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Congratulations! You’re pregnant! I’ve been there a couple times before, and would be delighted to answer the many questions you likely have about this miraculous and sweaty time. There is so much conflicting information on the Internet to confuse you, and also lots of totally vague bullsh*t that does not, in fact, prepare you for what is about to go down.
I’m going to keep it OH SO REAL, my friends. I’m sorry about how honest it’s about to get in here. I do hope you’re ready. Consider me to be the BFF without a filter…
1. What can I do to relieve this uncomfortable breast tenderness?
Truth: Strap your swollen sweater puppets in tight with a full-coverage over the shoulder boulder holder that doesn’t let them jiggle even the slightest bit, then avoid ever touching them accidentally with the inside of your arms by no longer moving your hands or arms while you speak. You also might want to never travel up or down stairs too quickly, or laugh, or allow people to hug/get within 12 inches of you. This should all help quite a bit!
2. It looks like I’m already getting stretch marks. How do I stop that from happening?
Truth: Invent a spacecraft then fly it into space and accidentally blow something up that that exposes you to cosmic radiation like Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four did, giving you extreme elasticity. Other than that? Nothing comes to mind. But you can moisturize yourself and hope for the best. Hope is a nice thing to have, dontcha think?
3. Is my skin really going to go to hell during my pregnancy?
Truth: Don’t worry, sweetie! Other than acne, bacne, stretch marks, contact dermatitis which made me allergic to myself, greasy hair, increased body hair, increased facial hair/mutton chops, excessive sweating everywhere, weird B.O., hemorrhoids, skin tags, new freckles, growing another chin, and a sensitivity to pretty much all fabrics other than 100 percent organic cotton gathered by virgins under the blood moon, I had virtually no skin changes during my pregnancies. I’m sure you’ll be fine. I barely noticed any of these things!
4. Is there anything I should avoid doing, physically, while pregnant?
Truth: It depends. I mean, you know all that crazy stuff you did on that pre-college road trip you took with your girlfriends that you never want your mom to find out about? Don’t do any of that again. Probably ever. Also don’t do things that could maim you, but that’s just solid “staying alive” advice you should already be practicing. Exercising is usually fine, as long as your doctor says she’s okay with it. Just remember that about halfway through this pregnancy your hips will make you feel like you’re a drunk marionette trying to walk in eight-inch platform heels, so please be careful while attempting things like walking or turning to say “hello” to someone next to you.
Oh—and you should also avoid doing anything you can get someone else to do for you because you have the best excuse ever for making people fetch snacks and run errands while you rest. Growing people is hard work. Remind those around you of this often enough that they begin to do everything for you before you even have a chance to ask. It’s for the good of the baby, after all!
5. How do I make a solid birth plan that we can stick to?
Truth: Make a wish on a shooting star, blow the fluff off a dandelion, then write a bunch of scribble-scrabble on a piece of paper with a broken crayon while thinking about how you’d like your labor and delivery to go. Doing all of these things will come in just as handy as the printed-out birth plans all the pregnant women in history have ordered their husbands and moms to memorize before their big days, because every time you make a plan a fetus laughs in your face (metaphysically speaking, of course). Just plan for the fact that the kid will eventually come out one way or another. BOOM: Wasn’t that easy?
6. How can I get a good night’s sleep?
Truth: What time is it there where you live right now? Okay, so write down the current time, then add in 25 years to the birth date of this and all other future children. That’s when you will sleep “good” again.
7. Is there anything I can do to prepare for breastfeeding once the baby comes?
Truth: Do you have breasts with nipples and stuff? Perfect! Now get on the Internet and read the comments sections under articles written by women who breastfeed, women who bottle feed, and women who do both. Pretend those angry, patronizing, rude, anonymous commenters are people talking directly to you while you feed your wiggly little child, or to each other about you in harsh, judgy tones RIGHT behind your back. Try not to cry. Keep trying. Good job!
This preparation is also good for every single decision you will make throughout your pregnancy and parenthood.