About Me,  Parenting,  pregnancy,  toddlers

How to rock a summer pregnancy

This is not a fashion post.

This is a survival post.

(I’m sorry if the title misled you. If you’re looking for pretty and preg-spirational I can direct you to a carefully curated Instagram account or two. Heavy on the Valencia filter.)

I’ve been hugely pregnant in the summer one other time, but it was with our eldest and I was working in a deliciously frigid air-conditioned office and was fresh off my wedding day weight and I could go to bed every night at 8 pm and Dave rubbed my back unceasingly and soothingly every evening and it just.wasn’t.the.same.

This, on the other hand, I now understand to be a summer pregnancy. And it’s not even terribly hot here this summer, and we have AC, so I know for certain that Ma Ingalls does, in fact, think poorly of me. Very poorly indeed (language, snowflakes.)

But I’m big. I’m so big, in fact, that yesterday I passed by my reflection in a store window and for a split second I did not recognize myself. And the woman whose body I caught a glimpse of? I felt sorry for her. Which is so pathetic and yet hilarious that I can’t fully process it.

Does it make me a terrible person for seeing a fat lady, pitying her, and then immediately realizing that it was my own self I was seeing?

Probably. I mean, the lack of makeup and the haggard, hollowed out eyes didn’t help her case. But I was still left questioning my basic goodness.

Let’s press on, because I’ve curated a handy list of survivalist techniques that have kept me hydrated, mostly mobile, and somewhat sane.

1. Unlimited screen time.

Just kidding, I’m actually really stingy with the screen because most days if they want it, it means I surrender my computer for 30 or 120 minutes of whatever inane toddler show is trending on Netflix that week. But I’ve been much more free with the in-car DVD player because we’ve been doing the one-car shuffle for all of June and now July and I just let it go, let it goooooooo. And Frozen is almost literally the only DVD we own. I do usually instigate a decade of the rosary before we zone out, but pretty much I’ve been putting a movie on whenever, because we’ve been in the car a lot, and because it’s so nice and air-conditioned and why don’t we just drive around for a while, guys?

Also, I’ve been throwing my completely archaic iPhone 4 (no games, no fun, no nothing) to whoever, whenever. Because I’ve just stopped caring.

summer school
You can literally see knowledge emanating from the screen.

2. Unlimited La Croix.

I’m actually serious about this one, because it’s $7 a case at Costco, and, therefore about as cost-effective as tap water. It keeps me going. Especially with a twist of lime and a packet of Arbonne energy fizz. Evie is obsessed with it so I can’t open them in front of her, and I’ve actually had to start drinking it out of glasses and/or hiding in the bedroom when I open one. You know how you can call cats using an electric can opener? It’s like that.

I love you.

3. Letting the children dress themselves.

And they look amazing. Everyone smells like humus and faintly of urine but unless we’re going somewhere fancy, like church or IKEA, I really haven’t found a downside.

I don’t know, I’d be friends with him.

4. The popsicles are in the bottom drawer of the freezer and the hose is to the left of the wading pool. Do with that information what you will.

I was such an uptight first time mom I was aaaaaaaall about that sunscreen (I still apply it, don’t worry, because holy high altitude. But I’ve also surrendered to the fact that 20 unscreened minutes in a rash guard are not going to result in 2nd degree burns.)

I was also like, oh gosh, let me fill the pool up for you and should I add hot water to make it comfortable and here’s a cloth swim diaper.

Now I’m like, take off your clothes (or not) and jump in. I’ll be sitting under the umbrella taking furtive sips of my La Croix-tail.

Evie is much, much tougher than her big brothers were. Let’s just leave it at that.

sun’s out, guns out.

5. Nighttime exercise.

I’ve been known to walk a mile or two at the gym in the early evenings, watching a steady rotation of House Hunters and strolling in painful but peaceful silence. It’s a nice way to bridge the gap between the witching hour and bedtime, and while I actually feel physically worse for it most mornings, I can’t fathom that it’s actually bad for me to be moving a bit, and I’m fantasizing that it’s keeping the swelling down.

Then again, I am wearing my third trimester ring as I tap this out.

6. Final thought. Tapas. Did you know if you scoop humus and peanut butter onto a plate with vegetable crudités and tortilla chips you can call it dinner? No stoves were turned on in the making of the last 5 meals in this house, and no one’s the wiser.

And if anyone complains, may I direct them to the popsicle drawer. I’m letting that department handle all complaints and personnel issues for the next 5 weeks.


  • Rebecca

    My mother had my brother and I 13 months apart (he at the end of July and me at the end of August) and she always told me that if I ever got pregnant, I should try to avoid being in my 3rd trimester in the summer. I have yet to be pregnant, but all my younger siblings are are born in the winter or spring. 😉

  • Sarah

    Totally me last summer, baby born five days LATE on August 26….I also believed the everyday walking “helped” but gained the most weight and was swooooolen like never before so….maybe I was kidding myself.

  • Susie

    I had a February baby (in California) and it was the best. I’m pretty sure I would’ve gained 10 extra lbs of water weight had he been born in the middle/end of summer.

  • Camille

    I’ve been rocking post-partum survival mode in a similar fashion. Having a 5-week-old in Atlanta heat with three other children is barely barely survive-able, but now I can console myself with the thought that at least I am no longer swollen and at least I can sleep comfortably. Calling it a win.

    • Jenny Uebbing

      oh gosh, hotlanta…I sweat just doing layovers there! I’ve never actually been outside in Georgia. Too intimidated by the humidity…

      • Eli

        33 weeks pregnant over here, and yes in Atlanta with 2 other kids to entertain… did I mention my youngest was born august 21 almost 2 years ago? Yeah, I should’ve known better… you think.

  • Nicole

    Thanks for a much-needed laugh! Good for you, Jenny, you seriously gotta just do whatever it takes to get there. Also, I’m dying over the picture of JP with the puppets!!

  • Liz

    Hi.lar.eee.ous. I had a summer pregnancy wth child numero 2 (just had my third in March) so I feel your pain and yes thank God for ice pops. Ice pops for all! Including me mmm. Wishing you lots of luck for the rest of your pregnancy…and a cold front 🙂

  • Ana

    3 summer pregnancies, no central AC for any of them, the solidarity I feel for you right now is palpable, I will drink a 1/2 glass of wine In your stead– you’re getting so close!!

  • Gina

    The worst summer pregnancy thing that happened to me so far was heat setting off my morning sickness with an entirely summer first trimester – I rarely ventured out of the ac. I just found out I’m pregnant again, hoping it won’t be that bad this time. At least I’m due in March!

    • Jenny Uebbing

      Oh gosh, oh gosh…hadn’t even considered the heat/nausea angle! Prayers it doesn’t show up this time, and congratulations!

  • Mary

    I’ve never tried LaCroix, but maybe I should! This is a page from my daily planner around here, the only thing I’ve add is to hire a mother’s helper (which I have! And it is awesome! ThankYOU for that!!) to go run your kids outside in the mornings while it’s cooler out, and get them tired and ready for naps. Then she comes and does my cleaning/laundry that my very pregnant self doesn’t feel like breaking my back over.

  • Cami

    I SO hear you on this! My first two babies were born late August and the following year in early September, in Southern California. We had an old AC system that blew out warmish air and *could* be replaced and upgraded for a small fortune… So it wasn’t. I remember after delivery just sitting and nursing and sweating all over the place with my warm, newborn bundles. Baby #3 was born in February here in Colorado which was nice. We brought her home on a gorgeous, sunny, snowscaped day. I might have briefly considered naming her Snow. Jenny, as far as catching a glimpse of your reflection and being horrified… I’m totally experiencing that still! I don’t think I’ve stopped experiencing that since I delivered my 1st as I have been unable to find my pre-baby body (and mind and spirit). But be gentle with yourself. You’re bringing another soul into the world to know, love, and serve Him so it’s worth it. Know I’m thinking of you and sending my support via an arsenal of Angels heading north on I-25!

  • Kris

    I have an August and a September baby (in Atlanta) and all my babies are 9lbs or more. Can you say “beached whale”? I would literally take the other people in my house and head to the pool at which point I would immerse myself in the baby pool and just sit there for hours.

    • Jenny Uebbing

      I would literally have repatriated to a cooler part of the world and lived with relatives. Or nuns. Or something. I’m SUCH a humidity wuss, thank God for my wimpy self’s sake that CO is so arid.

  • Nancy

    I have a July baby and an August baby. My July baby was my first so I just laid around in my A/C’d apartment and didn’t do much, since I wasn’t working. My August baby is my 3rd, so I filled up the kiddie pool, plunked a chair next to it, handed out popsicles to the older 2 and me, and just sat with my swollen ankles in the pool while they played. Same deal at our town lake…plunked a chair right at the shore and watched them swim while I kept my feet in the water. I also ate a lot of ice cream right up to while I was in labor (I finally, disappointedly reached a point where my contractions were interfering with my ability to shovel the ice cream in my face), which probably accounted for my massive weight gain in the last two months! But who am I kidding? I do the same thing now, except with three kids and my non-pregnant self.

    • Jenny Uebbing

      Oooooooooh yes, I’m just hitting that unsweet spot where the heartburn and ice-cream consumption are at odds with one another. #irony

    • Cami

      I find the frequent (nightly) ice cream consumption during pregnancy (utilized both as reward for surviving another day as a giant elephant and to halt the horrific heartburn) a HARD habit to break! 4 1/2 mo postpartum here and having way too many root beer floats this summer. Oh, weight gain… how I wish you’d drop off the face of the earth without me having to break up with dessert.

  • nikki n

    Gid you know you can make hummous with peanut butter instead of tahini? Hard to tell the difference, really. I think it’s better.

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