Spoiler alert: Being pregnant is gross. Naturellement, I was thrilled to actually be pregnant and experience the magic and mystery of having a healthy bébé growing inside of me. But I was also exhausted and generally uncomfortable, what with ongoing morning sickness and nosebleeds and charley horses and insomnia, to name but a few fun symptoms.
By the third trimester, I was itchy and tired and waddling around a bit like a disgruntled duck. As part of my commitment to joyful living, I had also established a pregnancy self-care routine that focused on creating little moments of pleasure and comfort during the day.
Today’s post shares some of the favorite and necessary items I used to stay positive as part of my quotidien self-care during pregnancy.
My Pregnancy Survival Kit
- Ginger Tea and Digestive Biscuits
- Heating Pad
- Maternity Pants
- Puppy Cuddles
Ginger Tea and Digestive Biscuits
With an upset stomach from around the eighth week of pregnancy on, my diet became largely restricted to light foods like pasta and applesauce and popsicles that I would not throw up. There was no ice cream. There was no pizza. There was only . . . graham crackers. Luckily, my cravings were mostly lemon and McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish.
A daily treat that was part of my morning ritual: I would rise (was it 4:00 a.m.? or 5:00? depends on the day – le sigh), make a cup of ginger tea with a dollop of local honey, grab an authentic British digestive biscuit (or two – le wink) and hop back in bed with a book and Le Chien to rest.
This quiet moment let me peacefully start my day, settle my stomach with something organic and delicious, and take a moment to relax before exercise, work, chores, and the like.
Aromatherapy is very soothing, especially when you’re six months pregnant in the dead of an Illinois winter. From a new essential oil diffuser to my favorite Vermont Soap Company lavender bath salts, I tried to incorporate favorite scents to enhance relaxation and wellness every day.
A gift from L’Husband also inspired me to make my own room spray with essential oil. Homemade spray is more eco-friendly (reusable glass bottles keep trash out of the landfill; essential oil bottles last forever) and better for air quality (it’s free from synthetic fragrances).
My own maman gave me an industrial-size heating pad at the beginning of my pregnancy journey and I used it every single day. Starting with in vitro fertilization, I needed the heating pad for my stomach (for cramps after the egg retrieval) and hips (for soreness after daily injections of progesterone in oil for fifty-five days after the embryo transfer. Yes, fifty-five days).
Once I was good and pregnant, the pad became a permanent fixture in my “pregnancy chair” (an unsightly but beloved brown recliner), where I made a nightly nest to soothe my lower back, snuggle with the hound, and suck on a popsicle. The heating pad became my security blanket. I literally could not have survived without it!
I’ve written before about the untold glory of maternity pants. Wearing new clothes designed specifically for a unique and, for me, once-in-a-lifetime, experience like pregnancy was a reminder that I was embarking on a journey that me experience a new, scary, liberating dimension of my life. Every time I pulled on my maternity jeans, I felt connected to something bigger than myself and remembered that I was growing a tiny human inside of me.
Was Le Chien my emotional support animal during COVID and then pregnancy? Yes, yes he was. The hound knew something was up as my belly grew and L’Husband and I set up the nursery. He was with me every step of the way, from daily afternoon naps (oh, the napping) to inspecting the pileup of new baby gear. Much like the other things in my survival kit, I could not have made it through pregnancy without Le Chien.
What daily rituals help comfort and soothe you?
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À votre santé,