When I first found out I was pregnant, I donwloaded every pregnancy app out there, bought all the books and subscribed to every online newsletter available. I tracked my daily progress, hungrily devouring the information that was provided to me. I lived for Sundays, which was the fetus’ ‘birthday’ and on those days I would shout out at my husband while he was in the shower “Babe, today it’s the size of a grain of rice!” and later “Oh my god – its a whole grape love!”
Fast forward to 24 weeks (boom – hello 6 months!) and our big little man is supposedly weighing in at an impressive 600 grams. Still a while to go, but it’s bizarre to think I have something the length of a ruler and the weight of a margarine tub just chilling out in my belly.
I’ve said it before, but I have had an easy pregnancy. However, nothing is without even its small issues, and as the time goes on more and more textbook symptoms are cropping up. Trust me, not much is fun about those, and as much as you try your damnedest to avoid the fateful aches, pains and marks of pregnancy, they are just sometimes unavoidable.
Never fear, I’ve kindly taken lab rat to a new level and experimented with a whole whack of options to cure these issues. Hopefully, if you are on this gassy glorious road to motherhood too, you will find value in some of these solutions.
1. Baby on bladder and other wee issues
I’m fine during the day, but the second bed time comes (around 6:30 pm these days) my bladder fills up faster than a nightclub bar on student night. I have my bedtime routine down to a fine art now; Wee, brush teeth, wee again. Get into bed and read for 30 minutes (get up to wee twice during reading session). During the night its a few more wees, and then a grand wee at around 5 am, bypassing the need for any sort of alarm clock. Ladies, sorry to break it to you, but there is no cure for this – the only thing that has slightly helped is to drink all the water you need during the day and then go H2O cold turkey from about 6 pm. Don’t even be tempted to swallow a little bit when brushing your teeth, no ma’am, even the smallest amount will top up your bladder faster than you can spell w-e-e.
2. Purple marks are the highway to hell
The other morning, while lifting my pendulous bosom from its resting position on my belly, I happened to catch my reflection in the mirror (lately that’s the only way I can see past my neck. Need a bikini wax? There’s no way of knowing unless staring directly into a reflective surface.).
I digress, I caught my reflection in the mirror and let out a howling wail – the underside of my now-no-longer-belong-to-me-boobs were covered in purple stretch marks, and not be too TMI about this, I’ll leave it at that – but let’s say I sobbed all the way to work that day.
Stretchmarks are sons of bitches, and apparently the boob ones do go away after baby is born. The only solution for this is to accept it, move on and dream about the boob job your husband is going to buy you to say thanks for carrying his child for 40 weeks.
As for other stretch marks – I swear by Bio Oil – I use it twice a day, on-top of a Palmers (designed for preggy) body lotion and combined with Palmers preggy body butter. By the time I’m done applying cream in the morning you could squeeze me through a keyhole.
3. Back be damned
A combination of orthopedically un-approved office chairs and a burgeoning belly are a recipe for disaster when it comes to a sore back. No position is comfortable and by the end of the day it hurts to even breathe. Apparently working from bed isn’t an option, so the next best solution is to discard said office chair (burn it if possible) and sit on a gym ball or chair not made from Satans tool box. Getting up during the day also helps. I found myself at one point going outside with the smokers for a bit of a break, until I realised that was probably worse for me than the chair…
4. Your shoes are laughing at you.
As is any form of home pedicure, foot cream or sock. Unless its a shoe you can slip into (praise you dear Havianas) just about any shoe is going to cause an unnecessary amount of bending and uncomfortable contortionism. The other day I walked into the office with one sneaker unlaced. My lovely colleague Lucy kindly tied it for me, as she will be doing for the next 3 months. Thanks Luce!
Top tip – fuck office wear and buy flip flops. Also, pay someone to paint your nails. Someone who isn’t a 3 year old or your husband.
5. If you sleep on your back your baby will die
… is what I told my gynae I’d read online. Which is when he replied with “Kate, imagine all the dead babies scattered around from woman who accidentally fell asleep on thier back!“. Mortified, he had a point – don’t take everything you read online as the gospel. That being said, it’s actually not advisable to sleep on your back. It’s impossible to sleep on your tummy and its pretty uncomfortable to sleep overall. My darling husband bought me a preggy pillow which I used once, and which is now dog bed v2.
I find spooning a regular pillow, and sleeping next to bed hitler (Kate you’re sleeping on your back again!*) helps tremendously.
* And when he calls me Kate I know I’m in kaak.
6. R200 for a belly band? I’ll take 2!
Possibly the biggest life saver during pregnancy has been the ‘belly band’. An overpriced stretchy piece of material that allows you to extend the life of your pants. These little miracle workers have allowed me an extra 6 months in my skinnys. I’ve also found that randomly flashing my unzipped jeans and belly band to colleagues on an almost daily basis more than makes up for the hefty price tag. They just love it.
I have more, but let’s save those treats for months 7 through 9, shall we?