Writing that title is really surreal because I still can’t believe I’m pregnant. I’m about six months gone now too and despite that I have to kick myself sometimes when I actually remember that I’m pregnant. It’s still so surreal.
It’s been a strange old time. I haven’t been sleeping well and I’m a bit uncomfortable but I loathe to moan too much. I feel lucky to even be pregnant because years ago I was told by my doctor that I’d likely need fertility treatment when I wanted to have a baby as I have PCOS.
So although I did have a bit of a difficult first trimester and circumstances have meant I haven’t been able to put my feet up and relax for the second trimester – we’ve had a lot of stress with buying a house, relocating across the country and quitting my job – I’m staying positive and trying to enjoy it. And to be honest, all of that stress has been for a good reason, the result is happy and exciting. And now that we’re in our home, I feel like the pace can slow down a little.
My main concern is the management of my chronic migraines through the rest of the pregnancy and around the birth, but aside from that, I’m trying not to complain. (Remind me of that in a few months’ time!)
I haven’t really bought many maternity clothes yet as they won’t fit me for long, so I’m trying to circulate a few dresses which are comfortable and floaty. But I’m getting to the stage now where I’m even starting to outgrow some of those things and as it’s getting a bit colder I need to invest in a few bits.
There have been a few things that have been making pregnancy more comfortable for me so far – slightly different things in the first trimester from the second and now I’m about to enter the third there may be more things still.
My pregnancy lifesavers have been:
I originally bought a second-hand (but barely used) U-shaped pregnancy pillow as I thought this might offer the best support. The idea is that you arrange the pillow so it looks like an upside down U and put your head on the ‘U’ curved bit, so that you have the front long strip to support your tummy and put between your legs, and a long bit behind you to support your back. But it was far too firm and was giving me neck ache, and it was huge and practically pushed Rob out of the bed! This meant I found it hard to sleep as I was constantly aware of keeping it on my side.
I got rid and bought a new one by Dreamgenii. I suppose this one is like a C-shape and it’s so much more comfortable. It curves round to support your front and goes in between your legs – and there’s a little support pillow behind your back. You still use your normal pillow to support your head. I did a lot of research before buying again and I thought this one would suit me as the back pillow tries to prevent you from rolling on to your back in the night (midwives tell you that you should avoid sleeping on your back and ideally sleep on your left side from the second trimester).
The pregnancy pillow really helped me through my first trimester and until about halfway through my second trimester. But since then I’ve felt like I’ve needed more support, so I went to Dunelm and bought four massive, fluffy regular pillows. I essentially build myself a pillow fort every night – which means unfortunately for Rob there isn’t much space in the bed – but it is helping me get a little more comfortable and buying me a bit more time until my hips hurt.
The trick: I have one pillow behind my head as normal. I lie on my left side and put one pillow between my knees, one behind my back and one in front that I hug. It’s made such a difference.
Oh my god, now that I’ve discovered these I don’t think I’ll ever want to go back to underwire bras! Pretty early on in pregnancy I found that my normal bras were getting too small and rubbing me, so I bought some clip on extender things which meant I could make the back part of the bra slightly longer. They lasted about a month before I felt like I needed new bras entirely and then I bought some wireless crop top-style bras. They still offer a lot of support but are so much more comfortable and softer. The only downside is the straps are quite thick so I can’t really wear tops with thin straps but I’m sure there must be wireless bras in existence with thinner straps.
I thought I’d said goodbye to sickness at the end of the first trimester but I’ve still have a few nauseous days (the latest was as recent as about a week ago) and I feel like I need something gentle to settle my stomach. Ginger is probably the best thing but unless it’s ginger biscuits, I can’t tolerate it well, so I’ve been drinking peppermint tea. It really helps to make my stomach feel settled. It also pays to snack regularly as I find sickness creeps up when I’m feeling hungry.
Bio Oil and cocoa butter
I already have some stretch marks (from teenage growth spurts so loooooong before pregnancy) but I’m keen to avoid getting any more if I can. Who knows if stretch mark creams even work? I’ve been slathering them on though! I don’t know if Bio Oil works either but using it and following up with cocoa butter every morning is at least making my skin feel moisturised and soft. In the evenings, I’m loving Sanctuary Spa’s range of Mum To Be moisturisers, oils and gels too. And I haven’t noticed any new stretch marks… yet!
I have some kind of allergy, I haven’t figured out what yet but I think it’s probably dust or something as my nose gets bunged up all year around. And I get hayfever. In addition, I’ve been noticeably more congested during pregnancy. No idea why.
But you can’t take antihistamines when you’re pregnant so I thought I’d give Haymax balm a go, which was recommended by a friend. It’s a completely natural balm (a bit like a lipbalm but not as greasy) which you apply around your nostrils and under your eyes and it works as a barrier to stop allergens from getting in.
It’s really working and is stopping my nose from getting all blocked up at night.
Cushion to prop my feet up
I’ve suffered from sore knees ever since I injured them in roller derby a couple of years ago, so I always struggle sitting with them bent for too long, but I’m finding my body starts aching sooner these days. Sitting in a comfortable chair with my feet propped up on a big fat floor cushion in the evenings is helping and hopefully it’ll stop my feet from getting swollen too.
A good baby book
I was a bit against buying a baby book to start with as I thought it was scare me but I suppose that was quite an immature way to look at it! I didn’t want something too preachy – I’d like to be informed but be able to make my own decisions and mistakes to learn from so I wanted something that reflected that. I settled on First-Time Parent: The honest guide to coping brilliantly and staying sane in your baby’s first year by Lucy Atkins and I’m only part-way through but really enjoying it so far. It isn’t patronising but actually contains helpful advice by an actual mum. It also contains a list of things you need to buy, categorised by essentials and nice-to-haves which is reassuring as I wouldn’t otherwise know where to start.
Likewise, a friend bought me How to Grow a Baby and Push It Out by Clemmie Hooper for my birthday which is also really good as it’s got tailored advice from week to week. I love that it has opinions from different mums thrown in and it is quite balanced when offering advice.
If anyone else has any tips or advice for surviving pregnancy I’d love to hear them – especially for the third trimester as I’m pretty much there!