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When I talked to my family doctor about all of the problems I'd been having with nausea, he recommended Benadryl. I looked at him like he was crazy, but he told me that there is over 50 years of research on using Benadryl as a cure for nausea, and also a sleep aid.

He told me to take two pills about an hour before bedtime, and one in the morning with breakfast. To my complete and utter surprise, it WORKED! I began to sleep more soundly through the night, and waking with less nausea. While it didn't completely cure all of the sickness I was feeling, it did make a noticeable difference. 

If you decide to go this route, buying name-brand Benadryl can get VERY expensive. After asking a Pharmacist friend of mine, she assured me that generic (or store-brand) medicines contain the EXACT same active ingredients, and aside from the packaging, they're practically identical. So I started purchasing the Walmart Brand Benadryl in the 100-count (or larger) container, and the cost savings was significant. 

If you plan to breastfeed and have allergies, Benadryl is one of the very few medicines that you can take. So, if you purcase a bunch during your pregnancy, it's a helpful 

 
 
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Even when eating was difficult due to my never-ending nausea, Mac and Cheese was one thing that I could hold down. Not sure what the magic ingredient is, but there are LOTS of pregnant people that swear by Mac and Cheese as a cure to pregnancy-induced nausea!

I practically lived off of Mac and Cheese for a couple months. I would pack some Easy Mac (don't forget the sea salt and pepper!) in my lunch, along with a box of apple juice, some veggies and dip, and a sweet treat (usually something with chocolate!), and that was my mid-day meal at work. Sometimes I'd bring some hot cocoa for a nice pick-me-up, and a nice relaxing hot beverage before my nap! 

Easy Mac is great because you can cook it in a microwave with little to no effort. The single-serving size was great for me, too. You can purchase packets (provide your own bowl, and voila), or the kind that comes in a disposable cup. If you're looking for something that is a little more cost-conscious, try making a big box of Mac and Cheese, and dividing it into reusable individual-serving containers. Don't forget to slightly under-cook your pasta, you don't want it to be mush when you reheat! 

 
 
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Pregnancy underwear have come a long way in a short amount of time. My mom and Aunt tell me horror stories of maternity underwear that were Granny Panties the size of the State of Texas. I don't know about you, but being pregnant made me feel large enough without adding some massive underwear to the equation.

I highly suggest going to Motherhood Maternity and purchasing some good pregnancy underwear. They make a world of difference in your comfort, and are great to wear after you've had your baby and are recovering. Just click on the image to the left to head over to their website. 

 
 
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They say that diamonds are a girls' best friend, but when you get pregnant, that changes... to panty liners. It sounds embarrassing, I know, but I wish someone would have told me this!

As your baby grows and starts using your bladder as a Bounce House, it becomes difficult to go any length of time without having to Pee. Everyone jokes that a pregnant woman uses the bathroom every 10 minutes, but for me, it was no joke. We all know that lines in the women's room are long, but what no one tells you is that having a gigantic baby bump doesn't give you first dibs or a shortcut to the front of the line. Just like everyone else, you have to stand there and hold it until your turn comes. 

Things like sneezing, laughing, and being startled tend to bring on a sudden urge to rush to the Ladies' room, so having a couple panty liners in your purse is never a bad back-up idea.

 
 

What a Name Says FIRST...

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Lucas and his namesake, my brother, Jacob (Jake)
Choosing a name is hard. Clinton and I knew that whatever we picked, our kid would be stuck with for the rest of their life. Not to mention the inevitability of whatever nick-names would come with the name we chose!

We'd already decided that we were going to learn the sex of our baby... We are logical people, and to us, it was logical decision to find out. I wanted to pick out a name before our 20-week anatomy ultrasound, so when we heard "It's a..." we'd have a name to immediately associate with our son or daughter. I was strongly determined not to call our child "it", "him" or "her" for the duration of my pregnancy, I wanted a name solidly decided upon, so in true Brandi fashion, I began to research.

The baby-naming process started out with me making a list of all of the names I liked, for both boys and girls. Taking into consideration all of the possible nick-names, my list was quite short. Since I was little, I had it in my heart to give my first-born son a name that would be strong, masculine, and really mean something to me. When I found out I was pregnant, the first thing that came to mind was Jacob, which is the name of my brother. I talked to Clinton, and he agreed to have our baby's middle name be Jacob, should he be a boy. 

Clinton always liked the name Lillian, and had wanted a daughter to be named as such. However, my great-Grandmother was named Lillian, and my uncle had already named his daughter Lillian (though we call her Lilli), so I agreed that Lillian would make a nice middle name for a girl. 

So, great... we had two middle names, but nothing to actually call our kid! So from the list of names I'd chosen, I asked Clinton to pick which he liked best. Boy options were Andrew (Andy or Drew acceptable nicknames), Joshua (or Josh!), and Lucas (or Luke), and girl names included Colleen (no nickname), Emmalee (Spelled this way to honor my grandma, Barbara Emma, and my family tradition of the middle name Lee), or Anna. In the end, the only two that really stuck were Lucas Jacob, and Colleen Lillian. Clinton and I were both happy with these options, and when we heard, "It's a boy!" I looked at Clinton and said, "That's our son, Lucas!" and began calling "the baby" Lucas from then on out. 

We have continued to call Lucas by his full name, through we like "Luke" a lot, too. There are some friends and family who do call him "Luke", which we don't mind at all. We figure that if or when he decides to be called "Luke", then it is his rightful decision.

 
 

FIRST Thing in the Morning...

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Eugh, Morning Sickness!

Some women claim that they could be pregnant forever, others have told me that being pregnant was the most positive and rewarding experience of their life, and a few have confessed that if given the choice, they'd do it again in a heartbeat. Then, there's me.

The very FIRST thing I saw every morning of my pregnancy was the bowl of my toilet.  But it certainly didn't end there... morning, noon, and night, I was nauseous. I was forever taking trips to the bathroom at home, work, and robotics. Some nights, I never even left the bathroom floor. In addition, often times while my Husband and I were riding in the car, we were forced to make emergency stops so I could throw up whatever I just ate. During the first two months of my pregnancy, I lost just over 8 pounds, which is pretty significant, since I started out at a pre-pregnancy weight of around 90 pounds.

I had everybody (and their brother!) telling me what to do to cure my nausea. Family members were sharing their tried-and-true solutions, I was given advice from old wives' tales, and even my OBGYN tried nearly everything under the sun, and nothing seemed to work. I began to realize that perhaps maybe, just maybe, I'd have to suck it up, and deal with the discomfort and weight loss. It wasn't until a co-worker recommended some pregnancy candy called "Preggie Pops" that I began to notice any difference in my well-being. They sell this candy in multiple forms (suckers on a stick, individually wrapped drops, and Popsicles) and you can find them just about anywhere. I started sucking on them constantly, and it seemed to help a lot, though they were unable to altogether alleviate my nausea. On a visit to my family doctor, he recommended that I take Benadryl for both a sleep aid, and to assist in taming my nausea. As a huge surprise to me, it worked absolute wonders! I started taking two pills before bed with a snack, and one in the late afternoon with lunch. While I was not cured completely, I did notice a significant decrease in my trips to the toilet and emergency roadside regurgitations.