Pregnancy: Week 32

I slept for 10 hours last night, so woke up in a fantastic mood. It’s a very rainy Friday right before the holidays, and I’m on track to get everything I wanted done at work pretty easily. I’m so excited to spend some time with R who I haven’t seen in a while and have been really missing. And I did a lot of fun stuff this week — had dinner with my bestie, saw the Nutcracker, had an amazing foot and chair massage, had lunch with my other bestie, etc. It was nice to socialize with some people I hadn’t seen in a while.

I’m realizing on nights when I sleep a lot (at least 8 hours), I feel pretty good the next day. But if I ever sleep less, I feel awful. It’s sort of manageable as someone who is pregnant but with no kids, but I wonder how that flies if you already have a child…

Only eight weeks left to go, and that’s if I land exactly on the due date. So it could be as early as five weeks or as late as ten weeks. We’ll see!

 

Pregnancy Books Retrospective

I have not read a full book in months and months; hence, the lack of book reviews on my blog. But I did want to share books that I read, even if in pieces and not in whole, that I thought were helpful for pregnancy.

1) Mindful Birthing. I LOVED this book. It covers an adaptation of the 8-week Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Program (MBSR) to pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenting. It was full of helpful exercises related to pain practice, meditative techniques, etc. It was the first book that made me feel relatively okay about giving birth.

2) The Birth Partner. Technically a book for “dads and doulas”, I found this helpful to read myself. It provides a really great overview of various stages of labor and what techniques may be helpful to get through each. A little more anti-epidural that I’m into, but you can get a lot of good information.

3) Headed Home with your Newborn. A very, very practical guide to early weeks with a baby. I especially liked that the recommendations were not just grounded in science, but what’s actually feasible. For example, they take the line that you don’t have to bathe your baby that much before they start crawling because they aren’t getting that dirty.

4) Expecting better. A data-driven book, it has very concrete statistics re miscarriage rates, whether sushi and drinking are actually bad for you during pregnancy, and pros/cons of various birth interventions.

I tried to read many, many other books and I found them to be almost universally fear-mongering, not grounded in science, or just totally insane. So thought I would share the few that stood out as helpful resources 🙂

Pregnancy: Week 31

Pregnancy blew this week. Everything blows. I am an enormous, cranky, unhappy, angry person. Why is this the case? I actually have no idea. It has been coupled with an extreme first-trimester level of physical exhaustion. I don’t know if it low iron, a side-effect from my TDAP vaccine, a fluke, just the stage of pregnancy I’m at, or what. But I’m feeling very drained and very unhappy.

What’s also interesting is I find all social interaction draining, so it’s like I start Monday with a slight reserve of energy and then as I go to work, see my friends, do social things, have commitments, it drains slightly and slightly and slightly and then I just hate everyone and feel very angry. I don’t feel unlike how I felt as a 13-year-old. Some of this is also the result of all other people wanting to talk about being the pregnancy and baby. Like endlessly. I was at a party Sunday night and it was literally all anyone could think to talk to me about – so you end up having the same conversation all night and no one seems to care at all about how you are doing besides being pregnant.

My intention for this month was nourishing activities. So this includes:

  • nice showers
  • foot massages
  • watching the Deuce with R and my feet elevated
  • going to bed early
  • being by myself

Maybe every day I’ll try to incorporate one of these activities into my schedule. I did make a firm decision that I am not going to schedule anything whatsoever for 2019.

On a more fun note, I am 77.7% done with pregnancy (if I deliver exactly on my due date).

Monthly Review: November

Here is my monthly review for November. If you want to read October’s, check it out here.

 

1. What went well this month?

  • Cementing a morning routine. I’ve been on a very solid 5:30 AM wake up with a very regimented but joyful morning routine. It includes meditation, stretching, using my lightbox, etc — and still getting to the train early before all the delays usually start. Then I leave work right around 5.
  • Moving forward on baby stuff. For months and months, we have put off buying or thinking about anything practical related to the baby. But this month, we took a birth class and bought all the big picture items without turning into insane consumerists and buying a lot of stuff we don’t think we’ll need.
  • Creating intimate time. Because we don’t spend anytime at all together in the morning, R and I have settled into a really nice and relaxing evening routine. The highlight always involves an in-bed cuddle and trying to feel the baby kick. It makes me pre-nostaligic for when the baby will be out.

2. What didn’t go so well this month?

  • Obligations. Despite our best intentions, it seemed like a month full of one obligation after another. I don’t know how to make this not happen, and December is shaping up to be much of the same. I’m seriously considering just refusing to make any plans at all for 2019.

3. What did I work on last month and how did it go?

  • Whatever I want.  I feel like obligations have overruled this intention. Something to definitely keep focusing on.
  • An iron-focused diet. This hasn’t been going that well…I have been taking iron supplements but don’t feel like it’s really working. I do feel like I am increasingly sluggish, so it’s probably something I should keep emphasizing.

4. What am I working toward?

  • Nourishment. With only two months of pregnancy left (!!!), I just want to spend time being true to myself and thinking only about what’s good for me, R, and the baby to come.

Year Compass

Have you heard of YearCompass? It’s my latest obsession. A free, printable booklet, it has a series of reflective prompts to help you both close out 2018, and plan out 2019. I haven’t filled it out yet, but am craving setting aside some time this weekend at a coffee shop to do so. I always love end of year reflection and New Year’s resolutions, but sometimes struggle with guiding myself or setting criteria, so this will be great for me!

Pregnancy: Week 30

The week of my last business trip, thank god. Something about hitting week 30 has made me really change my mindset from la-la-la plenty of time to OMG, the baby is almost here and we don’t have anything prepared. So yesterday, we pretty much started and finished the purchasing of the essential items (e.g. car seat, bassinet, etc.). I’m feeling very relieved that’s over, and the rest of the stuff can be easily bought as needed.

I’m trying my first pre-natal yoga class today. It’s 90 minutes but a solid 20 minute walk away, so I hope it’s awesome. My body has really been missing yoga. I still stretch every morning, but it’s not the same intensity or flow, but I also just couldn’t keep up in regular yoga class anymore. I also shifted my weights a bit to be more focused on reps rather than frequency.

Oh, and R and I took our birth class last week at the hospital! The woman who taught it was amazing. I wish she could teach every couple new to birth. She was so accessible and down-to-earth and fact-based. I had been thinking, or almost assuming, that I would get an epidural but she talked a lot about the benefits of moving during labor, and how when you stop moving, often labor slows and then then hospital will want to quicken it by using pitocin. It made me feel that between my mindfulness practice,  my lifting practice, and using midwives, I am fairly well-positioned to roll with the punches of labor pains.

My mindset towards baby is increasingly wondering what she’ll look like, what her personality will be like, etc. Also interestingly, I’m sort of positive now it’s a girl, though we still haven’t confirmed the gender. For a while, I was thinking I might find out on my birthday but now I think I might wait until the very end.

Pregnancy: Week 29

A totally tiring week. Life has felt overwhelming and exhausting. I think a lot of this was coming back from the Thanksgiving holiday into five full days of work, and a lot has been the intensity of work itself. I feel like it will be nonstop until leave starts. I would love to just hang out and nap this weekend but we have an all-day birth class on Saturday. I am dreading going to it because I think it will make me fear birth more than I do now. I am much more anxious about the third trimester than I am about birth itself. Birth I feel like I can (or will) get through no matter what, and I honestly don’t feel too wedded to any particular goal or process other than healthy mom, healthy baby.

I realized post-workout has recently been the only time I feel like my ‘regular’ self and not my tired, heavy pregnancy self. Which is interesting because I sort of have started to dread my workouts a lot, but the endorphin high I get makes me feel normal.

I’m also starting to get a little stressed that we have bought exactly nothing for the baby. That fits with how we do stuff, but it would be nice to make a list and just get it all over with. Maybe this is something I can outsource to a friend who likes shopping more than we do.

In good news, an affordable to us daycare that accepts little babies opened right by our subway stop. That would be super convenient because they have extended hours, no wait list (because they are brand new), are in our budget, and are right around the corner from our apartment.