Welcome back to the fourth post in my Pregnancy Series! If you’re new here, I’m a nutritionist, stress coach and mama to my fur-baby Oakley. I’m also documenting my first pregnancy with my little bean, who was due March 19th! If you want to learn more about how the first two thirds of my pregnancy went, you can check out my first trimester here and second trimester here. If you’re here to check in on my last trimester, read on or watch the video!
Third Trimester Symptoms + Feels
The third trimester brought so much excitement and anticipation. It’s the home stretch of pregnancy. Most of the time, if you give birth in your third trimester, your baby has a high likelihood of surviving. Although baby is still developing, a lot of the his key organs and systems are functioning. And for the first time I began counting down the weeks until I’d meet my baby. Since I’m writing this post after having our babe, it will include weeks 28 up to 41, since he came late!
Despite the excitement and anticipation for birth, symptoms continued to get more and more annoying. Especially discomfort.
As my weight kept climbing, my pelvic, hip and joint pain remained. I continued to see my chiropractor and osteopath, who helped me manage the discomfort. So many people complain about pain getting worse in late pregnancy, but by taking care of my body, I was able to avoid a lot of the serious discomfort. I was able to mostly maintain and even improve some of the symptoms. By the end of my pregnancy, I still had the occasional pelvic pain, hip pain and even leg cramps; however, all tailbone pain was gone, and most of the discomfort came and went throughout the day. But I did notice the discomfort improved once I finished working at 38 weeks. I think sitting at a desk job contributed a lot more than I realized.
I gained a total of 45 lbs by the end of my pregnancy. The last 4-5 weeks plateaued, but I could feel the heaviness in my body 24/7. It was impossible to get comfortable in almost any position. Going up and down the stairs was such a pain and left me breathless. My body was not used to carrying so much weight. I was nearly 190 lbs – which was the heaviest I’d ever been in my life. I tried not to put any stock into the number on the scale and what it meant for my body or self-worth. I absolutely loved being pregnant, so I was happy to be healthy if this was what my body naturally wanted to do.
Around 30 weeks – when I did my low-key maternity photos
What was new in my third trimester?
Oh the heartburn. It started out randomly, and then I was able to identify certain foods made it worse. At first it was tomatoes, then it was anything spicy. Curries were out, pasta sauce was out, anything Mexican was out – foods that we were eating on a weekly basis were all of a sudden off-limits. The heartburn was especially bad if I ate dinner a little later than usual. I would wake up at night with reflux, or I wouldn’t be able to fall asleep without being propped up by pillows. I didn’t take anything specific for it, since it was manageable by diet. Some days I would take a “digestive” tea that contained ginger and peppermint before bed if I could feel the heartburn, but otherwise I tried to avoid trigger foods and eat well before bed.
Towards the end of my third trimester I started feeling that exhaustion come back. From about 36 weeks onwards I was finding it hard to push through the day. By 38 weeks I was off work and gave myself permission to rest a lot more than I had been. This was exactly what my body needed and I was fortunate to take advantage of some time to myself.
I also noticed some new, fun tiger strips (stretch marks)! They didn’t appear on my belly at all – which I found odd – considering I am prone to stretch marks. However, they did appear on my bum and backs of my thighs. And there weren’t just a few – there were a lot! I’m curious to see if they fade in time, or if they decide to stick around. I knew my hips, legs and bum grew in pregnancy, but I guess they grew a lot quicker than my skin could accommodate!
Lastly, I began to experience the occasional sleepless night. I would wake up in the early hours of the morning, like 1 or 2 am, and not be able to fall asleep for anywhere from 1-3 hours. This wasn’t such a big deal when I was off work, but when I was working, it drove me insane that I couldn’t ‘catch up’ on sleep. Oh all the wonderful ways your body prepares you for an infant.
Also I wanted to mention – I was still getting those really fun hot flashes, and was wearing tank tops and tshirts in the middle of February.
What have we prepared for baby?
I’ll probably do a separate post on the baby nursery because there’s just too much to share in one post. But we finally finished the nursery and it’s perfect for the little bean. The colours are blue, grey and white – simple and straightforward. It doesn’t have a theme, because I’m not one of those pinterest-perfect moms, but it’s perfect for us. I’m all about functionality, and it has a ton of functionality built in!
In our third trimester we also spent a lot of time preparing by means of educating ourselves. I had hired a doula to be present with me at the birth, and had also hired another doula to take us through a basic childbirth education course. We covered stages of labour, pain management techniques, hospital policies & medications, breastfeeding and taking care of a newborn.
In addition to hiring local doulas, I was also given the opportunity to join The Birth Lounge, an online resource created by HeHe Stewart of Tranquility by HeHe. Hehe is a doula in the Boston area, but has put together this fantastic online resource with TONS of educational information – from downloads, to videos, to top 10 lists… Everything that you want to know about pregnancy, labour and delivery, plus a whole bunch of information for postpartum. The best part about The Birth Lounge is that it’s virtual. You can access it anywhere – you don’t need to be in Boston to learn from HeHe herself. And not only do you get access to The Birth Lounge, but you also get access to her exclusive Facebook group for support from other mamas. Check it out here, and if it’s something you’re interested in, save $5 each month on a 3- or 6-month membership using code “KELLY5”! Perfect if you’re in your last trimester and looking to empower yourself with knowledge and prepare for your birth.
Any key resources for pregnancy and labour/childbirth?
OK I’ve gotten this question A LOT. Especially on instagram. So I will be doing up a separate post on key resources for pregnancy, labour and childbirth. I have so many amazing resources that I used, so I’m super excited to share them with you in a separate post.
That’s really it for our third trimester! Thanks for reading, and be sure to come back and read my birth story! With the COVID-19 pandemic, there were some aspects of my birth that were completely out of my control. But I still ended up with a pretty awesome experience for one reason: I prepared myself. I can’t wait to share the details!
Thanks again for reading xx
Week 12 & Week 40
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