Oh cr*p.

I’ve been reading Sara Cotner’s personal blog lately and I’ve been really impressed by her pregnancy.  I mean, it’s possible she’s hiding the really bad parts, but she makes her pregnancy sound like it has been manageable, meaningful, and enjoyable.  I think a lot of that has to do with how prepared she was going into the process.  I thought to myself about the women who I know who have faced unplanned or unprepared for pregnancies, and the women that I know who faced difficult pregnancies, and the women who had easy pregnancies.  Easy being an interpretive word here, since growing another person is rarely easy.

It seems to me that the women who are in the best shape for pregnancy are literally the women who are in the best shape, physically.  They are also the ones with the lowest number of vices and the best eating habits.  They are the ones who are very mindful about what they do and what they eat and what they spend their time doing during their pregnancies, and I want to be more like them.

Since we aren’t thinking about having kids for at least another 2-3 years, I started thinking to myself that if I could change my habits now, or know what habits I will have to change in the future, I would have a higher likelihood of a less-painful pregnancy, and at the very least, I could avoid being totally surprised by some of what comes down the road.  So I downloaded a sample of “What to Expect Before You’re Expecting”, to see if it would be worth checking out from the library.  The sample included a list of what kinds of doctors you should go see before you start trying to have a baby, and one of the doctors listed was not a doctor, but instead a dentist.

“Oh CR*P!” I said, really loudly.  Husband asked what was going on.

“Well, apparently, there is a horrible connection between gum disease and pregnancy.”  I said, indignant that somehow my lack of flossing affects anything other than my cavity count.

Husband then said, “what ARE you reading?”

I had forgotten the horror story of my 8th grade band teacher, who had to have surgery on her gums during pregnancy because they were getting overgrown.  I had forgotten that pregnancy affects everything.  And I had also, as usual, forgotten to floss.  I’m not a flosser.  Not flossing, and drinking soda, are my two really really bad habits.

So there we go.  Regular flossing at least seems to be one of the first habits I should try to develop, not just because someday, we’ll probably have kids, but mostly because we are too poor to pay for the habits of my poor oral hygiene.  I’m also two months overdue for my six month dental appointment, so I need to floss a lot now anyway to avoid the lectures by the dentist.

Does anyone else share my concerns about healthy pregnancy or my inability to floss?  Anyone have tips for developing a good flossing habit?  Yes, I use those lazy-girl flosser things, no, I still don’t floss very often.

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “Oh cr*p.

  1. A couple of weeks ago I visited my BFF/MOH and I was thinking exactly the same thing you wrote about in this post. She’s 6 months pregnant (7 now!) and so far her only complaint about pregnancy is mild heartburn. She was in great shape before the pregnancy and still goes to the gym to do doctor-approved weight lifting and gentle work on the elliptical machine; on days when she doesn’t go to the gym, she goes for a long walk. It’s definitely the smoothest pregnancy I’ve seen any friend have, and I think L’s experience has a lot to do with her level of physical activity. That’s definitely inspired me to take better care of myself, exercise-wise!

  2. Jo

    I’ve actually begun regularly flossing! This makes me happy. I’ve started taking folic acid/vitamins regularly, and weirdly enough, a pregnancy scare a little while ago has been just the push I’ve needed to get into shape. Being in shape makes pregnancy and labor MUCH easier.

    Oh! My flossing tip? I carry one in my purse so if I’m bored somewhere I can go to the bathroom and floss. I also leave one beside my couch and floss while watching TV (yes, C is a long-suffering partner). That actually has been best for both of us, though.

  3. Courtney

    Have you ever thought of investing in a Sonicare toothbrush? I’m SO bad about flossing (even with the lazy sticks, as I call them). With the Sonicare, I have to chuckle to myself when the hygienists always say “Great job flossing!” at my checkups. There’s something about it that really contributes to gum health.

    By the way, glad you posted about this. We don’t want kids for another 2 years or so ourselves, but my girlfriend and I always joke about doing things “for the children!”, eg losing weight, her quitting smoking, saving, reducing debt, etc… I think it’s great to think & plan ahead to try to be in the best physical, mental and fiscal shape as possible.

  4. I had no idea about flossing and pregnancy. I’m trying to make a concerted effort to floss more myself just because my teeth are in good shape now and I don’t want to deal with the cost of them falling out of shape.

    We leave our floss out on the counter (unless guests are coming over) between the tooth brush stand and the hand soap. Seeing it there looking me in the face every time I brush guilts me into flossing at least once a week.

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