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 ๐Ÿ™‚ <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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!ย 

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.ย 

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.ย 

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.ย 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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.ย 

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.ย ย 

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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!ย 

After yoga Robyn came over to see our house and have a visit. I had been teasingย nagging Eric about how messy the house was and he had it cleaned up so it was absolutely spotless!! I was so proud ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.ย 

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!ย 

Sunday evening Eric and I both fell asleep on our new couch with full tummies ๐Ÿ™‚

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!ย 

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!ย 

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!ย 

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?ย 

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Birthday Weekend Recap

Thank you all for your kind comments on my birthday post! I love reading back through those yearly reviews every year, I actually prefer them to January reviews!

Anyways, I had a great birthday weekend so I thought I would do a recap.

Saturday morning (my actual birthday) I got up and had some coffee while reading my book and enjoying a piece of toast. At 9:30 my friend Janine picked me up to go to yoga. One of the local yoga studios has a Saturday morning deal where if you go to the 75-minute flow class you get a coupon to have 1/2 price brunch at the restaurant across the street! I decided that would be a fabulous way to celebrate my birthday with friends and was so grateful to have so many people come out. We got our sweat on at yoga and then enjoyed a delicious brunch. I wish I’d taken a photo of my meal because it was sooooo good, but alas I forgot.

Eric took the day off work (at my request) so we could spend it together. We get so little time together I really just wanted to hang out with him. When I got home from yoga he had the table all set up with some birthday surprises ๐Ÿ˜‰ What a goof ball.

The cereal is a bit of an inside joke from the first trimester of my pregnancy when I was so sick and ate a lot of cereal, and also just a few nights before we were talking about how much we were craving cereal but didn’t have any. Clearly that will not be a problem in our home for awhile.

I loved the flowers. He even asked her to add a pink rose (the first flower he ever brought me for our very first date on Valentine’s Day in 2005) and a sunflower for our wedding flower. What a guy <3 <3

I had a shower and got dressed and we headed out for some shopping. There was a block party happening in conjunction with the Farmer’s Market so we picked up pumpkin spice lattes and wandered through that.

I bought myself a little birthday present. This is from a local small business and I have been eyeing up their jewelry sets for quite some time!

After we were done wandering the block party and perusing the Farmer’s Market we headed to the movie theatre to catch an afternoon matinee. I wasn’t super interested in anything that was playing but the movie that looked the best to me was Wind River so that is what I chose. Oh my gosh I’m so glad I did, I really really enjoyed this movie and highly recommend it! It was very well done and tackled some relevant social issues about missing and murdered Indigenous women.

After the movie we went to the book store. I sure do love browsing the bookstore. There are so many GREAT new releases out this fall that I want to read and some of them are not available at my library yet so I was very tempted to spend all the money.

I resisted and only bought one that was on sale and had been on my to read list for a long time. Really looking forward to getting into this one.

We headed home and I read my book for a bit before getting changed to go for dinner. I chose Spicy Fusion, our local Indian restaurant, for my birthday dinner and it did not disappoint!

Soooooo good.

It was fun doing my makeup a bit nicer and getting a bit dressed up. I used to do that all the time at my old job, but I don’t really do it anymore. I admit I am not feeling at ‘my best’ with being pregnant (pregnancy weight gain is tough ya’ll!) so it was fun to get a bit more dressed up and feel pretty.

31 weeks at 29 years old!

Sooo thankful and appreciative for a wonderful day with this guy <3 After we got home from dinner I had a lovely candlelit bath and then we laid on the couch and watched Big Brother.

On Sunday Eric was back to work and after a day of indulgent food and not much movement on Saturday I woke up wanting to MOVE my body on Sunday morning! So immediately after getting up I loaded Chloe in the car and headed to our local trail network for a walk / hike. We did a 50-minute hike while listening to a podcast and it was seriously lovely.

I had to take more rests than normal on the steeper hills but overall this preggo did pretty good if I do say so myself.

My sister-in-law and nieces came over for coffee and a visit once I got home from the hike and then I spent the rest of Sunday doing things around the house. Hauling in some stuff from our garage, doing laundry, purging… general nesting stuff. It has felt really good to cross some big home to-do’s off the list.

Sunday evening my aunt hosted a birthday dinner for all the September babies (my cousin, my uncle and me). We ate fresh crab and salmon they had caught on their recent fishing trip to the ocean. It was soooooo good.

And I got to request dessert! I requested peanut butter cheesecake, also sooooo good.

I was definitely sufficiently stuffed after that amazing meal! Huge thanks to my aunt and uncle for hosting everyone. Next time I need to be better about getting a group photo.

And after all of that I was in bed by 8:00pm on Sunday night ๐Ÿ™‚ So yes, overall a pretty perfect birthday weekend. Time with friends, family and my lovely husband but also a bit of alone / quiet time thrown in. Can’t believe this was my last birthday without a little sidekick. 30 is going to look veryyyyy different, isn’t it?! This year already looked super different from last year when we had a very active hiking / camping weekend.ย I feel pretty good about how much activity I’ve continued to fit in while pregnant, but I definitely don’t think I would have been able to handle all that hiking at 31 weeks ๐Ÿ™‚

How did you celebrate your last birthday? And, if you remember, how did you celebrate your 29th birthday?ย 

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