Advice- 38 Weeks

I've had so much wonderful advice given to me during these long 9 months (and a little bit of not so great advice too). I honestly haven't tired of hearing other women's pregnancy and birth stories, but I want to be careful that when this is over I don't feel the need to attack every first time pregnant person I know and dump all of my advice on them. Instead, I'm going to write down everything I wish I would have known 9 months ago. Maybe this will help any future mamas out there, and if it's true that I'm going to forget everything and happily sign up to be pregnant again, then this might be helpful for me during round two. 
  • Morning sickness is a beast man. The first week or so I didn't realize that forcing myself to eat more often, no matter how horrible it seemed at the time, would have actually helped me feel a little better. Once I figured that out, I still wanted to die, but the desire wasn't quite as strong. 
  • If you tell your doctor you're suffering from something, and they offer to write you a prescription, go to the store immediately after the appointment and pick it up. If you aren't sure you want to take it that's fine, but at least it will be available when you've reached the end of your rope. I waited almost two weeks before taking the wonderful, heaven-sent Zofran to help with morning sickness. And I waited about a month too long before taking Zantax to help with heart burn. I just wanted to be tough and avoid any unnecessary medications, but it turns out these were absolutely essential to my survival (and my husband's). 
  • Do not make any decisions involving cutting your hair while you are pregnant. If you want to cut it that's fine, but wait until after the baby is born. I can't tell you how many times I get a little down about not being in control of my rapidly changing body, that I think cutting my hair will make me feel better. WRONG. Cutting my hair will only make me look like a pregnant boy. Then I will be more miserable than before and look really ugly while crying about it. 
  • Do not put off buying maternity clothes. 1. They are more comfortable than you can imagine. 2. They fit better than any non-maternity item you think you can fool yourself with. 3. It is not a waste of money because they are made to grow with you, and you're going to have to buy them in the end anyway so you might as well start early. 
  • Listen to people when they tell you how good you look. Even if you just finished throwing up and your back feels like it's broken, they don't know that and they think you look adorable. Don't turn their compliments down, but try your best to listen and take them in; you need all the positive affirmations you can get. 
  • Don't feel guilty about not being as productive or active as you used to. It took me a few months before I stopped feeling bad. Now I've learned to love my new lazy lifestyle so much, I hope that I don't have a hard time adjusting back.
  • Invest in a body pillow ASAP. 
  • Begin searching for baby gear as soon as you know the gender (or sooner if you don't mind gender neutral stuff). There is so much to buy and if you begin right away, then you can wait to find really good deals on the stuff that you really want. If you wait until the last minute you'll either have to pay full price, or buy something used that isn't exactly what you were looking for but you've run out of time. I've found several great items I love that look brand new at yard sales, and saved hundreds of dollars. 
  • Learn to find joy in the growing numbers on the scale each week. It's not you that's growing, it's your healthy little baby. 
  • Work out, stretch, go on a walk, or at least sit on your yoga mat and think healthy thoughts. I told myself I would work out no matter how sick I was because I thought it would help, but I was lucky if I could get from my bed to the couch on my own. Once I starting feeling better (13 weeks on the dot like Google promised), I felt the best when I was active. And I don't mean jogging 5 miles a day or lifting weights, but just hiking, stretching, and going on walks helped me sleep better and not get moody.
  • Buy a travel tooth brush kit and keep it in your purse at all times. Brushing my teeth immediately after every meal is a must or I feel super sick, even now. I've brushed my teeth on the side of the road, in many parking lots, at church, in the bathrooms of several stores and restaurants, and even while driving. 
  • The internet can be a dangerous place to visit, but it can also be your friend. I don't want to be the crazy person that calls my doctor for every little thing, so I usually go to Google. I've only called the hospital once after my feet and hands swelled up the size of basketballs and I got a headache out of nowhere. What I thought might be signs of toxemia were actually just symptoms of returning to work and not drinking enough water. With any other questions I have had, I've actually felt better about after reading a few forums and finding out that all the wacky things I'm experiencing are completely normal. Be very careful about reading birth stories though. That hasn't been very beneficial for me. 
  • Read a few books, take a class or two, and do some research. Women have been having babies for years without any of these things, but I feel a lot better and prepared when I take the time to learn what I can and find out what my options are. 
  • Take pre-natals at night instead of in the morning. If they make you sick then you can just go to bed.
  • Practice your don't-touch-my-belly face early on. I've had so many people tell me to prepare for strangers rubbing my belly in the grocery store, but it hasn't happened once. I perfected my karate chop, but I guess the look on my face was enough to make sure people keep their distance.
  • Don't forget about your husband. Chances are you won't be up for cooking dinner or cleaning for months. Mark did all the cleaning for several months and perfected some good recipes for dinner so he didn't have to live off of frozen pizza and fast food. Anything cooked in the crock pot had to be done in the garage, away from my nose though. He also has had to listen to me groan and moan about every little thing for 9 months and has been nothing but sympathetic and sweet about it. I'm sure it gets tiring though. Also, all of our conversations with each other and other people seem to be about one of two things: the baby, and me being pregnant. Husbands definitely have the better end of the deal, but I'm sure it isn't a walk in the park for them either. Remember to ask them how they are doing, do fun things that they love, and tell them thank you for how wonderful they are.