Third Trimester Trials and Tribulations: Nearing the end zone!
- Click here to read about how my first trimester went!
- ..or here to read about how my second trimester went
If you aren’t interested in reading about how my third trimester went, feel free to skip this post.
It may also be a little too honest for some people, but hey.. better the truth than none at all seeing as I know some of you expressed an interest in kind of learning how my pregnancy has been progressing so you can anticipate it for yourself in the future.
As requested, here’s ONE photo of my belly near the end.
You can’t tell from the front (if I wear black), or from the back that I’m pregnant. It’s all in the front in this bump that juts out.
NEARING THE END ZONE!
The belly just started growing a bit more and more each day. It was like one day I woke up and then BAM there was a belly. I have a top, a bottom and sides to my belly.
I am pretty much all baby.
It looks like I have swallowed a soccer ball or a basketball (albeit a little square one), and each week or so, the ball is getting pointier and flatter in front (not so round).
I am REALLY sticking out. It is not even like a cute little round shape any more, it is a serious: your skin is about to crack if this baby gets any bigger.
Even though I am told that stretch marks are hereditary, it has not stopped me from rubbing on lotion JUST IN CASE….
BELLY SKIN FEELS TIGHTER, PLUS A LITTLE HEAVIER
The bump is getting tighter and tighter, and a little heavier. This makes for me getting a little winded just going up the stairs. I’m breathing hard, huffing a little…
I’m really tired and I take the escalator and elevator as much as possible now. I can’t walk as fast, and the snow really slows me down.
I feel out of shape, but I know it’s because I am carrying extra weight in front and it throws me off balance.. plus .. I really am probably out of shape.
I also got PUPPPS, a pregnancy rash that resulted in serious stretch marks, a loss of nerves / sensation in the front part of my belly and utter itchiness beyond belief.
The things we do for children.. I tell ya.
SWEATING A LOT MORE.. A LOT MORE
I have never sweated so much in my life and thank goodness we’re in the heart of winter.
You need deodorant or maxi pads under your armpits, seriously!
I am changing tops at least 3 times a day and I feel like a turned up oven.
GETTING A LOT WETTER
This is something that is somewhat mentioned in the baby books but … I’ll repeat: stock up on pantyliners and pads!!!!
Otherwise, you better have a stash of 35 panties you can go through each week (maybe more).
You WILL need them.
You will also need maternity pads, and apparently as you start going into labour, you will need to change these pads every 4 hours or so and stay extremely clean down there as the amniotic fluid starts leaking out more and more.
In my third trimester, I am sometimes changing up to 5 times a day.
Also you might see weird darkish brown or green colours streaking your pad once in a while after an ultrasound or heavy jiggling of the baby because that’s your mucous plug that is holding the baby in that is leaking a little; think of the baby as being in a pool of sorts in your womb, and the mucous plug is plugging the drain to stop your water from breaking completely.
Once the mucous plug goes, your water breaks and the baby is ready to come out of his or her warm, dark, comfortable pool into a loud, cold, bright world without any amniotic fluid to float around in.
(I learned all of this watching National Geographic videos and reading books.)
BABY WIGGLES GOT STRONGER.. A LOT STRONGER
As the baby gets bigger, the kicks and punches got stronger. Until the baby fills the ENTIRE SPACE, I think I will continue to feel kicks and punches until the belly gets so tight, it confines their movements to a little elbowing or knee jutting out.
My mom said:
Well imagine what it’s like for the poor baby!
Stuck in there all day, 24 hours a day, NOTHING TO DO for 9 months.
Needs something to do!!
Yeah. She has a point. I’d go stir crazy too.
Anyway, sometimes I get punched really hard in the bladder and that EFFING HURTS. I try to jiggle the bump when this happens in public so that the baby stops or moves into another position.
Also, I have noticed that the baby is super active (somersaulting, rolling, punching, kicking, … all for at least a good 5 – 10 minutes) at around 9 p.m. at night and again at 5 a.m. – 6 a.m. in the morning.
This means I can expect the same kind of active schedule when the baby is out and about.
Once in a while I feel a few kicks and punches during the day, to which I am attributing to the baby dreaming because it’s just 3 or 5 kicks and then nothing.
I AM STARTING TO SEE THE BUMP REALLY MOVE
Near about the last month of my pregnancy, I started to see the baby move. You can see an actual knee or elbow come out, and the wiggling is pretty visible.
It also feels really, REALLY tight, like I am about to burst.
My mother said: Wow it looks like it’s going to just… POP or BURST at any time. *surprised / scared look*
She was nowhere as near as big as I was, and I am considered VERY small here in Canada.. or just in general.
There are women who have put on 60-75 pounds (about 30 – 35 kilos), giving birth to 9 pound up to 14 pound babies.
I am at perhaps 5 pounds to 6 pounds, having gained about 25 pounds to 30 pounds at a maximum (not including the fact that I lost about 10 pounds from being vegan before I got pregnant, so my real weight gain is 15 pounds to 20 pounds).
SITTING DOWN AND GETTING UP IS A LITTLE HARDER BUT NOT IMPOSSIBLE
Again, the extra weight in front means I sit down slowly, I get up slowly, I walk slower (especially in SNOW), and I am really trying to be super careful to not be my usual clumsy self.
My sister in law said that she wasn’t sure I’d be able to last sleeping on my Japanese futon on the floor because by the end of my pregnancy I’ll be huge, but so far I’ve been getting up and down just fine.
I roll over to my side, use my hands to push up from the floor into a sitting position, then I get up carefully.
FATIGUE IS COMING BACK
Suuuuper energetic for the second trimester, but my energy has slowly dwindled down in the third trimester.
My head feels foggier, I feel sleepier.. it is nothing like my first trimester where I basically slept 16 hours a day, but I am not as energetic (mentally).
Some days I want to go out for a walk. Other days I don’t want to do anything but I also don’t want to sit down, I don’t want to lie down, I don’t want to stand… I am just .. uncomfortable.
SPEAKING OF SITTING, I CAN’T SIT FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME
If I sit for a long period of time and then get up, I immediately hunch over because the bottom of my bump stretches and gives me serious pain.
I have to get up once every half hour or so, walk around, then sit back down.
CHEST STILL HURTING ON AND OFF
On and off I still get twinges of pain as my chest enlarges.
It aches pretty badly and is not comfortable especially if it happens in public and you can’t grab your chest to try and relieve the pain somewhat by holding them tight without people staring at you.
SPEAKING OF PAIN, BELLY STILL IN PAIN SOMETIMES
Sometimes my belly will get a twinge of pain or a dull ache because the bump is growing. Again. It has diminished a lot since my second trimester, but once in a while I’ll feel a pain.
I’m also very careful now not to do anything strenuous.
My mother keeps harping on me to STOP LIFTING THINGS and now I am finally listening to her because I feel a strong ache or pain on my side when I do. She’s scared I’m going to hurt the baby or bust myself open by lifting too much.
She won’t even let me take out the garbage now or shovel snow to help her out (father is lazy / useless in this regard).
I am starting to take breaks and to avoid overworking myself.
Even just cleaning the bathroom takes the wind out of me and I have been getting lazier and lazier in this regard.
I WAS TOLD THE BABY IS SMALL BUT NOT A BIG DEAL
Of course this freaked me out so we’re doing an ultrasound to check on the baby.
Mom: Of course it’s small. LOOK AT YOU. You’re SMALL. I had a small baby too, maybe it’s in the genes. You were all 5 – 6 pounds when I gave birth. … NATURAL birth, I might add.
Partner: I don’t know why she’s saying the baby is too small *frustrated*. Look at your belly! It’s NOT THAT SMALL.
You can clearly see the baby is growing every week or two weeks and bulging out more, getting bigger and bigger.
Plus you still have 2 months to go!!!
Me: Umm…. thanks everyone?
Better too small than too big, I guess.
Even so, as it got later into my third trimester, the nurse was very concerned I was far too small for my stage, so they did an ultrasound and said it was a problem.
The doctor then advised me to rest, so I am also resting an extra 4 hours a day on my left side as per doctor’s orders to make the baby grow as big as possible because it is very tiny, just barely over 4 and a half pounds when they checked.
You lie on your left side because your heart is on the left and your blood brings oxygen to the baby to help it grow. This is why they tell you to lie on your side, preferably the left, and to avoid being on your back.
Anyway, long story short we were all worrying for nothing because the following week, the baby grew half a pound; this one likes to grow in spurts apparently, but the baby will not be more than a 6-pounder because there is no way this pelvis of mine will be able to give birth to anything larger than that.
YOU START THINKING & PLANNING THE ONCOMING DELIVERY
I am making maps to the hospital, booking a tour of the maternity ward, and packing a bag to grab and go once the contractions come.
I am also making a list of stuff I am bringing and will post it just in case anyone is interested. Each hospital will vary in what they offer you, so don’t take my list as gospel.
My mom said she didn’t feel ANY contractions nor did she see any water break.
She just saw a little blood and went to the hospital, delivering about 3 hours later (for each of us). It happened very fast for her.
I hope it is the same for me, but this is just a warning for anyone who thinks the water should break and contractions come every 5 minutes — this may not be the case for you.
I AM CLEANING A LOT MORE.. & SHOPPING ONLINE
I guess this is the nesting instinct kicking in. I am really fastidious now, about cleaning and keeping the house as clean as I can without overworking my body.
I can’t stand the sight of dirt and grime now. It’s kind of an obsession.
I’ve also started packing a lot more, throwing out useless crap (my parents’ crap that they won’t miss, like hotel shampoo bottles from 8 years ago), and trying to get the place as neat, clutter-free and as clean as I can.
As for shopping online, I am browsing a lot more on Etsy and eBay but still sticking to a budget of sorts (whatever balance is in a certain account) as I am only buying secondhand for most of 2014.
(Hey you wanted the truth right!?)
Going into a store and looking at clothes, trying them on and doing all THAT no longer appeals to me.
Online shopping is way easier, but also with a bit more of guesswork involved in terms of sizing, but I generally know what size I am. I haven’t bought anything yet except for secondhand stuff, because I am getting pickier and pickier.
I AM PREPARING FOR A C-SECTION
My doctor is telling me it is not in the cards for me to have a regular birth, so he has tentatively scheduled me for a C-section because the baby is in breech near the end of my third trimester (meaning the head is up by my ribs, bum is down, when the head should be down and bum up by my ribs).
I am really scared of surgery in general.
I did not plan for this at all, but it turns out it is probably what is going to happen.
I did not want to do this because of the scar but if this is the safest path for the baby in breech I will do it to make sure the baby comes out healthy in that critical time so that the baby gets enough oxygen to breathe instead of getting it head stuck in the birth canal, and doesn’t do any long-term damage to the brain as a result.
I was also told that after a C-Section you do not have to worry about not being able to give birth normally later on if your other babies are not in breech. A long time ago, once you had a C-Section you had to have one forever and keep re-opening the scar, but it is no longer the case.
Still, I’m scared but confident. My SIL has told me that she preferred C-Sections over giving birth the normal way because it was to her, WAY MORE humane as a way to deliver a child in comparison and would pick a C-Section over a vaginal birth any day.
We’ll see. The baby will be out any day now.
TOTAL WEIGHT GAIN: 25 pounds
At the end of my second trimester, I put on 15 pounds in total.
At the end of my third trimester (near the end), I am up to 25 pounds in total for a grand final weight of 130 pounds.
Keep in mind that I am 5’5″, and was 115 when I wasn’t vegan, and I lost another 10 pounds when I turned vegan (which was just before I got pregnant), so included in that gain is eating meat and drinking dairy again for the calcium intake (I wanted to avoid calcium supplements).
I think pregnancy-only-related gain is only maybe 15-20 pounds at the most. The rest is a change in diet.
With both my babies the weight guesstimates were way off in the final 2 months, so I would take their concerns with a grain of salt. Personally I am all for vaginal if that is an option when the time comes, babies still turn in the last month though given how tiny you are that might not happen. I had an episiotomy twice, not a big deal and far less invasive than a c-section to be sure.
I do think your pregnancy journal is interesting – so different to anything I have heard in 30 years!!
In my 2nd pregnancy they told me 4 wks before the baby was born that it wasn’t growing properly and sent me to hospital to rest and fed me protein drinks… I insisted on going home for Christmas instead of staying. 4 wks later, my baby was born – 9 lb 13 oz (4.45 kg). Yeah right.
For my first two pregnancies I had an episiotomy (that nearly 10 lb one wasn’t getting out without it!) but my third pregnancy (a 3.99 kg baby) was a water birth and I didn’t have one or any tearing, either, which was great.
As for C-sections, the “fashion” for doing them has swung over from North America, unfortunately, as drs are afraid they will be sued if anything goes wrong, so that although many births, including breech, are perfectly possible, it’s just nobody does them any more and there is too little experience. Sad, really. They say going through the birth canal is better for the baby, actually, but who really knows! I’d say go for natural unless it’s truly obvious that a C-section is actually necessary, then don’t worry about it; it’s not a competition…
Hoping that all is going well and you soon get to enjoy your own beautiful baby! x
Thomas @ i need money ASAP!
You look great! My wife just started her third trimester. She says that it feels like everything is getting pushed up, stomach, lungs etc. She’s also getting winded after moving for a short while. She’s also started to eat smaller meals but more often during the day. Otherwise she says “it just wont fit”.
Every doctor will say something different. One doc told me that opting for a second c-section may pose less complications versus trying for a natural birth. I was given the option to give birth naturally, but I decided to try another c-section as I was already familiar with the process. But another doctor informed me the more c-sections (3+) babies can cause surgery issues, and stated that if I planned to have a lot of children (3+) that I can think about delivering naturally the second time around. So each doctor will say something different…
It’s true that c-sections cost more, but in my first pregnancy I was in labor over 12 hours until an emergency c section was needed.
I bawled when I found out. Why? I was conditioned to believe natural births were far superior than c sections. I went to those Lamaze classes where the instructors drilled in our heads how integral natural birth is and should be attempted first before csection.
My take on a csection? It was fine and I prefer it. First time was super quick. Didn’t even know baby came out until I heard the crying. Recovery took some time and the surgery pain unbearable at times. The second surgery recovery felt a bit more torturous. Of all days (grr!!) I decided to have a coughing hysteria that did not end for days. Those small repetitive coughs seriously felt like butter knife stabbings.
I recommend wearing a belly wrap. It helps tighten stomach and alleviate some pain.
It’s great that you’re being honest about being pregnant – it comes with some ‘interesting’ add on’s 🙂
I’m not sure you’ll want to hear about my birth stories, but I’ve had three epidurals, and I needed them all – first baby weighed 11lb 8oz and the other two were over 10lbs. By the 3rd the epidural was a joy to get!
I had an episiotomy with the first and everything was fine afterwards – I’m still glad I didn’t have a C-section.
I think weight gain can be different in everyone. I only every gained 25lbs in every pregnancy, despite having such large babies, and yet when I’m not pregnant I can pile on the pounds as easy as anything! 🙂
Well thanks for being honest. I like that you didn’t gloss over the truth of pregnancy. Hate it when people do that. I don’t have a kid but you know it helps when mothers are honest about pregnancies. BTW, do you know what sex it is yet?
You know what, one of the things I’m glad of the internet is that these “secrets” of pregnancy (ie the sweating thing) are readily available so when I go through it I won’t be like “why are my pores leaking ALL my body fluids?? AM I DYING?!”
I am by NO means a natural birth fanatic (I had epidurals both times, thankyouverymuch) but I will say that they aren’t always as traumatic as people expect or others describe. The first time, it was surreal – I felt like I was in a movie – but fairly straightforward and quick. The second time, the birth was honestly the most exciting part of the whole thing – I was soooooo done with being pregnant.
I think in a lot of cases – both vaginal and C-section births – the hardest part is recovery. Rest up when the baby comes, Mochimac! (Sorry, I still think of you as M!)
I dont’ know. I had a natural birth and a C-section. The C-section was the worst experience in my life. Sure giving birth was easy but then the healing part sucked. I would recommend a natural birth. Doctors like C-sections since they get paid more. Try to have a natural birth if you can, you won’t regret it!
Alicia @ Financial Diffraction
Baby bump! (Sorry, couldn’t resist).
I love hearing all the nitty-gritty… I feel like it will help me prepare if/when I go through this myself. Honestly, there are so many things that I just didn’t know until my good friend had a baby two years ago. I didn’t know episiotomies are common (totally makes sense, but never thought about it), or the excess sweating, etc.
Thanks for sharing!
@Alicia @ Financial Diffraction: Umm yeah, this is one of the things I learned in the last few years that scared the crap out of me. Also the fact that you literally crap yourself during vaginal birth.
I was happy to learn about the sweating and discharge (both things I already struggle with normally! Haha TMI, sorry.) When I have a kid I’ll def be blogging about all the horrific details.
Love the update! I’m also expecting for the first time and love to hear how other women deal with being preggo. I also wouldn’t worry about people telling you that you are too small. When people say that to me, I tell them my baby is tiny but resilient(I am 29 weeks along and have only gained 10 pounds so far).
Thanks for the picture! I love the detailed breakdown of everything you are feeling and going through during your pregnancy. That information doesn’t really seem to be out there all that much!
There’s just one thing I wanted to mention and it’s only because my sister literally went through this yesterday (she had a baby girl named Stella!)
Her baby was breech and the doctor was able to turn it back, and she was able to deliver normally, thus avoiding major surgery and all of the inherent risks that come with that.
Can’t wait for the next update! 🙂
YAY! Thanks for the photo! Sounds like things are getting exciting, if not a little agonizing and annoying! A minimalist wardrobe not ideal is seems with the sweat and other moisture issues – not something I am looking forward to now I know about it :p
What’s your due date/C section date? Ohhh so excited! PS emails working, and only one a day!
Interesting to read this after hearing your birth story 🙂
Not that I know what I’m talking about but am inclined to agree with your SIL. My ex’s mother (who is tiny and had 2 Csections) too. I instinctively think a belly scar > stitches in my genitals. T and his family (all natural) think the opposite though.
I had a c-section 6 weeks ago and I CHOSE it (I dreaded the idea of an episiotomy and, since I was told it’s ‘in the books’, I decided to have the ‘cut’ elsewhere 😀
GREAT EXPERIENCE. I was very calm (no labor), in high spirits. Joked around and chatted with my doctors (the same who took care of me during the pregnancy), nothing hurt. Even the epidural was so nicely done I didn’t feel a thing.
Recovery was very fast. I was on my feet the next day and in 4 days (when being released), I was taking care of my kid (bath, feeding, organizing stuff at home etc).
I would never consider anything else but a c-section and already told my doctors that, if I wasn’t that old, I’d consider 10 more babies 😀
So .. chin up and relax. Just go there and let those nice people take care of you