Short stories from long runs

This blog about my run and training

Big news: I’m full-term. This baby could come any time, though I go through alternating moments of being ready now and moments of praying the little guy/girl waits a few more weeks, at least.

I had decided, sometime around when I published my big, long second trimester recap, that I would share my third trimester recap a bit early and instead incorporate the final weeks of pregnancy into a late-stage/post-partum share-fest.

Well, this is the hard one, folks. After 30 or so really easy and comfortable weeks, pregnancy struck with full force earlier this summer. Here goes…

Likes, dislikes, and months 7-8+, in general:

Starting in mid-July, I finally started feeling super pregnant. Rolling over in bed became an increasingly comical task requiring actual effort (and occasionally a groan). The baby has been moving constantly. When I head up to bed to lounge at night, it’s incredible to see my belly morph from one shape to another as the baby swims around. This little one is seriously active… an exciting prospect, though terrifying that s/he likes to get moving when I usually go to bed.

Loves: nectarines and plums, fresh-pressed juices, peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, apple cider doughnuts, dates (but only because I read they help with labor and recovery)
Not So Much: meat, vegetables in any form except juice (other than raw tomatoes or grilled corn), still not that into cheese
Un-pleasantries: heartburn, acid reflux, dysfunctionally tired, intense rib/upper-abdomen pain
Other Realities: so much movement! Baby is really living it up in there. Also, the urge/need to pee constantly and then going hardly at all (sorry), and 3/4 of my weight gain has come in the third trimester. Every day at least one person tells me I look big and another says I look small… another generally weighs in that I’ve “popped” and someone else that they notice the baby has “dropped.” Lots of opinions.

A couple of my favorite juice combos

While I’ve been a lot more uncomfortable over the past two months, I’ve still managed to dodge most of the truly crappy stuff. Heartburn and acid reflux are generally manageable. During one doctor’s appointment, the nurse practitioner sent me straight from the office to the pharmacy. “Zantac is going to do wonders for your quality of life,” she assured me, when I said I’d only been popping a Tums here and there. Zantac helps a bit, but hasn’t eliminated the trouble altogether.

I’m still tired, but running really helped keep it in check for the early part of the third trimester. I continued running until week 34 and have scaled back almost 100% since. Around week 34 insomnia kicked in and I became both too tired to wake up for my workout in the morning and too nervous that my exhaustion would leave me shuffling and at risk to fall. The iron supplements for anemia don’t seem to make a huge difference in how tired I feel, but I’m not too worried about the impact on that front, as long as baby is getting what s/he needs. While I cut out running pretty dramatically, I have continued to walk and practice yoga.

Easily the most unpleasant aspect of the third trimester has been rib/abdomen pain that kicked in somewhere around 32 weeks. In the beginning it would crop up intermittently throughout the day, but now it’s noticeable within a half hour of waking in the morning, if not immediately upon waking up. After checking my liver to make sure everything is functioning well on that front, the conclusion is basically that the only solution is birth. There’s probably a foot or something lodged up there. The good news is that means baby is head down and ready to go, barring any dramatic gymnastics in the next few weeks.

What I’m wearing (i.e. the fun stuff):

Top left: maternity dress by Velvet by Graham and Spencer
Top right: maxi dress by Maeve at Anthropologie
Bottom left: tank by BCBG and maternity pants by Loft
Bottom right: maternity dress by Loft

It may have taken awhile, but I finally had an actual bump to start dressing in months seven and eight. I really didn’t want to spend a great deal of money on new clothes and in the end did pretty well. I bought two new pairs of pants — black and white full-panel ankle crops from Loft — a couple of dresses from the UK retailer ASOS (so reasonable), a $10 Old Navy clearance t-shirt dress, and kept the maternity t-shirts my mom bought me back in the spring in regular rotation.

I’m still wearing my Shimera tanks almost every day as an added layer for smoothing and comfort. Other than those pieces, I managed to make a lot of non-maternity tops and dresses work over the past 8+ weeks. Maxi dresses, which for some reason I never thought I could wear, have become my best friend. I hope they retain some of their shape so I can bring them back out next summer.

The tops I picked up from GapFit in my second trimester remain a godsend and I swear, I might keep wearing them after the baby is here. The short sleeved tees are definitely coming to the hospital with me since they’re so soft, comfy, and roomy. I added a Gabrialla support band to the mix for workouts the past two months, which gave me much better belly support and sort of relieved some of the pressure on my… intestines and bladder. Sorry. It’s true. In the beginning I wasn’t sure it made much difference, but it was good for my peace of mind and having avoided any and all back pain, it was worth the $30 and more if it helped at all on that front. Lululemon Wunder Unders continued to work, but because of the summer heat, I also rocked a couple pairs of spandex shorts for running.

P.S. I only say rocked because as your body changes and inevitably grows, the only way to wear ’em is to rock ’em. Truthfully, I haven’t noticed much weight gain or change to my body in my butt or legs. If my body had distributed weight differently throughout this pregnancy, I can’t say I would have been quite as comfortable in the spandex, but this summer it seemed okay.

So that’s how I’m feeling and what I’m rocking, but what am I doing

My loose goal for fitness once I was in the thick of this pregnancy was to run until 36 weeks, walk a decent distance until 38, and then maybe throw in some trips to the end of the block and back until “the end,” which Nik and I do nightly after dinner anyhow.

I kept up quite diligently right until 34 weeks, actually getting faster than my second trimester averages as my confidence returned post-fall. That said, after being clobbered with a bout of insomnia during the only two hot weeks of the summer, I skipped running altogether either because I couldn’t wake up in the morning (since I hadn’t fallen asleep the night before) or because I was afraid that being so tired would make me more likely to trip and fall (probably). Before that, though, I ran a comfortable 2.5 or 3.5 mile loop a couple days a week, really lapping up the spectacular, cool summer mornings that had me out the door by 6:00. As I’ve mentioned throughout the summer, my running club’s Tuesday night fun runs were also a highlight and did wonders for meeting more friendly people on the South Shore and in the running community. I went for a walk/run during week 36 (walk a song, run a song), but really felt it in my knees the next day or two, so decided to call it. I threw in a yoga class each week or so, as well. Up dog has never felt so good.

While posting with any remote sense of regularity has already fallen by the wayside (I’m pretty shot in the evening and even though I wrote this post at least two weeks ago, I hadn’t gotten around to incorporating photos and links), I do intend to share when Baby P arrives and, perhaps, getting back on the wagon both with writing and exercising. Please share in the comments if there are any specific topics you are most interested in over the next few months!