When I found out I was pregnant, I was not sure what I was in for. The first few weeks were so easy, it was almost like I wasn’t even pregnant. I remember it started hitting around week 8 and then I knew something was going on. Everything I had read always spoke on the warm and fuzzy side of pregnancy, not the ugly and gross side. I was blind sided when the ugly, annoying, and just plain gross symptoms started appearing.
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The Sleep Deprivation is Real
Of course, you always hear about morning sickness and I was prepared for that. However, no one told me how tired you would be. I would sleep 10 hours at night and come home from work and take a nap. If I didn’t work I took two naps on top of how much I slept at night. Being exhausted is something I was not ready for at all. For some reason, I just assumed I would build an entire human being and not need any extra energy, HA! I wish there was a tip or trick I had to get you through this portion but unfortunately, sleep is the only cure. However, I would highly suggest a pregnancy pillow! I was lucky enough to get one from a close friend. At the time I didn’t understand how valuable they are!
The Annoying Symptom No One Tells You About
One of the super annoying symptoms I had throughout my pregnancy was varicose veins. Holy mother of pearl these suckers were so annoying. First, I know this does not cause any physical pain however, they were so ugly! I was pregnant from March-November so a large portion was spent in the warmer months. Wearing shorts was just not something I could do because it seriously looked like someone hit me on the back of my legs. Not to mention I got picked on and people were usually super grossed out.
These suckers were like popping out of my skin. It was super gross looking. I had to wear compression leggings or socks just to keep it from getting worse. The reason I got such bad varicose veins is because I am a rather small person and I put on about 27 lbs (I know not a lot) and I stood on my feet 8 hours or more a day.
The Worst Symptom of All
The worst symptom by far was migraines. I suffered from migraines before pregnancy that were mostly period related. However, when you are pregnant you cannot take medication that will actually help. I had a migraine every day for the first three months of my pregnancy. I took the Tylenol but it seriously did nothing so I gave up. The only thing that would get rid of my migraines was sleep. Which I could only do after work, working through a migraine by the way is impossible. Especially since I worked in a coffee shop, so really noisy.
I finally went to the doctor and was told what I already knew, I could either suffer or take medication that could endanger my baby. I chose to suffer, however, I finally found a method that worked for me. To start my day I’d drink a small cup of black tea and if I started to get a headache I would take tylenol and drink another small cup of black tea. Before anyone freaks out, this is only 80 mg of caffeine and I spoke to my doctor first. The recommended daily amount is 200 mg. I would also apply peppermint oil to my temples and the back of my neck. This combination knocked out about 85% of my headaches and made my migraines tolerable.
How I Flourished in Pregnancy
There are a few products I recommend buying that I helped me so much during pregnancy. I recommend the following products:
- Pregnancy Pillow
- Good Lotion
- Essential oils
I already mentioned one and that is the pregnancy pillow! That thing wraps around you and if your child carries low like mine, helps take the pressure off your hips. Just out the pillow between your legs and the pressure isn’t as bad, sometimes it was even gone. Loved my pregnancy pillow so much, it supported everything, boobs included! I used a pillow like this one. I really liked the C shape of it!
The second item I would recommend is lotion for your belly! A good nourishing lotion, something with cocoa butter or shea butter. I say this because it helps keep your skin moisturized and can help cut down on stretch marks. Now I am not saying this will completely stop the stretch marks because it is all dependent on weight gain and genetics, but it can help! I used it every morning and night and with the recommended weight gain, I was able to not get a single stretch mark….on my belly. Also, I would also advise putting some on the boobs and thighs. I got stretch marks there which really sucks but oh well! I recommend using Palmers Cocoa Butter
The third item I recommend is good insoles for your shoes. I cannot stress enough how much these can help if you are on your feet and pregnant. Even if you aren’t pregnant, you deserve good insoles!! I recommend a shoe with memory foam or Dr. Scholl’s. I wore Sketchers memory foam shoes and they were great for a couple months but the Dr. Scholl’s lasted much longer and felt like a pillow. I bought these ones and I still use this kind every day!
Lastly, I highly recommend looking into essential oils*. Since most medications are off limits during pregnancy, looking to natural and safe remedies are a must! I used Lemon, Lavender, Peppermint, and Thieves almost daily! I also used oils during breastfeeding since the medication list is still close to nonexistent. During my birth, I used Peace and Calming to help keep tension low. After birth, I used an amazing perispray made of essential oils to help promote healing. I could go on and on about how I have used oils instead of medication. If you want more information, head on over to my post about my essential oil guide!
*consult a doctor before using essential oils