We are coming to the end of pregnancy. Less than six more weeks and our little man will be here! We photographed our maternity a session a few weeks ago, it felt like the right time to give an update on how the third trimester is going and share some of my favorite photographs.
Pregnancy is filled with easy days and some hard days. Over the last couple of months, I experienced sciatic nerve pains (ouch), switched to a different OB (yep, that happened), changed my diet (hello, gestational diabetes), and photographed a ton of clients.
The sciatic nerve pains started during my second trimester. At first the pain was just an uncomfortable part of my day. It would come and go, but overall it was tolerable. I made it a priority to stretch during those days, which helped relieve the uncomfortableness. Then I hit a day where I could barely walk. I was exercising during a pregnancy workout, and my sciatic nerve pains went uncomfortable to barely moving. This actually happened about two days before I was scheduled to photograph a birth.
Just to give you an idea on how birth photography works, I am on-call and at the hospital for several hours. Mostly standing as I photograph labor, delivery, and baby meeting family. With sciatic never pains, I knew standing for longer periods of time was going to be difficult along with walking and bending to get the photographs I envisioned. I needed to figure out a solution. My doctor suggested seeing a chiropractor for the pain.
So, I searched for chiropractors who handled pregnancy. I made an appointment that afternoon and hoped for relief. Thankfully, relief was almost instantaneous after walking away from the chiropractor’s office. I continue to see a chiropractor, and since then the pain is almost non-existent. I stretch. I walk as often as I can (weather permitting and my energy levels). I workout with a pregnancy trainer twice a week. I do my best to stay active and keep moving. It all helps.
If you would have told me that during my pregnancy I would have the urge to switch doctors, I would have said you were crazy. However, switching doctors is a part of our pregnancy story. I initially hesitated to share that we switched doctors mid-way through pregnancy (31 weeks to give you an idea). I was worried that others would not understand our decisions, but the more I thought about it the more I thought about sharing it. In case you are ever in this situation, this is how we handled it.
We began the process of switching doctors after an appointment at 31 weeks of pregnancy. My previous doctor was great. I was a part of her practice for years and received excellent care. However, after becoming pregnant you realize you may need different qualities in a doctor that you had not thought of before this stage in your life. This is what drove our decision to start researching other OBs.
My husband and I both mentioned early on during appointments that we had some concerns about our experience. As we continued appointments, my husband and I both realized we had expectations of a different birth experience than our current doctor provided. Shortly afterwards, I started researching doctors. In all honesty, it was not the easiest process. I encountered several instances where it was suggested we make it through this pregnancy with this doctor and switch afterwards. Unfortunately for us, that decision did not feel right.
So, we switched. We got references. We researched. We met with another doctor, who we loved. We scheduled additional tours at the hospital. After careful consideration, we switched, and I had immediate relief afterwards. For us, I know it was the right decision, and I am thankful we had so many people in our lives who we could turn to help us during this time. My best advice if you are ever in this situation, listen to your gut. It does not matter if others will understand, all the matters is that you are comfortable with the care you are receiving.
While working through sciatic nerve issues and finding another doctor, I received the phone call that I was not expecting. The results of my glucose test indicated that I had gestational diabetes.
To give you some background, I completed the two-hour glucose test as recommended by my doctor. Because I completed a two-hour glucose test, I did not retest once I received the gestational diabetes diagnosis. If you have been pregnant before, you have heard the stories of the glucose test and recommendations. Fast versus do not fast. Eat healthy 72-hours before to pass the test versus eat like you normally do so you can receive a true diagnosis. I did eat an egg with no salt or pepper prior to midnight before the test. I took my glucose test first thing in the morning at 7:00 am. My results indicated that my initial fasting numbers were high. However, my numbers after a meal were fine and within range. So, my focus over the last few weeks was decreasing my fasting number.
I definitely felt like I did something wrong after receiving the news of gestational diabetes. I felt guilt. Like maybe I should have eaten healthier. Or exercised more. I was aggravated with myself that I let my schedule get busy, which meant less trips to the grocery store and more trips eating out. Do I think any of these situations played a part? Possibly. But, this could also be how my body handles pregnancy. That was something I learned throughout this process.
It took over two weeks for me to see what affected my fasting number. I kept a food journal, which was so beneficial during this process. I spoke with dietitians. I researched online. I talked with others. Here is the thing… every one reacts so differently to food especially when dealing with pregnancy hormones. It takes time to realize what works for you, and what does not work. It is important to be patient and not get frustrated with the process. I definitely had my frustrated days.
For me, I learned that eating a smaller breakfast without fruit keeps my numbers stable throughout the day. I learned that I should eat fruit either at lunch or after lunch for a snack, but not any later in the day. I learned that I needed to stay up an hour later at night and actually eat a bedtime snack, which I was not doing before the glucose test. Turns out for me, staying up an hour later was the hardest part of this “diet” change.
Was switching diets an easy process? No. Do I really want to stay up later at night? No. Was I frustrated at times? Absolutely. However, this experience reminded again about the importance of watching what we put in our bodies and how it affects so much. I want our little man to be healthy, and it is another reminder that he will see what we eat. I hope to show him a good example of a balanced diet.
And, of course being a photographer, you know I scheduled maternity photographs. This season has so been so special to both my husband and I. I knew I wanted to document what pregnancy looked like for us and the beginnings of motherhood. A big THANK YOU to LeeKay Photography for joining on us on a chilly October morning and laughing alongside us as we stepped in front of the camera! And thank you for making me feel beautiful during the entire experience!