The Type A Mom’s Guide to a Tough Pregnancy

The worst thing you can force a Type A person to do is…nothing. Type A people don’t do nothing, you see. We assess situations, we figure out solutions, and then we get things done. In high school, we stress over grades and college applications. If we play sports or participate in some other competitive activity, we spend vast amounts of time figuring out how to win. In college, we do every resume building activity possible.

What we do NOT do is nothing.

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A Christmas gift from my 14 year old brother…do you think he was trying to tell me something?

I started having issues with anemia the summer before my senior year of college. It made me chronically exhausted, but I was doing an internship in DC at the time and pushed through anyway. Once the school year started, I was working part time in addition to taking a full load of classes, being on the board of a service organization, and leading a prayer group on my hall. It ended up being way too much, and I had to drop some of my activities for the spring semester. Somehow I still managed to earn all A’s my senior year.

I got married the summer after I graduated. By then my health had started to improve slightly, much to my happiness. Having energy again was fantastic!

And then I got pregnant.

It’s pretty amazing that someone the size of a gummy bear can make you feel like you’ve been hit by a Mack truck, but that’s how it seems to work. During my first trimester, I would sleep for a completely reasonable amount of time at night and still need a nap during the day. My anemia reappeared during the second trimester, which meant that the “honeymoon trimester” and its accompanying burst of energy never happened. Now I’m in the third trimester, and the baby seems to have decided to be nocturnal.

Between being chronically exhausted and chronically nauseous, I haven’t been nearly as productive as I was before I was pregnant. For a long time, it drove me crazy. All my life, I’ve taken joy in getting things accomplished, and that came to a screeching halt.

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My brother also gave me this mug, which seemed fitting.

It hasn’t been the easiest road, but now I’m down to the last 10 weeks of pregnancy and the end is in sight. Here are some things that have made my life easier during this phase of life:

  • The freezer and the crockpot

These two items have become my best friends. I have good days and bad days with my energy levels, and I can never seem to predict which type a given day will be. When I have a good day, I try to do as much cooking ahead as possible. Particularly during the first trimester, freezer meals that could be prepared in the crockpot were a lifesaver. All I had to do was open the freezer, select a Ziploc bag, dump the contents into the crockpot, and let it cook all day. No standing over the stove and smelling food!

  • Accepting help

I’ve always struggled with this one. I don’t want to be an inconvenience or a burden, so I try to do everything myself. However, this pregnancy has forced me to allow my husband to assist with some of the household tasks. It took swallowing my pride, but it was worth it.

  • Remembering the big picture

As the saying goes, “this too shall pass.” So far no one has ever been pregnant forever, and it’s pretty unlikely that I’ll be the first person to break that streak. Little Bit, as I’ve affectionately nicknamed him, will come. When he does come, I’m sure I’ll be as tired as ever, but I’ll be happy too.

Productivity is more than a full planner or a completed checklist. It’s having an overreaching goal, and knowing what steps need to be taken to achieve it. Sometimes the steps are small. Sometimes they’re tedious. They are always worth it, if the goal is worth it. My sweet little boy will definitely be worth it.

 

 

 

Real Life Couponing – Week of 2/2

Last week, couponing didn’t happen. I was snowed in for a few days and my Sunday newspaper never arrived. This week I got back on the wagon with a few deals at Target and Kroger.

 

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This week’s haul: all Trim Healthy Mama approved!

Target

Since the beginning of the New Year, I’ve been having trouble with the Target closest to me not having the items I need in stock. Fortunately, they actually did have what I needed today.

Dannon Oikos Triple Zero Yogurt, Original Price: $3.99

Final Price: $2.17

How I did it: Target had this product on sale this week for $3.25 each. I had a $0.75 off coupon from this week’s paper. There was also an offer on Target’s Cartwheel app for 10% off, which brought the price down to $2.17. Triple Zero Yogurt is recommended as a part of the Trim Healthy Mama plan because it has no added sugars, artificial sweeteners, or fat. It’s also sweetened with stevia, which is a plan approved sweetener.

In true Target fashion, this was the last package of this brand of yogurt that they had. My husband thinks there must be someone who reads the same coupon blogs as me who clears out the good deals. It’s a plausible theory, I must say.

Market Pantry Brown Rice, Original Price: $0.89

Final Price: $0.84

How I did it: This was just a 5% off offer from my Cartwheel app. This is an example of my “every little bit helps” belief coming into play.

Kroger

I love my Kroger mainly for the health food section. Nine times out of ten, it can save me from an expensive trip to Whole Foods. I’ve heard that Wasa crackers can also be found at Walmart, but I’ve checked two of the Walmarts in my area and I’ve never found them. Thus, I always get mine at Kroger.

Wasa Crackers, Original Price: $2.99

Final Price: $1.84

How I did it: Wasa crackers were on sale for $2.59. Once I got home, I uploaded my receipt to my Ibotta app and received a $0.75 rebate, making the final price $1.84.

Thankful Thursday

In all honesty, I haven’t been doing as well with having a grateful heart this week. Third trimester is in full swing, with all of its associated discomforts. My grandfather died last May right after my college graduation, and his birthday would have been last week.

The biggest thing I’m thankful for this week is my husband’s support. I really don’t know how I would manage if I didn’t have him to help me. Sometimes I’m pretty exhausted by the end of the day, and he is always happy to help with washing dishes, folding laundry, or whatever else I might need. I don’t like feeling unproductive, but he reminds me that I’m growing a person, and that is productive.

Grief sneaks up on you. I’ll probably write a full post on this subject another time, but I’ve found it to be true. Granddaddy died five and a half weeks before I got married. I know that he was saved, and I know that he was suffering a lot, so I’m thankful that he is in heaven. I miss him all the same though, especially when I went to my Granny’s house for Christmas and he wasn’t there. He would have been 70 last week, and his birthday brought up a whole new host of emotions.

Hebrews 4 talks about Jesus being the great high priest. Verses 15 and 16 say “For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Jesus understands being in pain. Jesus knows what it is like to lose someone you love (see John 11). He knows.

And this week, I’m thankful for that comfort.

Food is a Love Language

Perhaps one of the most important life lessons that I learned in college was that I cannot “fix” other people. While my intentions were good, I could only change my own behavior and reactions, not those of other people.

With that being said, I can show my support and love for other people, even if I can’t fix their challenging situation. One way that I often did this was through food. I had several roommates go through breakups. During one of my roommate’s breakup, she casually mentioned that she had barely eaten in two days. Well, I couldn’t make her ex-boyfriend behave like a civilized person, but I could fix the lack of food problem. I drove to her favorite fast food joint and ordered something that I knew she liked. She was still upset over the breakup, but I think she knew that I was trying to offer my support.

When my husband and I were engaged, he had a particularly busy day in which he needed to rush to the airport right after a final for his capstone course. He wasn’t going to have time to go get supper from the cafeteria before he needed to leave. During his final, I went and picked up some food for him from one of the better quality campus eating establishments. He quickly ate it as I drove from campus to the airport.

“Food is a love language,” I told him. “It makes me feel better if you get fed before a six hour flight.”

I really didn’t cook much until I got married. Since it was a newer skill, I was self-conscious about letting people besides my husband eat things that I had prepared. My husband will eat almost anything without a complaint, but I know that most people are not quite as tolerant.

Being pregnant has given me a new perspective on numerous issues. Before I had ever been pregnant, I knew that people typically bring food to new mothers right after their babies have been born. What I did not know is how much of a chore cooking can be when you are chronically nauseous. (As a side note, I also didn’t know that nausea can continue past the first trimester. I’m in my third trimester now and I’m still nauseous some days. What’s up with that?)

Anyway, I met a girl at church a couple weeks ago who is close to my age. She is due to have her first baby about three months after I have mine. She had mentioned not feeling the best lately, so I decided I would take the plunge and offer to bring over some chicken tetrazzini, a recipe that I ate a lot when I didn’t feel well.

It actually turned out pretty well, and she and her husband seemed to appreciate it. I’m glad I got outside of my comfort zone to bless someone else.

“Contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.” – Romans 12:13

To the Young Mothers

To the young mothers,

It’s tough being a young mother. I know, because I am one, and I’ve had a far easier go of it than many of you have. I’m 21, even though I still have people questioning if I’m old enough to have a driver’s license yet. When I was still in college, I got confused for one of the high school students visiting campus. That was a minor annoyance, but otherwise not a big deal.

And then I got married and shortly thereafter got pregnant. Oh, how things changed.

Every time I have a discussion with the billing department at the doctor’s office, they ask who the policyholder on my health insurance is. When I disclose that it is my husband, I get The Look.

Are they more shocked that I have a husband? Or are they more shocked that my husband has the type of job that provides health insurance? Either way, you would think I had announced that I was planning to move to Mars and raise my son with the aliens.

When I go to the grocery store or the bank without my husband, I sometimes find older ladies scowling at my protruding tummy. Do they think that if they make disapproving faces at my expanding figure long enough, then my child will cease to exist? What exactly is that type of behavior supposed to accomplish? I am married, but even if I wasn’t, the ship has obviously sailed. I am pregnant, and I am having a baby.

Even those who know that I am married have questions. Was this planned? Didn’t I want to do other things before I had children? Those other things are important, you know. Don’t I believe in birth control? Better yet, some have horror stories about how having a baby is the worst thing you could possibly do to your marriage. These are church-going people!

Here, in the shadow of this culture, sits the pro-life movement. It’s been 43 years since Roe vs. Wade, forty-three years of legal abortion in the United States. To the young mothers, I’m sorry.

I’m sorry because if I get these sorts of negative reactions to my pregnancy, which happened after I got married, I cannot imagine what sort of comments you hear. I will probably never fully grasp the sort of courage it takes to choose life when you have a boyfriend who left you and no other support system, but I admire it.

So young mothers, know that when I hear someone make a negative comment about you, I defend you now. Choosing life for your child can be the difficult choice, and it takes a great deal of strength. May God bless you for having that strength.

 

 

 

Thankful Thursday

Here are my five things that I’m thankful for this week:

  1. I passed my glucose test! It had been a major source of stress for me, but I passed. I’m thrilled to not have to stick myself to check my blood sugar for the rest of this pregnancy.
  2. Two ladies from church who already have children prayed for me when I was waiting to get my test results.
  3. A neat encounter at the optometrist’s office. The tech who was helping me asked if I was having a boy or a girl. I told her a boy, and she said that she had her son when she was 21. “People are so negative about having children when you’re young,” she said, “but I’m really glad that I did.” Hearing a positive comment was so refreshing.
  4. My husband and I were able to get some good work done on the baby’s room last weekend. It’s hard to believe that our little boy will be in our arms in about 3 months.

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Getting Ready for Baby

It recently hit me that I only have approximately three months until baby boy’s arrival. Since then, I’ve been scouring the internet in an effort to figure out what I actually need. “What I actually need” seems to be a great point of contention. One person will say an item is crucial, and the next will say that same item is a foolish bit of marketing designed to flummox unsuspecting first time parents.

But we’ll figure it out…hopefully. So far we’ve gotten a few things, but there is certainly still work to be done. After surviving my glucose test on Friday, my next stop was Chick-fil-A to get something to eat.

Once I had satisfied my hunger, I decided to treat myself by looking at cute baby clothes in Old Navy. They had a lot of baby items on clearance, but most of them were either obviously feminine or Christmas themed. I don’t want to put a boy in something frilly, and I feel like I can’t really make an accurate prediction regarding his size next Christmas.

Even so, I came across a few good finds.

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The wearable blanket was marked down to $5.99. Several sources seemed to think wearable blankets were a good idea, and the ones I’d seen online typically go for about $20. I was quite excited!

The pants were tagged as being $2.99. Neutral colored pants seemed like a good idea. I’ve been shying away from newborn sized clothing because I was born too big for that, but these were 0-3 months.

Finally, I thought the little button up shirt would be adorable for church. It was priced at $2.47.

When I got to the check out, I was told that I would be getting an additional 30% off the marked prices. Awesome! I thought. Then the cashier told me that the button up shirt was mislabeled. After the 30% discount, it was actually only 68 cents!

My total was $7.33, and I think baby boy will look just darling in his new clothes.