Pregnancy Feels – Here’s how I am feeling & my reflections as I get to the end of my pregnancy. (21 photos!)
Get ready for a lot of bump pics! I wrote a lot (2,960 words to be exact), so grab some tea or coffee and sit back…
Hi Everyone, I have wanted to do a “pregnancy feels” post for a while and as I write this I am right at week 38 – the time on this pregnancy is fast running out. I figured I had better write something now because I will be giving birth soon as our baby boy (#2) is due 2 weeks from now in early October.
I will be talking all about my pregnancy in this post, so if you would rather read something else or are a TMI-phobe, I invite you to check out the latest recipes on my homepage, recipes or DIY & Lifestyle pages 🙂
My pregnancy app (I use the What to Expect app since it was the one I used when I was pregnant with my daughter) says that my baby is the size of a Swiss Chard (it feels really silly typing that), his lungs are fully mature, he should be 19-22 inches long and about 6.5 pounds (all an estimate). Margo says my belly looks like a big watermelon, she enjoys commenting on how big it is…
Disclosure: Some links in this post are affiliate links which means I earn a commission if you purchase through them at no extra cost to you. I only recommend brands and products that I 100% like and enjoy using. Thank you in advance for your support!
How am I feeling? I haven’t been sick or at least not seriously sick for this pregnancy (knock on wood!) but I seem to have a little cold/sinus thing going on right now. It could be late-season allergies which I always get this time of year. It’s not enough to keep me from having a normal day but just enough to be an annoyance. So I am keeping tissues on hand, having a lot of pregnancy tea (I like Traditional Medicinals brand: Raspberry Leaf and their Organic Pregnancy Tea) Love that tea!
The neat thing about him being born in October is that it will be close to my husband, Eric’s birthday which is later in the month, closer to Halloween. It will be fun to celebrate Halloween with our new bundle of joy. A mom friend of mine gave me some Halloween costumes and newborn Thanksgiving clothes, so he will have outfits all ready to go. (related post: How We are Preparing for Baby)
It’s funny about these due dates…they are really just an estimate based on measurements from the 6 month ultrasound where they measure the anatomy (related post: Baby’s Gender Announcement) and of course the date of one’s last period.
My daughter arrived the day before her due date, at 11:45 pm – so she was early by 15 minutes! They say every pregnancy is different. I feel like I could go earlier with this baby because I am already the weight I was when I gave birth to my daughter and I am super uncomfortable but other than that I don’t have any reason to think I will give birth earlier.
All of the mom friends I know that have 2 or more children have told me that their 2nd deliveries were easier, faster and the recovery was quicker. I am hoping the same will be true for me with this baby. Fingers crossed!
Some things with this pregnancy
Stretch marks – I have recently obtained at least 2 stretch marks on my belly around my belly button. It’s funny because I remember the exact day last week and how my skin felt “relieved” after because it was stretched so tight and was hurting constantly. I have been using lotion but I know I haven’t been as diligent about it as my first pregnancy. Luckily, they don’t seem too large and I am not superficial about these things – stretch marks are just another part of life to me.
Varicose Veins – These have been the devil for me. I had them with my first pregnancy but they are horrendous with this pregnancy. I have them on both legs, full length, bulging. Gah! Think a bag of hazelnuts on the back part of my legs. I know that I look pretty young for a 35 year old (from what people tell me) but my legs look like an aged lady 🙁 I am definitely going to have to get some kind of vein treatment after I give birth – not just because I hate looking at them and they scare people (family, my daughter and strangers), they are also incredibly painful. My daughter actually said on several occasions, “Is baby brother coming out of your leg?” Yikes, I am scaring small children. Hence, I’ve been wearing pants usually when I go out and that’s been hard being prego over the Summer because I get overheated easily. And how does it feel? Think a hot knife needling into your skin, yeah, not comfortable 🙁 I have been wearing full-length compression stockings, all Summer mind you, during this pregnancy and those help a bit – I call it my “penguin suit”. Now that I am at the end, I should be wearing the compression stockings more but if I am just around the house, I don’t put them on because it’s hard to put them on and I am so large and feel unwieldy so I don’t want to wrestle with them, if I can avoid it. If you are pregnant and looking for good compression stockings, here’s the type of compression stockings that I finally settled on after trying several brands:
Clumsiness – Recently, like in the last few weeks I have been increasingly clumsy. It’s no joke though because it can be dangerous when I am this pregnant. I was walking to my car and it had rained the night before so the ground was wet, well my car was parked on an incline on the driveway and I slid on my back foot for about a foot and then managed to catch myself with my my other foot but it was scary, I had the sensation like I was going to fall and land hard on my back. I am grateful that I didn’t. On another occasion, I was bringing my daughter to preschool and on the walkway, I tripped over a crack but again, caught myself. Another mom exiting the school was clearly frightened at the sight of my pregnant self and said, “You scared me, be careful!” I have the feeling anyone who sees me is a little scared of me. It’s the belly, it’s getting huge, it’s like they are scared that I am going to go into labor any minute.
Fatigue – In the beginning of this pregnancy, the 1st trimester, I was tired. I was tired into my 2nd trimester and now that I am close to the end of this pregnancy I am tired too! I think over the Summer at the end of my 2nd and beginning of the 3rd was the best time for me and I did get a lot done.
Insomnia – My whole life I have struggled with insomnia and I have learned to manage it well (related post: How to Be a Morning Person). However, when I am pregnant, those healthy habits that I have learned get tested because when I am trying to sleep, the little baby in my tummy becomes awake and starts kicking, having hiccups, dance parties – you name it. It can be a little hard to sleep with all that going on, not to mention, I am in nesting mode, so I am thinking about things that I need to do to get ready for the baby. To cope with these challenges, I have been having my pregnancy tea before bed, maintaining my and my daughter’s bedtime rituals and makings lists to plan for the next day in my planner to kind of “dump” all my thoughts out of my mind so that I can sleep better. It’s also hard when I have to get up like 5 times in the middle of the night to use the bathroom…I just cope as best I can for now.
Breathlessness – There’s no more room in my body. I am out of breath and thank goodness it’s been cooler because when it’s hot and humid, forget about it, I am so out of breath. The baby has noticeably been dropping down into birth position and I am still out of breath, oh well, within 2 weeks (fingers crossed) I should get my lungs back.
My Personality – I am more mellow at present but throughout this pregnancy, I have become more assertive and forthright about anything and everything. My OBGYN said that the baby boy hormones could be a contributing factor. If I see something that isn’t right, I call it out. I am more confrontational. I hope this personality change doesn’t go away at the end of this pregnancy because it’s been a positive change for me.
Cravings – In the 1st trimester I craved all the weird sour stuff like pickles and sour candy. Like every pickled food: beets, sauerkraut, pickles tomatoes and of course, regular pickles. Having all these cravings has been like a superpower as a food blogger because I have to act on them and make the food. It’s made me start a garden over the Summer, which led to several garden-inspired recipes.
The Neat Freak – I want to tell you a little thing about me and cleaning, I don’t “love” cleaning but I like being in a clean, clutter-free environment because it gives me mental clarity. I am either all on top of it or I let things go until I can’t ignore it anymore. Well, right now, I am in “all on top of it” mode which is typical right before a baby is due, being in nesting mode. I want to make sure things are clean in the house before the baby gets here. I tackle one thing at a time because I physically can’t do everything at once but to give you an example, last week, I scrubbed my bathroom floor with a brush, by hand, twice in a row because the first time it wasn’t clean enough. I’ve also been purging stuff whenever I can, for example, a few days ago I cleaned my daughter’s room because it was overflowing in toys. (related post: Minimalism for Us)
The Dogs – Oh the dogs, our forgotten, other children – no, I am just being dramatic, they are well fed and attended to. I notice though that they are acting up a little more than usual. They act funny when I am pregnant, for example, they bark at anything, more than usual which kinda drives me nuts because I feel like I need serenity more than ever. They usually stay in the yard when I let them out but I need to walk them on leashes because this past week they ran over to our neighbors twice.
1st Pregnancy vs. the REST
I recently saw this funny video, “1st Pregnancy vs. the REST” from Esther Anderson of the popular blog Story Of This Life. Many of the points in the video rang true with me.
Simplifying – Everything
I saved a bin of maternity clothes from my daughter’s pregnancy. This time I experienced pregnancy in the Spring and Summer months, so I did have to buy a few T-shirts and yoga pants. Other than that, I tried not to buy too much because the amount of time that one is pregnant is so temporary, I just didn’t see the point. I’ve just been wearing the same things over and over again. I do at least a load of laundry everyday so it’s been fine and I don’t think anyone notices or cares that I wear the same things over and over again. If I worked at a job outside the house, there would be more pressure to have different outfits but since I work from home I just don’t have that kind of situation. When I did buy some maternity clothes for this pregnancy, I shopped at Target and they would often have a bunch of stuff on sale. I got my yoga pants from the active wear section at Target. I also got a active wear (a yoga hoodie and yoga pants) from Marshall’s. Yeah, I am the type of person who wears yoga clothes but doesn’t regularly go to yoga classes (at least right now – do YouTube yoga tutorials count?).
Extra Curricular Activities
I am simplifying my schedule so I can focus on my growing family and of course the blog. I had to recently cut out monthly volunteering that I do for my township which I’ve been doing since 2014, shortly after we moved to this area. I really wrestled with letting go of that for months but in the end I had to because I had to free up “mental bandwidth.” I’ve also been cutting back on FB groups that I am in and just not over committing myself schedule-wise which was a common mistake that I used to make. We all have our limits and I feel that I just do better, remain more focused and get more done when I have a more simplified schedule.
I’ve been trying to take better care of myself this pregnancy. Resting, grooming, walking, having tea – whatever it might be – making self care a priority during pregnancy is so important. I have been way better at it this pregnancy vs. my previous pregnancies. I even found a 7 chemical free nail polish, Ella + Mila, that I am okay using during my pregnancy (see below photo).
I recently got a haircut Mid-August (see below photo) at Bumble and Bumble (NYC downtown) and it was so worth it. It had been awhile since I had a haircut that gave me a major change. I went to Nison (he did my hair 2004-2005 when I used to live in NYC). I believe doing whatever you can to pamper yourself during pregnancy is worthwhile.
For most of this pregnancy, I’ve been wearing a FitBit to track my steps and that has really helped me guard against getting too sedentary.
Enough about me…let’s talk about this guy:
Eric has been my anchor (coincidentally, he actually has an anchor tattoo that he’s had for years) since we have been together and married. It seems like all the things that we have been through bring us closer together and this pregnancy is no exception. I would also say the kitchen renovation that we have done (I guess we are not done yet with it) during these past several months has also been quite a bonding experience.
Here are some photos from our 6th wedding anniversary date we celebrated July 16th, 2017 below:
Eric has been stepping up, doing all the grocery shopping for September (see related post: Grocery Budget Experiment), and hanging out with Margo when he gets home from work so I can rest; they’ve been doing things like bike riding, Lego building or just stroller walks. I am so grateful for those breaks during this time. I know they are bonding and I get a much needed break.
I am also grateful for all my mom friends and all the play dates over these past few months. Getting their advice on having a 2nd child has been supportive and insightful.
I am grateful for our French cousin, Lucile, who stayed with us for 3 months this Summer. She helped with the blog and with Margo during her stay. I have several travel-related posts yet to post on the blog about our adventures with Lucile as we showed her different places in the states before she went back to France. I am sure I will catch up on those after the baby is born.
I am grateful for any other family members that have been around the help out during this time as well. We also had some nice visits with my side of family over the Summer.
I will end on a note of gratitude for this Pregnancy Feels post because that feels right; thank you for reading and I look forward to letting you all know how the next couple weeks turn out!
Best Wishes, Sara