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The World of Pregnancy…The Books, The Gear, and The Truths


December 11, 2011

A post on a weekend…I cannot believe it!

Ok, let me go ahead and preface this by saying upfront that so I am by NO means a professional when it comes to this whole world of pregnancy, however, I think I have been able to find out what’s legit, what’s helpful, what to avoid, and helpful resources that are now on my favorites…yes, I know, when did I become so old?
{By the way, for those completely uninterested in this kind of mindless chatter, feel free to go ahead and skip this post…I promise, it won’t hurt my feelings}

As soon as I discovered we were expecting, I dove head first into reading anything and everything I could baby-related…afterall, this is an important time, and as someone with only a handful of girlfriends with babies, I needed all the help I could get. Here is my list of what I’ve read so far:
1. The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy: Hands down, my favorite book! It’s in your face, a little crude into the details, but it’s honest and it’s written by a mother of four–I think this woman knows what she is talking about. And P.S. my BFF bought this book for me when I proclaimed to her the good news…fantastic gift for any mommy-in-training.

2. What to Expect When You’re Expecting: This is the only book I was familiar with, so of course I bought it. To be honest, everything in this book is something you can find online via Google…however, the weekly updates of how the baby is developing and what’s going on with your body were interesting to read. Unless you need an actual resource copy of this to have on-hand, I’d say your money is best spent on something else.
3. Belly Laughs: If you’re in need of a good laugh, and a lighthearted, but truthful look at what goes on throughout pregnancy, this is the book for you…very much entertaining.
4. Pregnancy and Birth–Your Questions Answered: Similar to a one-stop resource for any question you may be having, this is a helpful tool to have when my mind starts to wander.
5. Becoming Babywise: Everyone, {and yes I mean everyone} from my friends to Jeff’s boss to our doctor told us to buy this book…I just finished reading and I absolutely loved the advice..especially how they mention to focus on your marriage for a healthy family dynamic. However, one thing to note is that there is SO many details they mention that I am going to get Jeff or my Mom to read this, too–it’s a little overwhelming and I am already telling myself that every baby is different, so Caroline may or may not take to this specific method.
6. Dude! You’re Going to be a Dad: We all know the boys need reading material, too and I helped Jeff pick this one up to help him understand my crazy emotions and raging hormones, how the baby is changing each week, and to help prepare him to be a Daddy. He’s reading it and learning quite a bit about this “new life”.

Now, moving on to the other stuff–the gear I needed/used for the first/second trimesters, and items I am still using today:

1. Bella Band–sent from the Good Lord above I am telling you. These handy dandy contraptions are spanx-like in that they help you wear your normal clothes a wee bit longer…after the rubberband trick no longer works. I bought 3 of these–white, nude, and black and they are WONDERFUL!
2. Palmer’s Tummy Cocoa Butter: the perfect lotion to help keep stretch marks away. Yes, I am well aware a lot of it comes down to genetics, however, I am doing anything and everything I can to prevent these bad boys.
3. Palmer’s Skin Therapy Oil: Improves skin all over and aids in preventing marks…the oil formula is slightly greasy, though, so make sure you put this on before bed only.
4. Gingerale and Crackers: Yes, I was one of the lucky ones that didn’t have terrible bouts of morning sickness through the first trimester, however, if I ever had an empty tummy, I would start getting nauseous so I always had these items with me–I kept crackers in the car and kept cans of gingerale at work, too.  
5. The Boppy Body Pillow: I think I was earlier than most to go out and invest in one of these, but I am so glad I did…I believe I got much better rest because of my “other” sleeping partner. Absolutely helped me sleep more comfortably at night as I had to transition to non-tummy time. I nicknamed mine “Benny” and he has been a not-so-welcome addition to our bed..sorry Jeff.
6. Victoria’s Secret T-Shirt Bras: When I walked in telling an associate I needed to be remeasured as I was expecting, she smiled her little smile and went to work…up 2 cup sizes and an expanded number, I went right past my normal cute/sexy bras straight to the momma bras, and wow, what a difference it makes. This is when it’s all about comfort, and not about the fun, bright colors and prints.
7. Maternity Leggings: I have bought a few pair of these from Motherhood, Old Navy,and Gap and they are fantastic…they have a built-in secret pouch as you get bigger and loads of elastic. What could be better? Right now, I feel fortunate that tunics and leggings are in style and so many of my former clothes are working to get me through the “transition”.
8. Maternity Wear: I have been asked over and over again where I get my clothes that I’ve worn throughout my pregancy. Funny enough, a lot of the garments came from my closet pre-baby, which include my favorite local boutique, Blush, as well as other retailers like Francesca’s, Dillards, Target, Old Navy, and Gap. But, I’ve basically bought out the maternity secion of Gap’s website and have found that everything runs pretty true to size. I am normally an XS in their clothes and I am with their maternity fashions, too. I’ve been able to accessorize with jewelry and scarves to stay as fashionable as possible, though I have to admit getting ready takes a lot longer these days.

And for the not-so-pretty things…the truths that they “forget” to tell you–well, I don’t mind putting myself {and my two cents} out there and spilling the beans:
1. You’re going to need to eat TONS of fiber–I think you get my drift here? I’ve been consuming more than my fair share lately…oh vey.  
2. Pregnancy does a number on your skin and acne/breakouts. It was as if I was a teenager all over again. Thankfully, that only lasted a few weeks and I got my normal complexion back.
3. You simply cannot control your flatulence–there, I said it–Jeff finds this quite comical.
4. This is the one time in your life it’s OK to not suck in your stomach…when I was starting to show, I tried to push my belly out so it didn’t look as though I had just scarfed down one too many beers. Obviously we no longer have that issue, it’s known I’m growing a wee one.
5. I signed up for the pregnany apps on my iPhone {Baby Bump and My Pregnancy}, though some updates and videos are scary–watching a live birth with everything shown turned out to be much more than this lady could handle.
6. Your hormones will make you a crazy person. Yes, I turned into one too. I can be happy me one minute, but then the next, it’s as though I am possessed and you better watch out.
7. Your boobs will grow an ungodly amount…for the first time in life, I don’t need a little “extra help” in that region, but I can’t help but miss my petite ladies.
8. Pregnant dreams are some of the most realistic I’ve ever had, and they occur all the time…weird crazy ones I tell you, like total never-in-a-million-years-would-this-ever-happen kind of dreams.

And finally, on a personal note–standing on my soapbox here, be aware that anyone and everyone will be more than happy to voice their opinions on your pregnancy, your childcare choice, whether or not you decide to breastfeed, when you plan to introduce the baby to the crib, etc. Maybe this is my brutal honesty coming through, but if I ask for your guidance, it means I am genuinely interested in what you have to say and trust you from your own experiences and such.  However, if you find it necessary to tell me how you feel, be prepared that I may just tell you politely that Jeff and I are are learning all of these things for the first time and I’m hopeful we can figure it out as we go…in other words, thanks but no thanks đŸ˜‰

  1. Hailey says:

    Even though no baby on the way for me….just yet! Bookmarking this post. 🙂

    You and Jeff are going to be an amazing team and wonderful parents!

  2. Jess says:

    We are trying to have a baby now, so I will most certainly be visiting this post if we are blessed with a wee one. Thanks for the helpful hints and suggestions.

  3. Tess says:

    Awesome post! I loved reading all of your funny points on pregnancy that "they" don't tell you. It sounds like you've had a pretty great pregnancy thus far. When I was nannying a few year back, I was a huge fan of Baby Wise, and now as my friends are starting to have bambino's it's always the first gift I give…but maybe I'll switch over to The Girlfriends Guide.

    Hope you two had a great weekend. We are off to see New Years Eve right now actually!

  4. Ashley says:

    I'm so glad you posted this! I love know what to expect! Thank you.!

  5. this post was awesome. i'm not planning to have a child for a long while but it's nice to know what resources are good, and some other tips about what i can expect! i'll keep in mind that girlfriend guide for whenever i have close friends get pregnant!

  6. Keri says:

    Yayy for weekend posts 🙂

  7. Megan says:

    The book you NEED for after your little one is born: Baby 411

    It was a lifesaver with my nephew!

  8. great tips for the future!

  9. Laura says:

    Looks like you covered all your bases! I read a few of those books too. What to Expect totally overwhelmed me, I prefer the app on my phone. Once Grayson was born I read "12 hours by 12 weeks" by Suzy Giordano. I got a lot of helpful sleep tips from her!

  10. LOVED this post!! So much great info and advice!! Keep it coming!!! 🙂

  11. CMae says:

    No kiddo any time soon on this end for me, but this was a great post and your ending paragraph is something all people should keep in mind before they "insist" on shoving "THEIR WAYS" down your throat! 🙂

  12. Lindsay says:

    ok so i am totally not even pregnant, but i loved reading this. it is always nice to hear things that 'they' forget to tell you. love your honest on all this.
    thanks girlie!!!

  13. Nicole-Lynn says:

    No babies for us yet, but definitely bookmarking this post too! Thanks!

  14. chelsieast says:

    First the Belly Band is by far and away the best thing that ever happened to me…I should have done a commercial for them because I was such a huge advocate :)And just so you know it still works great post pregnancy!! HA! Second, since I think we both love ourselves a schedule, I read both Babywise and Baby Whisper, and let me say I am by no means telling you what to do, but Baby Whisper is worth a read. It has the same philosophy as Babywise but actually gives you a method to your madness vs. just telling you what to do. I bought mine on the iPad for like $3 and read it in an afternoon. Just a little recommendation.

  15. Andrea says:

    Hi, I'm a little late commenting on this but I wanted to chime in. I'm a new follower so first of all, congratulations!!! Baby girls are the best. I have one (Gracie) who is 9 months. We did a mix of baby wise and baby whisperer. You will get tons of advice so take this for what it's worth. Gracie slept through the night (10-12 hours) at about 7 weeks old. The main thing that I think contributed to this was the babywise aspect of waking them up to eat during the day. I always woke her up at the 3 hour mark to feed her to lessen the likelihood that she would wake up hungry at night. Honestly though, I always liked to hold her at night after she went to bed and so I did. For naps I generally wouldn't. But they are just so so sweet and deserve to be held and cuddled and it will just melt your heart when she is laying on your shoulder and snuggles into your neck. I know babywise advises against this, so like I said, take it for what it's worth =) I just never wanted to look back and think I didn't hold her enough. When she got about 5 months old she didn't even want to be held anymore so I'm glad I had that time. Also, she will wake up sometimes at night now (and has off and on since about 6 months) due to teething pain, so that's when the baby whisperer aspect came in for us. I will "shhh" her, but not pick her up, as loud as I possibly can and it will generally soothe her back to sleep. Also, I think it was the baby whisperer that said to swaddle them, and that worked as well. I STILL swaddle Gracie for naps. At night she doesn't need it, but she can never calm down for naps. WOW! This is the longest comment ever, sorry for that! Good luck with the scheduling because that's what always stressed me out the most was figuring out what was best =)

  16. BELL HERE says:

    so i know this post was awhile ago…but with me being 25 weeks along now…i had to read. the last paragraph is spot on. i just want to be like, "zip it people." i don't want to know what it was like to birth a baby 17 years ago. not applicable. oh man i could go on and on and on.

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colorful life + style blogger | native nashvillian | wife and mom to two darling little ladies | bringing you all the happy you can handle

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