Happy Friday! And what a Friday it is… I’m feeling so grateful to be moving around on my own with almost no pain today after a serious back spasm situation (I’ll get into that in a sec). My new thing every morning, in all my actions, and now with this blog post, is to practice more gratitude. So many things have hit me in the last few weeks that being negative, sad and angry is the easy and almost gratifying, but remembering all of the things that I’m grateful for turns those feelings into a sense of peace that would otherwise be impossible in tumultuous time.
So how do I do it? I’ve been waking up each morning this week (before oil pulling), closing my eyes, and saying three things that I’m grateful for in that moment. It might be something I usually take for granted like having a cozy bed to sleep in, or something more significant like this beautiful miracle growing inside of me. I feel like this pregnancy has been full of complaints, and I want to end it on a high note to bring baby girl into a more positive world.
So why am I pushing the power of positive thought right now? Well… there are lots of reasons. This third trimester has hit me like a ton of bricks with all kinds of physical and emotional ailments. The latest fun was a major back spasm on Tuesday that had me in tears that day and overnight. It was the most terrifying pain I’ve ever felt and at one point I even asked my husband if he thought I could be having super early contractions.
After a trip to the doctor on Wednesday (and confirming that the baby is totally fine), I found out that this is actually very normal for pregnant women because of the pressure on our lower backs due to the extra weight and new shape. Unfortunately there isn’t a quick fix to get rid of the intense pain, but she gave me a few things to do that will help both in the moment and in the long run.
My doctor’s advice
1. Take Tylenol every four hours. Tylenol is pregnancy safe and, although it doesn’t reduce inflammation like Advil or Motrin, it does help take the edge off… kind of.
2. Use Salonpas Lidocaine patches every eight hours on the spasm. I had never heard of these but they actually made a huge difference. I picked up a six-pack at CVS and loved them. I also would rub Arnica cream on the spot before applying the patch for an added bonus. I also applied a heating pad on and off all day and night which she confirmed was ok as well.
3. Get a massage. Serendipitously, I happened to have a prenatal massage booked on Thursday afternoon so that worked out well. It felt so good and helped a lot.
4. Sleep on the couch. You need to be propped up at night or the pain gets worse so she suggested just sleeping almost all the way sitting up on the couch. It sucked, but I’m glad I had a better option after that first night of crazy full body seize ups that scared the crap out of me.
5. Relax. Obviously this was the only advice I didn’t want to hear… but I had to hear it. I’ve been “taking it easy” while not really doing that at all. She gave me a stern warning to truly slow down.
On Thursday I had my massage and then headed to my acupuncturist for some needles and light cupping to target the source of the spasm. I was shocked at how much it helped.
My acupuncturist’s advice
1. Double up on liver pills and bone broth. In Chinese medicine….
2. Drink lots of electrolytes.
3. Take magnesium. Luckily I was already doing this for calf cramps so at least I was doing one thing right.
4. Relax. Ugh, of course she had the same advice as the doctor here. I’ve been practicing the meditations I’ve learned in hypnobirthing, read a book, and watched a few movies, but after two days of minimal work, I’m bored out of my mind!
Speaking of being bored, enough of this back pain nonsense… Let’s liven up your day with some fun links from around the web. Enjoy!
From around the web
The birth of a mother. Victoria sent me this New York Times article earlier this week and I haven’t resonated with something so intensely in a long time. Any moms and moms to be should definitely read it.
Instagram story hacks. Mind. Blown. Watch this video and then step up your stories game.
Slouchy stripes. This perfect Madewell striped slouchy shirt would look so cute with denim shorts and a hat (as pictured) or with a pair of white ankle jeans.
To all my dog moms. This rap about being a dog mom is hilarious and so spot on.
Why you still can’t get along with your siblings. I sometimes feel like the luckiest girl in the world to have a best friend in my sister, but I know that’s not the case for everyone and this is why.
Gingham PJs. Um, yes please! Plus they’re 25% off with code SHOPNOW.
Meal prep for the week… in only 90 minutes!
Target run this weekend? Target is having a major sale! Take 20% off everything through Sunday, including BaubleBar’s SugarFix line which I love. My favorites: Pearl necklace ($19) and pink drop earrings ($10).
Obama: The street style star. I love seeing Barack’s post presidency attire. This blurb on his latest look in Milan made me laugh.
Striped denim. OMG I am so obsessed with these striped cropped jeans, I can hardly contain myself!
La Croix flavors ranked. Thrillest ranked all 20 flavors of La Croix, and I happen to agree with their top pick.
The sweetest spring shirt. I just adore this sweet blush top. I found it after I saw Mackenzie wearing it in red here.
5 natural ways to boost fertility. These are great tips from Chalkboard Mag! Read about my natural fertility journey here.
Trip booking tips. Some great tips to make booking your next big trip a breeze.
Yuggggge J.Crew sale! Remember all that fun lemon stuff I posted about like this cardigan and shell? That and everything at J.Crew is 25% off with code SHOPNOW. Plus sale items are an additional 30% off. Yipee!
The latest in landscape photography. OMG I’m dying at this. Please tell me someone has done it!
Real food grocery guide. A friend of mine wrote an amazing book (I got to see a sneak peek!) all about how to navigate the grocery store, ditch artificial ingredients, bust nutritional myths, and select the healthiest foods possible when shopping. It’s a good read for anyone who hates to shop or is confused about what to buy. Pre-order it today.
To the women yearning to be moms… on Mother’s Day. Please know that you’re not alone.
Jonathan Robshaw x S’well. Two of my favorite brands collaborated on the cutest water bottles. They sent me the blue one and I’m in love!
Cauliflower crust pizza. I’ve always wanted to make it, but have been too intimidated. This recipe makes it look so easy. Sounds like a weekend project if I ever heard one.
This week on Lemon Stripes
Monogrammed Travel Bags
7 Daily Wellness Practices
Pregnancy & Body Image
oh man, those instagram hacks! kind of blowing my mind. and that article on the birth of a mother is so interesting. okay, also- what is with those butts?? ha!
friday five + good stuff under $50 on my blog today!
I definitely agree with the la croix top pick too! Nothing beats it!! Have a happy Friday!
Those Instagram stories hacks are so good!! And might need to make an extra Target run this weekend, haha! xo Devon Seventeen Dresses
Ask your ob about getting a belly band to help support your back. It’s an elastic band you can adjust with velcro that goes under your belly and around your back. I used one in my third trimester and it made a big difference. Eased my back pain. Hope this helps.
Yes! She told me about that. I wasn’t sure if it really helped or not but glad to hear that it did. Going to buy one on Amazon now, thanks!
All the eye rolls about being told to relax – it’s impossible while pregnant! For my second pregnancy, I did prenatal yoga once a week and saw a chiropractor twice a week for sciatic pain and lower back pain. It seems like you are doing a lot already, but I figured I would throw it out there because it made such a difference for me compared to my first pregnancy.
Haha so so true. I was thinking of calling a chiro this week, and this just pushed me to do that. Going to call today! Thank you 🙂
Thanks Belinda!!! Let me know how your oil pulling goes. I am still loving it so far.
I just heard that Trader Joe’s is coming out with cauliflower pizza crust soon (gluten free, made with cauliflower and corn flour). I’d definitely recommend checking it out! I love healthy products like cauliflower rice (it’s the best way to make healthy fried rice in my opinion!), and buying things like frozen riced cauliflower completely removes the intimidation factor for me. Glad I’m not alone in that!