"And remember, this is for posterity. So, please be honest."
This post has been classified TMI. Continue reading at your own risk.
When you get pregnant, there are a lot of things people just happen to "forget" to tell you. Of course, a lot of people don't want to ruin the euphoria of pregnancy, so they just smile and nod at you...knowing that you'll figure it out eventually. This is especially true for the relationship with a pregnant woman, her tender parts and her bathroom. Sure, every book about pregnancy mentions the increased need to pee, but that's only the beginning.
When I was pregnant with Bug, I didn't really have an increased need to pee. I had good, strong pelvic floor muscles, and a confidant bladder. When I was pregnant with Bug, I didn't have too many issues with anything dealing with the bathroom. Whether from the luck of craving bran flakes for breakfast every morning, or the joys of a first pregnancy, I may never know.
I have not had such blessings with this pregnancy. I seem to have acquired a bladder the size of a pin head. And I have acquired hemorrhoids the size of Alaska. Those vulgar varicosities haven't even had the decency to stay where they "belong". My whole nether region is swollen and tender. It was tolerable until about week 30...when I sat in a car for 16 hours to Texas and 16 hours back. Not recommended. Since then, the baby keeps growing and pressing, my blood volume keeps increasing, and my veins keep begging for mercy. Sleeping with an ice pack in my crotch has never been such a welcoming idea!
With all the horrors that are going on within and around my digestive system (i.e., heartburn, alternating constipation/diarrhea, urinary incontinence, varicose veins) I've learned a few important items to keep well stocked during pregnancy.
Antacids. I chew Tums like candy. I have a feeling they aren't the most effective way to eliminate heartburn, but I'm a cheap-o...and I have a HUGE bottle of the little buggers. So, they'll have to do.
Toilet paper. Lots of it. More than you think. A nice, soft, thick, -very- absorbent kind. Let's face it, you're going to be dabbing at your lady bits a lot throughout your pregnancy. It helps to have a toilet paper that you like. Increased usage, paired with things getting messy, you'll thank yourself for getting the good stuff. And getting lots of it! Also, make sure you always have a couple rolls stashed in the bathroom. There is nothing fun about stumbling into the bathroom at 4am and tinkling just enough to necessitate even a meager two squares, to find an empty roll....because you used the last two squares at 3am. (Not to mention, you are relieved you even made it to the bathroom on time. After laying in bed for six minutes, deciding that "yes" you do have to go. Then figuring out a way to get out of bed...I'm not sure how I ever manage it. Then taking three minutes to go three steps, because you have to test out if your hips will even hold your weight. Yes, you are relieved that you made it to the toilet, but you are -seriously- considering just sleeping in adult diapers and letting go without having to even roll over!)
Relaxation techniques. Constipation is horrible. It's even worse when you feel like every poop is turning your whole body inside out through your bum! And a big baby head is pushing on your rectum. Just learn to take a deep breath, keep your mouth and lips loose and blow out (like a horse). Keep your feet flat on the floor. I like to think of this as training for the birth. (Birth itself, to me, felt like the biggest BM I've ever had!)
Baby wipes. For you. When you have hemorrhoids, you will realize how important this is! Even the softest toilet paper feels like sandpaper when your insides are coming out. Plus, a little moisturized wipe does cleaning wonders when you are dealing with pregnant-woman-sweaty-crotch in the dead heat of summer.
Panty liners. Or just lots of panties. This is one recommendation that I haven't followed on my own, but I wish that I did (I wish I had 70 gazillion pairs of underwear so I -could- follow this advice). Changing a liner or your underwear will make you feel much better. Excess mucous excretions and sweaty crotch are -not- pleasant. It feels nice to freshen up a bit. Baby wipes are good, but you can't beat fresh, clean underwear!
So, there you have it. The down and dirty on pregnancy bathroom needs. And just so you know, it is definitely ok to pee in the shower.