If my due date is correct, which I know they rarely are, we’re only 56 days away from meeting our baby girl. Crazy!
Size of the Baby:
According to my pregnancy app, she’s currently the size of a Jicama. She weighs 3 3/4 pounds and is 16.7 inches long.
The bump is still fairly manageable (aka not that large) and it seems like it takes a couple of weeks for me to notice that it’s grown. I’m guessing when I’m typing up next month’s post I’ll be able to see a huge growth spurt, because we’re both supposed to be gaining about 1/2 pound a week from now on!
Food Cravings and Aversions:
Ever since about month 3 of pregnancy, the foods I crave and eat on a normal basis are just like the foods I enjoyed pre-pregnancy. However, it does seem as if I go through phases and eat certain foods over and over again, just in different forms. Thankfully they are mostly whole, colorful foods! The foods I enjoyed often this past month were:
- Oatmeal (pumpkin, chocolate, fruity, etc.)
- Salad (I’m obsessed and eat 1-2 salads a day and often order them when I go out to eat.)
- Toast (avocado toast, chickpea salad toast, pb toast, etc.)
- Sweet potatoes (what’s new?)
- Nut butter (on anything and everything!)
The first two weeks of this month were pretty normal. I had lots of energy and didn’t really feel pregnant. Starting in week 31, however, I started experiencing some noticeable symptoms, which I’ll talk about below:
- Tiredness: I really hadn’t taken many naps during my pregnancy until week 31. I’m not sure if it was due to all the traveling we were doing (which I’ll share more about down below) or just due to my body working extra hard to grow a baby, but I started feeling so tired! During week 31 I found myself needing about 1-2 naps a day. Outside of those naps I felt good and had energy, but I needed some down time everyday.
- Movement: This girl is a mover! She’s kicking, punching, and rolling around on a regular basis and I love feeling her little hands and feet through my skin.
- Hiccups: She started hiccuping and it’s fun to feel her rhythmic hiccuping under my skin. It seems like a metronome is buried under my belly!
- Hunger: My hunger has definitely increased in the past two weeks. Earlier in pregnancy, I felt like I ate around the same amount of food as I did pre-pregnancy, but now I notice I need an extra snack during the day or right before bed. I can still eat fairly large meals at this point, but I’m sure that will change soon!
- BACK PAIN: Sadly my first negative symptom occurred during week 31. I started to feel a soreness in the lower, left side of my back. I continued to walk/jog and exercise as normal, because I heard that would help relieve the pain, but unfortunately it just made things worse. The pain got so bad after a long walk one morning that I could barely walk and had to take 2 days off of movement! The pain also moved down into my left glute muscle and it currently feels like something is pinched. I’m hoping to get some clarity as to what’s going on and also some relief after my next prenatal appointment. I’m definitely considering chiropractic work.
Until my back pain started, I was my usual active self. Despite lots of travel this past month, I found ways to move my body most days and exercise always makes me feel so great. I usually switch off between running, long walks, lifting weights and pelvic floor/core exercises. I’m hoping that after I give my back a break and let it rest/heal, I’ll be able to continue exercising until the end of my pregnancy!
I finally had a prenatal appointment!
My initial plan was to give birth at a birthing center which I had been in contact with since my 3rd month of pregnancy. Right after arriving in Nashville from China, I went in for my first appointment at 28 weeks. Unfortunately, not long after we arrived and started talking, they said I didn’t have enough prenatal care to give birth there. It was a big bummer as things weren’t communicated well and we were both really looking forward to using their facilities. Thankfully the midwife-run section of the hospital which they transferred me to has most of the same values as the birthing center. The room I give birth in just won’t be as comfortable! The birthing center also gave me a free glucose test and lab tests before we left, which was really kind of them.
After getting transferred to the hospital, I went in to have my first appointment with them, only to find out that they didn’t have my name in the system due to a recent database system change. Since we were leaving for an early Thanksgiving in Virginia the next day, we had to wait another week and a half to have my first prenatal appointment.
So finally, at 31 weeks pregnant I got to meet with my first midwife and have my first appointment. Thankfully, despite the transfer, mix-ups and rescheduled appointments, I am overall excited about the midwife-section of the hospital. During my first appointment, the midwife quickly answered all my questions just while sharing about their birthing values. They are all about natural birth and laboring however feels comfortable. I’ll be able to eat, walk around, use different stools and balls to labor and can even labor in a birthing tub. They also don’t do continual IV monitoring and rarely check for dilation. They do delayed cord clamping and promote skin-to-skin right after birth. They basically agree with all my values and aim to give women the best chances of a natural birth. The only difference between the widwife section of the hospital and the birthing center (other than the comfortable room I would have been in) is that I can’t give birth in the tub. I can only labor in the tub. I wasn’t even planning on doing a water birth so that’s fine with me!
At my first prenatal appointment I found out that everything is looking good. I don’t have gestational diabetes and all my blood levels are good. Baby girl’s heart beat was also strong and regular and I’m measuring right on track. My next appointment will be on Tuesday!
This past month was full of travel! Brett and I drove from Nashville to Northern Virginia to do an early Thanksgiving with my siblings. Brett and I even got some parenting practice while babysitting my niece and nephew. Finally having all of us siblings together after our 2 years in China was so life-giving. And I finally got to meet my youngest nephew. Sadly, my parents weren’t able to be there as they live in Ireland, but I’ll be seeing them soon after our little girl is born!
Below is a picture of Brett and I along with all my siblings, their spouses and kids! My two older brothers are the tall guys in the back and my sister is right behind me. I love that we’ll be adding another little girl to the photo soon!
Brett and I drove back to Nashville from Northern Virginia, only to make the 7 hour drive to Destin, Florida one day later. Thankfully we were driving with Brett’s parents this time, so I got to sleep a lot in the back seat. Below is a picture of Brett’s immediate family, but we were with 25 people total for the week! This was the week I was super tired so I unfortunately napped through a lot of the afternoon activities.
After Destin, Florida, Brett and I spent a week in Orlando, Florida. We attended some meetings and saw some old friends from when we both lived in Orlando.
I’m now officially back in Nashville until this baby girl arrives and I’m looking forward to lots of free time and rest!
Thanks again for following along on this journey!