31 Weeks (pregnancy #2)

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31weekspregnancy2b

(I didn’t have a chance to take an official bump pic this week, so I pulled this from my Snapchat!)

This week has been all about starting the next phase of renovations (master bathroom), basement renovations continuing, and trying to juggle a heavy workload despite the commotion. I’m not going to lie, the renovations are chaotic right now! I’m handling it pretty well (better than I thought); I’ve been so busy I haven’t really had much time to think about all the mess. I’m sure it’ll hit me at some point and I’ll have some kind of hormonal breakdown…bahaha.

How I’m feeling: A little nervous this week, actually. The realization that I’m quickly approaching my due date has made me reflect about labour (something I hadn’t given much thought to this time around), and I’m starting to freak out a little. Well, I’m not freaking out, just feeling nervous. Butterflies. The benefit of having been through childbirth before is that I know what to expect (to some degree). The drawback of having been through childbirth before is that I know what to expect! I’m scared to go through labour again, but considering what I got through the first time around, I know I can do it again. I’m probably most anxious about post-delivery recovery. It took me months to recover from my first labour (thanks in part to some lingering episiotomy pain), and I’m just hoping this time around is a bit gentler on my body. These third trimester nerves have made me consider hiring a doula again, and I’m even considering a hypnobirthing doula because I’ve heard good things about this approach. But, I’m really on the fence as to whether I want/need the extra support given that I’ll have two midwives present, and possibly a midwifery student. I’ll keep you posted with what I decide, but in the meantime if anyone has tried hypnobirthing and wants to share their experience, I’d love to hear it!

Midwife appointment: Good news: my midwife thinks baby is head down now! I’ve felt extra pressure on my bladder lately, so I was hoping that was the case. I also got blood work returned this week. I was bracing myself for a big drop in my iron level like I had with my first pregnancy, but it’s still very high (first trimester was 142, and I’m currently at 135). I’m not quite sure why, either; I haven’t been taking any iron supplements and I haven’t been paying super close attention to consuming iron-rich foods (although, I definitely get a variety of plant-based sources!). My whole foods-based prenatal supplement (which I looooove) contains a daily total of 18 mg, so I must be absorbing at least some of it each day. I’m also careful not to take my prenatal with tea or coffee, which can hinder absorption. Either way, it feels reassuring having such a rich iron store, and I hope it’ll help boost my postpartum energy!

Names: We’ve narrowed it down to a couple first name options, and we’ve chosen one of two middle names. Progress! I really love both of our first name options, and am feeling so torn!

Home life: As I mentioned, the master bathroom renovation has started and it’s basically a madhouse in here. Eric and I moved out of our master bedroom and into the guest room and I’m already counting down the days until I’m reunited with our bed, lol.

Symptoms: I’m rocking a bit of a waddle. It’s pretty much impossible to walk without arching my back. I love walking outside with the BOB stroller though, it gives me some support. Also, I’ve had some upper rib pain in the evening here and there, but it hasn’t been too bad yet. When I get rib pain, I always remove my bra as I find the wire puts more pressure on the area (or maybe I just need to go up a size). It also helps to lie down on the couch rather than sit up… No complaints about that one.

Sleep: I mentioned last week that Adriana was going through a rough sleep patch, and now I think I know why (aside from her super high energy at night)—she’s cutting her top and bottom eye teeth! She cut the two top ones late last week, and the bottom ones will be cutting soon. I’ve heard that these teeth are particularly painful to cut, so that would explain the reduced sleep quality, hand chewing, and mega clinginess. Poor girl!

Exercise: After a week off due to a cold, I got back into my workout routine last weekend and had a couple strong days of workouts. I’ve been struggling this week, though, since we moved out of our bedroom and now the treadmill is wrapped in plastic to protect it from dust. A treadmill wrapped in plastic is super motivating, obviously. ;) Eric says I can unwrap it when I need to, but there’s been so much going on this week that I haven’t bothered. I’m going to make today the day! I’m still doing outdoor walks each day, and yesterday I did Barre3 since I can do it anywhere in the house (aka…away from dust). Barre3 feels extra hard now that I have this belly trying to throw me off balance, but I love how strong I feel when I do it. It’s amazing how difficult 15 minutes with hand weights feels now, and how many times I have to pause the video for a water break. I have a lot of exciting work-related things coming up in the fall, and I just hope that the added strength will help me recover faster.

Best thing I ate/drank all week: Once again, my carrot-banana muffins from my bonus recipe bundle (coming early August!). I think it was Adriana’s fave food this week, too; she claps and says “yay!” when I offer her one.

Cravings: No major cravings to speak of, except for craving something sweet at night. I’ve been testing some no-churn vegan ice cream and have been snacking on that in the evenings this week. I also made a single serving (okay, it was more like a triple serving!) of my fave Almond Butter Rice Crisp Treats (I just scaled the recipe down by 75%) and split it with Eric. Such a quick way to satisfy a sweet craving!

PS – You can find my 31 weeks update from my first pregnancy here.

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{ 48 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joanna July 28, 2016

Hey Angela,

Are you having a boy or a girl this time ?

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2 Angela Liddon August 8, 2016

We’re keeping it a surprise! :) it’s so hard though!

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3 Sabrina Leonard July 28, 2016

I *highly* recommend taking a hypnobirthing class! I took the class during my first pregnancy and used the tools and meditations during my second and third pregnancies. By the third time I was a jedi birth master and I credit it to the calm and confidence I was able to cultivate through hypnobirthing and prenatal yoga. Love the pregnancy updates and can’t wait to hear your next birth story and life with a newborn tales :)

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4 Angela Liddon August 8, 2016

Jedi master, heh…I bet you were by the third time! Way to go! You could probably teach it yourself!

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5 samantha August 13, 2016

I HIGHLY recommend hypnobirthing too!!! I was nervous about giving birth and didn’t want the same dramatic experience so many of my friends had. I’m happy to say we had a calm birth of our 9# little boy with no drugs. It was still a very intense experience but it was manageable. I had a fast recovery as well.

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6 Nicole July 28, 2016

I can only speak from my own personal experience but the second labor and especially the birth was SO much easier and faster — which led to a lot less pain overall. I definitely think looking into hypnobirthing is a good idea but I wouldn’t fret if you don’t wind up having a doula present. You’ve got this! :)

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7 Angela Liddon August 8, 2016

I’ve heard that from so many women…so I’m hopeful!! Heh. Glad you had an easier second labour!

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8 Annaliese July 28, 2016

Wow! It all sounds so very exciting. I too find that keeping busy is a great distraction from anxiety-inducing situations…but sometimes, it just needs to come out! Ha!! You’re looking strong and fabulous!

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9 Angela Liddon August 8, 2016

Thanks Annaliese!

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10 Julia July 28, 2016

Loving these updates :) I often make single serving sized desserts, like microwave mug brownies, and rice krispy squares. An easy way to make sure I don’t eat a whole pan by myself!

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11 Angela Liddon August 8, 2016

Totally! I need to do it more hah…but Eric isn’t too happy with not having leftovers!

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12 anne July 28, 2016

Did you talk much before about your birth experience with the doula last time? We are on the fence. I want one, and love the numbers they have regarding helping avoid pain meds/interventions/cesareans, but a bit hesitant because of out-of-pocket expense, and my husband worries he’d be “replaced” in his role as birth coach/companion. Did you find that to happen at all? We are doing hypnobirthing classes right now, I’m first baby 28wks, so can’t speak yet on the labor :) I’m enjoying the classes and very hopeful!

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13 Angela Liddon August 8, 2016

Hey Anne, we had a great experience with our doula. I think it’s important to find the right fit and communicate your desires from the get go. My doula was great at letting Eric be as involved as he wanted to be. Glad to hear your hypno classes are going well! Good luck with everything.

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14 Stephanie July 28, 2016

You should try to find bra extenders. Walmart and Target sell them down here in the States. I think it was like $5.99 for a pack of three. I’m only 9 weeks pregnant and have been using them for a few weeks now! :)

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15 Angela Liddon August 8, 2016

Great idea! I actually think I have one :)

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16 Lori July 28, 2016

Ok, so I tried to comment 6 hrs ago, but…life with 2 little ones got in the way! Let’s try again…
So, with my first pregnancy I took a Bradley Method class, which is partner coached birthing. That’s why I chose not to hire a doula, because essentially my husband would fill that role. The main idea in Bradley is RELAXATION of every inch of body and mind (along with a very clear understanding of what the body is going thru in every stage of labor). So the partner is responsible for keeping you in that place, whether thru massage, guided imagery, gentle talking, whatever the birthing mama wants/needs. But when it came down to it, I didn’t really want my husband to talk to me (Ha!) and I didn’t need that other stuff. I just really went inward and focused on my breath and riding each wave, paying close attention to the emotional signposts, which I found to be SO helpful and true. (you can Google ’emotional signposts of labor’ . angelfire.com ‘s descriptions adapted from The Bradley Method are good). Anyway, when we got to the hospital I was dilated 7-8, so, pretty deep into it, and I was just very still and quiet I guess, because I heard the nurses say to each other and even write on the dry erase board that I was hypnobirthing, so to stay quiet. Ha! I guess that’s what it looked like to them and I didn’t have the energy to tell them otherwise, so I just let them think that. Everything went fine and we had a healthy successful unmedicated birth, but I did lose my cool toward the end. There were a few screams and cuss words. So, one of my goals with my second pregnancy was to remain more relaxed physically (fingers, toes, jaw, etc…) composed, focused, and confident. It worked, almost too well! Let’s just say I almost had my baby out front of the hospital! Luckily we made it inside and all was well. All of this to say, I don’t think a doula is necessary if you are prepared. I too would be worried about too many cooks in the kitchen. That’s just my opinion tho. I was very fortunate to have pretty straightforward births (although certainly no walk in the park!)

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17 Angela Liddon August 8, 2016

Such a great story! Thanks Lori!

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18 Dani July 28, 2016

I’ve had two unmedicated natural births. I didn’t have an easier experience the second time around…they were both different! My secon recovery was a lot quicker…partly because with a 2 yr old running around, you don’t have the luxury to sit and nurse in leisure :D well, at least I didn’t! Either way, you’ll be fine – you have the strength within regardless of who’s in the room around you. No point in fretting – baby is coming out one way or another :)

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19 Angela Liddon August 8, 2016

Wise words! “you have the strength within regardless of who’s in the room around you.” Wow, that is so great, thanks for the reminder. I needed that!

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20 Amanda July 28, 2016

I took a hypnobirthing class with my husband prior to having our daughter. I really enjoyed the classes, but I couldn’t really get into the hypnosis with his guidance no matter how much we practiced. I think he wasn’t confident in how he was doing it and him feeling unsure came through in his voice. I did, however, become very good at getting myself into the zone and ended up being in a hypnotic state for most of the birth anyways. I kind of went away into my own zone and focused on taking a deep breath in at the beginning of each contraction and letting it out with a deep controlled hum or moan. This got me through over 12 hours of active labour completely drug free. Even though we didn’t use the hypnobirthing as a partner lead thing it still ended up being very effective and I would totally recommend it.
I would base your decision to get a doula on how supportive and helpful Eric was during your last birth. I had two midwives and my husband with the thought that my husband would be my main support… but he kind of panicked and stopped doing or saying anything to help me through it once labour intensified. For the next baby I’m getting a doula for him. Haha!

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21 Angela Liddon August 8, 2016

Haha oh that’s too funny!!!I often think about what it’s like to be on the spectator side of labour. :p I too am doubtful about my ability to get into that state, but I do recall being in my own sort of trance after 7cm (in the tub I kept falling asleep) so maybe it isn’t too far fetched for me!

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22 Lauren July 28, 2016

I just gave birth on Monday to my second child and it was so different than my first one. My labour the first time around was 24 hours (including early labour) and I ended up with an episiotomy as well due to a medical emergency. The recovery was the worst part so I was terrified this time around! I also had midwives for both pregnancies. This time around I took the hypnobirthing course because I didnt want the epidural. The course was helpful for early and active labour however my labour this time was a lot quicker. I went from 3-10cm in 2 hours. Once I got into the transitional period everything went out the door but my instructor told us that is very common and just to do what works for you. I found grunting and moaning low through each contraction worked. I couldn’t take it anymore as I had ALL back labour (like my first) so I ended up demanding the epidural and as soon as I got it my midwife checked me and I was 10cm! I had to start pushing right away so really the epidural was completely pointless. Typical. Thw pushing phase was so much easier this time. I pushed for less than 20 min and only ended up with a minor tear and a few stitches. The recovery is so much better too this time around. Your body is used to it now so if your labour is straight forward you should find this one to be easier and you heal faster. Tip: my midwife held a warm compress soaked in olive oil to my perineum everytime I pushed and she also stretched it out at the same time. It was so much easier pushing with the extra support. Good luck!

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23 Angela Liddon August 8, 2016

I love hearing this Lauren! Thanks for sharing! And I had to laugh about the transitional phase…shit gets real! Lol. That’s when I started asking for everything (even extra strength Tylenol…umm what?! #delusional Lol)

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24 Helen July 29, 2016

Rubyellen Bratcher of mycakies.com did a guest interview on the Pregnancy Perfect Podcast (Episode 70 from April 20) about her hypnobirthing experience. I recommend giving it a listen. It was really interesting!

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25 Angela Liddon August 8, 2016

Thanks for the tip…i’ll check it out!

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26 Melanie July 29, 2016

I did hypnobirthing training for my pregnancy/delivery and would highly recommend it! I wanted a hopefully drug free labour and had a quick/easy 5.5 hr delivery without any pain interventions whatsoever. Highly credit it to hypnobirthing/prenatal yoga breathing training.

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27 Angela Liddon August 8, 2016

Glad to hear that Melanie!

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28 AGS July 29, 2016

Oddly, I never experienced much concern about L&D with any of my pregnancies. . . I was just so relieved to not be pregnant anymore.

My recovery after pregnancy #2 was better than #1, and I was literally running around 2 DAYS after baby #3. (Though, after baby #3, it took me over a year to recover my stamina with running, lifting weights, etc.)

Almost everyone (2 exceptions) I know felt subsequent recovery periods were significantly better, so I hope it is the same for you. I’d stay positive!!! You don’t know what will happen, so best to imagine the best (even if you plan for the worst).

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29 Angela Liddon August 8, 2016

Hah…so true about being happy you are at the end! Glad your recoveries were easier on you! That would be so great, especially when wrangling a toddler ;)

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30 Tiffany27 July 29, 2016

You are the cutest pregnant lady! Poor Adriana! Those teeth coming in are a killer :(
And I know I’ve said this before, but sheesh…… this 2nd pregnancy has been so fast!!

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31 Angela Liddon August 8, 2016

Yea, she’s had it pretty rough since she started teething so late! I hope my next one is an early teether so it gets it out of the way sooner. Hehe. Yes it really has been super fast…I can’t believe it!

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32 Alyssa July 29, 2016

Angela,
I have loved reading your pregnancy updates and really all your posts these past few years! I have had your upcoming cookbook preordered and can’t wait to see the recipe bundle with the banana carrot muffins!

After you’ve been mentioning Barre3 workout videos I checked it out and signed up. I have always loved ballet and needed to up my weight bearing exercises. I’m new to it and am finding the workouts to be very energizing! I was wondering what some of your favorites are?

I also really adore the OSG app and was excited to be one of your beta testers! The matcha latte and jumbo chocolate chunk cookies have been my go to treats since being posted. I made the energizing broccoli dal recipe today and really loved it! Thank you!

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33 Angela Liddon August 8, 2016

Hey Alyssa, Thank you so much for being one of my amazing beta testers! We got so much great feedback on the app during the development phase. I’m so glad you enjoy it, and thank you for preordering my next book too! I love barre classes, but I love how convenient the online videos are for home workouts (and to be honest, I’m not sure I could get through 60 minutes in a class right now! haha). My fave online Barre3 video is “Studio to go” It’s 60 minutes, but I only do 15 minutes at a time. I even have my favourite spots in the video and have modified some moves for pregnancy. It’s still super challenging even though I’ve been doing it for months now. I start at 10 minutes and go until 20 minutes, and then I skip ahead to 27 minutes and go until 32 minutes ;) Instead of doing planks, I do 20 knee lifts with hand weights on each side and focus on my core. I’ve found this workout to be really great overall in addition to the cardio!

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34 Alyssa August 30, 2016

Thank you so much for such a detailed reply! I tried the workout you mentioned and what a great suggestion!
I agree I don’t think I’d be able to get to a full hour class out of the home but a few shorter workouts in the comfort of my living room is very manageable!

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35 Alexandra July 30, 2016

Hi Angela! I don’t have any children yet but love reading your baby updates – I think they help to see what pregnancy might be like on a plant based diet. My partner and I are hoping to have a baby within the next couple of years. This post really opened my eyes to how low my iron is though! I went to the doctor a few weeks ago because I was feeling really tired and achy, and my serum iron was at 20. The doctor said that was an acceptable level (but anything under 20 is cause for concern) but for yours to be over 100 and while you’re pregnant, I think that’s probably the cause of my fatigue. Thank you so much for sharing!

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36 Angela Liddon August 8, 2016

My iron has always been on the low end (or below with the need to supplement), so I can totally relate to that tired feeling you’re experiencing. WIth my first pregnancy, it started off much lower, and then dropped by the 3rd tri, so I had to supplement. I did notice that my iron levels shot up due to not having a period in 2-3 years (due to pregnancy and breastfeeding for 18 months), so I think that’s why they are so high this time around! It’s amazing what not having a period can do to help boost the stores! I think I’ve only had one period since the end of 2013!! Crazy. I hope you’re feeling better soon!

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37 Ln July 30, 2016

Whaaat!? Your iron stores are AMAZING!! Mine dropped from 67 to 10 during pregnancy and thats with taking 30-60 mg daily.. Tell me your secret lol!!

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38 Angela Liddon August 8, 2016

My iron has always been on the low end (or below with the need to supplement), so this is all new to me! WIth my first pregnancy, it started off much lower, and then dropped by the 3rd tri, so I had to supplement. I did notice that my iron levels shot up due to not having a period in 2-3 years (due to pregnancy and breastfeeding for 18 months), so I think that’s why they are so high this time around! It’s amazing what not having a period can do to help boost the stores! I think I’ve only had one period since the end of 2013!! crazy.

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39 Anna Lee August 1, 2016

Those almond butter treats sound divine. Much better than my spoonful of peanut butter I’m currently eating haha. That’s fantastic your iron levels are so high! Mine are typically very low and always have been, even with supplements, so I’ll especially have to watch it when/if I have children some day. Also, hooray for the bonus recipe bundle! I’ll be counting down the days until then. ;)

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40 Angela Liddon August 8, 2016

My iron has always been on the low end (or below with the need to supplement), so this is all new to me. I did notice that my iron levels shot up due to not having a period in 2-3 years (due to pregnancy and breastfeeding for 18 months), so I think that’s why they are so high this time around! It’s amazing what not having a period can do to help boost the stores.

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41 Jess August 2, 2016

I didn’t try hypnobirthing with Woodrow and don’t plan on it this time either, but for me a few key things were instrumental in a peaceful and really enjoyable birth. The first being the breathing and relaxation techniques I gained from prenatal yoga, but more importantly I think the confidence I felt in that my body was made for this and intuitively knew what to do. If you haven’t read Ina May’s Guide to Natural Childbirth I totally recommend it – it really was instrumental in instilling that confidence. Also the chapter on sphincter theory is awesome! Also having a water birth was so so wonderful – I think most hospitals and birthing centres have labouring tubs now but I don’t think they’ll let you deliver in them as you can at home. I’m hoping to get my 32 week update posted later today after my midwife appointment and will probably blab on about birth plans now too!

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42 Marta S August 2, 2016

I did some hypnobirthing training, so to speak, when I was pregnant with my little one (and I can’t believe she’s almost 16 months old already!), but I wasn’t able to use much of it in the beginning as my labour went from 0-60 in a matter of a couple hours… Start-to-finish everything took 5 hours and 6 minutes haha. When things go that fast, you don’t really have the time to fall into a relaxing hypnotised state. It wasn’t until the very end when I managed to “zone myself out”; one moment my midwife is telling me she sees the baby’s head and the next I’m being told to turn over to hold my baby. It wasn’t until after that I realised that I had used my hypnobirthing training.
Also, I’ve heard wonderful things about water birthing, and although I don’t know if hospitals will allow it, I know the birthing centre I had been looking at did have it as an option.
Like several other ladies said, though, even if you don’t go with a hypnobirthing doula, working on relaxing is always a great way to go. And like you said, with this being your second labour, you know what to expect. Good luck and enjoy the last few weeks of pregnancy!

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43 Angela Liddon August 8, 2016

Your labour sounds fast and furious for sure! I can only imagine things progressing that quickly! Eric told me how I fell asleep in the ub in between contractions last time, and I had absolutely no recollection of falling asleep. It’s crazy what the body can do! Thanks for sharing :)

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44 Carolyn August 3, 2016

Hi Angela! You look great! I’m loving these baby posts as I am currently 20 weeks with baby #1…I’m wondering what Barre3 workout youre doing? I’ve been trying to find a good one on youtube but filtering through the crappy ones is like a full time job. Thanks!

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45 Angela Liddon August 8, 2016

Thanks Carolyn! My fave online Barre3 video is “Studio to go” It’s 60 minutes, but I only do 15 minutes at a time. I even have my favourite spots in the video and have modified some moves for pregnancy. It’s still super challenging even though I’ve been doing it for months now. I start at 10 minutes and go until 20 minutes, and then I skip ahead to 27 minutes and go until 32 minutes ;) Instead of doing planks, I do 20 knee lifts with hand weights on each side and focus on my core. I’ve found this workout to be really great overall in addition to the cardio!

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46 Carolyn August 9, 2016

wow thank you so much for this! about to go try it!

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47 sarah August 16, 2016

I’d also suggest pelvic floor physiotherapy afterwards. I work in a clinic that includes this and so many women find it helpful for a quicker and stronger recovery. More women should be aware that it’s available!

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48 Tara August 20, 2016

Hey Angela!
I didn’t have a chance to read through all your comments, so I’m just putting this out there. I had a doula for my first birth and it went well, but I was not necessarily calm or comfortable.

Second time around I used Hypnobabies home birthing course and listened to the training tracks for the final 10 weeks of my pregnancy. It was super easy and helped me sleep better too I think. All I did was listen to the appropriate track each night as I laid down to go to bed. You can literally prepare for it while you’re sleeping!

I was calm and able to sleep comfortably for full nights through two solid days of prodromal labor and contractions. When it was time to head to the hospital, I knew it right away and only 6 hours later my little guy came into the world. I still cannot believe I had a nearly painless birth. Only during pushing did I have discomfort. My husband and mother (who thought they hypnobabies thing was all hogwash btw) were with with me and they know I’m a giant wuss when it comes to pain and I have anxiety to boot. I was calm, steady and comfortable for birthing.

I ran into my doula in the hospital when we were there for our second. She was so excited to see us and that everything went so smoothly without her. It was beautiful and calm and very close to pain free.

Just thought I’d toss this out there in case you’re feeling overloaded schedule wise. The power of the human mind is incredible. Take advantage of it! If you do decide to use Hypnobabies I highly recommend using their online community or joining a forum like the BabyCenter hypnobirthing forum where there are trained Hypnobabies doulas available to answer questions as they come up. Those ladies helped me know what to expect and encouraged me when my techniques didn’t appear to be working during prodromal labor stage. They were right, when my labor was the real deal, my body and brain worked together beautifully.

Just my experience! Hope it’s helpful for you!

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