28 weeks fly by like that – one minute you’re jumping up and down with excitement because you got two lines on your test, and the next, you’re battling back pain and abdominal pressure. It’s hard to believe I’m already in my third trimester and our little girl will be here before we know it! I spent a huge part of this period preparing for the baby after we found out what her gender was, and educating myself on the journey ahead. This trimester came along with so many ups and downs, even more than my first, and I just want to share a little piece of my journey with you all.
This period was truly when my body started to bare the weight of my pregnancy, and eventually started to cause a few medical issues for me. Early on, I started to notice hot flashes which resulted in nausea and dizziness if I didn’t treat them right away by trying to cool off. Everything I read online said they’d go away, but they were random, unpredictable, and frankly, quite concerning. I was afraid that it would happen somewhere public or unexpected, or that I would pass out in front of a lot of people.
The peak of this problem really occurred on a snowy Monday on my way to work when I had no warning signs, no hot flash, and no time, and within 3-5 seconds I blacked out while driving. It was honestly the scariest situation that has ever occurred to me because something truly tragic for myself and my child could have happened, but it was best case scenario and I ended up waking up just stuck in a snowbank – no personal and physical damage occurred. I ended up being on bed rest with no driving for a week.
This was at 24 weeks, and my doctors recommended that for the REST OF MY PREGNANCY, but as a working person, this was near impossible, so now I just refocused my attention on staying healthy, staying hydrated, and being hyper aware of how I’m feeling. I’ve started to take more time to recover after long days, get more rest, and eat a more whole foods diet with a focus less on simple carbs. I still get the symptoms frequently, but have luckily learned to stop whatever I’m doing immediately to address them before I start to see the dizzy spots.
Rounding out the end of this trimester, I’m starting to feel a ton of pressure on my back and stomach from our little one tumbling and pushing from inside. It makes daily activities fairly uncomfortable, especially driving or sitting at my desk all day. I’ve had to learn to integrate a lot of low pressure workouts into my routine, like 30 minutes of elliptical or walking, because traditional workouts I love were no longer possible since they just caused more physical stress. Buying a back support brace for the car and my work chair, plus a belly band to support my bump, offered a lot of relief at times which is great! I’ll take what I can get at this point.
I have always said that I don’t understand how people say pregnancy is such a great thing and they enjoyed it. I always thought I’d be that person because physical ailments have never stood in my way, but this is a whole new level of physical and mental testing. The only thing I can say is completely worth it is laying in bed at night watching those strong kicks and punches coming right through my stomach, knowing she’s going to be here at the end of all this. She’s strong, and so big already! Yes, the kicks can hurt or be annoying, but watching her squirm and move makes me think “who is she going to be more like?” or “what features does she have?”. I just can’t wait to see who she becomes.
Since we found out that our little nugget is going to be a little lady warrior, it has been shopping central. I got to start the nursery, buy furniture, shop for clothes and do all the fun stuff you look forward to doing in pregnancy. We even started planning our baby shower and getting everything ready for that. It’s fun going to stores and looking at everything that’s out there now for kids and moms – is it weird I’m most excited to buy all the breastfeeding accessories and travel gear to go on adventures together?
I think the worst part about starting my third trimester is knowing that the worst is still ahead. I have to deal with the growing bump that I wish would already stop growing because of the physical exhaustion, on top of preparing for the marathon of birth. I’ve been thinking a lot about our birth plan, doing a lot of reading and research on what others have done and what you experience, and it’s truly a terrifying thing the more I learn! I have opted to try for all-natural should my body physically allow it, with flexibility for pain relief or C section as medically (or emotionally) necessary, knowing that our girl is probably going to be large (I was over 9 lbs. and my husband was over 10 lbs!).
I’m such a planner that this type of stuff drives me crazy, because you can formulate the perfect plan, but one little thing can change everything. I have so many curious thoughts on if and when I may go into labor, what the plan will be for us and our dog, how long I may be in active labor before pushing, what physical feelings I’ll experience, etc. and more questions just come up daily. I’m just grateful to have a great medical team around me that supports me and cares individually about my issues and questions.
One thing my husband and I are doing to help ease some of the anxieties are classes with our hospital. We’re taking an in-person newborn care class in a few weeks, where we learn the basics about early life care. I also plan to take an online Lamaze course about childbirth so that I can feel educated to take on the mental, emotional and physical battle of childbirth. Unfortunately, in-person for that class is a little difficult for us, as Jeff works weekends and they tend to go weekends for 8-9 hour sessions, so I would hate to make him take time off of work, but online was a great option so that we could self pace and do it together when he is home.
To be frank, there’s nothing I’m looking forward to in my third trimester besides it finally being over. I already feel huge, knowing I’m just going to grow even larger, and my body already feels like it’s been pushed beyond where it’s ever been. About the only thing I feel great about is the excitement for our shower, finishing preparing the home, and the ultimate marathon only because it ends with us getting to hold our little girl in our hands. I’m ready for this little one to be here and ready to feel like my normal self all over again, and return to my normal(ish) routine, like certain workouts and enjoying time out and about.