Since I wrote my first blog yesterday I figured why not add another to today? So throughout the pregnancy I’ve been pretty hush hush on the details of my pregnancy. If you know me and ask I will tell but besides the countdown of how far along I am and the occasional posts about feeling Avery move I don’t think I given too much insight to my pregnancy on facebook. In fact, I only remember telling about a dozen people how Chad and I found out I was pregnant and I only shared ultrasound pictures in person (or a few selected friends and family over email). So now is my chance to catch up and share some more in depth stories because while some of the stories are fun this experience has also been enlightening. Sadly I’ve been the poster child on what NOT to do when pregnant. Hopefully my stories will help someone not repeat my mistakes.
So first I will start off with the story of how I became pregnant. So I have to backdate a little bit but in March 2011 I decided it was time for me to get off birth control. Chad was hesitant but supportive of my decision. We knew we could end up pregnant but had reason to believe it wouldn’t happen. We were playing with fire and fire won. Once I got off birth control Chad did the responsible thing and bought pregnancy tests in bulk. To get a little personal the reason I was on birth control was due to my irregular periods. When I reverted back to the irregular periods I never suspected I could be pregnant. However, I’d occasionally take a test since I have 30 of them. The week prior to finding out I was pregnant my breasts were super sore but I misread the signals and assumed my period was on the way. When it still didn’t come I decided to take another pregnancy test. I took this test August 27th the day before my 28th birthday. Instantly the stick indicated pregnant. I sat in the bathroom and literally for a minutes said repeatedly “oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.” I was nervous to tell Chad. While we weren’t ready for a kids we weren’t doing anything to stop it. I went downstairs and told him the news. He handled it better than I expected. My family was in town for my birthday so we agreed not to say anything until we could confirm it was true. I took two more pregnancy tests before we went to the doctors and he also confirmed what we already knew, I was pregnant. At first I was shocked and nervous. On my birthday we told my best friend April and while she was super excited I was scared out of my mind. I remember shaking as I told her the news. As the pregnancy started to become real to me I began to get excited. Chad and I always discussed having kids but ideally we wanted to be pregnant in 2012 and have a baby in 2013. I’m glad the way things turned out the way they did though. Below are some of the most important things I’ve learned during pregnancy
1. Benefits-Once I started looking into my insurance and maternity leave policies at work I learned my work did not pay for maternity leave unless you have short term disability. A lot of people assume your company will pay you and I think most companies did pay until the economy went bad. Being pregnant has taught me one important thing…if your having sex you should have short term disability. Most states its required for employers to pay for short-term disability. However a few states (Arizona included) makes it optional for the employee to add it and does not require the employer to pay for it. I tried adding short term disability to my insurance when open enrollment began but by then I had what was considered a pre-existing condition and was denied short term disability coverage. That added some stress to the pregnancy. How was I going to afford to pay my bills when I wasn’t working? The one thing with short term disability is even you have it you only get 66% of your pay but in all honesty something is better than nothing.
2. The Dr’s Appointments- I’ve had a love/hate relationship with the doctors appointments. I love going and knowing Avery is good but hate the waiting and all the specialists I’ve been referred to. In November I began to swell in my feet. It never hurt but got progressively worse. I ended up at a cardiologist for further testing since my doctor feared I could have blood clots. The month of march I had at least one type of doctors appointment a week. I couldn’t keep all my appointments straight. Just be prepared for a lot of appointments
3. Flex Spending Account- When open enrollment began at my work Chad and I did extensive research to determine who had the better insurance for pregnancy. The one stupid thing about insurance companies is they don’t seem to know the changes to your policy until after the open enrollment has ended. I had to call corporate at my job to find out what changes were being made as did Chad. After evaluating both of our insurance plans we decided to stick to our individual policies since mine was better for the pregnancy but his was cheaper once the pregnancy was over with. One thing I made sure to add was a flex spending account. Ultimately I know its money coming out of my check but not having to whip out my debit card every time I have a co-pay has been nice. I did a 1,000.00 in a flex spending account and sadly because of all the specialists I’ve seen I will probably use it all up shortly after Avery arrives. Make sure you have a clear understanding of how much the birth will cost because had I switched to Chad’s insurance we would have paid 2.500.00 out of pocket as opposed to the 350.00 I will pay under my insurance
4. Bedding- Compared to the other things I’ve wrote about bedding isn’t a huge deal. However, in hindsight I wish we hadn’t bought an 8 piece bedding set. Did you know they are now saying baby bumpers shouldn’t be in cribs? It can lead to suffocation and sids. 4 of the 8 pieces to a baby set is the bumpers. The comforter is something we can’t use for a while either since its so thick. So the only pieces to our bedding set we are actually using is the diaper holder and the crib skirt. Our set also came with a valence but I didn’t know about it until after we had bought another set of curtains. The whole bedding package ended up being a waste of money. Luckily we found it on clearance and didn’t pay an arm and a leg like I originally wanted to.
5. Save money- I’m sure you already know but baby stuff is expensive. If your considering having kids you should start saving even if its 20.00 a paycheck. I feel fortunate that we’ve had money along the way and have generous parents who bought us some bigger ticketed items. Decorating a babies room is expensive and that doesn’t include clothes, diapers and all the other stuff a baby needs.
6. Overall Pregnancy- It’s weird being pregnant. At first I was so nauseous. It’s odd how the things you love suddenly make you want to throw up. Its’ weird feeling your stomach stretch or for a while I had random pains that hurt like heck! Now I’m dealing with swollen legs, constant back ache and always needing to pee. Everyone is different so symptoms obviously vary from person to person but whenever Avery has the hiccups or moves I temporarily forget all the pain and discomfort and enjoy the few minutes of her movements.
7. Be prepared for anything- Throughout my pregnancy I’ve been healthy so when I was told I’d be going on bedrest I was devastated. I felt fine but the swelling took over and my doctor told me being on bedrest was the best option for me. I was shocked but in hindsight it was the best option for me. Just remember the doctor knows best.
8. It’s not always your fault- When I was 34 weeks I asked my doctor how big Avery would be and she called for an ultrasound to determine. At that ultrasound in week 35 we learned my fluid levels were dangerously low. Avery was breeched and it was due to the low fluid levels. For 3 days I had to drink 100 ounces of water a day to bring her fluid levels up so she could hopefully go to delivery position. I did raise my fluid levels but she is still in the breech position. Things along the way have come up and its easy to blame myself but the truth is I was drinking around 70 ounces of water a day. We discovered Avery’s head is huge and that’s more likely the reason she couldn’t flip.
Well I was hoping to find 10 things I learned from being pregnant but I’m struggling to come up with more. I’m sure I’ll have more stories to add but I think the biggest thing is make sure financially you are ready for a baby and know your companies maternity leave policies.
I’m def not an expert on being pregnant but will answer any question you have!