Officially In the Third Trimester Now! (+ Progress on Pregnancy Goals)

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Well, I’ve made it folks—

I’m officially in the third trimester of this pregnancy, and we are officially feeling a bit, well, large.

And, uh, very pregnant.

The first part of this pregnancy seemed to fly by, so that when we reached our gender ultrasound at about halfway through, I could scarcely believe we were already at that point.

Then the 7 weeks since the halfway mark have seemed to pass excruciatingly slow, with plenty of new(er) pregnancy symptoms thrown in the mix, as well as a decent number of pounds rounding out my belly.

I’m hoping that the third trimester passes by at a speed somewhere in between the too-fast and the too-slow I’ve already experienced.

But isn’t that how we’d always like to experience time?

Anyway, I thought I’d do a quick little update on how I’m doing with the pregnancy goals I outlined in this post, and then I wanted to share a few thoughts in general.

You know, for posterity’s sake.

So, the goals:

1) Be much more careful about my weight gain. Specifically, exercise throughout the pregnancy.

  • This was by far the most important goal to me, as I really, REALLY didn’t want a repeat of what happened last time (when I gained 50 pounds while pregnant with my daughter and had to work extremely hard to get it all off again). Luckily, I HAVE made marked progress on this front, as I have currently gained 20 pounds this pregnancy (and at this same point in the pregnancy with my daughter, I’d gained 30). I will probably never be one of those women who gains the minimum-recommended 25 pounds, but I’m thinking I’ll be sitting somewhere between 30-35 pounds total this pregnancy, which I’d be thrilled with. If I’d only gained that much with Raven, I would have lost it all in the first two and a half months or so.
  • I mostly credit my successes so far with keeping my weight lower to two things: 1) we haven’t been going out to eat NEARLY as much as we went out when I was pregnant the first time, and 2) I have, indeed, kept exercising, just like I wanted. Since the beginning of this pregnancy, I’ve done two 60-minute relatively intense dance aerobics classes per week, with an occasional third weekly class thrown in when I can. Also, when the weather has allowed, we’ve been taking long(ish) walks as a family after dinner, and there have even been a few times I’ve done some basic weight lifting (which has always been hard for me to do on my own). All in all, I feel like I’ve kept up my aerobic capacity surprisingly well, and though I’m now at the point I have to modify many strength-training moves (like ab twists or push-ups), I don’t have to modify too much of the cardio (at least not yet).
  • As of now, I’m planning on keeping up my current exercise regime as long as I can, and I hope to even be able to fit that third class regularly in (if I can, anyway—it all depends on where Matt’s church calling with the Scouts ends up going). If I do reach a point that I feel like the aerobics classes are too much, I’ll just go to daily long walks by that point, since it will be nice enough weather outside that I’ll be able to.

2) Allow myself to take medications as needed.

  • During my first pregnancy, I basically refused to take almost any medication for anything (even Tylenol), even though my doctor offered me pregnancy-approved medications for both the sleep and nausea problems I had that first pregnancy. This time around, I happily took the pills to help me with my morning sickness (which was quite a bit better as a result), and I basically HAD to take Tylenol around the clock for several weeks because I’ve now gotten the flu TWICE this season (for over two weeks each time), despite getting my flu shot way back in October. Boo.
  • Thanks to my daily hypnobirthing/meditation practice, I’ve luckily been sleeping pretty well, so no sleep aids have been necessary. If I find that changes, however, I’ll be fine taking something occasionally for it.

3) Take a lot more pictures of myself throughout the pregnancy.

  • I was so self-conscious after a certain point in my first pregnancy that I basically didn’t allow any pictures to be taken of me if I could help it, something I definitely regret now. It does help that I’ve kept my weight down this time (so I’m not dreading the weekly pictures, at least not yet), but I’m already so glad I’ve kept up this tradition. Though I’ve taken a daily picture of Raven since she was born, it’s all too easy to forget to put myself in front of the camera on a regular basis, so this current ritual we have of taking a picture every Sunday after church is a great thing—in fact, it’s something I want to do AFTER the baby comes, too.
  • Another good benefit of taking weekly pictures of myself pregnant is that it’s making me a bit more aware of angles and poses that work with maternity shots. As someone who does photography on the side, you can never have too much experience with posing subjects and finding flattering angles, so having a lot of experience with this being on the other side of the camera is going to help me on future maternity shoots, for sure.

Other General Thoughts

  • I keep wondering if the supposed “nesting instinct” will ever kick in for me. When it didn’t my first time, I blamed it on the fact that I was still working full-time and completely exhausted. Nowadays, I’d just rather spend my time reading, ha ha. But I guess there’s still time left, so I guess there’s still hope. (It would seriously be great if I all of a sudden got that motivation to work on house projects and such, since I rationally know those things will be much more difficult AFTER the baby comes, yet that still doesn’t change the fact that I have no motivation to do those things NOW).
  • An interesting (yet frustrating) thing I’ve noticed this pregnancy is that, while I don’t usually compare my body too much to other women’s when I’m NOT pregnant, I’m kind of terrible at doing it when I am. I think part of it is because this time, since I’ve been exercising more, I expected my belly to be smaller, and it just hasn’t been. (It also doesn’t help that all the other pregnant women at the gym I go to all seem to be smaller than me, even though they’re all further along than I am).
    • This self-consciousness has been made worse by the fact that I’m already getting comments from people about how large I’m getting, or how I don’t look like I could possibly have 3 months left in me, or how the baby I’m carrying must be a big one. I do remember that I was sensitive to these kinds of comments last time, but I seem especially so now, and I think it’s actually BECAUSE I’m exercising and watching my weight a lot more but then STILL getting them.
      • Side note: I’m sure a lot of this self-consciousness also comes from the fact that people usually DON’T make comments EVER about my weight to me (unless it’s to say I’ve lost some or that they’ve noticed I’m looking more trim or something), so I don’t know what it is about pregnancy that makes people think it’s okay to make very pointed comments about my size/weight/shape.
  • However, I have come to a resolution within myself that I just need to not let it bug me. I’m sure my husband is sick of hearing me worry aloud about my weight gain all the time (and about the size of my belly compared to other women’s), and I don’t want all this negativity to be the constant refrain of the last trimester, especially since I know the comments will only come MORE frequently near the end, not less. So I’m trying to just embrace the fact that I’m super fortunate because I’m able to be pregnant at all (which I do, daily, feel gratitude for–I still haven’t forgotten the hurt of miscarrying a baby or of not being able to get pregnant in the time period I wanted to) and am trying to consciously feel wonder about what my body can do, rather than feeling bad because my pregnancy looks different than someone else’s.
    • In a silly way, it reminded me of something I commented on in this post about the chores I hate doing–which is basically that I can complain every day for the rest of my life that I have to do the dishes, or I can just decide today that it’s something that’s going to happen daily for the rest of my life and never complain again. So, I’ve decided that I’m going to try really, REALLY hard the next 3 months to just not complain or worry or moan about it anymore (though that will be easier said than done, as it’s sadly become almost a daily habit).
  • This week I have my gestational diabetes test, and I’m a little nervous. True, I’m not nearly as nervous as I was when I took it with my first pregnancy, but because I WAS borderline last time, I’m a little anxious about what the results will be.
    • This also marks the appointment where I start going from a doctor’s appointment every 4 weeks to now having one every 2. Woot woot! We’re approaching the finish line!
  • People have asked me what I’m doing to prep for the second baby, and the honest answer is (other than the hypnobirthing prep I’m doing for the actual delivery itself)—-absolutely nothing. At least not yet. I will get our infant car seat out of storage soonish, and I also need to get the bins of newborn boy clothes that my sister is giving me, but other than that, I don’t really feel like there’s too much that NEEDS to be done. The baby will be sleeping in our room for the first several months and will be sharing a room with Raven after that, so I’m not doing a “nursery” or anything. I guess I probably should pick up some newborn diapers in a month or two, but I’m not too fussed. (I guess that’s one of the beautiful things about this not being my first pregnancy/kid—I’m waaaaaay more laidback about everything.)
  • We’re still not telling people the baby’s name until he’s here, but I’ll give you a hint—it starts with an M, which means that the baby’s initials will be MM. So, in honor of that, I invite you all to send us both M&M’s as part of any congratulatory gifts you may want to give us. Please and thank you.

Okay, I think that’s surely got to be everything. Man, I need a nap!