After I found out I was pregnant we of course wanted to do things to prepare. There were maternity clothes needed as well as Baby gear and clothes. I also had not previously given much thought to childbirth and I needed to study all the options and chose the method I thought was best.
Another book I enjoyed was Your Pregnancy Week by Week by Glade B. Curtis M.D. This book just basically tells your what is going on in your body and how your baby is growing. I especially enjoyed the pencil drawings of the baby in the womb.
I was very blessed with very easy pregnancies for the most part. I had some nauseousness but actually only threw up once because of it and that was the extent of throwing up for all 4 pregnancies. I know. I was very, very blessed! With the first pregnancy I did have one hard thing to deal with and that was getting kidney stones. That did cause throwing up and all sorts of pain and I figured I must be losing the baby. We were very thankful to find out I wasn't but I did have to be hospitalized for a while. With the next pregnancy the challenge I had was migraine headaches. With my hormones all out of wac they came on very strong. One lasted for a week and I was afraid I might go crazy but God was there and I was so very thankful when that went away! Other than that I dealt with being big and uncomfortable, pinched nerves in my legs but really I just enjoyed the new life that God was creating inside of me.
With maternity clothes I was blessed to never have to spend much money. I was loaned some and then an older lady from my home church made me some (That was a ministry of hers for many years: sewing maternity clothes) and then I found some inexpensively and I made some and then just made do with what I had. I remember confiscating some of Ken's old t-shirts. :-)
As far as getting ready for the baby I found it amazing how I really didn't have to buy much of anything. We found a few things (Stroller, highchair) at garage sales but with the first baby I was given 4 baby showers (One at each of our home churches in MN and NV, one in IA where we were and then one at my work) and then people gave us hand-me-downs too. We were overflowing with stuff! If you are at all short on money I would say to just get the minimum and then do a wait and see approach. There is so much baby stuff available and most people get way too much and then babies hardly wear it.
One book that Ken and I read together (well I read out loud) was To Train Up a Child by Micheal and Debi Pearl. We took a long trip together and this was our entertainment for that trip. :-) This is another book that I really recommend reading during pregnancy (or before). This book has tons of great practical, biblical advice on raising children. What was really nice about reading it together was the opportunity for Ken and I to discuss what we read. We were blessed to both come from christian homes and had a very similar background in many ways but reading this together and discussing it really helped us to come up with a plan for how we would raise our children. One of the things we think it very important in raising kids is that the parents be unified in discipline and training. Having this opportunity to really discuss it really has helped us to be united.
Other thoughts on pregnancy... Keep active! (As long as you are physically able.) Being active helps you to feel better and aids in an easier delivery. I worked (full time in the summer) during my whole pregnancy and I had lots of fun doing it. It was fun to have the older ladies at work (I was a designer in a florist shop) chide me for climbing up to get things and stuff like that. I lived just about 5 blocks or so from work and so I would walk there each day (and to home and back for lunch as well) which helped to add to the exercise. They day I went into labor I was at work and having some back pain. My supervisor thought maybe I should just go home but I didn't feel like just sitting it out there so I did go home and take a nap and then went back.
Eat well! I don't know that I did so well on this my first time but I did work on it with the later pregnancies. Drink lots of water too! And well we are thinking about eating I greatly recommend making ahead meals and freezing them for the days right after that baby arrives. My grandma did this for me the first time and then I tried to do this for the next pregnancies.
So.. what worked for me?
- Starting a family right away.
- Reading "Husband coached Childbirth" and pursuing natural childbirth.
- Not spending much money on stuff for me or baby.
- Ken and I reading and discussing "To Train Up a Child".
- Keeping active.
- Pursuing a healthy lifestyle.
- Soaking in a cold tub of water in 114 degree weather with no air conditioning.
"For Thou didst form my inward parts;
Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb.
I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret,
and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth.
Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance;
and in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me,
when as yet there was not one of them."