We've made it to week 38. Aside from a handful of braxton hicks contractions …things have been pretty uneventful. The doctor tells me I am likely to go to full term. And although the countdown has been on…now it is really on. I won't whine about this just yet…because you never know – babies come when they want to. But I am so very ready for our little guy to be here. I am ready for the swelling to be gone, the aching joints to go away, and good heavens – to lay on my back, stomach, and sides again without discomfort. That will be amaaazzzinggggg. Soon enough…soon enough.
I thought it would be a good idea to share a handful of products and items that have been life savers during my pregnancy – in hopes they may help another mother-to-be as she attempts to navigate this journey.
Burts Bees Vitamin E Oil
I've really fallen in love with the Burts Bees Vitamin E Oil and Mama Bee Lotion. Although I've had some stretch marks appear on the bottom of my belly in these final weeks, I swear these products have helped keep me moisturized enough up until this point to keep them at bay to the bitter end. The Vitamin E Oil is amazing and I love putting it all over my belly, thighs, and….I won't be shy…my boobs! It's been a luxury item and at such a great price you can't go wrong.
Burts Bees Mama Bee Lotion
As mentioned above, this lotion is a great addition along with the Burts Bees Vitamin E Oil…I love using this lotion all over my body. I've always been one who moisturizes…always. So keeping up the routine since becoming pregnant hasn't been overly taxing.
A Pea in the Pod Maternity Leggings
Maternity leggings…God's gift to pregnant women. I've overused one amazing pair for the last few months and now I am realizing I really should have purchased a few pairs, especially since the weather is cooling down and rumor has it…that even after the baby comes…wearing maternity clothing post baby is typically a new momma's go-to. I may end up snagging up a couple more pairs before the end of the month for comfort sake. What I love most about leggings during pregnancy is that at some point…denim or stiff pants just don't do it…they are uncomfortable, and tight…and leggings are the next best things to sweat pants that you can get away with wearing anywhere.
Nike Tennis Shoes
I've been wearing tennis shoes for the entire third trimester. At the end of July, my feet started to swell…and the only way I could deal with the discomfort and keep the swelling from pooling around my toes was to wear tennis shoes. Thank goodness for my comfy Nikes. I wouldn't have made it through the third trimester without them. A true lifesaver. They are quite worn out now…I'll be making a new purchase in the next month or so.
I love love love this dry shampoo! I've been using it religiously during my pregnancy. I love that it is made with natural ingredients and isn't an aerosol product. Prior to getting the Aveda Shampure dry-shampoo…I would use an aerosol dry shampoo that would literally cause my pregnancy nose to go nuts. I couldn't take the fumes – it was awful. I would gag and dry heave from the smell of the aerosol product. However, this stuff from Aveda has been magic! And I've had many many mornings where the nausea was so strong that taking a shower was just not in the cards…let alone washing and styling my hair.
100% Cotton Underwear
I read once that one of the best ways to "pamper" yourself during pregnancy is buy 100% cotton underwear…and in a size or two larger. At first, I laughed ….scoffed really…granny panties? And a size larger than I already would wear? pffft not me…no no no. Then the end of the second trimester came and…it became a luxury I couldn't ignore. With your ever-growing midsection, hips, thighs, and other lovely areas…the best thing you can do for yourself is wear comfortable underwear. Not to mention…cotton underwear help ward off those nasty UTI's that can sometimes sneak up on pregnant women.
What to Expect When You're Expecting
I am one of those "give me ALL the information" types…I guess you could say I am a little bit of a planner. I've learned over the years that I can't necessarily control things…but I can educate myself enough to know what my options and choices are. While this book could definitely have your head spinning 101 directions…I took it for what it was worth and used it as a way to prompt other questions for my doctor and our Doula. It was super helpful and kept me learning about my body and the little life that has been growing inside these last 9 months!
Pregnancy Pillow aka the "Snoogle"
Early on in my pregnancy, I used the snoogle A LOT…but once baby started getting a bit too heavy…I had to resort to a reclined sleeping position (around the start of the third trimester). I used the snoogle to help give me support in the areas that were growing awkwardly and felt uncomfortable. The little belly bump you want to keep supported while laying on your side? – check! Back support so you don't roll over onto your back at night? – check! Support in between your thighs? – check! This pillow was super nice to have…Dusty even used it a few times 😉
Hired a Doula for Pre-Natal & Birth Support
Dusty and I decided early on in our pregnancy that we wanted a Doula to be a part of our journey and birth experience. Let's face it…this is our first baby and the thought of flying solo in the whole birth experience felt overwhelming. We both had 101 questions, thoughts, and uncertainties. After having experienced an early miscarriage our first time around…we knew that the more support we had…the less our fears would control us. We wanted someone that could share in our worries and joys. Someone we could talk to…and to let us know we were doing a good job. Someone to provide guidance and a listening ear. Someone who wasn't afraid to say "you should call your doctor if you are still concerned", we needed someone who knew enough to reassure us…but wasn't afraid to integrate themselves into our medical/delivery team. Early on in pregnancy, we decided to hire Doulas of Marquette to help us through this crazy pregnancy journey. And it's been such a fantastic experience thus far! One we highly recommend and encourage others to explore!