Last Trimester Update

This is my latest photo. I'm 32 weeks and 4 days here and we woke up early for my bi-weekly prenatal check-up. How time flies. Before, our waiting for our monthly check-up seemed forever, and now, we're seeing my obstetrician every two weeks. Sooner, we'll be hanging out in the clinic every week until Elijah's ready to come out. 

I got a lot of concerns now that I'm in my last trimester, but for some backreads, click here and here and here for my stories.

First trimester was tough for me. As I mentioned in my previous posts, I spent the first three months on bed, sleeping and forcing myself to eat. Instead of gaining the ideal 3 pounds, I lost it. My appetite and everyday routine eventually went back to normal at around 18 weeks, as if nothing happened. From there, I started to embrace and enjoy pregnancy. Then third trimester came....

Sleep
For years, I can sleep soundly without a pillow, but during the last part of my second trimester, I had a hard time finding the right position to doze off, not to mention that my nose is clogged almost every night because of the increase blood flow. Sometimes, there's even a dried blood in it. I feel suffocated when I lie on my back, even with two pillows on. By far, I could sleep best on side-lying and sitting position. I even envy my husband when I see him sprawled on bed. I miss that! Oh, and I always have to ask for his assistance now whenever I need to get up.

Bladder overload
With Elijah growing, I find myself spending more time in the rest room. Even with his slightest movement prompts me to empty my bladder. You know, the feeling when I spend more than an hour finding the right position to sleep, and when I finally had that eureka moment, he suddenly gives a hard jab and uppercut or maybe slams his butt toward my bladder that I had to get up once more to pee.

Skin discoloration
It's scorching hot here in California, and me being pregnant, my body just feels warmer. My skin is always flushed. For that, I have to wear lighter clothes. Maxi dresses without sleeves are my favorite, until I discovered that my armpits turned 5 shades darker. Oh no!!! I instantly knew what the culprit is--the hormones. My armpit skin has turned extra sensitive, like one time, I rubbed it for a few seconds only and that added to the discoloration. My linea nigra has darkened also! And my belly button?!? 
At 26 weeks, besides the light linea nigra and protruding belly button, my tummy's flawless. haha..Now, besides the darker linea nigra, the surrounding skin of my belly button has also darken. Bryan said it looks like a comet. (comet talaga?!)

Tiger stripes
If Katy Perry has the eye of the tiger, I have the stripes of the tiger!! Rawwwr!!!! Just a few weeks ago, I was pretty confident I won't develop any stretchmarks, until last week. While I was applying my belly butter (I use Burt's Bees), I noticed some lines, around four of them (oo binibilang ko!) above my belly button. My hunch was that these could be stretchmarks, so I wrinkled my skin and there they are! Being paranoid, I scrutinized every part of my belly that day. I couldn't see my lower abdomen now, so I had to use a mirror. I discovered more stripes on the right part, surrounding my appendectomy scar. I checked on the left side and I saw some that are ready to sprout any day now. I took a small container, poured some organic coconut oil in it and added a few drops of lavender oil. Instead of using the belly butter alone, I initially apply my coconut concoction all around my belly then apply the belly butter. Though I know I'll still acquire these stripes, the coconut oil and belly butter will aid in moisturizing my skin and lessen the itchiness.

Weight gain
My weight gain is normal. In fact, my obstetrician wants me to gain more. A lot of people are saying I'm lucky because it's all baby weight, but I know myself. At 33 weeks, I now accumulated a total of 20 pounds. My upper body frame is small. I have slender arms. They're the last thing to suck fats in my body. Besides my growing tummy, all the weight is seeping through my thighs. Though I could still fit in my pre pregnant shorts (except the button and zipper part), they're tighter now and a bit uncomfortable.

Hands and Feet
Besides the calluses that developed below my big toenails because of my past work, I love my feet. One time I was looking at them, I thought it was edema, but turns out, they got bigger. Even Bryan noticed the change. I could still fit in all my shoes though. I would say they grew horizontally. They look fat now.

I occasionally have tightening of fingers and feet also. So now, I'm not wearing my wedding ring anymore. Bryan understands. When we go out, he usually says, "Hey, I'm dating a single woman. And you're dating a married man." haha..He's hilarious. 

Exercise
Until now, other people are still surprised when I mention I workout while pregnant. I'm a fan of Beach Body workouts since 2006 (Turbo Jam, Hiphop Abs, Turbo Fire, Insanity). When I felt the need to increase the intensity of my workouts, I switched to Turbo Fire, Insanity and Barry's Bootcamp (not a part of Beach Body, and I stopped doing it because I left the DVDs in the Philippines.) Eventually, I had a go signal from my obstetrician. I'm doing Turbo Fire now, only in a low intensity level--no jumps etc. I also love using resistance band for toning.

Cravings
Click here for my kitchen overhaul post. I would say, I crave the good stuff more than the bad ones. Watermelon and mango are my favorite fruits now. When I wake up in the middle of the night, my body craves these food. Grilled cheese is another favorite. It's my comfort food along with my broiled chicken recipe and basmati rice. What else? Almonds, oatmeal champorado and almond milk are my staples now. For sweets, instead of feeding myself and the baby with the bad stuff, I make choco-banana almond smoothie. But I do pig out too, like every weekend. I just make sure I eat in moderation. I'm sharing the smoothie recipe now. 

Choco-banana almond smoothie

 > peel bananas and freeze them first (so no ice is needed and the consistency is creamier; and I prefer organic bananas)
> ratio = 1 banana is to 1 cup of milk (I use almond milk)
> blend everything using a blender (I also use Magic Bullet): frozen banana, 1 cup of almond milk, 10 pieces of raw almonds (add as you desire) and 1 tbsp of cacao (not cocoa)

This is soooo good!!!!  Vegan, healthy and also aids in digestion. 

With all the changes I mentioned above, especially the stretchmarks, skin discoloration, big feet and weight gain, I admit I worried the first time I noticed all these. But after some contemplation and words from my mommy friends and prayers too, the worries and anxieties just fade away. I am actually feeling proud now because despite these unsightly changes, someone so beautiful is growing inside me. 

Ethel





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