Well, today is officially our due date! We are anxiously waiting for our little man’s arrival. As I sit here at our dining room table, I can’t believe we’re finally here.
The last few weeks have been a bit of a rollercoaster, but to focus on the positives: our baby is healthy, James is home and we have family in town to help us prepare for the big day! I have an induction planned for next week, assuming Baby Davis doesn’t make his appearance before then. I hope to induce naturally, so I’ve been doing all the things: curb walking, brisk walking, exercising, drinking raspberry leaf tea, eating pineapple and spicy foods, bouncing on a yoga ball, and a few other things I won’t mention on here… but baby, we’re ready for ya! 🙂
I wanted to make sure I finished my third trimester recap before it’s too late. For the most part I eased into my third trimester (week 28 to 40) without any major changes from my second. But starting around 35 weeks I began to feel more uncomfortable. Looking back, I regret not taking more progress photos during my pregnancy. But if you want to see more content, I’ve saved all my photos and videos on my “preggo” highlights on Instagram.
Here I am last weekend (39.5 weeks), curb walking and feeling so swollen (where are my ankles?):
Here are some new symptoms I’ve experienced in my third trimester:
Braxton Hicks Contractions. So, so many. Braxton Hicks are contractions of the uterus that occur in the third trimester and sometimes the second. They’re perfectly normal and supposedly occur to help prepare the uterus to give birth. The contractions do not occur regularly nor are they are strong or painful as the real thing.
“Lightning crotch.” Yes, you read that correctly. This is a thing. It’s very common in your third trimester to experience painful, pelvic electric-bolt twinges. It’s not dangerous, but there’s no definitive reason for it. Theories suggest the baby is pressing on or kicking a nerve that runs to the cervix, causing those “zings” of pain. Or it’s the increasing pressure of baby’s head as it drops lower into your pelvis.
Sciatica. For two or three weeks I would randomly experience shooting pain from my hip down to my thigh. This is caused by irritation of your sciatic nerve, which starts in the lower spine and ends in the thigh. Your baby’s weight can add to the joint trouble because it puts extra pressure on your pelvis and hip joints. Occasionally the position of your baby can add pressure. See the trend here?
Insomnia. Unfortunately this only got worse in my third trimester. During my second trimester it was mostly thoughts or worries keeping me up at night. During my third, it was just plain discomfort. As your belly grows and weight distribution shifts, no position feels good. I found that laying on my right side for a few hours would feel fine, then I’d need to rotate to my left. Most nights I was tossing and turning at least a handful of times, only to wake up at 3am or 4am wide awake. Maybe nature is preparing me for what’s coming?
Shortness of breath. Until your baby “drops,” you might experience some shortness of breath. I started to notice this when I would talk to friends and family on the phone. I would be telling a story and suddenly find myself out of breath, as if I was climbing a mountain. Take it easy and pace yourself.
Swelling. I was so proud that I was able to avoid being swollen my entire pregnancy, (which I credit to daily exercise and my obsessive water intake), buuuuut around week 38 I ballooned. Most of my shoes no longer fit, my wedding ring is much more snug, and my face is rounder. The one upside? My lips also grew and now have a natural plump (ha!). If only that would stay! Towards the end of your pregnancy you’re retaining so much water and fluid, it’s a natural thing to happen. My doctors weren’t worried about it.
OK – enough of the negatives. Here are some of my best tips to get you through your third trimester:
Put down the baby books. Throughout my pregnancy I read several books, including What to Expect When You’re Expecting, What to Expect the First Year, Expecting Better and others. As I eased into my third trimester I starting feeling nervous about everything I was consuming. So many books, but was I retaining everything? Cluster feeding. Dream feeding. Sleepy cues. It’s all overwhelming. Over the last few weeks I swapped out my books for other online resources. YouTube has tons of resources from mommy vloggers and pediatricians. Day in the Life of a Newborn. How to Swaddle a Baby. I also took two classes at my local hospital – Birth 101 and Infant CPR. I’ve heard so many good things about the Taking Cara Babies online classes, so I purchased the bundle on Cyber Monday. So far the videos have been extremely helpful, but I’ll be sure to report back once I can attest to it! I’m a much more visual person, so I found these other resources to be much more helpful and tangible.
Be prepared for unsolicited comments (and opinions). In your third trimester (if not your second), you will reach a point where it is very obvious you are pregnant. It is no longer a question. With that, you need to prepare yourself for unsolicited comments. I can’t walk into a grocery store without every passerby staring at my belly or doing a double take. I get it. But you may find yourself in sticky situations, when strangers are shocked at how far along you are (but you’re so small? honey, you’re only 32 weeks? are you expecting twins?) or want to share their own personal stories (oh you’re having a boy? honey buckle up, I feel for you. my birth experience was horrible!) and opinions (ugh, December birthdays are the worst. You’re still doing Crossfit? How is that safe?). With all the noise, here are my best tips to stay above it all.
Keep moving. Everyone is different, but I can’t say enough how much movement and exercise guided me through my pregnancy (and kept me sane). Even if I wasn’t up for a full workout, a 45 minute dog walk around the neighborhood made all the difference. If I was feeling achy or tired, a quick walk and breath of fresh air made me feel like a new person. Keep your spirits up and try to catch those endorphins.
Treat yourself to a spa day. One day a girlfriend of mine (also pregnant) splurged on a spa day at the Spa at Norwich Inn. Our day consisted of a meditation class, prenatal massage, three course lunch, naps in the relaxation room and fancy pedicures. All done in fluffy white robes and slippers. It was worth every penny and I was only kicking myself for not doing it sooner! We envied the women drinking mimosas and using all the additional spa features (sauna, hot tub, steam room), and vowed to come back.
Don’t take nesting for granted. I wrapped up my freelance work about a month before my due date, and I’m so happy that I did. These last few weeks have been so invaluable and have allowed me to really ease into this new chapter of my life. Granted, I’m still waiting and I’m getting very impatient over here :), but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Taking a break from work allowed me to really tackle by nesting to do list, and long-standing projects around the house. I know I’m lucky with my current situation, but if you’re able to take a longer break from work I would encourage you to do so!
Prioritize time with your partner. During my third trimester it really hit us – we are bringing a baby into this world. I know we’ll utilize babysitters in the future, but not for the foreseeable future. Make sure you take advantage of the time you have now to enjoy each other. We couldn’t squeeze in a formal babymoon, but we managed to do some fun date nights like an Eric Church concert, dinner and a movie, etc.
Plan for your labor and postpartum needs. As much as you’ve prepared for your baby, don’t overlook yourself and your own needs – packing a hospital bag and preparing for postpartum. After a slew of advice from friends, I feel ready with my fuzzy slippers, nursing bras, iced padsicles, witch hazel, peri bottle, adult diapers, etc.. I’ll share more on this later, when I can report back what I actually used or needed.
OK – that’s it for me and my third trimester. Mamas, anything I’m missing? This might be my last blog post for awhile, but thank you to everyone for their kind words and well wishes! We are so blessed and can’t wait to meet our little guy.