Just in case you’re interested in catching up on baby #3 updates so far, here are all of my baby/pregnancy-related posts in one place:
- Pregnancy Announcement: Our Family is Growing!
- Baby #3: All the Details (So Far)
- 27 Weeks with Baby #3
- PBF Baby #3: Pregnancy Weeks 28-30
And now here is a recap of how the past month of pregnancy has been going around here along with some random thoughts and birth plan considerations I’ve been tossing around lately…
Note: These recaps were written in real time, so you’ll notice I’m writing in the present tense in both sections. I just felt the need to specify so as not to be confusing!
PBF BABY #3: WEEKS 31-34
31 & 32 Weeks Pregnant
(31 weeks pregnant — These were the only belly shots I had from that week!)
Weeks 31 and 32 of my pregnancy blurred together largely because I’ve spent most of them in Florida with my family but also because the way I’ve been feeling from week-to-week is rather similar. I keep telling Ryan how fortunate I feel that this pregnancy has truly felt like the easiest of all of my pregnancies and I worry that by saying this I will somehow jinx myself but I’m choosing to focus on feeling incredibly grateful to be experiencing what I can only call a relatively “easy” pregnancy from a physical standpoint.
This experience also makes me think about just how varied women’s pregnancies are from person to person and pregnancy to pregnancy. Having experienced some really rough nausea that lasted well into my second trimester and surfaced again in my third trimester in past pregnancies and sacroiliac pain that made it incredibly painful to even walk for weeks when I was pregnant with Chase (that was truly BRUTAL), I feel like it’s so incredibly important for expectant mothers to give ourselves grace when our bodies are changing so much and growing a baby. I remember feeling discouraged when I’d read about women loving pregnancy when I was so nauseated and frustrated because I couldn’t walk around our house without experiencing stabbing pain and was admittedly a bit disheartening so I just feel the need to include this here because while I want to be honest and share that this pregnancy has, comparatively, been much easier for me, I know how it feels to be pretty discouraged and frustrated during pregnancy as well, despite having a heart filled with gratitude and excitement.
(32 weeks pregnant)
But back to the past two weeks! Things are going well and, for the most part, I feel like I’m trucking right along. The shortness of breath I mentioned in my last pregnancy recap surfaced again a couple of times over the course of the past two weeks but felt a little more extreme. While I felt like I could always breathe and take deep breaths, at the same time I felt really stifled and uncomfortable when sitting on a handful of occasions. When this happened, I needed to stand up or lie down for a few minutes and focus on breathing deeply. This helped every time but I can only describe the breathless feeling as an almost claustrophobic feeling, despite the ability to still breathe fairly normally. It was very strange!
I also had a couple of back-to-back nights of what I can only assume was pregnancy-related insomnia. I was up for several hours around 3 a.m. but the little baby in my belly was up with me kicking and flipping around so at least I had some company. Ha!
33 & 34 Weeks Pregnant
(33 weeks pregnant)
I went back to the doctor for an in-person visit at 33 weeks and also returned to maternal and fetal medicine for a growth scan since Chase was such a little guy when he was born (5 lbs. 10 oz.) and my doctors want to keep an eye on things. I learned that our baby is face down (a change from my 30-week exam) which was good news and his or her size is trending closer to Ryder’s size (he was 7 lbs. 7 oz.). Our baby is already approximately 4 lbs. 10 oz.! During the ultrasound, they were able to show me little spikes of hair on our baby’s head which was just amazing! I cannot wait to see what hair color this one has since Chase was such a blondie when he was born and Ryder’s hair was so dark! Maybe this little one will have red hair and really keep us guessing!? (I was actually born with red hair!)
In terms of how I’m feeling physically, just when I thought pregnancy insomnia was going to be a little blip in my pregnancy experience this time around, it surfaced again with a bang. Numerous times I’d find myself wide awake in the middle of the night for hours and couple that with already waking up to go to the bathroom a million times a night and the 33rd week of my pregnancy was one of my most restless. Yeesh! Needless to say, I’ve had a few days where I’ve felt very low-energy all day long which can be a challenge with two extremely active boys to care for all day!
With increasing frequency, I’ve also noticed Braxton Hicks contractions. The lower half of my belly gets extremely hard for short periods of time multiple times a day right now. It’s not painful at all but the rock-hard sensation isn’t exactly comfortable, though it tends to soften again rather quickly. Odd things like getting out of bed in the middle of the night seem to trigger my Braxton Hicks contractions which is kind of crazy to me!
My appetite is strange but mostly consistent with the rest of this pregnancy. I’m ravenous in the morning and then my appetite tapers through the day and often I find myself completely disinterested in dinner. Despite not really caring about dinner too much, I still have to eat a decent amount in the evening otherwise I become quite nauseated but know that after 4 p.m. most days food will sound less and less appealing with the exception of fruit and ice cream which I’m eating a LOT of these days.
As far as fitness is concerned, my workout motivation ebbs and flows. I have a pretty low pressure approach to exercise during pregnancy and try to listen to my body and exercise when I feel good and energetic and take a day or two off when I don’t. This usually flushes out to four(ish) workouts a week and they’re almost all strength based since I feel like all the walking I do chasing after the boys has to count as some kind of cardio, right!? You may see what a full week of my workouts looked like at 33 weeks pregnant in this post: Week of Workouts (33 Weeks Pregnant).
The Transition from Two to Three
Aside from how I’m feeling physically, I’ve noticed some increasing concerns about the transition from two children to three children begin to bubble up in the back of my mind. Though we obviously wanted our first two kids closer together in age than three years apart, the three year age difference ended up being really nice for a myriad of reasons. While life with two kids versus one newborn was admittedly a lot more chaotic and intense (zero breaks + downtime ever!), the fact that our oldest child was three years old meant he had the ability to understand what was happening and why things around him were changing. With Ryder having only recently turned two years old, I’m admittedly more concerned about how he’ll handle life with a new baby that will require so much attention.
(34 weeks pregnant)
Thankfully I have a handful of girlfriends who went through life with a newborn and a two-year-old before me and all have been very honest with me when they’ve shared that the closer age difference made things quite challenging at times so I feel like I have reasonable expectations. I’m not expecting a cake walk! Haha!
I cannot help but be a little anxious about everything and I think a lot of these feelings surfaced after Chase’s birthday which, while a special day for our family, was also a bit of a challenging day for Ryder. On Ryder’s birthday it was easy for Chase to understand that the presents were for his brother and that he could play with them, too, but only after the birthday boy had a chance first. Ryder didn’t get this concept at all and the whole day was a little overwhelming and frustrating for him. I am just concerned with how to properly prepare Ryder and communicate with a child who seems to grasp so much but is still just a little guy who is growing and learning and dealing with very BIG emotions every day. I also don’t want to downplay how the transition will be for Chase but, at five years old, I’m less worried about him acting out and not being able to express how he’s feeling if things are upsetting him, especially since he handled it well last time and seems to be beyond excited about this little one’s arrival.
Considering a 39 Week Induction
One of the biggest developments from a labor and delivery perspective over here is the fact that I’m considering a 39 week induction. It’s something I’ve discussed with three different doctors (one doctor from maternal and fetal medicine and two doctors from my ob/gyn practice, one whom I trust immensely as she was incredibly helpful to me following my miscarriages and the doctor I began to exclusively see during my pregnancy with Ryder) and all three doctors are fully supportive of this decision if it’s my desire. There are a number of factors that will play into this decision from a medical perspective but, ultimately, my doctors are allowing me to make the decision for myself. I find myself waffling back and forth about this every day and would welcome induction experience stories from any of you out there who were induced. It’s uncharted territory for me as I went into labor naturally with Chase (at 38 weeks) and Ryder (on his due date).
I initially thought a 39 week induction would increase my risk for a c-section but, according to all three doctors I spoke with, this was not the case at all. (My maternal and fetal medicine doctor referred me to this study and actually called 39 weeks a “sweet spot” for mom and baby when it came to delivery.) This definitely further piqued my interest in a 39 week induction but I’m on the fence since I had good labor and delivery experiences with both boys. Still, my doctors seem confident that given my history, an induction should progress smoothly, though labor might be longer than it would if I went into labor naturally. This doesn’t bother me too much since an epidural is definitely in my birth plan. Anyway, this feels like a big decision and one I’m going back and forth about on a daily basis! Mamas who were induced, please tell me how everything went for you! I’d love to hear experiences, especially from any of you out there who might be moms to more than one kid who went into labor naturally for one child and then also had an induction for another child.