(Written over a week ago but my pregnant brain forgot to post it!)
Hey there, third trimester! I cannot believe you are here.
As you know, this blog is typically dedicated to bookish content, but as my life is evolving, I’m sure my reading habits will too! That being said, you may start to see some lifestyle-inspired posts on here as I navigate motherhood, my career, and all things books!
So, how am I doing?
Pretty good, I’d say! As a first-time mom, pregnancy has been quite a journey for me as I experience all of the known (and let’s be honest, unknown) symptoms that come with growing a human being. There were a lot of tears, panicked phone calls to the doctor, and texts to mom friends to help me understand what I was feeling. From “is this pain normal?” to “can I eat mayonnaise?”, I am beyond grateful for the support I’ve received these past seven months! And I’m sure these moms will be there for me two-fold once the baby joins us in February!
I found out I was pregnant at about 4 weeks when I noticed some sensations that I never felt before. From aches in my breasts and the beginnings of heartburn to cramps and nausea, I knew very early on that we were pregnant. I took an at-home test, but the results came out negative, so I decided to wait another few days before testing again. I just knew my body and noticed that something was different.
Over the next few days, the pregnancy test strips in our ovulation kit got darker, so I called my doctor who then sent me to get bloodwork to officially confirm. Ian and I drove there on a Saturday morning, I got my bloodwork done, and within the hour, we were clapping looking at the test results that said I was four weeks pregnant! We got a celebratory breakfast that day.
I couldn’t believe it. Ian and I went for a walk that day, and I held my belly in amazement. We found out our baby was the size of a poppyseed, and her nickname, Poppy, was born. It would be a few more weeks before we found out what we were having and what we would officially name her when she comes!
I will not lie; the first twelve weeks were super stressful. I was afraid every time I went to the bathroom, I was afraid with every cramp. When we heard the heartbeat at 8 weeks, Ian and I held hands and cried. With COVID cases increasing this summer, I was super grateful that Ian could be with me for these appointments.
When I experienced some spotting, panic set in. I know that spotting is completely normal now (especially if it’s brown), but my incredible team of doctors called me in to listen to her heartbeat to ensure that everything was OK. After that, I took some deep breaths, put my meditation app on, and started doing prenatal yoga to help ease the stress.
In the first trimester, my biggest complaint was nausea. It was constant. The *gestures* world calls it morning sickness, but I felt nauseous all day long. The only time I didn’t feel nauseous was when I slept, and even then I would wake up to waves of nausea. Combining nausea with the summer heat, I spent the majority of my time in the air conditioning sipping ginger ale and eating saltines.
By 12 weeks, we were ready for genetic testing and to learn the sex of the baby. We spoke with these amazing women at our hospital and paid for genetic screening. It was incredible to learn that they were able to scan the baby for any genetic issues and determine the sex by pulling her DNA out of my blood. Science is remarkable. That two-week wait was torture, but we got the phone call from one of the doctors excited to share the news: we were having a baby girl with “boringly normal” genetic results!
By around 12 weeks, my nausea went away, so I was ready to take on what many women call the “golden age” of trimesters. This is when most of your symptoms dissipate: nausea, sore breasts, cramping … and you have your energy back and feel amazing as you watch your body grow.
Sure … OK.
My nausea went away, but my heartburn didn’t! It got so bad that I am on medication to help ease the symptoms. And boy, it works! Thank goodness. I did get some of my energy back … but in waves. I’d have weeks where I felt super energized, and other weeks when I could only get up, work, eat, shower, and go to bed. And that was enough!
But what really threw me this trimester was sciatica and round ligament pain …. yeeeowwcch! As the baby is growing, she was really hitting on some nerves (LOL!) that make it feel like my entire right leg is tingly, numb, and hot. The pain is sometimes unbearable, so I got myself two pregnancy pillows (one giant one and this amazing pillow for sleeping) and planted myself on the couch. I learned that this will go away once the baby comes. My doctor recommended light stretching and listening to my body when I needed to. If I needed to sit down, sit down! If I needed to go for a walk to get things moving, go outside! If I needed to do some yoga, do some yoga!
Well, once I had sciatica down, the round ligament pain came … on my left side! At least my pain was balanced. I learned the importance of heating pads, belly bands, and getting up slowwwlyyy to avoid pulling or aggravating anything.
Despite these aches and pains, watching my body grow has been absolutely amazing. Around 17 weeks, I felt little flutters in my belly called “quickening,” and those little tickles and flutters have turned into full-on kicks and rolls from our little girl. She is VERY active. I feel her kick and move most of the day, and she kicks right before bed (and sometimes during the night) and greets me with kicks every morning as I start to rouse from bed. I love feeling her move ….!
As I approached the third trimester (within the last few weeks or so), I’ve developed this deep need to start nesting. Ian and I have been hard at work completing her nursery. Ian built wainscoting in her room and we painted it a lovely two-tone mauve. Her crib is here and built as well as her dresser, rug, and bookshelf (filled with books already … thanks to my amazing friends!!). All we need is the glider and we can start hanging up some décor and fill her drawers with the bags of clothes I’ve already received. It really takes a village, and this little girl is so lucky already.
So, third trimester: I welcome you. We are excited to celebrate the holidays in anticipation of meeting our sweet baby, and I look forward to seeing what these next 12 weeks will bring!