Third trimester update

31 May 2021

Buckle up, friends, this third trimester update just got a LOT more interesting in the past week…

22 weeks!

First trimester highlights (and lowlights): The biggest difference between this first trimester and past ones is that I just felt a lot more tired – sometimes taking multiple naps a day (!). It seems easy to blame that on wrangling two kids as opposed to one or zero, but since they’re at preschool during the day, I’m not sure that’s the reason.

Otherwise, a very strange side effect I experienced was my mouth tasting bad ALL the time. It was the worst, and I was basically in a constant loop of snacking to keep nausea at bay, followed by brushing my teeth to keep my mouth feeling okay. Needless to say, I had VERY clean teeth in the first trimester :) I thought this was just a weird quirk that I might have been imagining, but apparently it’s a real pregnancy thing! (Lisa experienced it, too!)

Sadly, John was not able to attend the 8-week ultrasound because of COVID policy, but because of this I was able to take a little video clip on my phone, which I probably wouldn’t have done otherwise. It’s sweet to have that signature whoosh-whoosh-whoosh captured for posterity!

Second trimester highlights (and lowlights): A highlight: announcing this pregnancy to y’all! I also loved discussing our decision to have a third child.

As with Shep’s pregnancy, I felt increasing anxiousness leading up to each appointment in this trimester. I worried before the 14-week appointment because there were no external signs pregnancy was progressing, and I worried before the 19-week anatomy scan about what would be revealed. I was alone for this scan, too (my practice changed their policy on partners two weeks later, argh!), but praise the Lord, everything looked good, and everyone began feeling kicks shortly thereafter – the sweetest!

Around 22 weeks my weight gain seemed to pick up speed, and sure enough, I am pacing a bit ahead of my last two pregnancies.

Third trimester highlights (and lowlights): So far, at 33 weeks, I’ve dealt with some heartburn, some hip discomfort in the early mornings, and plenty of Braxton-Hicks contractions. Things like bending over to switch the laundry or bathe the kids are also increasingly uncomfortable. Otherwise, no complaints!

One thing that’s been fun – putting together a little registry on Babylist. I used the Amazon universal registry for the other two kiddos, but I have to say I prefer Babylist’s format! I don’t really expect to receive many gifts from it (and there’s not much we need!), but it’s been handy to keep our ideas for purchases in one spot.

Finally, a HUGE highlight of this trimester was taking and then receiving our maternity family photos from Ally & Bobby!!! What a gift! Little sneak peek below – more to come soon! :)

Maternity clothing favorites: Since my usual source of pregnancy clothes is actively using them (the nerve!) I’ve had to get creative this time around. Thankfully, a friend who worked at Kindred Bravely swooped in and saved the day, gifting me a pair of over-the-bump leggings, over-the-bump bike shorts, and two bathing suits early on. I didn’t have a pair of over-the-bump leggings with either of my other pregnancies and I’m honestly not sure how I managed that?! I probably wore those leggings 5/7 days a week… or more… until the weather got too hot. They made it so much more possible to stretch non-maternity tops further into pregnancy (working from home helped, too!).

As the weather has gotten warmer, I’ve transitioned to rotating the bike shorts, my favorite jean shorts, and swing dresses like this. I have also reached for plenty of John’s softest tees in the evenings or when going on walks.

Given these questionable wardrobe choices, my very, very favorite purchase has been a pair of maternity Lake Pajamas I snagged on Black Friday last year. At the time, it felt overly-indulgent to buy something so expensive that I would wear for such a brief season, but it has been SUCH a joy to slip into something comfy and well-fitting after days of outfits that are just barely holding it together. Highly recommended.

Gender: Girl!

Current preoccupying thoughts: A week and two days ago, John ruptured his Achilles’ tendon playing tennis. He had surgery to repair it on Friday, which thankfully went well, but has four more completely non-weight-bearing weeks ahead, then at least a month more of assisted weight-bearing (a.k.a. crutches or a scooter) and boot-wearing in front of him.

As you can imagine, this has thrown a wrench into many of our plans and expectations for our last few weeks as a family of four. We had to cancel our annual camping trip, our visit to Connecticut, and our one-night babymoon. My parents have already been here with us a week, and after a brief trip home, they’ll be back here for the four weeks leading up to the delivery.

To say I am exceedingly grateful for their help doesn’t even come close – daily tasks are already more tiring, and will only become increasingly so as delivery ticks closer – but at the same time, it’s okay to say that it’s never what I would have chosen for this unique season of our lives. I am mourning privacy, and space, and control, and the opportunity to be cared for in late pregnancy in the way only my very best friend can – except that he cannot, right now.

YET AGAIN, at the same time, I have had the slightly-morbid but very true thought over and over that even as I learn to do tasks, sometimes for the first time, that normally fall under John’s domain – taking out the trash, operating our overly-complicated sprinkler, taking the kids up to bed at night – I am so grateful that I am only taking over these tasks temporarily, not because he has been permanently disabled or worse. God willing, though there is a long road of physical therapy and recovery ahead to return to full strength, he will be back on his feet and walking unassisted a month or so after baby sister arrives. Prayers for swift healing are very much appreciated!

One thing that has NOT preoccupied my thoughts this pregnancy? The mode of delivery. My OB practice requires a third baby after two c-sections to be another c-section, so unlike last time, when I felt like what kind of delivery to choose was a constant weight on my mind, I’ve given it little thought this time around.

Exercise: Fairly non-existent in the first trimester. In the second trimester, I got back on the Peloton to move my legs (my outputs are about half of what they used to be!) and was pretty consistent with arm workouts, stretching, and evening or midday walks with John. I am not feeling optimistic about the third trimester – John is now out as a walking partner, and he is also usually the one that rallies us to fit in an arms workout or encourages me to get on the bike.

Looking forward to: Plans for the garden party are still moving forward, and though it feels like a LOT to organize on top of everything else, I am excited for a chance to see friends and just enjoy a special evening. Fingers crossed for no rain!

Nursery status: Curtains are being sewn as we speak! I still need to clean out the closet, and am looking forward to printing and framing a few maternity family photos for the top of the dresser. We also need to set up the “satellite nursery,” a.k.a. our bedroom, where she’ll sleep for the first few months: setting up a changing station, clothing storage, and a place to sleep.

Left to do: Plenty! Other than things mentioned elsewhere, we need to purchase gifts for June and Shep from “baby sister,” shop with June for a stuffie for baby sister, gather a recipient list for our Meal Train, plan for our newborn photos, stock up on swaddles, order a baby book, wash and organize newborn clothes, buy diapers and wipes, pack a hospital bag, and install the infant car seat.

On my mind: I covered the effects of John’s injury on these last few weeks of pregnancy above, but what I haven’t yet wrapped my mind around fully is what it means for our time in the hospital and the first few weeks of post-partum, when I will be recovering from my own surgery and largely immobile – weeks when in the past, John has done almost everything for me and everyone else. I’m choosing to see how recovery progresses over the next few weeks instead of worrying about everything all at once.

How June and Shep are doing: Great! Having an older, more aware child has been one of the sweetest changes with this pregnancy – at 5, June definitely has more of an idea of what’s going on and loves to stay up-to-date on the weekly baby app info, sing and talk to her sister and feel her wiggle, and ask questions. She is VERY excited to be having a sister (as opposed to a brother, ha!) and when my Mom asked her the other day if she should get them some matching outfits, she said, “Of COURSE! I can’t WAIT to match!” As opposed to last time, when she was mostly indifferent to Shep’s arrival, I imagine she will want to be a big helper right from the start.

Shep, on the other hand, is a similar age as June was when he was born (2.5), and though he will supply “baby sister!” when asked what’s in Mama’s tummy, I think he largely has NO idea what’s coming. We haven’t had a chance to visit any friends with new babies recently, so I think a newborn will be a very foreign concept for him. One of my favorite Shep moments from this pregnancy: when he turned to me one day, apropos nothing, and asked, pointing to my stomach, “What’s this big belly doing?” HA! He is SO curious and constantly asking questions, so I know he will have a bunch once she arrives!

Name: Her first name is chosen, inspired by a family member, with a nickname that I’ve loved almost as long as the name June. We are as-yet undecided on a middle name, but will likely go BOLD. I can’t wait to share more after her birth, and also finally discuss other names on the short list, since I expect this will be our last naming opportunity!

Whew! Thanks for hanging in there for this massive post, friends! Glad to get to share these updates so that you’ll have a little more context for my June goals post. That’s coming tomorrow!

P.S. Third trimester update with Shep and with June

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June 1, 2021 8:29 am

When I read your opening line about the third trimester getting a LOT more interesting, I immediately thought, “OMG is she actually having TWINS?!” Ha! Praying for quick healing for John and peace for you about the change in plans. Also, please add me to that Meal Train list! :)

Kelly Strawberry
June 1, 2021 1:04 pm
Reply to  Pressley

LOL Pressley

Abigail Gray
June 1, 2021 8:31 am

So sorry to hear about John’s injury! Praying for a complete and healthy recovery and grateful to hear you have a wonderful support system on hand. Cannot wait to hear the details of her name!

June 1, 2021 12:54 pm

Sorry to hear about John’s injury! Sending prayers for you all!

Kelly Strawberry
June 1, 2021 1:08 pm

Good luck and prayers for you and John during this time!!
My bucket-list trip to Alaska to visit a friend got cancelled this month just a couple days before we were supposed to fly out. My friend’s mom fell and broke her leg in several places while she was visiting the week before my trip. Her mom is stuck in Alaska now for a month due to the injury being so severe. All that to say I know the disappointment of an unexpected leg injury, ha, though admittedly not quite as disappointed as you must be. Hang in there, friend! And enjoy these final weeks!

June 1, 2021 3:20 pm

Oh golly Emily!! Sorry to hear about John and praying for a speedy recovery! Try not to worry about post birth yet, everything will work out just fine and thank goodness for your lovely family to help. Sending heaps of good luck x PS: maternity leggings are the shizzness! I messed on my jeans and had to borrow my cousin’s once and am constantly debating whether it’s okay for someone who’s never been pregnant to wear maternity leggings ha ha ha

June 8, 2021 3:04 pm

I REALLY like how you shared the anxieties of all of these unknowns, the lack of control you’re experiencing, and how, through it all, you are “choosing to see how recovery progresses over the next few weeks instead of worrying about everything all at once.” That is amazing and very encouraging to me, a fellow worrier. <3
I hope the rest of this journey is less exciting lol. And may the meal train be delicious!

Sarah Gray
June 13, 2021 9:35 pm

Great post! (As always ????) for baby book, are you going to do the Emily Ley girl edition? I have one I never used, it’s still in its wrapper, let me know if interested in buying for cheap.