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
- PBF Baby #3: Pregnancy Weeks 31-34
Weeks 35 & 36
If I had to sum up weeks 35 and 36 of this pregnancy in a few short words, I’d say, “I am a sweaty mess. And holy Braxton Hicks contractions!”
(35 weeks pregnant — Dress is a non-maternity find from Amazon and I’m wearing a medium)
I’ve had Braxton Hicks contractions in prior pregnancies but the contractions I’ve felt this time around have been waaay more intense, especially those that began coming regularly in my 36th week of pregnancy.
(Hiking with the boys + 36 week belly)
They’re always worse at night, especially before bed, and the contractions got so bad one night I found myself Googling if so many painful Braxton Hicks contractions in a row at 36 weeks was a sign of something more serious. (The short answer: No. And they’re quite often more intense and numerous in every pregnancy after the first. Yeesh!) I feel like had I experienced Braxton Hicks contractions to this level/intensity during my first pregnancy, I might’ve confused them for the beginning stages of labor but even though they can be quite uncomfortable, every time they happen, it’s still quite obvious to me that they’re not the “real deal” which is a nice little nugget of knowledge to have in my mind when the frequency seems to be increasing some evenings.
(36 weeks pregnant — Dress is Pink Blush and I’m wearing a medium)
While I don’t feel like I’ve been hit with the desire to “nest” nearly as strongly this time around, I have been hit with a desire to get rid of ALL THE THINGS. Is that the baby #3 version of nesting?
We took a bunch of baby clothes, newborn supplies, postpartum stuff and baby gear down from the attic during my 36th week and I instantly made an appointment at a local consignment shop to sell the stuff that either never worked for our boys or just wasn’t the style of clothing I typically gravitate toward for newborns. (I’m ALL about practicality, zipper pajamas and onesies in the beginning. Super cute outfits can come later when they’re actually doing something other than sleeping and eating.) I had to laugh at some of the stuff I saved from Chase and Ryder because even if this little one ends up being another boy, a few of the things I saved definitely should not have been saved and really should’ve been tossed rather than stored. Clearly I was just throwing everything into bins without paying much attention to stains, holes and overall wear when I stored their newborn stuff! (Those items obviously did not go to consignment.) Anyway, it felt good to purge some things and Ryan and I now feel like we’re entering parenthood with this little one with a rather “bare bones” approach.
(At my 36-week prenatal appointment)
Some things I personally feel like are absolute necessities and we’re hanging onto them for sure! Since I do still often receive questions from first-time mamas about baby product recommendations, here’s my abbreviated (yet somehow still lengthy) version of “must have” items related to life with a newborn (aka a teeny baby — not one who is ready for solid food yet):
- My Brest Friend Nursing Pillow (my absolute favorite because it seals the space between mom and baby and makes nursing less awkward)
- Boppy Nursing Pillow (I keep these stored in various rooms around the house for quick nursing sessions)
- Nursing Tank Tops
- Nursing Bra (The Bravado seamless bra is my favorite. Comfortable enough to sleep in and great quality that lasts. I’ve never had to replace them since I initially bought a couple while nursing Chase.)
- Comfy, Nursing-Friendly Pajamas
- Nipple Cream
- Burp Cloths
- Breast Pump
- Bottles + Bottle Cleaning Supplies
- Breastmilk Storage Bags
- Wipes (Water Wipes are wonderful for breastmilk poops. I like The Honest Company’s thicker wipes once they begin eating solids and #2 gets a lot messier.)
- Perfect Pull Wipes Dispenser (the BEST for easily grabbing wipes with one hand)
- Diaper Rash Cream (an assortment of varieties — I love Buttpaste for redness, Triple Paste for really bad rashes and The Honest Company Healing Balm for mild soreness and any other irritations)
- Diaper Caddy (to hold ALL THE THINGS)
- Snuggle Nest (we use this as a downstairs diaper changing station)
- Shampoo/Body Wash
- Baby Bath Tub (we have this one but it’s not my favorite — I’ve heard good things about this one)
- Soft Wash Cloths
- Diaper Bag
- Diaper Bag Wristlet (My go-to! Great for making any bag a diaper bag and for grabbing for on-the-go diaper changes.)
- Diaper Bag Wristlet: Car Version (Mom hack alert! I keep this wristlet fully stocked with a couple of diapers, wipes, diaper rash cream and a burp cloth just in case I run out or forget to restock my usual diaper bag before we head out.)
- Infant Car Seat
- Easy-to-Collapse Stroller with Car Seat Adaptability
- Baby Carrier (I have and love both the Ergobaby 360 + Baby K’tan)
- Hatch Rest Sound Machine + Night Light + Time to Rise Clock (love this thing SO MUCH because it can be used for years)
- Zipper Pajamas (ZIPPERS > Snaps. ALL THE WAY.)
- Swaddles (The Ollie Swaddle is, without a doubt, my all-time favorite)
- Muslin Blankets
- Baby Monitor (We have this one by Infant Optics that can accommodate up to 4 cameras)
- Boppy Lounger
- Swing (we were all about the Rock ‘n’ Play with Chase and Ryder but since that’s been recalled, I’m taking your recommendations from this post into consideration for a replacement option)
(Note: This relates to my experience with vaginal birth recovery.)
- Cooling Witch Hazel Pads
- Perineal Spray
- Thick, Super-Absorbent Pads
- Comfortable High-Waist Leggings (the lululemon align leggings are tough to beat!)
And there you have it! If any mamas out there see something I am missing, let me know in the comments section because I’d love for this to be a fairly comprehensive list/good resource for first-time expectant moms to reference!
My 36th week of pregnancy also brought along another highlight for me in the form of a drive-through baby sprinkle, hosted by four of my close friends.
You may read more about the sprinkle in this post if you’d like but I wanted to include it in my pregnancy recap as well since I figured it might get lost in the abyss of PBF posts and wanted it to be mentioned in my pregnancy-related posts, too, for my own memory’s sake. It was such a special day and I am so grateful to my friends for finding a way to celebrate our baby, pandemic style!
37 Weeks Pregnant
(37 weeks pregnant)
I am one day away from my 38th week of pregnancy and can officially say that once I hit 37 weeks pregnant, I felt some of the uncomfortable aspects of pregnancy really kick in. I have to roll onto my side to stand up off the floor without groaning, I feel increasing pressure down there and in general I’m slowing waaay down. Bending over at all is NOT my friend and I’m increasingly thankful I have two tiny helpers around me all the time to pick things up off the ground. Also worth noting: Varicose veins! These popped up on my inner thigh a few weeks ago and seem to want to stay and hang out/become increasingly obvious as pregnancy progresses.
My desire to get in a formal workout has dropped dramatically and walking is pretty much my go-to form of exercise right now with the exception of some short strength training sessions here and there. Braxton Hicks contractions continue and feel increasingly painful and the duration of the contractions seems to be getting longer and longer. Like the previous two weeks, they happen mostly at night before bed or when I get up to go to the bathroom… which happens approximately 5-6 times a night right now. Seriously.
(37 weeks pregnant)
I went in for another prenatal appointment on Friday this week and my doctor checked my cervix and said, “I think you’ll be pregnant at least another week!” I’m around 1.5 centimetres dilated and the baby is still “up there” so I don’t have any expectations of going into labor within the next week or two. I do think some of the odd things I had going on with my placenta that we didn’t know about until after Chase was born contributed to his 38-week arrival and have a feeling this one will be closer to his or her due date.
Speaking of labor and delivery, I want to say a big thank you to you guys for sharing your induction stories with me! They were incredibly helpful and interesting to read. A 39-week induction is still on the table for me but I’m leaning more and more toward seeing what my body does on its own since my doctors fully support either decision. (An induction date has not been set right now.) Some of you were asking why I’m considering an induction this time around and I hope you can respect that I would rather keep that information private, as everyone has an opinion on the internet and some of those opinions aren’t always shared with kindness. It’s a decision I’d like to make for me and my baby with my doctors without judgment from others since blogging for 10+ years has taught me that people have STRONG opinions about the way I should handle pregnancy, childbirth and motherhood. Please trust that I’m doing my best to make the best doctor-supported decision for me and my baby.
As for our childcare plans for the boys for when we need to head to the hospital, my mom is actually coming in town later this week so assuming nothing happens before then, we should be all set. PHEW! This is taking a BIG stress off of my chest because while one of my closest friends here has been “on call” for us to help with childcare up until now, there’s no denying that having my mom in our house, ready to care for Chase and Ryder the second we need to go to the hospital, feels like a giant relief. We love and appreciate you SO much, Mae!!
In terms of how I’m feeling, other than what you might expect from carrying 30 extra pounds and a big ol’ basketball belly around with me all day long, I am grateful every single day that I feel really good for the most part. I had some days of intense exhaustion pop up that mostly looked like a sheer lack of desire to do basically anything… but, overall, I’ve been pleasantly surprised with my energy level this late in pregnancy, especially since I spend so much time outside sweating my face off with the boys in the heat of the summer.
As far as cravings and aversions are concerned, I could live on fruit right now. Dinnertime has almost completely lost its luster so I do my best to eat more in the beginning of the day when my appetite is still normal. By the time dinner rolls around, I feel such apathy toward food other than fruit. I genuinely love food and eating so to feel so indifferent toward food blows my mind, even though I feel like I should be used to this by now because I remember it happening to me at the end of prior pregnancies as well. As far as other random cravings, I am eating a ton of chia seed pudding and also love Alino’s pizza (but feel oddly picky about pizza and only want Alino’s), burrito bowls made with carnitas, oatmeal, cereal, ice cream, yogurt and granola. I do my best to sneak veggies into smoothies or my lunches when they sound good to me since I know that by the time dinner rolls around, I won’t want much in the way of “real” food.
Packing My Hospital Bag
As for some other things that happened during my 37th week of pregnancy, I assembled my hospital bag this weekend! I did this after one night of particularly bad Braxton Hicks contractions where I had visions of throwing everything into my hospital bag in the middle of real labor contractions. I figured I should check this “must do” item off the list and feel better knowing I have everything I need ready to go.
I must admit I referenced my old blog post about what I packed in my hospital bag for baby #2 to get me started because I feel like my pregnancy brain is making everything foggy these days! I remember thinking we didn’t nearly as much as I thought I would after I gave birth to Chase because the hospital had basically everything I truly needed, especially related to postpartum care. I am doing my best not to over-pack my hospital bag but still recognize that there are some things that definitely made life after delivery more comfortable and easier for me. I’m making sure my hospital bag will include my favorite nursing pillow, comfy nursing-friendly pajamas, nursing bras, snacks, toiletries, slipper socks, a going home outfit, Velcro swaddles, a muslin blanket, a 30-ounce Yeti (with a straw) and a few newborn baby outfit options for either a boy or a girl.
Big Brother Gift Ideas (from Baby)
Another thing on my mind? I am on the lookout for big brother gift ideas for Chase and Ryder! When Ryder was born, we gave Chase a play doctor’s kit and it was a huge hit, especially since it gave him something to play with in the hospital after he met his little brother. (Chase also picked out a present for Ryder and gave him a new bunny Wubbanub!) Since the boys are not allowed to come to the hospital to meet our baby this time around, I am trying to think about a fun little gift to have ready for them “from the baby” when we arrive home. Any ideas?
I’m drawing a blank and would love to have something that kind of fits with a baby/big brother theme. I’m probably overthinking this since I know they would be 100 percent happy with something as small as a new Hot Wheels car but if you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them! Something that will keep them entertained for more than 2.5 seconds would be grrrreat. Haha! The only idea I have so far came from my friend Laura for this V-Tech kid-friendly digital camera which I thought might be a hit since it would allow the boys to take lots of pics of the new baby and each other. Chase loves his Instax Polaroid camera so much so I have a feeling it would be a big hit and give him a way to take pictures without flying through film.
Annd, a million words later, I think we’re all caught up! Thank you so much for following this exciting time for our family and for your kindness and love. I always feel so much support from you guys and appreciate it so much more than you know.