Motherhood Survival Tips
Thank you guys for sending in all your questions for this post! I tried to sift through and pick the ones that were asked a bunch, in a few different ways. If there is anything that I missed, feel free to e-mail me or ask it in the comments below! Also, don’t forget to check out my first Maternity Q&A post I wrote not too long along 🙂
Do you feel like you have a whole baby inside of you?! – This question is something I honestly thought about ALL THE TIME before getting pregnant and even earlier on. I had envisioned what things might feel like, but honestly had no idea. Your body goes through so many changes, some you feel and recognize (aka the kicks and growing belly), but to me others were more subtle. I always thought I would feel my stomach literally stretching out and becoming so uncomfortable throughout the 9 months+ and have been so pleasantly surprised that it hasn’t been like that at all. While yes, especially at this point my belly is large and in charge, it is only when I look in the mirror I realize how crazy this entire process and the human body is! I never felt that “stretching” of the skin/belly that I always feared. Third trimester especially you (or for me at least) are fully aware of this little babe inside of you and all their movements! Now that there is no room left in the inn, I know when and where the legs are kicking vs. the arms, etc. and it really is something I will miss. More often in these past few weeks I have turned to Matt and will just say over and over again “how the heck is there a tiny human inside of me right now”?! It is this indescribable feeling and bond!
Overall feeling, anxiety about giving birth? – FREAKING OUT! If am being totally honest here. While the freak outs are mixed with utter excitement, this is all so new to me and not knowing “fully” what to expect is frightening. I am such a planner, but going into this labor with an open mind and trust in the doctors, nurses and strength of my own body. Lately my mind has been consumed with when and where I will be if my water breaks…in an Uber, Pure Barre, walking the streets on New York – it terrifies me! I am also quite scared about the recovery portion as well. Hoping at least with babe #2 this subsides a bit as I will have gone through it once and know the ropes a little bit more.
How to deal with being impatient? – This one is tough. I have been so fortunate that my entire pregnancy everything (for the most part) was smooth sailing, with the occasional hiccup. If I am being real though, the past 3 weeks have been tough. Beyond being impatient my body just hurts. My feet, back and overall stamina are pretty much shot at this point. With that being said, Matt and I have still tried to get out and about to help the time pass, but also enjoy these last weeks and days with just us (and Hads). Listen to your body (we’ll hop in a cab if while out and about I start to get uncomfortable, etc), but also try and plan a few things you love doing. We have been checking off restaurants that have been on our NYC bucket list forever, exploring new neighborhoods and making plans with friends. We also live in a small apartment so getting out has been key for not going stir crazy! I also have been treating myself a bit more: prenatal massage, mani/pedi, etc.
Did Pure Barre workouts in pregnancy make you nervous even with modifications? – So for me personally, no. I have been doing PB for years now though and the teachers at my studio have been INCREDIBLE with modifications (and a few of them are new(ish)) moms themselves). I just make sure to listen to my body, especially these last few weeks and if a modification even seems too much then I just do something that feels comfortable.
Any tips on sleeping comfortably? – UGH I WISH! I am sorry I don’t have a good answer here. I have just been using a bunch of pillows, one in-between my legs and one supporting my back. The past month or so has been the worst, but even sitting on the couch is uncomfortable at this point so just pushing through to the end.
Counting kicks and how to handle this? – So I didn’t even realize counting kicks was a thing until chatting with my sister-in-law at some point during my second trimester! Don’t stress too much about it, at least in my experience this little babe has been on the go non-stop the past few weeks and you sort of just recognize the movement throughout the day. I think they say you should feel 10 kicks an hour. I haven’t written anything down, I just try and pay attention and if I think it’s been a little while I will get up, drink some cold water or eat something and usually he or she starts moving again.
Do you have a baby to-do list? As for the before baby to-do list…I made two lists for myself. One for work and one more personal (things I want to get done around the apartment, errands I need to run, sounds dumb, but scheduling one last hair appointment, taxes, etc.). Seeing this visually each day helped me get things done more efficiently. I also tried to do the boring and tedious stuff first (aka taxes) and save more of the “fun” things for later on. I knew in the back of my mind how much I would regret dragging my feet trying to get this done post-baby if I waited, which worked as a little extra push.
Tips for traveling while pregnant? – Always be open with your doctor and run any trips by them! I think it was around 36 weeks I wanted to drive myself home to my parents for a cooking class with my mom and I happened to mention it to my doctor at my OB appointment. She said it was too close to my due date for me to drive alone in case I started to have contractions and suggested taking the train instead. If I didn’t have this open conversation with her and something happened I would have kicked myself! Also, COMPRESSION SOCKS are key for any and all flights as well as chugging the most insane amount of water possible and getting up every hour. It sounds annoying and it is (Matt would literally harass me on the flight until I would get up, ha), but it is really important for preventing blood clots.
Final prep for baby – freezer meals, laundry, etc. – One thing I wish I was able to do more of is freeze meals. Unfortunately we don’t have a ton of freezer space so I only had extra room for a batch of skinny chocolate chip banana muffins and chili. I did make sure to stock up on a few freezer favorites that contribute to a quick meal though (Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Gnocchi, Meatless Meatballs, Veggie Burgers, etc.). Luckily with living in the city we have tons of great take-out options that are healthy as well. Hoping not to have to do this too much, but knowing it’s an option is nice.
A few other things I have been trying to keep up with is laundry. All the baby laundry has been done, but also keeping up with Matt and mine instead of letting it completely pile up. Also, I scheduled our cleaning lady for this week (close to our due date) just so when we come back form the hospital everything has the fresh and clean feeling. I also have all the diaper bags stocked and packed, made padsicles, bought Hadley a few new toys to have on hand during the beginning adjustment and wrote out all info for my parents that they might need (they will be staying at our apartment with Hadley while we are in the hospital).
Tips for wearing so many non-maternity clothes? For non-maternity clothes, how many sizes up do you go from your pre-pregnancy size? – I bunched these two questions together because I felt like the answer goes hand in hand a little bit. The #1 tip is look for stretchy pieces and longer tops/sweaters. Anything with a lower waistline or zipper tends to be a bit trickier…if you like something with a waistline, make sure it sits right under your boobs (like here) or else you might have issues with it fitting! A lot of dresses in my closet from pre-pregnancy worked all throughout (such as this one)…the rouching and stretch material basically just embraced the growing bump (worn recently on Instagram here). Other dresses and pieces that might have a zipper canbe a little tricker. Personally, I found going up one size did the trick! Also, shift dresses are great! They are a shift style when not pregnant or early on and then just embrace the bump towards the end (styled here and in my normal size).
How did you choose what stroller/car seat to buy? FTM and confused! – This can feel SO overwhelming, so hopefully this tip helps. Living in NYC I became much more observant once pregnant and started noticing that literally every single stroller I saw was the UPPAbaby VISTA. That was my first hint to do a little more digging as to why everyone seemed to love this stroller. I talked to moms I met on the street, in my apartment building and a few friends that live in the city. This stroller in particular works amazing for city living and our needs, which was the main reason we decided on this one. With all that being said, talking to moms that are in a similar situation as you (live in the city, suburbs, like to go on long walks, want a big enough space underneath to carry things, can grow as your family grows, etc.) will be the most helpful! As for the car seat, this was a similar situation, but more so just relied on research and matching the research with what my mom friends used and loved. We went with the UPPAbaby MESA, but another popular car seat option was the NUNA Pippa.
What is in your hospital bag? – I wrote an entire post dedicated to that here!
What are you doing to prepare for labor/birth? (Mentally, Physically, emotionally) – Likely the worst answer ever, but to be honest I have learned for myself that “less is more.” When I research into something too much I get extremely anxious and overthink every situation. While I am not going in blind and have talked to friends and L&D nurses I know, I also am going in with an open mind and what needs to happen will happen. I will say I plan on listening to music, that is one thing that helps calm my nerves and put my mind at ease 🙂 I have also tried to keep up with exercising just so I have the strength and stamina to get through the actual delivery as best as I can.