Nesting Series #2: Things I Learned in the Second Pregnancy
2. Watching what I eat has proven to be WAY better than eating everything in sight. Sounds simple, but really true. I attended the Bradley Method classes when I was pregnant with Alex. While I loved the classes and the method, there was a lot of emphasis on eating tons of protein and keeping a food log. I found that this made me overly obsessed with what I ate, and usually encouraged me to eat more than necessary. A healthy, well-balanced diet and eating when I'm hungry (without focusing on whether the food is a good protein source or not...) has been much better for me this time.
3. There is no choice but to stay active during the second pregnancy, and I know I feel better physically because of it. I admit that I was not as intentional about exercise the first time due to any excuse I could find - nausea, weather, fatigue, etc.
4. I've learned that I can and should refuse some of the testing that is "required" during pregnancy and some of the newborn treatments that are "required". I think it's important for people to ask questions about their health care. Perhaps it is because I am married to a doctor, or because I am just a naturally analytical person - not sure. But I think asking questions is important. For example, why do I need two different HIV tests during my nine months of pregnancy? Why should I opt for early "genetic screening" for my baby? Do I really need vaginal exams during the last month if my pregnancy is normal? Does my baby really need that eye gunk immediately after he is born? I have found that there are many unnecessary and (sometimes) unpleasant "requirements" from our health providers.
*For the curious, yes, I do refuse all these tests. I know I'm not HIV positive and it is a waste of health care dollars to test me. We also refuse genetic testing because no matter what "condition" (if any) our baby has, we will accept it with joy as God's plan for us. Often those tests produce false positives anyway and cause undue stress for the parents. And, yes, I have also refused vaginal exams during this last month. There is no medical reason for them since no matter how far dialated I am, it is still not a true indicator of how soon I will go into labor. I prefer to leave it a mystery and attend my appointments without invasion. =) On a side note, most doctors are very willing to engage patients in dialog and respect your wishes. After all, you are the patient. If your doctor has a different attitude, you should maybe look for a new one. Everyone is different and I am not suggesting you make all the same decisions I have. Only suggesting that it's good to be a curious patient and ask questions of your health care providers.*
5. I don't take dates with my husband for granted. We have lots of take-out dates at home, babysitters, and adult dinners - dinner for just Jason and I after Alex is in bed. I cherish every moment of time we have to build our marriage and take a small break from being parents for a few hours. It does a marriage good.
6. Being pregnant does not exclude me from serving others or doing what I like to do (photography, cooking, etc.) It makes it more challenging, but doesn't exclude me from it. As my husband says, "Your creative things are good for the soul. Constant housework is not." I agree.
7. The expensive heartburn medicine is so worth it.