When they say every pregnancy is different, they mean it. You’d think after going through it six times before, nothing would take me by surprise. But it turns out that’s just not the case.
I’m just about to turn 38 weeks pregnant and recently, there are three things that got me thinking:
I’ve always had a lot. I don’t mind because my labors are usually relatively short. My longest was baby number one at about 8 hours and my shortest was baby number four when I woke up at about 12:30am and gave birth right around 2:25am. My Braxton Hicks have had a familiar feel from one pregnancy to the next. They’re either barely noticeable or uncomfortable. This time, I’ve had those, plus, I’ve had ones that came with back pain or I’ve had ones that felt really strong and made my tummy super hard, but didn’t hurt at all. On the outside, they felt like the strongest I’ve had, but no pain whatsoever. It was actually kind of strange. That just got me wondering why some Braxton Hicks feel so different from others. I have no idea what the answer is to that and I’m not sure anyone else knows either, but that made me go “hmmm” this pregnancy.
Less Incontinence Issues: Squats Trump Kegels!
You’ve probably heard all about Kegels and how they’re supposed to be good for your pelvic floor. During this pregnancy I was introduced to an article that referenced the Pelvic Floor Goldilocks, which made me laugh out loud. The article essentially said that squats are more effective than kegels in keeping your pelvic floor functioning.
I was happy to hear this, of course, because I much prefer doing squats to Kegels. So I tried it this pregnancy. I paid no attention to Kegels whatsoever and just did more squatting. Now that I’m almost to my due date, I’m realizing I have had far less pregnancy incontinence issues than ever before. I really thought having so many kids and getting older more or less doomed me to increased incontinence with each and every pregnancy. I was wrong.
I went into this pregnancy heavier than ever before (130 instead of 120) and in the worst shape of my life. Yet, I had less issues. The only thing I can chalk that up to is the increased squatting that I tried to do on a regular basis during this pregnancy. Whether that’s the real reason or not, my lack of incontinence problems during this pregnancy has been such a blessing and definitely made me a fan of squats over Kegels!
Is This a Sign of Labor?
I mean really? Am I seriously wondering about this? This is my seventh child and in the past few days I’ve had these strange twinges and changes in aches and pains that has me wondering if this baby will show up sooner than expected. My kids always make me wait so I’m fully expecting to give birth AFTER I hit 40 weeks, not before. However, I’ve had some strange crampy feelings recently, some funky twinges, increased pressure in my pelvic region (which only happened with baby number one), and a sudden shift in aches and pains to my sacroiliac joint area.
I’ve always had lots of sacroiliac joint pain in previous pregnancies and was enjoying a relatively pain free pregnancy in that area. I did have some issues right around the end of the second trimester, during which I gained a lot of weight. At the end of my second trimester and the beginning of my third, I switched to real food and cut out sugar and I found that it really helped with the pain.
Once I started eating healthier, my crazy weight gain slowed and my back issues got a lot better. Even up until now, if I have any back pain, it’s relatively short lived and I can walk most the day without pain in my back, which is unusual for me. But today, today is different. I’m feeling quite a bit more sacroiliac joint pain. I’m thinking the baby has probably shifted from posterior to anterior and is now settling lower into my pelvic region. Again, unusual for most my kids who were all “floating” even when I was in transition, but maybe a change in baby’s position is the reason behind a recent change in aches, pains, crampiness, and twinges.
But what do all these last minute changes mean? Do they even mean anything? Should I read any labor signage into them? Is this just a different pregnancy? Maybe this baby is just a little bigger than the others and causing different sensations? To be honest, I have no idea. I guess I just have to take it as it comes and just be ready for anything.
Seems so strange to have so many questions and still be learning new things about pregnancy and my body, even after already having six kids.
What about you? What have you recently learned about pregnancy?