Top 3 Pregnancy Survival Tips ft. Toddler

A lot of times parenthood is just that- surviving. Making sure your kid(s) are alive and you’re breathing. Add pregnancy into that and survival becomes a lifestyle for the next 9 months. Here are 3 ways I learned to survive while being nauseous, fat, achy, and very very tired.

Find your village

It’s very difficult for me to trust people with my child. I think about all the times she says something and only Imad and I understand what it is. I think about all the sleepy cues she gives without actually saying ‘I’m sleepy.” I think about whether she’s getting any screen time or if she’s being given candy. I think about how I could just be at home with her catering to her needs.

But when I was nauseous, the last thing I wanted to do was take my child to the potty. I didn’t want to cater to her needs while holding down my breakfast. Come third trimester, as much as I want to pick her up when she politely asks ‘Mama, can you hold me?” – I really don’t.

As difficult as it was, I learned to ask. I’d call my best friend over and go on date nights with my husband. I’d spend once a week at my mom’s house while I locked myself in my room and listened to her being spoiled by her Nanumoni and Nana. Then, I mustered up the courage to drop her off once in awhile. At first, it was for doctor’s appointments. Soon it became for some much needed me-time. It’s not like they were doing everything right with her while I was away. I definitely walked in a few times with the TV blasting while Yusra had a Smarties pack in one hand and a Kit Kat in the other. Did I die a little inside? Yes. But was I well rested and energized again? Yes.

Prep Your Toddler

We told Yusra right away when we found out I was pregnant. I got her a big sister shirt, and pointed to my belly every chance I could. She was just about to turn 2 so I couldn’t tell if she understood what was happening. Then, I potty trained her. I wasn’t going to change two sets of diapers. I began emphasizing independent play. I knew breast feeding would take up a lot of our one on one time. I dialed down the screen time. If she was used to minimal screens now, she’ll be used to it when baby is here. I scheduled more play dates with my friends’ kids and exposed her to their babies. I introduced the concept of ‘sharing’ – as much as she could comprehend (which wasn’t a lot). It seemed that all my baby prep revolved around my first born child. It wasn’t until my bump started to become more apparent that I could see her putting two and two together. I bought “Little Miss Big Sis” and started borrowing sibling themed books at the library. She was beginning to understand that a baby was coming. Now, I get showered in belly kisses and listen to her ‘awwwwww’ every time she sees tiny newborn clothes lying around, waiting to be worn by her new sibling. I know the first few months will be a disaster with a newborn and a toddler, but setting up the foundation will definitely (hopefully) make the transition easier.

Take Care of Yourself

You can’t take care of a toddler and a growing fetus if you’re falling apart. I’ve had back pain since I was pregnant with Yusra. It never truly went away and it has only gotten worse with this pregnancy. However, I still needed to carry Yusra during her ‘hold me’ moments. The house still needs to be looked after. I had three (and a half) people to feed everyday. But instead of wallowing at my aches and pains and letting them take over my day to day life – I took care of it. I made time for pre-natal massages every 3-4 weeks, I booked physiotherapy sessions weekly, and then I would let Imad completely take over the fort as soon as he finished work. Rest. Let your body do its thing. Support it when it needs to. Take magnesium supplements. 125 – 300mg of magnesium glycinate or citrate at meals and before bed is the recommended supplement dose by doctors. It helps support a more restful sleep, stabilizes your mood, eases cramps and muscle pain, creates smoother bowel movements, and increase your peanut’s birth weight. I took vitamins outside of my daily prenatal this time as I had heartburn and indigestion almost all throughout my pregnancy. The days I did feel good, I made sure I had a balanced diet. Despite what our mothers grew up being told, I ate that red meat and runny eggs. And lots of it. My arteries are fine and I have an adequate amount of zinc, protein and iron in my system. It was just one of the many things I did to keep up with my growing body and take care of my family at the same time. I had a very different pregnancy with this baby than I did while carrying Yusra. Alhamdulilah, this time around, I still found myself feeling quite *myself*.