Leah's Pregnancy Advice

Posted by  | Tuesday, December 16, 2008  at 11:30 PM  

I found out I was pregnant with my first son, Samuel, in January of 2006. When Samuel was 10 months old, I found out I was pregnant with our second son, Joel (I actually took the pregnancy test the day we moved from North Carolina to California). I really enjoyed both of my pregnancies and pray that the Lord blesses me with more children in the future. Here are a handful of things I can share with you:

1. Take lots of pictures of yourself. I love to take pictures of my family, but I am SO rarely in any photos. And I am horrible inconsistent at most things. I really wish I would have done the "here's my belly this week" series of photos with my pregnancies. I have such a hard time looking back now and remembering. This is definitely something I will try harder at next time. Oh, and I totally agree that you should have some professional photos taken. I didn't do this with either boy and now I am so jealous when I see other people's pics. So cute!

2. Sleep. Put aside your guilt and sleep as much as you can. It doesn't matter whether this is your first or your fourth, sleep. Although I'm sure that if this is your fourth, I'm preaching to the choir.

3. Make a list of things you like/want to do that will be more difficult once you have a baby and do them. Go out to dinner and a movie with your hubby. Sleep in. Hang out at friends' houses until all hours of the night. Once your little one arrives, s/he will be in charge and you won't be able to do all those things you now take for granted.

4. Ask your ob to recommend a pediatrician. I have lived in three different cities while pregnant. I asked my ob for a recommendation in NC and here in Chicago and I was very pleased both times. Shop around for a pediatrician if you need to. Mary S - you did this, right? I remember running into you at Starbucks once while you were "interviewing" a pediatrician. Can you comment here?

5. Keep a pregnancy journal. Samuel likes to look at the journal I made while pregnant with him. I kept a little monthly calendar and just wrote down little things on different days like dr's appts and when he kicked for the first time, etc.

6. Maintain a healthy diet. I'm hoping Krista or Margaret will post about the diet they kept while pregnant. I am a pretty undisciplined person, so it was really hard for me to eat well while pregnant. I mostly struggle with not eating enough and not eating enough healthy stuff. But I made sure I ate breakfast every day and plenty of it. It really helped give me energy and made me feel better. One suggestion - at night when I craved a bowl of ice cream, I ate a bowl of cereal instead. It hit the spot and was at least a little bit better for me than ice cream.

7. Continue breastfeeding if you have an older, breastfeeding child. Samuel was only 10 months when I got pregnant again, so it was important for me to keep nursing him. I read a lot about child-led weaning and tandem nursing because I didn't know what would happen with him. But, at around 12 months, Samuel really cut back on nursing on his own. A lot of people told me this could happen. He weaned himself at 13 months. Ask me if you have questions about breastfeeding while pregnant.

8. Talk to your insurance company so you can understand how your visits and hospital stays are billed. I add this one b/c it was an issue with both my pregnancies/deliveries. My insurance plan counted my infant's hospital stay under my name, my deductible. I should not have had to pay a separate deductible for either boys' stay. If I didn't know that ahead of time, I would have paid the hospital bill when it came without knowing the difference. Be sure you understand your coverage.

9. Consider not finding out the gender of your baby. We didn't find out with either of ours and it was SO MUCH FUN. We were always wondering whether we would have a boy or girl and it made the delivery that much more exciting. Just consider it... :) OR, and I can't believe Hollie didn't share this, think of a fun and exciting way to find out the gender or share with others what you're having. Hugh and Hollie had an awesome "Guess the Gender" party where someone opened the envelope to tell them what they were having in front of their family and friends. Such a cute idea.

Any questions that you all have? Ask away!


Eliška a Vláďa said...

Leah, thank you so much for your post. I've been reading this blog for some time and I've never commented before (yes, I'm one of those people). Since I'm finally pregnant, I was really looking forward to this week! Thank you ladies for this wonderful page full of resources and personal experiences, I always look forward to a new post! Keep up your good work, I'm sure many women are encoraged by what you write. Blessings, Eliska (from Czech Rep.)

Leah said...

Eliska - I am so delighted to hear that you are expecting a little baby!! That is very exciting news. I hope you are feeling well and that everything goes smoothly for you.

InDeeds said...

I heartily agree with #5! Though I can't speak from pregnancy experience, my grandmother recently gave me a journal that she wrote to me when my mom was pregnant with me. She wrote down stuff about how I was developing, also what my family was doing at the time, and some news headlines! And she wrote it too me like a personal letter! It was sooo fun to read!

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