Tuesday, 7 May 2019

The Third Trimester: What I've Learnt

I am rapidly approaching the end of my third trimester of pregnancy and it's crazy to think that this month I'll become a mama. I've been so lucky to be able to enjoy pregnancy and overall feel really good throughout my journey that now I can hardly believe that chapter of my life is nearly over. As incredibly excited as I am to meet Shroomie I know part of me will really miss having my little pal growing inside me, communicating with us through kicks and movements, and that primal sense of keeping them nourished and protected. It's almost bittersweet to think all of that will be finished soon, so today I thought I'd write up a few things that the third trimester (and pregnancy overall) have taught me...


The importance of eating intuitively
As women we're influenced from a very young age to look a certain way, and that diet culture and restriction are normal. Whilst I usually have a fairly healthy relationship with food, I hesitated to realise that eating more is not only normal but necessary, and that having cravings is OK as long as you're giving your body a well rounded diet and nourishing baby well. I certainly had sugar cravings which, looking back, made perfect sense considering work was exhausting me and my body was wanting a quick energy fix due to the effort it was putting into doing my job and growing a baby. You have to be kind to yourself and just do the best you can! It can also be disconcerting watching your body change - I particularly noticed this in the middle stage of pregnancy where it looks like you've put on weight but don't have an obvious bump - but it's important to remember that these are errant self-critical thoughts and it doesn't matter what anybody else thinks! These negative moments aside, I have really enjoyed being particularly mindful of my diet to make sure Shroomie has received the best possible building blocks to grow big and strong (and they really have grown!)

Learning about eco/sustainable options
It's regularly chorused that babies are expensive with a big carbon footprint, but for us sustainability is really important. There is so much information available that we've been able to learn about reusable and biodegradable nappies and wipes, natural remedies and products where possible, and we've bought lots of items second hand. By choosing these options we will not only save financially in the long term but it also means contributing less waste to the planet which can only be a good thing. Of course, it will all be a learning curve but I'm glad I started researching early on, rather than when baby arrives, and I look forward to feeding back (honestly) how we get on with it all!

Self care is really freaking important
I say this with surprise every damn time but I can't tell you how many people have told me to put my feet up and have a nap, yet I still feel guilty about the very idea and would prefer to be maniacally scrubbing floors or ticking other random tasks off my (endless) to-do list. But I'm making progress! I chose to take maternity leave at 36 weeks rather than 38 as planned, which was possibly the best investment I could have made for myself as I feel so much better and less exhausted now. I've been really committed to physical self-care (see this post for my favourite pregnancy body care) and I've made time every day to put towards meditation and affirmations which have been invaluable for clearing my mind of any stress or negativity.

Make preferences, not a plan
This is another bittersweet piece of advice that earlier in pregnancy I'd been told but brushed aside, confident that everything would go as expected for us out of our sheer stubbornness and determination, but it's actually really important: think of them as birth preferences, not a birth plan. In this final stretch of pregnancy we have learnt of some challenges which mean it may be unsafe to deliver Shroomie according to our original idea of a natural, home Hypnobirth. This has been tough to learn so late in the day but we are staying positive and knowing that what's meant to be will be, and our ultimate priority is the safety and wellbeing of Shroomie and I. Regardless of what route we actually need to go down when it comes to the birth, I maintain that Hypnobirthing is absolutely amazing and has been invaluable preparation for the arrival of our baby, no matter what kind of birth we have. I'd honestly recommend it to anybody who is expecting.

Remember to take photos
I've known so many people who've looked back and wished they had taken more photos during pregnancy, and up until recently I'd been just as guilty of this! Luckily, my BFF came to the rescue with a camera before my baby shower and took some incredibly special photos for Jamie and I that we will treasure forever. I'll include some of the shots at the end of this post, and you can see more of her beautiful photography over on her blog, Kimberley Lane.

The excitement of not finding out!
Honestly, I can't describe how many people have questioned why we haven't yet learnt the sex of our baby! But we wanted to wait and I don't feel it's affected us in preparing for Shroomie's arrival - we've just bought items that are neutral and look forward to meeting the baby and finding out when they're here. After such a wait it's even more exciting to anticipate that "it's a...!" moment and I'm really glad we stayed strong.

So, I guess the next time I'll be posting here I'll be a mama! I hope this post has contained some tips that might be helpful to anybody planning or going through pregnancy, and I can't wait to introduce you to Shroomie...

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