Also known as: things I sort of wish people would have warned me about before this whole thing started.
I love lists, and I love advice from strangers. Enter my list of 27 things I learned while being pregnant with baby #1. Obviously I've learned WAY more than this, but...27 seemed like a good round number? I have no idea. Blame it on pregnancy brain or what have you, but these are some of the most important things I've learned while carrying Baby G.
1. Night sweats are not fun.
2. Neither are hot flashes when it's 10° outside, especially unexpected ones.
3. Pillows are your new best friends when it comes to sleep. Load up on them. Even if they are hard to manipulate and you occasionally curse at them when rolling over for the 800th time each night.
4. Sleep is sometimes elusive and sometimes comatose. Take whatever you can get.
5. Your skin is bound to do some weird things, no matter if it's on your belly or elsewhere. Just get used to it.
6. Swelling is not a myth. Invest in a husband who likes giving foot massages. Or learn to be very, very persuasive.
7. If you were one of those people (like me) who clogged the drain every shower with how much hair you lost each time you showered, get used to not having to do that anymore! Hair really does stick with you during pregnancy.
8. You will have weird cravings. It's better to just accept them, eat them, and move on. Trying to deny yourself just makes it worse, lots of times.
9. Dry and itchy eyes are a pregnancy symptom. Who woulda thunk? If you have contacts, like me, get ready to hate them towards the end.
10. Baby clothes are unbelievably irresistible.
11. When browsing for baby things in public, try your best not to "aww" out loud at every new thing you pick up. Your husband will quickly become embarrassed and try to escape.
12. Baby things are also unbelievably expensive. Save up if you can. Or browse Craigslist/thrift stores/garage sales...but be prepared to spend some time doing so because those things go like hot potatoes.
13. If you're not a cook, being pregnant will not automatically make you one, no matter how hard you wish it would.
14. Putting on socks and shoes is a major chore. Oh, the bending...what I wouldn't give to be able to just bend down like a normal person right now.
15. Squats are supposedly a good labor-starter, or a convincing way to get your baby to be in the right position. And they don't hurt your thighs, either.
16. Speaking of exercises, wall pushups are a thing. (Just imagine trying to regular pushups with a watermelon taped to your chest...yeah it doesn't work so well.)
17. Stairs will make you winded. Try to avoid busy sets of them so you don't embarrass yourself too much.
18. Your baby WILL find your bladder and WILL decide it's the best trampoline this side of the Mississippi.
19. Map out the quickest route to the bathroom in your favorite places: your house, office, relatives' homes, local Target, etc. Avoid places without public restrooms.
20. Get ready for people to touch your belly, even if they're total strangers. If you hate it, speak up. (They'll blame it on the hormones, not you anyway).
21. Try not to read too much on pregnancy (I failed at this). Eventually your brain will become so overloaded that it'll fizz out and die every time you think of Braxton Hicks contractions or pregnancy symptoms or number of hours in labor for the average person.
22. If you have a smart phone, get a preggo person app. (I use the What to Expect app.) They're full of fun stories and helpful tips and a handy countdown thingy right there.
23. You will, at some point, be horrified at the number looking back up at you on the scale. Just get used to the idea ahead of time.
24. Everyone - and I mean EVERYONE - is an expert on parenting, pregnancy, and babies. Get ready to have your ears plugged full of advice every way you turn.
25. Taking walks is a good way to get your exercise in.
26. You will cringe at the photos of you during your last month of pregnancy. Try to look away and avoid the camera if you can.
27. Whenever you get scared or overwhelmed about the idea of actually birthing a baby, remember that every human on this planet is here because some brave woman went through what you're going to go through. You can do it. Our ancestors had to do it with a lot less help, and they mostly survived. You're gonna be fine.
I'm obviously chock full of wisdom, but I know I'm missing some gems...what's your #1 piece of advice for new moms? Add 'em in the comments. :)