7 Things That Helped Me Survive PregnancyMonica Bielanko
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Pregnancy is a battlefield littered with empty candy wrappers, old issues of trashy gossip mags and greasy takeout boxes. At least it is for me. If you're afraid of how you're going to survive the next nine months of nonstop peeing and puking without any sleep, click through these pages. I've listed 7 things that helped me survive an expanding backside, swelling feet and more life-growing side effects so that you too can find relief.
Tell us: What products helped you survive pregnancy?
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1: Pillows. Lots and Lots of Pillows
I required no less than five pillows to position myself in such a manner that sleeping might even be a possibility. Heres the rundown: I needed one pillow for my head to use as I normally would, and a second pillow to wedge behind my back. And since lying on my side was my only option, I kept a pillow jammed behind me so that my entire body felt supported (youll need a pretty solid pillow for this). Then I needed a pillow just to keep my massive chest from careening downward in an extremely uncomfortable, hang-y fashion. I also needed a full pillow to shove between my thighs — it helps align achy hips and prevents your thighs from smooshing together. The fifth pillow? Thats a spare in case someone decides to take one of your pillows. You may be able to get away with four, if you get Bodymate Body Pillows.
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2: Breathe Right Strips
Next to being just plain uncomfortable, the main detriment to happy sleeping while pregnant — at least for me — was the inability to breathe. Higher amounts of estrogen during pregnancy can contribute to swelling in the mucous membranes lining the nose and cause you to make even more mucous. On top of that, the amount of blood in your body increases, and your blood vessels expand during pregnancy, which can lead to swollen nasal membranes. Its pretty much a no-win situation. So, instead of breathing through my mouth like a foghorn and waking up the whole house, I opted for a pack of Breathe Right strips.
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3: Mini DVD Player
Even with your cushy pillows and breathing aids, youre still going to need more. (Somebodys got to be honest with you.) By month seven, your hips will feel like theyre crumbling into dust; such is the pain of constantly sleeping on your side. Whats a girl to do when she cant sleep but doesnt want to lug her ever-expanding behind out to the living room? Get yourself one of these mini DVD players. Of course, youll need a DVD of every season of all your favorite shows to get the most out of it. (It was Seinfeld for me.) You can also go to Netflix and start watching Dexter. Or Six Feet Under. Or The Sopranos. Or Mad Men. Any one of these will keep you well-entertained in the wee hours. And theyre so amazingly good you may find yourself trying to stay awake. When you try to stay awake, inevitably, you fall asleep. See how that works?
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4: Tylenol PM
Whenever those pillows, breathing strips and DVDs arent doing their job, pop some Tylenol PM. Disclaimer: Check with your doctor before taking any medications. Whenever I was ready to cut someone if I didnt get some sleep, PM was there for me. Toward the end of my pregnancy, I was taking two a night. Not only will Tylenol PM help you get some much-needed shut-eye, it will also help relieve all those brutal aches and pains that start jack-hammering your body during that last trimester.
Antacids, pillows and Tylenol — oh my!
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5: Jelly Beans with a Side of Us Weekly
Gone are the days when you could let loose on a Friday night and drink your weight in Jagermeister. Now youre fat, you dont feel like going anywhere, and stupid cookie dough has raw eggs in it and they — whoever they are — said that you cant have raw eggs (which still didnt stop me from licking the batter out of the bowl while making a cake one day, but thats just me). Every Friday night I would stock up on Jelly Belly candies and the latest Us Weekly (get a lifeline, er, subscription here) and party like a pregnant woman (on the couch).
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6: Wendy's French Fries
If I was having a really rough day, a trip to Wendys never failed to cheer me up. I know, I know, most of you will say McDonalds French fries are superior, but I beg to differ. Those new Wendys natural-cut fries with the sea salt rocked my (pregnant) world. Ill tell you a secret: I would buy two huge orders — one for the drive home and one for when I actually got home. Seriously. Think you could make it home without touching a fry? Heres how thatll play out: Youll tell yourself its going to be one fry to taste, but then youll hit a red light and before you know it, half the box will be gone. Trust me, do what I say and order the two boxes. Yeah, I gained sixty pounds while pregnant, but those fries made it well worth it.
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7: House Hunters
No matter your god, thank him/her/it for HGTV. I could watch that stuff for days and days, pausing only to stock up on more French fries and candy. Set yourself up on the couch with everything in easy reach and converse with the television. Who are these people who wont buy a house if the fridge isnt stainless steel? And I love the inevitable this room isnt good for entertaining — whos throwing parties? Ive lived in my house for nearly a year and I havent hosted a shindig yet. But listen, watch the show and, like my husband and me, speculate on the personal lives of the actual house hunters. This will provide a solid, nine-month distraction. Time flies when youre being judgmental.
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