Preparing For Pregnancy

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Back in May, one of my first posts was about pregnancy. I had made a “Pre-Baby Bucket List.” It was a list of things I wanted to accomplish before having a baby. Turns out that list is hard to check off when you want to get pregnant in a matter of months and those months are flying by!

The prenatal specialist told me that if I had a baby after 30, I would be considered a “senior” mom. Maybe that has been on my mind since my 30th birthday is oh, 11 days away, but all I have been thinking about is having a baby!

Want to know a secret? Maybe it’s not a secret. I never really cared for babies. I never wanted to hold them. I never thought I would have “baby fever”.. what is happening to me?!

We had been saying we would start trying in the fall. Well with fall quickly approaching (as well as my birthday), I am starting to read more articles about pregnancy. There’s so much to learn! I should’ve started this years ago! Kidding. Kind of.

If you are in the same boat as me, here are the cliff notes on what I have learned about getting ready for pregnancy:

Prenatal Vitamin

I had been advised to start taking this back in January by the prenatal specialist. They specifically recommended Folic Acid. The vitamin I am taking has the recommended amount plus others. You should start taking this at least one month prior to conceiving.

I’m an Amazon junkie and bought a 250 count bottle back in March for $25-something that will last about 8 months!

Preconception Counseling

I had never heard of this before but I am glad I did it. I’ve mentioned before that I am not very healthy… it had never crossed my mind that the medication I take may have to be stopped during pregnancy! In my appointment that was a major talking point, going over each medication and the risks. It is important to keep momma healthy for the baby, so many of my medications will remain the same.

The counseling is important not just to discuss your history but also your spouse’s. You may meet with a genetics counselor and discuss your family tree so it’s important to know health information for your side and your spouse.

Cut out unhealthy habits

Drinking, smoking, drugs, caffeine, junk food… whatever is your vice, it needs to go. I’m going to be on the struggle bus for caffeine! Start this as soon as you can, especially for something like smoking (or drugs…) since that habit can be hard to kick.

Exercise

Ughh. This is the hardest for me with the other medical issues I have going on. I know that I need to implement a routine now and get to a healthy weight so there aren’t complications later on. It also lowers the risk for gestational diabetes.

Throw Out Your Birth Control

If you want to get pregnant, you don’t want to be on this. It’ll eliminate your chances of getting pregnant and it just puts unnecessary hormones into your body.

It can be a little trickier if you are on the Depo-Provera shot or have an IUD. Check with your doctor how to go about conceiving.

Finances

Can you afford a child? I had no idea how much diapers cost until about a year ago. Seriously, those things are expensive! I quit my job in May and we wanted to make sure we were going to do okay financially before considering bringing a child into the world.

Aside from the cost of raising a child, make sure you have the right healthcare coverage as well. Call and check about prenatal coverage.

For the women that are reading, what did you do to prepare yourself for pregnancy? Or even men, did you feel like there was anything you needed to change in your life prior to welcoming a child into the world?

 

 

4 thoughts on “Preparing For Pregnancy

  1. All good stuff! I’d add that you should be prepared that things may not go as planned/expected. I thought I was prepared – I stopped taking my birth control pill and started taking prenatal vitamins 3 months before we were planning to start trying to conceive. I figured that would give my cycle enough time to regulate. When I went off the pill I had a natural 42 day cycle, then a 31 day cycle and figured things were on track since my cycles were a regular 31 days before I went on the pill. Well, next month I didn’t get my period. Or the next, or the next. And I wasn’t pregnant.

    After 90+ days without a period I saw my OBGYN. She ran some tests and found out my thyroid was a little underactive. She prescribed Synthroid and told me my cycle would probably return. It didn’t. After reviewing my symptoms and doing some research, I suspected I had PCOS and asked my OB to check my testosterone levels. Sure enough, they were elevated. I never suspected PCOS initially because I had regular periods before going on the pill and neither did my OB, because I wasn’t overweight and my fasting blood glucose and insulin levels had tested normal. I suspect being on the pill for so many years triggered my PCOS symptoms, as it often contributes to weight gain and insulin resistance (I had gained some weight over the years of being on the pill and likely have some level of insulin resistance that’s not detected by fasting tests).

    I ended up needed to take two rounds of Clomid to ovulate and get pregnant. Being 28 and healthy I had expected to get pregnant within 3 months of trying but instead it ended up taking me 7 months of frustration, worry, waiting, tests, medication, and multiple doctors’ appointments.

    Not trying to scare you with all of this because I’m sure I’m a rare case… But don’t panic if things don’t go according to “plan.” Because I sure did… Track your cycle and monitor your symptoms and if you think something doesn’t seem right, make an appointment with your OB sooner than later!

    1. Thanks for this. I know I’m already a high risk pregnancy due to an issue with blood clotting so it’s nice to know I’m not the only one that may have frustrations. I’m glad you are pregnant and healthy now though!

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