The Home Stretch

third-trimester

 

So it’s the third trimester….the “home stretch” as every single person I speak to keeps calling it. Calling this time of pregnancy the “home stretch” is totally appropriate though. Really it’s a stretch in every sense. Your tummy is stretching barely able to keep up with this growing baby and feels like it couldn’t possibly stretch more (but it can and it will, not to worry or at least that’s what everyone tells me). Also, just about every thing you try to do feels like a stretch because your body is limited by this soccer ball in the middle of it. That ball doesn’t bend in half like your tummy used to (back when you had a waist and not a person growing there). You’re unable to sleep through the night (if at all) and so just getting through the day and doing “normal” things feels like a serious stretch of what energy you have left. Then there’s the mental part of the stretch because you’ve got “pregnancy brain” and are suddenly quite forgetful and absent minded, so trying to get through making a to do list or getting everything done in one day seems like a mental stretch (one that sometimes doesn’t quite touch it’s toes). Also your hormones are getting a little out of control again and now you’re just playing catch up with them constantly.

I’ve been a little quiet lately because in my home stretch my migraines have picked back up and have really been kicking my pregnant butt on the daily. On the days I don’t have a really bad headache, I usually have a medium one and am exhausted from the day of migraine prior. I’m not sleeping through most nights because of back pain and tummy pain (my stretching tummy is killing me around the belly button, which I found out is my stomach muscles stretching apart down the middle of my tummy to make room baby’s growing body). The tossing and turning and trying to get comfy all night leaves me pretty tired during most days. Then there’s the really wonderful reason for being tired….the baby thinks night time is time to dance, party, twist turn and kick the sh-t out of me! I can only say that I may be looking at the clock at 3am thinking…really? But, I’m smiling because I love feeling her it makes me so happy. It’s on some other level of amazing every single time. Then there’s the necessity of eating which is something I often want to do but man whenever I do it now- hellllloooo indigestion!!! I have never really experienced anything quite like it. It feels like the food I ate is sitting in my chest and can’t move and it hurts and makes eating hard. That said I have to eat and feed this baby so I just get it done, try to make it healthy and eat less at a time as slow as I can to help things along. Popping Tums is helpful but doesn’t seem to do that much. It’s just a part of the home stretch for me (and I know many other moms to be too). Oh and then there’s needing pee all the time and the bladder pressure of the baby- but I’m pretty used to that now. I chalk all this stuff up to being in the home stretch and third trimester and so I’m not feeling all “poor me this is sooo hard” but more like….”58 days and counting until I meet my daughter and I can hardly wait.”

The one thing (other than sex, which I highly recommend to all pregnant, tired and maybe a little stressed out ladies) that has brought me relief from all the above is my prenatal massages. One of the massage therapists told me to look up what my internal organs look like in the third trimester- that it would make a lot of what I’m experiencing make much more sense. She is right! As you can see from the photo above…things are in places they normally wouldn’t be and many of the home stretch and third trimester aches and pains are explained just by looking at this photo. I mean- check out where the stomach is for example?!? Wowzer! Also, if you ARE pregnant I suggest you share this photo with your partner because it will help them understand things a lot too. We had a good laugh about everything when I showed it to my hubby. Someone can tell you your organs are all messed up but there’s something about the visual! Wooo baby!

So it’s all stretching and it’s almost time for the baby to come home…try to do what I’m doing and enjoy the moments you can, focus on the happy times and the feel good movements of your baby, of the excitement of starting to set up your nursery, of watching and feeling your baby get the hiccups for the first time, of that look on your partners face when he feels the baby going nuts inside you. Soak it all up because soon enough, life is going to change forever and if you’re like me, you know these moments matter while it’s still just you two. Even if you don’t feel well, there’s still joy here because no matter what even in the worst migraine ridden, exhausted and overly hormonal day…at the end of this home stretch is your baby in your arms and you can always think of that, for smiles.

 

 

Getting ready for the best part…Making a baby!

1329697687758_4339331You’ve probably heard this saying; people talking about getting pregnant saying “we pulled the goalie” to start trying. Well, I’m stealing it and rolling with it even though I’m not really a fan of hockey and could probably come up with something more unique. Ah well. So yes, we had a goalie and that goalie needed to be pulled to TTC. I had a Mirena IUD that needed to be removed. I’m not a big fan of pain but for some reason I chose to book my IUD removal the same week as my wisdom teeth removal! I think at the moment I was thinking just get it all done fast but whoa momma! That was one helluvah week! Why am I talking about this? Because if you want to get pregnant and you have an IUD that needs to be removed, it’s possible your body will need a month or two (1-2 menstrual cycles) to regroup from having the IUD in. I don’t recommend TTC until you let your body heal first. Go for some condoms they won’t kill you. Or if you go unprotected just please keep this in mind. The same goes for going off the pill I would assume although I didn’t go through that so I’d ask your doctor.

Once you’ve removed the goalie and you’re body is ready to rock then do what we did… JUST HAVE FUN! Do not stress! Do not obsess over your baby tracker AP that you bought for your iphone that tells you what days you are fertile or ovulating. Just glance at it here and there to know where you may be at (these things aren’t foolproof) and then just go and get busy with your partner and enjoy this time. I can honestly tell you there is nothing more connected and sexier than making love with your person, trying to make a baby. It’s the most beautiful thing ever. Or at least, it was for us. And on that note…DO NOT GOOGLE! Don’t Google things like “when should we have sex to get pregnant?” You will find a million things that will only confuse you and take the sexy away from the process. My advice? Just have a lot of sex and make sure to have sex every day around your ovulation. My doctor told me this so I will pass it on to you:

Cycle day #1= you get your period (so you count from that day).

Have Sex on days: 10,12,14,16. She says she swears by it!

Here are a couple more notes on the TTC fun part:

  1. Do not use lube it kills sperm as does saliva so try to get naturally turned on.
  2. Doing yoga style shoulder or head stands after sex while TTC isn’t proven to work but if you’re flexible and strong enough it can’t hurt (I totally did it and it caused many laughter filled moments in our post sexy time).
  3. If you get your period and you’re TTC…do not stress out just keep HAVING FUN with it. Stress makes your fertility poop out which is the opposite of what you want! It’s only time to be concerned if it’s nearing one year or if you have other medical issues (which you should talk to your OB about before you start TTC).
  4. Your partner might be a little nervous at first- this is normal. The reality is we all spend our entire adult lives trying NOT to get pregnant and here we are all of a sudden trying TO get pregnant. It’s a little bit mind-blowing. That said once he/she’s come to grips with that and they’re all in…that’s where it gets really fun, special and HOT! See I told you pregnancy nerds are hot!

Getting Ready Mentally: great books to read and more!

Nerds are cool but PREGNANCY NERDS ARE HOT!

My husband calls me a “pregnancy nerd.” He says this with a look of pride and admiration. He’s an MD-PhD (and the coolest nerd on the planet). He says this not because it takes one to know one, but because it’s awesome to take this seriously and educate yourself before you start.

It’s totally true, I have become a complete nerd about our pregnancy and that started BEFORE we even conceived! I got my nerdy-on months before we “went for it.” Let me explain why; this (making a baby/being a mom) is in my world, the MOST important thing I have ever done and will ever do in life. So, I decided to learn as much about doing it as possible. This included what I needed to do before we “went for it”. It may come as a surprise to you that in fact there is a lot you can do before you start trying to conceive (TTC).

It’s my hope that I can make your journey a little easier by sharing what I learned, what I did and what I geeked out on along the way.

Picking your OB:

This is a very important relationship and you want to feel totally comfortable with this doctor, with the practice they are in and the hospital they deliver at.

If you have family or friends to ask for referrals then you’re lucky. For us, we’d just moved to a new city and didn’t know anyone so I had to do it on my own. The way I went about this was to start with my insurance and get a list of OB-gyn’s in my area. Then I googled the hospitals near us in Seattle that have Neonatal care. I personally do not want to give birth at a hospital that doesn’t have this. Here’s what you’re looking for.

So then I took the names of the OB-gyn’s that deliver at Swedish from my list and started looking them up online (this included yelp reviews). I spent hours and hours on this. I finally narrowed it down and realized that the top rated people covered by my insurance, in my area, that deliver at Swedish are ALL in the same practice! So, I called and started to try to get into someone there. Then, I asked the owner of my pilates studio who’s lived in Seattle forever and seems to know everything if she knew of anyone great. She then gave me a name of the OB-gyn that I now go to that was a part of this fabulous practice. Once you choose, I suggest you go make an appointment and start seeing this person right away for your pap and a little chat about TTC.

Let’s geek out:

I’m listing the books I loved and the order in which I suggest reading them. The first two I suggest reading before you TTC as there’s a lot of helpful information in there. Keep these books to go back to once you’re pregnant.

“Getting Ready to Get Pregnant: Your Complete Pregnancy guide to Making a Smart and Healthy Baby” by Michael C. LU, MD

“The Mother of all Pregnancy Books” by Ann Douglas

“Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy” From Doctors who are parents too

“The Girlfriends Guide To Pregnancy” by Vicki Iovine

“From The hips” by Rebecca Odes and Ceridwen Morris


Note: I will add to this list as I read more great books!