Wednesday, August 14, 2013

What To Really Expect When You're Expecting - Read this article!

Sometimes the things that people (my friends?) share on Facebook are pretty ridiculous, annoying, obnoxious, etc. And sometimes they are fantastic and I’m so glad that at some point in my life I encountered that person and that to this day they are sharing great things with me (well, not me specifically but hey, I get to see the stuff since we are "friends"). Here’s an example – a great article on pregnancy (one of my favorite topics lately…I wonder why).

I have had SOOOO many people give me pregnancy advice. I can’t and won’t share it all with you, because let’s get real…I think most of it was pretty crappy!  Anyway, my favorite/the best advice has always come from my sister in law (Lisa Flynn) who on numerous occasions has reminded me that everything in moderation is good. The first few weeks of my pregnancy with Jack were so overwhelming because I spent too much time:

-worrying about caffeine (tried to go cold turkey at the advice of my husband and suffered from killer headaches for a week), 
-agonizing over what to eat at lunch meetings (one day I had a bleu cheese burger that was cooked medium and after consuming it, I was sure I had poisoned my child with raw meat & imported cheese),
-thinking that I would have to abstain from even a sip of alcohol for 9 ½ months (unless I wanted to risk fetal alcohol syndrome affecting my precious child.)

I had quite a range of emotions going on those first few weeks and let me tell you, most of them were not joyful (& were complicated by constant nausea…I mean throwing up your cereal as you are walking out the door to work just doesn't encourage happy emotions if you ask me). Fortunately I threw most of the advice out the window and was blessed to encounter lots of supportive moms (especially Lisa!) who reminded me that when you are pregnant the best thing you can do for your baby is take care of yourself. And that includes physical, mental, emotional, and nutritional health, but no one needs to take it to extremes.  You don’t have to follow every rule in every pregnancy “self help” book that you encounter. What works for some people does not and will not work for everyone. 

So here’s what I do:

Exercise – try to walk in the evenings or on the weekends when I can. But most of the time my “exercise” involves chasing Jack around. I’m physically exhausted by the end of the day so I’m pretty darn sure my pregnant body is moving enough. I bought a prenatal exercise DVD three weeks ago. I haven’t opened it. My goal is to try it tonight. (That’s been my goal for the last three weeks.)

Diet – I eat what I want. I trust my body! I firmly believe that if I am craving a heavily buttered English muffin… I need to eat it. I don’t believe that I need a cupcake at 8am, but guess what? I’ve enjoyed breakfast dessert on numerous occasions during this pregnancy. I’m not dead yet, and my sweet little baby is doing just fine (confirmed at the doctor this morning). I eat sushi (with shrimp, crab, avocado & cream cheese…yummy!). I drink small amounts of red or white wine (I’m talking 2-3 oz…don’t fall out of your seat there) with dinner a few times a week.  I have one cup of coffee a day, or sometimes tea instead. And sometimes I have two cups. I also eat whole wheat bread/pasta, brown rice, lots of fruits & vegetables…and…ice cream. And frozen yogurt. (Baby needs calcium, and so do I.) As I write this, I’m realizing that it is so sad that I am feeling like people would/will judge me for eating/drinking any of the aforementioned items! Like pregnant women don’t have enough to worry about (carrying a baby inside of your own body is a difficult task) and then here we are obsessing about what we eat/drink and when, instead of using the common sense God blessed us with. Silly!

Other stuff – I take baths (pretty warm ones…bordering on hot but John normally catches me and turns the heat down) almost every night. With Jack I read somewhere (who cares where?!) that pregnant women should not take baths. Uhhhhh, what? Not true. Taking a bath is relaxing and allows me to shave my legs, which by the way, are much easier to reach (over this growing baby bump) when I’m in the bath than when I'm in the shower. Who out there wants me to have hairy legs?! That is not good for anyone’s mental/emotional state.  Anyway. I’m trying to think of other things that I do that I “shouldn't.” Ooh! Got one. Sometimes I lift “heavy” things. Like my 27 lb. son, or a heavy box. And people fall all over themselves and tell me not to hurt the baby!!! But I’m okay. So is baby.

Anyway, the point of sharing this article & my personal pregnancy “plan” is to make you (gentle reader) feel better about your own decisions as a mama. Trust yourself and ignore most of the madness you encounter on the internet, from your friends, from your mom (not my mom though, she gives nice/moderate advice.) Enjoy being pregnant (to the best of your ability). If that includes a strict exercise routine and abstaining from delicious food & the occasional beverage (coffee? wine?) then more power to you. And if it doesn't  keep your head up anyway and know that you are doing just fine taking care of your baby, and yourself. 

Johnny & I enjoying dinner with my family this weekend at Shadowbrook. I indulged in caesar salad, lobster & mashed potatoes, a few oz. of Rombauer Chardonnay, and dessert. Oh, and some bread with lots of butter!
And it was AMAZING!!!

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