27 Weeks

How far along: 27 weeks, completed 7/10/12–I am heretoforth officially 3 months away from my due date.

Welcome to the third trimester, my son.

(yes, sometimes I speak to myself in a Jedi voice)

Weight gain: Not sure, but I feel like the gain has slowed down in the past couple weeks. I’m not seeing huge differences in my body from a couple weeks ago to present . . . are you?

And no stretch marks yet, though I hear they can creep up on you at the very end, and I also hear (sadly) that they are genetically predetermined, so no amount of expensive lotion is proven to keep them away if they’re in your cards.

Of course, that doesn’t keep my from trying the expensive lotions anyway.

Help me Obi Wan Kenobi! You’re my only hope.

Sorry, my mom was just telling me the story of how she and my dad were in the theatre seeing Star Wars while she was having contractions with me, so . . . right.

Clothes: My desperation last week over the heat/laundry situation came to a happy ending when my mother-in-law extended the hand of sympathy and offered up her brand new washing machine for our use. My husband was going to be with his parents all day Thursday anyway helping them get settled in their new home, so my father-in-law came into the city to pick him up and then brought him all the way back the following day just so that he could tote all our laundry over there and get things taken care of. Blessings on all that were involved in that laundry endeavor! I’m beginning to hope that there may not be another trip to the laundromat–if we can just hold out until August 15th . . . (I think we can!!!) . . .

I’ve also found a few more things I already owned that totally work for these medium/big belly days! For instance, the shirt from these pictures, which my cousin June passed on to me at Rummage two years ago.

And now that I’m looking at the nice drape and pleating along the sides, whaddya know: I think it may actually be a maternity shirt.

Purchases: I signed up to shop at a baby-stuff consignment sale in late August that my friend Traci told me about, where I hope to find cheaper versions of whatever I still need at that point (post-move and post-baby shower).

Body: I’ve started experiencing some back pain, but it’s totally different than what I expected. When I heard about pregnant back pain, I always imagined a pain similar to what I experienced my summer working at a nursing home, lifting patients that sometimes weighed hundreds of pounds and couldn’t move themselves at all: a dull but very intense, all-around (throbbing) ache. But this is different. I’ve been feeling these almost electric twinges in the area of my tailbone (very lower back) from time to time, especially after walking for an extended period. I also feel the twinges–quite sharply–if I lift myself back up from a bent position while keeping my torso stiff. To help assuage this, I’ve learned to stand up by rolling my spine up starting at the base and ending with the neck like they tell you to do sometimes in yoga (know what I’m sayin’?).

Sleep: I’ve struggled a couple nights, but I’m not sure if that’s pregnancy related or heat-related or the fact the one of those nights my husband was out of town . . . time will tell.

Best moment(s) of the week: Hearing that my mom is coming to my baby shower! More on that later.

Movement: Her movement is so sweet–I just love feeling her kicks and rolls (these two feelings are by now quite, quite distinct from each other). Our Sunday lunch was quite a bit later than usual, and for the hour leading up to eating, she was going CRAZY in there! I wonder if she was trying to tell me she was hungry?

Food cravings/aversions: I had an intense craving for stew on Sunday. It didn’t matter that it was hot outside. It didn’t matter that the stove and oven were going to make it hot inside. I just had to have stew! So I did.

And a tasty bowl of Boeuf Bourgignon it was! Worth every drop of sweat, I tell you.

Symptoms: Lots of Braxton-Hicks contractions, back pain now and then, and a small episode on Sunday during which I almost passed out but recovered quickly after sitting down.

Emotions: So yeah–my mom is coming to my baby shower! And I’m so happy about it. She’ll arrive here Friday afternoon and leave the following day some time after the party, and bless her heart for making the long drive even though it’s such a short visit! I half-heartedly tried to talk her out of it because I felt bad about the disproportionate car-time to Chicago-time ratio.

Thankfully she didn’t listen to me, and is coming anyway.

With her busy schedule finishing up their big house-building project and starting the process of moving in and getting everything in place, I haven’t gotten much of a chance to talk to her about any of the stuff you want to talk to your mother about during a time like this, and I’m so thankful to finally have some time with her.

Also, I’ve been feeling . . . scared. I don’t like this one bit, but there it is. I had a little talk with God the other morning that went something like this:

J: “God, I’m scared.”

G: “What are you afraid of?”

J: “Well . . . losing myself in this motherhood thing. Losing my identity. Having my strength tested. But mostly, not owning my time or energy or schedule like I have. I guess . . . having to live more selflessly seems really daunting.”

G: “You do realize that your identity, strength, time, energy and schedule are all mine already, don’t you?”

J: “Well yeah . . . but a lot of the time it doesn’t feel like that. I still tend to operate like I’m living for myself, for my own pleasure, and that it’s all about me.”

G: “So what you’re saying is, you know I’m going to be doing a perfecting work in you by making you into a more selfless woman, and you’re afraid it will hurt?”

J: “Yes! That’s it.”

G: “So you’re scared because your sin might be stripped away in this process?”

I pondered this. And then I realized:


God hit the nail on the head. Some sins are not enjoyable: anxiety. Nobody has fun worrying about stuff! Envy. It doesn’t feel very nice inside when you’re twisted with jealousy. Greed. It’s obsessive, and it feels like your whole being is in a vise grip. So who wouldn’t want to give up these sins?

But selfishness . . . it’s different. I happen to like living for myself, focusing so often on my own pleasure, on having fun, putting my own needs first, enjoying my life–and that’s my life (in case you didn’t notice the possessive pronoun there).

And that sums it up. I’m selfish, I feel entitled to my time and energy, and I feel defensive about losing it. I know I’m going to have to give up my own interests, or at least move them down a few notches so that they are below my baby’s needs. And I’m talking basic stuff here–like the baby will be crying and hungry and I will feel like making myself a smoothie. And I’ll have to feed the baby first . . . smoothie second.

Does that sound silly? Ridiculous? Well, after a lifetime of just going straight for the blender when I decide I want a smoothie, it may actually be an adjustment.

So yes . . . I’m afraid of the refining fire. Having sin be torched away–well, it’s not always a comfortable process, especially when it feels so ‘natural’ to keep being the way you’ve always been.

I don’t want to be scared, though. I want to be excited about the refining fire.

Excited about the refining fire . . . sounds a little unlikely. Like maybe a miracle is needed to make that jump. I guess I’d better start asking for it now.

Hopes and dreams: Right now, I’m looking forward to overcoming this feeling of being scared to the point of tears. I want to be firmly grounded in the strength of God! Fearless! Full of spiritual bravado and hope!!

*end of pep talk to self*

What I miss: Doing my regular Pilates exercise routine. This prenatal yoga stuff just isn’t quite as fun.

Also, I miss being inconspicuous, namely in my public transit experiences. With all the belly-noticing that’s been happening on the streets and on the train, these days I never know what conversation may be sprung on me. Most of the time it’s fun, but sometimes . . . it’s weird. Like this past Tuesday morning. I was on the good old #77 bus on the way to work, and this random young guy (late twenties?) started talking to me from across the aisle. It started very innocently with “Congratulations! How far along are you?” and “do you know if it’s a boy or a girl?” but kept going . . . and going . . . and getting weirder and weirder all the time, until he was saying things like “Yeah, you’ll laugh a lot, like if you breastfeed, your shirt will probably get all wet. And if you eat a lot of sugary sweets, the baby will really like your milk.”


Please stop talking about my boobs, random stranger.

It was especially uncomfortable since he was talking to me from across the way, so the whole front section of the bus could listen to this happening. By the end I was just waiting for the moment that it would all be over, and when he rang for his stop I nearly leapt up and cheered.

What I’m looking forward to: Baby shower on Saturday! Woohoo!

Husband update: He continues to be such a rock of calm. As he put it, he may sweat some of the little things, but he doesn’t usually sweat the big stuff. So this whole having a child thing–it doesn’t seem to rock his boat.

When I feel like I’m coming unmoored, this is such a comfort.

And on that thought, I’m off to brew a pod of Caramel Vanilla coffee in the ole Keurig machine here at the office. I’m on a kick with that stuff–and it goes so well with a little piece of dark chocolate. I think of it as the ‘second breakfast’ that gets me in touch with my inner hobbit.

Have a great weekend, friends!


The Preg-diddly-umpkins

23 thoughts on “27 Weeks

  1. vicki

    You are suddenly looking very pregnant my dear…you could have a nice size baby in there….looking lovely as ever too!!

  2. TheKitchWitch

    Your husband–that rock of calm–will be the answer to your worries about losing yourself and wanting time for yourself. If you just remind yourself to ask him, he will give you respite. He’ll be good that way, I just know it.

  3. Suzie

    That’s great your Mom gets to come to your shower. I hope you all have a great time and take lots of pics 🙂 I love it when you write about your conversations with strangers, those always make me laugh! You’re strong and with your husband by your side you will definitely get through this and still have ‘yourself’ too.

  4. Aunt Jacquie

    Being scared is normal. It is WAY too early for stretch marks in one as thin as you. If you get them, so what? Motherhood is a BIG change indeed in the way we see ourselves and value ourselves–and not always positively. But you will face those issues as they arise. You have the strength to handle them. A perspective: we accumulate many different names over the course of our –legal names, family nicknames, friends’ nicknames, work names (most of my students have about 10 so far and they are only teens!). Each reflects a different relationship and role–all for the same biological entity. With a child, you get even more names. So you are adding more than losing to your “self.” But it is possible to lose yourself in motherhood too, and that is not healthy. Work for balance when you can think about it. And have a great time with your mother! I know she is excited!!

    1. Jenna Post author

      Mmmm, I love your perspective! My identity IS multiplying rather than being reduced. That said, I will definitely strive for balance so that motherhood is a new and full aspect of me rather than my whole being.

  5. Jenny @ Words On Wendhurst

    Do you have onesies and two-sies too? That was my joke all throughout my pregnancy. I could eat so little at a time that I just ate all day long, in tiny amounts. I actually got tired of eating towards the end! 🙂 Growing a Kodanko will do that I guess.
    On the subject of refining fire and selfishness, a friend told me something that was ever so helpful. God’s mercies are new every morning, and his grace is sufficient for today. His grace is not sufficient for tomorrow, so if you are focused on tomorrow (or the potential problems of tomorrow) you will be stressed and worried because you don’t have his grace yet. This has really helped me, hope it helps you! 🙂

    1. Jenna Post author

      Haha! I don’t see myself getting tired of eating . . . but who knows what the next 3 months will bring! =)
      And what your friend told you is SO helpful. I love that. I’m imprinting it in my mind right now.

  6. Erin

    I was always a third trimester insomniac! It was never from discomfort either; I think it must have been the shift in hormones. I was always awake from 4am-7am with Sophia, so that was when I went through the entire Mitford series. 🙂 Second pregnancy, my OB said that I could take Tylenol PM, and a half dose helped me sleep like a little lamb. (Turns out, the sleepy ingredient is just Benadryl, and you can get it as a generic sleep aid, without the acetaminophen in it.) Don’t know how you feel about antihistamines & pregnancy, but see what your midwife says, if you’re interested!

    Oh, and I had that tailbone pain with my second pregnancy, too! It’s called sacroiliac pain – apparently there’s a itty bitty joint where your pelvis attaches to your tailbone, and it barely moves at all. Except, when your pregnant and all your ligaments loosen, that joint can end up moving more than it’s supposed to and end up giving you those sharp pains. If it ends up getting bad (and mine did! One morning I woke up and couldn’t move!), a chiropractor or physical therapist can help. I went to a chiropractor during my last trimester with Zoe, and it was wonderful. 🙂 Oh, and he suggested that I prop one leg up on a stool or open cabinet when I was cooking or doing dishes – it relieves some stress on the joint and keeps the aggravation down.

    Congrats on hitting the third trimester!!! Whoo hoo!!!

    1. Jenna Post author

      I’ll have to keep the chiropractor/therapist option in mind if it gets really bad–and thanks for the tip on propping up your leg while standing. It’s funny because I’ve felt no pain in the past couple days since writing the post, so I’m hoping it doesn’t come back . . . and last night I slept like a baby! So go figure. Though I have to say, I am working through the Mitford books again right now! (I’m finishing up “Out to Canaan”). There’s just something about Mitford and pregnancy, I guess. =)

      1. Erin

        Yay for the Mitford series! Aaahh, it’s been awhile since I’ve read them….might have to pick them back up again soon.

        So nice too that your pain has left and your good sleep has returned. 🙂 Yes!!

  7. Pam Hdx

    Love it. Love your conversation with God. The best moms are the selfless ones. And the funny thing is that in letting go of who you think you ought to be and embracing all that God is entrusting to you in this precious baby girl, you allow Him to pour more into you than you ever dreamt possible…you allow the Creator to say “This is who I’ve created you to be.” And the fulfillment you will receive from that will be beyond words. That doesn’t mean the pre-kid Jenna will cease to exist, but that the mom-Jenna will blossom even more and more…in “exceedingly abundantly beyond all you could ask or think” kinds of ways. (Hope that wasn’t too rambling and actually made sense.) I’m sooo excited for you. (And love the name Alice.:-)

    1. Jenna Post author

      Thanks for the encouragement Pam–and it definitely made sense. (rambling is my language anyway =)

  8. giselle

    You look amazing!

    I think it’s normal to be scared. But I know it’ll all work out. Think about it this way – yes, you may want a smoothie, but you’ll WANT to feed your baby more. So it’ll make sense to feed the baby and then make the smoothie. Like.. if you want a smoothie but you also want to stretch a little more than you want the smoothie, so you do that first. I don’t have kids, but I do have a lot of pets and I can only imagine that a child feels even more like what you want than a pet. 🙂

    You’ll be fine!!


  9. Sydney

    Random comment: One year in jr. high, we were desperate for a last-minute Halloween costume so we put my hair in buns over my ears and hand-wrote “Help me Obi Wan Kenobi! You’re my only hope” on a piece of paper and taped it to my chest. That was the whole costume. Haha!

    Have a wonderful wonderful baby shower and a great weekend!!

  10. Veronica

    Seriously LOL’ed about the stranger discussing your boobs!! Bwahahahaha! Love Adam in his robe-so cute! As are you and your belly. 🙂 So happy your Mom can make your shower and glad you couldn’t talk her out of it. That is so important-I would cry if my Mom couldn’t come! Loved your thoughts on selfishness, I’ve been thinking about the same thing! But for different reasons. It’s definitely a struggle for me too. I pray that the transition of no longer having control of your own life will be smooth for you and you will hardly notice you’re putting Alice first. I suspect your love for her will make it easier than you think. Enjoy your shower!

  11. Jen Beach

    Fab post, Jenna!
    – You’re looking very classy.
    – It’s been far too long since I’ve watched Staw wars.
    – Second breakfast is the 3rd most important meal of the day, after elevensies.
    – Good call on the chat with God about self-centeredness. Something I needed to hear.

  12. Twinky

    So glad I am coming to the shower, and so sad I couldn’t come up with the old photo albums of when I was younger, as well as your birth album–heavens only knows where in the pile of boxes they are, along with all the dining room table hardware that we have no idea where it is so we can’t put the table together yet. Much to mother-daughter-talk about in the next 2 days, and if it’s not a problem, I don’t have to leave until Sunday morning! Let the yacking begin!!

    I can hardly wait to get acquainted with little Alice’s kicks and punches and other movements. See you shortly.

  13. Kimby

    Jenna, this post was so… calming. I loved how you talked things out with God, and also the credit you give to your hubby for being another source of assurance in your life, too. Many, many blessings to you both!

    P.S. It was great thinking of Alice being “hungry.” She’s a lucky lil’ girl having you for a cook — I mean mother. 🙂

  14. Joanne

    I’m SO happy your mother is coming to your shower! I can’t imagine mine NOT being there and it wouldn’t be the same without her. Then again, I’ll probably force her to move in with me once I’m pregnant just so she can reassure me that everything will be alright when I have a panic attack every five minutes. 🙂

    You look AWESOME! I told you that weight gain would slow down.

  15. Tobi Bakken

    Jenna you are going to find balance and be a great parent. I just know it! Again, thanks for sharing your struggle, it is so relatable! Your prayers will be answered 🙂


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