pregnancy, Third Trimester, Weeklies

Thirty-nine Weeks Pregnant

I’m closing in on my due date now! This week, I decided to start trying to keep a daily journal, since I’ll want to try to document as much as I can when the baby comes. I’ve struggled at keeping a journal in the past, so we’ll see how this goes. So far, I’ve managed to journal each night before going to bed, so that’s a good start.

One thing I realized this week was just how variable my physical ability level is from day to day. On Sunday, I found myself absolutely physically wiped out after our normal weekly walk to and from the local coffee shop and ended up spending a large portion of the day in bed. Later that night, I woke up to turn over in bed, and had a thought about how, for most of my adult life, I’ve kind of treated my physical status as a kind of n=1 experiment, where I can largely figure out what is or isn’t making me feel a certain way. But in pregnancy, sometimes I just feel crappy and it’s not anything I’ve done or didn’t do. I can eat healthfully and exercise moderately and stretch myself out, but ultimately sometimes I just feel awful and the only reason is, well, I’m pregnant.

I’ve also been thinking a lot about the transition to being “a mother.” After re-reading Like a Mother, which I reviewed on Tuesday, I realized that birth is an ordeal that acts like a rite of passage and, while I will bring my past self with me, I will be forever changed by it. So I’ve started to think about becoming A Mother. To that end, I’ve decided to branch off from my main blogging and social media accounts and actually created an Instagram and a Facebook page specific to this blog. I’ll update my “About” page to reflect that contact information. But definitely check out my Instagram. The Facebook page currently just contains reposts of my Instagram posts, so if you’re not on Instagram, you can follow the Facebook page to see more updates on Facebook.

At my Thursday morning prenatal appointment, I found out that I’ve officially gained 40 lbs. this pregnancy, so I’m definitely over the recommended weight gain. It’s interesting because I don’t look like I’m gaining weight excessively, and I’m not swelling or retaining fluid much, so I don’t really know where the weight is going. Honestly, I’m surprised I’m mostly as unconcerned as I am, but the doctor hasn’t commented on it, my blood pressure looks good, and I feel generally healthy. So I’ll definitely be talking about my weight gain and how that carries on into the postpartum period later on.

Speaking of the postpartum period, I picked up a new book called The First Forty Days about self-care (and care from other people) during the postpartum period. It’s really interesting because it stresses the importance of proper nutrition and rest in the postpartum period, which includes resting from feeling obligated to host visitors in your house. Basically, it instructs new mothers not to feel pressured to have visitors that are only there to have baby time and not to support the new parents. That said, even a book on postpartum self-care assumes the partner will be going back to work within two weeks after the birth, so I’m hoping I have an easier time with Dan off for a bit longer.

How I’m Feeling:

As always, I’m just noticing the gradual ramping up of the nagging complaints of pregnancy. My hips are still sore, my back occasionally hurts, my belly tightened with Braxton Hicks contractions sometimes. I’m tired a lot. But since it’s been ramping up gradually, I don’t usually have days that are bad enough to just have to stay home. Sunday was a surprise because usually once I get going, I’m okay for the day. I’m still working, and even though I increasingly don’t want to get out of bed or face my walk from the metro to work, once I’m on my walk, it’s not so bad. Like I said earlier, sometimes I feel crappier than others, but that’s just pregnancy. I’m kind of at the point where there’s not a whole lot I can do besides generally take care of myself.

On Wednesday in the early morning, I had a bout of really uncomfortable Braxton Hicks that kept me up for a couple hours. Honestly, even after I got some more sleep, I woke up still feeling crampy. I was still pretty sure it wasn’t the real thing, but I ended up working from home, just in case. But they eventually settled down (showering helped). Also, I had another prenatal checkup on Thursday that confirmed that they weren’t doing anything; I’m still not showing any signs that the baby is coming soon.

Of course, then on Thursday night/Friday morning, I was up for hours with even more contractions. These were more intense and rhythmic than I’d had before, and were accompanied by some additional symptoms that made me wonder if I was going to be one of those “I wasn’t dilated at all at my checkup and went into labor the next day” people. But they eventually tapered off and just left me feeling crappy for the rest of the day. I’m starting to worry that I’m going to have to deal with every-other-night contractions for the next two weeks.

Current Cravings: beet kraut from Sweet Farm, cereal with milk

Exercise: 2.1 average miles/day walking

Fruit/Vegetable Comparison: Pumpkin

Other Posts This Week:

Book Review: Like a Mother

Exercise and Pregnancy: The Final Months

Advertisements
pregnancy, Third Trimester, Weeklies

Thirty-seven Weeks Pregnant

You guys, I’m officially considered at term. Technically, if I had this baby now, it wouldn’t be considered premature. That means I could have the baby today… or a month from now. So that’s fun. This last few-weeks-to-a-month is very “hurry up and wait.” I mean, I felt like we should probably have most things ready, just in case, but statistically, I probably have at least another few weeks to wait (probably closer to four). And my OB is in no hurry to induce me before Christmas since my pregnancy has been normal and boring so far.

This week, I had my final ultrasound, where we found out the baby has grown to be just under 7 lbs. (about 75% of the cat, for those who like that tracking measure), according to the ultrasound estimate. Baby still has a huge head, and was being too shy to get a picture of the face with the 3D ultrasound. It was a little disappointing that Dan wasn’t able to see the face live on the monitor, since he missed my 30-week ultrasound, but we got such great pictures from the 30-week scan that I didn’t feel the need to poke and prod to get more this week. Plus, I mostly just cared about the growth. I also got swabbed for Group B Strep, and had a conversation about my birth preferences with the doctor. She was completely on board with all of my preferences and said that most of them were standard practice at our hospital anyway, which was nice. It was my first time meeting that particular OB in person, though we’d talked on the phone.

This week was also Thanksgiving in the US, but we couldn’t really travel. We decided to get some Chinese takeout with my mother, who lives closer to our hospital than we do, but I had my “Thanksgiving dinner” last month when Dan’s college friends hosted a friendsgiving party around Canadian Thanksgiving. Honestly, Chinese food for Thanksgiving really hit the spot, and my mom made a dairy-free apple pie because Dan has been eliminating dairy this month.

I’ve also started building a stash of freezer meals. Our doula had a fantastic suggestion: rather than specifically setting aside time to make a bunch of freezer meals, just make a double-portion when you’re making dinner and freeze half. That way you’re taking advantage of time you would already be spending cooking, and you can slowly build up a stash, rather than stressing over doing it all at once. So I made some beef curry in the Instant Pot this week and froze half of it, and I’ll probably try to make an effort to do that at least once a week from now on. I’m also going to freeze some chocolate chip cookie dough balls.

Since I had a day off on Friday to rest, Dan suggested that we try going out on a date night on Friday, so we got a reservation at a new-ish restaurant near us that we hadn’t made it to yet: Momo Yakitori. It was fantastic. I actually can’t wait to go back when I’m not pregnant because they have some interesting alcohol offerings, too. We got a nice assortment of skewers and appetizers and just generally had a blast chatting with our server (who might have also been the owner?). Since it’s likely that I won’t feel much like going out in the next few weeks, and then our lives will get decidedly busier, it was a bit of a last hurrah.

How I’m Feeling:

As I mentioned last week, my indigestion has turned into acid reflux. Since I started taking Zantac twice a day, that has been much better, although I’ll still get a little bit of a flare, particularly right before I’m due to take another dose. Thankfully, I’ve started with the lower dose of Zantac, so if I feel like it stops working, I can try the stronger version. I will say that I’ve been sleeping much better since starting the Zantac.

Other than that, I alternate between feeling pretty good one day and pretty blah the next day. My Braxton-Hicks have started coming more often, and I just generally feel heavier every day. It’s difficult to stand up from sitting, and I’m noticing my hips getting achy more easily. Our doula lent us a Spinning Babies Daily Essentials DVD that has some good prenatal exercises on it, so I’ve been doing those once in a while and it really helps (especially since my motivation to do yoga has tanked, and the colder weather has sapped my motivation to walk when I don’t need to to get to work).

Current Cravings: date-nut bread (recipe coming later this week!) with cream cheese

Exercise: 2.1 average miles per day walking, Spinning Babies Daily Routine twice

Fruit/Vegetable Comparison: Romaine (which is hilarious)

Other Posts This Week:

Pregnancy Cravings: Cranberry-Date Oatmeal

Review: Two Kinds of Incontinence Undies (because pregnancy is beautiful)

pregnancy, Recipes

Pregnancy Cravings: Cranberry-Date Oatmeal

As I mentioned earlier this week, there is some evidence that eating dates just before childbirth can make things go more easily. This comes from studies that followed women who were either encouraged to eat a certain amount of dates in the last four weeks of pregnancy, versus those who were asked not to eat any dates. This post is a good overview of the research, but the upshot is that eating 60-80g of dates per day could be helpful.

I’ve decided to try to eat around 75g of dates per day. But, unlike my husband, I’ve never actually eaten plain dates. I find them a bit sweet, plus they look a little bit like a cockroach and an olive had a baby. So I’m consuming my date in recipes. Of course, a Larabar will give me about 20-25g of dates, but I can only eat so many Larabars before I get utterly sick of them and start to worry about the cost. I did get a few cases of them from Vitacost, though, during their recent promo, to keep on hand for snacks.

But I thought I’d share some recipes I’ve been enjoying that use dates. The first is an easy breakfast that is an absolutely delicious way to enjoy some autumn flavors, especially since fresh cranberries are readily available in the grocery store right now! I haven’t tried it with any other kind of cranberries, but it might also work with frozen.

Cranberry-Date Oatmeal

Ingredients:

1/3 cup fresh cranberries
25g pitted dates, chopped fine
1 cups water
1/2 cup rolled oats
pinch of salt, cardamom, and ginger
1 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds

  1. Combine the water, cranberries, dates, salt, and spices in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for five minutes, until the cranberries start to burst.
  2. Add the oats to the simmering water and stir. Cook, stirring constantly, until the porridge is thickened.
  3. Serve topped with pumpkin seeds.

Makes one serving

Note: Can also be made in the microwave by combining everything except the pumpkin seeds in a microwave-safe dish, microwaving until cooked, and topping with pumpkin seeds.

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

 

[Image source]

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]