I forgot how hard this is. How every last day of pregnancy lasts a year. (I’m 39 weeks tomorrow.) At this point, it just seems like a cruel joke. There is no baby. I’m just pregnant now and will be forever and this is my life now.
OK, enough wallowing. I know we’ll get to meet our little guy AT SOME POINT. Before we get into the newborn haze and I block all of this out, I’ve been reflecting on how this pregnancy has been different than the first two. Both on what I’ve done differently and how I’ve felt.
On the surface, I’m older this time around. I’m 36. (As opposed to 30 and 32 previously.) This means that I’ve officially reached “advanced maternal age” according to healthcare professionals.
Despite the age difference, I actually feel like this pregnancy has been easier. I’m pretty sure I’ve gained less weight although I definitely haven’t been tracking like I did before. I’ve had MUCH less swelling. Which has been awesome. SO much swelling with #1 and #2. Like I would put on lace up shoes at the start of the day, and I wouldn’t take them off until the end because I knew I wouldn’t be able to get them back on and my feet looked like comical doll feet attached to barrels.
To what do I attribute the difference?
Who knows. Less stress probably hasn’t hurt. I’m not dealing with a demanding job and a commute. I’ve been able to rest more while the boys are at school, although first trimester extreme fatigue where getting out of bed is hard set in right when summer break started. Good times.
I’ve done some prenatal yoga. Not a ton. Maybe like 8 classes? And I don’t do it daily, but I’ve definitely incorporated some of this into my daily routine. It has also helped on a mindset shift. Instead of focusing on strength, I’m also working on softness. Relaxing. Acceptance. All things that will hopefully come in handy for delivery.
(I also did a few weeks of CrossFit and was teaching my HIIT class during this pregnancy.)
Access to a pool has been HUGE. I think people think about eternal summer being hard on pregnancy, but it also has perks. Getting dressed is easy. No layers or maternity coat here. Also, I’ve been able to hit the pool almost every day. I don’t swim, but I kind of run around and do other exercises in the water. It just feels good to be able to move freely. Even though the last thing I want to do is don my swimsuit these days, the pool has been a huge help.
So swelling has been better, but this pregnancy has had other “fun” challenges. I’ve had way more heartburn than before. Maybe this little guy has a lot of hair? I also had a back pain, kind of like sciatic pain, that I don’t remember from before. It really bummed me out. I thought I was open to all of the changes that pregnancy brings, but it took me awhile to accept the new symptoms. Being in pain moving around really bummed me out. Thankfully, more regular pool visits helped on this a ton, and it hasn’t been bad the last few months.
I’d like to be able to tell my boys that I treated them all the same, but we know that isn’t possible. I’ve been drinking coffee regularly this time around. The other two hit during my practically caffeine free years of 2007 – 2014. I don’t have a ton. Most days, I have half a packet of mushroom coffee which is like 25 mg so pretty low. On the weekends, I have stronger James coffee because the man makes excellent coffee. Some days I’ve had none. On vacations I’ve had more. I’ve tried not to be crazy about it, but definitely not overthinking it. (I did try to stop when dealing with heartburn, but I didn’t notice a huge difference and I love my morning cup so it crept back in.)
I haven’t been dying my hair this time though. For the first two times around, I abstained during the first trimester, but definitely had a few appointments during the rest of the pregnancy. Now my gray is pretty much all grown out. I worried some that “I can’t have a baby, I have gray hair!!!” but I’m sure I had just as much gray hair before. You just couldn’t see it.
I eat differently now. I tried to eat healthily, but I definitely wasn’t Team Paleo-ish until after #1, and I tried to be different with #2, but I still had MANY afternoon baked goods. This time I’ve had plenty of treats, but my overall approach is different. Probably more of a default to vegetables and home cooking. I don’t usually overeat in the same way I used to. Trust me, I haven’t been doing a whole30 pregnancy or anything like that, but I’m in a different head space around food.
For similarities, I’ve been extremely fortunate not to have morning sickness for any of the pregnancies. I can only imagine how awful that is. In general, most things have felt the same. I actually predicted another boy because things about the same. Doubt will try to see if a girl feels differently at this point, but it certainly hasn’t stopped plenty of people I meet from suggesting it! Let’s just try to enjoy this one first people.
So those are my big differences. How about you? Were your pregnancies different? Did you notice any major differences carrying a boy vs a girl?