body during pregnancy

Third Trimester – Part 2

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Birth Plan

Basically my birth plan is “give birth to a healthy baby and recover.” Poking around the internet I’ve seen some pretty…elaborate birth plans. It seems silly to me. Especially considering this is not really something we can plan out. It happens when it happens, how it happens and all of it is really out of my control.

Like I said in my previous post I hadn’t really thought about it much but the childbirth classes gave me some insight and I have been giving it some more thought now. For the entire pregnancy I’ve been all about the drugs. Go into labor = give me whatever I need. No judgment towards women that want to have a natural birth, it’s all a personal choice and there is no “right” way. Once I got to the third trimester and we started taking the childbirth classes, I started to think maybe I wanted to change my plan a little bit.

The class said that the hospital I’ll give birth in does “light” epidurals. Meaning it’s not constantly on and you should still be able to feel your lower body, it just takes the edge off while you can still feel the contractions and know when to push. That sounded pretty good to me.

My current plan: try and labor at home as long as I can. Use our TENS device, different positions, massage, walking, whatever keeps me somewhat comfortable. Once I get to the hospital I’d like to take advantage of the birthing tub that is available. I want some soothing music and low lighting in the delivery room. I’m REALLY hoping to be able to labor in the squatting position if possible (the delivery bed has a squat bar attached to it) and when the time is right, use whatever medications I might need. Basically, I want to give it a try, see how it goes, and decide on medications. Will probably end up getting an epidural, but still want to take the wait and see approach. Of course all this will change if I end up having back labor (which my mom had with me and after having back spasms last summer I do NOT want to experience that again!).

Week 32

I’ve started going to chiro once a week. It seems to help a lot with the hip/SI/low back/glute issues. I had a massage this week, too!

I think I can tell when baby boy is going through a growth spurt. Throughout the pregnancy my eating habits haven’t changed too much and I haven’t had insatiable hunger very often. Every once in awhile I go through a phase where I am suddenly famished. It lasts a few days and then I go back to normal. The other night I woke up at 3am with a growling stomach and struggled to go back to sleep because I was hungry.

Had a bit of a scare, but all is good.

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Symptoms this week: Just the SI issues. Peeing all the time. All the time.

Cravings: Cheesecake. 😀

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Week 33

SLOWING DOWN…I am so much slower at every single thing I do now. I walk slowly, things are a struggle. It’s getting harder to do things that should be easy–which is weird! I’m still working out but it’s a lot different. I used to swim 1.25 or 1.5 miles in 45 minutes, now I swim 1 mile in 50 minutes. I’ve had to turn the resistance way down on the elliptical. I’m still lifting weights but I’m doing only weight machines. With my stretchy ligaments and feeling off balance, I don’t think free weights are a good idea. I’ve also gone from 5 workouts a week to sometimes 4. Some scheduling things have gotten in the way of working out 5 days a week and in the past I would have rearranged my schedule to make it fit but now I’m more in the “it’s ok to take an extra rest day this week” mentality. I knew I’d slow down at some point. That time has apparently come!

As for baby? I feel like he’s trying to escape! Check out this video!

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Symptoms this week: Lots of pelvic pressure/pain/soreness. Feels like things are stretching and loosening. It kind of feels like a side-stitch when you run. Also having some groin discomfort, similar to a pulled muscle.

Cravings: Reese’s Pieces. Or peanut butter cup ice cream. Basically anything that is chocolate and peanut butter. The craving is intense! Reese’s Pieces used to be one of my trigger foods back in the day and haven’t eaten them in like 10 years…

Week 34

Hospital bag is about 90% packed. It has your typical things in there: clothes, underwear, nursing bra, nursing tank, toiletries. Also a sleep mask, ear plugs, a book of crossword puzzles (just in case), something to read, my glasses and contact lenses, breast pump, some massage lotion, hair ties, non-skid socks, chapstick, flip flops, and snacks. Also: Nursing PadsNipple Nursing CreamEarth Mama Bottom Spray. I also included my birth plan checklist, insurance info and legal documents from our attorney like Power of Attorney and Advance Directives.

I’ve got a few different baby outfits packed (newborn sized and one larger just in case) plus the little newborn mittens and a hat. I haven’t packed a going home outfit yet because I honestly don’t know what that should be. Something loose and comfortable, I imagine. What did you pack in your hospital bag?

Had my baby shower!

34weeks

Symptoms this week: I am soooo slow. Moving slow, it takes a long time to do everything now. Having some hip and low back stuff as well as groin pain. My guess is that pain is here to stay. Swimming feels fabulous and when I do the breast stroke it feels great on my body — but the next day? I feel SO sore. Like I ran a marathon sore.

Cravings: Still craving peanut butter/chocolate combo. Insane craving!

Week 35

Put this super sexy/glamorous mattress protector on our bed! Just in case my water breaks when I’m in bed.

Baby must be having another growing spurt because I am HUNGRY again. Several days in a row now I’ve been woken up early in the morning with a growling stomach. I’m eating the same amount and yet I’m hungrier earlier than usual.

After making it 8 months without getting sick, I started to feel like I was getting a bad head cold this week. 🙁 Doing the nasal rinse, drinking EmergenC and crossing my fingers it doesn’t get too bad. I think I managed to fend off getting a full-blown cold but the bone-tired exhaustion plagued me ALL week. It was seriously all I could do to get out of bed and go to work (and then try and stay awake!).

35weeks

Symptoms this week: I’m not sure if he’s dropped yet but several people have said it looks like he has. I’m peeing a lot more frequently. I’ve been feeling extra extra tired lately. Not much else.

Cravings: Still craving Reese’s Pieces like mad.

Week 36

Still working out but slowing down. I think I might be done lifting weights. I switched to weight machines instead of free weights awhile ago but I’m finding that when I do lift weights and do squats I am way more sore these days. My guess is that it’s ligaments loosening. So I’m pretty much down to swimming twice a week and doing the elliptical twice a week and that’s it for now! Which I am ok with. Reducing the frequency and intensity of my workouts feels right for my body right now.

I am getting looks at the gym when I go. Not in a negative way, just looks. People stare at my bump. I have gotten some comments–all positive. An older guy in the pool complimented me and said he was “very impressed” that I was swimming, said I looked close to my due date and wished me luck. It was sweet.

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Symptoms this week: Just really tired and feeling big! It’s hard to move around!

Cravings: I’ve been craving BBQ for awhile and we finally went and got some for Valentine’s Day!

 

Doctor Appointment

At 36 weeks we had our OB appointment (last one was a month ago) and the appointments are now going to be more frequent. We heard the heart beat and she did an ultrasound to check position. He’s face down and head down and very low in my pelvis. He was kicking during the ultrasound but we didn’t get a good look at his face because of his position, which was kind of a bummer! The doctor said he seemed to be very long, and just under 6 pounds rights now. Michael was a very long, thin baby when he was born so it sounds like this boy might take after his daddy!

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My heart rate was 110/72, everything else was checking out normally. She did a cervical check and I’m not really dilated much but I’m 50% effaced. She said she’d be surprised if we made it to my due date. I’m not sure that doctors can predict that exactly, but who knows! He may come early!

Previous Posts:   

Secret Keeper

Behind the Scenes

First Trimester

Let’s Talk About Weight

Second Trimester – Part 1

Old Wives’ Tales

It’s A….

Second Trimester – Part 2

Body Changes During Pregnancy

Drink This and Try Not To Puke

Second Trimester – Part 3

Hospital Tour

Babymoon

Babymoon Part 2 & A Birthday

Third Trimester – Part 1

A Trial Run

Maternity Photos

Baby Shower

The Weight Gain 

Hopes & Fears

Body Changes During Pregnancy

I’ve wanted kids for as long as I could remember and was really excited when we got that positive test! But to be honest, I never really thought about the being pregnant part. Ever. In my fantasies it was always the “after”–the baby, being a mom, being a family. I don’t know why I never really thought what being pregnant would be like. Maybe because I really didn’t have anything to relate it to? I don’t know. But in my mind those 9 months never really popped up in my brain! LOL

When I got pregnant and wasn’t really enjoying the first trimester, it was a bit of a rude awakening. Once the second trimester started and I was feeling better, everything got better — including my mood. This was also the time my body started to change a bit. Instead of it looking like I just ate a big lunch or was gaining a few pounds in muffin-top poundage, I was starting to look pregnant.

I began to wonder how I would adjust mentally to all the changes my body was going to go through. Because again, I hadn’t really thought about it much. I’d worked so hard to lose 110 pounds and had worked just as hard to keep it off for 7 years! How was I going to change my thinking that gaining weight was OK?

First, making the mental adjustment to stop being in “loser” or “maintenance” modes was a weird switch. It was even weirder in the 2nd trimester when I had to INCREASE my caloric intake! Suddenly I was supposed to be eating more food. It took awhile to make that mental shift.

While I’m eating more food and not beating myself up if I go over my calories once in awhile, I’m not going crazy either. I’m eating more, listening to my body (and when I’m extra hungry I eat a little bit more) but I’m not bingeing on stuff because I’m “eating for two.” This was a huge positive thing for me. I had some reservations that old binge-eating habits would return because I have this “free pass” all of a sudden, but nope, not really. I honestly don’t feel that different and I’m not eating that differently.

Second, I had to get used to my body being the center of attention. For years as I lost weight and after I had reached goal, my body was the focal point in a lot of conversations. People would make comments about how great I looked, how awesome it was that I was losing weight, that I did a great job reaching my goal! It was all positive reinforcement and it helped keep me motivated in times when the weight loss stopped happening. But it was weird to go from being the fat chick that hid behind big clothes and layers to suddenly being skinny and having people NOTICE. I never really got used to the body comments.

Being pregnant I’ve noticed that I’m no longer an individual person–I’m now a baby vessel and people make comments. Half the time they are wildly inappropriate and sometimes downright rude (Maybe someday I’ll share some of the truly awful comments I’ve gotten but…right now I’m trying to stay positive!)…but for the most part people are just noticing “the bump” and making comments. Again, my body is on display and the focus. Weird.

For the first half of my pregnancy I didn’t feel too different. Around 20 weeks I started to notice some things.

The Bump

Clothes stopped fitting properly. I was making the switch to maternity clothes and shirts that were a size larger. I was also noticing the bump getting in the way of things. I could still bend over to pick something up but it was getting awkward. Certain machines at the gym I couldn’t do anymore because my bump was getting in the way (like the seated leg press). It was getting uncomfortable to toss and turn in bed–I had to do it gingerly to avoid pain and discomfort.

I was trying to remember back to when I was 250 pounds–I carried most of my weight in my stomach area. Yet I never had these issues when I was obese. It’s so odd that gaining 10 pounds of baby weight and suddenly I’m floundering around like a turtle on my back!

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Just learning to maneuver around with this new appendage was an adjustment. I can’t imagine what it will be like when I’m 35 weeks!!!

Even though I was buying clothes in a larger size–which used to send me spiraling into a mild depression–I wasn’t too upset about it because I kept reminding myself that THIS IS TEMPORARY. I am not buying a whole new wardrobe in giant clothes. I’m just buying a few maternity items to get me through the next few months.

I kind of love The Bump, though. This was a spot on my body that I loathed after losing weight because of the loose skin that never really went away no matter how much I lost or how much I worked out. It made me self-conscious. But now? I’m not bothered by my stomach at all! Besides, it’s the home for the little guy for a few more months. And it’s kinda nice knowing he’s there with me all the time. 🙂

Getting Bigger in General

I felt a little sad when around 15 weeks I had to go buy a new bra in a larger size. Larger size and larger cup size. It was a moment of sadness because I remember just how happy I had been when I was losing weight and buying clothes in smaller sizes.

My legs (ankles especially) are getting a little bigger. I’m sure it’s normal swelling (from what I’ve read) but it’s still weird to see swollen body parts where they used to be skinny.

Getting Winded Easily

I am a very fit person, cardio has never been an issue for me. I was in great cardio shape (thank you swimming!) and then BOOM. 20 weeks, I was suddenly huffing and puffing walking up stairs. I was so winded, could barely catch my breath, and it felt like overnight I was suddenly back to my old body! THIS WAS HARD.

I was noticing in the gym that things were getting harder, that I was out of breath, that my heart rate got high really quickly….BUT I FEEL THE SAME! Why isn’t this the same?!?! I used to be able to run 3 miles on the treadmill without feeling like I was dying. What happened??? I used to swim 2000 yards in the pool in 45 minutes without stopping to rest and now…I am so much slower now at everything.

It was so hard to make that mental shift that I can’t do the same things I did before at the same intensity. I am still struggling with this. I struggle with this every time I go to the gym and realize, Oh yeah, I need to back off a little bit.

My body sure is reminding me of this. When I get winded, when my heart rate is too high and I need to rest, and then especially the next day when I am really, really sore. I am reminded that my body is different.

After

I know that after the baby is here my body is going to be even different. I haven’t really thought much about it yet. I probably won’t think about it! Not until the time is here. I know I’ll get back to something resembling normalcy, but it will be another mental adjustment when it looks different then pre-pregnancy.

Being pregnant is definitely an adjustment. What I find obnoxious is that none of the books really talk about how you will FEEL. Every woman and every pregnancy is different, so there really isn’t a universal “this will definitely happen to you” thing…The books don’t really talk about what the changes will be like. Sure, they say “you’re going to gain weight” but the books don’t really talk about how it feels, what it looks like; they especially don’t discuss what it’s like to gain weight during pregnancy after you’ve lost a significant amount of weight in the past…you’re just kind of adrift at sea figuring these things out on your own, navigating your own feelings alone. None of my friends with kids could really relate or share how it feels because their story wasn’t like mine.

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It’s odd to FEEL the same but every week your body is changing in new and weird, fun and sometimes alarming, ways. You just never know what is going to happen next.

You know what distracts me from thinking too much about my body changing? When the little guy started moving and I felt the flutters and tickles. Then getting the ultrasound and seeing a formed human instead of a blob of fuzzy gray. 🙂 He was waving and swimming and flipping around and it felt real.

If you’ve gone through this stuff, I’d love to hear about it!