Two weeks ago I saw my doctor and she told me to go to reception and start making my appointments every two weeks instead of monthly. “But why?” I asked, “I thought that didn’t start until the third trimester.” She quickly informed me that my third trimester was, in fact, starting in two weeks. As someone who’s usually on top of everything, I was shocked when I heard that fun little fact. I’ll chalk it up to pregnancy brain.
The third trimester means the baby is almost here. The third trimester means aches and pains and a huge belly. The third trimester means I need to be prepared! These thoughts hit me hard and made me spin a leeeeeeetle bit out of control. In a word, I panicked. All of a sudden I went from excited to terrified in a day. Since then I’ve done a lot of preparation and I feel a little better, but fear is definitely a nagging feeling these days, something that I’m sure is the norm for almost all first time moms. It’s a fear of the unknown and of somehow messing up another person’s life by accident.
What’s helped the most is making detailed to do lists (shocker) and talking to tons of friends who have recently had kids about these fears and what to expect.
The other big fear on my mind is, not surprisingly, child birth itself. Anel and I are starting our hypnobirthing classes tonight though, so I’m hoping that helps! I’ve heard that if we get one thing out of it, it will be tempering the fear of labor. We also scheduled a tour of the labor and delivery unit of our hospital, so we’ll know exactly where to go and what to do when the time comes.
With the fear comes guilt too, of course. Guilt because I tried for so long to get pregnant, and now that I am, I’m more scared than excited? That makes me feel like a terrible human! But I’ve spent a lot of time working to separate those two feelings. It’s ok to want something more than anything in the world, and also be scared of it.
Anyway, let’s get into the details in the same format that I’ve used for my 20 week update and 24 week update. I hope you enjoy it!
Photo Details: Lands’ End Blouse (On sale and non-maternity, I sized up two sizes) / Bauble Bar Necklace / AG Maternity Jeans / Jack Rogers Sandals c/o / Dash & Albert Rug c/o / Joss & Main Chairs c/o
Preparing for Baby
I’ll do a full post about how we’re preparing logistically for the baby, but one of the best pieces of advice I’ve received so far has been from my friend Bailey (mom of three) who suggested that I have a long conversation with Anel and my mom, who is moving in with us for a month when the baby comes, about what to do in certain situations. For example if the baby is crying and I’m stressed out, tired, and crying, what each of them should specifically do to help out. It sounds silly but in the moment, I know we’re going to be so overwhelmed that it feels good to have a game plan of sorts.
The other thing we talked about in that conversation was who will handle what logistically in the first few months. We got super detailed down to unloading the dishwasher, doing laundry (and on what days), taking out the trash, etc. Before last week, I would have thought that talking about such simple, mundane tasks would be dumb, but I feel so much better now knowing that we all have “jobs” and that everything will get done without me having to think too much about it.
Heartburn: At around 24 or 25 weeks, I started getting the worst heartburn I’ve ever experienced in my life. Cutting out gluten or dairy or anything was basically a joke and no longer did anything. It didn’t matter if I had a handful of almonds or a donut, it would hit within a few minutes of eating… every single time. On top of that, whenever I got in the car for a long drive, or ate too much in one sitting, I would throw up. I had to sleep sitting up every night because if I laid down I would have to get up and throw up again. It was awful!
After trying to power through it, taking a natural version of Tums, and playing with my diet for a few weeks, I finally asked my doctor what to do last week. I was pretty much at my wit’s end. She suggested taking Zantac once or twice per day which is totally safe for pregnancy. Normally, I’m really weird about taking medication and hate even popping so much as an Advil, but after talking to Anel, we decided that it was the best decision for now, so that I can sleep at night and get through the day. Since I’ve been taking it, I’ve been trying not to feel guilty, but it’s hard. That being said, I feel 100x better and am back to my normal diet and exercise which feels good.
Insomnia: I fall asleep every night in about 0.2 seconds but wake up every few hours either to turn over (it’s a process), pee, or with a racing mind. I’ve been using meditation and breathing techniques to help myself fall back asleep, which has helped a lot. Before I did that, I’d be up for 2-3 hours at 3am every night. Lately, I’ve been waking up when she starts her morning kicks at 5 or 6am, so I just get out of bed and start my day. I guess it’s good practice!
Aches & Pains: Every time I see my doctor she asks about my back pain. I’ve been lucky that I haven’t really had it yet. Which is weird because I’m prone to lower back pain! Anel swears it’s because Madison has helped me strengthen my back and core muscles from day one, and he’s probably right.
It’s growing, that’s for sure… It now looks like I have a big old basketball under my shirt. The bump is super defined and I’m carrying low, which makes random people on the street come up to me and tell me I’m having a boy. Sorry, not quite! I have an abnormally long torso for my body, so I think that has to do with where she’s sitting. I’m sure she’ll also move around quite a bit in the coming months.
I feel lucky that most of the weight I’ve gained has been in my belly so far, although my hips are rapidly expanding, something that my friends ensure me will go back to normal post-baby.
That being said, every time I’ve told someone that I’m seven months pregnant, they respond by telling me I’m about to “blow up”. So pretty sure my belly is going to grow rapidly over the next 11 weeks. So much for fashion posts!
Cravings & Aversions
My sweet cravings have become out of this world. I’ve never been a sweet person, always preferring a salty snack over a sweet one, but in the last few weeks that has completely turned on it’s head.
I’ve really never understood when people say they’re addicted to sugar, but now, for the first time in my life, I fully grasp the concept. It really does feel like an addiction. I know sugar isn’t great for the baby (or me) so I try to eat a lot of sweet vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes) and fruits (berries and apples mostly), but sometimes this mama just needs a giant cookie, or big bowl of coconut milk ice cream.
I’m still trying to eat as healthy as I can, but my newfound sugar addiction is hindering that! I finally, for the first time in my life, understand why people say they’re addicted to sugar. It’s no joke! I’m trying to eat more fruits and sweet vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes) to curb the cravings but to be honest, sometimes I just need my coconut milk ice cream or a giant cookie.
Another thing I’ve noticed as my belly grows is that while I’m hungry every hour or two, I can’t eat a lot of food. If I eat too much, I inevitably throw up or just feel really full and yucky. My new system is to eat five smaller meals throughout the day as opposed to a giant breakfast, lunch, and dinner with small snacks. It’s helped a lot!
Now that I’m in my third trimester, my doula has encouraged me to drink 100 ounces of water each day for a healthier end of pregnancy and labor. It’s virtually impossible, but I’ve been trying for the last week to get as close to it as possible.
I’m still on the same schedule of a once/week slow burn weight lifting session with Madison, once/week prenatal yoga classes (although I’ve skipped the last few due to the heartburn), and 2 hikes/week. In all three, I’m slowing down a little and trying not to push myself beyond my limits.
On Thursday, I’m posting my version of maternity clothes 101, including what I think you need to buy, what to skip, and what you can wear in regular clothes by sizing up. But I’m happy that the weather is warming up so I can live in dresses. They’re so much easier for me to put on, and they really look the best with my new body.
What I’m Feeling Excited For
While I have a lot of fear for sure, I am also super excited for a lot of things that are coming in the near future.
Meeting my Baby: First and foremost, I’m excited to actually meet the little girl I’ve been cooking up for the last seven months. I can’t believe I’ll get to finally see her face in less than three months. Such a crazy feeling! I feel like I already know her in some ways, but that I have zero clue in others.
Hypnobirthing Course: I’ve been working with a hypnotherapist for years on my sleep, and just adore her. We’re using the same one to teach us her method of hypnobirthing, called BlissBorn. I’ll know more about it after our first call tonight and will report back!
Our Baby Shower: My sister and two friends are throwing me a baby shower in June. We decided to invite not only my female friends and family but also their spouses/boyfriends and kids. I wanted something super low key where people can hang out and enjoy each other without any silly games or opening of presents.
Not Being Pregnant: While pregnancy is a beautiful thing and truly a miracle, it doesn’t feel very good physically on most days. Though I realize the first few months of motherhood will be way harder than anything I’ve ever experienced, I’m excited to not be pregnant once she’s born. I almost feel guilty saying that, but I’m looking forward to feeling like myself again… if that’s possible with an infant, ha!
Want to know more? Read my first trimester recap, 20 week update, and 24 week update.
My advice is to gather stuff for what you’ll need in your room and the bathroom, beyond just baby’s diapers and sleeping situation. I had a c-section with both of mine so had slightly different needs but having the scar cream and other necessities out was a huge help when I was sleep deprived. Glamorous stuff like maxi pads will be needed! You can probably get a lot of stuff from the hospital to bring home but it’s good to at least prep that in your head a bit.
It’ll also be trial and error. Nesting and prepping for baby is a great way to deal with the anxiety but you’ll figure out where things work best and what all you’ll actually need out as you go. You really learn and figure it out once baby is here, no matter how much “prep” you do which is scary but also good in that if you feel totally overwhelmed it’s fine!
Oh, also forget any type of schedule those first few weeks. It’s survival mode. My husband attempted to write out a schedule for us and it lasted about 4 hours before it was thrown out. Your life will be chaotic and the house will be a disaster but just roll with it. Baby and you are first, dishes and laundry will get done whenever 🙂
Great idea! I need to do a big Costco run before she comes. And good advice all around, thank you 🙂
I love hearing about your journey so far! I am also someone who love making lists and having plans. Even now without a baby my husband have long talks about preparing for a baby within the next year or so. Its so important to be prepared and know what to expect. Thanks for sharing!
Taylor | http://www.livingtaylored.com
this is so exciting! i just love all things baby and pregnancy. and i loved giving birth, weirdly enough. hypnotherapy for sleep sounds awesome- what’s that like?
nursing friendly spring tops and dresses on my blog today!
Haha I think you’re the first person I’ve ever heard say that they loved giving birth. But hey, maybe I’ll be the second. Fingers crossed 🙂
I know exactly what you mean about being afraid and also guilty. My daughter was breech (to this day she is my stubborn headstrong girl) so I had to have a c-section, which terrified me (I had never had any surgery before). I spent so much time worrying about it but the day she was born went so fast and was a blur (could also have been the painkillers, ha). I also was worried I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed after a c-section, and now we are going on 9 months EBF. With enough determination, you can make it through anything. A new baby is a lot of scary unknowns, but you guys will do great. The key is having a supportive partner and taking it easy on yourself (as much as that is possible for us moms).
Thank you for sharing that story, it’s so helpful to hear about other experiences from moms. I’m so happy yours turned out so well!
Julia- Not feeling prepared is perfectly normal for a first time Mom. No one is grading you on Mom performance 🙂 Relax which can be hard for a planner personality. Be prepared to be flexible and adjust your thinking. Things change with the baby’s arrival and personality. DON”T BE AFRAID OF DRUGS FOR LABOR- they are your friend. No one gives you a medal for going through pain which is unnecessary. Don’t let the breast feeding Nazis get to you. I was made to feel guilty that I didn’t have enough milk come in and had to supplement. Now I wish I had punched them in the face. Remember if everyone waited till they were totally prepared and ready for a baby there would be no children on this earth 🙂 Babies are more hardy than you think 🙂 Third trimester is uncomfortable- my feet got to the point the only shoes I could wear were sneakers.Try Gaviscon for heartburn after checking with your OB- it was the only thing that got rid of my heartburn. Hang in there.
YES YES YES to all of this! Than you 🙂
I’m a mom of four (including twins) and every birth was different and difficult and amazing and emotional and everything else you can possibly imagine. I love that you have already communicated some expectations with your mom and your husband – it will be so great to let them “run” with their roles while you focus on your healing and your sweet girl. You will likely be an emotional mess when you come home so it will be so good that they have will have jobs to keep things moving as normally as possible. You are going to be a great mom!
Oh my goodness, good for you! Yes I love the idea of me focusing mostly on the baby and them handling everything else. We’ll see how it actually shakes out but at least I can dream 🙂
I’ve really enjoyed reading your pregnancy updates, and have been reading your blog for several years. Reading your posts have brought back so many memories of being anxious about having a baby and being a mom. Now that my son is 2, now more than ever, the advice people gave me about the nervousness and anxiety being a blip on our timeline is so true. Being pregnant wasn’t easy (I feel your hip pain struggles!). I gained more weight than I should (but lost it all and then some). Wanted a drug-free labor and delivery (at 7cm I said I give up, give me drugs!), and we were all fine. I was terrified of breastfeeding (and that went fine too). I applaud your willingness to embrace what scares you and face it. You’re going to be just fine and will be a great mom. Best of luck during your third trimester. It may not be comfortable or easy, but it will all be worth it….you’re doing great!
Thanks Abby! I’m so happy to hear that everything turned out so well for you. Fingers crossed, I have a similar experience 🙂
I love how prepared you are getting yourself! My best advice is that along with the preparation allow yourself the room to know many things will not go the way you plan. Childbirth and a newborns are both amazing and empowering things, but they are also things that you often don’t have control of completely. I know many women, myself included, who had things with childbirth or with their newborn go differently than they planned, and it was very hard emotionally during a time when you are already not particularly rational 🙂 I hope that this isn’t a bummer of a comment, but it seems the more open people are with what ends up happening (while doing the planning they need to do), the happier they are. Sending all of my love to you and Anel and your growing girl! I have loved following your journey
YES! Totally agree with that. I’m trying to stay really open minded and leave room for whatever happens because I have NO idea 🙂 I appreciate the honesty and it’s a really smart thing for me to keep in mind over the new few months. So thank you!
Dear Julia, now that you are preparing for the baby and your baby will be a girl, I want to share a fact that happened to my daughter, when she was a newborn (usually doctors don’t talk about it, so when it happens the parents are scared): the false menstruation, i.e. blood in your newborn girl’s diaper. During pregnancy, a surge in maternal estrogen levels can stimulate a female fetus’s uterus. Within the first week of life, it’s not uncommon for baby girls to have a mini period in which the uterus sheds a little blood. Hope this will be helpful for you, a big hug
I have an almost 9 month old (how did that happen??) and I FEEL YOU on the heartburn. I also was a daily Zantac user. On “feeling like yourself” after birth…you will! It was actually shocking to me how physically NORMAL I felt almost immediately after the baby was out (I’m talking within a couple hours). The heartburn instantly went away, and so did all of the aches and pains. For the first couple weeks after delivery you trade all of that for some different craziness (um…it can get gory. be forewarned), but you will feel like yourself again!