34 Week Bumpdate
Hello from the third trimester! First of all, I can't believe that I've hit the 34 week mark in this pregnancy. If you're into the fruit/veggie analogies, our bean is now about the size of a butternut squash - Colton is not a fan of these fruit references; he makes a good point in saying that pineapples come in all sizes. For better reference, bean is measuring out at about 4.63 pounds and 17.7 inches and seems to be gaining weight like crazy now!
34 week appointment update:
Feeling lots of movement all over the place! Baby loves my right side and I like to think we're head down at this point but stay tuned until week 36 - butts and heads can feel very similar... We're measuring right on point at 34 inches and heartbeat is still hovering in the 130s (135 today). After our next appointment at 36 weeks, we'll be visiting the doctor's office weekly - eek!
All the feels:
Still feeling good this far along! I've had pretty high energy and am able to get lots done at work, make it to yoga, cook and still have time for all that nesting organization! Sleeping has been a little challenging; it's hard to get comfortable these days and this babe has me waking up every few hours or just plain getting up early - but hey, I consider it "training" for the future...
Nesting is in full force. I've been cleaning, organizing everything from the file cabinet to the fridge and making to do lists for us galore (I am sure Colton loves that...). Gotta take advantage of these super powers while they last so I'm planning to start pumping out some freezer meals!
I've been feeling a few Braxton Hicks contractions and am still out of breath after a flight up the stairs – all totally manageable during brunch or a trip to Target!
Although I'm feeling good at this stage, there are definitely things that make me feel better/stronger or things that I know I should keep up for my own and baby's health.
Activity: This time of year in MN can be hard to work in fitness due to the cold; super un-motivating at times. I try my best to get outside everyday for at least 10 minutes (vitamin D!), wear my Fit Bit to track my steps and make it to as much yoga as possible. WATER not only helps reduce any swelling, cramps, etc. but keeps energy levels high and I definitely notice a difference in myself when I get good water intake.
To relieve the bit of back pain and discomfort I've been experiencing, I've been practicing yoga positions at home (and in the studio) and tracking them for reference as we progress. Also helps that Colton has the hands of an angel and has the natural knack for massage...keep em' coming.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Supported bridge pose
Massage in child's pose
Most cravings have subsided but I'm still pretty into the occasional bagel/schmear and pancake stack. I've been adding in more red meat to keep my hemoglobin in check and trying to include plenty of dark green veggies for nutrients, fiber rich foods (broccoli, bananas) and plenty of fatty acids (avocados, almonds). I'm loving blueberries, apples and oranges and have definitely upped my dairy intake during the last trimester - coffee and cream gal... uh oh.
I've been getting very full very fast lately, as we are running out of room in there! Trying to snack or eat 5 lighter meals throughout the day. I always keep a granola bar in my bag too in case of sudden hunger attacks... or lightheadedness.
Products I've loved:
I've found or made a few products during pregnancy that have made my journey easier or at the least more enjoyable!
I was anti body pillow for a long time. I thought "what am I going to do with this huge awkward piece of material?! I finally caved and started using one a few weeks ago... I had gotten by with a firm king size pillow up until now but the Leachco pillow really has made sleeping more pleasant this stage in the game - I don't want to be without it now!
Rosehip oil: I love using Rosehip oil on my face; it's a great moisturizer and preps the skin before applying lotion. It's packed full of vitamins, antioxidants and essential fatty acids, known to correct dark spots and hydrate dry, itchy skin. I've found that it instantly wakes my skin, adds elasticity and makes you look a little more alive, even if you looking a little on the tired side. Apply a few drops to your face prior to moisturizing daily and massage into skin. Shop the brand I love and use here.
Apricot body oil: I've been using Eminence Apricot Body Oil as a daily body moisturizer; it not only smells and feels amazing but it lasts all day and has been known to prevent stretch marks. Who knows if I can give it credit for that.. but it's a great natural indulgence anyway!
Homemade body butter: The belly goes through a lot during pregnancy; itchy stomach, dryness and stretching among other things. I made my own belly and body butter so I knew exactly what was going into it - there are far too many things to try to avoid using during pregnancy so this made it easy. The essential oils in this recipe have a calming, therapeutic effect (use properly!) and the butters/oils restore the skin’s elasticity and lessen the chance of stretch marks. This recipe was adapted from mamanatural and will last you FOREVER. Great for pregnancy and post-pregnancy.
Mama Natural's belly butter recipe:
1/2 c. raw cocoa butter
1/4 c. raw shea butter
1/4 c. extra-virgin coconut oil (unrefined)
1 tsp vitamin E oil
2 tablespoons rosehip oil
2 tablespoons sweet almond oil
20 drops lavender essential oil (french)
Essential oils: Since the second trimester, I've been using essential oils where I can (essential oils are not always safe to use in the first trimester). I have been loving citrus scents for motivation/energy, lavendar (french) for relaxation or to diffuse before bed and the special Blooma Blend from Blooma yoga studio - the Blooma Blend is their proprietary blend that's applied at the end of classes so the scent really reminds me of that calm, special place and I will be bringing this one to the hospital with me! I plan to diffuse oils during labor as well. Use anything that keeps you calm or brings good thoughts to mind! (always mix with a carrier oil and research proper mixing ratios as oils are very concentrated).
I've also referenced this book for "safe" oils to use during pregnancy and for use with kids.
Comfort clothes: I'm living in t-shirts, layering tanks, prenatal leggings and yoga pants! Here are a few favorites that I've loved with my growing belly.
Ingrid & Isabel: tanks, t-shirts, dresses (this brand is so forgiving and at a great price point). Also comes in a lot of neutrals, which are easy to layer and pair - also so comfortable!
Blanqi: Living in these pre-natal leggings with belly support. I also have the postpartum leggings prepped for post-baby to keep things in place!I also love their Support Tanks - super soft and supportive for pre and post-baby.
Lululemon Align Pants: I've been able to use these throughout my entire pregnancy! I've loved these pants long before pregnancy but they've doubled up for me, especially during all this yoga. With their "like naked" feel, you will never want to take them off.
Favorite maternity dresses:
Along with my normal pre-natals, I've added a few more supplements to my daily routine and am preparing to add a few more for my postpartum routine.
Garden of Life Raw Prenatal: General nutrition and for supplying folic acid to iron, iodine, etc. I started taking these months before pregnancy too. There are a ton of great options out there, I chose this one for it's plant base ingredients, the fact that it contains additional probiotics and digestive enzymes and you only need to take 3 vs 4 a day.
Ocean's Mom DHA - Prenatal DHA (my prenatal does not include DHA but some do). For providing essential fatty acids during pregnancy and early brain development for baby.
Vitamin D - We live in MN so we definitely don't get enough of this one! Supports teeth and bone growth.
Vital Proteins unflavored collagen peptides: I add a scoop of Vital Proteins collagen peptides to my coffee in the morning. Great for extra protein and support of skin, hair, nails, bones and joints.
Vital Proteins beef liver: Great for keeping your hemaglobin levels in check, especially if you don't eat a ton of red meat. I take two a day.
Vital Proteins Bone Broth - This is an occasional for me, but cooking foods like rice or quinoa in bone broth is an easy way to squeeze in all those wonderful nutrients that bone broth has to offer.
Postpartum: Here's what I have planned for postpartum routine, knowing what could be ahead, in addition to my pregnancy supplements.
Vital Proteins beef liver: Iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin B and Folate - Great for a pregnancy and breastfeeding supplement.
Calcium (Garden of Life): During pregnancy and breastfeeding, sometimes nutrients are taken from your body to provide for baby. Extra calcium ensures healthy joints and bones for mom and babe. It's recommended that a breastfeeding mom get about 1,000 mg of calcium a day – about 4 servings of dairy products.
Vital Proteins Beauty Boost: Great for postpartum hair loss (eek!), skin and nail growth.
I found this article on MamaNatural.com really helpful when choosing supplements and has great reference to what nutrients are essential during pregnancy.
Bucket list (pre-baby)
Dinner and a movie: We're not big movie go-ers, in fact I can't remember the last movie we went to! BUT I've been dying to get out to see a movie since about the second trimester so we're making a day of it; that's right, we're going to the fancy Icon theater where we can nibble on some goodies and Colton can enjoy a beer while catching a flick - something that might not be as simple for a while!
Go out to eat: We love going out - after living downtown for 4+ years we grew pretty accustomed to trying all the new and old favorite spots for meals, happy hour or social outings. It's definitely eased up since moving to the outer burbs but it's still definitely a favorite social activity. We've made a point out of planning a few dinner dates to new and favorite spots, doing weekday breakfasts or Sunday bruches and squeezing in some spontaneous outings with just the two of us. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, you name it - get out there and enjoy some quality 1 on 1 time pre-baby.
Travel: We were lucky enough to be able to take an impromptu trip to Canada with a few good friends; did some fishing and hunkered down in a majestic cabin. This was a simple and perfect getaway for pre-baby. It was no Caribbean (where we normally are this time of year) but definitely fit the bill. If you can swing it, try to knock out a few small trips that you've been wanting to take before the little one arrives - it might be a while until you can plan for a trip (alone or with your new addition).
Hubby hobbies: I'd love to take a night to take Colton to a hockey game. I've been making sure to get him out of the house for the occasional beer or letting him take over the house for boys night, game day as much as he likes!
Babymoon/Staycation: We originally had intentions of taking a babymoon somewhere across the states but time FLEW and we got caught up in the craziness of remodeling a home (almost as fun, right?!). Instead, we carved out a weekend for a special "Staycation" for the two of us. We'll be snuggling in across the river at Hotel Alma - eating breakfast in bed and playing tourist in our own city (old neighborhood in fact). I am so glad we did this - it's something we have to look forward to and that's ALWAYS a good thing. Now, if baby can only wait for us to take this staycation before they make their debut.
Third trimester to dos:
Pack the hospital bag: I have a very long list that I've compiled from a few resources, trying to keep this simple while including those few 'nice to haves'.
Birth plan and affirmations: I have a very flexible and simple, visual birth plan written up - this is really just a guide and reminder for myself of what my options and intentions are. I know that plans can always change at any time during labor and am ready to surrender to whatever is best for babe and I. I keep a notebook of affirmations, relaxation techniques, positions and things to remember to focus on when "birth day" arrives. Most of these things sound like common sense after all the research I've done and things I've learned throughout this journey but I am fully aware that in the heat of the moment, these will be nice reminders for Colton and I!
Finish nursery: We are almost done with this! Really just need to get organized and set up all those gadgets so we don't have to do it after babe comes.
Purchase any last minute needs after showers: I have loved using Babylist for our registry; so easy to use and we can add items from anywhere! Tt also keeps a running list of things we may want to purchase afterwards.
How we're prepping:
We started our baby education classes (taking all of them through Blooma). I feel pretty educated going into a lot of this, as I've done a LOT of researching and reading but I am also taking away some invaluable info and I love the hands on classes (definitely not an online class person).
Birthing class (4 week lamaze course)
Infant CPR class
We've had a few family showers and preparing for our final friends/couples shower - which will really just be a fun get together! We're feeling pretty prepared and anything additional we'd need at this point isn't anything we couldn't order on Prime on our way to the hospital! Feeling so blessed by all the wonderful people in our lives that have supported us up to this day.