There’s a lot that happens throughout your pregnancy that doctors won’t tell you…or maybe there’s just too many possibilities for them to warn you about, so here’s a few examples of what CAN and what HAS happened in mine so far:
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU FLY PREGNANT
There used to be an ankle there… We went home to Boston for my baby shower at 28 weeks pregnant and had 2 flights within 48 hours. I was given the OK by my OBGYN with special instruction to make sure I got up and walked around at least once every hour or so. With an hour and a half flight, I got up to use the bathroom once, but who can really move around easily on a plane? When we landed, I lifted my pant leg to see both my ankles were completely swollen, one of which was barely there at all!
This happens because of strained circulation, especially on the lower limbs. When we got home, I elevated my legs, had my husband rub my feet (bonus!) and put ice on my ankles to try and reduce swelling. The next day, they still hadn’t gone down all the way and even my most comfortable shoes didn’t fit! That’s when this happened:
I traded in my Jack Rogers and Sperry sandals for Padded. Nike. Flip Flops. They were the only shoes I could find that were comfortable, fit over my kankles and had some kind of gel padded Heaven happening on the soles of my feet. Admittedly, I felt like a high school soccer player or a mother of 3 who has officially thrown in the towel…but I GET it! These things are amazing and I’m keeping them forever.
FINALLY GIVING UP THE TREADMILL
If I look happy in this picture, it’s because I had just gotten home from the gym and made the inevitable decision to quit. I quit the gym. Well, I quit my go-to cardio, walking at an incline on the treadmill. I first gave up on Body Pump during my second trimester. Then came the end of the stair-master because I couldn’t breathe. Now I’ve called it quits on the treadmill because I constantly have to PEE!!! So I go to the bathroom before I leave the house, then I get to the gym (a 7 minute drive) and use the ladies room again before I get on the treadmill and then I start walking and my little baby decides to JUMP and JUMP and JUMP on my bladder. I don’t know what actually happens but I think he sits really low while I’m being active and it puts SO much pressure on my belly and bladder. It is beyond uncomfortable and finally, just not worth it.
I have tried yoga, don’t love it, but plan on trying a prenatal yoga class this week. From what I have gathered from other experienced mommies, prenatal yoga is a lot of stretching and breathing. I could use some of both, so I’ll try it, but I also love some movement so I tried an “aquasize” class at the gym last week and actually really liked it! First of all, I was the only woman under the age of 70. You know what that means? I was the pregnant youngster and everyone was like a makeshift Nonna for the hour. All of these lovely ladies were so sweet and helpful and even invited me to lunch!! PLUS, being in the water relieved some pressure on my belly and it’s actually a decent workout, especially when they incorporate water weights and dumbbells. So if I do workout these last 2 months, this will probably be my new go-to.
YOUR BELLY BECOMES BIGGER THAN YOU THINK
Yes, this is my husband’s old t-shirt, yes, it is August and I’m wearing snowflake pajama pants and YES, these are stains and no, I don’t know what they’re from. I had plopped my ass on my “pregnancy chair” (or loveseat that I have claimed) and looked down to discover some new stains. I am constantly bumping into things and spilling things all over myself. Sometimes I try to smell them to see if there’s any familiarity or recollection….and the baby isn’t even here yet! I stopped caring.
NEW SKIN ISSUES
I started finding little patches of flaky, itchy skin on my body, had my doctor take a look and she said I had eczema. Being an esthetician, I figured that’s what it was but I had never had it before and being pregnant, you never know. I didn’t know if I had developed a food allergy or had some kind of contact dermatitis. The spot that really bothers me the most is under my wedding rings! It is itchy, flaky, red and irritated all the time. The only time it clears up is when I take my rings off at night and smother my hand in cocoa butter, coconut oil, or hydrocortisone and leave it alone while I sleep. Because I use my hands so much for work, I constantly wash them and soap, water, and lotion gets stuck underneath and cause irritation, not helping the eczema.
We give up a lot of our independence and sexy feminism during pregnancy, so I’ll be dammed if I have to give up my wedding rings too! I’m leaving them on until my finger gets too fat and circulation becomes a serious issue!
Stay strong and happy, ladies!!