pregnancy, Third Trimester, Weeklies

Thirty-four Weeks Pregnant

2009/365/111 Fresh Stuff

More milestones this week! This week, we actually made our first purchase for the baby. We bought our travel system (car seat and stroller) and an extra car seat base. Technically, since we have a bassinet and a lot of clothes from friends, this was the only thing that it was absolutely crucial for us to buy before the baby came (they don’t let you take the baby home without a proper car seat). We also made a trip to Ikea to get a little furniture for the baby. We’re not doing a full nursery right away because the baby will be sleeping in our room for the first several months, at least, but we do need something to serve as both storage and a changing surface, and I wanted to get a chair to use for nursing upstairs.

We opted for a nice padded wing chair with an ottoman in a rather loud floral design because it felt nicer to sit on than the sleeker, less expensive chair we initially had thought we’d buy. Luckily, the wing chair is not much larger than the sleeker chair, and it already fits nicely into the corner of our room. Interestingly enough, Ikea even had a staged bedroom with a crib next to a queen-sized bed, so that was a nice way to see how our room might look later on. Even more fortunately, we were able to find a friend to help us move the boxes in from the car, as I realized I couldn’t help Dan get things inside and upstairs.

Thirty-four weeks is making things start to seem a lot more real. I’m finishing up my Hypnobabies self-study course this week and entering “maintenance mode.” We have basically everything we need for the first few weeks of baby. Over the next week, I’m going to order what I want to get for my hospital bag and pack that next weekend. I don’t feel frantic or like “we’re not ready,” at least logistically. But it’s a little intimidating to think about how much our life is going to change in not too long. Technically, the baby could come in three weeks and not be considered that early.

How I Feel:

I’m mostly just getting bigger and dealing with all the repercussions of that. I’m having a little more back pain, and noticing that I need to support myself more consistently when I sleep. I’m definitely sleeping worse again, and part of that is just because it’s getting harder to get and stay comfortable while I sleep. My belly definitively gets in the way now when I’m trying to put on leggings, tights, or shoes. And I’m finding it harder and harder to bend over to reach things on the floor. Even the cat has learned that she needs to come up on the stairs or on a table if she wants pets from me.

This week was also my last week of barre classes. I’m actually still enjoying the classes themselves, but getting out of the house that early to make it to a 7am class has gotten harder. Things just take me longer. And sleeping poorly means that 5:30am feels a bit more difficult every time I need to get up. So I decided to cancel my gym membership for November instead of trying to go through November. But I still want to keep up my fitness as much as I can, so I’ve looked up some prenatal Pilates and barre workouts on YouTube to see if I can do a little something on the days I would normally go to barre. And, of course, I want to get back into the habit of doing my yoga.

Finally, I’ve managed to do something awful to my left shoulder. After suffering from a migraine with aura earlier this week (the doctor was unconcerned and it faded in about 24 hours), I was on high alert for potentially worrying symptoms, so at least I managed to injure my left shoulder, rather than the right, which could be mistaken for a serious issue. I believe it was a delayed soreness from carrying my gym back on Wednesday, so hopefully that will not be a problem again. After one sleepless night unable to get comfortable with my aching shoulder, I hope it’s as on the mend as it seems to be.

Current Cravings: Korean food, chocolate pudding

Exercise: 3.1 average miles/day walking, barre twice, yoga once

Fruit/Vegetable Comparison: Butternut squash

 

This Week’s Posts:

Hypnobabies Self-Study Course: Week Five Recap

Pregnancy Cravings: Tea and Cake

 

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Recipes

Pregnancy Cravings: Tea and Cake

This weekend I had my in-laws and my mother over for tea after a lunch to make up for the fact that they couldn’t come to my baby shower. I wanted to do something a little special, and I’ve been craving an autumn-spiced cake, so I thought I’d make a cake. No sooner had I had this thought, than I received an email from the Nourished Kitchen with this beautiful recipe for a maple-sweetened harvest cake with a maple frosting. Unfortunately, I don’t have an electric mixer, so making a Swiss meringue buttercream was out of the question. I discussed it a bit with Jenny on social media and decided that the best course would be to make a whipped maple cream cheese frosting.

Because my mother-in-law and my mother are both careful about caffeine intake, and my mother-in-law loves the spices from masala chai, I thought I’d make a home-blended spice tea to go with the cake. The afternoon was lovely and everyone enjoyed the cake. In fact, as soon as my in-laws left, my mother-in-law text me asking for the recipes for both the tea and the cake. While I gave her a general idea of how I made both, I thought I’d post the official recipes, with my substitutions and alterations for the Nourished Kitchen recipe, for posterity.

Harvest Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

(based on this recipe from the Nourished Kitchen)

For the cake:

1-1/4 cup of einkorn all-purpose flour

1 Tbsp. ground Ceylon cinnamon

2 tsp. ground ginger

1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg

1/2 tsp. allspice

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

2 eggs

2 Tbsp. melted butter or ghee

3/4 cup maple sugar (or 1/2 cup maple sugar and 1/4 cup brown sugar, if you run out of maple sugar like I did)

6 oz. container of plain yogurt

4 oz. grated butternut squash

2 oz. grated apple

2 oz. grated pear

For the frosting:

8 oz. cream cheese, softened

4 oz. unsalted butter, softened

1/4 cup of dark maple syrup

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8″ square pan and line it with parchment.
  2. Whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda and powder, and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and maple sugar until light and fluffy, then stream in the melted butter slowly, whisking constantly to emulsify.
  4. Add the flour mixture in thirds and the yogurt in halves, alternating and stirring after each addition. Fold in the grated fruit and veggie.
  5. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 35 minutes, or until a cake test comes out clean.
  6. Cool completely, and then frost.
  7. To prepare the frosting, beat together the butter and cream cheese until fluffy, then add the maple syrup a little at a time, beating until combined and fluffy. If you aren’t using it right away, store in a covered container in the fridge, and let stand at room temperature for half an hour and beat again until fluffy before using.

Masala Spice Tea:

2 Ceylon cinnamon sticks

6-8 cardamom pods, crushed

8-12 allspice berries, crushed

1.5″ piece of fresh ginger, sliced

3-4 pieces of fresh orange peel

Instructions:

  1. Crush the cardamom and allspice, just until cracked and the pods inside the cardamom are exposed. Break up the cinnamon.
  2. Add spices and peel to a saucepan and add 4 cups of water.
  3. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then cover and steep for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Strain into a teapot and serve with honey.
pregnancy, Third Trimester, Weeklies

Thirty-three Weeks Pregnant

Celery: Septoria apii (late blight)

Still going, moving through the home stretch. The baby shower is done and we’re moving into the final months of the pregnancy. This week was my second-to-last week of barre classes, as I’ve decided to cancel my gym membership starting in November. I’m still enjoying classes, but I’m finding it harder to get out of the house early enough and the extra 10-15 minutes of walking with a heavy gym bag is getting to be a bit much.

This week was also Dan’s birthday. We had a pretty low-key evening, but I didn’t want the day to go completely unrecognized (especially since right around this time last year wasn’t so great for us). So I made tacos (his favorite dinner) and got him a coffee siphon that he’d been eyeing. He’s excited to try it out, but we had a bit of an eventful weekend and didn’t have time to go out and get fuel for it.

His parents and family friend visited this week because they weren’t able to make it to the shower last weekend. We had a lovely lunch with them at a local restaurant, and then came back to our house for tea and cake. I actually made a delicious Harvest Cake, based on a recipe from Nourished Kitchen, along with decaf Earl Grey and a home-blended spice tea. I’ll probably share my recipes for the spice tea and cake later this week, so stay tuned.

How I Feel:

I’m definitely starting to feel “big.” I’m starting to feel the baby interfering with various organs, particularly my lungs. When I called my mother earlier, she was surprised to hear me huffing and puffing a bit on a relatively easy walk to work. And I had a talk with the doctor at my appointment this week about my asthma, since pregnancy can make that worse. So far, I haven’t even needed to use my regular inhaler, but I’ve definitely started keeping it with me.

My sleeping patterns haven’t really improved, though I’ve tried to be better about getting into bed earlier at least. I still wake up either with hip pain from sleeping on my side, or just from dry sinuses or general hormones. I usually wake up around 4 or 5, which makes it difficult to get back to sleep in time to actually get more sleep before my alarm goes off around 5:30 or 6.

Finally, I’ve continued to be remiss in my yoga practice, mostly because I tend to prioritize my self-hypnosis practice over yoga when I have down time. But I need to get back into the habit of working out on my own for when I stop going to barre next month.

Current Cravings: Chocolate pudding, pizza

Exercise: 2.8 average miles/day walking, barre twice, yoga once

Fruit/Vegetable Comparison: Celery

Posts This Week:

Hypnobabies Self-Study Course: Week Four Recap

Baby Shower Recap!

[Image source]

Third Trimester, Weeklies

Thirty-two Weeks Pregnant

The First Yellow Squash is Tempting Me

Less than two months until my “due” date and it’s been quite a week. Today is my baby shower, so I’ve spent a fair amount of this week getting emails from Babylist that my guests are doing some last-minute shopping (hey, why do you think I put so much stuff from Amazon on my registry?) and sneaking a peek at what’s being bought. I’m excited for the shower later today, and I’ll definitely share a recap of that in its own post.

We also had an informational session with a pediatrician so we could decide if we wanted to name them as our preferred pediatrician and finally pre-register for our birth at the hospital. I really liked the group session atmosphere rather than having a private appointment because I could take advantage of all the other parents asking questions rather than feeling on the spot to ask them myself.

So I spent the rest of the week taking care of more logistics, registering at the hospital and checking on insurance stuff. Glamorous stuff. But next week should be more fun, since I’m finally going to start shopping for myself once the shower is done!

Oh, and I found a box of Count Chocula when I went to Target for some necessities.

How I’m Feeling:

I continue to get bigger. I continue to feel the baby trying to bust out of my belly directly. I actually thought I had a pulled ab muscle or something because I had this little uncomfortable knot in the center of my belly right above my navel that would come and go. And then I realized it moved. Like, on its own. So I’m pretty sure it’s a foot (it’s about the right size and I know the baby was head-down at my 30-week scan). So that was fun. It also hurts to laugh too hard, which I guess is a good thing to know because it means I’ve laughed a lot this week?

My indigestion continues to get worse day by day, but I’m learning how to deal with it. And I’m working on keeping myself full of small, healthy snacks, and plenty of water.

I also decided that this month would be my last month at the gym. I’m finding it harder and harder to get up for 7am weekday classes and I don’t have the motivation to go downtown on the weekends. The classes themselves still feel great, but I’m noticing a waning of energy as it takes more effort to just carry 30 extra pounds around with me every day. So I’ve cancelled my gym membership and I’m going to try to find some prenatal pilates exercises to supplement my yoga and walking at home.

Basically, I’m starting to feel more of the nagging complaints — soreness in my hips, shortness of breath, heartburn, etc. — that will probably continue to creep up for the rest of my pregnancy, but all in all, I’m doing pretty well. I’ve actually realized that I’m having a pretty easy pregnancy, now that my nausea is pretty much gone.

Current Cravings: chocolate cake/pudding, a bagel with cream cheese

Exercise: 2.9 average miles/day walking, barre once

Fruit/Vegetable Comparison: Summer squash

Other Posts This Week:

Hypnobabies Self-Study Course: Week Three Recap

Learning to Love My Body

[Image Source]

pregnancy, Third Trimester, Weeklies

Thirty-one Weeks Pregnant

Random observation this week: The most unexpected people smile at me when I’m on the street now. Not like a creepy, hitting-on-you smile, but a “seeing you made me feel happy” kind of smile. It’s kind of strange, but oddly nice. I don’t get a lot of smiles from strangers, probably because I have a fairly serious resting face, and it’s nice to notice a side effect of pregnancy on my interactions with strangers that isn’t about them disrespecting boundaries.

Well, I started out this week by getting another bad cold. Sunday was a very not-fun day and I was particularly glad I’d gotten the shopping done the day before. Monday, I stayed home, even though I didn’t have a holiday like my husband. Tuesday, I had to go back to normal life. Tuesday, Dan also came down with the same cold, so it feels like we spent most of the week collectively recovering from the cold. And then Thursday, I had my 30-week growth ultrasound. I was a little nervous because this is often the first point at which doctors want to point out that your baby is trending big.

Baby is pretty much right on track, measuring about average in estimated weight, though with a rather large head. And baby has hair! It was the first thing the ultrasound tech said when she started the scan. Also, 3D ultrasound is kind of cool. Oh, and since they’re estimating the weight of the baby, I’ve started thinking about the baby’s size in terms of fractions of our cat’s weight. Baby is currently about 40% of our cat’s weight.

Finally, the big news of the week is that we finally got some autumn weather! After complaining about the persistence of summer on Tea Leaves and Tweed and having a truly dismal day on Thursday, the weather cooled off considerably on Friday and Saturday it was cool enough for a lovely walk around the lake in the gorgeous weather. I’m hoping this makes it easier to do my walking as I move away from going to the gym as much (or at all).

How I’m Feeling:

Well, I was sick Sunday and Monday, and recovering Tuesday. So I didn’t feel great. But other than having a cold, I’ve been feeling okay. My belly continues to grow and I’m noticing still more indigestion/heartburn. I actually had to take a Tums in the middle of the day the other day!

I’m also noticing that my belly is putting stress on my back more when I walk. I bought a support belt and wore it once to walk to work, but I think I’m going to have to make that a more regular occurrence if I’m going to keep walking.

I’ve also had more trouble sleeping this week for some reason. Part of it is that I’m noticing more stress on my hip bones while sleeping on my side, which wakes me up in the middle of the night, but I’m also just finding myself waking up between 4 and 4:30 in the morning and being unable to fall back asleep… until about 6 when I need to get up for work anyway. I actually averaged a whole hour less of sleep per night this week than the night before. Consequently, I’ve developed a subtle twitch in one of my eyes, so I’m striving to mend my sleep habits before I notice too many more adverse effects.

Current Cravings: a bagel with cream cheese (seriously, I stopped at a Dunkin’ Donuts and got a bagel with cream cheese on my way home the other day because I just could not stop thinking about it)

Exercise: 2.1 average miles/day walking, barre once, yoga once

Fruit/Vegetable Comparison: a bunch of asparagus (or nearly half a cat)

Other Posts This Week:

Hypnobabies Self-Study Course: Week Two Recap

Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month

Third Trimester, Weeklies

Thirty Weeks Pregnant

Garden gnome (macro)

This is where it’s really started feeling like the home stretch for me. I mean, yes, I entered the third trimester a couple weeks ago, but now I’m in the thirties. I have ten more weeks until I’m considered “due.” Seven more weeks until baby is officially full-term and could come any day. Five more weeks until my sources suggest having your hospital bag packed and ready to go. Two more weeks until my baby shower.

Um, so is it time to freak out now?

Honestly, though, I definitely think the calming effect of my Hypnobabies practice has really helped me overcome some of my anxiety about the actual birthing part. For most of my pregnancy, I pointedly avoided reading much of anything about the actual process of childbirth. My friends and family have been surprisingly great about not sharing unsolicited horror stories about their own experiences, and I’ve let Dan be the one to read up on childbirth practices in The Birth Partner (seriously, I accidentally read over his shoulder once and managed to catch a glimpse of a mildly terrifying picture of a medical intervention). I joke that he knows more about birth than I do, although that’s quickly changing.

I’m starting week three of my Hypnobabies home study course, which is all about interventions in childbirth. But of course, I’ll share my weekly recap of week two later this week. The practice has ramped up a bit, and I’m finding that I need to make a concerted effort to fit my hypnosis practice in every day. But making that time has led me to get a little creative. I’ve done hypnosis practice in my chair at work and I’m discovering that listening to my affirmations on Metro makes my commute a little more enjoyable.

Oh yeah, and I got another cold this week. It started as a sore throat Wednesday morning, which got a little worse on Thursday, and then seemed to get better on Friday. Saturday, I thought I was out of the woods… until about 5:30pm when I was hit with congestion, fatigue, and just general ickiness. Thankfully, I have my full arsenal of home remedies available to me this time, so I’ve been rinsing with my neti pot and drinking lots of hot tea with lemon and honey. I’ll probably make some soup for lunch, too.

How I Feel:

So, other than the cold, I’m feeling pretty good. I came to the realization that some of my typical weekend issues seem to stem from not eating enough, particularly early in the day. Part of my Hypnobabies week two assignments was to track my food intake, and I realized that I really do eat most of my calories before noon on a normal day now, so when I wake up late and skip having first breakfast early, it kind of cascades into an all-around bad day. So this weekend, I’ve tried to make more of an effort to eat early and often.

As I mentioned, I have a cold, which is tough because the congestion and headache-y-ness can make me feel less like eating. Soup helps, and I also decided to experiment making homemade gelatin desserts with fruit juices instead of sugar, which has been lovely to nibble on when I’m hungry but don’t feel like eating.

Probably because I was getting sick most of the week, I’ve been feeling a bit fatigued. My walking is a bit low, but I still walk most days. And I’ve been slacking off on yoga. The only yoga I did this week was my regular Tuesday afternoon class at work. I’m also considering whether October will be my last month of barre classes (I would need to decide mid-month if I want to cancel my membership at the beginning of November, or go one more month). I’m definitely noticing the effect of carrying my ever-growing belly around.

Oh, and it seems like I passed my one-hour glucose challenge. I’ve only looked at my lab results online, but I have an appointment with the doctor later this week to confirm. That’s a relief (gestational diabetes can happen to anyone and the fact that I’m slim and active has no bearing on that, and having it means a lot more doctors’ appointments and worry about risks). For now, it mostly means that I’m trying to focus on moving into the final stage of my pregnancy!

Current Cravings: Eggs and avocados (always), not much else, honestly

Exercise: 2.7 average miles/day walking, barre twice, yoga once

Fruit/Veggie Comparison: Zucchini again, since I switched apps mid-stream, but I like this website’s comparison to a garden gnome.

Other Posts This Week:

Hypnobabies Self-Study Course: Week One Recap

Why I (Mostly) Didn’t Do Cutesy Announcements for My Pregnancy

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Third Trimester, Weeklies

Twenty-nine Weeks Pregnant

This was less of a good week, at least at the start. It started out great, with a trip on Sunday to the Maryland Renaissance Faire, where I was a bit tired (and soggy, since it rained), but generally felt good. And I got to eat lots of my favorite foods, like Scotch eggs and funnel cake. But a few hours after we got home, I majorly crashed, and kind of didn’t fully recover for a couple days. It came to a head on Wednesday, but I managed to wake up Thursday feeling better.

…just in time for my gestational diabetes glucose screening, yay! I had my one-hour test this week, along with my TDaP shot and blood draw for iron levels, plus another appointment with the doctor. I was surprised that the glucose test drink wasn’t actually that bad. I actually finished it five minutes early (I was supposed to finish it 30 minutes before my appointment) because I found it easier to drink quickly than I expected. I did put it in the freezer for 15 minutes before we left for the doctor (I had to drink it about halfway between my house and the doctor because of how far away we live in rush hour traffic), so it was very cold, and I brought a straw. But it wasn’t so bad. I did get a little sleepy right around the time they came to take blood, and then I wanted some carbs afterwards because I had a low-carb breakfast (eggs, duh).

I also started my Hypnobabies home study program this week, which I talked a little about earlier this week. I’ll give a full recap of the first week in a couple days, but I definitely found the meditations and affirmations relaxing. I think I missed the structured relaxation that I had when I was doing the Circle + Bloom program before I conceived.

How I Feel:

So, like I said, this week was not a great week. When I got up Sunday to make dinner after Renn Faire, I realized I was feeling really dizzy. I didn’t think it was possible that I could be hungry, after all I ate at Faire, but a little soda and a cookie helped a bit. I think I mostly needed to rest, although I was a bit draggy on Monday and Tuesday as well. Wednesday I opted to skip morning barre, and then, that afternoon, I had my first extended bout of Braxton Hicks contractions. These were a lot more crampy than I’ve experienced before, and were starting to get a little more rhythmic, which freaked me out.

But I was pretty sure I wasn’t actually in labor, and I didn’t want to go to the hospital for a false alarm. So I tried to time them while I was metroing home, and later when I was making dinner. But every time I got out my phone, they calmed down. Eventually, I finished making dinner and sat down with a cup of herbal tea, and they went away entirely. I woke up Thursday feeling better than I had all week, actually. And when I talked to the doctor, she seemed relatively unconcerned.

Other than that, I’ve mostly just felt tired, but still motivated enough to cook most nights, at least with Dan’s help. Which is good because he’s gone gluten-free for a few weeks to see if it helps his stomach issues, and that makes it harder for us to rely on takeout for dinner. And, hey, it can’t be bad for me to be eating a bit healthier as we cook more of our own dinners!

Current Cravings: Eggs and avocado, sauerkraut and pickles, French toast

Exercise: X miles/day average walking, barre once

Fruit/Vegetable Comparison: Acorn squash