It’s finally here, the third trimester, the “home stretch” as all my pregnancy books call it. There’s just over 10 weeks to go until Cabbage is here, and it’s all getting extremely real… We’re ordering nursery items, attending antenatal classes, and I’m refusing to believe I can physically get any bigger.
While it’s lovely hearing from people that I’ve got that pregnancy glow (although I’ll be honest, I still struggle to smile and look pleased when people gasp and say “oh wow you’re huge”) I thought I’d write about a few of the less glowing parts of pregnancy that I’m finding in the third trimester…
Human pin cushion
At each midwife appointment you have to have blood tests, which I’ve gotten used to now. At 28 weeks however, I had to have an anti-D injection. My blood type is rhesus negative, and Sam’s is positive, and so the injection is in case Baby is rhesus positive. If my blood mixes with baby’s blood, my body will treat it as an invader and will produce antibodies to destroy any blood from the baby that it finds. While it won’t hurt current Cabbage, if we want to have any more babies, my body would know to make the antibodies which could attack the blood of any future babies. So the Anti-D injection destroys any blood from your RhD-positive baby before your body has a chance to make antibodies. That’s a pretty simplistic explanation of it, but…that’s why I had that injection. I also had to have a whooping cough vaccination – I’m normally pretty good with injections but that one really hurt!
Slow and steady…
I used to be a really fast walker, now I have to give myself a few extra minutes when I’m walking anywhere. I’m making sure I do at least an hour of walking every day but I’m starting to find it harder which is something I really dislike. It makes walking the dog much more entertaining – I have to trust he’ll actually come back to me when I call his name otherwise I have no idea how I’d get him back… I’ve still been swimming every week – I managed 25 lengths in the 50m Olympic Pool the other day which I was pretty proud of – the feeling of weightlessness is amazing.
Rolling in the deep
I miss the days where I could just jump off the sofa. They were the good old days. Now I sort of have to roll myself to the edge and swing my legs round and heave myself up in a very elegant manner. The other day I sat on our beanbag. That was a mistake. Sleeping has gotten pretty uncomfortable as well, which is a shame because exhaustion levels are at an all-time high! I’ve found that Cabbage is much more active when I’m on my left side so I’ve been squishing myself into a nest of pillows to keep me on my side but also to give my bump extra support, which definitely makes those night-time kicks a bit less uncomfortable!
..or lack thereof. My stomach is being squished out of its normal place (and kicked repeatedly) so I’m finding I get much fuller much quicker. This inevitably leads to grazing but all I want at the moment is fruit and flumps, I’ve got such a craving for flump bars, so it could be worse! The third trimester is when you need the extra calories, so I’ve found eating several small meals is much better than trying to eat three normal meals each day – that tends to end up with me leaving half the food and feeling too full and falling into a food coma, which isn’t ideal when I’m at work.
I miss having ankles. Aside from the fact it’s quite warm outside, I’m constantly hot and my feet and ankles are the poor things having to carry my extra weight, so yep, they look pretty swollen by the end of the day – it’s all about cold foot spas for my feet. I miss not having to squish my feet into plimsolls or pumps that used to fit fine, and are now definitely a squeeze. I also can’t wear my engagement ring anymore which makes me sad.
I’ve previously written about anxiety and pregnancy, so I won’t go on about this, but it is something that has been creeping up on me. I know in part it is fear of the unknown, and the knowledge that in 10 weeks or so, I have to physically have a baby, which is a pretty daunting task! Some of it is self-doubt – will I cope, will I be a good mum etc, which I imagine every new mum must think. Other parts are just my old anxiety rearing its ugly head. I woke up around 4am the other morning having Braxton Hicks contractions (they’re fun…!) and because I was by myself I panicked and got overly emotional and worried, even though I know they’re common, but of course getting panicky and upset doesn’t help baby in the slightest, so I had to listen to my own advice and breathe and calm myself down – had a little conversation with Cabbage which I’m sure he definitely appreciated, but it helped me feel less anxious!
Another thing that has been making me anxious is baby movement. Cabbage is usually pretty active and so when I realised I hadn’t felt him move in a while, I did panic. If you’re pregnant and you notice this, call your midwife. It’s not silly or ridiculous, you know your baby and your body – if you’re worried, go and check. This morning I ended up going to the Maternal Assessment Unit as I hadn’t felt baby move in a few hours and I wanted to make sure everything was okay. The midwives there were amazing – at no point did they tell me I was overreacting or making a fuss, on the contrary they told me I’d done exactly the right thing, and not to hesitate if I was concerned again. They hooked me up to a monitor and kept me there for half an hour, monitoring my baby’s heartbeat and making sure everything was okay – which it is, thankfully.
All that being said, I’m getting more and more excited each day. I’m starting to feel like I know the little Cabbage – when I first wake up in the mornings, he (usually!) kicks as soon as I start speaking which is nice. I’ve only had one NCT class so far, but meeting other people in the same area who are due around the same time as me was lovely, and it was SO reassuring to see that my bump is pretty average size when I saw other mums-to-be!