Dream On

Pregnancy hormones keep plenty busy over 9 months, responsible for things like headaches, skin issues, and uncontrollable mood swings. Those symptoms were expected, but I made a huge mistake in underestimating their sorcery and ability to hijack my dreams.

A lot of books mention “sexy” dreams as a common occurrence. There’s been nothing “sexy” about my pregnancy dreams, and the only time I woke up sweaty and out of breath was when I just witnessed the father of my child cheating on me (in the dream!).

The Comedy

Although Cristiano Ronaldo made a cameo in one of my hormone-fueled dreams, it was NOT “sexy” by any means. It was wildly confusing. He was my boating instructor.

It’s unclear if I was a bad student, or he was a bad teacher, but we wound up running over multiple small boats with the yacht that was clearly too much for me to handle. Neither of us were phased, and at the end of my lesson, he had something for me. A calculator device that was meant to help me decipher the best times to invest in Gatorade stocks.

I haven’t been on a boat since before I found out I was expecting. I also never invested in any stocks.

The Nightmare

My lovey paid for this one in the morning.

Not only did he cheat on me, he cheated on me IN FRONT OF ME and my bump. He showed no remorse and the female followed me on Instagram shortly after the interaction.

My reaction? I every so calmly broke a mirror and gave him what looked like a paper cut across his stomach.

I refused to talk to him the following morning until he made me a cup of decaf. Once I searched his REAL life followers on social media, the phantom home wrecker’s Insta-handle still fresh in my mind, and came up empty handed, I was ready to get on with my day.

The Tear Jerker

I truly thank the hormones for this one, it’s the only time I’d be able to see my baby and Pop Pop together.

My mom had been holding onto a video monitor that hadn’t been used in “13” years, and wanted to use it for the new baby. Once we focused the monitor on my new babe, we saw my Pop Pop there with him, laughing and dancing.

Simple, and so comforting. I woke up in tears. We lost my Pop Pop when I was 8 and I know he’s been with us since.  This dream helped put a lot of my pregnancy-related anxieties to rest, knowing he would still be watching over us during this new chapter.

What are some of the craziest pregnancy dreams you’ve had? Share in the comments!

Bumpy Road: Pregnancy Travel Guide

Tip #1: Don’t do it.

Juuuuuust kidding! Seriously, traveling while pregnant was a lot easier than I had anticipated. We live 1,500 miles away from our families in New Jersey, and the thought of spending the holidays away from them wasn’t very cheerful at all. Although we already had a flight booked for early January to celebrate our baby shower, we decided to make the trip home for Christmas as well. When we shared our itinerary with others it seemed a little insane, especially during my third trimester, but we were happy to make the trip(s)!

Keep in mind, this is not intended to be medical advice, just a few things that helped keep me comfortable on a 26+ hour drive and a 3.5 hour flight. Of course we got medical clearance, and my OB’s only advice to was to take frequent stops (every 3 hours) to amp up circulation in my legs. I took it a few steps further and am happy to report ZERO swelling and minimal discomfort on both voyages.

Space Jam: Rent a Car

To my pregnant body, our vehicles seemed like clown cars. There was no way I’d feel comfortable riding shot gun with our pup and presents crammed in the backseat with no room for me to push back or recline. If we were going to make this trip, my number one priority was to be as cozy as possible, so we rented an SUV. Nothing over the top, just large enough for me to be able to push the front seat ALL the way back and be able to recline if I wanted. A pet peeve of mine used to be people’s feet resting on the dashboard (can’t tell you why, but I’d gag at the sight) but you better believe my pregnant puppies were stretched out up there. I apologize to the fellow travelers who had to witness this.

Compressed is Best:

Glamorous? No way. Necessary? Hell yes! I am now a HUGE fan of compression socks. They vary in intensity and price, so I went with my gut and grabbed the cheapest pair I could find. “As Seen on TV” means they gotta be good! They were extremely comfortable and I had ZERO swelling on land or in the air. Get yours here.

Hydration Nation:

All day, every day, hydration is a huge pregnancy priority. I made sure to keep a bottle of water nearby and munched on low-salt snacks. Yes, I brought an emergency potty. No, I didn’t have to use it.

I boarded the plane with a liter of water each way and wasn’t shy about asking for sparkling water every time my lovey ordered another whiskey.

Speak up:

I take road trips very seriously and value making “good time.” That went out the window as soon as I stuffed my belly into the front seat. As annoying as it was for me, and the driver, it was important to speak up any time I needed to use the restroom or just stretch out a bit. The doctor suggested we stop every 3 hours, but sometimes baby and I were ready after 45 minutes. Listen to your body!

Work it Out:

Blood clots are a concern during long trips due to poor circulation. Compression socks absolutely help, but I felt even better if I made an effort to move around a bit. I spent a lot of time doing (c)ankle circles, and pointing and flexing my feet to get my blood pumping. As soon as the pilot turned off the “fasten seatbelt” sign, I had absolutely no shame in making that aisle my runway.

Cloud 9:

My pregnancy pillow took the ride with us! I wasn’t exactly sure if it would get much use, but better safe than sorry. At one point during our road trip, the dog and I switched places so I could stretch out in the backseat. My pillow swallowed me like an anaconda and my legs almost immediately fell asleep. I found the front to be the best spot for me, and although it was a tight squeeze, my pillow offered lots of cozy support jammed up there with me.

We all made it in one piece and had the most amazing time with our families. Again, this is not intended to be medical advice, just a few extra steps that made this mama comfortable on the go.

Special thanks to my babe for driving the ENTIRE way, and to my bestie for providing food, shelter and sweet babies to play with at the halfway point.

 

 

He Ate the Bagels

After a long day of being tired and hungry, I was exhausted and starving. I’m talking “I can’t be bothered with cooking, and if I could safely swallow food while sleeping I’d never leave the house” type hungry and tired.

Target acquired: Mama wants a cinnamon raisin bagel, maybe even 2, I was no longer in control. I spent my entire drive home longing for cinnamon swirls to dance on my tongue with raisin bombs exploding in a bed of carbs. Sweet baby Simon! I could smell the sweet aroma as if it were a Yankee Candle.

I did the pregnant shuffle as fast as my feet could handle, nearly knocking over my love and Christmas tree in a manic bagel fury.  I’m sure he’d understand after being briefed with a text explaining just how hungry and tired I was earlier. On my way to the pantry, I told him I was going to “make love to every bagel we had in the house.”

His face immediately looked like he ran over a squirrel.

“YOU DIDN’T!” my voice cracked. My reaction mirrored that of when I found out the Jonas Brothers were breaking up. Pitiful, “how could you?!” tears fogged up my glasses.

I could hardly look in his direction as he pleaded his case. Through apologies and promises to take me on a VIP tour of the Thomas’ bread factory, I heard “they weren’t marked with your name!” Those words split through the rest in a violent manner. I think I temporarily blacked out. No, they were not marked. We are not college roommates. There is an unspoken law that no food source in a pregnant woman’s home should be exhausted without being immediately replaced. (If there wasn’t before there certainly is now).

I handled this situation the way almost any lady with a baby would…”I’m not even hungry, I’m going to bed.”

30 minutes later a pizza arrived at my door, hot and fresh and without cinnamon or any raisins.

I love you, babe. Pregnant me just really loves bagels.

P.S. I’m from New Jersey where the bagels taste like kissing an angel. If I can’t have a Thomas’ cinnamon raisin bagel when a craving hits, what do I have left?

P.P.S. Looking back now, he was probably just getting back at me for asking him to sleep on the couch the night before. Apparently in a delusional state I exclaimed that I had “finally found a comfortable position and it requires the entire bed and all his pillows.” I don’t remember saying this, but I did find the poor guy on the couch in the morning.

Scared as a Mutha: “It’s Just One of Those Pregnancy Things”

When you find out you’re pregnant, you sort of expect certain things. Nausea, weight gain, stretch marks and pickle cravings are amongst the most talked about classics, but what about a visible epiglottis? Not sure what an epiglottis is? Well you have one, and I didn’t know that until mine decided to peek out from the depths of my throat. I figured this meant my airway was about to be cut off and I was afraid to fall sleep, so I set an alarm for every 30 minutes to check my vitals. Obvious solution, really. Turns out that this painless, yet freakish, discovery is just “one of those pregnancy things.”

Oh! One time my nipples started to turn white-ish after I peeled off a 6-week-old gel manicure in the tub and I was convinced the baby was allergic. GASP! Did a preggo just say she was in the tub?! And she had her nails did?!  Yup.

Turns out most headaches are not tumors, not every mosquito carries Zika, the grooves in your fingernails are probably just from 16 years of gel manis, and the emergency appointment with the dermatologist might not be as necessary as you think. As a first time Mama, I’ve never been more aware and in the dark about what’s going on with my body. I might be in tune with each sensation, ping and pain, but I have no idea why they’re happening and if they’re normal.  It’s exciting, new and emotionally and physically exhausting.

Does this bump make me look like I have a fever?

After skin cancer scares and calls to the 24/7 Nurse Hotline, I’ve found that once you begin to expect the unexpected, the smoother the ride becomes. (Does the same apply to parenthood? I’m not there yet.) I can’t confidently rule out any future non-emergency emergency appointments, or hours wasted scouring message boards comparing symptoms, but so far, in my experience, almost everything circles back to hormones and the simple fact that your body is stretching and growing.

I’m not a doctor, but I’m definitely comfortable with mine. With every symptom or possible-yet-probably-impossible-scenario, I’ve been able to go to her for answers and reassurance without judgment. I’m grateful for this, but I strongly feel like this should be the norm. If that’s not the case for you, try and do what you can to make some changes that would make you feel more comfortable. First or fourth baby, this is YOUR experience and it’s supposed to be a positive experience that leaves little room for fear or being bullied by the ones who should make us feel safe.

What are some scary-but-probably-normal symptoms you’ve experienced? How about made-up diseases you convinced yourself you had? Girl, I’ve probably been there.