Friday, April 15, 2011

Maternity 'Must Haves'

Before this pregnancy is all said and done, I thought I'd make a list of things that I couldn't live without during this experience. They may or may not be for everyone, but they definitely things that made my life easier, more comfortable or just more convenient. They are in no particular order, so here goes:

- Be Maternity rouched tank tops from Target - They are $24.99 a piece which is kinda pricey, but I wear them every single day under my shirts. They are the greatest things EVER!! I have a white one and a black one. They are comfortable and smooth everything out nicely. I would recommend getting at least one in white and one in either black or grey.

- Full panel maternity jeans - Old Navy had the best ones for me, but probably anywhere with full panel would work. It makes a world of difference as the belly gets bigger.

- A body/maternity pillow - I got the Boppy body pillow pretty early on because I was having serious hip pains at night. It was a life saver!! I've almost worn it out now so it doesn't have quite the same effect it used to, but it's still good for propping up in bed or on the couch.

- An 'App' (if possible) for your phone to track your pregnancy - I had 3 different ones on my phone AND a couple saved as favorites on my computer. Some gave weekly and some daily updates on what to expect for that part of the pregnancy, approximately what size baby should be, and other tips for dealing with different parts of pregnancy. It has become one of the first things I do in the morning is check and see what little tips they have for that day! I got a lot of good information from them. I recommend the 'What to Expect When You're Expecting' App if available.

- A Tide stain remover pen- I have gotten so clumsy, especially here at the end, and I spill something on myself almost daily! These come in handy to prevent the stain from getting too 'cozy' on my clothes!

- A small travel pill box/container - I take 3 vitamins per day (pre natal, calcium with Vitamin D and DHA supplement) and rather than lug around bottles to keep at work, at home and everywhere in between, I got this perfect little pill holder from GNC that I can keep in my purse. It's helped me stay on track with taking all my pills whether I'm home, at work, out of town or just running errands!

- A pen/paper for your purse - As the pregnancy has progressed, my already lousy memory has gotten somehow much worse. If I don't write something down, it might as well be good as gone. So this has been helpful to have if I need to start making a grocery list, errand list, whatever.

- Fun jewelry - I know this is a weird one, BUT, as I've gotten bigger and clothes aren't looking quite as good on me, I've found that having jewelry to dress up an outfit has helped me feel so much better! A lot of maternity clothes are pretty 'plain' so having something to dress it up for work has given me more options (ie - a plain white tshirt that I bought to wear for errands became totally work appropriate with the right necklace/bracelets, etc).

- A 'back up', easy, quick hairstyle - Again, another weird one. However, as I've gotten more uncomfortable and more tired near the end, having a quick hairstyle that I can do and still look somewhat put together has helped me catch those extra 20 minutes of sleep that I may not live without. Not only that, I've gotten to a point where I'm hot all the time and the thought of getting out the blowdryer and Chi to get my hair 'perfect' sounds less than appealing some days.

- A Babies R Us Member card BEFORE you register, along with signing up for Destination Maternity or any other maternity/baby stores' email lists. - I've gotten so many coupons and rewards through these that I've been able to save quite a bit of money buying necessities simply for getting an email. With the BRU rewards, we earned $20 in 'R Us' bucks to use at the store just simply having our rewards card on our registry so that every dollar spent from the registry turned into rewards points for us! Between coupons, these and a few gift cards, we should be able to complete the final things we need off our registry without having to pay anything out of pocket!

- Kleenex, kleenex and more kleenex - Seriously, I kept them at my desk, and anywhere and everywhere I could in our house. As gross as this is, I feel like I have more junk in my nose and have even had the occasional nose bleed so having those handy was a must.

- A Blog! - Obviously since I'm writing this IN my blog, I took advantage. But it was great to have a place to write down what was happening, how I was feeling and what was going on in our lives during each week of the pregnancy. It was a great release for me, but it will also be something we can look back on later and remember and re-live things. It's also been a good thing to share with friends who are pregnant so they can see what to expect or relate to certain things I was going through.

- Tums, Tums and more TUMS! - I kept these in my purse and a big bottle at home. You never quite know what will affect your stomach in a bad way when you're pregnant so having these available at all times was a life saver!

- Tylenol PM - This was on the 'safe' list of medications you can take while pregnant. I didn't need it all the time, but every so often if I'd had a few rough nights of sleep, taking 2 of these would help me get some good rest and sort of catch back up and start feeling like myself again. They didn't make me drowsy or feel out of it the next day either, mostly just took away any aches or pains and helped me get deeper sleep I was lacking.

-  A Vice - Mine is Diet Dr. Pepper. I don't drink it every day, maybe a couple times a week, but it is the ONE thing that has sounded good through the entire pregnancy and it's my little 'gift' to myself. You spend so much time watching what you eat, what you drink, what you breathe, what you do, etc that it's good to give yourself a little something special. This was also perfect for me because it was my 'drink of choice' at girls nights when other people could enjoy beer, wine or something else.

- A large (refillable) water bottle or cup (with a straw) - They want you to drink SO MUCH water and fluids when you're pregnant. I have a large movie theater cup that I keep at my desk that I try and drink a full glass of every day. Then I make sure to drink more water (or juice/milk) at home to get in all my fluids. On the weekends, I get the large Smart Water bottles and try to drink 2 per day and usually that gets me to my max. It gives me an end goal to be sure I'm getting what I need without just guessing.

- Last but not least, I know this is cheesy, but a supportive husband! - I honestly don't know how I would have ever gotten through this process without Nick. From foot rubs, to cleaning the house for a baby shower I was throwing to going on walks with me to bringing my nursery vision to life, he's been so wonderful. That's not to say we haven't had our disagreements here and there, but there is by far no one else I would have wanted to go through this with. Having him there has made this process much easier, more fun and more exciting!

I'm sure there were other things, but these are the ones that stick out mostly to me. As you can tell a lot of these are inexpensive or even free. I'm not a fan of spending all this money for such a short amount of time. I'm all about practicality and comfort. Some of these have been life savers, some have just been nice to have. During this wonderful, scary, exciting, emotional time, every bit of comfort is very welcomed!

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