Throughout this pregnancy there have been several things that have been a huge help to me. The support of my husband, family and friends, the generosity of those who have bought things for our baby boy or who have given me awesome hand-me-downs, and the advice of moms who have been there and done that - these things have been so valuable to me. But...there are a couple of things that I decided I could not have lived without during my pregnancy...so far:
1. Two books - What to Expect the First Year and Happiest Baby on the Block - These books have been an amazing help to me. I didn't read What to Expect When You're Expecting. I'm a worrier and when I got this book early in my pregnancy, it just kind of freaked me out. But, the First Year book (given to me by the wonderful Lisa Manzo), I have really enjoyed. It gives you info on everything you could ever want to know about. From what to buy for baby to how to deal with in-laws, this book has it all! It has really helped boost my confidence as a parent-to-be. I have learned so much! Also, the Happiest Baby book (generously lent to me by the awesome Jennifer Murphy) has been a great read. This book gives you steps to calm your baby's crying. After reading this book, I feel like I have a whole arsenal of tools to use to keep my little boy happy. I definitely recommend reading both of these.
2. Maternity body pillow - This thing has changed my life! Seriously...if you are pregnant, I strongly recommend investing in one of these. I'm sure you've heard that sleeping during pregnancy can be impossible. I had a lot of trouble sleeping in my second trimester, until a friend let me borrow this pillow. It has made a huge difference. I sleep soundly through the night, every night and I am completely comfortable. I was chatting with two pregnant friends last night and they were talking about how they have not been able to sleep well. I told them that I have had no problems at all since getting this pillow and they couldn't believe it. I think "I hate you" were their exact words. I don't own any stock in these things, I just know that they work and would want any mommy-to-be to experience the solid rest I've been getting since I started using this pillow.
3. Babycenter.com - Not only can you find tons of information, tips, products and fun ideas, but this website has delivered the highlight of my week straight to my e-mail inbox for the last 8 months. If you sign-up on their site, they will send you an e-mail every week telling you how your baby is developing, how your body is changing to accommodate him and how to get through some of the pregnancy pains. My favorite part is that every week they compare your baby's size to some type of produce. It's so much fun when people ask you how your baby's doing and you can say, "He's great, he's about the size of a cantaloupe this week." I look forward to receiving this little e-mail gift every Monday morning.
4. Moose Tracks ice cream - Vanilla ice cream with swirls of fudge and miniature peanut butter cups...nuff said!