Quick Takes: Molars, House cleaning, and ASL

  • We actually got the house cleaned this weekend! Yay for long holiday weekends! We decluttered, cleaned almost everything (there’s a wee bit remaining), and made time for relaxing and spending time with friends and family. It was a truly lovely weekend, and I felt so refreshed by it. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me at this point. It’s a huge weight off my mind to know for certain the house is going to be basically clutter-free and clean no matter when Noah arrives.
  • Yesterday I had fun finishing up the shopping for the few things we still needed for Noah. I’ve got a couple packages arriving sometime this week with the last of those items, and then all I need to do is wash and organize. We’ll need to set up the bassinet beside our bed, and clean and install the car seat, and we’ll be prepared for his grand entrance. I don’t anticipate doing the bassinet and car seat for a couple more weeks, at least.

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  • On the pregnancy front, I am becoming quite uncomfortable. It feels as though Noah has dropped and is resting with his skull directly on my pelvis. The past few days it is painful every time I take a step. I can handle it, except when I need to carry Aria. That has become nearly impossible in the last 24 hours. I’m fidgeting with my support belt to see if I can position it in such a way that it helps enough, but so far I haven’t had a lot of luck. Friday I have an appointment with Stephanie, and we’ll see what she has to say about what the pain is and how I should be dealing with it. We are certainly hoping to keep Noah content for three more weeks. But, I really hope I don’t have to deal with this pain for that long (or longer). I am going to feel guilty if I can’t give Aria the level of physical touch she’s used to these last few weeks of her time as an only child.
  • Speaking of which! Aria is working on molars. She’s chewing on her fingers, and is quite fussy and needy. She’s a sunshiny little trooper, so she really tries to overcome the discomfort and enjoy life, but it’s not always possible to distract her enough. Of course, this all means she’s more clingy than usual, which I typically would enjoy. Unfortunately, her neediness is coinciding with my issues with walking, and it’s not a good combination. On a different note, she’s learning the word “please”, which comes out “peasss!” and it’s adorable.
  • And finally, here is something random I think will amuse you: I’ve always had this tendency to pick up others’ accents, which I’ve figured was because I’m extremely aural. Accents and pronunciation of other languages come very easily to me. Recently I’ve been watching that Family Channel show Switched at Birth, which prominently features deaf characters and the use of American Sign Language. Turns out, I don’t just try to pick up accents. After I watch that show, I actually start trying to sign to people while I speak to them…even though I know almost no ASL. It’s kind of hilarious. I have to deliberately stop myself from making nonsense motions with my hands while I speak to Andy or Aria.

Please tell me you do something bizarre like that, too?

My Top 5 Pregnancy/Postpartum Must Haves

Top 5 Must Haves for Pregnancy and Post-PartumTop 5 Must Haves for Pregnancy and Post-Partum

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  1. Comfy flats/sandals. Included in the “why didn’t anyone ever tell me this?” category is the fact that your feet may change size when you are pregnant. Permanently. The hormone changes that allow your body to make room for baby cause all of your ligaments to loosen. This may mean your feet spread out, making your shoes too tight. It is not guaranteed to happen, and there’s no way to know until several months post-pregnancy whether they will stay larger or return to their original size. When I was pregnant with Aria my feet went up a shoe size, and there they stayed. With Noah they have stayed the same size. If your feet do change size, invest in comfortable, stable shoes, but don’t get carried away with your spending until you know (6 months after birth) whether they will stay that size.
  2. Good undergarments. I knew my breasts would change with pregnancy (everybody knows that, right?), but it never occurred to me that as my belly expanded my panties might become uncomfortable (and some women gain most of their weight in the hips/thighs during pregnancy – sorry, ladies). As your pregnancy progresses it is worth it to get fitted for a good bra that actually fits (your breasts are preparing to make milk – you do not want to squash them right now), and you may also find you need a new size and/or style of panties, well.
  3. Evening Primrose Oil and Red Raspberry Leaf Tea. These herbs are natural methods to prepare your body for labor. They help to strengthen your uterus to make it work more efficiently and effectively when you go into labor. They will not induce labor, but they can help encourage it when your body is ready.
  4. Witch hazel and pads. These are post-pregnancy musts. You can prepare your own post-birth spray, or you can use the witch hazel pads typically used for hemorrhoids. As you are already aware from dealing with your menstrual cycle, determining which pads you prefer is a matter of testing them out. If you deliver at the hospital, they are likely to send you home with some. If you have a home or birth center birth, you will likely need to provide your own. Be sure you have a couple of options on hand. This time around I’ll be doing this.
  5. Pillows. Pregnancy requires you to sleep on your side from 12ish weeks on. Unless you are a natural side sleeper, this is likely to be a tough adjustment for you. As you become larger, you will need a pillow to throw your leg over, or to put between your legs. You have several options for pillows. Personally, I have a Boppi body pillow, but often find it too confining and prefer to use several old pillows instead. (Andy loves pillows, so they aren’t hard to come by around here.) I sleep with two for between my legs/under my top leg, depending on what feels comfortable at the moment, and one to wrap my arms around. I find it necessary to wrap my arms around one to keep my chest from collapsing, which is very uncomfortable.

What have I missed?

Other posts in this series:

5 Tips for Pregnancy on a Budget

5 Tips for Baby on a Budget

5 Tips for Pregnancy on a Budget

5 Tips for Pregnancy on a Budget

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If you’re anything like me, you don’t want to (or can’t) break the bank just because you’re pregnant. And yet, you are likely to find there are expenses that have never before occurred to you (like having to replace your entire shoe collection – that one took me by surprise). If you’re budget-conscious, you might appreciate these ideas for saving some moolah on your pregnancy needs:

  1. Don’t go overboard shopping early. As soon as you find out you are pregnant you are likely to start wishing you needed maternity clothes and imagining you might see a little bump. Most women won’t need any pregnancy clothes for 2-3 months after they find out they are expecting for the first time. If you purchase too early you may end up with clothes in the wrong size and/or the wrong season. You can stretch your non-maternity pants further with something like this (or a rubberband through your buttonhole and over the button, if your budget’s really tight…or you’re cheap).
  2. Consider borrowing maternity clothes. Personally, I haven’t really done this, primarily because we are planning to have enough children to make the option impractical. However, many people find it to be a great option for saving money. You may likely have friends who are ready to clean the maternity clothes from their closets permanently, and may want to bless you with them – don’t be afraid to mention on Facebook that you’re happy to take unwanted items off peoples’ hands!
  3. Purchase secondhand. Many women get carried away with their maternity clothes purchases, and then wear the clothes only a handful of times. When our hormones and excitement kick in, it is so easy (and fun) to totally ignore my first piece of advice. 🙂 In our area we have a Clothes Mentor store that carries a large selection of clothes in all the name brands. Maternity clothes are pricey – retailers know they have you on the line – and the quality is rarely worth the price. Nice secondhand clothes are a great option.
  4. Keep yourself as healthy as possible. That means eating as healthily as you can manage (but don’t be too hard on yourself – sometimes in the first trimester it’s all you can do to find something you can stomach, healthy or no). Also, exercise. The best exercise for pregnancy is walking – and it’s free! You can find many good prenatal exercise DVDs online, as well. If you are currently very active, you will likely be able to keep up your current regimen for a significant portion of your pregnancy (consult your doctor – I am not qualified to give medical advice). Your healthy pregnancy can help you avoid complications, improve your labor and delivery experience, and ease and shorten your recovery time post-delivery. In some instances your healthy habits can also keep your child from a stay in the NICU (for example, if you have gestational diabetes). There is never a guarantee – pregnancy’s annoyingly like life in that way – but trust me, if you do end up with complications, you’ll feel better if you KNOW you didn’t add to them.
  5. Weigh your childbirth options. It is far cheaper to give birth without interventions such as an epidural or (God forbid) a C-section. The topic of unmedicated childbirth is at least a post unto itself, so I won’t go into details here. If you’re intrigued by it, though, or if your budget dictates that you need to have as cheap a delivery as possible, do your research! In my area, we have a stand alone birth center for unmedicated childbirth that is considerably cheaper than a hospital stay (that’s aside from the cost of medication and anesthesiologists if you choose medication in the hospital). You may also choose to have a homebirth – this option is cheapest of all, as you will pay only for your midwife’s professional fee and whatever labor tools you choose to have on hand.

I’d love to hear from you! What are your best tips for saving money during pregnancy?