The cost of giving birth

I didn’t want to write about this, because for me she’s so worth it. But then I started thinking about it. And it goes way beyond the money. So here goes nothing.

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It was late August when I started to notice something weird was a-brewing. My body had all the signs of my period coming, with no actual period. When the four pregnancy tests all came back positive, my head started spinning. The biggest concern I had? How was I going to afford having this baby?

See, I wasn’t in the typical job. I was working at a gym and paying for my own health insurance through Obama Care. I legit didn’t have a solid paycheck. Some weeks I made over $700, other weeks it was closer to $300. I was living life one day at a time, and trying my darndest to turn my dreams into reality. That was until I knew I was growing a human.

Everything shifted. I didn’t have the luxury known as paid maternity leave. Even when the gym closed and I was forced into an office job, I took the first thing I could find which ended up being a contract position that also didn’t offer paid leave. Even with insurance, the medical bills piled up. I paid just about a thousand dollars of bills before the baby even arrived. Which may not seem like a lot, but as a single parent with only one income it added up fast for me.

Thankfully, I am pretty savvy when it comes to money and saving up. I’m currently in week 7 of unpaid leave and have yet to dip into my savings to pay my bills. But my time is running out, and because of the bills piling up, I am forced to go back to work ASAP. As soon as my baby is 6 weeks I am hoping to be joining the workforce once again.

But can I just say how thankful and blessed I am to have health insurance? I pay for it monthly, but the fact that my medical bills from January until now would have been 42k without insurance is mind-numbing. Instead they are a measly $7,900. Well, as of now. I’m currently trying to get the state to help me pay since, once again, single income makes it hard to swing nearly 8k.

But birth costs more than just the medical bills. With birth comes a child. Who needs to be tended to 24/7. Daycare alone can cost upwards of thousands a month. And all the baby supplies. Mainly diapers and formula if needed. I’m thankful for friends and family who have helped in that department. But this is just the beginning.

And don’t get me wrong, like I said she is so worth every penny. Another thought I had was in relation to the changes my body would go through. After going through college at 120 pounds and thinking I was fat, I knew being pregnant and giving birth I would gain weight. Needed weight. But I was scared for the after-birth time, when I would look at myself in the mirror and see someone I didn’t recognize. A girl with extra weight.

It took me 32 years to get to the point where I loved myself no matter what my body looked like. And I’m happy to report that mindset stuck. I’m about 25 pounds overweight but still feel myself 100%. I still feel sexy, despite the extra curves.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be working hard to get the weight off. But I know I will enjoy every step in the process even more since I love myself and my body no matter what the scale says. I only cried once. And that is ok too.

After growing and birthing a human, I can safely say it’s all beautiful. Yes, I’m no longer on my journey to be She-Hulk, but now I’m just starting to work towards Wonder Woman, the mom version. πŸ™‚

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Things you don’t know until you’re pregnant

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I thought I knew about pregnancy, then I became pregnant. While there is so much information floating out there about pregnancy, and most of it seemed legit, I really didn’t learn most of these things until I discovered that I was growing a mini-me. And today I’m going to share these gems of knowledge with you all.

  • Pregnancy is ten months, not nine. Everyone says 9 months but it’s 40+ weeks. Do the math, 4 weeks a month that’s 10 months of growing a baby. I’m already 9 months pregnant and no baby yet. When is this thing over??
  • You don’t get to eat for two. Normal people always love to tell me I’m eating for two, but reality is I only get to eat another 300 calories a day. Yes, the struggle is real.
  • Your bones will move. Not just your hips but also your ribs widen. No longer do your undergarments fit, and those jeans that used to be HUGE on me? SUPER tight now. Almost cried because not sure I will ever be able to wear my clothes again.
  • Feeling movement in your belly becomes normal. I barely notice it when baby is moving these days. She’s almost always moving that it just feels natural. Wondering how my mind will adjust to no movements post-birth.
  • Guys will hit on you. Especially the closer to the end, the bigger I get the more date invitations I get. I kid you not, about 4-5 guys have asked me out over the last few weeks. I don’t know if it’s because they think “hey she’s a decent looking whale” or “hey if she can be a mama she can likely take care of me too.” Either way, the answer is a hard no.
  • People will assume. Strangers and co-workers alike assume I have a husband, and tend to ask me if he’s just as excited as me. I’ve found it easier to just smile and nod, yes totally excited and if not does it even matter?
  • Enjoy every moment. The time before baby arrives is known as the baby-moon. It’s like a 9 month honeymoon, and it’s important to enjoy every moment of it. Because once baby is here, everything is different. Not a bad thing, just different.
  • Sleeping becomes interesting. You can’t sleep on your back, or stomach. And should ideally sleep on just your left side. Until everything goes numb and you die. The end. Just kidding, you will wake up to pee before dying. Many many times, especially towards the end when baby is all up on your bladder.
  • Things will be uncomfortable. Lower back pain and hip pain like I’ve never felt before. Oh the joys! Everything is uncomfortable: walking, sitting, sleeping, breathing, etc. But it really doesn’t start until close to the end so at least you know the end is near.
  • The bathroom is your friend. I spend more time peeing than doing anything else these days. At least I know I’m hydrated since I pee about 15-20 times a day and it’s almost always clear like water.
  • People will treat you differently. Almost like you have a disability. Not a bad thing, but people hold doors open for me and treat me a little more gingerly than normal. I do get told that I haven’t slowed down at all though by those who know me. I’d agree until this week, I feel like once I hit 39 weeks my body checked out. I definitely feel slower this week.

While all of these may or may not be a surprise to you, I feel like it’s been an adventure from day one. Watching my body go through the changes and tracking my baby’s growth has been amazing. I can’t wait to meet baby girl and hope she comes soon!

Benefits of exercising while pregnant

Note from Jen: I love and agree with this well-written article. I greatly enjoy exercising while pregnant and feel like it helps me cope with all the side effects of growing a human. Enjoy this article!

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Exercising during pregnancy is always a very good idea, and the benefits for you are numerous. Exercise will help ensure that you stay healthy and fit. The healthier you are during pregnancy, the less likely you will have any difficulties with pregnancy. The fitter you are, the easier your childbirth experience will be. It will help you control weight gain during pregnancy and weight loss after pregnancy. It will also help minimize stretch marks.

Most importantly exercise will:

– Help maintain a healthy and steady weight gain for you and your baby.

– Increase your Self esteem, lowering depression and anxiety.

– Help reduce pregnancy related discomfort such as backaches, leg cramps, constipation, bloating, and swelling.

– Help you to recover from delivery and return to a healthy weight faster.

– Accelerate postpartum weight loss.

– Improve your mood, energy level, and feelings about the way you look.

– Improve sleep quality.

– Strengthen your muscles and improve your blood flow.

Exercising does however need to be kept in moderation. If you are someone who has always exercised, then there are a few changes that will need to be made to adapt to your changed body. If you have just started to exercise, then you will need to ease yourself into it.

– If you have been exercising regularly, you will be able to maintain your routine to some extent throughout your pregnancy.

– If you are just starting to exercise you should start gradually.

– Try and exercise at least 3 times a week.

– Stretch, but not too much. Extreme stretching could actually cause more damage than good.

– Try and measure your heart rate constantly during exercise. Try not to exceed 150 beats per minute.

– Hydrate with cold refreshing water before and during exercise.

– Don’t lift heavy weights while pregnant.

– Never exercise to the point of breathlessness.

– Wear comfortable clothing that fits well and supports and protects your breasts.

– Stop exercising if you feel dizzy, short of breath, pain in your back, swelling, numbness, sick to your stomach, or if your heart is beating too fast or at an uneven rate.

– Choose moderate activities that are unlikely to injure you, such as walking, aqua aerobics, swimming, yoga, or hire a personal trainer with a certification in maternity fitness who can give you a tailored program to suit all your needs and enhance your maternity experience.

Exercising after Birth:

Most women are very eager to regain their pre-pregnancy figures, and women who have exercised through out their pregnancy will gain their figure back much faster than those who haven’t exercised during pregnancy.

As before when you started training or exercising when you were first pregnant, you need to start off slowly. You may only start exercising again once your body has completely healed from the stress of labor. So start slowly, and enjoy getting back the figure you used to have!

Tips for pregnancy

Talk to your health care provider about how much weight you should gain during your pregnancy. Eat foods rich in folate, iron, calcium, and protein, or get these nutrients through a prenatal supplement.

Talk to your health care provider before taking any supplements.

Eat breakfast every day.

Eat high-fiber foods and drink plenty of water to avoid constipation.

Avoid alcohol, raw fish, fish high in mercury, soft cheeses, and anything that is not food.

Aim to do at least 30 minutes of moderate activity on most days of the week. Talk to your health care provider before you begin.
After you deliver your baby, continue eating well. Return to a healthy weight gradually.

Slowly get back to your routine of regular, moderate physical activity.
Take pleasure in the miracles of pregnancy and birth.

DEBORAH is a highly respected authority in personal training for overall health and fitness, with more than 22 years of experience and success. Her credentials include…

Currently licensed Registered Nurse specializing in Rehabilitative Nursing
Medical Exercise Therapist: certified by AAHFRP, an internationally recognized physical rehabilitation certification
Maternity Specialist Pre & Post Natal certified by Maternal Fitness
Personal Fitness Specialist: certified by NASM, an internationally recognized certification
Yoga Teacher
Professional Health Member, National Organization of Fitness Instructors (IDEA), a leading membership organization of health and fitness professionals
Deborah Caruana RN, MES, CPT
Email:Β vitalsignsfitness@gmail.com
Website:Β http://www.vitalsignsfitness.com

Article Source:Β http://EzineArticles.com/expert/Deborah_Caruana/856

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