I’m almost in the home stretch with this pregnancy!! Finally, and I couldn’t be more excited :-). As my third trimester peeks around the corner, this newest little member of the Powell Pack is getting more and more active. Those little elbows in my ribs and powerful kicks to the side remind me every day that Baby Powell (we’re keeping the baby’s gender a secret!) is already rearing to join us as we work to stay active and continue to transform lives. It’s in the genes, you could say. 🙂
In between all of the rib kicking and feelings of overcrowding in my midsection, amazing things will continue happening with this little one over the next few weeks: eyes will open, bones will continue to develop, little lungs will practice breathing, fingernails will grow, and … some serious weight gain (for both Mommy and Baby!). This miraculous process never ceases to amaze me. Four babies in the making, and I’m still in awe every single day over what is really going on inside of my belly. I’m growing a human!!!! What???!!! Yup – it’s a true mindblower.
All you prego moms out there (past or present) can attest that these are a few things we experience (both “get to” and “have to”) as these months pass: swelling (you would die if you saw pics of my feet from my first pregnancy), increased tiredness, backaches, heartburn (all day, everyday, for me), more frequent potty breaks, wacky emotions (ummm…guilty – just ask Chris), and intensifying Braxton Hicks contractions. While some of these might be fun and bearable for a while, I think it’s safe to say that we all reach a point where we’re using our word to coax that little baby to come out of our bellies! I’m not gonna lie – with Cash being 10 days overdue, I was lunging, jumping, bouncing, running…whatever I could do to make these symptoms stop! Those were the longest 10 days of our lives ;).
In my eyes, there is no better time than NOW, the last trimester, to make some final preparations not only for baby’s arrival, but for our post-baby selves. Now, I’m not saying you should ever wait for this last trimester to begin preparing, BUT…I am saying that if you haven’t already, then let’s start preparing together today:
- Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition. Even though baby is gaining weight rapidly, that’s not a free pass for us to overeat. Sorry ladies, we don’t really have to double our portions to properly “eat for two.” Bummer, huh?? J Only consume between 300-450 additional high quality calories per day, and not only will baby be healthier, but we’ll be able to find our pre-baby bodies much faster. I always remind myself that I am “building a baby”…this helps me eat only the foods I want my little baby to be built from. Also, be sure to keep an eye on sodium intake to help prevent swelling, and stay well hydrated (I will HAVE to show you what excess sodium did to my feet during pregnancies! I finally learned my lesson though, and did pregnancy number 3 the right way – lower sodium).
- Exercise. Yes, we might not feel like running a 5K, but there are some things we can do, even in the final weeks, that will make labor, delivery, and recovery much easier. Walking is a simple and safe form of exercise for any stage of pregnancy. Wanting more? Check out these exercises and stretches from the Mayo Clinic for some other great ideas. (Please discuss any exercise or stretching program with your health care provider before beginning.)
- Sleep. A Lot. Once baby arrives, sleep will become a rare commodity. Ask for help, if necessary, so you can get as many naps as possible, without compromising your daily activity that keeps you feeling alive and energetic!
- Prepare siblings for baby’s arrival. Getting used to a new baby can sometimes be a bit tough for the other kids. Trust me – Little Cashy keeps telling me “NO!” everytime I talk about the new little baby! Here’s an idea: have the new baby give a gift to each of his or her siblings. They’ll think the new kid is pretty cool right from the get-go, and it will help ease the pain that can come along with a little less attention on them while we tend to the newborns needs. Baby Powell will definitely be doing this for Matix, Mars, and Cashy very soon now!
- Finish final arrangements for D (delivery) day. Make sure the bags are packed and caretakers for the other kids are on stand-by. Also important for Chris and myself? A birth plan. This was something I never ever thought of for Matix and Marley’s births, but by having one typed up for Cash’s arrival, it was an easy reminder to nurses, docs, and family of what would make this day most comfortable for me. Now, don’t plan on the plan to a T – things come up and emergencies happen. But it’s never a bad idea to have an idea to have a plan in place.
- Take a break and enjoy this magical time—it will pass all too quickly.
Amen to that last tip. I am tearing up as I type this. As hectic as it can be gearing up for baby, not to mention uncomfortable at times, there isn’t a time in my life I enjoy more…and now I will miss dearly, than being pregnant. Elbows to the ribs, kicks through my belly, baby hiccups, ultrasounds, even Braxton Hicks contraction, are all things I will miss. I guess I should never say never, but Chris and I are thinking our family might be complete with 4 :-). Goodbye to pregnancy forever (I’ll miss you!), hello childhood, teenage year, adulthood, and grandbabies before we know it!
Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves though :-). For now, bring it on third trimester!! I’m ready for ya!