Coping with 9th Month Pregnancy Woes

Even before my last month of pregnancy, I was tired of being pregnant. I wondered why people calculated pregnancy as 9 months, when I had to be pregnant for 40 weeks. Each time I had to run to the bathroom for the 709th time, or I had to assist my belly to change positions in bed, or I had to ask Nino put on my socks in the morning, I told myself that there’s a light at the end of this long-a*s tunnel. Baby was bound to leave my belly SOMETIME. This too shall pass, and our darling boy will soon be in my arms.

But while I was in that tunnel, I had to learn to cope with the pains and discomforts of the last month of pregnancy. These below, together with a very supportive husband, co-workers and friends, helped make the longest month of pregnancy a little more bearable.

Being limited to sleeping on my left side for most of the night, there was little I can do to help me sleep soundly, if at all. I tried sleeping on the couch one night, because I always ended up crashing there when we watched TV. It didn’t work – my back felt worse and hubby Nino and I (yes, Nino stayed with me in the living room) had to go back up to bed in the middle of the night. However, I did discover one way that finally let me sleep: one pillow for my head, one pillow between my knees, a tiny pillow below my belly and Nino behind me to support my weight. It worked perfectly. Oh dreamland, we meet again.

Even with avoiding lots of sodium (that meant no instant noodles or frozen dinners that contain LOADS of sodium and don’t help with the swelling at all) and drinking over a liter of water a day, I couldn’t escape edema. My feet were so swollen, they fit only into 3 pairs of shoes – all FLATS and not very stylish, which, along with my huge belly, put a limit on my wardrobe choices. My rings didn’t fit my stubby fingers anymore, so I wore them in a chain on my neck instead - at least it made them closer to my heart. Just think of swelling as a good excuse to buy new shoes (and to ask your partner for a foot rub at night).

Stretch marks
I lathered Cocoa Butter from The Body Shop all over my belly, back, butt and thighs because so many people swore by it, just like I did. Until flippin’ stretch marks crept on me in my 36th week. My skin looked great up to that point, so I didn’t consider that stretch marks could appear 2 weeks before I gave birth. At least I lasted 8 and 1/2 months without it.

Other helpful things
The Bella Band. I bought this tube-top-like garment to wear over my pre-pregnancy jeans to hold up my pants because I wore them undone. I stalled for as long as I can until maybe around my 7th month when I finally gave in to wearing maternity pants. But even with those, I wore my trusty band (or bands – I bought 2 in different colors) to support my growing belly and to give a layer-effect under shorter pre-pregnancy clothes to make my outfits work.

What to Expect When You’re Expecting. The 3rd edition isn’t as updated as I hoped it to be, but together with the rest of my resources, it was good enough.

www.babycenter.com – this site sends weekly updates of baby’s development and what you can expect to feel at every stage of the pregnancy, and even goes on even when baby is finally born. It has so much info, I spent days just reading on this website. The forums also made me feel better knowing I wasn’t alone, calming my fears and reminding me that millions of women have gone through this, too, some with even much worse experiences. I knew I’ll be fine.

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I’m a new mom and this is my story. I’m sharing with you my moments of joy, tears, excitement, and every other emotion that comes with being a mom, whether you’re a new mom yourself, a veteran mom, a mom-to-be, even a dad-to-be. Learn from my experience, or reminisce about your own. Welcome to this mom’s world!