How I went during the third trimester, the pregnancy symptoms and what worked for me. Along with my prep my a non-medicated birth.
MY THIRD TRIMESTER RECAP
Here I am, 39 weeks and about 5 days, trying to remember the blur that has been the past few months. No, as I type this, there is no baby just yet, I can still feel her kicking, moving and a mix of Braxton hicks and low period cramping. Thank you for asking.
I’ve settled with yet another cup of raspberry leaf tea, which personally tastes like not much at all but manages to leave a sweet aftertaste. I will try to recount the third trimester as best I can.
Yeah, this one didn’t go away for me, and I felt nausea throughout my entire pregnancy journey, day and night. While there were good moments without it here and there, it never left me. Actually, it felt more intense during the third trimester and I was recommended seeing a doctor about it for a prescription, which I didn’t bother about. Mostly as I don’t like taking medication and I’d come so far after all. Instead, where I could, I tried to mind over matter the situation. No big deal, it could have been worse.
It definitely dropped toward the latter half of the third trimester, but then again, I had a lot going on. During the third trimester, we settled on our first house, packed up the old apartment, moved and began a slow unpacking process. For my part, as I was not able to lift much, I was trying to pack as much as I could, then do the unpacking. We were very happy to have friends come and help Mario with the move, there was a lot to do! Then we had my Mum come to visit, so I was out a lot with her each day and finally, we had our baby shower.
Only toward week 37+ did I really feel tired, and only napped a few times. The rest of the time I was running around finding house stuff, setting things up and driving around to all of the baby appointments or working. Actually, there were a few times when we would be out at the hardware store and I found myself slow, hunching over a trolley, feeling like I just wanted to go home and rest. Aches (back and legs) were just a part of the process, so I tried my best with them.
There were a few days I accidentally walked way more than I should have done, given I had the issues with a separated pelvis, but it’s all okay. At some points, I couldn’t walk as our baby was sitting so low in my pelvis that a nerve between my groin and pelvis would pinch and I would have to wait that out. Generally speaking, moving around was the best way to shift discomfort. Or resting.
As for the little one’s energy levels? I’d say they were high, with lots of movement.
Funnily enough, I did gain more weight prior to our move, but then it dropped back again. So all in all, at the end of my pregnancy, I’d gained a total of 10kg which is on the low side. Not that anyone has been worried, so we are both considered healthy and all good. In the last week, things have slimmed, even more. I noticed my size is going back to normal for my arms and legs, though I guess we will see how things end up later. Honestly, I’m not really fussed, as long as we stay healthy.
I still managed to wear mostly my normal size, or one size up but decided to go for mediums with my maternity leggings for comfort though these were too big for the most part. By the time summer rolled around, I was wearing dresses every day anyway.
My gums stopped bleeding so much when I flossed, but the dentist still said I had minor gum disease and we will check it all out later on.
Mosquitoes gravitated to me, with the extra blood flow. The bites stayed itchy for a few days which was so annoying.
My feet (particularly the right foot and ankle) started to swell up in the last three weeks. It felt so weird! I was embarrassed by my fat feet!! Haha, but mostly the shoes not fitting wasn’t fun. I’m really hoping they go back to my normal size! I have a lot of shoes. Eek. But the swelling hasn’t been as bad this week, while I’ve been resting more. I was probably doing too much.
Sleeping does get less comfortable as you go along naturally, and you need to get up to pee more often. Knowing this, I wasn’t surprised when things ramped up. There were only a few nights I felt flustered, too warm and too uncomfortable. Somehow though I managed to only really sleep on the left side in the last few weeks. I can not wait to lie on my back! And I was falling asleep pretty easily still, which is rare for me.
WHAT I ATE & DRANK
Cravings and food-wise, I probably leaned in more to chocolate than I usually would. Actually, we went out for a sundae from McDonald’s one night, and it was not a good idea. I don’t usually have dairy, but this was an example of the random sweet cravings. I regretted that one, but I won’t be repeating it!
For the most part, the rest of my diet stayed the same, mostly vegetables with low or no gluten, no dairy, some lean animal protein once a day and fruits, nuts and more vegetables as snacks. Plus lots of water. LOTS.
For those that have been reading my recaps of the trimesters, the constipation issue lessened once I got into the third trimester. But I did have to start taking two iron tablets a day, as my levels were low, they slowly increased but I still had to go onto a double dose each day.
One thing that came up was the increase in emotions. All the feels. I had times where I lost my patience, particularly if I was tired. I cried a bit more over things I knew weren’t a huge issue. Through most of the pregnancy, I’d been pretty zen, but got sad on occasion.
I also felt more pressure surrounding having our house set up (this was of course self implied), and the idea that more opinions will be given on how we want to do things as parents. Both Mario and I have different ideas than many other people, so I am sure there will be some minor conflicts to come. No doubt the worry is for naught, but I definitely felt it.
MY FAMILY WON’T BE ABLE TO MEET MY BABY FOR A WHILE
One example of the emotions creeping in was to learn my family won’t be able to come and visit us when she is born or for Christmas as planned. Actually, I could have been more upset, but when it became more clear that our strict interstate border controls were likely to prevent this, I knew it was coming. Still, I am sad for them, sad that they will miss those early days, weeks and even months, depending on when the border rules change.
There is nothing that can be done. Perhaps it will give me time to get into a good rhythm with our newborn routine and be less stressful to accommodate more guests in our house. Still, I wish things were different and that more people in our state were vaccinated so this wasn’t an issue. At this rate, they aren’t opening the border up until there are 90% of the local population here fully vaccinated. At present, the rate is still under 75%, with most people seeming to think there’s no rush to bother as they are safe here.
It is heartbreaking, to be honest. I just didn’t expect at all that my family would miss meeting my first baby. I mean, I am 38, my poor parents have been waiting to become grandparents for long enough. They were all booked, vaccinated and ready to come but in recent weeks the rules changed and now I don’t know when they can come. It will hit me more later when I have her and they can only see her via my phone with video calls. Of course, I am grateful for those.
BACK THE TRUCK UP
Finally, there have been a lot of messages and calls coming in since week 37 to ask if we have had the baby yet. This added pressure has not helped as I am feeling like it’s less okay for me to let her come when she is ready. I know people care and are just wanting to check in but it’s gotten to the point where I am inundated and am not wanting to look at my phone. That pressure is making it harder for me to relax. Therefore the process is going to take longer.
So despite good intentions, I kind of need people to ‘back the truck up’ as one lady put it during an appointment this morning. Losing sleep and trying to face/ deal with anxiety over this pressure to have her before a certain day or time is definitely not great. This is all well before her due date and often first-time babies are born later. In France, women aren’t considered full term until week 42. I’m not even at 40 yet. There is really no rush, a happy and healthy baby girl is what we are looking forward to.
Please tread lightly around your expectant mama’s and prepare to back the truck up.
OUR BABY SHOWER
Okay, so if moving house wasn’t enough of an activity, planning and hosting 70+ people for a baby shower was a whole other thing. This was why I kept things as simple as I could, held it in a park and kept things casual. Read all about the baby shower on the blog here and catch the video on my YouTube channel, Inspiring Wit TV. Make sure to subscribe as I am sharing all sorts of pregnancy updates, moving house and renovation updates and so on. One day I’ll also be back into my fashion and beauty content too. I’m looking forward to that!
WHAT I DID TO PREP FOR A NON MEDICATED BIRTH
I’m actually thinking this may end up being a whole blog post in itself, or at the least a video with a recap after the birth to share my story. I’ve been doing all the things I can when it comes to non medicated birth prep. Over the course of my pregnancy, I’ve read SO many books, watched countless birth videos, videos from midwives, doulas and other mama’s with their tips and tricks for birth and beyond.
To ripen the cervix I’ve been eating 4-6 Organic Medjool dates a day (from about week 36), drank 1-2 cups of raspberry leaf tea and tried drinking pineapple juice.
I am listening to the Hypnobirthing tracks, mantra meditation tracks, practising breathing techniques, meditation, yoga and more. Plus Mario is doing light touch massage and acupressure points on me daily. And Rebozo sifting when needed. I’ve been trying positioning techniques from Spinning Babies, visiting my chiropractor once a week to position our baby in the pelvis and open it up as much as possible. Then I am doing things like perennial massage, trying to hand express colostrum, sitting in a deep squat when I can as many times as I can in a day- holding for up to five minutes, sitting and moving on the ball each day. And I’ve been sleeping on my left side with a pillow to open up my legs and keep my hips aligned.
Finally, I haven’t reclined in months, making sure the baby is in the optimal position. Sitting upright all the time has been fine since it improves my posture, but I am secretly looking forward to being able to recline a tiny bit!
WHY POSTURE IS SO IMPORTANT! NO RECLINING!
Essentially, sleeping habits, reclining while resting, and poor posture all affect the positioning of babies and can dictate labour outcomes. Ultimately, we want anterior babies. This means their head is down and they’re facing Mama’s spine for a less painful birth.
It is so important to keep the spine and hips aligned during pregnancy. I sit with a support pillow if I need to but for the most part, I sit kind of like a man, haha, with my feet on the floor at 90 degrees, legs wider apart, back straight, belly forward. It means I have to sit quite forward on a chair, or sofa (though I mostly avoid the sofa and sit on the ball or edge of my chair.).
Throughout my pregnancy, I saw my chiropractor every three weeks but from about week 35 onwards I saw her once a week. Essentially this is to make sure my pelvis was aligned in the best possible way. I do the positioning exercises to allow our baby to hopefully be in the best position. So far she has been anterior, sitting to the right but shifted to the left more recently, with her head mostly in my pelvis. She was head fully in the pelvis for a few weeks but moved to change from the right side to the left. It is on my mind all the time to avoid any posterior or breach position where I can help it. I like knowing she knows what to do when the time comes to engage in the birth path.
We took the classes offered by the Family Birth Centre and took a Hypnobirthing Australia course too. This was invaluable. Mario and I got so much out of the course. I can go into more detail, but we took the course with Renee from The Birth Space. She was awesome.
Mario and I watch the birth rehearsal video on the Hypnobirthing Australia website to prep and keep the lights low at night to get me more in the zone. I’ve been going to bed early, listening to hypnosis tracks to fall asleep, diffusing lavender or clay sage.
WHAT’S IN MY HOSPITAL BAG
I have my bag all packed with all the things I might need. I say ‘hospital’ bag, but we are birthing at the Family Birth Centre, as long as all goes to plan which so far it is. Included are things like our birth preferences, Mario’s partner cheat sheet, acupressure points sheet, ‘silence we are Hypnobirthing’ door sheet and so on.
Shortly I will share the video on ‘What’s in my Hospital Bag’ on my YouTube Channel. This ended up being divided into two parts, one where I talk about Hypnobirthing and one where I share what I am packing for our baby. Again, subscribe to the channel so you don’t miss those.
NEARING THE END
Gosh, it feels so weird to be towards the end of this first pregnancy journey. How these last few weeks or months have flown. Honestly, the third trimester went SO fast and I was anticipating it being much more uncomfortable. I said at breakfast yesterday how I felt so fortunate to have had such a smooth pregnancy and empowered myself with as much knowledge as I could to understand birth and breastfeeding. For someone who was always SO afraid of birth, I feel as prepared as I can be, excited to go through it and share my story later.
Of course, it goes without saying I am over the moon to soon meet our baby. The feeling of not wanting to let go of her is something I felt in the last week but I’m ready to now. She has so many lovely people eager to meet her too. I can’t wait to really become a Mama and see Mario step into his new Papa role. It’ll change everything and I can’t wait.
OVER TO YOU MAMA’S
I’ll likely share the first updates on Instagram, so follow me @inspiringwit to keep up to date. Anytime now.
Thank you again for sharing this journey with me and reading my journals. If you missed any of the pregnancy blog entries, see them below. If you are a Mama, or Mama to be, I hope these have been helpful, and I wish you all the best on your own pregnancy journies.
Have you had any experience with Hypnobirthing? Or a non-medicated birth? Got any pregnancy or birth tips for us? Please feel free to share below. I’d love to open up the discussion with you.
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Want to read more about my pregnancy journey? Take a look at these posts below: