So next Tuesday marks the start of November, and also the start of our birth month. We’re both really excited, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t also a little scared of what’s to come. We’re both hoping for a natural/intervention-free labor and delivery, and that isn’t something you can really plan for. You just do the best you can to prepare your mind and body for the upcoming challenge, and hope for the best outcome for everyone. We are due in a month, which means little baby Smied could make his/her entrance anytime in the next 2-6 weeks! Our hospital bag is (almost) packed, the nursery is (almost) ready, and the house has been cleaned from top to bottom. As we approach the due date, I’ve been getting a lot of questions from family & friends:
How am I feeling?
Emotionally, see above. Physically, like the size of a small house. My belly has really popped over the last 2 weeks! Also, there is almost nothing on the planet that I can consume anymore without getting heartburn. Even water. I’ve heard that this means baby will be born with lots of hair, but both Jeremy and I were baldies when we were born, so I’ll believe it when I see it. I’ve been getting lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, mostly when I workout – and I’ve transitioned to longer walks most days of the week instead of runs. The maternity support belt I bought for running makes things comfortable, and I miss the runner’s high, but the contractions make it too uncomfortable to attempt more than walking with short bursts (5-10 minutes) of running in between. I think this is just my body’s way of telling me to slow down while it gears up for labor, and I’m listening to it. Thankfully I can still do my Barre workouts, no problem.
How is the baby?
Baby is head down, and active! Although on the smaller side, we think. Over the last few midwife appointments my fundal height has consistently measured 4-5 weeks behind where I *should* be. I’m not surprised since I’ve looked very small this entire pregnancy, and my mom has told me my brothers and I were all only 6-7lbs at birth. My midwife isn’t overly concerned since the baby is still showing growth signs at every appointment, but I have to go in tomorrow morning for a growth scan to make sure everything is okay. Please keep us in your thoughts!
Any labor symptoms?
Nope! Baby is cozy and snug in there – lots of hiccups and baby dance parties (with toes in my ribs – OUCH!), especially at 11pm every night, like clockwork. This is our first baby, so I have a feeling we’ll go over the due date. I say take your time, sweet pea! Just go easy on my ribs, okay?
With just a few weeks left of pregnancy (eek!), I wanted to share my final list of pregnancy favorites, for the Third Trimester.
You can find my other pregnancy favorites here:
First Trimester Favorites
Second Trimester Favorites
1. Mind the Bump App
We’ve assembled a pretty amazing team of UMich staff, midwives, and our Doula to help support us through this experience. If I know myself though, I’m just like my mom and when I get sick, or I’m in a LOT of pain, I tend to really go inside myself to focus through it. I have a feeling this will probably happen when things get really intense at the end of the first stage of labor. For that reason, I’ve been using this mindfulness meditation app to get into a good headspace. In my second trimester favorites, I mentioned that I’d been really loving the Mindful Birthing book – which I’m still so glad I read. But when I tried using the companion meditation CD, I found they were too long (25+ minutes each) to stay focused, and the coach’s voice was hoarse and not very soothing. This app uses the same techniques, but in shorter 7-15 minute sessions. It offers meditations for day 1 of pregnancy all the way through the 2nd year of your child’s life – which I bet are some of the most challenging years. I love it! On iOS & Android.
2. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
I picked up this book on the recommendation of a friend who said it changed her whole outlook on birth. I really enjoyed it, as it is really thorough and takes a lot of the fear out of the process by explaining WHY your body is built for birth, and HOW it accomplishes this. I will say though, the first chapter of birth stories was a little too crunchy for me, and were difficult to stay focused on. Skip over these stories, and I’d highly recommend it.
3. Old Navy Maternity Tops
In the beginning of pregnancy, pants are the biggest issue. Your belly and hips expand in an awkward way that make normal bottoms feel really uncomfortable. My Gap pure body leggings saved me with this. Later in pregnancy though, as your belly starts to grow faster, and rise higher on your core, your tops are going to start feeling (and looking) ridiculous. My belly is now big enough that I’ve developed what I call the “short shirt belly shelf”, where the shirt rides up on your belly, and then the very bottom hem curves outward like it’s trying to get away from you because of how ridiculous you look wearing it.
Thankfully, it is now leggings/long sweater season, so I picked up this maternity swing tank (in pink, navy, and black) for layering – it is so soft, and comfortable, and runs true to size.
4. Burt’s Bees Mama Belly Butter & Oil
I started using this belly butter twice a day in the second trimester, and I love it. I know they say that stretch marks are genetic and there is nothing you can do from the outside to prevent them, but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to try! I use the belly butter in the morning, and the oil at night so I don’t ruin my clothes – the oil smells like Lemonheads candy, yum!
5. Reduce Insulated Steel Tumbler (YETI knockoff!)
Lately I have been SUPER thirsty – I’ll chug water like my life depends on it…at least until I have to come up for air. Jeremy picked up two of these tumblers at Costco last month, and they’re awesome! They’re total YETI cup knockoffs, and work really well at holding the temperature. I’ll often fill one of these up to bring to bed, and there will still be plenty of ice in it in the morning.
6. Snoogle Pillow
I know this was part of my second trimester favorites, but I love it so much that I had to mention it again. This thing has been an absolute life saver as far as staying comfortable with an ever growing belly – and I would recommend it even for my non-pregnant friends. It’s the best!
7. Lucy Darling Baby’s First Year Book
This memory book makes me freaking cry every time I flip through it and think of all the happy memories we’ll be making with this little one. We’ve already written a note to the baby, included some stories about how we found out that he/she was joining our family, their family tree, and all of their ultrasound photos. So cute.
I’ll give a short update later this week on how the growth scan went, and also a sneak peek of the nursery!