Another month has gone by, and another OB check has come and gone, so I thought I’d update how the first part of the third trimester is going. This a long update! Read what interests you! Every time I’m pregnant, I soak up others’ experiences during pregnancy. I recently went back and was reading updates from one of my favorite blogger’s third pregnancy. So I know that to some of you, this is super boring, but for others, it will really help! So take it or leave it!
31 weeks pregnant photo! In our new gym! More on that tomorrow in Friday Favorites 🙂
Physical – Hernia Update and Braxton Hicks
The third trimester kicked off with the glucose screen! My results came back low, again, for the third pregnancy in a row. It finally dawned on me that I might be having some reactive hyperglycemia or just general low blood sugar related to pregnancy, increasing my symptoms of fatigue and anxiety during pregnancy. I ran this by my doctor, and he agreed. Too bad it only took me three pregnancies to figure it out. Unfortunately, the fact is that the only way to treat it is to try to balance blood sugar and stay on top of eating, which I try to do anyways. But it’s fascinating! Most people have issues controlling their blood sugar during pregnancy, but my body seems to have gone the opposite way.
I’m still averaging 2-3 (usually two) workouts a week from the Expecting and Empowered program unless KJ brings home a preschool cold. Then it’s nothing. I walk 2-4 times a week, thanks to MIL holding me accountable! Speaking of exercise, I saw a surgeon about my potential “umbilical hernia,” He refused imaging, stating he knew one was there based on symptoms and presentation. Treatment? Recommended surgery at any point post pregnancy based on comfort level and symptoms, but the standard recommendation for hernias is to repair them earlier to avoid surgery later on in life when it’s riskier since hernias do not improve; instead only get worse over time. The fun part is surgery with mesh is about a 5% failure rate, and surgery without mesh is a 50% failure rate, BUT they don’t recommend the mesh if you plan or could get pregnant again in the future because the mesh doesn’t move or stretch, so pain, lots of pain. While I’m one hundred and 8 million percent sure this is our last planned baby, I’ll say that every single type of birth control has varying rates of failure, including surgical ones. So, hopefully, I’m asymptomatic after the baby is delivered like I was after KK and can kick that can down the road. In the meantime, my pain levels have greatly improved with regular chiropractic care, daily exercise circuits focusing on abs stabilization, not being sick (aka coughing a ton), and wearing a support band. I still have some bad days, but they are much more manageable and less severe now.
Like the last couple of pregnancies, around 30 weeks, I kicked in some pretty intense pelvic pressure, especially if standing for a long time. The support band I have this time can sometimes help, but sometimes make it worse because it squeezes around the low pelvic region. And also, I’ve had some Braxton Hicks! I’ve never really had them before, and still not sure if I genuinely have them, but it feels like my ab muscles are squeezing so tight my stomach might pop off my body, then it goes away. It’s bizarre. As I said, I escaped the last two without having any, so it’s interesting!
Around 30 weeks, my energy dived as well. Suddenly, I needed naps mid-day and felt that general haze of the first trimester returning. Not nearly as bad as the first trimester, but still there!
One thing that’s been so much better in this pregnancy versus my last two is my anxiety levels. I don’t have so much of that heart-pounding anxiety that I had in the previous two pregnancies around this time. I’m thankful for that because I find that highly uncomfortable. With my last pregnancy, it was so bad I had to reduce my caffeine content to less than half a cup a day. Happy to have my coffee and my sanity still this time around! Haha, I will say that I have had some depression this time around, which was new to me for pregnancy or life in general. Luckily I was already seeing a counselor due to some life circumstances before pregnancy who has helped me through a lot. And recently, I decided to take the last couple months of pregnancy back and find the joy again by positively journaling in the morning. I’ve been doing it for two days and feel like a different person. I also added some affirmations/mantras that I say to myself every morning, including:
- One day, one moment at a time.
- My body is strong enough.
- I won’t be pregnant forever. This, too, shall pass.
These little affirmations/mantras have helped me not go down the rabbit hole of feelings when my hernia pain pops up. I’m feeling less than patient with the kids or generally feeling pregnancy fatigue. It’s mind-blowing how the most minor work on your mindset and positivity can make such huge impacts on your happiness levels, even when NOTHING about your circumstances has changed.
I don’t know who is nesting more, me or Mr. Hungry. I feel like every weekend, Mr. Hungry wants to reorganize something or clean out a space in our home. Granted, we’ve been here about six months which is about the point where you realize there are more efficient ways to do things than the ways you guessed would work when you moved in, but still, I keep joking he is nesting more than me! I’m just working through my list in a pretty calm and relaxed manner. Each weekend I pick one or two things we tackle together, and although I know some things could wait, I’m happy to do them now because I like to cross things off the list and because it’s going to get hot and I don’t know how my hernia is going to respond as I get bigger. So better to do it now and relax later when I’m more pregnant. So far, we’ve rearranged the car seats and installed the baby car seat in both vehicles (the one thing I did not want to do when it got hot.) And I’ve ordered a couple of boxes of diaper wipes, and my one purchase for this pregnancy is the HATCH Scale. My old infant scale broke and was never that accurate, and although I felt ridiculous dropping $150 bucks on an infant scale/changing pad, it’s also a $50 copay to go in for a weight check at the pediatrician. I went in for at least four when KK was born and more than that for KJ, so I think it will be more than helpful if I can avoid going in for so many weight checks at the doctor’s office, plus drive time and finding childcare for other kids or bringing them with me. It definitely will be worth it, haha
And the other impressive thing I’ve done is organizing and washing all the baby clothes given to me. As well as go through and separate boy vs. neutral girl clothes for the stuff I have.
Labor Prep Begins
29 weeks pregnant (when I started labor prep)
I want to preface this section by saying anyway you give birth makes you extraordinary.
For my first birth, I did zero prep for labor. I made it 6 hours of back-to-back contractions coming every minute and barely progressing to 3cm after a gel induction broke my water at 40 weeks and six days. I had some bizarre epidural heart rate complications that led to a myriad of other things. Despite signing forms for it, I made it out without an emergency c-section, but it wasn’t an experience I cared to repeat. So for my second birth, I did a lot more prep and did not want an induction or an epidural, and I did it without either, just barely, but I did it.
But, I didn’t have the glorious empowering feeling that other women have when they labor and give birth unmedicated. I was split 50/50 on whether the pain I endured was worth the benefits of being “unmedicated.” It took Mr. Hungry and me a few discussions, but ultimately, we decided it was worth it for me. And then we did something we didn’t do in the last two births. We hired a doula. (But, so we are all clear, if I didn’t react negatively to epidurals, I would take one in a heartbeat. But given my crummy experience in my first birth, it’s just not the path for me.)
So to prep for labor, I’m doing many of the things I did last time:
- Following the hypnobirthing recordings, trying to do each one at least during the day when I’m less likely to sleep through the whole tape.
- Reading hypnobirthing – the morgan method.
- Reading the stories of Ina May’s guide to childbirth.
- Saying affirmations, positivity journaling.
- Visualizing my perfect birth experience.
- Making labor cards to help lift me up and give Mr. Hungry cues of things to say.
- Drinking red raspberry tea and eating dates (I start now; I have a history of going overdue.)
- Planning on using the tub, the tapes, the doula, and maybe some nitrous oxide.
- Meeting and taking advice from my doula. I can’t tell you the extreme sense of peace I have knowing I have someone by my side that’s seen thousands of births (she has over 20 years of experience and only takes three clients a month now. I feel very lucky to have found her.)
But this time, I have the experience of having done it once before. For the most part, that’s positive. I don’t necessarily have the overwhelming lingering question, “can I do it” but more, “How well will I cope this time?” I did really well with my labor until I hit transition, then I was next level freaking out. I had a really great nurse who got me through it (lucky for me because nurses aren’t always available to be by your side like that.) I”ll have a doula this time, and they have brought back the gas for use. I have no idea how I’ll react to that, but my doula said in her experience that it really helps those who need to make it through the last part of the transition phase. My last birth was pretty textbook, and I know third babies aren’t guaranteed easier or earlier birth, but the fact my body did this less than two years ago has to count for something on muscle memory. haha
Looking Forward Too
I feel like the next two months are going to fly by. Each week seems to go faster than the one before it!
- March has already started, and I can officially say my due date is next month!
- Scheduling pre-labor meetings with my doula.
- Knocking things off the to-do list for the baby this month so I can relax next month.
- Spring break for the kids and for me.
- Spring weather 🙂 One of my favorite times in AZ! We get to see green thing,s haha.
- KJ is starting basketball and soccer.
- St. Patrick’s Day – since I did 23 and me and found out I’m 99% Irish, I’m super into it, haha
- Biweekly OB appointments.
- Easter time, it’s early this year!
- Finishing up the GI Map (stool analysis) training I’ve been immersed in. And a two-day conference at the end of the month on organic acids.
That’s it for this month, here is a fun flashback on the last two pregnancies! So funny how each one is so different!
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