On swollen fingers and a baby ring tradition

I’m at the 36 week mark, and I’ve been lucky to not have as much swelling with this third pregnancy as I have with my other two. I think, mostly, it’s because I’m so busy chasing little boys around that my blood is circulating constantly and fluid simply does not have the time to accumulate. There have a been a few days when my feet were painfully swollen, such as on a long car trip over Labor Day weekend. But, it has been a far cry from the pitting edema I experienced regularly, especially with my second pregnancy, and especially when I was sitting at my desk all day.

While my legs and feet (and face!) are not as swollen as before, if I get too warm, I have noticed my hands starting to swell and my rings feeling a little tight.

And while there is nothing comfortable or attractive about my newly puffy hands, I’ll be honest, I get a little excited…

You see, in addition to the engagement ring and wedding band I wear daily, I have a few other special rings that I don’t get to wear often. They are sized a little large, so pregnancy is the perfect time to pull them out and wear them in lieu of my wedding band and engagement ring.

Pregnancy rings | swollen fingers during pregnancy | Heirlooms | Cocktail rings | the Maypop

The first ring is a pear-shaped cocktail ring that belonged to my maternal grandmother, Madeline. We are so lucky to still have Grandma with us, and I often wonder why she parted with this gorgeous ring. Before I got married, I wore it almost every day on my left hand. Unfortunately, it does not fit a finger on my right hand perfectly, and it seems too gaudy to wear it on my left hand with my other rings, so I rarely wear it now. After I finish having children, I’ll definitely have this one permanently sized. But for now, I LOVE pulling out this gorgeous ring when my hands are a little swollen.

The other rings that I wear are from a diamond waterfall cocktail ring that belonged to my paternal grandmother, Grace. When the ring was passed to me, it was missing a few stones. So, I had the various-sized diamonds reset into two anniversary bands. I love wearing them together (and wouldn’t mind having a few more stackable rings to wear with them, but I digress). As with the cocktail ring, they are a little large for my right hand, so I also don’t wear them regularly. And again, once I’m finished having children, I plan to have them sized to wear more often.

Pregnancy rings | swollen fingers during pregnancy | Heirloom Opal Ring | Cocktail rings | the Maypop

Since this baby is due in October and will have an opal birthstone, I’ve been wearing one more special ring. My maternal grandfather made this fire opal ring, and it’s always been one of my favorite pieces of jewelry.

Pregnancy rings | swollen fingers during pregnancy | Heirloom Opal Ring | Cocktail rings | the Maypop

In the meantime, and ever sentimental, I love pulling these special family heirloom rings out when I am pregnant. It’s comforting to know that they still fit when nothing else will, except maybe Eric’s t-shirts, one of which I wore embarrassingly in public yesterday.

How’s that for making lemons from lemonade?

Looking towards the future, and always thinking of my sweet boys, I also get excited about these rings, passed down from my grandparents, one day being on ring bearer pillows in their weddings.

I’m not sure if it’s a Southern tradition or a modern tradition or where it originated or anything else, but I’ve always heard that you use these “baby rings,” the rings you wore (real or faux real) when your hands were swollen during pregnancy to tie to the ring bearer’s pillow as a “stand in” during the wedding.

Nautilus shell ring bearer pillow | beach wedding inspiration | the Maypop

Nautilus shell ring bearer pillows via By the Seashore Decor

If you don’t have any family heirlooms, then I think pregnancy is the perfect time to invest in a ring to wear now and pass down later. Here are a few vintage rings with various birthstones that I found on Etsy. All would make beautiful, special, timeless heirlooms but are still statement-worthy for now.

Pregnancy Rings | Vintage Christian Dior Ring | the Maypop

For a September Baby – Vintage Christian Dior via Syrtis4

Pregnancy ring | vintage opal ring | the Maypop

For an October baby – a stunning mix of opals via Estate Deals

Pregnancy Ring | Vintage amethyst and jade ring | the Maypop

February – Amethyst and Jade via Crown Estate Jewelry

And if you’re not the sentimental sort, then buy the largest, best looking fake you can afford. Why not rock a crazy “diamond” for a little while?

Pregnancy ring | Nordstrom Ariella Cushion Cut Ring | the Maypop

Just $38 at Nordstrom!

Have you heard of this tradition? Were you able to wear your rings when you were pregnant, or did you get something else too?

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  1. The opal ring is amazing! What a beautiful sentiment!