28 Weeks

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28weeks   28 Weeks

28weekspregnantb   28 Weeks

When I told one of my girlfriends that I was pregnant several months ago, I remember her saying, “pregnancy is an emotional journey”. At the time, I didn’t fully grasp the meaning behind it, but as the months unfold I now see how right she is. Each week, month, and trimester have brought new challenges and new joys. The joys have been more than I ever could’ve expected. Even though I haven’t met her on the outside yet, I feel like she has changed my life for the better. She’s always the first thought I have when my eyes open and my last thought before drifting off to sleep. It’s hard for me to believe that during the first trimester I had major doubts about being pregnant and a few weeks that were incredibly low (thanks, hormones). I worried that I wasn’t cut out for this responsibility, wondering if I had made the right decision. Luckily, Eric was there to support and remind me how capable I am. He said – We are a team. I’m not doing this alone. We will figure it out together. Hearing this made the world of difference and I stopped feeling so alone.

Pregnancy Books: For the first several months of my pregnancy, I barely read anything about pregnancy (except for Googling all my symptoms, hah). The first book I read was Jenny McCarthy’s Belly Laughs (mainly because it’s been everywhere for the past several years) and to be honest, it made me feel a bit discouraged. Sure, some parts were funny (I did laugh out loud a few times!), but overall I found that the book instilled fear about pregnancy and birth, at least for me who is anxious by nature. Who knows, maybe I would feel differently if I read it now versus the hormonal first trimester.

Now that I’m getting closer to the finish line, I find myself turning to pregnancy/labour/newborn books more than ever. I just can’t get enough and I want to read e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g I can get my hands on. The best advice I’ve heard so far: take all the advice/opinions with a grain of salt. While I certainly don’t agree with everything I read, it’s been fascinating to learn about different perspectives and approaches. A special thanks to a lovely blog reader Keri for passing along a few of her pregnancy books!

Secrets of The Mommyhood: Everything I wish someone had told me about pregnancy, childbirth and having a baby: A special shout-out to this book because I enjoyed it a lot. It’s filled with practical info from pregnancy all the way to newborn stuff. I have a lot of info bookmarked and highlighted to go back to. I bought it on Kindle and it was only $5, score.

I love how the book ends:

The Only Thing That Really Matters:
There are millions of books, magazines and web sites that cover every facet of parenting out there. They can make you feel pressured to be the perfect mom and raise the perfect child. You should celebrate and enjoy your baby’s milestones. But remember, how early they roll over, stand, walk, talk or potty train doesn’t matter at all in the grand scheme of things. I have found that in the end there is only one thing that really matters. You can give your child every comfort and luxury in the world, but all they really want is you. Mommy and me classes, baby sign language and the latest and greatest toys are not really what it’s about. You don’t have to give your child any of these things to be a good mom. All you have to do is be there. And that, my friends, is the Mommyhood. (As I see it anyway).”  [excerpted from Secrets of The Mommyhood: Everything I wish someone had told me about pregnancy, childbirth and having a baby. Alexander, Heather]

Symptoms of late:

Preggo brain. I haven’t noticed having “preggo brain” too much during my pregnancy (if anything, I think all the omega-3’s and DHA oils are speeding up my brain), but it might be showing signs lately. The other night Eric and I were on a walk and as we passed another couple I said, “good morning!”. It was 8pm…lol.

Braxton Hicks Contractions. I’ve been getting these for a couple weeks now. My stomach gets super firm and tight (like a hard basketball) for a minute or so. Eric finds it so amusing. The uterus is practicing for the big event which I think is a great idea. They aren’t painful (yet), just uncomfortable and they don’t happen very frequently (maybe a few times per week). I read that BH contractions can increase in frequency and intensity as the pregnancy gets closer, so we’ll see.

Sciatica: I’m experiencing sciatica pain on the lower left side of my back and butt. The area got really sore after my 3rd chiropractor treatment (she was working on this area), so I have since stopped going for adjustments for fear of aggravating the nerve even more. The chiro suggested regular icing and gentle stretching so that’s what I’ve been doing to help calm down the nerve. I also suspect that when the baby flipped head down her change in position disturbed the nerve even more. The pain has improved since last week (with regular icing/stretching), so hopefully it won’t get worse as she gets heavier. I think I just had bad luck with the chiropractor because I’ve heard it can help a lot of pregnant women.

Peaceful mind: I read that an increase in progesterone in the 3rd trimester can result in a “quiet mind” or feelings of calmness as the due date approaches, and I have definitely noticed this lately. I feel pretty relaxed, chilled out, and able to slow down much more. I almost feel like I’m on tranquilizers some days! Normally I am go-go-go and anxiety-prone so it’s been refreshing to feel so calm. The only downfall is that I’ve been less productive on the work front, so I’m struggling with a bit of guilt that I’m not getting as much done as I want to. I guess I better get used to it now!

Cravings: The past week was incredibly hot and humid (thank goodness for flat irons!). I’m still loving fruit (raspberries, watermelon, grapes, kiwi, cantaloupe), popsicles, coconut water, and chocolate hemp smoothies. Also, I can’t get enough of Organic Works vegan + gluten-free sliced oatmeal, flax, buckwheat bread. It’s just the best! I’m also going crazy for homemade salad dressings lately and I’ve been whipping up a new one every week and pouring it all over romaine salads. I hope to share a new fav. recipe soon. I can’t get enough. I’m also loving 365 brand popcorn when I’m craving something salty and crunchy.

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{ 39 comments… read them below or add one }

Monica July 4, 2014

So glad you found a book that resonated with you. You’re going to be a fantastic mother, not to worry ;)

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Zoe July 5, 2014

Not sure if you have already looked into this, but your symptoms sound more like pelvic girdle pain than sciatica (which is actually uncommon in pregnancy, contrary to popular belief). Google sciatica vs. pelvic girdle pain, and maybe visit a women’s health physio if you haven’t considered it already, as the management is slightly different.

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Leah July 5, 2014

I couldn’t be happier for you :) It sure is a journey! Even once she is born, 6 months old, 1 year old.. heck 4 years old you will worry that you are doing it all right. I think it is in our nature to worry as mothers – but it will be okay!

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Sonia July 5, 2014

Reading to your story i feel my story resonate with yours. Glad to hear your story that yours going good.

Except the rib pain till 2nd trimester my journey is so far so good (32 weeks). My baby become very very active during night time and can feel his/her all activities. Oh yes! My emotional level is gone to very high and sometimes my brain get lost. Well, I can’t wait for our little star in our hands! :-)

Take care, x

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Sonia July 5, 2014

P.S. Tried your Vegan Fajitas last night with few alterations. We’d a delicious dinner :-)

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Jennifer July 5, 2014

Angela,
Reading about your journey brings back wonderful memories of when I was pregnant with our son. I am so excited for you because I remember feeling that I knew him but just could not wait to meet him! You and your husband will enjoy being parents! It is truly the best thing in the world!

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Anna July 5, 2014

It’s definitely in our nature to worry as mothers. The worries never go away, they just change as our babies get older. I agree to take everything you read and hear with a grain of salt. Only you (and Eric) will know your baby best. I’m sure you’ll be a great mother. :)

P.S. You look great! Loving the baby bump :)

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Katie July 5, 2014

I rarely comment but I’ve been a follower for a long time and I love all your recipes! I found this maternity t-shirt and thought of you :)
motherhood.com/Product.asp?Product_Id=95739980105&MasterCategory_Id=MC11

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 6, 2014

hah very cute! :)

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Nicole @ Broken Road Creative July 5, 2014

I definitely agree that pregnancy’s an emotional journey! This is my second so I have some different feelings compared to my first but each feeling is just as intensely felt. I’m also in my third trimester and at 32 weeks am starting to feel a lot more calm about things, too (thank goodness).

Anyways, I love your updates! xx

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Shannon R Bell July 5, 2014

Never commented before (long time reader!), but having just given birth to my first baby girl 4 months ago, I thought I’d pass on my fav pregnancy books. I’m an anxious person by nature and we planned a homebirth with a midwife…combine my anxious personality with my background as a medical student (i.e.: knowing everything that can go wrong) and then you throw in the hormones (oh the emotions!), needless to say, I had some very rough days (and nights when the insomnia kicked in!). So I resorted to only reading/hearing stories/talking positively about the pregnancy and birth to come. My FAVORITE reading was Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth…it’s positive, empowering and very informative. (its a little crunchy :-) but definitely worth the read!) Now my new favorite is Dr Sears, his books about parenting/infants/babies etc… are positive and leave me feeling like trusting my intuition is the right thing and the best thing, sadly, I’ve found some books stress me out even more after reading them (which is just not helpful!). You’re looking great, the bump definitely grew this past week!! So exciting!

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Colleen July 6, 2014

You are absolutely adorable! I’m 33 weeks with my first and I have taken tremendous comfort in reading your blog. Thank you! In fact, I’m currently drinking your baby dancing smoothie from a few posts ago. (Getting the same result with my son actually-this smoothie makes him move!)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) July 8, 2014

Thank you Colleen, I’m so happy to hear that! All the best to you and your baby in the coming weeks.

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Alina July 6, 2014

I suffered from sciatica too at the end of my pregnancy (actually at the end of both my pregnancies). I was even limping a bit at the end of the second one. I did not go for any treatments (although now in hindsight I wish I did), but the pain went away after I delivered. Baby out, pain gone:).

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candice July 6, 2014

Oh, I wish I had been pregnant along with you… the food/nausea/fatigue stuff was so challenging for me (my baby, my 2nd daughter, was born Feb 2014)!

I just finished “Mama Zen,” a cute easy read that might help once you’re on the parenting journey (I dog-eared many a page).

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Lisa July 6, 2014

I love reading your pregnancy/baby updates! I’m currently 24 weeks and it’s been fun to read about similar symptoms :) As another reader commented, i’ve been reading Ina May’s books – both ‘guide to childbirth’ and ‘spiritual midwifery’. They have really helped! I’ve read a few others on my Kindle but some of them actually put me in a panic and I had to delete them haha. I’m also just as nervous/anxious and I find that reading really helps me to relax. I decided to get a doula to help with the childbirth (we are doing hospital birth) and I’m really happy about that decision. I also plan on starting weekly prenatal yoga classes to help with low back/hip pain. Can’t wait to try the hemp chocolate smoothie tomorrow!

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Janelle July 6, 2014

Hi Angela!

First off, congrats on your pregnancy and the success of your book. I absolutely love your book and the site and am enjoying reading about your pregnancy journey. I’m 22 weeks along with our second little sprout and I can say that it was a luxury to be able to have so much time to spend on myself the first time around. It sounds like you are soaking it up and that is wonderful.

Although your nightstand sounds like it’s already overflowing, I couldn’t help but want to share my two hands-down favourite books that I always recommend to any future mama. I hope you don’t mind indulging me :)

The first is “Ina May’s guide to childbirth” by Ina May Gaskin, the midwife Obi-Wan Kenobi in the US. It starts with real birth stories that are raw, powerful and inspiring (also hilariously hippied-out in some cases). The second half is made up of Ina May’s observations, tips and insights about childbirth. I absolutely loved this book. I thought about the stories as my labour started and progressed and I used many of the techniques as well which really helped. My copy has made the rounds among half a dozen of my girlfriends and every one of them loved it as much as I did.

The second is “the Birth Partner” by Penny Simkin. It is written as a “how this all works / here’s what you can do that will actually help” for a partner or doula. Both my husband and I read it cover to cover and really appreciated all the useful and practical information that it had. It was the go-to reference when my labour started and the one book that my husband jotted notes throughout and insisted on taking with us to the hospital. Again, we both recommend this to everyone we know.

I’m very excited for you both. Little Félix turned our world upside-down two years ago, but in the most beautiful and rewarding of ways. My heart is just filled with every little bit of him. It’s a pretty amazing feeling and one that I’m happy you’ll get to experience. :)

Janelle

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Alissa July 6, 2014

I’ve been following your blog for over a year now, and just had my first baby this past November. :) I love that book quote, and it’s so true. My 7-month old loves Mommy, and we spend a lot of time cuddling–without fancy toys. I also found that you can plan and make lists, but a lot of the planning will go out the window (especially during the birth!) and you’ll just figure it out as you go. You’ll be wonderful!

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Georgina July 7, 2014

Angela, you look beautiful in each pregnancy photo you take. Thanks for sharing a book recommendation. I was wondering if you or anybody can recommend books for “before pregnancy”; that is, how to prepare your body for pregnancy, diet recommendations for vegan/vegetarian moms in preparation for pregnancy, fertility enhancing lifestyle, etc. I seem to remember at one point I saw a “book bundle” online.

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K July 8, 2014

Maybe not exactly what you are asking for, but I read “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” to prepare for getting pregnant and started charting my cycles with temps on their website. When we decided to start trying, i got pregnant the first cycle!

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Georgina July 8, 2014

Thanks, Angela! I’ll share this with my daughter! :)

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Connie July 7, 2014

Reading your comments this morning reminded me of something a dear friend told me when I was pregnant with twins (she and her husband had had twins about a year and a half prior). She said that when they got them home, within the first hour they were saying to each other, “Oh, what were we thinking, we shouldn’t have done this!” That should have made me more anxious, but I found it oddly reassuring and thought it was very brave of her to share it, as everyone else will tell you how unceasingly blessed you feel from the moment they are born, which, of course you do, but it can also be more than a little overwhelming. Anyway, they are wonderful parents of now-11-year-olds, but I think I can honestly say that that was possibly the best “baby gift” I received, as it gave me permission to feel whatever I felt initially, knowing that all would be fine in the end and we’d make it through those early days – which we did! Also, I couldn’t get enough of those shows TLC had of childbirth (are those still out there?) – completely addicted. As a somewhat anxious person myself, I think I needed to see all the possibilities in order to “inoculate” myself in a sense against whatever might occur. I’ve never felt a desire to watch them since!

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Shelbi Bailor July 7, 2014

Congratulations! I wanted to second one of the book referrals above just in case you didn’t read it yet. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth takes the refreshing stance that labor and delivery are natural, positive, and spirit affirming.
I highly recommend diving into those good birth stories so you will have some positive pictures in your mind to refer to.
You have so much going for you as you approach labor. You are healthy and strong. You have a background of overcoming challenges (running marathons etc.), and you are young.
It is hard not to get information overload. Information can be like junk food! The least healthy is the most available.
I would highly recommend finding a doula if you do not have one already.
It has been a pleasure perusing your blog over the years. Thank you for sharing your pregnancy!

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Cheryl July 7, 2014

I love the simplicity in the quote you shared about the only thing that matters. I, too, am sometimes plagued by bouts of anxiety and doubt. I actually found it simple when my kids were babies. I knew I wanted to nurse them, carry them everywhere, love them, give them tons of attention. Even through the sleep-deprivation and hormonal roller coasters, I felt confident in my approach. It’s when they were older that things got tricky. For me, my own self-esteem is bolstered by feeling like I’m a good mother. To return to that simple idea that love and attention are really the most important thing at any stage of childhood is so refreshing. I’m glad you shared it. It’s something to return to again and again. And here’s some more advice- try to be kind and gentle with yourself always. Modeling compassion for ourselves, no matter what, shows our kids the way to do the same.

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Christina J Henderson July 7, 2014

Congratulations!!! There is nothing more beautiful or wonderful than becoming a mother! Your daughter is very fortunate to have you and Eric. You both seem so grounded and will make wonderful parents.

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samantha nikohl July 7, 2014

I love the quote you posted. It is true that books, magazines, even doctors cannot prepare you. The moment you hear your baby’s first cry in that delivery room: you will not remember any of the tips and tricks you might have read during pregnancy. All you can think about is GIMME MY BABY! And that is what parenting is about! Sure, some helpful advice is always comforting. But all you will really need for reassurance is your baby’s smile, her laughter, the way she will stare at you without blinking for an impressive minute or so… And reminding yourself that every day that passes, she is a day older. You really don’t get those moments back! As with your pregnancy… YOU WILL MISS IT. Ah, motherhood is incredible. I am wishing you all the best! AND I am really determined to make the Creamy Chocolate Hemp Smoothie for Two… for myself and my little ones. I’ll stretch that second glass! (:

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Maria July 7, 2014

I hope you don’t mind if I share my favorite pregnancy book! Its great, explains everything, goes through all the options you have for the birth and it doesn’t have weird scary stuff:

Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn
amazon.com/Pregnancy-Childbirth-Newborn-4th-Edition/dp/143917511X/ref=pd_sim_b_3?ie=UTF8&refRID=0ME0TXXVP0TZC6E227JS

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Ashley July 8, 2014

I love your honesty about how you’ve felt throughout your pregnancy, not that I expected anything different. :) And that baby bump is the cuuutest!!

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Cristy July 8, 2014

Ugh! Isn’t sciatica awful? I’ve had it on the right side for the past few weeks (I’ll be 24 weeks Friday – we’re having a girl, too!) and was just thinking about heading over to the chiropractor. I’ve had bad experience in the past with the chiro, though so I’m nervous! You seem so happy and at peace with your pregnancy – I’m so happy for you!

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Keri July 8, 2014

I didn’t read any books until late in my second trimester, and then I read EVERYTHING I could get my hands on. Glad I could pass a few along :)

You look beautiful!! Hope the sciatic nerve pain gets better!

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Jessica July 9, 2014

Hang in there it is almost to the end. Something that helped me with all the uneasiness of the birthing process is I did hypnosis. That helped a lot. Also I did what they call painless child birth (hypno-birthing) This was the most amazing thing in the world. I have have two children and I have scoliosis so I was very frightened of having to have a pain killer not to mention what happens to the babies when you use that stuff. My husbands parents are hypnotists and told us about it so we tried it out with my daughter (who is our first). I had to be induced and they say that you feel ten times the pain when that happens, well I have to tell you I did not it only felt like I was having my worst day of menstrual cramping. No bad at all and when it was all said and done I did not feel a thing. She came in 9.5 hours and my son in 2hrs 45 min. They also say that hypno-birthing speeds up the process because you are allowing your body to do what it knows how to do.

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ellen July 9, 2014

An osteopath might be able to help with the pain. The work they do is similar to a chiropractor and they operate with the same philosophy, but they target issues with different methods. I found the additional stretching very helpful. Anyway, it’s just another thing worth considering! Best of luck.

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Krissy July 9, 2014

Couldn’t agree more… I was stressed about getting everything perfect for the nursery before our first was born, and my mom told me to chill out. She reminded me that “the baby isn’t judging you.” So true. Enjoy these final months!

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Amelia July 9, 2014

The bump continues to grow! You look very pretty in orange. I love how you chronicle little things each time you update and share with us. It will be nice to look back and have this information to compare to when you have baby #2. :)

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Louise July 10, 2014

Angela, have you come across Hypnobirthing? The concept / course? It was the best thing I did during my pregnancy with bub #2. Wish I had heard about it for bub #1 as it would have quelled my anxieties.

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Ceara @ Ceara's Kitchen July 11, 2014

You look stunning and continue to glow throughout your pregnancy! I love the simplicity and wisdom of the advice for parenting :)

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heather August 4, 2014

Hi Angela! It’s Heather. I am the author of Secrets of The Mommyhood. Thank you so much for your kind words about my book. I wish you and your husband every happiness and will be following your blog and keeping you in my thoughts as you await your little girl.

And congratulations on the success of your book. Holy New York Times bestseller!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) August 5, 2014

Hi Heather, Well, how exciting to hear from you! This just made my day. :) Thank you so much for writing such a great book…it’s been one of my favs over the past 8+ months! I will be giving copies to my pregnant friends too. Glad you found my blog!

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Julie September 18, 2014

The best book I read at the beginning of my pregnancy was “Skinny Bitch – Bun in the Oven” by Rory Freedman & Kim Barnouin (they are vegan mamas). I love how they are sarcastic and they tell you the stuff the way it should be told.

“If you want to hear ‘everything in moderation,’ ‘an occasional glass of wine if fine,’ or any other candy-coated bull*&?!, pick another book. We will tell you the truth about food and how what you eat affects your pregnancy and baby.”

I loved it!

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