April 26, 2023
I’ve been thinking a lot about my pregnancy journey, all the ups and downs, the surprises and celebrations… and I’ve been wanting to do some sort of recap for my memory.
In as few words as possible, I love being pregnant! I just do. As I’ve inched further and further into the 3rd trimester of pregnancy I’ve been asked if I’m “over it…” and I’m absolutely not!
I will miss these little kicks, the fluttery roller coaster feeling of my little boy rolling over when I’m trying to fall asleep at night. I’ll miss feeling like I’m carrying precious cargo! I’ll miss the way I’ve been able to learn and research about an entirely new experience!
While every trimester had its difficult moments that I’m sure I’ve glazed over with time or have forgotten, I sure have been lucky to have felt this strong and capable during the entire journey. My body has responded well, my husband has been so incredibly supportive, and in all it’s been a humbling experience. This little boy already feels like the world to me.
I remember the day we found out we were pregnant. It had been in our plans for a while, so taking two negative tests, too early on, felt disappointing. I had just finished shooting a wedding the night before we were catching a plane to go on a Ditto family trip, and Alex had convinced me to take another test. In the airport bathroom stall I watched those two blue lines appear, and I felt both a wave of relief and surrealism! I hid the test and went back to Alex to show him the results, he couldn’t stop dancing while pushing his suitcase along the hallways to our gate, asking me what food I needed!
During the first few weeks of pregnancy we lived in temporary housing, this was probably one of the harder parts of the first trimester since I didn’t have a home to call mine… and to be nauseous in.
My symptoms were fatigue, some serious food aversions (cabbage of all things became my arch enemy), and of course the infamous nausea we all love… yuck!
The weirdest symptom of all, was that I had an extremely strong sense of smell! I couldn’t STAND Alex’s breath! I felt so bad! He has the best hygiene and is such a clean man, but for some reason I just couldn’t handle it! We slept with a pillow barricade between us for a solid few weeks until my nose chilled out haha.
Nearing September we moved into our little apartment that we’re currently in, and it was heavenly!! I loved having a well-lit space to move around during my day. It was challenging though. Amid feeling super nauseous, I had lost a lot of desire and motivation to do things I normally loved doing.
I wrote September 15th or so, “Words can’t really describe the feelings of this trimester in a way that captures both the intensity and variance in its nature. I feel unmotivated and completely useless, I’ve lost my favorite hobby [cooking] and all others send me reeling at just the thought of them. I’m starving for food I can’t stomach. And craving support and emotions that I can’t even give. Does this ever end?”
Thankfully, yes it does!!!
October 16th we found out we were expecting a little boy!! We went into my midwife appointment earlier that week and the blood lab was open. Alex, being so sneaky, asked if I just wanted to do the test really quick and get it done so we could find out baby’s gender! I did, and it was a lot easier than expected!
So later that week, early Sunday morning before my parents caught a flight back to WA, we gathered in our home with Alex’s siblings, my brother, my parents and some good friends. Seeing that blue confetti disperse all over the room was surreal. I had felt in my gut for a while that it was little boy, but seeing the room of blue felt like the wildest moment. All day during church I couldn’t focus on the talks, and instead kept thinking over and over about the gender reveal. Smiles all day!
Nearing November, once I hit about week 19 or so, I would say that the nausesa was completely gone! I had started taking Unisom earlier at the beginning of October, which helped, but nearing the beginning of the 2nd trimester was when I was truly out of the woods.
The second trimester came just in time with some much needed relief from nausea and sickness! I was feeling an increase in energy, could eat a lot more foods, was able to successfully do a Winco grocery trip without dry heaving in the bean aisle, and felt more confident about the future. As part of this newfound energy, I did a lot of introspection. This list of “Things I Love” was written November 1st:
Basically ice, ice, and more ice! I enjoyed making it back to the gym for zumba and barre classes, hosting friends at our house, and hosting our annual Ditto Gala Anniversary Celebration!
Leading up I had been feeling some squirmy movements, but on November 15th I was taking a long bath and felt four angry little punches!! Haha! It caught me so off guard! Since then I felt movement each day, especially late in the evening right as Alex and I were relaxing watching movies!
Hands down, the best part of pregnancy for me has been the movements. I tried really hard throughout my pregnancy to pause when I felt him kicking or moving a lot, to lay down, put my hands on my tummy and be present. I never “talked” out loud to my baby like I know some mommas do, because for me, sitting there with him and feeling the wiggles felt more real and tangible. Somehow there was this little human growing in there!
First of all, my two least favorite things to shop for just so happen to be the two main things you always have to shop for during pregnancy… pants and bras. Ugh. I grew much more which meant clothing was a struggle, and heart burn was starting to creep in.
From January 3rd : Things I’m Loving!
Things I’ve found difficult:
I could add in there now that heart burn was really a struggle! (And still is!) But, one symptom that I was surprised by, was for a solid few weeks night time became really anxiety inducing. I had a hard time going to sleep, because I feared that I’d only fall asleep just to wake up to say goodbye to Alex as he left for work. I was feeling really lonely and struggled to make the winter days feel happy.
During my second trimester I worked on my “Comme La Terre, Notre Mère Terre” photography project on menstruation and pregnancy. This project was my final step to graduating in my photography degree at BYU! So I quickly learned how to fill my days with shoots, editing, and planning out the imagery for this project. It was a great time to embrace this project as I was smack in the middle of my own pregnancy journey, and it gave me a lot of purpose. I found that I didn’t really start thinking about any birth plans or things related to life postpartum until much later in the third trimester when this show was done.
The third trimester kicked into full swing with my sister-in-law’s wedding! I photographed their bridals and part of their wedding, and really was feeling big and pregnant by the end of it! But, it was great! After the wedding my full attention was on my gallery show for “Comme La Terre.” February 10th I was able to pull it all together with all my friends and family, and finally officially graduate!!
Overall during this trimester I have definitely felt a level of fatigue. I feel of course like I’m getting bigger, but I’ve also been feeling really dialed into preparation. Alex and I took a birth class, then I completed another Birth & Postpartum Pelvic Floor course, and now a newborn course… that I have started… I guess I’ve been diving into all things learning!
I’ve been wrapped up in my favorite books “The First Forty Days” by Heng Ou, and “Nurture” by Erica Chidi. It’s been great to be able to focus on the preparation after so long of being preoccupied with work and school.
Fatigue of course is a huge one, heart burn still is the worst, but other than that I’ve been doing really great! I had a week of acute pain in the muscle just below my rib, but that was due to overextending. Also, lightning crotch is a real thing. Haha! Sounds strange, but basically it’s a sharp nerve pain that I feel due to baby’s head putting pressure on my pelvic area.
More recently I’ve been feeling a lot of lower back pain, and soreness in my hips. Little boy is sitting so low, I think that he’s prepping to come soon!!
My three sisters all came into town to throw my baby shower alongside my sis-in-law Alysee who hosted it at her place! It was a wild weekend as the weather was being tricky, but we were all finally together and it was a huge blast! They made cute mocktails (of course I die over sparkling drinks) of moscow mules and rose spritzers, had yummy foods to enjoy, and beautiful flowers. It was a shower of chatter, with all my friends and family there. I loved every bit! Spending time with my sisters afterwards was my favorite part. It was amazing to be surrounded by their love and support.
One of my favorite things I’ve done this third trimester has been preparing the freezer! I spent two days making tons of freezer meals from the First Forty Days book, all traditional Chinese recipes for healing. A list of some of these foods include breakfast oatmeal congee, ginger fried rice, red goji and chicken soup, beef congee, chickpea korma curry, spinach smoothie cubes, beef & chicken bone broth, breakfast bowls, date-me-pasta (for Alex haha), among others.
I gathered up the freezer meals for the hospital and put them in two little grab-bags, ready to go! I finally have no more space in my freezer, which means I’ve had to find other things to do to pass my time!
Other nesting urges hit right before our baby-moon on week 37. I washed all of little boy’s clothes and linens, organized our “baby corner” in our bedroom with his sleeping space, changing area and feeding station. As I’m writing this, it’s snowing outside, and his little bassinet is right under the window’s snowy scene. I thought I’d be having a spring baby!!
We were gifted a baby moon from Alex’s parents, and it was the BEST weekend away. We went to Salt Lake City, ate the most junk food I’ve ever had in my life, watched movies, walked around the mall, and went out to a great dinner. It was the perfect time to talk, enjoy each other’s company, and mentally prepare for the changes coming up.
As if my belly could stretch even more! We’re now approaching 40 weeks, this Friday is little boy’s “due date”!! Coming into my midwife appointment today was exciting. We made a backup plan for an induction next week in case little boy decides to wait it out, which my gut thinks he will. My original plan was to allow labor to happen spontaneously, but it’s seeming more likely that he’ll come late and we’ll need to initiate the process. I have mixed feelings about this, I really wanted the experience of feeling oncoming labor, laboring at home, and then heading to the hospital, which very well could still happen… but I’m learning to re-evaluate my expectations and remain flexible.