It’s hard to believe that I’m in the home stretch of this pregnancy! As of today I am 38 weeks and have approximately 2 weeks left until we are meeting our baby boy! At this point we are playing the waiting game on when he will decide to join our family, which is just the craziest feeling. Nick and I were talking a few nights ago about how we’re a mix of excited and ready but we’re also hoping to soak in a few more days just the two of us before our world is forever changed!
Third trimester recap
The third trimester seemed to go by really quickly. We were so busy trying to prep his nursery, watch all the birthing and baby videos, and make sure we had everything we needed for his arrival that time got away from us! This trimester definitely felt different than my first and second trimester and not just because my belly is protruding haha!
I experienced a bit of a scare around week 29. I was having some issues, so I addressed those with my doctor during my appointment and we decided to do an ultrasound to check on everything. During that ultrasound they discovered two hemorrhages of my placenta (my placenta was pulling away from my uterus). One was small, while the other was moderately sized, and if they got worse it could mean lack of oxygen/nutrition to the baby or a placental abruption. I truly can’t even express how it felt to find out that news alone and in a mask. I was so hot and overwhelmed that I basically “blacked out” and didn’t even know what to say or ask. It’s never easy hearing bad news, but to not have my husband there with me made it even more difficult. I spent the next week on modified bedrest, got little sleep, and was worried sick about the effects this could have on myself and our baby. Luckily at my 31 week appointment one of the hemorrhages had healed itself and the other had shrunk, but we’ve been keeping an eye on things because this could effect my labor.
how are you feeling these days?
The remainder of my third trimester has been great! I’m still feeling pretty good these days, albeit a lot more pregnant, a little more tired these days & a bit overwhelmed! It’s the craziest feeling knowing the human you have been growing for the last ten months could be here any day. I’ve felt a lot of emotions about that lately, considering our entire lives are about to change drastically! The nerves of labor and delivery are finally settling in and although I’m getting a bit anxious about it, I know I have a wonderful support system and doctors in place. I’m just trying to keep everything positive so that I go into it with a clear head.
did your headaches and indigestion ever subside? Any other symptoms you’re dealing with?
My headaches went away until about week 35 and then they came back a bit. I’m not sure if it was pregnancy related or the fact that our weather has been all over the place recently though! My heartburn & reflux have been giving me a run for my money lately, especially at night! I know the old wives tale says that means he will have a lot of hair… I guess we will find out! The only other symptom I’m dealing with right now is lower back pain. Some days it’s really uncomfortable while other days it’s pretty manageable, it just depends on his position, how much he’s moving, etc.
how did you go about choosing which baby products & brands to go with?
We did a lot of research on baby products (there are SO many options!) and worked with Gugu Guru to make sure the items we were buying and had on our registry fit our needs as a family. We had a video chat with one of their concierge members after taking a quiz to make sure that the products we chose fit our specific needs. It was tremendously helpful since we haven’t been able to go in store anywhere in months! They walked us through our entire registry, pointed out items we may not need, items we needed to add, etc. which made us feel even more prepared. P.S. you can get 20% off of their concierge services with code EMILY20. We also relied heavily on recommendations from friends and family who have small children as well! As far as which brands we decided on, it really came down to reviews, how familiar we were with a brand, and how it would factor into our lifestyle! I know every baby is different, so some items may end up working and others may not. It’s a total gamble!
what are you most excited for? nervous about?
There are a lot of things I am excited about, but I’m also really nervous about a lot of things, too! I think that’s fairly normal as a first time mom! Our life is about to be turned upside down and change completely, it would be weird if I wasn’t nervous about that! I am most excited about meeting our little one when he is born. We already have so much love for him and I know our love will grow tenfold once he is here. I’m excited for all the newborn snuggles and to see Nick as a dad (and see our fur babies as brothers).
I’m really nervous about motherhood and those first few weeks as we’re navigating becoming parents. I feel decently prepared since we have watched videos and done some classes, but I know nothing will truly prepare us for those first few weeks as we’re in the trenches of it all! I know those first few weeks tend to be a blur of just surviving, not thriving though! Nick and I make a great team and we have family close by, so I know we can get through it!
do you plan on breastfeeding?
I do plan on breastfeeding! I have the Spectra S1 pump that I got through my insurance as well as the Elvie pump. Both of these were selected after doing a lot of research and reading reviews. The Spectra pump is a closed system pump and I liked some of the features more than the Medela. I got the Elvie pump because it will allow me to be hands free and not feel “chained” to my Spectra pump, so I can pump while doing household things, etc. I’ll be sure to update y’all on the breastfeeding journey. For now, my plan is to exclusively breastfeed for the first two weeks and then do a mix of breast and bottle after that, to get him used to a bottle and so that Nick can help with feedings as well. I’m sure that plan could change though! I’ve heard from so many moms that breastfeeding is H-A-R-D and can take a toll on you, so I’m not trying to put too much pressure on it and just figure it out as we go.
have you had any baby showers?
We did have a baby shower… sort of! Due to Covid we had to cancel our plans for our original shower, but my parents hosted a “drive by” shower for us in June! It was a great way to still see people (from a distance, of course!) and gather to celebrate our little one! They made it really fun for us and I’m glad that we did it!
have you or are you taking any birthing or baby classes?
Yes! We have been doing the Moms on Call 0-6 month course and it’s been really helpful in figuring out some of the logistical things – like a daily schedule, feedings, naps, etc. I also did a breastfeeding class through Tinyhood that was incredibly insightful because I was clueless about breastfeeding! We also did an online class through our hospital that dealt with pain management, labor and delivery, postpartum and newborn care, etc. We also had someone come in and teach us baby CPR. Hopefully we never have to use it, but it was really helpful to know exactly what to do should we ever need to. When all of our classes got cancelled I was stressed, but I was really impressed with all of the online resources available to expecting parents!
will you share what you’re packing in your hospital bag?
I will have a blog post up with all that information shortly! As a first time mom, this is something that I was overwhelmed by. What if I bring too much? What if I don’t bring enough? Do I need this? What about this?! All of those thoughts entered my brain quite a few times! I worked with Gugu Guru to compile all of the essentials for my hospital bag. A lot of items are purely for comfort and to make my stay feel a bit more “normal.” I know people have A LOT of opinions on what to bring/not bring, so we’re just kind of going with what we think will work for us.
what is your plan for maternity leave?
This one is kind of tricky since I own my own business and I’m a one woman show! I have a few posts scheduled out that will go live after he is born and then after that I’m just going to see how I feel and go from there! There’s no real handbook for this and I’m going to give myself grace, but if I feel like working then I’m going to do so!
do you have a birth plan? Will you be staying in the hospital after birth or coming home as soon as you can?
My birth plan is simple: get an epidural and to have a safe labor and delivery for myself and our baby. And that’s it. I am choosing to not have a birth plan with a lot of “wants” because I know nothing really ever goes as planned when it comes to labor and delivery. I trust the doctors and nurses to do what’s best for us, whether that’s a vaginal delivery or a c-section. My MIL was a labor and delivery nurse for many years and she jokes that an in-depth birth plan is a one way ticket to getting a c-section! I also didn’t want to get disappointed if my birth plan didn’t go exactly how I wanted, so I’m keeping it simple!
As for the second question, it truly depends on what kind of labor and delivery experience I have! I will stay as long as the doctors and nurses feel like I need to for the health of myself and our baby. I don’t want to rush out of the hospital if they feel it’s necessary for us to stay, you know? I’m not too concerned about COVID in our women’s unit. We have a brand new women’s hospital that opened in February and the old women’s hospital is where all COVID patients are going (it’s about 10 minutes away from the new one). Both Nick and I are required to be tested for COVID when we check in and will wear masks as required.
who will be with you when you give birth? Is your hospital allowing visitors?
My husband is the only person who will be with me when I give birth. Currently the restrictions at the hospital only allow for one visitor (spouse or doula) to be with you the entire time, but this would have been the case for me anyways even without those restrictions.
As of now our hospital is NOT allowing any visitors. They made this decision back in March and I didn’t expect it to change before we gave birth. At first we were a little disappointed, especially because we envisioned our family getting to meet our baby in the hospital, but we have had time to come to terms with it. I’m actually looking forward to the three of us getting uninterrupted bonding time in the hospital. I can’t wait for our families to meet him though!
how are you handling visitors once you get home?
We have had long conversations with my OBgyn, our pediatrician and our families in order to figure out what is best for us, while still taking precautions. As of now we are having our parents quarantine for two weeks leading up to baby boy’s due date. When they meet him we are requiring that they wear a mask. We knew as first time parents that we would need a lot of help, so we are thankful they are taking the necessary precautions in order to be there for us. All of our siblings live out of town and are back to work, so we are delaying them meeting him for quite a while. That was a really tough decision for us, but it’s what’s best for the baby, so that’s all that matters.
how much weight have you gained?
As of my 38 week appointment I have gained ~28 pounds this pregnancy. I have not limited myself at all, when I crave something I eat it, but I have also tried to keep a balanced diet and not have the “eating for two” mentality. The one thing I have *had* to have is my nightly cereal. Give me my Special K red berries cereal at night before bed and I’m a happy girl ha! I know every body is different and I have tried to keep a positive attitude on weight gain this entire pregnancy. There have been a few times where I have been hard on myself or thought “ugh my arms look fat” or “omg my thighs feel huge” but I always try to remind myself that my body is growing a human and that’s all that matters.
What kind of prep have you done for postpartum?
Honestly prepping for postpartum has been a bit stressful because I don’t know what to expect. I have been prepping for a vaginal delivery, so if I happen to have a c-section I will need to Amazon Prime some things ha! I ordered the Fridamom postpartum kit, the Fridamom perineal bottle, Tuck’s and Dermaplast, some products from Earth Mama, Always Discreet underwear, and these nursing bras. Who knows if I will use or need all of it, but I would rather be overly prepared!
A few other things we have done is a big deep clean of our house. We plan to do a big grocery store run in the next week or so that way we come home to a fully stocked refrigerator! We aren’t big on freezer meals, so we didn’t prep any of those. Luckily we have so many “quick & easy” meals that we can make that I’m not too worried about it. Nick loves to cook and our families are only 15 minutes away. We also set up a few “stations” in our house that have everything we will need – from diapers and burp cloths to snacks for me if I’m breastfeeding! This will prevent us from having to go up and down the stairs a lot to change or grab items we need.
looking back anything you wish you had known or done in the first or second trimester?
Hmm.. this is a tough question! I have always been so fearful of getting pregnant. I wish I had known that it’s not as scary as I had built it up to be in my head. Much of my first trimester I spent feeling anxious about the “what ifs?” and being fearful of something happening that I didn’t truly get to enjoy those first few weeks. I wish I had just breathed a bit more and trusted that everything would be ok, although that’s easier said than done in those first months. Other than that, I am very happy with how this pregnancy has unfolded, all things considered.
One thing I highly suggest doing is starting a journal when you find out you’re expecting. Nick and I started a journal after getting that first positive pregnancy test. It’s been so nice for both of us write out everything (from dr. appointments to how we’re feeling, etc.). I know we will enjoy looking back on it and one day sharing it with our boy.
photos by Lindley Battle Photography