Sep 8, 2020

Perks of Being Pregnant During a Pandemic

There are plenty of cons to having a baby during a pandemic, so I decided to take a little time to write a post with the silver linings of being pregnant right now!

More time with my husband.

Maple Salmon RecipeMy husband has been working from home since late March and will be doing so until next spring at the earliest. He's my favorite person in the world, so it's been wonderful to have all this time together. We both do our own thing for most of the day on workdays, but it's really nice to have access to him always, for a quick hug or to say hi or to pet our cats together.

When he's at the office his company's chefs prepare lunch for everyone on the team. At home he doesn't have that perk, so it's been fun trying a bunch of different lunch recipes out on him over the past half a year! At this point, we've gotten into a routine with dishes that he really likes and I make for him regularly, but it's always a lot of fun to try out something new. 

Pictured is a massaged kale salad with maple salmon that was a hit the other day! Cooking two meals a day most days has also been great practice and I feel like my cooking skills have improved. I've also noticed I'm a lot more comfortable cooking off-recipe, altering recipes, making up my own recipes, and cooking while juggling other tasks. That multitasking ability is going to be super helpful when the little one is here, especially because we want her to mostly eat healthy, homecooked meals.

Reduced wait times at doctor's offices.

Doctors are important and especially so when you're pregnant. That said, there are so many doctor's appointments when you're expecting! I've already been to the doctor's office more often in my pregnancy thus far (at 22 weeks + 5 days) than in my entire adult life leading up to now. 

Due to the pandemic and wanting to reduce the risk of in-office transmission, doctor's offices have been much better than usual about scheduling appointments to minimize waiting time. I've been seen within 5 minutes of checking in for almost every one of my appointments so far! Being able to get in and out fairly quickly is so appreciated. It makes all the appointments feel more manageable, and less like a part-time job.

Aug 31, 2020

Surviving the First Trimester

I'm halfway through the second trimester at this point and the memory of my rough first trimester is already fading. 

Funny how that works! When I was going through it I couldn't understand how anyone could voluntarily have a second pregnancy after experiencing that once. But queasy memories fade and excitement takes over (see below, me at 21 weeks pregnant now!).

21 weeks pregnant bump

During my first trimester reading other expectant moms' experiences was one of my favorite ways to make it through the day. So here's a little recap of my first trimester experience, along with what made it a little more tolerable for me!

I only found out that I was pregnant at 7 weeks + 2 days, a week after the really rough morning sickness kicked in, but looking back I can spot quite a few symptoms that I wrote off as nothing at the time.

Being very hungry. Sleeping more and more soundly than usual. Thirst. Sore breasts. Reduced heat tolerance. Occasional queasiness. All of that went on for a solid month before the horrid morning sickness kicked in. Here are a few things that helped me make it through the two weeks of peak morning sickness and the touch-and-go two weeks after that.

Sea bands.

My big sister actually used these on a cruise a few years back to ward off motion sickness. Funnily enough, they also work for morning sickness! In those early weeks I wore them almost 24/7, taking them off only to shower and to switch out bands, and while they helped prevent the morning sickness from getting too bad. 

That said, they're definitely more preventative than remediative. They're good for preventing the nausea from getting too bad, but when it's already really bad they aren't going to do much to make it go away (in my experience, at least).

Even now into the second trimester I'm more sensitive to driving in a car than usual and like to keep a pair of sea bands in my handbag, in case I have to take an Uber anywhere. Better safe than sorry!

Ginger candies, ginger tea, ginger ale. 

Ginger people ginger chews and hard candies taste pretty good and can be really helpful for taking the edge off of nausea. I kept bags on various surfaces all around the apartment, so they were never too far out of reach when I needed them. That was really important, because the first trimester combination of incomparable fatigue and debilitating nausea was enough to keep me couch-bound for days on an end at a time! Sometimes it felt like I really couldn't get up, even if I wanted to.

Ginger ale helped a little for a day or two, but then the carbonation was too much for me and the liquid sweetness turned my stomach. I'm keeping it on this list because I've heard from others that it worked for them! Ginger tea, boiled and then cooled down to room temperature, was much better for me and I was able to use it to stay hydrated when even water made me feel ill.

Aug 27, 2020

Becoming Parents, Staying Partners

My husband is the best. He's kind, he's smart, he's caring, he's thoughtful, he's funny, he's the world's greatest cuddler, and he's the only person I've ever met who I never tire of. 

I've been in love before, but it wasn't anything close to this. This accepting, exciting, warm, safe, head over heels love sans insecurities or incompatibilities is seriously so far beyond my wildest dreams that I wonder sometimes if I'm going to wake up and realize that the past two years have been some sort of far-fetched coma dream. If I did, I think I'd still be grateful for the time.

As those of you who've been reading my blog for a while know, my husband and I are (surprise!) expecting a child together in this upcoming January. Eep! I'm so excited and so, so happy. There is no one I would rather be moving into this next phase of life, parenthood, with.

Still, the first phase of our life together with just the two of us has been so wonderful that I very much hope we bring a lot of that into the next phase with us. And so I'm setting some goals for myself and my relationship, because having a solid framework to come back to helps me stay on target. 

A researcher by both nature and nurture (I'm the child of a professor and a librarian), I've been soaking up all that I can about relationship management through the first-time-parents transition. I've been reading all the books I can get my hands on and listening to all the podcasts I can download for my morning strolls. 

Something that keeps coming up is appreciation. It's not that couples want to start taking each other for granted, but time pressures, stress, and plain old human acclimatization make it the default path if you don't actively, consciously work to avoid it.

Goal 1: Take a few minutes every day to feel gratitude for my husband and our relationship. 

Life gets busy and that'll be even more true with a newborn, but I can always find two or three minutes for my priorities. Our relationship is a priority. 

Today, I am grateful for how understanding my husband is. 

I am grateful for how he's been there for me through my very rough first trimester and the morning (all day) sickness that I still occasionally struggle with. 

I am grateful for how generous he is, always offering to take off time from work to bring me to my obstetrician appointments without me asking even though he isn't allowed into the appointments themselves and has to wait patiently outside (gosh darn covid-19). 

I am grateful for how safe he makes me feel in his arms, how he can always make me smile, how he smells like heaven on earth, and how much he cares about me.

Today, tomorrow, and for all the rest of my days, I am grateful for the wonderful, inspiring person that my husband is.

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