A Quick Tour of the Third Trimester

So as I write this I am sat on the sofa with the laptop precariously perched on what is left of my lap, my bump has well and truly taken over. I am two days away from my due date and feeling a whole mixture of emotions; mainly excitement of course. This pregnancy has gone by in the blink of an eye. Some days felt long, particularly at the beginning but overall it has been a bit of a shock to find myself at the end so quickly. If you haven’t caught up on my experiences of the first and second trimester you can have a little read if you fancy it. Ok, so third trimester, shall we go for it?Life in GeneralAs the third trimester rolled around we were fast approaching Christmas and life was, as you can imagine, pretty busy. For the first half of these final weeks I felt much like I did during the second trimester; plenty of energy, not overly uncomfortable or heavy and was still getting a good solid night’s sleep. This truly is a tale of two halves. Since week 33 I have been super uncomfortable, functioning on three or four hours sleep and just generally on a bit of a rollercoaster. Nesting is insane; it’s a relentless instinct to clean and sort everything in sight whilst having only a third of the energy required to do so. The smell of cleaning products, washing powder and fresh laundry was and still is my favourite thing, so much so that I was doing wash loads every single day (not eco friendly, not ideal for the electric bill but just you try and stop a heavily pregnant lady nesting, not a good idea!) Christmas was wonderful but from January onwards I definitely noticed a shift in how I felt physically and so much of the past two months has been spent resting, nesting and pottering around the house.Hubby and I did manage to sneak away for a blissful little Babymoon in beautiful Lough Erne Resort. I booked it on a whim and of we went with great plans to lounge in the spa, eat a lot of food and generally take time out from normal life for 24 hours. It was wonderful. We spent the evening in the spa and then decided that rather than getting all fancy for dinner we would just nip to the local supermarket and stock up on our favourite snacks to bring back to our room. We ended up stopping at KFC for a bucket of chicken to share too, no shame whatsoever. We cosied up on top of our bed and watched the Ted Bundy Tapes whilst feasting. We are not posh enough for places like Lough Erne but man it was a good night, probably one of my favourite memories ever and that’s saying something.Body MattersFrom barely any changes during the second trimester to feeling like I had been placed in another body in the third, I have a lot to fill you in on but I’ll try to keep it brief. Around 30 weeks my bump really popped but I was still pretty neat until week 34 and then, boom! I reached the total eclipse stage so quickly during the final few weeks and along with that came horrendous back ache. I had no back troubles at all in my first pregnancy, despite being much bigger so this was a shock to me. It turns out our little bubs has been lying back to back which has caused the discomfort. Nightly baths, a million pillows and a well-timed pregnancy massage have helped to ease the pain but not take it away. Some days are worse than others but it pretty much constantly aches.When I was pregnant with Susanna I had a lot of fluid retention from six months onwards (probably because it was summer and also because we had travelled quite a bit). This time round I avoided any swelling until week 38 and so, while I am sitting like a puffy balloon now I am so grateful that I haven’t been this way for longer. My weight has gone up much more in the third trimester than in previous weeks, I feel like everything is thicker and my face has definitely rounded but again, in comparison to last time I am seeing this as a win.The biggest shock to the system has been the intense pressure that has stopped me in my tracks on numerous occasions, the continuous and often painful Braxton hicks and the mind games of two weeks full of false labour signs! Susanna was 11 days late with no signs of impending labour at all until I was induced; this little one has certainly kept me on my toes. Perhaps it’s because it’s my second pregnancy but I have been plagued with symptoms over the past couple of weeks. A quick check up at 39 weeks however showed that baby is comfortable and not looking ready to make an appearance at all so it just goes to show that we just never know.The false labour signs really unsettled me; I went from panicking that labour was imminent and I wasn’t ready to feeling completely deflated when labour didn’t actually start. It really is an emotional rollercoaster. Thankfully, hearing that our baby’s arrival wasn’t going to be any day soon really put me at ease. I made a conscious decision to stop overthinking and start enjoying the last few days as a family of three. My mood has improved tenfold and I am soaking up any opportunity to rest and nest and enjoy time with my little tribe before the fun really begins.Up Close and PersonalThe third trimester brings with it a lot more check ups with your health provider and as part of this, things do start to get progressively more “invasive” as the weeks go on. I had a sweep this week which isn’t pleasant but I wouldn’t say its awful either. My toddler attentively stroked my forehead the whole time I was getting “checked” and then proceeded to announce to the entire waiting room that I had been “butt naked for a minute”…queue red faced apology for the mental image so early in the morning and a very swift exit from said waiting room. The baby’s movements also feel less cute and much more cringe worthy; from a lot of pressure down south (lightening crotch as it is beautifully articulated on birth forums) to belly busting movements that leave you wincing in pain; I have had to practice breathing a lot over the past few days.Bringing on labour becomes a huge focus during this trimester and whilst I have done some things to try and move things along, I am trying not to be obsessive. I have been drinking Raspberry Leaf Tea (two cups a day since 36 weeks to ripen the cervix), walking as much as my back could handle, bouncing and rotating on my giant birth ball and trying acupressure. So far none of these have brought on labour but at my last check up the Consultant did say that my cervix was soft and favourable so I guess something is helping. As far as the pineapple, hot curries and clary sage…I haven’t really tested this time but last time round they did zero to progress labour. Of course I can’t accurately cover ‘natural induction’ without mentioning the one method that gets every husband’s attention. Yes we have gone there, no it hasn’t done the trick yet, let’s leave it at that! In all honesty and as frustrating as it is to hear yet again, I do believe that baby will come when baby is ready. Having said that, if you have any fool proof methods, I’m all ears!So this little one is definitely going to be a March baby and I can’t deny I am a little bit delighted. My mums birthday is March and I always thought it was such a lovely time of year to celebrate. We are so excited to meet this baby; Susanna is especially eager, she spent the afternoon rubbing my belly saying “try to get out of mummys tummy baby”.Life is about to change beyond recognition but we are so ready for this adventure. My next post will, God willing, be a birth story or at least an introduction to our newest family member so for now I just want to say a huge thank you for all the love, support and advice through this pregnancy, it means the world!

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