When I started writing this post, I was 30 weeks pregnant. 30 weeks! That’s the same number as my last milestone birthday. That’s 10 (more or less) weeks away from the end of pregnancy. 30! The number itself sounds so momentous.
Now that I’ve reached this point, I can see why pregnancy lasts 9 months and three trimesters. It takes that long for everything to make sense and for my mind and body to sync up.
My first trimester was all about getting oriented to myself. Getting adjusted to a new diet, a new body, a new lifestyle. Feeling uncertain about everything and questioning every decision as if it were life or death. Like puberty and middle school all over again.
My second trimester was filled with a surge of energy and confidence. I found a way to make peace with my growing belly. Even embraced it. I knew what my physical and energy limits were in terms of exercise, how much I could eat before I felt like a stretched watermelon, and the type of clothes that were flattering. Dresses, flowy tops, and belts became my fashion staples. I even had the energy to tackle projects like learning watercolor, decluttering the closets, painting the nursery/office room, and researching baby products and books. The baby no longer felt abstract. Now there are actual aspects of parenthood to get excited about. The baby room! Those cute little onesies and sleep sacks! The positive attention of friends, family, and strangers! Second trimester was when I got this pregnancy DOWN.
The third trimester is the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s good, it’s sad, and it’s bittersweet. This is the time when my body is in transition again, although it’s not as abrupt of a shock as the first trimester. Mostly noticing things like not being able to comfortably strap on my sandals, squeezing into my parked car, feeling sore in my shoulders and hips from sleeping on my side, and waking up to my baby boy (lovingly) kicking me at 5am. My focus and concentration are waning from the second trimester. Forget trying to read a book. I can barely finish even one chapter. Also, the thought of labor and delivery is becoming more real. Eek.
Below are some snippets from different areas of my life lately, which I’ve dubbed as The PBJ Project (Pauline + Baby + J). Nestled in there are links and resources that I’ve found valuable during my pregnancy journey. I feel they will carry me through to the finish line.
Pregnancy Reads & Resources
The Happiest Baby on the Block book by Dr. Harvey Karp *Great, positive insight into the needs of newborns and his “5 S’s Cuddle Cure.”
Parenting Without Borders book by Christine Gross-Loh *Love the global-wide perspective this book gave me and had me question what was considered “normal” in the U.S.
What to Expect When You’re Expecting book by Heidi Murkoff *I mostly used this as a weekly and monthly reference. Plus ever since I saw the film Nine Months, I somehow felt it was some rite of passage to own this book.
Gentle Birth program & affirmation tracks *A friend lent me the book and shared a few affirmation tracks with me. Calming, mindfulness-focused program that can be used with any type of birth plan.
Aha! Parenting website *Wonderful, holistic parenting resource shared by a friend.
The Longest Shortest Time podcast *Funny, heartfelt, and informative stories and interviews about parenting.
Maternity Leave Meals
Nut & Seed Banana Oat Snack Bars via Eat Your Greens *a winner! I tested a few batches of these, and J and I love them instead of buying KIND bars or protein bars.
Baby Bump Fashion & Beauty
Pregnancy Health & Fitness
Cat/Cow Yoga Pose video *I do this every night. My workouts consisted mostly of taking walks around the neighborhood, yoga (modified poses), and prenatal yoga.
Pregnancy Swiss Ball Pelvic Tilts video *I loved using my core stability ball for my office desk at work! This will come in handy later for different labor positions.
Simple Green Smoothies recipe *Or anything with spinach and fruit.
Can Mommy Eat…? website *Type in whatever you think you can or can’t eat, and it spits out the answer. So much better than Googling and scrolling through forums and articles.
This and That Items
Snoogle body pillow *A total life-saver.
Whole Foods DIY Belly Balm
Headspace Meditation App: Pregnancy Pack *We started with the free 10-pack version to test it out. Then J bought the yearly subscription, and we’ve been listening to Headspace’s simple 10-minute guided meditations every night since then. Most nights, I just fall asleep halfway through, but I consider that a win.
Creative Projects For Maternity Leave
Amanda Palmer’s letter “No, I Am Not Crowdfunding This Baby (an open letter to a worried fan” via Medium. *Reading this inspired and challenged me to continue finding ways to express myself creatively during motherhood. Why can’t there be space for both identities to co-exist? I decided to treat my year of maternity leave as my stay-at-home-creative-sabbatical and am excited to explore the world of ink & watercolor and experimenting with a new cookbook. Of course, I hope to document these projects here on the blog.
Wonder Forest’s Watercolor Basics for Beginners YouTube video
Food52 Genius Recipes cookbook