Eight months pregnant. I’m in the home stretch of my pregnancy now and I’m feeling a little antsy about reaching my due date. It feels so close and yet so far away. I still have a few weeks to go and a lot of tasks to check off my baby to-do list.
I’m excited to meet our newest blessing. I wonder all the time what Baby Z will look like. I can’t wait to hold my baby and get in all the baby snuggles. Even though this is my sixth baby, I’m a little nervous because I know life with a newborn can be challenging at times. We’ll have to readjust to a new schedule, which means little sleep for me! And I’m nervous about how I’ll manage mom life with six kids.
But I know it will just take some time to find our rhythm and everything will fall into place.
How I’ve been feeling at eight months pregnant:
When I was seven months pregnant, I felt like my energy was slowly going down. This month, I feel more energetic. I think it might because I changed my diet (more on that in the next paragraph) and I am nearing the “nesting” stage. I’ve had this sudden urge to complete house projects and start thoroughly cleaning the house. I even made a to-do list of everything that I would like to have completed before the baby arrives. (Travis is loving that! Haha)
HEALTHY EATING HABITS
Last month, I felt like I was hungry all of the time. I wanted to eat all of my favorite foods all of the time. (I didn’t, though.) This month, I’ve noticed I don’t feel that way anymore. In fact, I don’t have intense food cravings like I did at the beginning of my second trimester.
I think this may be because I have changed my diet. Since opting to do the at-home glucose monitoring, I have been more mindful about my eating habits and what types of food I eat. Here’s what I changed about my diet:
Drinking more water (I will occasionally have apple juice or iced green tea.)
switched to brown rice and quinoa
sugar-free whole wheat bread
more protein-based breakfasts
more protein snacks
No more sugary cereal. If I do have a bowl of cereal, I eat Multigrain Cheerios.
eat less sweet fruits like grapes and mangoes
switched from table salt to sea salt
less eating out (If I do have to eat out, then I choose a healthier meal option.)
switched chips to pita chips (a serving size only has 1 gram of sugar!)
Only have desserts as a true treat and a small portion size. (kind of like on a cheat day)
RELATED: MEET MY BABY ZEPHANIAH!
OTHER CHANGES IN MY PREGNANCY
- I’m sleeping a little less than before. I can average about 4 hours of sleep at a time.
- I have been experiencing “Mommy Brain” where I get a little forgetful about things easily.
- Breathing is becoming a little challenging when I’m walking and going up the stairs. I get shortness of breath often and sometimes I have to stop and catch my breath. But I’m still walking regularly!
- No more issues with hemorrhoids. I experienced this for the first time during my sixth month of pregnancy and it was the worst!
- I take short naps once or twice a day, depending on how I’m feeling.
- Braxton Hicks are more regular now. I tend to get them at night, especially if I go for a night walk.
- I’m loving this physical change about my pregnancy: My hair has been growing faster and it’s much longer now.
- Now that the baby is positioned lower in my pelvis, I have to use the bathroom what feels like a million times a day. If I just take a few sips of water, I feel like I’m running to the bathroom. It’s annoying.
ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION DURING PREGNANCY
Many women experience anxiety, depression, and stress during pregnancy. I read in an article by the American Pregnancy Association, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have found “between 14-23% of women will struggle with some symptoms of depression during pregnancy.”
Since I have an anxiety disorder, my anxiety is usually higher during pregnancy. Lately, though, I’ve been experiencing higher stress than usual because I’ve had some issues with a former provider. I’ve also been going through a mild depression so I started seeing a therapist to help me work through all of this. It’s been very helpful for me so far.
There’s still a lot of stigma about seeking support for mental health care, but taking care of your mental health is important. I have learned that I don’t have to go through this alone and I don’t have to feel embarrassed about how I’m feeling. I feel more in control and refreshed because I found the support I need.
If you are experiencing high anxiety, depression, or stress during your pregnancy, remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I encourage you to talk to someone you trust or find a good therapist. It really will help you and give you the support you need.
Here are some links I found to help find a caring and supportive therapist:
Psychology Today– Find an African American Therapist
Trust me– I’m the type of person to keep my feelings bottled up, but I made the decision to go to therapy for my well-being. I’ve experienced this before during a pregnancy and I’ve also had postpartum depression after three different pregnancies.
Based on my previous experiences with anxiety during pregnancy and postpartum depression, I knew this time I didn’t want to go through this alone. I feel stronger for seeking support and I know you will, too.
PLANS I’M MAKING TO GET READY FOR BABY
We still have quite a bit of baby shopping to do. I’ve been researching small baby shops to order handmade clothing and unique styles. If you have any recommendations for me, then please let me know!
Elijah and Michala (my two older children) have been discussing with me ways they can help when my labor starts and after I have the baby. One thing Elijah has started doing is cooking dinner once a week. This has been very helpful and it will help him gain more practice with cooking for when I need more help after I have the baby.
They both also help me with cleaning the house more, especially when Travis has school and work. There are a few things I have a challenge with doing, such as carrying heavy laundry baskets up and down the stairs. So they have pitched in with more cleaning tasks around the house.
NATURAL, MED-FREE BIRTH
It is still my goal to have a natural, med-free labor and birth. I’ve been working on my positive birth affirmation cards to have on-hand when I’m in labor. I did this for my last pregnancy and my doula read the cards to me during labor. I found it comforting to hear the encouraging words I had written to myself read aloud to me.
I’m also starting regular pregnancy meditation. This is something I also did in my last pregnancy during the third trimester. It helped me calm my anxiety and work on breathing techniques to use during labor.
Just a few weeks to go! The time went by at a steady pace for me, but now it feels like things are really starting to go by fast. My plans for the remainder of my pregnancy is to continue getting ready for Baby Z’s arrival and enjoy the last few weeks of my pregnancy.
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All photographs are courtesy of Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit. Photography location Stony Creek Metro Park in Michigan.