Pregnancy – 36 week update

We’re down to the last 4 weeks. Time sure really feels like it is flying. I have a feeling a full 3rd trimester recap may be much delayed (or non-existent) so here is a 36 week update.

Anxiety has certainly started to sink in. Since we moved about 4 weeks ago, I felt behind in many things pre-baby – nursery planning, getting the car seat ready and inspected, baby classes, and generally getting all of our ducks in a row before the baby arrives. I’m feeling excited to meet our little one, but also nervous about the responsibility and the labor process.

I’ve been fortunate that I have been able to sleep relatively well despite the 3-5 bathroom breaks in the middle of the night. I can generally fall back asleep without much trouble. Also, without a work schedule, I am fortunately able to take naps in the middle of the day if needed.

Hunger, Cravings, and Nausea
Still no cravings but I am finally getting my appetite for sweets back and I am eating a little more food than I did in the 2nd trimester, but still not as much as I was eating pre-pregnancy/marathon training. I am not tracking calories so much of this is a perception based on how many snacks I eat between meals and the size of my portions.

I’m still drinking one cup of coffee a day and trying very hard to not give into my sweet tooth too much. I had my glucose screening test at my 28 week appointment and fortunately, passed. However, when we moved back, I switched back to my doctor in Manhattan and they have a stricter guideline on the glucose levels, so I had to do a fasting blood test which fortunately came back normal. Despite wanting to eat ice cream and chocolate again, I am trying to be more conscious about how much food I am consuming that has added sugar.

Fortunately this trimester, the nausea has stayed mostly at bay. However, occasionally if I eat too much or too fast, I feel nauseous and I’ve relied on ginger beer or sparkling water.

DSC01674Baby Kicks and Movement
We learned at our 28 week appointment that the baby’s head is facing down, which is great news! Since she’s stayed in roughly the same position since then, I’ve felt her in the same spots and she is generally more active throughout the day and even more active in the evening when I am relaxing on the couch and getting ready for bed. The movements have changed rhythmically though due to her growth. Our doctor in Connecticut had a good analogy on how the baby feels – at 28 weeks, she has a 2-bedroom apartment, at 32 weeks, she has a 1-bedroom and at 36 weeks, she has a studio.

Tingling Arms, Leg Cramps, and Swelling
I started wearing a wrist brace on both wrists at night to help with support and the tingling. My arm is not as bad but my fingers experience the sensation when I am doing any repetitive motions. As for leg cramps, they have generally subsided. Since I am up so often in the middle of the night, I make sure to stretch out my calf if I feel a cramp coming on.

I started experiencing swelling in my hands and feet towards the later part of the 2nd trimester. I can measure how much my hands are swelling each day by how my ring fits. I can no longer wear my wedding band or engagement ring and now opt for either no ring or one that Josh purchased for me that is 1.5 sizes larger than my old rings. My feet are also getting gradually worst. My already wide feet can now only wear these Birkenstock sandals.

Pregnancy/Baby Classes
We started taking classes after we moved back to Hoboken. We went to two childbirth classes through the hospital and our pediatrician. We also took an infant CPR class as well and next week, I’m attending a breastfeeding class. We wish we were able to get in a newborn care class but unfortunately, it doesn’t look like we will be able to fit one in the schedule. However, Josh has done some reading throughout the pregnancy and most recently, the Baby 411 book we received as a gift.


The most traveling we’ve done this trimester is between NJ and CT for our move! However, we’re fortunate to celebrate our baby shower in early May with many of our friends and family who traveled the distance to join in our festivities.

This trimester, I was primarily on the hunt for clothes to keep me cool in this warmer weather and nursing products. Also, since I have exercised more since moving back to Hoboken, I needed to stock up on extra sports bras for barre and yoga. One of my favorites is from Old Navy. I love seamless sports bras and you really can’t go wrong with the price. I’ve invested in a handful of summer maternity dresses and non-maternity tops that are looser so I can wear them now and post-baby. Some of my favorite recent purchases are from Anthropologie during their weekend sale – check these out (they’re super cute!): linen tee, buttondown tee, and this beach haven tee.

I ran my last race of this pregnancy at 29 weeks and it was a memorable one helping celebrate Coach Brian’s 50th state marathon in Providence. I continued to run without walk breaks until around 32 weeks. Around that time is when I started feeling more pressure in the pelvis and could only run/walk comfortably. I would run for about 5 minutes and then walk for a short while and continue to do this for around 30 minutes. This is also the same time I switched to going on the elliptical more. Starting last week, I switched exclusively to the elliptical for cardio. In addition to the elliptical 3-4 days a week for 30-40 minutes, I am also taking barre and prenatal yoga classes. I’m glad to be back in Hoboken and continue with some of my favorite exercise routines. My goal these days is to exercise at least for 30 minutes each day (per my Apple Watch) including walks. I really miss being able to run easily without discomfort, but in the meantime, I am living vicariously through my running friends and building a marathon training plan for my cousin.

I have a couple of races post-baby that I am already signed up — NYRR Bronx 10-miler and the TCS NYC Marathon. Both races, I know, are aggressive to train for especially given the timing, not knowing what recovery will be like, and how different life will be with a newborn. While none of these races are intended to be PRs or even ones I train for aggressively, it is nice to have something on the calendar to work towards but I am going into it consciously aware that if I am not ready, I will not force myself.

(Do not read this next section if you’re not ready for too much information)
Bowel Movements
Some of the same issues I suffered from in the 2nd trimester continue to bother me. However, I am learning to manage the discomfort better especially since I am at home and can manage accordingly.

Finally, I am not a doctor or a medical professional. Everything written in this post is based on my experience. Please always check with a doctor first on any topic. However, I am happy to commiserate with others in similar situations!

Our non-traditional baby shower

DSC01586Last Saturday, we celebrated our upcoming arrival with our family and friends. When we started thinking about this party, we knew that we wanted essentially a party where we can invite all of our family and friends. It didn’t necessary have to be baby themed but the baby was a good excuse to throw a party!

DSC01589Enter my good friend, Melinda who knew exactly how we felt and really knew what we wanted better than we knew what we wanted. She helped us plan and coordinate the best and most memorable baby shower we could ask for. To us, it was special and exactly what we wanted and more.

DSC01584—We invited all of our closest family and friends – male or female. Kids and significant others were all invited. We did not put a cap on the number of people. We’re fortunate in that we were able to rent the residence club room in our apartment building that could easily hold over 300 people, so the number of people was not an issue. This party was about me as much as it was about Josh and our families.

DSC01583—We wanted our family and friends to eat, drink and be merry! Our shower was catered by David’s Soundview Catering (who did an amazing job) and was a full lunch with kid’s menu and an open bar of wine and beer. Just because I can’t drink doesn’t mean everyone else can’t!

—We did not open presents. Don’t get me wrong, we appreciate all the presents (and they were not necessary), but we really did not want to take away time from the party for everyone to watch me open presents. We are very grateful for everything we received and are thanking everyone individually.

DSC01587—We did not play baby shower games. I have played my fair share of baby shower games and but they are not for me. We didn’t want our guests to be put in any awkward situations or felt obligated to take part. This is not to say we don’t like showers where games are a part of it, it’s just a personal choice to not have them at ours.

—Despite all of this, the party was still baby themed. Melinda carried my love for elephants (from the baby registry process) throughout the entire event. She ordered a custom cake, custom sugar cookies, coordinated a wishing well of books, baby shower greeting board, onesies and bib decorating, and coordinated with our parents to have baby pictures of Josh and I all around the room.

img_5215We loved every minute of our baby shower and would not change any aspect of it. Melinda did an amazing job making it very personal and special for us and we are incredibly grateful. We appreciate everyone traveling the distance to CT to celebrate with us and fortunate for all the wonderful memories and well wishes from everyone.

img_5216Deciding to have a baby shower or not, is a very personal choice and so are all the details that come along with it. Everyone has different opinions in what they would like to have in a shower and by no means, does it mean that what we did is right or wrong, these are just options we decided to go with. I truly respect all opinions and options on this topic and wanted to just share what we did as food for thought for others who are going through a similar process.