You’re growing a whole additional human inside of you. Even if that doesn’t creep you out in some sort of Alien type of way, you’re dealing with symptoms that have turned you from Jekyll to Hyde (or at least you feel like unleashing that exhausted wolfish pregnant lady within you sometimes!). And all that’s just fricken’ exhausting.
All the swollen limbs, transformed tastebuds, mutant smelling abilities, desperate exhaustion, insane food cravings, crazy hormones, soreness, pain, peeing every 5 seconds, bursting acne, hair falling out, giant whale-ish weight gain CONSIDERED…you *deserve* this:
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- What I WISH I’d Known BEFORE Going Into Labor!
10 Things Every Pregnant Woman Should Do, At Least Once
1. Go ALL OUT with your crazy food craving. DO IT.
You’re only pregnant once and that food tastes AH-mazing. Sit down and eat a whole pint of Ben & Jerry’s fudge core filled, triple, sinful madness, la-la ice cream.
Leave the egg out of the cookie dough or brownie batter and eat a bowl, stuff Cheetos in a grilled cheese, down a whole jar of pickles, devour an entire strawberry cheesecake or whatever is singing your name. It’s worth indulging, at least once! You deserve it.
2. Take a mini mental get-away
Take a day off. If you’ve got kids, ask your significant other to request time off or leave your children with the grandparents for a period of time. You LOVE your kids and likely will miss them like crazy but it’s just so important to take some time for you.
Tell everyone to go away and spend time alone, with yourself for a day. Bathe in the quiet, peace and reconnect with you. Read a book you’ve been dying to open, order takeout from your favorite place, pop open that ice-cream because you’ve decided to also go all out with your food craving today ;).
3. Wear a bathing suit in public
You should never be ashamed to do this ALL THE TIME while pregnant but if you are super self-conscious, do it! During my first pregnancy, I remember never stepping into a bathing suit and staying in the lounge chair the whole summer while everyone else swam! This time around for baby #2, that was not going to happen. Throw a cute tank top over your two-piece if you feel self-conscious of that beautiful little baby bump growing life but don’t be afraid to just wear that two-piece!
I scoured the internet for the cutest maternity bathing suits and Pink Blush topped the list, in my opinion!
4. Take at least one baby-prep class with your significant other
Likely, you both have some pre-baby jitters or even anxiety! Taking a prenatal class together not only helped calm that anxiety, it was SUPER fun. There’s nothing like getting together with the love of your life, talking about your future, and preparing together. Make it into a date night.
I HIGHLY recommend Hilary Erickson’s FREE online prenatal class. It’s free (right now) and you skip the trip to the hospital (or wherever your class is). Hilary has been a labor and delivery nurse for over 16 years and has taught classes like this forever! Plus, you will LOVE her. She’s a mom and knows how it goes.
For baby #1, we booked our class at the hospital, had to take off work and sit in one chair Saturday and Sunday for EIGHT hours each day! Trust me, you want to take Hilary’s class. It’s way better, you have personalized attention and most importantly, after the class you will understand ALL of your delivery options, have a game plan and know how to properly care for your newborn.
5. Get the massage of your lifetime
Pregnancy comes with ALL SORTS of aches and pains. During my first pregnancy, I didn’t allow myself to splurge on a prenatal massage. During the end of my first trimester, I was in pain mentally and physically. I had a wonderful ambulance ride to the ER for pain in my chest and a week later grew an awesome thing in my eye that was obscuring my vision. The culprit? Stress.
Coincidently, during THE SAME stage of my pregnancy the second time around, I had some of these symptoms again. But on top of that, I was now getting splitting headaches and I do not have a history of headaches (and my ears were ringing). On mother’s day, my one request was a prenatal massage. I was aching physically but also mentally, I felt it would do some good.
Guess what happened? Those head-splitting headaches that were plaguing me (and the ear-ringing) immediately stopped. Not only was the massage awesome and relaxing, the masseuse directly massaged areas to relieve these things. It was a Godsend. So, go get a message. At least in your first or third trimester!
6. Do at least one extravagant, nonsensical nesty thing
When your brain goes into “nest-mode”, it seems to power on all sorts of crazy. I found myself at 2 am having climbed on-top of the dryer, 32 weeks pregnant, measuring and screwing in anchors for a shelf. My husband came in, hair disheveled from trying to sleep and said, “What are you doing?!”
Oh, the joys.
Go-in on at least ONE crazy nesting thing and I don’t mean screw in shelves at 2 am. Buy those crib sheets that are ridiculously expensive (if it’s in your budget!) but just match the nursery SO PERFECTLY, that $50 pillow, the dock-a-tot even though you already have a glider and crib or whatever *one thing* you just really want to splurge on.
Don’t break your bank. Create a budget, add money to a jar or whatever but let yourself be gloriously nesty with one awesome thing you really want that has nothing to do with your baby’s basic survival.
7. Treat YO SELF
Go get your hair done, your nails done, get waxed, have your eyebrows done or your eyelashes. Do at least one thing to treat your self. The bonus? You’ll look fantastic in those delivery photos and in the newborn photo session with minimal effort. I got my hair and nails done about a week and a half before delivering. Life savor.
If your budget is tight, then skip the spending and treat yourself with something low-key and cost-effective. Maybe treating your self is curling up on the couch one evening and reading your favorite book or taking a nice long shower (no interruptions) with your favorite music playing.
Life can be so crazy, especially during pregnancy. Remember to try to slow down and treat yourself every once in a while.
8. Splurge on at least one beautiful maternity item
You may feel whale-ish and want to avoid spending money on something so temporary but trust me, it’s worth it (and no matter how much your body has changed, you are BEAUTIFUL.) Buy one awesome maternity dress or whatever and you’ll be feeling brighter once you slip it on. I know I did!
For our second baby, I was determined not to buy maternity clothes. I had them from two years ago. But during our first, I was pregnant mostly in the cold months and now I was pregnant mostly in the warm months! Plus, I was working during the first and bought mostly long-sleeved button-up maternity work things. Ugh. This time, I was a stay-at-home mommy blogger who ran around with her two-year-old all day!
We had a tight budget for baby #2 but I had a little money set aside that I COULD tap into. I just felt, why spend a dime on myself if I could use that somewhere else? Why buy something when I’m twice as big as I was before?
But I caved.
I bought a beautiful dress and it was WONDERFUL. Life is not about buying new fancy things but if you are holding back because of how you look or feel, just do it.
You are beautiful and you deserve it.
9. Go on a babymoon!
A babymoon is the same idea as a honeymoon, minus the $30K+ wedding. And it’s a little in reverse. Instead of celebrating the start of something new, you and your significant other are cherishing your time together before baby arrives. It’s also a fantastic way to unwind, unplug and focus on “us”.
When you have a baby, the “us” thing seems to fade in the background for a new, exciting and challenging family dynamic. More than anything in the world, I LOVE having a little girl. She brings the most wonderful joy, laughter and fun to our lives. Sometimes though, I do miss the simplicity of just “us”, especially when we had a newborn!
You don’t have to go all out and fly to Europe or jump on a cruise, though (but you totally should if you can swing it!). An awesome idea is finding a sweet Airbnb in a cool part of your city, by an attraction nearby, in a different part of your state or travel to a close neighboring state by someplace you’ve always wanted to see.
We’ve rented an Airbnb an hour or so away, closer to the mountains in Colorado. It’s fun to have a whole different living experience, even when it’s close to where you live. Plus, you can get away from the norm. of everyday life and spice things up!
You could also just take the end of the work week off for a long extended weekend. Tell your friends, co-workers and work that you are unplugging and do whatever you’d like with your best friend!
10. Plan an awesome date night
Take a night off and plan something absolutely awesome with your significant other. There are a ton of things you can do, depending on what mood you are in:
- Make a reservation at a restaurant you’ve always wanted to go to. Then, plan on grabbing dessert at a nearby location and talking the night away over chocolate cake with decaf coffee.
- Bring $20 (or whatever amount you’d like) and spend it all at a late night arcade, playing those old co-op games.
- Have a date-night-in and watch that movie you’ve been dying to see, complete with popcorn and movie-themed snacks. Order your favorite take-out and make it a treat OR be flirty in the kitchen and cook dinner together!
- Here’s a list of more date-night- in ideas (I LOVE this list by the Dating Divas. It’s a favorite go-to): check them out here.
- Do some dreaming. Go to an open house that is way out of your price range or go test-drive a car you’d dream of having. I know Groupon has some coupons for test-driving exotic cars!
- Have a fun baking night in and then play a board game or card game you love. Make some mocktails to go with it!
- Take a fun cooking or dancing class.
- Go see an exhibit that peaks your interest at a local museum.
- Go on your own customized local food tour. Plan a weekend day to tour your city’s culture and food. Schedule it ahead of time, make a fun map (bonus points for adding in fun facts for each location or creating a scavenger hunt) and then go from breakfast to brunch, to a fun place, hit up a coffee shop, grab dinner and then end the night with a super fun attraction. Maybe go home and take a long nap in-between all that activity!
You’re growing limbs, organs and all kinds of things inside when you’re pregnant and that’s flippin’ exhausting. On top of that, you have to deal with crazy bodily…outcomes AND life….and other people who you may want to punch in the face (which may be the hormones or they uttered something no one should say to a pregnant woman).
Let yourself relax, slow down and take a breather. Life is crazy enough even without human-growing involved! After you’ve taken a day to yourself, indulged in that food craving, got your hair-did, had an AH-mazing night out or whatever, you’ll feel some measure of relaxation in all that pregnant craziness. No guilty feelings allowed.
You DESERVE it.