FEATURE STORY, MOTHERHOOD

The Seventh Month

Seven months pregnant. It’s hard to believe I’m already in my third trimester. At the beginning of my pregnancy, my due date felt so far away. Now it feels as if it will be here before you know it!

We still have so much to do to prepare for Baby’s arrival, but I’m not in freak out mode (yet!). I still feel pretty laid back about this pregnancy and I know we will get all of Baby’s clothing, baby furniture, and other baby care items in time.

I’m going to be honest with you– I don’t particularly like taking pictures when I’m pregnant. I feel like I look so puffy and round. I mean, I know that’s to be expected with pregnancy, but it’s still something I’m not completely comfortable with seeing of my body. You’d think after having five babies, I’d be used to it and okay with taking pictures, but I actually feel quite self-conscious about my body shape.

I’m going to brave it, though, and share a seven-month pregnancy update with you, including pictures!

Pregnancy Update: Seven Months Pregnant

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HOW I’VE BEEN FEELING AT SEVEN MONTHS PREGNANT

ENERGY LEVEL

Overall, I feel pretty good. My energy has been slowly going down and that’s normal for me during the third trimester. I usually have more energy in my second trimester, but during the first and third trimesters, I get tired easily.

I like to take short naps in the late afternoon. Sometimes longer if I really need it. If I take a quick 30-minute nap, though, I will feel energized and ready for round two of the day.

HUNGRY ALL OF THE TIME!

My appetite has increased. I want to eat all of my favorite foods all of the time! Haha! But I am focusing on keeping a healthy diet and eating my favorite “junk food” very sparingly. I’m trying really hard to keep Baby’s weight below nine pounds.

Zechariah (baby #4) and Zephaniah (baby #5) were both ten-pound babies. Zephaniah had a slight issue with labored breathing after his birth and had to spend a short time in the NICU for a day and a half. I don’t want Baby to have the same issue or any problems with her blood sugar so I am working hard on keeping a healthy diet.

BABY’S GENDER

We’re still keeping Baby’s gender a surprise to our friends! 🙂

TESTING FOR GESTATIONAL DIABETES

To help with monitoring my blood sugar and food intake, I’ve been doing an at-home glucose test. I have a love-hate relationship with the glucometer. On one hand, I love it because it is teaching me how different foods affect my blood sugar. On the other hand, I hate it because I’m learning some of my favorite food and drinks spike my blood sugar.

I’ve already had to cut my favorite Arizona Green Tea and apple juice out of my diet. I do have apple juice occasionally, but it’s always a small amount and for one meal. I’d say I drink apple juice once or twice a week.

The reason why I opted to do an at-home glucose test is because I absolutely hate having to do the standard glucose tolerance test where you have to drink that nasty juice. Oh, that’s the worst! You have to fast for so many hours before taking the test and I was always starving. Then you have to drink the juice within FIVE MINUTES! Sometimes it would make me vomit and I’d have to retake it.

My midwife gave me the option to try the at-home glucose monitoring so I thought I’d give it a try. I wasn’t expecting it to be so challenging, though! Despite it being a challenge, I still prefer this method of testing than having to drink that horrid juice. Plus, I’m learning how to change my eating habits and choose healthier foods for me and the baby.

(If you’re interested in trying an at-home glucose monitoring, definitely talk to your healthcare provider about it!)

PREGNANCY BODY CHANGES

Aside from the obvious body change of my very growing belly, I’ve experienced a few other changes. I have minor swelling in my hands, some dark coloration in certain parts of my body, and mild acne.

THE MASK OF PREGNANCY

You know, it wasn’t until this pregnancy that I learned about “the mask of pregnancy” or melasma. Melasma is normal during pregnancy and causes parts of the skin to darken. For me, I have it on my face, neck, and armpits (so weird, I know).

I remember also experiencing this with my other pregnancies, but I didn’t realize there was an actual name for it. It always goes away a few weeks after I have my baby.

MILD ACNE

I’m so relieved that I have mild acne this pregnancy. When I was pregnant with Elijah (baby #1), I had acne really bad. Makeup didn’t even cover it up. It was a hard experience for me and affected my self-esteem. The acne was so bad that it left scarring on my face.

I haven’t been wearing makeup this pregnancy (because of quarantine life) so I also think that has helped with not getting acne. Every once in a while I will wear red lipstick but that’s it!

HEMORRHOIDS

Just keeping it real– hemorrhoids are very common in pregnancy, and unfortunately, I experienced it in my sixth month of pregnancy. Ugh! This is the first pregnancy I have ever had hemorrhoids and it is the worst. It lasted for about 3 to 4 weeks and the pain was so uncomfortable.

I used a variety of remedies for hemorrhoids: Preparation H, witch hazel, coconut oil, and Tucks Medicated Cooling Pads. I also increased my fiber intake and started walking more. I think with quarantine life, it limited my physical activity which may have contributed to hemorrhoids.

MATERNITY FASHION

I’m keeping it very simple with my maternity fashion for two reasons:

  • I’m still spending a lot of time at home because of the pandemic.
  • Being pregnant with three younger children who are always full of energy, makes it a little challenging for me to be fashionable.

I just want to wear something comfortable but also a little stylish so I bought a few maternity dresses from Target. I’m happy wearing a cute, comfy dress and sneakers or sandals.

Pregnancy Update: Seven Months Pregnant
I’m keeping my maternity style simple with casual dresses from Target.
Pregnancy Update: Seven Months Pregnant

PREPARING FOR BABY’S ARRIVAL

BABY SHOPPING

As I mentioned before, we haven’t started buying the baby’s things yet, but the plan is to start in the month of June. One thing I’d really love to get is a Moses Bassinet. I think it’s just darling and I’ve never had one before. They’re really expensive, though, so I’m still looking around for a Moses Bassinet that fits our budget. I don’t want to spend $300 on it when I know the baby will outgrow it very quickly.

I have been redecorating and organizing our home. Maybe it’s nesting or maybe it’s just having the extra time from the quarantine to finally focus on it. I don’t know, but I’m enjoying my home decor projects. I even have a (long) list of projects for Travis to work on, like repainting certain rooms in our home.

I would love to get a Moses Bassinet like this one.

CHOOSING A HOME BIRTH

In April, I made the decision to switch my healthcare provider from an OB to a home birth midwife. It wasn’t an impulsive decision I made because of the coronavirus pandemic. Home birth has been something I’ve been wanting to do for many years. I started researching it in 2012 when I wanted a natural, med-free birth with Zhen (baby #3).

But for each pregnancy, I ended up choosing a hospital birth because I was scared, to be very honest, and I still didn’t have enough information on home birth.

When I was pregnant with Zephaniah, I had a med-free birth at a natural birth unit. It was an amazing experience and it showed me that I can do a home birth. So I finally decided to go for it with this baby!

Sometime later, I will write a blog post to further explain why I chose a home birth.


RELATED: CELEBRATING TWO YEARS OF BREASTFEEDING MY TODDLER


HOW THE FAMILY FEELS ABOUT THE PREGNANCY

TRAVIS

Excited! He was excited from the very beginning. Travis is very supportive, and honestly, he likes to spoil me. He cooks a lot and gives me breaks when he’s home from work. He’s always asking me, “Can I get anything for you? Do you want me to cook you something?”

THE KIDS

Also excited! The three little ones have been showing great enthusiasm for the baby’s arrival. I think they must know we’re getting close to the due date.

About two weeks ago, they started referring to the baby by name. They also like to pretend the baby is already here and take a stuffed animal and place it in a chair at the table.

I bought them a new kids’ table and it came with four chairs: blue, green, red, and yellow. The kids love the Disney Junior show PJ Masks so a year ago they assigned the characters to themselves. Zhen is Owlette (who wears red); Zechariah is Catboy (who wears blue); and Zephaniah is Gekko (who wears green).

Zephaniah and Zechariah are always dressing up as Catboy.

Since the table came with blue, green, and red chairs, the kids picked out their chairs according to their PJ Masks colors. They reserved the yellow chair for the baby. It’s really sweet that they’re already including their little sibling!

Michala has been helping me out a lot with cleaning and organizing. Elijah helps me out with babysitting when I need a nap or when I go on my walks. They’re both pretty chill about everything. I think that’s because they’re older now and they know what to expect with a new baby in the family.

Pregnancy Update: Seven Months Pregnant

Everyone is feeling excited about Baby’s arrival. I keep looking at the calendar counting down the weeks. Almost nine weeks to go until my sweet baby will be here earthside.

I’m going to take my time enjoying the time I have left with my pregnancy. Even though the third trimester feels like an eternity (haha), I know soon August 1st will be here and this will all be a memory.


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All photographs, unless otherwise noted, are courtesy of Jennifer Hamra for Good Life Detroit.

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