I call this my “minimalist” list because for starters, it did not involve too many purchases, and also because there was nothing big or bulky that we will now have just sitting in storage.
1. My husband, D. Sorry ladies, D cannot be picked up in any store, and is not in stock on Amazon. But seriously, twin pregnancies are automatically considered high risk, so you have to make a lot more OB appointments than normal mammas, and my husband has been to EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of “our” OB appointments because he wanted to be there, and I don’t know what I would have done without him! Halfway through the pregnancy we started being seen every two weeks, and soon after, every week, and often times we have been to the doctor 2-3 times per week to check on some questionable looking things. Until my doctor pulled me out from work for bed rest, I was scheduling the appointments entirely around my work schedule because mine was more strict than D’s, and I was the one who always actually HAD to be there, but he ALWAYS made it work, and I could NOT be more appreciative. I have not really been a crier this whole pregnancy, but there have been a couple of times where we were delivered some scary news in the office, and with the double the amount of regular pregnancy hormones coursing through me, I couldn’t help but break down right then and there. But D was always there to be my rock, my Mr. Stable; and when you’re not supposed to allow yourself to stress over anything, I don’t know what I would have done without him there.
Alternative Options: A mom, a relative, a friend, a trustworthy coworker, a doula. I highly recommend taking someone, anyone you trust and feel comfortable with, along for the OB appointments, especially if you know you will probably be receiving big news at the appointment. It may be important to make sure the person you bring is a positive person, and will not be the one freaking out, while you stay strong for them. That doesn’t really help. For me, having anyone to sit there and rub your back while staying strong, and calming YOUR nerves is infinitely better than sitting there alone. It’s also fun to have someone you know to get excited with when the doctor says something like, “Oh, I can see baby B has hair already!”
2. My “snake” pillow. Technically, it’s called a ‘Back N Belly Contoured Body Pillow,’ which IS available on amazon.. D started calling it, “the snake,” when I started dragging it around the house from one end so I could have it wherever I decided to sit or lie down. I am extremely fortunate enough to have a very good friend who happens to be a doula. One of her clients gave the pillow to her to give to other clients, and she has loaned it to me during the pregnancy. It was oh-so-wonderful for making even the largest of pregnant bellies (mine) comfortable whilst trying to sleep, and thus, alleviating a bit of my pregnancy insomnia…..buuuuuuut, the downside is it does sort of tend to kick your husband out of bed, so he will probably hate it, and may even start referring to is as, “the other man.”
|Here’s a picture of my son, looking like a Pharaoh wrapped up in the pillow. 🙂|
Alternative Minimalist Options: If you don’t happen to get loaned an absurdly extravagant maternity pillow, I know there are a lot cheaper body pillows out there, or a lot of women just surround themselves with the pillows they do have. That was working for me as well, but I beseech you, if someone offers you one of these AMAZING luxuries, do NOT pass it up!
3. My High-Risk Pregnancy (Twin) Specialist OB
Alas, as wonderful as she was, and as thankful as I am today to have seen her, once my fertility specialist OB found out I was having twins, she wanted to recommend me to someone better suited for the job. She was only one woman, and she told me if she delivered the twins, she would for sure take them out via c-section so she knew she could handle the whole thing on her own. But she knew I wanted to at least attempt to have the twins naturally, so we sought out an OB with experience in high-risk pregnancies, which includes multiples!
I will never regret this decision. With the help of my doula friend at the time, we found a doctor who agreed to do everything in his power to deliver the twins naturally, God willing. Also, he was part of a practice of OBGYNs, so there would be more than 1 OB there for the delivery.
Wouldn’t you know it, when January 10th rolled around, I was on a maternity floor with 7 other women who had given birth, and I was the ONLY one to do so not via c-section! Moreover, I was one of only two there who had a multiple birth! I am convinced it was because I was blessed with the best doctor in the entire world! Sure, there were complications, but they didn’t let it deter them. P came perfectly, and then O was still tucked away in his water sack in my right rib, breech. 20 minutes later, O’s heart rate plummeted to 50, but they got him out and all was well. 🙂
I also believe it is thanks to my twin specialist OB that I even made it to 37 weeks pregnant with twins, and the twins got to be over 5 lbs in the first place. He yelled at me when I was not putting on enough weight, made me stop working way sooner than I wanted to, and kept those babies in when I was 80% effaced and 2 cm dilated for 4 weeks. I probably could have made it even further if I didn’t get tired of 4 weeks of bed rest, and go shopping when the doc told me 37 weeks was considered full-term for twins, and the babies would be fine if born because they made it to 5 lbs.
4. Maternity Pants, Duh
I am putting this on my list because I want to encourage other new Moms to not be as dumb as me and buck the maternity pants forever because they make you feel like a fatty. I was feeling very uncomfortable in my new layers of skin (imagine that), and I wanted my body to feel like normal as much as it possibly could. So even after my Dad adorably bought me my very first pair of maternity jeans, I bucked them for way too long. Yoga pants, skirts, dresses, and jeans (which were uncomfortably cutting into my stomach, but still fit because they sat low and the babies sat high) were my wardrobe. Then, finally one day all my other clothes were in the laundry, so I tried on my maternity jeans for the first time since buying them, and it was like heaven around my waist. Maternity pants are just yoga pants, but made to look like whatever you want on the bottom! Why have I not been wearing them my whole life?! Even after I had the babies, I wore them for as long as I possibly could, until they were falling off of me. 🙂
Alternative Minimalist Options: Don’t have a father who’s willing to splurge on maternity pants for you? No problem. I didn’t truly need them. Previously owned dresses and stretchy skirts that could fit under my belly would have been just fine for work all along, and yoga pants and my husband’s pajama pants were my uniform at home. 🙂
5. Comfortable, Cushy Shoes
Just as I did not want to succumb to comfortable pants, I also did not seem to want to admit to needing to wear only cushy shoes. I wanted to still be able to look like a normal woman, and wear cute boots, just like everyone else. I did for a very long time, and I also wore a lot of Chuck Taylor’s. Alas, eventually even those didn’t provide enough cushion for the amount of extra weight I was carrying. When I finally just switched to my own old gym shoes (even at work), I had another, “Duh!” moment of realizing I should have done it a long time ago. Nobody cared at all, my feet, legs, and back were happier, and they were hidden mostly under my pants anyways. I still looked normal. 🙂
6. Snacks in my Pockets… at all Times.
As described in, ‘5 Things Your Bachelor Friends Might Wonder About Your Pregnancy,’ “crashing” is not okay. In order to combat it, I began to carry snacks in my pockets or in my bag at all times. D also began to carry around things like, granola bars, cheese crackers, etc. at all times in case I forgot. He was all too aware of the dangers of not being prepared, haha. 🙂
When I was only 9 weeks pregnant, and not ready to tell everyone yet, I was in my friend’s wedding in Ohio. I knew I was going to be incessantly snacking, and carrying around a bag just stuffed with snacks, which would probably seem weird, as I don’t normally do this. As my cover story, I told everyone I had decided I was the bridesmaid on “snack duty” to make sure no one else had any sugar crashes. I was constantly offering people the snacks out of my magic bag, and it completely covered the fact that I was always chowing down. Suspicions averted. 🙂
7. My ‘Baby Bargains’ book
Like all pregnant mothers (especially 1st-time), my 1st instinct was to PREPARE PREPARE PREPARE for what I thought was going to be the biggest life change in the history of time. (I had twins, and I can confirm my life did NOT change as drastically as it did when I was diagnosed with cancer, went to college, or moved to California). As previously stated, when I was pregnant, I didn’t have a single friend from all 3 of my main friend groups who had a child. Thus, I turned to the mother of my sweet God-daughter, my sister-in-law, for any and all questions. The first thing I wanted to know to prepare was what stuff we would actually need. As my husband and I attempt to live minimalist lives, I didn’t want to buy or receive anything we wouldn’t truly end up needing, and I wanted to know what stuff we could use to make do. She recommended to me the best book ever, ‘Baby Bargains,’ without which I would have been lost on where to get started! I checked my local library, but they didn’t have the most recent edition, so I made a tiny purchase for the sake of not making any big or mistake purchases. One of my favorite things about this book is they constantly keep it updated! I purchased the TENTH edition! I just checked Amazon, and the ELEVENTH edition of ‘Baby Bargains’ is actually available on pre-order to be released April 18th, 2015. How exciting to know they are always up-to-date on the latest gear in order to tell you the best bang for your buck! It’s like consumer reports, but with a lot more information for babies specifically.
Alternative Minimalist Options: Library or Borrow from a friend!
8. Bio Oil
As mentioned in, My Twin Pregnancy Log, Week by Week, by week 18, my skin began stretching like it had literally never stretched before to make room for TWO babies. Kind of like hair growing back in to a place you normally keep shaved, but worse. We tried home remedies like coconut oil of course, but at one point I was still itching so bad, I sent my OB an email that ended with, “Help me!” I felt desperate. She emailed back immediately, telling me to go pick up some Bio Oil from our local pharmacy, which my loving husband did for me. I applied, and it immediately relieved the itching, and either I’m really lucky, or because I was applying this like crazy, I didn’t end up getting stretch marks until the very last week. After I had the twins, I continued to apply the Bio Oil until the stretch marks disappeared. 🙂
9. Maternity Support Belt
About halfway through my pregnancy, my new specialist OB began mentioning maternity support belts. and how getting one might be a good idea, but to be honest it kind of went in one ear and out the other. He wanted me to have one because my job had me on my feet a lot at work, but I didn’t think it was really important because my back felt fine. I knew they are built to support your stomach, relieving pressure off your back, but I didn’t know they could: relieve pressure off the hips and pelvis, reduce feet and ankle swelling, promote proper posture and balance, reduce stretch marks, and most importantly, support your uterus to prevent pre-term labor contractions! Just remember, the belt is recommended to be worn as minimally as possible, but if you are exercising or on your feet for anything, I HIGHLY recommend it!
Alternative Minimalist Option: Don’t be on your feet towards the end of pregnancy!