Third Trimester Favorites

Mary Dougherty

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I'm a fine art film photographer living in the mountains and traveling to tell beautiful stories

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mary_35 weeks-1This pregnancy has flown by. I know everyone experiences it differently, but for me it’s been a whirlwind. I can’t say that things have been much different from the first time, except that I’ve been more observant and recognize when things are happening – the baby dropping, braxton hicks, early labor signs… yes, I have a feeling we will be meeting this baby before the due date. In fact, I think my due date might be wrong (we never had an ultrasound to confirm it) and while that may sound super strange we have just been really low maintenance this time around. It helps that we have an amazing midwife who delivered Daphne, so we feel like we are in good hands and have relied on a lot on our preparation the first time around.

That has been a good and bad thing. Mentally preparing for birth has taken longer because of course I have experience. While I wouldn’t actually change how it went, it was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I felt like I journeyed into the depths of my soul to give birth naturally and going there again is scary. I keep reminding myself that not only can I do it, my body was made to – and that helps me get in the mindset of working with my body and not against it. Also, I know this experience will be different from the first. Birth is unpredictable and can’t be tamed.

third-trimester-favorites

It’s good to see the finish line. Of course, that line is elusive but you can sense that it’s there. If you are expecting hopefully you have had the chance to slow down, prepare for the delivery you want to have and sleep as much as possible (do it!). Your bump looks great and you should document this time in your life and stop thinking about the fact that nothing fits – buy at least one awesome shirt that does. It’s an exciting stage but like all of pregnancy it has it’s challenges – both mentally and physically – but soon you’ll be holding your newborn in your arms. If you really want to stay on top of things pick out those birth announcements in advance and prep a few meals to put in your freezer so you have something easy to eat. Other than that – relax!

If you missed the first + second post in this series take a look, and here are my picks for the third trimester:

1. Comfy Pants : Even if you are still working and dressing up each day, the first thing you do at home is put on some comfy clothes. A perfect pair of lounge pants that won’t make you feel like you are wearing pajamas all day (especially once the baby arrives) is essential.

2. Flattering Shirt : I still think finding clothes you feel comfortable and good in is important, and at this point you usually need to buy a true maternity shirt to find one that fits. I bought an Isabella Oliver shirt (similar to this) on sale when I was pregnant with Daphne and loved having it to wear again this time around. The best part about their wrap top is that you adjust it to fit in pretty much any stage – and easily pass it on to friends when you’re done with it!

3. Heating Pad : I officially felt old when I was given a heating pad for Christmas… but it was exactly what I needed and didn’t know I wanted. Whenever my back is sore it usually does the trick and since my dad splurged on the deluxe model (haha I know I can’t believe I’m talking about a heating pad) it not only has 6 different heat settings but an automatic off after two hours (go to sleep with it and don’t worry about leaving it on – score!)

3. Maternity Photos : Even if you like photographs it can take some convincing to do a maternity session. It’s not easy when already you feel completely different from “normal” but I think it’s great to have at least a few images to remember the time by. A professional photographer will make you feel at ease no matter what and capture you in a beautiful way you enjoy looking back on. My good friend Tierney took pictures of Matt and I last time, and this pregnancy I’ve been turning Matt into a photographer – and he’s done a really good job!

3. Pedicure : It’s not easy to take care of yourself while pregnant, and totally worth the time and money to have someone help you out… and paint your toenails for you. I can barely bend over, let alone give myself a pedicure, so I just had mine painted the happiest shade of lavender and you better believe they will make me smile when I’m giving birth.

3. Journal : It’s not my strong suit to journal regularly, but I love looking back on the times I have recorded. It would be wonderful to journal through the first year of your baby’s life and pull content from it when you are writing a wedding speech :) haha. It’s those times you easily forget and yet are so vital to your journey and story as a person and family.

3. Cookbook : We love to cook, so we already have a collection of books we know and use well – in addition to the recipes we look up online. Eating well plays such a huge role in your ability to stay healthy during pregnancy, recover afterwards and give your baby the nutrients needed in your milk. Dinner at my Place by Tyler Florence is a great beginner book because it has a variety of dinners including one for pregnancy (a safe carbonara) and a section on baby food (totally worth it to make yourself, don’t be afraid of trying) and some indulgent dishes to try both before and after the baby. Other favorite cookbooks of ours include those by Jamie Oliver (browse through some recipes online!), Dinner a Love Story, Food Network Kitchens, Cook’s Illustrated (or the magazine subscription/app)… and that’s just the beginning. I’m sure you have your favorites, and would love to hear what they are!

3. Exercise Ball : Sitting on an exercise ball for a few hours a day is a great way to help your body prepare for labor, in addition to using it during. Enough said.

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