Reflections on pregnancy as we near the end

You can feel more than one emotion all at once and right now I feel uncomfortable and grateful at the same time. I feel ready for pregnancy to be over and not ready for it to end all at once. I feel so unbelievably lucky to have had this incredible experience of growing a human in my body and ready to no longer have a human in my body all at the same time.

For almost two years we tried to get pregnant. We talked to doctors and specialists all over Western Canada. I connected with other women battling infertility on social media. I injected hormones into my body. For almost two years every time I saw a pregnant woman out and about or a pregnancy announcement on social media I felt like I’d been stabbed in the gut with a knife. I like having control over my body so when I was diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure (POF) in January of 2016, it was devastating. I was basically being told my body had this thing wrong with it and there was nothing I could do about it.

Due to that experience, the underlying emotion throughout this entire pregnancy has been gratefulness. When I couldn’t stop puking over the Easter weekend I still felt grateful. When I felt nauseous all day, every day for 6 weeks straight I was grateful. When my back would ache at the end of every single day, I was grateful. Right now, when it hurts to walk because of pelvic pain and I sometimes cry out in the night from the pain of rolling over or getting out of bed, I am grateful. So grateful. And I wouldn’t trade what I’m going through for anything. I am SO LUCKY to be pregnant right now and I will never ever forget that or let the negativity / bad side outweigh the good.

At the same time, being pregnant kind of sucks and most pregnant people will tell you that. Trust me, this was not something I wanted to hear when I was dealing with infertility so if you don’t want to hear this right now – or reading this makes you angry – I give you full permission to stop reading this post now. But just because I dealt with infertility, struggled to get pregnant and this baby in my belly is a little 1% miracle baby, doesn’t make the experience any less crappy and I can and am holding both emotions at once.

I definitely didn’t realize how uncomfortable I would be, how much I would hate the way my body looks in most photos (or that it would take 30 tries to get a bump photo I liked!) or how hormonal / emotional I would feel. Also, in general you just don’t ‘feel’ good or like yourself anymore, and that’s hard, especially for 40 weeks. I also really miss running.

There are a few things I truly will miss about being pregnant though, and here they are…

Feeling the baby move

I LOVE when the baby moves. Right from that first tiny flutter I felt at 18 weeks up to the big belly movements I feel now, every single movement has been amazing. I’ve been lucky to not really have any painful kick and I’ve never thought his/her kicks were annoying. They are just a lovely miraculous little feeling of a small babe in my belly. The best.

Eric bonding with my belly

I mean obviously seeing him bond / love on a baby is going to be 100% better but I’ve loved watching him love on his little babe before it’s even born. He talks to him/her, kisses him/her goodbye every day and also gets so much joy out of watching/feeling the movements. Again, this is something that just overwhelms my heart with gratefulness because we waited for it for so long and I didn’t know if it would ever be our turn.

Pregnant workouts during the second trimester

I already miss this since I’m now well beyond the second trimester, but I loved working out during that time period when my belly wasn’t too big and I wasn’t too uncomfortable yet. I felt totally bad ass for doing so many Fitness Blender HIIT and strength workouts and rocking my 10,000 steps a day for 3 months in a row while pregnant. It felt really really good to move my body and have such an active pregnancy. I am still moving regularly now at 36 weeks but that looks like yoga with A LOT of modifications, very short walks, and slow swims once a week. I’m still teaching a boot camp class 2x per week but not actively participating in the full class anymore. I mostly stick to things like lunges, squats and upper body strength moves.

Anticipating whether the baby is a ‘he’ or a ‘she’

I am SO glad we didn’t find out the sex of Baby H. It has made these last few weeks so much more fun! It’s fun to imagine having both a son AND a daughter. It’s fun to brainstorm names for both. I am feeling really excited to find out, but also not ‘dying to know’ yet either if that makes sense. I will know when we know. I cannot wait to have Eric be the one to announce it to me in the delivery room though 🙂 <3 If we are ever lucky enough to get pregnant again I would consider finding out the sex of the baby, just to experience both sides of the coin. But I’m definitely very glad we did not find out for this first babe.

Well, that turned into a bit of a monster post 🙂 So I will leave it at that!

If you are pregnant or have been pregnant before what did you like about it and will miss and what was your least favourite thing about it?

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A weekend recap full of SO much thankfulness <3

For the last three years I have done a recap of our Thanksgiving weekend with a special focus on all I have to be thankful for. This year my heart feels so full it could burst, so despite barely having any photos to go along with this post, here is my annual weekend recap of thanks.

Eric’s weekend off fell on the long weekend, which I was so so grateful for. We decided to take a small ‘babymoon’ and jet over to Grande Prairie (the “big city” – ha) for the night. We got a hotel room, went out for a nice dinner and then spent Friday doing some shopping.

I am thankful for every second spent with my husband these days. He works so much and our schedules almost never line up, so time together is so so important to me! 

Our main reason for the trip was to acquire a new couch for our living room. We bought a couch at IKEA when we did our one day trip last year but it really only had space for 3 people to sit and wasn’t the most comfortable couch. I loved the look of it, but it’s not the kind of couch you get all cozied up on. We wanted either a love seat + couch combo or a sectional.

Well we ended up with a microfibre sectional with recliners on either end – something Eric has wanted for a long time! I admit I was not sold on this couch at first and kept saying I was having buyers remorse when we first put it together. However, after having it for a few days it’s really grown on me. It’s SO comfy and the reclining feature is pretty nice. It’s also nice to have room to seat more than 3 people side-by-side.

I am thankful for those sweet pets of ours. 

Other shopping that happened included some fun seasonal decor at Homesense (Oh how I love that store!), some more maternity clothes for me and a few baby things :). I was trying to resist buying any more maternity clothes but the bigger I get the more I need them so I got two more pairs of leggings and 3 tops. We also got two adorable little sleepers and a sweet Christmas sweater. I have to say though, baby clothing stores are SO gendered. One whole wall was BOYS (aka blue) and the other whole wall was GIRLS (aka pink) and there was one tiny sliver of wall for neutral stuff.

I am thankful for a house that I absolutely love. While there are a few things I would change about our house, for the most part it is perfect for us and I am obsessed with the layout of it as we really couldn’t ask for a better layout. 

Friday night I went to a get together with extended family, it was great to see so many second cousins and aunts and uncles.

I am thankful to live close to family again after so many years away. 

On Saturday morning Eric and I went to our first prenatal class together, we are doing private sessions due to Eric’s work schedule. It was a great chance to learn more about labour and afterwards we went out for lunch together and chatted about what our birth plan will look like based on some of the things we learned in the class.

Off to prenatal class at just shy of 35 weeks in my new maternity clothes 🙂

I am so thankful to be planning for the birth of our sweet babe. We waited a long time to get pregnant and truly wondered if it would ever happen for us. No matter how many downsides there are to being pregnant, it is something I feel blessed and grateful for every. single. day. 

Saturday afternoon Eric’s parents and his nephew came over and we made our first Thanksgiving dinner together. It was really fun to host them and after dinner they played a couple of rousing games of Settlers of Catan and then my in-laws spent the night. I unfortunately got quite sick, so did not participate in the board games.

Again, I am very thankful to be near family and also have a home where we can host people on a whim.  

My Thanksgiving weekend did take a small turn for the worst on Saturday evening as I spent the night puking my guts out!! Something definitely did not sit right with me from our dinner and my body wanted it OUT. Even in all my sickness during the first trimester of pregnancy I did not puke as much as I did that night. I’m not really thankful for anything here – puking just plain sucks 🙂

Sunday morning I woke up feeling much better and so I continued with my plan to go to yoga. I met my friend Robyn, who was in town for the weekend visiting family, at the studio. Yoga has been one consistent over all my Thanksgiving recaps over the years as I always try to fit it in this weekend.

I am thankful for my yoga practice. I am especially thankful that at 35 weeks pregnant I am still able to go to regular flow and vinyasa classes at my local studio. Don’t get me wrong, I modify a lot, but I’m very thankful for a body that has continued to do yoga throughout this pregnancy. I’m also thankful for how good yoga makes this pregnant body AND mind feel! 

After yoga Robyn came over to see our house and have a visit. I had been teasing nagging Eric about how messy the house was and he had it cleaned up so it was absolutely spotless!! I was so proud 🙂 It was more clean than when we’ve had a cleaner in.

I have known Robyn for over 10 years now and it was wonderful to catch up as we only see each other once or twice a year in person.

I am thankful for the friendships that pick up right where they left off even if you have not seen each other in awhile. 

On Sunday evening we had Thanksgiving dinner #2 at my aunts house. There were 13 of us and my grandpa flew up for the occasion. Of course I failed to take any pictures other than of the three pies my grandma made.

I’ve already said how thankful I am for family twice, and I felt that way again after our dinner on Sunday evening, but I am also thankful for delicious pie and super thankful to live so close to my grandma who I’m very close to and is an amazing whiz in the kitchen. These pies were ah-ma-zing! 

Sunday evening Eric and I both fell asleep on our new couch with full tummies 🙂

Monday was a very quiet day and I had no plans, which was perfect. I slept in until 8 and then laid in bed until 8:30 or so. When I finally got out of bed I made myself some breakfast and then curled up on the couch with my coffee and my book. Eric was also just puttering around the house that day.

I am thankful for quiet and relaxing days with no plans! 

The weather was too nice not to get outside, so I texted my mom to see if she wanted to go for a walk. Chloe and I joined her and her dog Murphy for a walk/hike in the local community forest.

I am thankful for beautiful weather on the Thanksgiving weekend this year, especially considering last year we had 1/2 a foot of snow! 

After our walk we did a bit of shopping and then she dropped me off at home. I did some more puttering around the house that afternoon before going over to my mom’s place for our family book club chat. My two aunts, my mom, my brother and I all have a book club and we get together once a month to discuss our most recent read. My one aunt doesn’t live here so we video chat her in. This month we discussed Behold the Dreamers by Imbolu Mbue, which was my pick.

I am thankful for my love of reading. It is my most treasured hobby and I would choose reading and books over TV any day of the week! 

And that pretty much wraps up my weekend. It was early to bed on Monday night before kicking off a short work week. As of yesterday I officially only have 3 weeks left at work before I go on maternity leave. Time is flying!

This shirt (also one of my new maternity clothes purchases) basically sums it up <3

For my Canadian readers, how was your Thanksgiving weekend? For all readers, what are you especially thankful for this week? 

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Second Trimester Recap: 2nd Half

Previous pregnancy recaps: 

***

Weeks 23 – 25

Physically: 

Week 23 is when I started feeling a little less than stellar. I would say weeks 16 – 22 were the “sweet spot” of pregnancy for me. I felt amazing, had tons of energy, wasn’t too big, was sleeping great. Other than a bit of mental/emotional anxiety around waiting for our anatomy scan, those weeks were pretty excellent.

Around 23 weeks I started getting veryyyy tired and sleeping a lot more and for longer.

The above photo was snapped after a 5:30am Fitness Blender workout, so even though I was feeling tired and not sleeping as well, I was still managing to get my workouts in (and still am at 32 weeks now!) Honestly, moving feels SO much better than not moving for me and moving in the morning before my belly is full from a day of eating also feels 100x better. So even though it’s hard to get out of bed sometimes in the mornings, I’m always so so happy when I do.

Wearing the exact same outfit – 16 weeks on the left and 24 weeks on the right. I will be taking another photo this week at 32 weeks in the same outfit as well! Hard to believe it grew that much in 8 weeks!

I was down south staying at my mom’s when I hit 25 weeks and I remember my belly was starting to get super hard at this point. I was also having some pressure / round ligament pain when working out so I took a week off all workouts other than walking and that seemed to help.

Mentally & Emotionally:

At this point I was still riding the high from my anatomy scan at 22 weeks and feeling good mentally and emotionally. Baby H was also starting to wriggle and move much more, which I loved! My pregnancy anxiety went way way down.

One thing I have been a bit anxious about during this pregnancy is movement or lack of. Some doctors / sources online will say that you should feel your baby move 10 times every 2 hours and that is NOT the case for Baby H. He/she likes to take nice long naps and sometimes I won’t feel them for several hours! Throughout the pregnancy he/she has been most active in the early morning and at night right before bed. But often during the day I do not feel them for several hours (up to 4 or 5), especially on days where I am moving lots. So that has caused a bit of anxiety for me.

Weeks 26 – 27

26 weeks! 

Physically: 

I was starting to feel quite large around 26/27 weeks, but still managing to push through regular workouts. I believe this was also when I started to really not sleep well. As the belly got bigger and bigger I found I was having trouble getting comfortable and was tossing and turning a lot at night. Around 30 weeks I hit peak exhaustion with this and got a snoogle! So glad I did.

 

27 weeks! 

It was around 27 weeks that my back started bugging me. I have had some issues with back pain in my mid/upper back on my left side for years but normally it’s nothing a chiropractor adjustment or massage can fix. However, since 27 weeks this issue has really been rearing it’s head and giving me quite a bit of trouble. For awhile it was only bugging me every couple of days, but now by the end of every single day my back aches. I have been going for regular chiropractor visits and prenatal massages, and they do help a bit, but it’s always back within a day or two. I’m sure carrying around the extra weight is not helping.

At 27 weeks I had a prenatal appointment and Baby H’s heart rate was 142 BPM!

Mentally & Emotionally: 

It’s so funny writing these blog posts looking back, because when I look back I’m like ‘oh I was way less tired than I am now!’ or ‘wow, I miss when my back only bothered me every 2nd or 3rd day instead of every. single. day.’ or ‘I thought I was sleeping bad at 27 weeks?!? HA! 32 week me is laughing so hard at that.’

However, when you’re actually in the thick of the hard stuff, it does feel quite hard and mentally and emotionally I was definitely tired, struggling with the uncomfortableness as I got bigger and also struggling with the lack of sleep. I definitely wasn’t as ‘done’ with pregnancy as I am now, but I was getting there.

Other updates from the second half of trimester #2: 

My mom helped me paint this dresser and nightstand for the babies room with a cream chalk paint. I am in love with how they turned out! The nursery is still an absolute disaster / mess, however my first baby shower was this past weekend, so I’m really hoping to start organizing it now and will do a little tour as soon as it’s done.

How freaking precious are these little moccassins my mother-in-law made for Baby H?? ALL the heart eyes for these little things. I cannot wait for him/her to wear them <3 <3 <3

And that’s about it for the second half of the 2nd trimester! Next will be a recap of the third trimester. Since I kind of want to write it before Baby H comes, I might start by recapping weeks 28 – 38.

Other pregnancy posts churning in my brain that are coming soon: sharing our full infertility story, why we chose to not find out Baby H’s gender and if we’re happy with that decision (spoiler: we are!), nursery tour (when it’s actually done).

Anything else you want to know?

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