Here I am; 30 something, 30+ weeks pregnant with our 3rd. What an incredible blessing but wow what a reality check too. I am thankful to be pregnant and adore pregnancy and even hope to maybe do it all again. This is simply my truthful account of pregnancy a 3rd time around. The bliss, the beauty, the hemorrhoids and everything in between.
Falling pregnant: 20’s vs 30’s
3 little people… 3 (4) very different conception stories. After being told (at 16) that my odds of having a baby would be minimal I chose to put the heart-break behind me and not think about something I had no control over. Fast forward 10 years and a lot of talk, we finally took the plunge ditching the oral contraceptives. Eliana came as only she could, a huge surprise with no time to waste. 28 days after taking my last “pill”, 2 blue lines and a blood test confirmed we would be parents soon.
She changed our world and we knew giving her a sibling would be amazing. We fell pregnant unknowingly when she was around 18 months. Never destined to meet this precious soul, our second pregnancy ended in a heart-breaking miscarriage. The biggest challenge we have had to face to date.
3 months on, while trying NOT to fall pregnant Lia came to heal our hearts. I knew we were having a girl at 8 weeks and her name was even given to us at 10 weeks. I never feared for Lia. She is our light and still brings so much happiness and courage to our family.
2016 brought me months of health issues, tests, severe and constant bleeding… We were told I needed surgery before we could consider adding another Candi to the clan. Content with what had to be done Mr. Perfect wasn’t ready to give up hope and we kept “working at it”. One morning, that same month, I woke up, no blood, thank goodness! 4 weeks later a Clear Blue Digital Test confirmed our abundance of prayers were answered… I was pregnant and not just 1-2 weeks, 3+ weeks.
Maybe it’s age,the fact that I breast-fed very long or fate but this baby brought us to our knees and made us WORK for him / her. Challenging us in many ways but we can’t be prouder, happier and more excited.
Pregnancy again, again and again.
During all pregnancies the female body is basically ripped apart and rearranged to create, nourish and protect a new life. The physical changes we undergo over 9 months become part of us forever. Putting your body through this over, and over, and over again does take a toll no matter how strong, fit or healthy we are.
Pregnancy for a 3rd go like every go has been different. The bump is bigger every time, you show much quicker too and you’ll be carrying all the extra weight for much longer. I gained 15 kg in the 1st 20 weeks. At week 30, 20kg.
- You get to show off your baby bump for much longer.
- Less people think you’re fat, it’s impossible to miss that you’re definitely pregnant.
- You get real use out of maternity clothes.
- You have to carry the extra weight of that glorious bump for many more weeks.
- You have much less support seeing as your abs have been stretched on a previous occasion and can’t wait to get relaxed again.
- Extra weight gain + prolonged carrying of this weight = pressure which could results in a common pregnancy symptom (but something very new to me this 3rd time); HEMOROIDS. Thank goodness for Scheriproct suppositories and Sudocrem. I seriously though I had worms.
- Lastly, don’t forget to embrace the incredible back pain. Another new sensation commonly experienced after previous pregnancies and epidurals. Acupuncture, once a month for the win. This even helped with my spinal alignment.
Taking care of me not just we…
Truth be told a lot of the strains faced this time around could have been prevented. Long hours on my feet, evenings blogging till late at my desk top, picking up our 5 and 2 years old too much, never taking time to rest and not going to the bathroom regularly are some of the main causes – but isn’t that just what we all do?
Pre-pregnancy I also didn’t take the time to prepare my body for the task ahead. Setting aside time to exercise and strengthen my body took a back seat and the excuse of never having time or “I’ll start next week” was my mantra. Mom life just keeps me too busy.
I took being pregnant for granted and just trusted my body could do it all again BUT I wasn’t supporting myself as I did during my 1st 2 rounds. This was the price I had to pay to get me back on track, focussed and prioritising.
How to take care of the “me” amongst the “we”:
- Rest, take a moment to lie down or even just put your feet up. 10 minutes in the middle of the day makes a huge difference.
- Drink loads of water and listen to your bladder, even if you just went.
- Accept help and ask for it as well. Mr.Perfect has taken over the bedtime routine in the evening and I get an extra hour of “me-time” feet in the air on the couch.
- Be honest with your other little ones explaining to them why holding hands or sitting together is a better option for now, especially during the last trimester. They will still feel loved.
- Don’t feel guilty because your not doing as much, you are making a human, that’s more than enough.
- Say NO. Put yourself (and baby) 1st.
- Go to bed at a reasonable hour. Sleep heals all.
The bottom line
My petite 1.65m frame carries a baby like I’m having a litter! My belly keeps expanding and the scale keeps adding the pounds. How I walk without toppling over doesn’t make sense.
Call me crazy BUT I still loved every itchy, painful and weird moment thus far. It’s probably because my body is older and because I have two other babies to love that the 3rd pregnancy came with a few unwanted “gifts” or maybe if I took the time to love myself as I love my family things would have been easier.
I might just have to do a 4th round to test this theory… What I do however know is that we mamas can always take better care of ourselves, love ourselves a little more and do with some extra help and support. This makes pregnancy and motherhood that much more beautiful and pleasant.
Also check out Part 1 of “Finding Myself in Pregnancy” if you missed it.
PHOTO CREDIT | Anje-Ilana Nel from Madison & West.
Special thanks to Anneen Henze Collection for my beautiful EVAH dress and the Harmonie Protea Farm in Rayton for letting us explore their gorgeous venue. See more stunning images from this shoot in our Fall Fashion for Mommy and Mini feature.