I realized it’s been a minute since I’ve written a pregnancy update! So, here we go! Not sure there will be another one or not, lol.
37.5 weeks, baby! This particular selfie was in my gym, at 4:40AM, ready to lead class (last week of class before baby break, yo!).
Mentally, I am EXCITED to add a fourth member to our family. I think Todd, Emma and I are all sorta on pins and needles just playing the waiting game, lol. Also, I’m about 90% over it mentally, not quite yet 100% but dang close. I have written about it before, but pregnancy is not my favorite thing. Yes, the baby at the end is fabulous and totally makes the journey worth it, buuuuttttt if storks could bring babies that would be A-OK in my book. Not kidding. Although maybe this one went faster than the last one, because there isn’t a lot of time to sit around thinking about being pregnant. There’s just another kid to raise while another is baking. So, I feel like weeks 5-25 took FOREVER. And then all the sudden, I have no clue what happened to weeks 26-current.
Physically, this one is way different than the last. Workouts during this pregnant were pretty good, although less (and smarter) than last pregnancy due to learning about pregnancy bodies in general, and the importance of core and pelvic floor health during AND after pregnancy. I definitely did not do some of the same things I did last pregnancy – no running, was way smarter about core training (lots of farmer and rack carries, elevated planks, elevated push-ups, incorporated lots of band presses, deadbugs, etc), and also needed to modify things more heavily after about 32 weeks than I did last time. For instance, I haven’t deadlifted a bar or a kettlebell from the floor since about 30 weeks, because….well….it just didn’t feel awesome anymore. I did rack pulls with the bar for a bit before that became too much, and I have been doing lots of stiff legged deadlifts with a shortened range of motion than a traditional kettlebell or barbell version. I’m also working on connecting pelvic floor (grabbing the damn bean) during big exercises as well. Squatting with a bar on my back is ok mostly, but the weight needs to be way below heavy. Front squats are gone because they feel like shit. Goblet squats are ok. Actually, bodyweight only squats focusing on sitting in the hole of the squat feels really awesome right now, and that’s good, because that’s labor prep, lol. I spent a lot of my pregnancy focusing on upper body strength because, well, I was hoping to make my arms look pregnant too :). And, sad to say…..but….the pregnancy pukes and disinterest in food stole all my glute gains. I have yoga pants that used to be inappropriate to wear because #crackiswhack, now…..are appropriate because my ass has fallen and disappeared. Boo, kinda bummed about that one, but excited for new gainz post birth!
Also physically different is getting my ass kicked around week 32 from time being on my feet. Spending like 3 hours or more on my feet meant a tight belly, an “exhausted” feeling in my core and pelvis, etc. I ended up cutting back my workload in the gym about about 34 weeks to account for this. Longer walks initiated that feeling too (like more than 30 minutes). I’ve had round ligament pain for lots of this pregnancy. There is definitely a difference in a second pregnancy after your body has already carried a baby before. PLUS, there is a definite difference carrying a baby at 30 years old compared to 34 years old, in my opinion. Picking up my four year old right now seems fun until I do it, and then carry her for a bit, and then it’s just too much. WAY DIFFERENT than last time around.
Nutritionally speaking, here’s how it went down, from my memory (but I can’t remember yesterday anymore, so this might not be exactly accurate). Weeks 5-20 I tried my best to focus on protein, but to be honest, it was rough. Most proteins were gross. I spent a lot of time drinking shakes because they were something I could tolerate without getting grossed out. I eat way more carbs in pregnancy than non-pregnancy because I crave them. My body needs and wants that energy. I craved what I would call “cheap” carbs….or those simple ones that I know would make me feel better initially, but leave me crashing an hour later. Donuts, candy, white bread, etc. I suspect cravings in general had something to do with being hungry from not eating as much either for a time, or from nausea, and puking. So yup, I indulged, and I also tried my best on getting complex carbs in too, and to be honest, I didn’t stress myself about it too much. I craved fruit big time too, we’ve been eating the house down on fruit lately. Veggies are ok now, but for much of this pregnancy, were pretty much gross, yo. For most of this pregnancy, I had the gags most days, and puked many, but it’s lessened now (and now that I say that, it will start again, lol). I did rock a prenatal vitamin though, and at about 30 weeks my midwife suggested upping vitamin B and iron, and that totally helped with things. May I just leave this here….I miss my dark winter beer brews. Yo, I don’t need 100 beers to drink, but I do like 1 every other day or so. And I’m very much looking forward to that, and to ordering beer when we go out for dinner again 🙂
I’ve gotten a lot of questions about us having our second baby in a birth center over a hospital.
Am I scared it will hurt? No, not scared. I know it won’t feel amazing. I also know there is an end point. I also remember what getting to 8cm and almost transition felt like, and have also been mentally preparing getting through contractions, and mentally managing that shit. Last time, I had zero mental game, and to be honest, I think that was the deal breaker. For me also, I think after getting an epidural, my mind went a little nuts because I couldn’t feel ANYTHING, and that freaked me out, and I think that’s why my last labor stopped after the epidural. So I’m honestly relieved that I’m not going to be faced with the choice of should I have an epidural again. Because I just don’t get that choice. So….less mental energy spent on that, you know? Also, my mom didn’t have an epidural, and she’s still alive to tell us about it, so…..
Have I stopped shaving my armpits and turned into a hippie who is very zen now that I’m delivering in a birth center? No, not a hippie, and still shave my armpits (and legs). And if you know me, I don’t think you’d use “zen” to describe me 🙂
Like, what do I do for appointments at a birth center? To be honest, they don’t look much different at this birth center versus my old clinic. Lots of same questions and talk. They still take my vitals. We still check baby’s heartbeat. I would say, though, that they are very much in depth. I switched to the birth center at 26 weeks. And that’s probably the time of lots of the testing that you can do – gestational diabetes, then Group B strep, and I bet some other things I’m forgetting. This particular birth center and set of midwives (there are two) are very in depth in explaining why you may want to test things, and why you may not. And they inform you of both sides of the equation, and leave the decision to you, and there isn’t judgement behind any of it. The lack of judgement thing works for me, I open up more when I feel like I’m not being scrutinized, you know? Also, I keep up regular chiropractic care (always, but especially during pregnancy) to keep comfortable and these midwives were very in depth of checking and feeling for baby’s position. Literally, up in my business in my belly and pelvis finding head, back, etc. Then, I could take my magical three letters (mostly ROP) back to my chiro to tweak my chiro adjustments to get baby (and me) in best position. Our baby started out head down, face forward…..the same way our daughter was born…and her melon got lodged in my pelvis, which was NOT awesome, and a battle to get out, yo. This baby was posterior for quite some time, and has since turned to face down, soooooooo….even though they can move as much as they want in there, we are getting her where we want her, lol. And hopefully, her melon doesn’t get lodged in my pelvis, yo. Also, my midwives were really awesome at letting me get down in my belly too, and showing me where to feel for things like head, butt, back, etc. And talked me through why I feel stuff where I feel stuff. Like super in depth, and really interesting, actually. This last appointment caught me off guard. My midwife asked who my labor support was (my husband). That question maybe didn’t surprise me, but the next one did! Who is your postpartum support? Er…..hadn’t really thought about it. But she made a good point….and said you’re husband is going back to work and you are now at home with a four year old and an infant who won’t be sure of night and day….so what are you gonna do? You know what? I REALLY appreciated that question. It made me think! We are lucky to have family very close to us, plus, I’m lucky to have some pumping and breastfeeding buddies who I can reach out to when things get rough. So, I’m happy I got asked that question!
So, like, are you doing a water birth? I have no freaking clue. I don’t plan on it, because frankly, labor seems messy to me, and I’m not sure I’m the type to sit around in my own mess. But I also won’t say that I won’t do it either. If it feels good, it feels good! To be honest, I think I’d rather bring along a light kettlebell to help me drop into a goblet squat to push this kid out, because that’s a VERY natural position for me, lol.
Here’s my mindset on this birth center thing. Our last birth experience wasn’t awesome. Prenatal care was, but the hospital experience….no. So here’s how my brain works….let’s do the opposite and start there. Welp, a birth center is the opposite end of the spectrum, in my opinion. My guess is the right answer lies somewhere in between, but who knows! We are learning as we go, lol. So far, it’s been pretty cool, though! Mostly I’m excited about post partum care. Our midwife comes to our house the day after birth to check on us. We also continuously check in the weeks following, and I believe we go back multiple times during six weeks. So, it’s very involved. And, to be honest, I will likely be following up with a pelvic floor PT because….I want to be sure my floor and core get up to par the best they can so I can make sure I’m safe when I return to lifting. Oh, and I’ll be doing Jessie Mundell’s Core + Floor program as well.
I’ve been reading the Bradley Method book, and basically learning about the phases of labor. And also how to approach contractions this time…staying calm and trying to relax and keep breathing through them. I can tell you last time, I fought them, I know I did, and it makes sense to try and go with them versus avoid them. So, this will be different and will require concentration and effort. If you do pick up the book, fair warning…the pictures are from the 80’s. I’ve also been reading The Motherly Art of Breastfeeding given to me by a friend last pregnancy. It’s been a really good reminder that breastfeeding takes effort, especially at first, and me and baby will learn together.
So, here we are….37.5 weeks!