So you’re thinking about getting pregnant
This is not going to be a “birds and the bees” type post. If you need to learn how to make a baby, 1) you are too young to be reading this! Go ask your parents and make them uncomfortable, or 2) you went through an “Abstinence Only” school program. In that case I empathize, but there’s probably a “Baby-making for Dummies” out there that is far better equipped to educate you than I am. This post is my list of all the things you should do BEFORE making the choice to get knocked up. Also, I’m just pretty much addressing the gals here. Life doesn’t change much for guys, at least until after the kiddo is born, so they have more time to study up.
1) Eat all the forbidden pregnancy foods – Gorge yourself on raw sushi and oysters, lavish in hot dogs and deli meat, drink mimosas every day, wallow in soft cheeses and unpasteurized dairy products, but still avoid tuna because mercury is bad. Eat sushi until you’re so sick of it you won’t WANT it for nine months. There is a ton of stuff you can’t have, so enjoy it now.
2) Detox from any addictions – You’re going to have to cut out the caffeine, nasal spray, cigarettes, and other drugs, so start weaning yourself off now. Obviously if you’re on a medication prescribed by your doctor, check with said doctor about pregnancy and all that jazz. I’m not a doctor, so ask your professional. I can tell you that coming off my regular dose of caffeine was really awful. The first trimester you will be insanely tired, as though you’re on Nyquil the whole time, but have to stay awake. Add lack of caffeine and withdrawal headaches to that, and it was torture.
3) Prepare for the sleepiness – You won’t want to do much but sleep, but you still need to eat. You’re not at the “eating for two” stage yet, so don’t go overboard, but you still need some fuel in your system. For me, eating actually helped alleviate some of the sleepiness, and eating good food, like veggies and protein, helped the most. In anticipation of the debilitating sleepiness you’re about to experience, make and freeze several meals in advance. Soups and stews are great for this. Keep in mind you might be struggling with nausea as well, so try to stick to foods you can make yourself eat even when you don’t feel like eating. You might also have strange food aversions, like you suddenly can’t stand chicken, so don’t stock up on any one thing.
4) Prepare for pregnancy brain – if you don’t already keep some kind of calendar and To Do list, you might want to start. You will forget things, constantly. I have always had a pretty bad memory, and I thought I was fairly well adapted to it. My brain has surprised even me in its sudden uselessness. I suddenly have trouble typing: I hit the right keys, just in random order. It’s incredibly frustrating. Fortunately, most people are pretty understanding. I forgot the word Bacos the other day and asked Hubby if he wanted “Meat Sprinkles” on his baked potato.
5) Read “What to Expect when you’re Expecting” or another pregnancy book of your choice – There are all kinds of bizarre things that can and will happen to you while pregnant, so it’s best to know in advance what to expect. Hopefully you can prepare for things like swollen feet, stuffed nasal passages, and suddenly giant boobs before they occur. Read the most horrifying parts out loud to your spouse/partner/impregnater to guilt them into doing things for you.
6) Start a journal – There are sweet, beautiful, hilarious, disgusting, and interesting things that happen during pregnancy, and you will NOT remember them. You have pregnancy brain, so start writing stuff down. It doesn’t have to be every day; I just write down when something worth remembering, like the meat sprinkles incident, occurs. I have already looked back at what I wrote six months ago and thanked past me for taking the time to write stuff down. You will appreciate it, and your kid might also, when they’re old enough to not be grossed out about it.
Obviously getting pregnant is a huge decision, and one you should actually DECIDE on, not just allow to occur. I’m not here to pressure you into getting knocked up; kids aren’t the right choice for everyone. I’m hoping that once you have made the well-thought-out choice to have kids, this article can help prepare you for the horrors that await. If I wanted to discourage you from getting pregnant, I would just leave this post unedited, with all of my ridiculous typos, so you can witness the ravages of pregnancy brain first hand! There’s no better birth control than pregnancy, but you should still go into it knowing what to expect.
UPDATE: I forgot (preggo brain strikes again), get in shape! The better shape you’re in, the better you’ll bounce back from pregnancy, and the more active you’ll be able to be during the pregnancy. Also, start working your arms out NOW in preparation for carrying around your precious bundle. I practiced by carrying my cats around. I figure that way I get experience with a wiggly thing trying to escape, which is more realistic than a free weight. I’ll continue to update this post as I remember things. Assuming I remember I run a blog.
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