to 10 glasses of water a day,” but your body may need more or less. When you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated. Plus, the hot weather temperatures will also affect the amount you need. With me being pregnant during hot summer months in the south, I probably needed about 13 or so glasses of water (not including other liquids) daily to help combat dehydration.
Why stay hydrated? Well, for starters, one thing you might not hear from your OB is dehydration can lead to premature birth! That in itself is huge enough to want one to stay hydrated because it’s imperative your baby is born as close to term as possible.
Pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy. It’s not deadly or dangerous. According to some statistics, only 1% of first time pregnant women get it while others say 1 out of every 100 to 300. Whatever the range is, I’m one of the few. It’s a rash that can either be in a small area or spread over the majority of the body. I noticed it around 35 weeks, and it has been quite the ordeal. Sometimes the itching made me feel delirious and out of my mind but thank God my husband would pray when I was unable, “you have the mind of Christ,” and the pain and itching would quickly fade.
Some studies attribute it to the diet while others say when it appears in the third trimester it’s due to the release of hormones that aid in delivery and is the way some bodies respond to that release. Basically, are they really sure about PUPPP? No. If you’re curious about PUPPP, you can start by clicking here.
Is it likely to happen to you? Nope. But if you are one of the rare women that get it, let me know, and I’ll share my trials and errors in dealing with it. I won’t be experiencing this again in future pregnancies! Woo hoo! Yet if I were an outlier and happened to have it again, I’d just pull on that truth, “In all things give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”
Well, ladies and gents, there you have it. You won’t have my story and I don’t have anyone else’s, and that’s fine. Random, weird things can occur, but it doesn’t have to make you hate your pregnancy journey. I’m still thankful for mine. If you don’t take away anything else from this blog post, remember it’s your responsibility to take care of your little human who’s entirely dependent upon you so eat healthily and enough, drink plenty of water, and exercise consistently—before you start trying to conceive. Trust me, you’ll thank me later!