Hello, from uber pregnant land, where the focus level is about 10%. I swear, executing anything on my to-do list feels like a major win because I find myself starting many tasks but not finishing one. I should be working my tail off to prepare, but when you are this pregnant, it can feel a little bit like limbo land. And limbo land isn’t a super motivating place for me.
On the positive, I feel like I’ve turned a corner. While I’m fully aware that the last month of pregnancy can feel like the longest month in the world, I’m also so grateful we’ve made it here. Mentally, this was by far my toughest pregnancy to get through, and being 36 weeks feels like we’ve made it. Sure, some of those late pregnancy symptoms are in full swing: peeing at least three times a night, aches/pains, lack of energy, nothing fitting, being assaulted from the insight out as the baby kicks her foot literally out of my stomach, etc. But also, in a month or so, we will have our complete family. And yes, it feels a bit bittersweet but also so darn good! Plus, so many fun things to look forward to this month, including a long-time friend coming into town, Easter, my MIL’s birthday, etc.
Snapped a quick picture today on the way out the door to get KJ! I love that we finally got mirrors installed in the gym because it’s the one area of the house I don’t have to clean before taking pictures haha
Speaking of aches and pains, some random things that popped up in the last few weeks were pelvic issues and nausea. A couple of weeks ago, I randomly stopped being able to stand for more than 10 minutes at a time. After some chiropractic care, I was able to stand for 45 minutes, with the most intense pain only occurring in the evening. It feels better, but I’m not working out or even walking because I’m scared to trigger it. So that feels weird, mainly because I’m planning an unmedicated birth, and they say working out really helps with that, BUT I’m actually pretty excited I got to work out this far. The umbilical hernia situation made it a challenging journey, so I’m grateful for what I’ve been able to do.
And the last week, I’ve noticed nausea hitting hard, especially in the morning (I threw up a couple of times one day), and there is no room left for food in my stomach. The portions I can consume nowadays are tiny. I find that interesting because I’m carrying lower than I did with the boys, so my stomach should have more room. I never really felt such an extreme inability to eat with the boys, so this is definitely interesting! All my pregnancies have been so different. If I could sum each one up, this is what the summary would be:
- Baby Boy 1 – I was excited to have a pregnancy that stuck and have a first baby. But, I was also very anxious and nauseous for almost the entire pregnancy—extreme food aversions.
- Baby Boy 2 – This pregnancy was by far the easiest one if you don’t count the ten mouth surgeries I had and the whole COVID anxiety and isolation thing. But I was barely ever sick (nausea ended at 8.5 weeks), and I killed it working out the entire pregnancy.
- Baby Girl – This pregnancy was a surprise (we were trying but were surprised I got pregnant given my ovulation being significantly off) and a surprise gender (I thought it was another boy), and I’ve struggled the most with mental health symptoms of depression and physical pain associated with the hernia.
All are so vastly different from the other, and no gender themes or anything. It’s so bizarre to me but also cool. My OB once told me, “they each get their own story,” which I think is a wonderful way to describe it.
Maternity Leave Plans
As of right now, I’m planning little different plans than I had in the past. In the past, I took a solid three months off of work and became a stay-at-home mom for three months. With KJ, this was a shock, but I had time to jump on my computer during nap time (even if his naps were only 20 minutes ever). KK was born in May 2021, and KJ was 2.5 years old. I went from working full time to staying home full time with both kids, which was a bigger shock. Especially when KJ dropped his nap when KK was eight weeks old.
While we had a lot of fun that summer, trying to breastfeed and follow up pump after every 45-minute nursing session for six weeks was extremely challenging. (I struggle with low supply, and this was key to me establishing a better supply) I did it, but I think I misjudged how hard it would be. Since I’m working from home with my kids, I often step in to mitigate tantrums or make snack decisions, etc. I forget that sitting down at my computer is kind of a mental break. And I, quite honestly, wasn’t used to not having that mental break. So when my husband went back to work two weeks after the baby was born and I was now full-time caring for a toddler and a newborn, the transition was rough. And maternity leave felt heavy.
Then, three months later, as I finally got into a groove as a full-time caregiver, school started, and I returned to work with full-time care in the home and more things on my to-do list than were possible. Plus, I was still stopping to nurse or help put the baby down, which nearly drove me to the brink. Basically, two giant transitions full time working to full-time caregiving to very young children back to full-time working were incredibly stressful transitions in less than four months. I don’t care to repeat it.
So instead of taking an all-or-nothing approach, I’m going to take a modified approach, a slow and steady, more extended approach to maternity leave.
- Mr. Hungry will take two weeks off work (assuming I have a vaginal birth.)
- My MIL and sitter will keep coming on their regular but slightly modified schedules for childcare. They will likely come fewer hours a d. I will probably have one day a week without any childcare. The childcare will be for the boy; I’ll keep the baby with me and work around her schedule.
- For teaching, I will still teach my summer class this summer as I usually do. I’ll pick up my regular course schedule in the fall. It’s only one class that I’ve taught for several years, so I’m more than confident it will run smoothly.
- For clients, I will pause current clients until June 1st and new clients until July 1st.
- For the blog, I’ve outsourced. I’ve actually hired the wonderful Kelly Bejelly to help me reshoot 20 of my super old recipes (think 2014-2016) on the blog. They are my recipes, but for the first time ever, I’m going to let someone help with photography. I wasn’t going to mention I hired someone to help, BUT I also feel like it is so easy to see what everyone seems to be doing “on their own” and feel overwhelmed. I would never want to portray that I’m doing more than I am because, as Moms, we already have so much pressure on us. So, I wanted to be fully transparent that they are my recipes, but someone is helping me with the photography. I’ll be reposting these recipes from June/July – October and likely will not pick up my camera to start shooting recipes again until October/November. Even then, I plan to repost old recipes from (2-16-2017 that have good final shots but need process photos or videos added.) So I can slowly ramp up into the full development of recipes. This will be a massive break for me, but recipe development is EXTREMELY time intensive. Hours to develop, shoot, film, edit, and post recipes, probably 15 hours per recipe. Recipes are also why 90% of my readers come to my site, so I feel this is a great compromise. I’ll make old content that probably 75%+ of my readers have never seen and make it new again. I’ll also still be writing and doing posts you guys love, like weeknight dinners, what I ate, postpartum updatesFridayay favorites, etc. And I’ll be updating my functional nutrition session significantly.
So basically, instead of doing nothing for three months and then trying to go back to everything, I will work on a lighter modified schedule for six months. Then, after six months (typically when I have my sea legs back), I’ll be more ready to ramp back up and add back in full recipe development. I know I’ll miss it because recipe development and photography are literally what I love, but it also takes the most energy, planning, and time (like I said, id 15 hours per recipe). So, I feel this is the best option and am excited about it. And, if I feel overwhelmed, I won’t hesitate to delay taking new clients or post less on the blog. I know from experience that this time is short, and I want to enjoy it as much as possible.
So that’s the update for today! It’s baby month, and I’m so excited! (Okay, well, maybe May, but we’re close! I keep praying every night for her to have an April birthday, but ya know, being so late with the boys doesn’t make me unrealistic.)
Any advice for the 2 to 3 transition? I’m all ears, friends!
- First Trimester Pregnancy 3
- Weeks 15-21 Pregnancy Number 3
- Weeks 22-26 Pregnancy Number 3
- Weeks 27-31 Pregnancy Number 3
- 36 Weeks Pregnancy Number 1
- 36 Weeks Pregnancy Number 2