In part one of this series, I talked about everything I didn’t expect during the first and second trimesters of pregnancy. Now that I’m nearing the end of my pregnancy I thought I’d share a few more tidbits I’ve been learning about pregnancy and birth.
You Don’t Need a Ton of Maternity Clothes
Prior to being pregnant, I dreamed of the day I would start buying cute maternity outfits. Then I realized a lot of my clothes would work just fine aside from jeans and a few tops.
If you think about it most longer sweaters and tank tops, shorts and stretchy dresses can still be worn while pregnant. The only major purchases I’ve made have been for jeans (these ones from Old Navy have great reviews + don’t forget to sign up for Ebates to earn 4% cash back!), leggings (also from Old Navy), and a few dresses (one bodycon, a chambray with buttons perfect for breastfeeding and a black and white polka dot dress). Plus a few tanks for layering which will also be great for postpartum and nursing.
The Second Half Goes by Way Faster!
Before 20 weeks and really before I started showing the weeks sort of dragged by very slowly. Now that I’m in the third trimester and in the 30’s for weeks time is moving faster. The baby also feels a lot bigger now and I’m much more aware of her presence than in previous weeks.
I also have midwife appointments every two weeks. Checking up on the baby this often has given me something to look forward to and made the imminence of birth more prevalent in my thoughts.
As time goes on we’re also taking more steps to prepare for the baby, like registering for gifts, building our crib, getting a stroller and setting dates for showers.
Feeling Your Baby Kick is the Most Exhilarating and Comforting Experience
The first time I felt Baby K move I was sitting in my chair working on my online school courses. It felt like nothing I have ever felt before in my stomach so I knew it was the baby making little movements. As the weeks went on her kicks became more pronounced and my husband was able to feel them as well. One time he put his head on my stomach and she kicked him hard on the ear!
It’s such an incredible experience to know your baby is alive inside of you and so powerful in their little movements. It’s also reassuring to feel them move around rather than having to wait to hear the heartbeat at each appointment.
Read Up on Breastfeeding + Birth
As a first-time mom and someone who hasn’t had a lot of experience with babies, I’m not really sure what to expect when Baby K comes. Although a few people have told me your instincts kick in once the baby comes and to not worry. At the same time, I’ve still been doing a lot of reading and asking questions to those who have kids.
One thing I’m really glad I decided to read up on is breastfeeding. I wasn’t really planning to read a book on this subject but while I was at the library a new book from the La Leche League, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding was on display. I thought it would be a good idea to familiarize myself with this topic because I really want to breastfeed for a long time. I know a lot of women can struggle with breastfeeding, so I wanted to make sure I had resources in place before beginning this journey in case I need help down the road.
I’m also signed up for a free breastfeeding class with our public health unit about a month before the baby comes. I know I can’t anticipate what problems I may run into but I can inform myself of strategies to deal with possible obstacles.
In addition to researching breastfeeding, I’ve also tried to learn about labour and birth. Although I understand the biological mechanisms related to birth the actual experience of it can be quite different. I’ve read a lot of birth stories online and watched some YouTube videos on different birth experiences from having an epidural to a cesarian section to having to spend time in the NICU. For me, it’s important to be informed about possible situations that I could encounter and to learn from others experiences. As much as I hope my birth will go smoothly I know that unforeseen situations arise and that’s okay. At the end of the day what I most want and pray for is a healthy baby.
If You Want to Have an Unmedicated Birth Prepare for One
One of the main reasons I chose midwifery care over a doctor for my pregnancy was my desire to have an unmedicated birth. I know that may seem like a lofty goal or unnecessary in the world of modern medicine but I really feel strongly it’s the right choice for me. I also have to credit my mom for inspiring me to desire a natural birth experience and to choose a midwife because she made the same choice for the birth of me and my sister.
Additionally, I’m more comfortable with this model of care since my pregnancy so far has been healthy and without complication. I also find it interesting that most births around the world are attended by midwives and having a doctor present for birth has only become common in the last couple centuries. However, each woman along with her partner has to decide what is best for their particular situation and do what they feel comfortable with. It is also important to research the difference between the midwifery model of care and the techno-medical model of care to be fully informed what one’s options are regarding care during pregnancy and birth.
One book I have found very helpful is Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. As a midwife, Ina May approaches childbirth as a natural part of life that a woman’s body is fully capable of the undertaking without the use of pain medication, and unnecessary medical interventions. Instead, she outlines strategies to cope with the pain such as soaking in a tub, massage, positive affirmations, a dimly lit room, an atmosphere of relaxation and calm, moving around in labour, letting gravity work for you, eating and drinking during labour and trusting the women’s body to perform. Granted not all midwives exactly line up with her views and not all doctors use unnecessary medical interventions.
Nonetheless, as a mom to be I want to be aware of how I can best be prepared and what points I want to talk about with my midwives to ensure we are all on the same page for birth.
The following video is a Ted Talk given by Ina May that better explains her views on birth and why it is not something that needs to be feared.
Research Baby Must-Have Products and What Other Mom’s Regret Buying
Currently, I live in a very small apartment. As such I don’t want or need a ton of baby stuff. The most helpful thing I’ve done to ensure I’m not adding too many things to my registry or to buy list is watching YouTube videos and reading blogs from other first time and more experienced moms on what products have been most useful for them. I also find it super helpful to learn about products that they thought they were going to need but ended up regretting.
A few must-have products I’ve included on my registry are:
Some not as essential products include:
- wipe warmer
- diaper genie
- change table
- nursing pillow
- expensive diaper bag
- bottle warmer
Every baby is different and these lists aren’t universal but before spending a lot of money I like to make sure I’m buying a product that is worth my investment.
My favourite YouTube videos for baby product reviews:
People are Very Generous <3
Finally, when people find out you’re expecting, especially your first they can be very generous. I’ve had a few moms from our church give us hand me down baby clothes and extra baby products they didn’t use. As well our families have been extra generous in supplying the larger baby items we will need.
As a first-time mom, being somewhat young and not having a ton of extra income to splurge on baby things I have been so overwhelmed with people’s generosity towards our little family. Once again God has shown us that He will provide for us and we don’t have to worry. God gave us Baby K in His timing and we knew that He would help us provide for this little blessing.
I know that one day when I can help out a young family I’ll understand how much it will mean to them.
For more information on midwifery check out the following resources:
Canadian Association of Midwives
American College of Nurse-Midwives
The State of the World’s Midwifery
For more on my pregnancy and postpartum journey read: