Where has the time gone!? I’m now staring down 30 weeks, and a huge ‘ol belly. So, let’s take a moment to recap the last 15-ish weeks, shall we?
1) It turns out 9 months goes pretty quickly.
I distinctly remember a day when I was 10 weeks along, with a HUMONGOUS work deadline hanging over my head, feeling so tired that I thought I wouldn’t make it to 5pm, let alone my due date. And suddenly, here I am with just over 10 weeks left. Yowza.
2) It really isn’t so bad after all!
They call the second trimester the honeymoon period for a reason! My energy came back in full effect; I might even go so far as to say I felt like a rock star through most of the last 15 weeks. My motivation returned, my worries subsided, my confidence increased, and my mood swings and hormones chilled out. When the bump became visible, and I started feeling the baby move, the excitement of expecting a baby really set in. There is indeed a pregnancy glow… and it feels like a million bucks.
3) And then, you try to find something to wear.
Let me clarify. The getting bigger part isn’t really the issue. It’s more the awkward in-between stage of not fitting in your regular clothes but not quite big enough for your maternity clothes…. That’s the thing about the second tri: there’s an art to finding the right ensemble to show off the best assets of your new body (hello D cup! Where did THAT come from??) without feeling like you look like you are swimming inside a maternity tunic that gives you no shape whatsoever. My husband came to expect an added 10 minutes, 5 outfit changes, and at least 2 outbursts of “I have nothing to wear!” every time we got ready to go somewhere.
4) Don’t ever call a pregnant woman “chubby”
Here’s a good rule of thumb. Before you offer your two cents about my burgeoning belly, check yo-self. If you wouldn’t say it to me normally, then definitely don’t say it to me when my hormones have me by the jugular. “You are so BIG!” or “Look how chubby you are!” or “Wow, I thought you were much further along!!” are not compliments, no matter HOW sweetly you say them. Just chill already. Yes, I’m getting bigger by the day. Yes, the baby is growing (thankfully). No, I do not need to hear your comparisons to your brother’s first wife’s cousin who carried so much smaller than I am at this stage. And this rule applies doubly if you are a nurse or assistant at the hospital. Please don’t weigh me and then say, “Wait, that can’t be right. Let’s check again.” Seriously, people, here’s the deal. Some weeks we pregos grow faster than other weeks. It’s not consistent. It’s not the same for everyone, and it’s certainly not something we are completely oblivious to. It’s best to comment on things that make me feel good, or ask how I’m feeling, or tell me congratulations. But if it’s something you wouldn’t dare say normally, don’t say it at all.
5) Body Pillows: Best. Invention.Ever.
There is a another love in my life, and it’s name is Snoogle.
6) Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
I knew water was important, but getting the flu really drove the point home. After my insides were ravaged by the virus, I had nothing left in me, and almost ended up in the hospital from dehydration. I experienced some pretty serious Braxton Hicks, and it was enough to scare me into drinking my weight in water every day. And if you need another reason to drink up, just think: it might even help prevent stretch marks.
7) Take a babymoon!
It’s not just a made-up marketing hoax to get you to spend more money. It’s really actually quite lovely to get away for a bit without thinking of the million things you need to do before baby arrives. Even if you just go check into a bed and breakfast for a few days, I totally advocate getting out of your house, out of your daily routine, and spending some quality time with your sweetheart, doing nothing but relaxing, and eating good food. The truth is, there are moments when planning for your arrival can be a little stressful. Take one look at my white board list and you’ll see why I had trouble sleeping for a couple weeks. But then, we decided to take a weekend getaway. We laid by the pool at our hotel, our minds doing nothing more than brainstorming baby names and dreaming about what the baby will look like… and it was glorious. And, when will you have the chance to do this again without a little one?
8) “Are you STILL working out?”
Yep. I am. And I feel good about it. Sure, I have to take each day as it comes and listen to my body. But seriously, people – I’m pregnant, not paralyzed (thank the Good Lord). I can’t tell you how many stares I’ve received while exercising, and how many people have asked me this question (or some version of it) while implying that I’m out of my mind. Here’s the thing: when I exercise my joints hurt less, my back hurts less, I sleep better at night, my emotions stay in check, I have more energy, and I enjoy my pregnancy more. So as long as I remain vigilant to the cues my body gives me, and as long as my doctor says I’m a-ok, I’m going to keep on keepin’ on.
9) That said, my workouts have changed.
As my body changes, so do my workouts. Lately, an hour of yoga makes my tailbone tender for the rest of the day, so I switch it up to a half hour of yoga or a short jaunt on the elliptical. Jogging now makes me feel like the baby is using my bladder as a trampoline, so I do a pre-natal cardio DVD instead. It’s all about listening, and adapting. There are a lot of options. Finding what works for you, on that particular day, is the goal.
10) Nesting is precious.
Cherish the process. Preparing the nursery has made me calm, excited, sentimental and reflective, all at once. From the moment we painted the room, I didn’t want to leave it. With each new piece of furniture and each generous gift from our family and friends, I realize: this little one is already so loved. We are truly, truly blessed, and I can’t WAIT to meet this little soul.