This is officially "week 29" of pregnancy which means we've only got 11 more weeks to go!!! Some of my books start counting the third trimester at week 25, others 27, and some at week 28...so to play it safe we'll just say that we've officially been in the third trimester for at least a week now. :)
When I think back to the first trimester it doesn't seem like there was too much going on - but we all know that simply isn't true considering virtually all of the baby's crucial development takes place then. Not to mention, those were the days of extreme food aversions, fatigue, and trying to memorize what foods I wasn't allowed to eat any longer. However, my body remained outwardly/visibly changed very little. The second trimester, however, is another story entirely.
In case you missed my previous pregnancy update that unveiled a timeline of photos from weeks 12-20, here's a little flashback:
In that entry I also shared our week 20 photo and the exciting news that we will be the proud parents of a baby boy! Since then it has only been 9 weeks, but it feels like so much has happened.
For starters, I clearly remember the weekend (week 17) when I realized I could no longer get by with my jeans and belly band (mine was a BeBand from Target). Michael and I quickly searched for some maternity jeans and there has been no going back since (for the record, Target maternity pants fit me horribly and in my opinion all of the Old Navy pants that have the "secret belly" are horridly uncomfortable...so I wound up with the one Old Navy maternity jean they had in the store with a demi panel). I clearly "popped" sometime in week 18 and others began to notice my pregnant bump everywhere we went. Not to mention, the same weekend I realized I needed real maternity bottoms was the first time I knew that those fluttery little "popcorn" feelings were, in fact, our baby kicking and moving around. Thankfully Michael was with me the first time the baby did all of this in a manner that left me no doubts and was able to feel my belly and share in that experience with me. :)
The 20-week ultrasound was a day I'll never forget - because it was the first time we laid eyes on our baby's hands, feet, head, heart, and everything else you can imagine. Seeing how much he had grown and learning that he was completely healthy was cause for a celebration and Michael and I treated ourselves to a fancy dinner that night to celebrate all of this new-found knowledge about our baby boy. I still sometimes pull out the photos we were given at that appointment and smile when I get to the one of him yawning - too cute!
It was definitely an exciting and fun time in our baby's development and I remember the great sense of relief and comfort I felt as I was finally able to move beyond that "transition" phase and actually fit in maternity clothes! All of this made me feel so "big" for a couple of weeks as I felt my bump growing but pretty soon I would become surprisingly comfortable in my body and I no longer felt large. My hands and feet did begin to swell and by week 24 or 25 I could no longer wear my wedding rings on my finger - but even this is something I've adjusted to and learned to live more comfortably with (it certainly helps once you have shoes that allow you to do so - and a larger ring to put on your finger so people know that you are, in fact, married).
Toward the end of the second trimester (over the past 3 weeks or so) I have begun feeling "big" again as I witness the baby (and my body) growing more rapidly...but for the most part the last few months were some of the more comfortable. The only noticeable physical discomforts I can recall are the swelling in my hands and feet and the lower back pain I've begun experiencing if I don't have a pillow or have to sit anywhere for too long. Thankfully I have hardly been a victim of the dreaded acid reflux and because I recently discovered that I like the elliptical (for the first time in my life!) I'm feeling better able to get a good work out once again.
The second trimester not only brought the joy of knowing our baby's gender, but also gave me much happiness as we began compiling the items for our baby registry. Somehow picking out what kind of clothing, nursery decor, toys, and baby gear we wanted made everything feel that much more real. All of these things combined with how frequently our baby boy now moves around ("an active baby is a healthy baby," as my ob/gyn says) make our due date seem suddenly so very near! Realistically, though, I know we still (God-willing) have plenty of time and will be experiencing several new things in the remaining weeks ahead (and thank goodness, because I haven't been able to take any of those hospital classes yet!).
So without further ado, here's what most of you have probably been waiting for - a photo collage of 5 different weeks that have tracked my/the baby's growth pretty well:
Wow. What a visible change! I remember feeling big at around week 18 but now that seems laughable. I was hardly showing whereas now I am at the point of everyone around me clearly knowing beyond the shadow of a doubt that I'm having a baby. The crazy part is that I know I'm not anywhere near done growing. In the weeks ahead our baby will nearly triple in size and supposedly I will be gaining about a pound a week! I can't wait to reveal the future "third trimester timeline photo"...because let me tell you, even the week 28 photo brings with it a sense of "what?! How did I get that huge in only a week?!"
Thank you to all of you that have offered up prayers, words of encouragement, and support as Michael and I continue to prepare ourselves for the day we meet this little boy face to face. We truly appreciate your support!
“When a child is given to his parents, a crown is made for that child in Heaven, and woe to the parents who raise a child without consciousness of that eternal crown!”
-The Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen