It’s absolutely amazing how time flies – I couldn’t believe how fast the last 9 months went. It feels like just yesterday we were anxiously sitting there looking at those little pregnancy tests trying to decide if we see two lines or if our minds are playing tricks on us. Now looking back at my first and second trimesters, I felt like they were so tough, but I had no idea what else was ahead! The third trimester was easily the most challenging from so many perspectives and I’m sharing with you exactly what I experienced to help prepare so many of you for the road ahead.
From week seven, I was obsessed with moisturizing and oiling my stomach to prevent stretch marks. It was something so important to me – until one day when one single stretch mark appeared, and almost overnight, my stomach just EXPLODED with stretch marks. No matter what I did, it was completely unavoidable and I had to accept that. Our little one is significantly larger than the average baby, so my experience may be slightly more intense than others, but you have to learn to just embrace them. They’re going to appear and they’re going to itch, burn, be ugly and turn bright purple, but you’re growing a baby and you just have to give yourself a little grace. Once they started to appear, I continued using belly butter but also added Aquaphor healing ointment to my routine to help ease the pain I felt from my growing stomach, and that’s the best you can do to ride out the journey.
My body has experienced a lot of aches and pains I didn’t expect. In my second trimester, I started to experience significant hip pain and cracking, and it definitely didn’t lighten up through my third trimester. It’s been happening now for about 15 weeks, and I’ve started to realize that lots of movement and exercise actually triggers more pain the following day, so I’ve lightened up a lot on heavier exercise and focused more on shorter one or two mile walks. In my last five weeks, all of my joints have started to ache under the weight of my unbalanced body and eventually got me to the point where I could no longer go to work because the frequent ups and downs of my job became too much for my body.
My belly ht the point at about 37 weeks where I just COULD NOT lift my left leg to put my pants on. I didn’t know if I should cry or laugh about it! Eventually, I could no longer wear tights to work because of it, and yoga pants were a daily struggle to get on, so joggers it was. It’s funny how invincible you feel early in pregnancy, thinking you’re going to do everything and be normal – until you realize your shoes don’t fit or you can’t reach your pants at your ankles.
I have never had any swelling issues in my life. My feet never swelled after working out, my hands and body never swelled with water weight – until the last few weeks of pregnancy. My feet look like water bags with five sausages hanging off the end and my arches in my feet and hands are sore to the tough from water weight in my joints. I feel like I ran 5 miles barefoot on all fours on a rocky road. Just know that it’s OK that your shoes don’t fit. I can’t count how many pairs I’ve had to give up!
Those little baby kicks and flutters are the most precious part of your second trimester, and in the third, they become huge kicks and often involve your ribs if your baby isn’t breech. Sometimes she feels like a little monkey gripping her toes to my ribs and kicking hard! And other times, you see her full foot dragging right across my whole belly like an alien is about to explode out! Although, part of me wonders if I’ll miss these creepy and crawly feelings once she’s here. Especially feeling her little hiccups everyday!