Guest Post | A Tale of Two Pregnancies

Hi!! I’m so honored to be able to share a little something with each of you today!

My name is Alex and I write a blog about the things I love, my family, and my faith. I’m 24 years old, happily married, have two babes under the age of two, and I love my coffee! Life is full but lovely ūüėČ

I’m so excited to talk about my two pregnancies! Being a mama is a highlight of my life, and I love to write about it for others!

This post is about the similarities and differences between my two pregnancies. I thought it would be interesting to compare and contrast the two experiences. I have been blessed with relatively easy pregnancies, and I am thankful that they have gone so well, as I tend to be a wimp when I don’t feel well…

During my second pregnancy, I was much more low-key about things ‚Äď so much so that I completely forgot to go to one of my check-ups! Oh dear! I suppose it was partly due to my focused attention on my toddler. My life was drastically different during the two pregnancies. During my first, I was working full-time as a registered nurse; so I did three twelve-hour shifts every week. I was also finishing my bachelor’s degree online. Those¬†were long days, and I was constantly busy. During the second pregnancy, I was no longer working or in school. I was home with my little girl and more focused on maintaining things around the house. I am quite confident that these two different lifestyles caused¬†significant distinctions between these pregnancies. Of course, some of the variations¬†I experienced could also be due to gender differences.¬†‚ô•

Little Lady’s Pregnancy

  • Morning Sickness –¬†I felt very nauseous for the first¬†several weeks (essentially the entire first trimester). Despite the name, my nausea was present regardless of the time of day.
  • Energy Levels –¬†I don’t remember very well, but I¬†know that when I was feeling yucky, all I wanted to do was sleep it off. This was mostly a first trimester¬†problem.
  • Cravings – I always wanted¬†pizza. But that was nothing new to pregnancy!
  • Aversions –¬†In the first trimester, I avoided coffee and chocolate! (What was wrong with me?) I started to slowly reincorporate them in the second trimester¬†and was mostly back to normal in the third. I don’t feel like I’ve¬†since¬†been able to enjoy chocolate like I used to though. Very sad…
  • Carrying Baby – I carried little B very high in my tummy.
  • Hormones –¬†I certainly had the occasional¬†pregnant woman tantrums with the water-works and all…my poor hubby.
  • Hair/Nail Growth –¬†My hair and nails grew so much during this pregnancy! I couldn’t¬†believe it! I already had thick hair and I barely lost a strand the entire pregnancy. I also couldn’t¬†believe how fast my nails would grow (which was actually quite annoying when it became difficult to lean over to give myself¬†a pedicure!)
  • Skin –¬†I had standard hormonal acne.
  • Misc –¬†At some point later in the pregnancy, I developed carpal tunnel in both hands. I experienced numbness and tingling in my wrists and hands that flared up at night and when I would use a computer. It was quite uncomfortable.

All in all though, this was a great pregnancy!

¬†Little Man’s Pregnancy

  • Morning Sickness –¬†This time around, I only had nausea for a handful of weeks – sometimes not even every day. It was much more manageable.
  • Energy Levels – During the first trimester, I was exhausted. I took naps with my toddler as much as I could. My energy returned during the second trimester and dipped again during the third.
  • Cravings – None…I know that’s really boring.
  • Aversions – Again, I found coffee and chocolate offensive. During the second trimester, I started to get back into them. However, caffeine hit me hard since I took a three month break from it; so, it was easy to stay within the approved one cup recommendation.
  • Carrying Baby ‚Äď It seemed that I carried this baby lower than my daughter. Many times when I was at the counter washing dishes, I felt like I was bumping the little guy¬†against the sink. I don’t remember feeling that way with my first.
  • Hormones – I only had a handful of crazy moments. My husband and close friends would be the better ones to ask about this though!
  • Hair/Nail Growth – This time around, I lost a ton of hair! So bizarre. I also did not notice changes in my nail growth.
  • Skin – I definitely experienced hormonal acne.
  • Misc ‚Äď I was so thankful that I didn’t have any complaints of the carpal tunnel.

 

This was also a great pregnancy! And we have been enjoying newborn snuggles ever since!

One last thing…

I want to share a few things that helped my morning sickness and carpal tunnel ‚Äď these were my two biggest complaints ‚Äď just in case anyone else has been navigating those issues‚Ķ

  • Morning Sickness – During my bouts with morning sickness, I used special wristbands called Seabands. They claim¬†to work by compressing¬†a pressure point in the wrist. I don’t know if they truly work or if I experienced a placebo effect, but either way they certainly seemed to take the edge off of my nausea. I wore both at the same time during most of my waking hours in the first trimester. These certainly helped me, as well as, the occasional whiff of peppermint oil. Keeping my tummy filled with bland foods and getting lots of rest also helped to take the edge off of the nausea.
  • Carpal Tunnel – When I was pregnant with my first, I experienced¬†carpal tunnel during the latter half of my pregnancy. I was able to¬†purchase¬†wrist braces at a local pharmacy that were specific for sleeping with carpal tunnel. These braces helped a lot.

It’s so fascinating to me that pregnancies can differ so much! (And my deliveries were significantly different too!) Can any of you relate to my experiences, or do you have any of your own stories to share about pregnancy?

Alex blogs at hearthomeandhope.wordpress.com about about the things she loves, her family, and her faith. Check out her blog for more great posts like this one =)

The Gross Things Nobody Tells you about Pregnnacy

Helooooo everyone!! I hope you all had a great weekend! Things were a little slow around here. Dani√ęl was in England this weekend because we need to buy an English car before we move. So it’s just me and F√© here this weekend. It started out a little rough because on Friday F√© had to get her second round of vaccinations. She was pretty grumpy the whole evening and it was nearly impossible to get her to stop crying. It was pretty rough but she eventually passed out and she actually slept pretty well. She was probably so tired from all that crying. The rest of the weekend was pretty low-key. Just went into town and did a little shopping. I am using this weekend to get ahead of work on the blog and to get a jump start on packing to move.

Anyway, my sister-in-law is pregnant (yayy!) and I was inspired to write a little something about all the things during pregnancy that no one seems to talk about….the GROSS stuff. My sis-in-law asked when the “pregnancy glow “starts and to be honest, it doesn’t. For some lucky ladies I guess it does, but for me, it never really started. I suffered from a number of gross pregnancy symptoms. Symptoms that people don’t always talk about. So here goes…my list of all the gross pregnancy symptoms (the one no one talks about) Make sure to check out my pregnancy essentials for a list of all the products that got me through my pregnancy!

1. Acne

You thought that your acne would disappear after high school huh? Well, surprise, it comes back during pregnancy in full force. Actually, this isn’t necessarily true. During pregnancy, your hormones are all over the place (read all about pregnancy hormones here) which can cause breakouts. Fortunately for you, your hormones even out around your second trimester and your acne may subside. If you are suffering from pregnancy related acne check out my guide to dealing with it!

2. Nosebleeds

Yes, your read right, nosebleeds. I had no idea that nosebleeds were a weird symptom of pregnancy. But in fact, they are! Pregnancy causes the blood vessels in your nose to expand, pair that with all that excess blood you are carrying around and you have a recipe for some nasty nosebleeds!

3. Hair, everywhere

You can thank your hormones for your voluptuous glowing locks! Unfortunately, your beautiful mane comes with a price. You will probably notice an increase in body hair. Your legs may grow at super speed, you may be growing a beard, or you may be sprouting some strange hairs on your nipples! During my pregnancy, I got stray hairs EVERYWHERE! I suggest investing in a pair of high-quality tweezers to pluck those bad boys away!

4. Varicose Veins

During pregnancy, you will have about 40% more blood pumping through your veins. Couple that with the fact that your growing uterus puts pressure on you Inferior Vena Cava (the large vein on the side of your body) causing all your arteries to swell. This leads to some gnarly looking swollen veins (varicose veins) that should go away after your pregnancy!

You may also get varicose veins ‘down there.’ I got vulvar varicose veins and my vagina basically looked like a swollen, purple, war zone during the last few months¬†of my pregnancy. It was also really painful, especially if I stood or walked for too long. I haven’t been able to find much information on vulvar varicose veins on the World Wide Web, or find anyone else who also suffered from this during their pregnancy. If you suffered from vulvar varicose veins feel free to comment below or send me a message through my contact page!

5. Constipation

Your wild hormones will relax all of your muscles including your digestive tract. This means that things might not move along as well as they used to. 50% of women experience constipation during their pregnancy so don’t worry, you are not alone! Make sure you eat enough fiber and drink plenty of water. Also, add dates to your diet (they also have awesome benefits for pregnant woman, read about that here!) You may also want to try sipping on some chamomile tea¬†as it helps relax your intestines!

6. Hemorrhoids

Constipation comes hand in hand with hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are basically varicose veins in your anus and if you are constipated (and squeezing a little too hard) they may just pop out or become swollen and painful. To avoid hemorrhoids try so stay regular by following the same advice as for constipation. Also, try to do kegels to strengthen your pelvic floor and keep things inside (if you know what I mean ;))

7. You will pee yourself

Yes, I said it. You will probably pee yourself! Your muscles down there will relax so much that you let some pee slip out every once in a while! Remember to do your kegels to keep your pelvic floor strong.

I remember the first time I peed myself very clearly. My husband and I were driving from Hungary to Serbia and we were stopped while we were crossing the border. We were waiting in line at the border crossing getting a vignette (to drive our car in Serbia) and I had to run to the car to get something and I completely wet my pants! I was so embarrassed!

If you are worried about it, you can always get some thin panty liners or pads to help protect you a little bit ūüėČ It may give you peace of mind just to know that in case you do let out a tinkle, you are covered!

8. You will fart, without even realizing it

Since your pelvic floor muscles will completely relax, not only will you pee yourself but you will also pass a lot of gas. Pregnancy also makes you gassier than usual. Excess gas and a lack of pelvic floor control can lead to some sneaky farts that you may not even know about!

9. You will sweat like crazy

Your hormones are going all over the place so your body temperature will fluctuate more than usual. Thus, you will probably sweat more than usual. Being pregnant is basically like going through menopause (hormone-wise that is). If you are anything like me, you will find yourself bundling up under a blanket in layers of clothing, only to throw them all off a few minutes later!

10. You may be extra stinky!

Your excessive sweating may be making you a little bit stinkier than usual. Either that, or it’s your incredible super-human sense of smell. During my pregnancy I thought I was super smelly all the time, but whenever I asked my husband, he said he didn’t smell anything. Whether I was actually smellier than usual or I just thought I was, I invested in some really great clinical strength deodorant!

11. Snoring

Pregnancy can cause a bunch of different sleep problems including snoring. Your nasal passages will swell and you will gain some weight which will turn you into a snoring grandpa when you hit the sack. My husband woke me up more times than I can count because I was snoring so loudly!

To prevent snoring, try to only gain as much weight as you need to by following a healthy pregnancy diet. You can also try using some nasal strips at bedtime, propping up your pillow so you sleep on a slight incline, or sleep on your left side! Or you can give your partner some earplugs and tell them to suck it up ūüėČ

12. Bleeding gums 

Your swollen veins and excess blood will make your gums a little bit more sensitive than usual. This is why dentists tell you to be extra picky about your oral hygiene during pregnancy! You may find that your gums are bleeding more than they did before or you have more problems with your teeth.

Many insurance companies offer better oral health coverage during your pregnancy. I suggest checking with your insurance company and taking advantage of this added bonus!

13. Major Heartburn

I suffered from HORRIBLE heartburn during the last few months of pregnancy. I could barely sleep and ended up sleeping practically sitting up because it was so painful. Since your muscles are relaxed, the valve from your stomach to your esophagus is also relaxed which allows acid to slip back up, which causes heartburn. If you are experiencing heartburn check out these tips on how to deal with it!

14. Swelling, down there!

It’s no secret that you will swell up everywhere, all the way from your face to your ankles. But you will also swell up in your lady parts. The weight of your uterus and your growing baby puts an incredible amount of pressure on your pelvis and lady area. Nobody seems to talk about this, but your female flower will blossom (quite literally if you think about it) and will probably look nothing like what it looked like before. It may also make sex more painful, or the look of it may totally put your partner off (sorry but it’s the honest truth). Thankfully, the swelling should completely go away after your baby is born and your lady parts will return to normal.

If you are having problems with this you may want to invest in a maternity support belt to add support and take pressure off of your pelvis.

Side note: Some ladies may be worried about what their lady parts will look like after pregnancy. With proper rest and a few pelvic floor exercises, you should be back to your pre-pregnancy self in no time!

15. Itchy skin or rashes

This is a random and weird pregnancy symptom, but your hormones may cause skin irritation. If you have really dry skin or are prone to getting eczema or skin rashes you may experience worse than usual skin issues. I spoke with a women when I was in my first trimester who said that her eczema was so bad at the end of her pregnancy she was just so happy not to be pregnant anymore! She said she would take childbirth over the last few months of her pregnancy any day.

Remember…

I know that this post isn’t very encouraging for all you mamas-to-be but remember that it will all be over soon enough. All these pregnancy related symptoms will go away after pregnancy. Holding your baby in your arms for the first time will make you forget all about the horrors of pregnancy. At the end of 9 or 10 long months of pregnancy, you can say that you did one of the hardest and most beautiful things a woman can do. Everything will be worth it in the end! Hang in there, mama <3

 

 

Gross Pregnancy Symptoms
Gross Pregnancy Symptoms
Gross Pregnancy Symptoms
Gross Pregnancy Symptoms
Gross Pregnancy Symptoms
Gross Pregnancy Symptoms