Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Penga's Pregnancy Helpers

I'm still pregnant, but at nine months now I feel like I can retrospectively look back on the bulk of it.  In case I ever decide to do this again (not sounding overly appealing at the moment, if my reoccurring dream of swimming in bathtubs of delicious salmon sashimi is any indication), here is a list of things I found useful during pregnancy:

- Snoogle body pillow. I wasn't going to buy one since they are expensive for a silly pillow, but after a week straight of back pain I went for it.  And have not looked back since.  Dubbed the Sak-replacement, I sleep in this thing like a koala on a tree trunk and it is heavenly. Definitely helped with the back pain, and for keeping me from rolling to my back while sleeping (preggos have to sleep on their side).  Both Sak and Konbu the cat are not that happy with it, since it takes up a good chunk of the bed and makes snuggling impossible.  But I don't need them, I have snoogle to snuggle. Mmhmm.

- Belly Butter.  I don't believe that stretch marks are preventable, but I do know that my skin itches like crazy while growing a child.  You could probably use any lotion but I liked this one because it doesn't have much of a scent to it, and I'm not big on slathering my entire self with smelly lotions.  Nearing the end of the journey and I've used two tubs of butter.

- Smoothies.  I never know what I want to eat.  I know what I don't want to eat, usually most of everything.  Some days I just eat cereal for dinner because it's the only thing that doesn't sound like it'll give me issues later (oh, the reflux!).  So I've been doing a lot of homemade smoothies throughout the pregnancy.  It's a good way to get some vitamins and fresh stuff to baby when I don't feel like eating anything.  Fresh fruit, kale and some milk usually cover the nutritional bases, and for some reason drinking food doesn't make me wrinkle my nose the way eating food does.  Maybe I'm just too lazy to chew? Could be.

- Tums.  Because of the reflux.  I use sugar free ones at night (per my dentist's recommendation, ha!) and regular during the day.  Be careful because the sugar free ones had a pregnant-lady warning label on them while the sugar ones did not.  Maybe I'm not supposed to have too much artificial sugar?  It doesn't usually matter since I don't take too many in a day, but one little nasty chalk tab can make all the difference when the pizza starts creeping back up your throat at 3 am in the morning.

- Heartbeat monitor.  I have a super cheapy one - it's not a doppler, just a glorified microphone that you stick to your belly.  It doesn't work in the early stages, so don't bother, but later on it's nice to just hear baby now and then.  If you can find him.  I don't know what I was doing but for a while I found I was listening to my own heartbeat.  Sak was like, "why they heck would the baby be way over there? That's probably your own artery".  Whoops.  And then I'm pretty sure I blew the speaker out because now I can't find anything although baby is very much alive and rolling around seemingly all the time.  This is probably why some doc's don't encourage you to get your own doppler.

-Folder for bills and notebook for notes.  Exactly that.  I had random insurance/dr bills all over the house, and actually got a "final warning" from one that I had forgotten and misplaced. Yikes.  Now I keep them all in one folder, and write the date and method of payment I used for each one.  So much easier to keep track of.  For the notebook, I write down details from each OB appointment, as well as any questions I have so that I remember to ask. Unfortunately, I haven't been great at keeping a daily journal, but that would have been even nicer I think.

- Tissues, snacks and water on hand at ALL times.  Being pregnant makes me mucous-ey (especially in the morning).  My co-worker nearly passed out once because all she had was sugar-free gum on hand while pregnant.  And water, well, everyone should be drinking water. All the time.  Even though it's lame tasting. Adding some lemon juice and drinking through a straw helps.

Other penga-specific notes - gummi prenatal vitamins get gross really quick, get a nice gel-coated horse pill.  Breakfast is the best meal of the day. Yogurt, oatmeal and fruit are in constant supply.  The pregnancy support brace works for back pain, but I don't like it much because it wraps around the stomach and I don't like the restricted feeling. I think that's about it.  I've been blessed with a pretty easy pregnancy, which I'm thankful for.  I'm almost disappointed that I didn't get to send Sak on any crazy late night craving runs.  Can't say he feels the same about missing out on that stereotyped right-of-passage.


  1. Nice article, Penga! This is helpful for all soon-to-be moms. I like your heartbeat monitor. It's not expensive but it looks cool. A pregnant woman feels warmer than the normal one so it would also be helpful to bring something that could make you feel cooler- like a mini-fan.

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