The 5 best things I bought for my pregnancy

Having a baby is exciting, nerve-racking, amazing, terrifying, and full of new body changes. I’d written about trying to get pregnant a while back, and I’ve written some other posts since that time. In this post, I wanted to do something a bit lighter. I thought about what to write, and came up with what I thought might be helpful to others. Without further ado, here are the 5 best things I’ve purchased during my pregnancy. Enjoy!

  1. A man-sized pillow and this wedge pillow

I have a bad back, and a bad neck, and I’ve always wanted an excuse to buy a pillow larger than my husband. So I bought this monster-sized pillow on Amazon, and this little wedge pillow to go under the bump. At night, my husband helps me roll onto my side and I shove my arm underneath one section and my legs wrap around one of the sides. Then, the wedge goes right under the bump. We got some weird looks from family when we brought the pillows to Christmas, and the looks are probably going to keep coming when I insist we bring them on every trip for the rest of our lives.

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Yes, the cover is washable. Yes, I will be buried with this pillow.

2. Three of these shirts from Target

“Ruching” is a French term for “Buy these shirts because they’ll fit forever.” I bought three of these from Target, and I love them. They fit me when I started popping out a little at 12 weeks, and they fit me now that I’m 33 weeks. I wear them under stuff, over stuff, and… whatever… it’s a shirt – you get how it works.

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Thanks Target.

3. Flat shoes that go with everything.

I’ve decided nightly leg cramps are my body’s way of semi-preparing me for the pain of labor. How do you make it through a level 8 cramp? Breath, visualize something else, and then yell at the top of your lungs “I think I’m dying.” Anywho, I have a massive shoe collection (seriously, they’re beautiful), but if I wear anything over 1.5 inches my calves attack me at night. So I bought some flats that go with everything, because… I had to.

4. A King-sized bed.

I’m what people call “cheap.” The phrase “you pinch pennies til they scream” has been uttered in my direction. I’m also rarely impulsive. But over two years ago I put a king-sized bed and a king-sized frame into my Amazon cart. Then, after I hadn’t slept well in days I messaged my husband and said “We’re 32. We’re almost like… adults. Let’s get a big people bed.” Before I could re-think my decision, my husband clicked “Proceed to check out.” I think he’d had enough of trying to get comfy next to a rolling pregnant lady and her monster-sized pillow. I realize buying a new bed is a big purchase. But if you’re in the market and ready to feel more like an adult – I’d like to suggest buying a King-sized bed.

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This is where the adults sleep. At least, that’s what we tell ourselves.

5. Stool Softener

Why are some people cranky? It’s because they haven’t pooped in days. I thought I knew suffering, and I then I realized my pregnant body decided it cannot both grow a baby AND have regular poops. Enter: stool softener. I tried to fight the urge to feel like a 70-year-old, but after weeks of trying everything else I finally gave in. There is no joy like the joy of regular pooping. Everybody poops, but when you have trouble pooping – stool softener.

How about you, dear reader? Anything you bought you’d recommend?

On finding positives in weird places…

There’s always that little moment I have before I say something vulnerable. My brain quickly questions, “Do I say this and risk it? Or do I change the subject to something more palatable?” Today, I risked it on something new. I let myself speak in public with an acquaintance on a topic I’ve written about, but never discussed in person outside of close circles.

I openly talked in detail – with specifics – about being molested as a child – as I was getting my hair done.

Larry Nassar is in the news. I’ve been seeing my hairdresser for five years, and I adore her. Midway through the hair cut she brought up what a tough time it is to be an MSU fan, and then we started talking about Nassar. We talked about how difficult it was to believe he got away with molesting girls and women for so long. Then, we talked about how important it is to believe children when they tell you’ve they’ve been attacked. My hairdresser mentioned that only a very small percentage of children ever lie about being molested, so believing children is important.

Then, I flashed to being five-years-old. I remember telling my mother, and I remember her believing me. I remember that she never doubted me. I’ve always felt grateful for my parents, but in that moment my gratefulness erupted into my experience.

“You know, I was molested as a child.” I told Abigail. Then, we both waited a moment for the admission to land.

“Really!? I’m so sorry to hear that.” Then, we waited another moment.

“Who was it” she asked.

“My babysitters” I told her.

“Boys or girls?”

“Girls.”

More questions followed. In a room with other people, I openly and honestly shared my experience. Maybe the #MeToo movement brought it out of me, or maybe it was talking with an amazing friend last night about sexuality. After decades, I’ve become comfortable with every question. My shame has fallen away, and by the grace of God, it has been replaced with a stillness that only the peace of Christ can fill.

Being molested as a child is a horrific experience. Living with the shame is even worse. But in the words of my friends, “In order to become a fully actualized adult you have to see the positives.”

I have a greater amount of empathy and understanding for those that molest children. Do not mistake my words here. Hurting children is wrong, and I am fiercely protective of children. When I see or meet people that hurt children, I flash to my babysitters and think, “They learned this from their parents.” Yes, many people are sociopaths, or psychopaths, or narcissists and they make the existence of others hell. But many monsters are also made. When we quickly deny the humanity of others, I believe we fall further away from understanding why people harm each other in the first place. And if we fail to understand, how can we ever stop these things from happening?

I feel incredibly comfortable and open talking about sex. A few months ago our church did a great sermon on sex. When the pastor began talking, an entire room full of adults giggled. Talking about sex does not make me giggle, and I don’t mean to ridicule those that are not comfortable with the topic. Yet, so many men and women I meet do not know how to talk to their own sexual partner about the sex they’re having. I do not struggle with that. Words like penis and vagina do not make me uncomfortable. I’m comfortable with the topic, because I was introduced to it at an early age.

I learned very early in life that bad things just happen to good people. In every news story I see, I read comments on social media that blame survivors for things that people have done to them. Blaming the victim feels nice, because it helps you feel like you could have control over every situation. Sure, be smart and make good choices. But drunk drivers hit cars. Babysitters can hurt your children. I’m grateful I did not have to spend my entire life thinking I could prevent the evils of the world. Sometimes, against all odds, shit happens.

With time and with grace, we can grow from these things. And today, I feel grateful that I got to grow from my experience.

And of course – to my parents – thank you for believing me.