I wrote these random thoughts throughout my pregnancy and thought it’d be fun to share them with you. Actually, some of them are tips for me to remember the next time I get pregnant.  Speaking of remembering, I thought “pregnancy brain” was just an excuse you get to use when you’re pregnant, but it’s no joke! Most of the time I’d jot down slightly coherent thoughts on my iPhone and then fill in the blanks later. I’m curious how these will compare to the next time I get pregnant.

1. I wish I made freezer meals the second I found out I was pregnant. It never crossed my mind that I wouldn’t want to even walk into the kitchen, or that I opening the refrigerator would make me gag during my first trimester (actually, the freezer had a wicked stench, too, even though my friends said it smelled perfectly normal). There were more than a few times when boiling water for pasta was too challenging, so I ate crackers for dinner instead. The next time I get pregnant and my husband deploys, I plan on having lots of meals already prepared. (I’m going to share some of the meals I made in an upcoming post.)

2. Invest in toilet paper and put more than you think you’ll need in every bathroom! I knew pregnant ladies go to the bathroom a lot more, but getting up to pee four times in the middle of the night was more than I bargained for. Confession: I once ran out of toilet paper during one of those 3 am pee-runs and there was no way I was walking my exhausted pregnant-self downstairs to scrounge up another roll in the middle of the night. Invest in extra toilet paper; you’ll thank me at 3 am.

photo credit: Megan Garrison Photography

3. Start slathering on that cocoa butter! Seeing bright red stretch marks around your belly button at 13 weeks, when you’re still down two pounds, is very hard to deal with. Even though I used cocoa butter, I already had permanent marks of little Bunny’s early existence.

4. Say yes to (almost) anything you’re invited to. Honestly, leaving my house during the first trimester was the absolute LAST thing I wanted to do, but I knew that accepting my friends’ invitations for dinners and luncheons meant I wouldn’t have to cook for myself. I sucked it up, popped some peppermint candies, put on a (somewhat) happy face, and went out.  The last thing you want to do when your other half is deployed is to stay holed up in your house, which is easy to do, especially when you feel like puking every three minutes. Luckily, my close friends knew I was pregnant before the third-month mark, so they were all extremely empathetic to what was going on.

5. Ask for help. I couldn’t stand the scent of chicken or onions during those early months, but I was going to a party and really wanted to make some green chile chicken enchiladas. I was going to suck it up, plug my nose, gag my way through cooking the poultry, but then I realized I could ask for help. I felt so silly calling my friend to see if she wouldn’t mind cooking and shredding the chicken, and dicing up the onions for me, but having her help me with those steps was such a blessing. If you’re alone during your pregnancy, ask for help!

6. It’s okay to cry at the drop of a hat and freak the heck out about everything.

7. Bagels and cream cheese, cereal, oatmeal, grilled cheese, potatoes, quesadillas, toast, rice, mac ‘n cheese, and anything else that’s starchy, white, and totally “bad” for you will be your best friend. Seriously. Say it with me: “Carbs are your friend.

8. I never read any of the pregnancy/baby books I owned. They’re actually still sitting behind me on a bookshelf collecting dust. I used the pregnancy apps on my phone to tell me what’s going on each week, and that’s about it.

9. Apparently feeling like you’ve been kicked in the crotch is “completely normal.” So is belching like a frat boy. Pregnancy is attractive let me tell you.

10. The stomach! For some reason I thought when I got pregnant it would just be like getting fat and you’d have a little extra somethin’ there. Yeah, that’s not it at all. I first noticed my stomach poking out when I went to the post office. My tummy would hit the desk and I’d have to back up to sign the credit card slip. Another clue that it’s nothing like having extra fat: During one of my weekly bump photos, I absentmindedly tried to suck in my tummy—I’ve been doing that for at least two decades, so it was just second nature—only my stomach didn’t budge!

11. Cravings. I didn’t have any strange cravings, which was kind of sad. I hoped I’d want something really weird and wouldn’t be satisfied until it was gracing my lips. Instead, I just developed a major sweet tooth, which was really, really new to me. I’m usually all about the salt. Give me a bag of potato chips and I’d be in heaven. But while I was pregnant it was all about the sugar. Pass me the milkshakes, donuts, brownies, pie, etc. Luckily, I passed my glucose test, but it was hard to try and make healthy choices.

12. The “Glow.” Heh. I’ve had a lot of very nice people tell me that I had that ever-so coveted pregnancy “glow.” While it’s incredibly flattering, I have to let you all in on a little secret: my glow was called makeup. I typically don’t wear makeup, even in public. It’s not that my skin is so great that I can get away with not wearing it. It’s because A) I’m lazy and B) my husband prefers that I don’t have “gunk” on my face so that he can kiss me more. But once I got pregnant something in me changed. I started loving my ever-changing body and actually put more effort into the things I wore. I even started showering more often (I’m just being honest here!). Along with all of that, I decided to wear makeup again. My makeup wasn’t over the top at all (I seriously put it on in less than five minutes), but I’m pretty positive that’s where my glow came from. It’s amazing what a little cover up, blush, eyeshadow, and mascara can do. Trust me, there was no glow if I didn’t put on makeup.

13. My “baby woman.” This just made me laugh. I told my (male) Italian landlord that I was having a girl and he congratulated me on my “baby woman.” He said it several times in the conversation and it made me giggle every single time. Actually, it still makes me laugh.

14. The burping. Oh. My. Word. It just doesn’t stop! Before I was pregnant I’d have the occasional belch, but it was seriously out of control for those nine months. To my friends, family, and random strangers who were caught in the crossfire: I know I excused myself every time I burped, but I’m still really, truly sorry!!

15. Unexpected peeing. Yup, I’m going there. It’s not that I thought this was a myth or something, because I heard enough women talk about it, but I truly believed maybe it wouldn’t happen to me. But then it did. The first time it happened I laughed at myself. Then it just became annoying.

Have you “been there and done that” and can relate to any of the random thoughts above?