As I am well into my third trimester of pregnancy, I am frantically trying to get everything done. The spring cleaning, the many sewing and crocheting projects, the nursery, projects for Rebekah, and yes, enjoying times of sleep and rest because they will be few and far between soon. Some days it leaves me a bit dizzy and exhausted. If I don’t pace myself, I find that I don’t actually accomplish anything. My mind simply races with everything. Which is exhausting in its own way.
So I am working on simplification and focus. What doesn’t get done won’t kill me. Right? Mitch and I are trying to pick one thing each day that we can accomplish–however small. Today we bought and spread some mulch to spruce up our flower beds.
(I am including this long overdue painting project in some of my pregnancy productiveness! I had a couple pieces of playroom furniture that I found for $5 at a garage sale that needed a spruce up with fresh some paint.)
Considering I am pregnant with twins, I feel like things are going quite well! I can certainly tell I am in the third trimester. I have the slightest bit of swelling now and again. The heartburn is growing in intensity and frequency. I guess heartburn happens more with boys, or so I am told. Laying on my back makes me lightheaded, but sometimes resting on my side makes it feel like my ribs are trying to puncture my lungs. As a result, some nights I sleep like a rock and others I toss and turn unable to get comfortable. I am flossing and brushing like crazy after a brief gum infection scare. Yay for swishing lots salt water. (I had a bad gum infection when I was pregnant with Rebekah and it was miserable.) Oh, and the fatigue is back sabotaging all my productivity with impromptu naps.
But on a much happier note, I am huge, but not as huge as I could be. But we will see what another month brings! The boys are kicking and moving frequently. I love feeling their little kicks and flips. Hopefully they end up head down. Currently, they are favoring sitting breech or transverse. And they are just over 4 lbs each. So they are growing quite well!
Though we trust our OB to respect our wishes (as much as hospital protocol will allow), we decided to hire a doula. Because our finances are tight, we were hesitant, but it was the right choice. She has already been such an encouragement and help to us! I can’t even begin to explain how thankful I am for her insight, nutrition advice, and emotional support.
(I love this comfy dress from thredUP! I bought it a size bigger than I probably needed because I have no idea how big I will be by the end of this pregnancy . . .This picture is from a couple weeks ago and I am already quite a bit bigger. I have a feeling I will be wearing it a lot this last month because it is so comfortable and many of my maternity jeans are getting too tight.)
(I love how simple and comfy this shirt is–I will be wearing it a lot! I also bought it through thredUP. This was taken at 28 weeks? I think . . . Now I am 32/33 weeks. Seriously, it is one of my top three favorite maternity shirts!)
(I love thredUP’s cute packaging! #AD)
I am far from an expert or medical professional, but as a friend and fellow woman, I thought I would share some ideas that have really helped us with this pregnancy:
- Rest when you can, but stay as active as possible. I think walking, chasing a toddler, and moving about has helped me a lot. Though sometimes my back protests to the whole carrying a toddler bit!
- The first trimester is all about survival. Go easy on yourself. And unless you are one of the unlucky few, the fatigue and sickness will pass. My sweet friend Sarabeth sent me a “First Trimester Survival Kit”. If you have a pregnant friend–do this! It came complete with ginger candies (amazon affiliate link) (if I sucked on one while out and about I rarely had to pull over to puke!), boxes of mac n’ cheese (yay easy toddler meals), a candle, stickers and activities for Rebekah, a sweet note, and other helpful items.
- Floss. A lot. You don’t want a gum infection. Trust me.
- Sneak in protein when possible. Eat peanut butter on everything you can. Add whey protein powder to smoothies. Use whole wheat flour. Getting protein is always a challenge for me. So I have to be intentional and creative about it. Also, drink a lot of water. I struggled with this at first because I so often felt sick. Mitch bought me a nice water bottle for Christmas and that really helped! Eating small snacks frequently (with protein) also helped keep my energy up and sickness at bay. My friend Kristin surprised me recently with fruit salad and homemade protein bars that both Rebekah and I are loving!
- Exercise balls are great for stretching out your back and pelvis. Also, pregnancy yoga is a good way to stay flexible.
- Kegels. I hate doing these, but they help strengthen muscles for labor (and sex–bonus!). Also, they help with other embarrassing problems. Like the fact that I had to wear adult diapers while I was sick because every time I coughed I peed myself. Yep. Kegels help with avoiding that too.
- Secondhand maternity clothing can save you a bundle. I can’t recommend this enough! In Phoenix I lucked out with some amazing Goodwill deals on name brand shirts and dresses. However, I have not had much luck here with the local Goodwill. So I started to look into online options. And whether you are pregnant or not, thredUP is an amazing way to buy name brand, good quality, second hand clothes. They run awesome sales and promotions, have cute packaging, and the turn around time for orders has always been very quick for me. I don’t typically buy name brand stuff, especially new. And for some reason, maternity clothes are ALL pricey to buy new. I just needed a few more maternity items this time around. I bought a pair of jeans from thredUP and was so pleased I went back and purchased a comfy top and dress. If you are pregnant, thredUP is offering a 50% discount for first-time orders (up to $50). The code is MATERNITY50. They also have a good return policy, which I appreciate if something is the wrong size or fits weird.
- Sweatpants rock my pregnant world. I am trying not to live in them. But it is so tempting. If you don’t have comfy pants. Buy some. You won’t regret it. I was only a tad embarrassed when I answered the door the other day in my baggy, purple sweatpants. It is also possible that I also tend to ditch the bra when I have heartburn. I promise I don’t go out in public like this. Well, rarely. Also, maternity tank tops that you can layer under sweaters or jackets are wonderful. I have a couple and I wear them all the time!
- As I mentioned above, a doula is a great support for before your baby is born, during labor, and after. If you are doing a natural hospital birth, I strongly recommend a doula. I didn’t feel like we needed one with our homebirth, because Mitch is awesome and our midwife had two students present as well. But, the hospital setting can be more challenging and distracting. Our doula is the midwife we would have used had we opted to do a homebirth this time. I am very thankful for her support. Going the hospital route this time has really made me miss the wholistic care we received from our midwife. A doula helps provide the care a busy OB cannot.
- Stay off of Google. Instead, ask your paranoid questions to your OB, midwife, doula, or other experienced moms. Google will only make you more paranoid. Trust me. And yes, weird things happen while pregnant, like peeing yourself, skin tags in odd places, and unwanted hair. All completely normal. Also, don’t overdo Pinterest. I’ve made this mistake this time around. Pinterest will make you want to make all the DIY baby things. But you probably don’t have the time or money. Set limits and priorities.
- Seek support. Whether it is your first child or your seventh, finding support in your friends and family is so important. Also seek out groups like MOPS or local moms’ groups. I am hoping to plug into a local moms of multiples group this next month. I am little (lot) nervous about life post-twins and I know the more support I can find the better off I will be. Moreover, so many moms struggle with postpartum depression or the baby blues. I didn’t have any major problems after Rebekah, other than what I consider first-time mom anxiety. But I know there have been brief periods during this pregnancy where I have really felt immobilized by anxiety. Having friends to talk to and a compassionate doula have made a huge difference. Also, if you are feeling down during pregnancy, talk to your doctor or doula. Another good place to start is by taking extra fish oil (2,000-4,000mg) and vitamin D. It is good for many things related to pregnancy, plus it can help your mood.
- Finally, a bonus tip that is oh so important: Take lots of time with your spouse. If you can, get away for a bit together. Dream together. Connect as much as possible. Having an infant (or two, gulp) means sleep deprivation. Postnatal bleeding and healing means a couple months without sex. You will soon have an infant (or two) attached to your breast or hip. Life is not over after the baby is born, but it will be different. It takes awhile for everyone to find a new rhythm, especially your sweet new baby. Invest in each other as much as you can now. And try to continue to invest, even just in small ways–an encouraging word and frequent kisses–after the baby(ies) is born.
(How I get 90% of my exercise: chasing a toddler. It supplies both cardio and weight lifting.) 😉
What are some of your favorite tips or tricks while pregnant? Soon I will be sharing my top two favorite pregnancy books, so stay tuned!
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