Surviving pregnancy – my surprise essentials

I always hoped that I’d be one of those glowing, delightfully happy pregnant women. Not so much. My goal for most of the past eight months has just been surviving pregnancy, to be honest.

I have days where I think, oh, I’m enjoying this. Then the following day I wake up and am waddling, my back hurts and I hate everyone. You might have heard my complaints about it already. Oops.

And there are a few things that have made my life a lot easier and actually contributed to my surviving pregnancy (almost!) the whole way through! It’s a real mixture of actions and physical objects that meant I kept my physical and mental health mostly intact. I still feel rather overwhelmed, but I’ll get there, I’m sure!

Clothes that fit

They don’t have to be maternity clothes, but there was a day in March or April that I suddenly realised none of my current clothes fit me anymore. I cried. A lot.

The worst part was that I knew it was too early for it to be baby weight, so it was just bloat. I felt fat and frumpy and blargh. I feel like I was in that “pregnant or fat” stage for a long time, to be honest – longer than a lot of women. When I finished work at nearly 35 weeks, I had some people say to me that they hadn’t realised I was pregnant!

I’d advise getting yourself some maternity clothes before you actually need them. So much better than having to get them in a panic!

I’ve had an interesting journey with maternity clothes throughout this pregnancy, and I think I’ll do a longer post on them soon.

A dishwasher

We had a dishwasher before, but it was old. How old? Who knows? It was here when we bought the house a couple of years ago, so could very well have been new when the house was built in 2000-ish. And while dishwashers are great, when they don’t work, they are so very, very frustrating. We’d end up running it multiple times, refusing to give in and just wash up by hand because, well, we have a dishwasher. It might as well work for a living!

But all that meant was that we’d have most of our crockery and cutlery out of commission for a couple of days while we engaged in a battle of wills with an aged, decrepit appliance. To be honest, no one won in that situation.

So, yeah. I decided over the summer that our pregnancy treat would be the oh-so-romantic gift of a new dishwasher, and suddenly surviving pregnancy got a lot easier.

We’ve not got it hardwired in yet, but it’s wonderful. Just knowing that we don’t have to think about whether the crockery and cutlery will be clean is a huge weight off my mind.

Although I’m now getting to the stage where I can’t actually fill it or empty it because I can’t bend down!

A nice soft throw

We did get a lovely big pregnancy pillow, but I was pregnant over the summer. It was a ridiculously warm summer. There was no way I’d be surviving pregnancy if I’d used that comfortable monster throughout!

However, I really needed something extra at night. When I’m lying on my side, I need something between my legs, and I also needed something in front of my super sensitive chest. I ended up rolling up a soft fleecy throw and using that. It’s much smaller and lighter than the pregnancy pillow and it means I don’t wake up so horribly sweaty every morning!

A big handbag

It sounds counter-intuitive. Surely I should be looking for a tiny little bag so I’m not tempted to carry lots and hurt myself? But on the other hand, I have my green notes and they’re pretty huge.

I’ve carried them everywhere with me since I was 16 weeks when I was in a bump in the car. Having to go home to get my notes before going to the hospital was a bit of a worry to me, so I just decided to keep them with me permanently ever since then. My closest colleagues, husband and parents know that they’re in my bag in case of an emergency.

I have been making an effort to keep the rest of the bag nice and light though!

Comfort food

I felt so sick at first, for the first four months or so. I could barely eat, and finding anything that got nutrients into me was the most important thing.

So I stopped worrying about eating “properly” (sorry, all the lovely books I’d bought on pregnancy nutrition – I don’t think I’ve opened any of them since about 5 weeks!) and just started eating. For the first 16 weeks or so, I ate one crisp sandwich and one cheese sandwich a day, sometimes with a Fab ice lolly afterwards. That’s it. I lost a lot of weight but baby and I are both still here and still doing well, which is what matters!

Midway through the second trimester, my mum and I went out for lunch and I had a cheese and tomato toastie at Costa. It was the first bit of food I’d enjoyed in months and it felt wonderful. I felt for the first time I wasn’t just surviving pregnancy; it felt again like I could start living.

Simple games

On a similar note, I’d get home from work at that point and basically collapse on the bed. At 5.30 it was far too early to sleep, but I needed something I could do while lying down. I went back to playing Neopets (yep, it still exists!), and played a lot of Solitaire and Mahjong. I didn’t really have to think about any of them, but it gave me something to distract myself from the sickness.

So that’s mostly what worked for me. What about you?

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