Episode VI: Return of the Nausea (The 3rd Trimester)

(New Here? Read Episode IV and Episode V if you’d like some first and second trimester stories. Or not, it’s all good!)

The Saga Continues…

As I continued to run out of womb, my stomach and other internal organs continued to be compacted by my growing baby. This led to a long stint of an overstuffed, nauesous feeling every time I ate, and I wanted to eat all the time. The struggle was real.
Speaking of struggle, it’s a common joke/fact that heavily pregnant women struggle to get up and move. While this was true in the case of getting off of our futon-couch (although it’s hard for any nonpregnant person to get off of, to be fair), and in my turtle-on-her-back wobble out of bed every hour to pee at night, for the most part I was able to move about freely. I was still able to go out for walks and enjoy the summer, although not too far into my third trimester it had to be an outlet or some other facility with a restroom every several yards.
It was around my 7th month gestation when people were finally able to tell without any doubt that I was, indeed, with child. I pushed my belly band to the limit, and it was time to try out my maternity shorts I had purchased from Mother and Child Consignment a few months prior. The pair I have pictured in my second trimester blog fit for all of a week, and then it was yoga cutoffs and the one other denim pair of maternity shorts the rest of the summer.
At 29 weeks, I had gone in for my glucose tolerance test. I was given a small bottle of syrupy, orange liquid to shoot down my gullet right before having my blood drawn to test for gestational diabetes. Luckily, thanks to my party animal past, chugging vials of questionable-tasting mixtures was a skill I’d honed, so knocking back the sundex was a breeze. It actually wasn’t half bad–like an orange hug barrel with notes of melted creamsicle, in my opinion.

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Cheers, m8!

About a week later, I got a call from my OB GYN office letting me know that my results came back a little iffy, and so I would need to do a three hour panel–meaning that I would have to get four blood tests in three hours, and drink a different version of the sundex fluid. I immediately tried getting myself mentally prepared for the worst, assuming I had gestational diabetes. The nurse I spoke with instructed me to follow a diet heavy with carbs (oh no, so awful *crylaughemoji*), and a serving of cake and soda per day to challenge the way my body metabolized sugar. She mailed me a list of foods including bagels, potatoes, etc. For the last day at the office and that weekend, I’d be living la vida high-carb

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The meme I made and insta’d to share my plight

On my first day as a stay-at-home-mom-to-be, I sat in the waiting room of my Baby Doctor’s for my three-hour, reading the book, “Fuck it–Do what you Love,” which would be my theme for the rest of my pregnancy and beyond. It wasn’t easy leaving the office, and I still had my reservations on being “just” a SAHM, but in my heart I knew that was what I wanted to do, that was what I was beginning to love, and so I read up and had what must have been a gallon of blood drawn from my left arm.

Around the third trimester, I began to develop some severe insomnia, laying awake until nearly 3am almost every morning. Insomnia is normal in the third trimester, or so I’ve read, and honestly it kind of prepares you for the sleep (or lack thereof) you’re going to be getting with a new baby. But in addition to this condition, I also began battling some dark and scary thoughts and moods…I’ll detail that more in a future post.

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Another meme I put together to express my dilemma

But my last few months of pregnancy were not all bleak! I felt pretty well, all things considered. My baby shower, thrown by one of my best friends who goes by the alias, Ryuu (She’s also a bit of a writer, and an awesome artist! Check her out here! )threw me a Retro Gaming/Arcade baby shower in our hometown. Just about all of my closest friends were in attendance, as well as my closest family members. I had a coed baby shower, as I didn’t believe in excluding my male friends and relatives from the celebration of my baby, and they all had a blast.

 

My shower was a gender reveal, and at the end we put everyone’s need-to-know to rest by filling a green balloon “monster” with blue confetti, and inflate it a la dig-dug until it popped. Once the mini-explosion sounded, blue shreds of metallic paper shaped like carriages and baby bottles fluttered through the air to collective applause and, I-knew-it’s, all livestreamed by my other best friend for faraway family and friends to see. Everything went beautifully and perfectly, and I’ll never forget that day.


We got so many wonderful gifts for our son that day, and I could really feel the love in the room. That was the best thing about that day, to me, to be able to have all of my loved ones there to celebrate their new grandson/nephew(biological or otherwise)/cousin, etc. For the first time in a while, I felt peace and happiness.

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I had a couple of needed beach trips with my other other best friend (yes I have three best friends), cyanidekisses (Another awesome writer on this site! If you’re a gypsy hearted millennial who’s trying to figure it all out, check her out!) One to the lake and the other to York Beach. This is where I got my maternity shoot(s) done:


The rest of my third trimester was relatively restful. I built my son’s crib, changing table, and bassinet with my husband, got the apartment as ready as possible for his arrival, and went about my daily duties as usual. I still ran errands and did chores, including taking out the trash, and went for walks as often as possible, even going out of my way to park at the farthest parking space in the middle of an August day for the sake of getting more steps, and putting away other people’s abandoned shopping carts. Needless to say, I got several weird looks and a few raised eyebrows from onlookers.
I remember having really bad lightening crotch the day before my 39 week appointment. I had considered walking around the mall, where I was in search of going-away cards for a party I would be attending that day, but as soon as I felt the surge of pain run through my pelvis, I figured, “maybe not,” and tried to make my way back to my car, having to stop every few feet as waves of daggers ran their way into my pubic bone. I tried to play it cool so that people wouldn’t start to flock to me, as I was all alone, so I’d stop and check my phone, digging my nails into the clutch I’d bought for my baby shower as I was walking through the nagging discomfort.
The next day I went through the motions of my 39 week appointment. As I was checking out, the receptionist said, “Now, if you have your baby before your 40 week appointment, don’t worry about calling us! The hospital will let us know and we’ll take care of it.”
I smiled wryly, and took the card she handed me. I told her I would see her next week.
But the thing is, I would not. But I’ll tell you all about that next time!

Third Trimester Hax

  • Gettin’ those Steps This really helped work out any discomfort I’d had, up until a point. For me, stretching my legs and squatting to pick things up gave me some strength to get through the last leg of the journey. I can’t promise moving will provide the same level of comfort for everyone, as everyone’s pregnancy is different, but it made a difference for me.
  • Hubbie’s Tees In addition to my yoga and sweat shorts, my husband’s shirts became a part of my third trimester esthetic (and I’ve carried it over to my fourth trimester into now). I was able to make it work so they sort of looked like my own shirts. But regardless of how they looked, towards the end, they were all the fit (comfortably), and guys’ shirts are so much more comfortable! I highly recommend raiding your baby daddy’s closet if you’re close to the edge!
  • You put the Lemon in the H2O this helped me digest the little amounts of food I could fit in my squished stomach, and made me feel cleansed and refreshed in the summertime.
  • Can we have class outside? My husband and I took a labor and delivery prep course and I took an infant care and breastfeeding course (my husband was unavailable, so I got him up to speed). I felt the labor class armed me with coping skills I’d not learned anywhere else, and the breastfeeding class gave good insight into what realistically to look forward to. Both classes helped to ease my worried mind, even just a little bit, going into this adventure.
  • Tea Time! I drank this Third Trimester Tea every night from 37 weeks on, and it helped to ease my insomnia somewhat and helped me to feel relaxed. It also tasted great! Always check with your doctor before taking anything with herbs, though!

What I wish I did Differently

  • Lemme (not) Take a Selfie! I felt sooo self conscious in my third trimester, so I held back during my pictures. And it shows. I wish I had let my blinders down and just embraced it, the pictures would have looked so much better.
  • Hello Darkness, my Old Frenemy… bottling my struggles did not do good for me. I feel if I had let people in about what was going on with me, my PPD wouldn’t have been as bad. But more on that later.
  • Namaste (in bed) there are many labor and birth prep videos available, and I wish I did more of these. I did one video the actual day I wound up starting labor that I think may have done the trick! I can’t promise anything, but I feel like there is something to birth prep yoga! More on that next time, though!
  • Rings Off! My Gals, d e f i n i t e l y be sure to take off your engagement/wedding/promise/for fun rings off, probably at the end of the second trimester!! I wanted to keep my engagement and wedding rings on for my baby shower, but having retained water and other fluids being heavily pregnant, and it being the middle of the summer, my rings ended up s t u c k to my finger and I had to get them cut off!! Take it from me, going a few months without your rings beats paying a couple of hundo to have them cut and fused again…

So that is my third trimester! Tune in next time to hear my labor and delivery story!
Thanks, my gals! Talk soon!

Episode V: The Fatigue Strikes Back (the 2nd Trimester)

(Has anyone seen The Last Jedi? I was excited at first when I saw the trailers, because I wanted to see more of Luke, but I’ve been reading a few spoilers and reviews, and I’m not too impressed…I’ll wait for it to come out on Netflix)

The Saga Continues…

🤰🏻By 15 weeks in, everyone I knew, IRL and on social media, had been informed about my pregnancy. I was officially one of those girls you knew from high school getting pregnant on purpose. I was doing a lot better in the nausea territory, aside from feeling like I was running on E all of the time ⛽️⬇️💤
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reading that the second trimester was supposed to be the “honeymoon trimester,” meaning that this three-month period was typically when you felt your best (at least, the best you can incubating a small being), and even experience a resurgence of energy. This was not so much the case for me 😪

I felt just like I did in the first trimester, as far as fatigue goes, if not even more tired, especially as the pregnancy progressed. I literally felt like my baby was siphoning the life right out of me via his umbilical cord 🧟‍♀️
Also, m
as beginning to make his presence known by reenacting Rick James on Charlie Murphy’s couch on my bladder…

giphy-downsized I was definitely feeling more pregnant, but I didn’t feel like I was looking it, at least early in my second trimester. I kept looking up when to expect seeing a bump, because mine didn’t seem to be coming in.
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appointment, I mentioned this to my OB GYN, as I was concerned that my baby wasn’t growing, and she gently explained to me that since I’m on the taller side (I’m 5’8″), and had a longer torso, that I might look smaller this time around, as I had more room to grow. She also told me that all of my organs would be shifting upward to accommodate, which eeped me out a little bit, but the things we do for our babies, right? 😌💞
Speaking
s being shifted up, the second trimester was full of a lot of growing pains. Literally. 🤕 I went through a period of time when I thought that I had gallbladder issues, as my ribs were on fire for a good few weeks there. I learned from the NP that I had seen initially, after a blood test to rule out cholestasis, explained that what I was experiencing must have been intercostal pain, or discomfort in the muscles between my ribs as my ribcage expanded to make room for my expanding uterus. Everything just needed more room to grow 🌱➡️🌳
Aside from al
s, I was going into my second three months with pinchy, stretching, almost Charlie-horse-like pains in my sides. Naturally I was concerned, but I learned that this was round ligament pain as my abdominal muscles needed to expand to make room for baby. Pretty much my Uterus was saying “Move, b**ch, get out the way!” to all of my organs, muscles, and such.

This bothered me for a couple of weeks leading up to week 20, and then would really only act up as I tried to go for walks in the cemetery across from my apartment complex. I’d grit my teeth and walk through the pain for the most part, stopping occasionally to stretch it out, and eventually it would subside.

Gender Reveal and Anatomy Scan

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My Facebook poll on the day of my 19 week appointment 💙❔💖

Until now, I had been referring to our little one as, “Vinilli”, an amalgamation of the prospective names we had picked out for our first born. On March 24th, 2017, my husband and I made our way to the 19 week anatomy scan to find out if we would be calling our little mango baby “Vinny,” for Ramon Bienvenido Ruiz (named after my husband’s father and Abuelo), or “Lilli,” for Lillian Elizabeth Ruiz (first name for my great-grandmother, and middle name for my mother-in-law)

The night before this visit, though, I had a dream about our little one. In my dream, my husband and I, and our baby, aged up to about 1 and a half, were at Mack’s Apples, an apple orchard and flagship landmark of our little hometown. There was a fair going on, and a friend of ours had gotten hurt, so I rushed to help him. In the process, however, my baby had gone missing…the rest of the dream was my husband and I looking for our missing progeny using Pokemon Go, reuniting with our little one, and then suddenly popping up at the grocery store, cursing out Shia LeBeouf for driving his go-cart too fast through the parking lot… 😅

👶🏼All of this to say, I had a dream the night before that our baby was a boy. It was so vivid and real (the part regarding our baby, not Shia. Although, I can’t say it would surprise me if he did something like this IRL) that I wrote all of this down in my phone so I would remember it. And so while I was at our appointment, my arm linked with my husband’s, eyes glued to the sonogram screen, I sat breathlessly waiting for the technician to mention the gender.

My heart skipped a beat when the ultrasound technician confirmed that we would, indeed, be calling our baby Vinny. I guess dreams have a way of coming true.

💙Somehow I had always known in my heart that my first child would be a boy. I looked at my husband in my peripheral, his eyes gleaming, staring at our little boy on the screen. He looked at me, and smiled, the shine of the screen reflecting from his eyes. I returned his gesture with a nervous grin. I kept staring at the tiny baby, stretching and jabbing from within me. I kept waiting for tears of joy to run down my face, but they did not come. I just stared at the screen, feeling overwhelming love and terror–I couldn’t wait to hold him, and yet I was so afraid of not being what he needed…I watched him continue to wriggle, praying that he’d be healthy, and that I would be able to be the Mom he needs and the Mom he deserves 👩‍👦💞

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Our little boy’s picture-perfect sonogram💙👶🏼💙

The technician continued taking pictures of all of the vital anatomy, the screen pausing for brief seconds at a time as she did so. When she stopped on our son’s still developing face, he looked a lot like Skeletor 💀 because at this point, babies haven’t really started putting on that baby fat that makes them cute yet, so his face looked a little sp00py, a face only mommy and daddy could love. But love him we did.

We were happy to learn that our boy was healthy as could be, and left the appointment to slowly reveal the news to our family and closest friends. I decided that I wanted to keep it a surprise for extended family and our outer circle, and have a gender reveal baby shower (I’ll talk more about my arcade/retro gaming themed shower in the next blog)! This drove my Facebook friends nuts, and I kind of loved it 😂🤣

I had also begun taking lots more pictures once I finally discovered my bump at 20 weeks in.

🦋I started vaguely feeling little flutters, like gas bubbles popping inside my belly, probably close to 19 weeks, and definitely felt stronger little nudges around 21 weeks. I was able to actually feel definitive movement, and even sort of see it through my skin (so creepy 😨👾 but so wonderful at the same time🤩💖) towards the end of my second trimester, and my husband was able to feel his movement right around 25 weeks. I can’t forget how his face lit up and his eyes glistened when he felt his tiny son respond to his hand over my belly 😍😭💏

The only other major symptom I experienced in the second leg of my pregnancy journey was heartburn ❤️🔥 I had never before in my life had heartburn, and to anyone who experiences it on a fairly regular basis, I am so sorry 😰 It was like I was breathing fire 🐲 it hurt so much. Everyone I mentioned this to said that this was because my baby was going to have a lot of hair. I silently wondered if I was gestating a human baby or a wookie…

👗During this time I had also discovered and had fallen madly, head-over-heels in love with consignment shopping! I found the most adorable consignment store that sells maternity clothes in Amherst, New Hampshire. This place is e v e r y t h i n g 🤩😍 It’s all about repurposing ♻️ environmental friendly products 🌎 and local business 👨‍🌾 I was able to find my whole summer wardrobe for around $75 (including two new maternity shirts I’d ordered on sale from this adorable site,  PinkBlush which I currently use)! This was such a blessing because being in the third trimester over the summer is rough…but I’ll tell you more about that next time! ☀️😩💦😵

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Super cute maternity shorts! They had inspiring messages on their mirrors–I needed this that particular day 😅

Second Trimester Hax

So I didn’t really have as hard of a time during my second trimester as I did in the first. So I only have a few tips here. Hope this helps!

😴Fatigue: Despite this being the honeymoon trimester, and most sources saying you might have a resurgence of energy during these few months, I felt almost as tired as I did the first trimester, if not more so. I would literally be falling asleep on customers over the phone, and barely be able to hold conversations without dozing off. But there were times when I needed to get it together and pay attention. When I needed an extra boost, I would get a decaf iced coffee. Decaf actually still has traces of caffeine in it, and as someone very sensitive to caffeine, was usually enough of a boost for me prior to becoming pregnant. Plus just having a coffee in my hands was enough of a placebo effect to make me believe I had more energy. I would also do some stretches, or take a brief walk outside around my office building to get the blood flowing so I had a couple more hours of focus ☕️ 🏃🏻‍♀️ 🧘🏻‍♀️

🔥Heartburn: When I had my cholestasis scare, the OB I saw at the time suggested that heartburn could have been the cause of my upper abdominal discomfort in addition to the intercostal expansion. He told me I could take some off-brand Zantac to relieve this. I didn’t want to rely on this, but a couple of pills did get the job done. I would drink a ton of water after two of them and just lay on my side and wait for the fire to be put out. Consult your OB if you think this might be what you need. I didn’t try too many homeopathic remedies like I usually do, but this is what really helped so I stuck with it ❄️

🤕Round Ligament Pain: I was lucky enough that my RLP wasn’t super debilitating like it is for some women. For me, walking it off was usually enough to help with the pain. What I would do was put my hands on my hips and kind of move them in a semi-circle as I was walking to stretch out the sides of my lower abdomen and give me a little bit of relief until the pain subsided. Of course, this may not be enough for some of you littler ladies who don’t have as much room to grow. For more tips on how to deal with Severe RLP, visit my sister-in-law at Becoming Rivera, as she can give you the lowdown on this brutality 😔

What I Wish I’d Done Differently

💪🏼Work out more. Just like in my first trimester, I wish I had found a workout routine that I stuck with. I wasn’t in the best shape in my third trimester. I was very much mobile, and I didn’t have any health problems, but I just felt uncomfortable and like nothing fit (which I know is to be expected, but…). Again, I feel like if I worked out even just a little my stamina and balance would have been better towards the end.

🍎Eat healthier: I did pretty well with this for a while, but towards the third trimester, I got insatiable, and all I wanted was salt. I pretty much subsisted exclusively on pickles (I know, basic af), cheese, peanut butter, and taco bell for a brief stint 😋 This was because I was starting to get depressed and sought comfort food. However, this just kind of made me bloat and exacerbated my heartburn (though I was in denial because diablo sauce is seriously everything, tho 🤤), and just wasn’t good for me, especially because I was a slacker when it came to drinking my water most days. Pretty much, I wish I’d been better about getting my 64 ounces of good old H2O and gotten some more veggies in there 💧🥗

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🥦🥑🥤When I said I was gonna make a green smoothie for myself and my baby every day. It was nice while it lasted! 😂

☔️Had my baby shower. I know that most people don’t have their baby showers until their third trimester, but my whole third took place in the summer months, and I was pretty swollen, uncomfortable, and just plain didn’t feel attractive. I ended up having my baby shower a little over three weeks before I had my actual baby. I was so sweaty and swollen. I feel like I would have been a lot more comfortable if I’d had my shower at the end of the second trimester instead of waiting until the third. Of course, when you have your shower is completely up to you, but I feel like I might have enjoyed myself a little bit more if I’d had mine a bit earlier. But if any of you ladies are going to be due in the summer, it might be a good idea to consider having your showers a bit earlier 🌦

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💞We all have those days…

So that was my second trimester! How many of you are enjoying the honeymoon stage? What symptoms are you experiencing? Hang in there! Not too much longer! ❤️❤️❤️

Thanks for reading, my gals (and d00ds)! Stay tuned for my third trimester stories, labor and delivery, and more! I promise we’ll get into the upcycling and mom hax soon! 😘😘