It was heartburn that got me in the end. I could take the swelling, the back pain, the constant trips to the bathroom, the itchy skin, the fatigue, the sweating, the sleeplessness, and even the psychological shock of seeing the scale tip 200 pounds.
Pregnancy is a time for change. And for choices. And we're not just talking about whether you'll paint the nursery pink or yellow. "While you still have more time, re-evaluate what means most to you in life and what obligations you can let go of--for good," says Wendy Clarke Wilcox, M.D., M.P.H., professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. Read on for some points to ponder at this crucial juncture.
Laura Randolph 30, California
Laura's tips for dealing with a potentially problematic pregnancy:
•Talk to friends about your situation--they may have dealt with a similar dilemma.
•If you're dealing with AFP test results, focus on the statistics that show a high number of false positives.
•Try not to let your emotions get the best of you or to allow worries to spiral out of control.
The more you read, watch and hear about pregnancy, the more confused and overwhelmed you're likely to become. We're here to help, with expert advice on the only 10 things you really need to do to have a healthy pregnancy and baby.
• Eat just 300 calories more per day Even though your appetite is noticeably increasing, your daily calorie intake should go up just a little during the second and third trimesters. (Note: Your total gain should be 25 to 35 pounds if you're of normal weight.)
• Give in to some cravings But try to eat healthfully overall by choosing nutrient-rich foods like low-fat dairy, legumes, poultry, lean meats and fish.
• If you "run hot," eat cold foods Chilled fruit, frozen yogurt, and cold, cooked wild salmon are good choices.
When Toni McLellan of Woodstock, Ill., found out that she was pregnant with her third--and last--child, she felt sure this time she'd get her girl. McLellan relished her role as a mother of two sons, but when an ultrasound showed that she was having another boy, she found it hard to stifle feelings of disappointment. "I remember lying on the ultrasound table thinking, So that's it, then," she says. "I never knew it was possible to feel so overjoyed and so sad at the same time."