Well, friends — we’re in the home stretch! Only another week or so until our Baby Girl arrives! 😱🤯😳 On one hand I can’t believe that we’re here already, but at the same time I also feel like we’ve been waiting for her for so long.
This is probably my longest bumpdate post yet, so grab your coffee (or wine!) and get comfy! I’m sharing some vulnerable moments as well as tips and general updates — thanks for joining me on this journey! (If you’d like to get caught up, you can read all about my first trimester and second trimester).
If you remember from my second trimester bumpdate, we had a bunch of possibilities up in the air regarding a potential home flooring project or maybe even moving! I finally decided that I couldn’t wait to start “nesting” any longer because who knows when any of those things will come into fruition and we needed a designated space for all of the baby items sooner than later (including a way to organize all of her diapers, tiny clothes, etc.). I would have liked to order everything sooner, but we waited and, of course, her dresser and crib were backordered with a delivery window of May 18th through June 1st. Reminder: Baby Girl is due mid-late June — talk about cutting it close! 😬
In a stroke of luck, her bookshelves were not backordered (literally two of the only furniture things that I wanted for Baby Girl’s nursery that wouldn’t be delivered months out from the order date) so we were able to set those up in her room and use them as temporary holding spaces for most of her items, instead of trying to jam everything into random closets 😬. I was so happy to at least have those pieces built and ready to go even though the baskets for the bottom shelves and her hamper are backordered until almost her delivery date (oh, and the glider chair we ordered is backordered until mid-July / beginning of August 🙃 I think I may have found a temporary solution, so stay tuned for those details!).
This delivery delay nonsense and stress all could have been prevented and I have no one to blame but myself; however, since I can’t go back in time, we’re just gonna have to roll with it. Yes, I probably could have gotten a different dresser that was in stock from a different brand, but the one we bought is part of the set that includes the crib and the bookcases that we ordered and I didn’t want to change the whole set or order a dresser that I didn’t like nearly as much as my first choice so… [deep breath] this is where we’re at. 😅 Plus, this will be Baby Girl’s bedroom set for years so I wanted to be sure that all of the pieces that we got were ones that we loved, even if that meant waiting for some of the items.
Thankfully, her crib and dresser were both delivered on May 11th so Baby Girl’s nursery is finally approaching completion!
Even if these furniture pieces hadn’t been delivered in time, Baby Girl will be sleeping in her bassinet directly next to me in our bedroom for a while anyway and I can technically change her diapers anywhere — it’s just more convenient to have all of her things easily accessible and organized in one place. I would have made it work if the furniture arrived after she did, but I’m so relieved that we didn’t have to. 😅 We also have her car seat, stroller, and her bath / hygiene / grooming necessities all ready to rock-and-roll so we’re all set on the essentials, which gives me a lot of peace of mind for her arrival.
I’m so glad that I didn’t decide to order a different set instead — I adore her furniture so much. I’ll share all of the item sources in a blog post soon, once everything has arrived and it’s all set up.
Toward the end of my second trimester I scheduled my maternity shoot with our wedding / family photographer for my 33rd week of pregnancy (FYI our photographer says the “sweet spot” for maternity photos is between Week 30 and 34!). I always look forward to photo shoots with Brittany and Joe; they’re such fun people to be around and help you feel so comfortable in front of the camera. They’re both super talented at their craft and I just can’t recommend them enough! Check out their blog here for even more examples of their gorgeous work. After scheduling this maternity shoot I realized that meant that I needed to get serious about shopping for what I wanted to wear in the photos — yikes! 😬
Since we’re all friends here, I’m going to get super vulnerable for a minute: I went through a few weeks where I was struggling a lot with how my appearance was changing as a result of our growing Baby Girl. The fact that I had those feelings made me feel super guilty because I am truly SO so grateful for this experience and for having a healthy pregnancy.
I was hating getting dressed, was actively avoiding mirrors / reflections throughout the day, and I shed a LOT of tears. Prior to getting pregnant, when I would get to this point of self-loathing during periods of weight gain I would significantly trim my meal sizes, maybe skip a meal (intermittent fasting style, not crash dieting and losing nutrition), or I would really go hard in my workouts to get the results I wanted. However, right now I can’t really do those things because I have to nourish my daughter and not overexert myself (in order to keep her safe) so I was feeling especially frustrated by not being in control. The timing of those emotions could not have been worse because I really wanted to feel sexy and empowered and just in awe of my body (as I have been for the past few months) for my maternity photoshoot and I was worried that I was just going to look like a massive blob in photos. 😭 I was even tempted to cancel our session! Of course, I wouldn’t have actually canceled because I knew that I would have 1000000% regretted it if I had, but I would be lying if I told you that the thought hadn’t crossed my mind. 🙈 I recently read this blog post by Grace Hamlin and it really hit home for me re: pregnancy photos and beyond; it’s a great read that I highly recommend if you are in a similar stage of life.
I’ll also admit that shopping for something to wear for photos was incredibly frustrating for me. I was worried about feeling like ground meat being stuffed into sausage casing and then that would be how I would be captured in our forever photos. 😩 It’s so hard to shop when you’re not feeling your best; shopping in person is so defeating and shopping online at new-to-you brands can be like a game of roulette — you never know what you’re going to get! I just want to say that I fully trust our photographer to capture me at just the right angles and help me to feel pretty (because Brittany has such an awesome ability to put people at ease in front of the camera), but I also wanted to share my frustrations and insecurities because if you’re struggling in this stage of life too, just know that you aren’t alone. I’m taking comfort in the fact that “this too shall pass” and I know I’ll look back someday and wish I could relive this pregnancy so I really want to cherish these last few months.
Basically: pregnancy hormones are VERY REAL and the meltdowns were frequent for a few weeks as I had been feeling all the feelings (keep my husband in your thoughts and prayers! 😂 Poor guy. He’s been so sweet and supportive throughout everything).
I ended up finding a really pretty gown at Sexy Mama Maternity that was super flattering and made me feel amazing. They offer so many styles that it was easy to find what I was looking for! I wanted something in a neutral color, long-sleeved, maxi length gown (I love the mini train!), and the biggest selling point: the bow sash. The sash is actually sewn to the back of the dress so it won’t shift once it’s tied and it’s so long that it adds a bit of drama. I just love that it really accentuates the bump and, of course, I LOVE a bow! My photographer said that it’s always best to have fitted dresses to really show off the bump (instead of something loose and flowy) so I took that advice to heart when shopping! If you’re interested, I shared a few photos from the maternity shoot here as well as more details about the dress.
Totally random note, but while we’re talking about clothing I have to mention that these lululemon Align leggings are absolutely heaven-sent. I have miraculously been able to wear them all the way through the end of this trimester when I feel like I am absolutely going to pop! They are hands-down THE most worthwhile maternity wardrobe investment. 🙌🏼 Pre-pregnancy I was between two sizes and almost all of my Aligns are in my “bigger” size (just for comfort) and those are the ones I have been living in during pregnancy! I could still fit into my smaller size until about halfway through my second trimester before they started feeling a bit too snug and just not as comfy as my larger sized pairs. I would venture to say that they are my most-worn maternity item, especially for being pregnant during a pandemic. 😊
Summer pregnancy, amirite? It’s a challenge to stay cool, so these popsicles (fruit bars?) have been such a treat and have helped bring my internal temperature down so that I can get [somewhat] comfortable. I can’t recommend frozen treats more, whatever that means for you: popsicles / fruit bars, Italian ice, frozen fruit (such as grapes!), smoothies, milkshakes, açaí bowls, etc.
I recently shared how I am coping with my hyperhidrosis (excessive sweat) and pregnancy, but the tips could technically be applied to anyone who is pregnant so I encourage you to check out that post if you are also in your third trimester during the warmest months of the year 🥵 (hang in there, mama)!
In Week 36 my body started to feel quite uncomfortable. Baby must have dropped into my pelvis a smidge because I can breathe a little easier (a tiny bit more room for lung expansion!), but I now feel more pressure on my bladder as a result so there have definitely been more frequent trips to the bathroom. Everything I do these days feels tedious — carrying around a small watermelon is exhausting. 😅
During this same week I had a meltdown while trying to trim my toenails because I couldn’t reach my feet (at least not comfortably)! I decided it was time to make an appointment for a manicure and pedicure during Week 37… my first time going to my beloved nail salon in ~15 months! We’re so close to the end of this pregnancy I don’t think that a little bit of “regular” nail polish will affect the baby… and mama desperately needed some TLC on her feet! I know most people think of a nail appointment as pampering (which it was!), but if we’re being honest it was more of a necessity than anything! 🤣
I just felt like I should share a few not-so-glamorous or less-than-perfect aspects of my pregnancy experience in case you thought I was having a completely fabulous time. Overall, this pregnancy has been pretty easy and I feel so grateful for the experience; there are just aspects of it toward the end now that have me even more eager to meet our little girl. 🤪
That being said, I have been trying to make a concentrated effort to savor the sensation of all of Baby Girl’s little flips, kicks, twirls and hiccups before she emerges because who knows if I will get to do this again? I know pregnancy isn’t everyone’s favorite, but I feel pretty blessed to have truly enjoyed this experience. I’ve been dreaming about being pregnant ever since I was still a “baby” myself, having always wanted to be a mom. As much as I am excited to meet my daughter and hold her in my arms, I know that there is a part of me that is going to miss carrying her with me every day. You don’t have to agree with me, but I think pregnancy is pretty amazing. I am still in awe of the fact that my body just “knew” what to do in growing this little babe; absolutely incredible.
On the first day of Week 31 I received my first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine! I discussed this decision at length with my Obstetrician and also got a second opinion from my Primary Care Physician. They both agreed that getting vaccinated while pregnant made sense for me so that the remainder of my pregnancy would be less risky (being pregnant compromises your immune system and therefore makes you more susceptible to illness in general; this obviously includes the coronavirus). This vaccine would also ensure that Baby Girl would be born with the antibodies to help her immune system fight off COVID. I trust the advice of my doctors, modern medicine, and science in general so after doing a little research (article #1 // article #2 // article #3) and talking to my physicians I felt totally comfortable getting this vaccine.
I think it’s important to make the best decision for you, your baby, and your situation so please talk to your doctor(s) about getting the vaccination while pregnant.
I know that high body temperatures can be pretty dangerous for babies so I was nervous about a potential reaction to the booster (second shot). Because of this, I made sure to pick up some Tylenol just in the event that I had the side effect of a fever. I normally take Advil when I have the occasional headache or whatever, but ibuprofen is not pregnancy-safe (this includes Motrin!) so I asked my OB to confirm that acetaminophen was okay to take while pregnant and she assured me that it is. The chances were low that I would even need to use the Tylenol, but I wanted to have the medicine on hand in the event that my temperature started to rise.
I received my booster shot on May 8th! Being pregnant during a pandemic has definitely had its pros and cons, but in this regard I’m grateful that the timing has allowed me to get vaccinated while pregnant so that my baby can be born with the antibodies she needs. Fortunately, I did not get a fever and my only side effect was some soreness / discomfort at the injection site on my arm with both shots. I bet if I hadn’t gotten the Tylenol I would have needed it. 🤣 That’s just how it goes, I guess!
Another random share, but I want to note that we upgraded our own mattress in May and it could not have happened at a more opportune time! We ordered a Tempur-Pedic LuxeBreeze (Firm) after having slept on our IKEA mattress since 2013 — it was beyond overdue for replacing. 😬 Before our mattress arrived I was experiencing some significant pain in my back, specifically in the lumbar area (assuming this was sciatic nerve related?). I was incredibly uncomfortable, even when just walking around the house — I was so close to scheduling an appointment to see a chiropractor because something was just not right (I’m guessing I was probably WAY out of alignment; something was definitely feeling “pinched” in my lower back). Fortunately, our mattress was delivered before I made the appointment and it seemed to do the trick because my back felt SO MUCH BETTER immediately after sleeping on it for one night. That memory foam does exactly what it promises — it completely cradles your body in the best way. Sometimes after I have been on my feet consistently for a few hours things will begin to tense up again, but after a few minutes of reclining on our memory foam bed the discomfort begins to dissolve. It’s amazing what a new mattress will do for you! My intention for sharing this is not to say that you should get our exact brand of mattress, but I highly recommend upgrading your bed if it’s old / uncomfortable / misshapen, you aren’t getting restful sleep, or you are experiencing back / neck discomfort. That being said, we really love our Tempur-Pedic and would highly recommend it if it’s a model you’ve been considering, but whatever new mattress works for you is definitely worth the upgrade!!
I will admit I’m a bit anxious about the unknowns regarding delivery. I’m trying my best to stay positive and just roll with whatever happens when we get to the hospital (with preferences for every potential situation, of course), but being that this will be my first experience with labor and delivery I can’t help but be nervous about what’s going to happen. I trust my team of doctors implicitly, but I think I’ll review some of our courses from TinyHood to help calm my nerves and remind me that I can do this! 💪🏼
I’ve also been trying to remember to drink my Raspberry Leaf tea to (hopefully!) strengthen my uterus to help make delivery a bit easier. I don’t care for hot tea unless the weather is super cold or if I’m feeling under-the-weather so I have been turning it into iced tea via the cold brew method (which prevents it from getting bitter! Check out this post for more info). I’ve been brewing about a pitcher’s worth and drinking from it throughout the day. It’s actually a pretty tasty tea so it should be easy to incorporate to your routine if you’re interested!
Over the past few weeks my goal has been to just try to make myself as comfortable as possible (resting, elevating feet, etc.) and finish up any last-minute preparations for Baby Girl’s arrival (getting her bassinet and my nursing station set up in our bedroom, finishing packing up our hospital bags, learning how to properly install her car seat, etc.). I’ll be sharing a “What’s In My Hospital Bag” post after we get home, mostly because I don’t know what I will and won’t end up using. While I am NOT typically an over-packer, I feel like I’m bringing a little bit more to the hospital than I normally would *just in case*, but I should have a more informed list when we get back home.
It’s crazy to me, but we’re now in the weekly OB visit time frame of this pregnancy!
Quick highlights from each appointment:
Week 36 OB appt:
no signs of pre-eclampsia, baby head-down, measuring on-track, strong heartbeat, and 1 cm dilated!
Week 37 OB appt:
no signs of pre-eclampsia, baby is still head-down and measuring on track with a strong heartbeat; since I haven’t had any contractions yet they did not perform a cervical check so no update on dilation
Week 38 OB appt:
no signs of pre-eclampsia, baby is still head-down, measuring on-track with a strong heartbeat, and I am still only 1.5 cm dilated (which is not uncommon / unexpected); I think that I have only had two(?) random Braxton Hicks contractions during the past week (but, honestly, I’m not entirely convinced that it wasn’t just painful gas… since I haven’t really felt any since); my OB also commented on how long Baby Girl is; her head is definitely down in my pelvis, but her legs / feet are still up high in my ribs! Given that tidbit, any guesses on what her birth measurements will be? lol
The “lightning crotch” sensation is terrible and while I have felt that jolt randomly throughout my third trimester it’s been especially frequent during the past few weeks as the baby grows and has less room to move around. As you can read from the graphic above (which is from The Bump app) apparently this is due to baby being a bit lower in my pelvis and putting pressure on some nerves in the area, which makes total sense. It’s a pretty terrible feeling and I hope that you don’t have to experience it like I have been… this is the first *major* discomfort I have felt since my lower back pain during Week 28 / 29 and I am OVER. IT. lol
If I have actually started experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions (on the second day of Week 38), my body has finally started to prepare and practice for baby’s arrival!
Week 39 OB appt:
no signs of pre-eclampsia, baby is still head-down, measuring on-track with a strong heartbeat; I am still only 1.5cm dilated so my dr did a membrane sweep during my exam; because of this lack of cervical expansion progress we are scheduling an appointment at the hospital for induction around the 26-28th… maybe Baby Girl will come sooner, but it’s almost kind of nice having a specific date to look forward to as the “end of the tunnel”!
Obviously, I have no idea when Baby Girl will arrive, but that may be the next time that you hear from me. My husband and I are just soaking up these last few days of just the two of us, but also eagerly waiting to meet our little girl!
Have a wonderful day, friends!