Sunday, November 20, 2011

It takes a village

It occurred to me recently that I am approaching this pregnancy a little (okay, a lot) differently than I would have if I'd gotten pregnant quickly and much younger.  The biggest difference is that I am definitely not afraid to look for ways to make my pre-baby life easier / more relaxed!


As I think I mentioned before, I think a fair number of women who face infertility eventually consider / partake in acupuncture.  I started it several years ago as something--anything--to help with our infertility and ended up really loving it.  I still go at least once a month now to prepare my body / mind for labor.

Prenatal Yoga

In an attempt to de-stress during our struggles with infertility, I decided to try yoga.  Again, it ended up being something I absolutely love.  So no surprise I switched to prenatal yoga once I got pregnant.  And, again, I absolutely love it.  I go at least three times a week and I love the community of pregnant women.  It's a huge resource of positive energy for my pregnancy.


This is not an "activity" like some of the other things, but my prenatal yoga classes exposed me to the concept of a birth doula and we decided to utilize one.  The idea that someone very calm, rational, and experienced is going to be by my side is very comforting.  They (we hired two women who work together) have already provided us with a ton of information and comfort.  We're even hoping--with their help--to achieve a natural birth!  (More on that later.)


I know some pregnant women have back issues and start seeing chiropractors.  Well, I'm in my third trimester and the back is starting to ache.  So yes, I went to a chiropractor.  Not sure what I think about it so far, but she assures me that regular alignments can help women have shorter childbirths.  We will see....

Therapeutic Massage

Massages are not something I ever really got into.  But I read that they are a good idea prior to labor, as a relaxed soon-to-be-mom has an easier time in labor.  And with the aching back (and, frankly, work stress), massages seem like a really good idea.  I chose to go to a specialist with pregnancy pillows and special bench (so I can actually sorta lay on my front) and the massage was heavenly.  Definitely going to be part of my routine until labor... and maybe beyond.


Relatively soon after my diagnosis of diastasis recti, I found a pilates instructor who has knowledge of the condition and booked myself some private appointments.  Most of the work on this front will happen after baby's arrival, but she showed me some exercises that can help now.  No tummy tuck for me.

I also have a shit load of books on pregnancy, labor, baby, etc.  And I have been reading them obsessively.  (I haven't done any pleasure reading in months--very unlike me!)  I love having information, so the different books have been very comforting--even if some of the information in them is quite terrifying!  But the books have given me a lot of good ideas about ways to help me relax, to make my labor easier, and to prepare me to be the best mom I can be.

I don't think I would have engaged any of these amazing women to help me if I hadn't had trouble getting pregnant.  And I sincerely doubt I would have 10+ pregnancy / labor / baby books on my nightstand.  So while I'm certainly not glad that we had so much trouble, I am happy that I'm taking advantage of my increased knowledge, maturity, and, frankly, money, to make my pregnancy and labor the best they can be!  Not sure how much this will spill over to me being a better mom, but it can't make me worse (right?!).

Monday, November 14, 2011

Third Trimester

Just hit the third trimester.  It feels good!

Things are going great.  I love being pregnant.  I think I'm much more appreciative of the whole pregnancy process because of all we had to go through to get here.  Not that I'm saying I'm glad we went through everything we went through... but it feels good to be here now.

Baby is great--bouncing all over the place.  We cannot wait to meet him... once he's fully cooked in about 11 weeks!

Nothing much to report.  My weight gain has been strong and steady.  I thought I was going to be a low weight gainer because I eat healthy and exercise moderately, but not so much.  I'll be 29 weeks tomorrow and I've gained over 20 lbs.  Funny enough, it's still mostly just in the tummy (and a little bit in the hips).  Because I was a healthy weight when I got pregnant, my target weight gain is 25-35 lbs.  I'll probably be pushing the upper limit.  But my belly is measuring perfectly, so nothing to worry about.  I plan to breastfeed, so hopefully the pounds will just melt off.

So far only one downer--I have diastasis recti.  (Separation of the ab muscles.)  I guess it's relatively common, but it's still awfully disturbing to get out of bed and see what appears to be a roll of cookie dough bulging under your skin from your belly button to your chest.  (Okay, it's not cookie dough--it's my organs trying to make their great escape.  Not sure that's any better.)  Once baby is born, I'm going to have to work pretty hard to get into pre-pregnancy shape.  Oh well, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it!

Other than that, things are good.  We're getting excited for baby's arrival.  We're getting the nursery together and just ordered our baby furniture.  We've done all of our research on all of our baby products.  I've been reading tons of books on babies and sleep schedules and other things.  And I've already started planning out what I want to carry with me to the hospital.

Also, hubby and I have gotten mildly obsessed with the actual birth process.  I never thought I would be a natural birth fanatic, but... well, I think we're getting there.  We hired a doula, have done tons of research on different hospitals in the area, are thinking about delivering with a midwife, and have a pretty detailed birth plan worked out.  I'm scared for the labor but my excitement about finally being a mom will hopefully overrule any nerves on the big day.

Bring on the baby!