Diary of a (First-Time) Expecting Mama
As I wind down into the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I’ve found myself looking back to the very beginning and trying to remember what life was like before I was expecting. I don’t even remember what my body used to feel like! I’ve always imagined what it would be like to be pregnant one day. As it turns out – the experience has left me amazed and full of joy. And my baby isn’t even here yet!
Before we even started trying for a baby, my husband and I talked about it a lot. Did we even want children? How many did we want? In what ways would it change our lifestyle? How would it change our relationship? So many questions! This was a huge life choice that we were making. And we wanted to make sure that were absolutely prepared for the journey ahead.
Once we knew we were ready to start a family, I went to my doctor and asked her what I could do to help prepare my body. She suggested that I start taking a prenatal vitamin or folic acid, and continue to eat healthy and exercise. Unfortunately, after reading many reviews and even trying a few brands of prenatal vitamins, my body was struggling to absorb them and they were making me feel very sick. So I was given a prescription prenatal from my doctor that was split into an AM and PM pill and I had no issues!
Then it happened – I was pregnant! It was a bit of a shock at first as we didn’t expect it to happen so quickly – we thought it would take at least a few months. In that moment, we knew or lives were about to change forever and we could not have been happier!
In the following weeks, I noticed physical changes starting to happen. Luckily, I did not experience a whole lot of morning sickness but I was definitely feeling tired, and my body was a little more achy then usual. For those moments when I was feeling nauseous, I found that popping a ginger candy really helped to ease my stomach. They were a life saver and I have them on me all the time now.
My appetite also changed for a little while. I have been a vegetarian for almost two years so I was able to avoid the whole meat aversion altogether but I found myself wanting to eat more carbs than usual – pasta, potatoes, bread, and a lot of it!
Towards the end of my first trimester, I started to feel more like myself again – I was getting my energy back and I thought it would be a good time to sign up for prenatal yoga to keep myself active. Yoga has really helped my body through all these changes, and the stretching and breathing is also helping to prepare my body for labour.
Something else that has really helped me throughout my pregnancy is my Snoogle Body Pillow. I heard mixed reviews about these body pillows but I find that it really does help me get a good night’s sleep. It supports my neck, lower back and belly in ways that I don’t think regular pillows could.
Green & Natural:
Another important thing for me (which started before becoming pregnant) was introducing more natural products into my home and my personal care routine. Although it did not happen all at once, I can now say that about 90% of the products I use are natural and I plan on using natural baby products as well. My favourite skin care product that I have been using since my belly started to grow is the Prenatal Ease Ultimate Oil – I rub this on my belly every night to help prevent stretch marks and it’s amazing.
When it’s time to set up our nursery, we really researched what were the essentials we needed. We didn’t want to get sucked into buying things that we are never going to use or will only use a few times. We knew for sure that we wanted a safe place for baby to sleep, a comfortable chair for feeding, a changing pad and a diaper pail because we live in a condo and don’t want to constantly go to the garbage shoot to get rid of stinky diapers. All the rest is extra.
We also thought it would be nice to have a bassinet in our room for the first couple of months, before moving the baby into the crib. For me, this went hand in hand with what I think we will need those first couple of days when we get home from the hospital and transition into our new life. Along with a nursing pillow, some good nipple balm and a good water bottle. These are all things I will want by my side when I get home, especially because I plan on breastfeeding.
Our Hospital Bag(s)
After the nursery was ready, it came time to start thinking about what we going to pack in our hospital bags. I didn’t want to over pack, but I also thought it was important that each of us had own bags – one for mom, one for dad and one for baby. It not only helps me to keep things organized, but we all need very different things for our hospital visit so why not?
My hospital bag:
In my bag, I’ve packed a comfortable night gown that is loose and lightweight for after labour, and it’s something that I can easily breast feed in. A good nursing bra is also very important to pack – my favourite maternity/nursing bra has been the Bravado Designs Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra. It’s so soft and comfortable and, best of all, it’s wire free.
I’ve also packed my breast pump – even though I plan on breast feeding, it might be helpful to have in case my milk doesn’t come in right away. This was recommended to me by another mom, as most hospital check lists don’t tell you to pack one.
Something else a lot of people don’t realize they need after birth is a pack of maternity pads. Extra absorbent period pads will also do just fine – most hospitals will only provide you with a few if any at all.
A few other things I’ve packed are a robe, slippers, hair ties, lip balm, body lotion, comfortable underwear and a coming home outfit.
My husband’s hospital bag:
My husband has packed a little lighter than me. He has packed overnight clothes, a pillow, and a blanket. Since he’s also in charge of entertainment, he needs to make sure we take the iPad and chargers for our cell phones.
Baby’s hospital bag:
Finally, there’s the baby’s hospital bag. In his bag, I’ve packed a few sleepers and undershirts, a hat, scratch mitts, two swaddling blankets, a pacifier, travel size natural bath products for his first bath, wipes and about 30 diapers. Also, don’t forget to take your car seat!
Now that everything is ready, I am anticipating my baby boy’s arrival and can’t wait for this next chapter to begin. I’ve been savouring all the highs and lows of being pregnant – it’s something that I never want to forget.
Let me know in the comments how your journey is going (or went)!
Written by Daniela Pisante, Merchandise Specialist at Well.ca