I thought for sure that my third pregnancy would be a breeze. Whenever people asked me about my previous pregnancies, I have always said how much I had enjoyed it—I had two rather pleasant and normal pregnancies and gave birth to two healthy children. Compared to other women, I admit, I’ve had it easy.
So of course, with baby #3, I decided I was a pro at this whole pregnancy thing by now and was ready to enjoy the 9-month experience. Boy, was I wrong!
This pregnancy has by far been the toughest one of all. In addition to the usual symptoms, such as morning sickness, aches, and pains, pregnancy #3 has also given me a few unexpected gifts, including major heartburn, heart racing symptoms, insomnia, and some other issues that led me to the emergency room and put me on bed rest for two weeks— yikes! Also, with two little ones to care for at home and a full-time job, my exhaustion has reached a whole new level. And those are just the physical symptoms—let’s not even talk about the rollercoaster of emotions that my poor husband has to deal with!
I apologize for venting, but I just had to let it all out! The truth is, pregnancy is tough. But even through all of the ups and downs, I truly enjoy watching my belly grow and feeling the baby’s first movements. It really is the best feeling in the whole world!
After talking with a few of my friends and realizing that I’m not alone, I thought I should share a few tips on how to survive a challenging pregnancy, or any pregnancy for that matter:
- Ask for help: I’ve always been a “do-it-myself” type of person and it doesn’t come easy for me to ask for help. But sometimes, you just have to force yourself to ask others for helping hand. I’ve had friends or family pick up a few things at a grocery store for me while they are out, or babysit so I could have a little time for myself. Most of the time, your loved ones are more than willing, and a little help goes a long way.
- Have a date night: Let’s be honest—sometimes you just need to get out of the house and have fun (without the kids!). Whether it’s a date night with your hubby or a girl’s night out, stop making excuses and start planning! It can be hard to take time away for your self, but it’s so worth the time and investment in the end.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff: I’m always adamant that our kids have well-balanced and nutritious meals. But sometimes after a busy day, mac and cheese is the only thing on the dinner menu, and that’s okay. I’ve realized that in order to have a more pleasant pregnancy, I need to cut myself some slack and just go with the flow.
- Forget about the dishes: During the hard times of my first trimester and my bed rest phase, my messy house and overflowing sink almost drove me nuts. Suddenly I had a light bulb moment: why don’t we use paper plates and plastic utensils to get us through this tough spot? And that’s exactly what we did—it was a lifesaver!
- Get kids more involved with housework: I came up with a few strategies to get my kids to pitch in with the housework, and it has truly made a difference. My 8 year old, Ella, has a weekly chore chart, and at the end of the week, she receives an allowance based on the number of chores she has completed. For Connor, age 3, we started with small chores, such as helping put away laundry or picking up toys in his room. And for both kids, we instituted a general house rule that their bedrooms and the playroom must be cleaned up before they can watch a movie or play on the iPad. By getting the kids more actively involved in cleaning the house, I was able to minimize the mess and teach them responsibility at the same time.