Pregnancy // Third Trimester Diary {Part One}

May 27, 2019

The third trimester! The final countdown. The promise of everything getting harder for these last few weeks. The want to suddenly speed up time to meet our baby already, as it all gets so real and exciting, yet equally the realisation that there aren't many weeks left at all and that focus on enjoying the here and now, the last lay ins, the nights full of sleep. The increase in midwife appointments. The packing of the hospital bag. I've shared the latest diary of these past few weeks below, if you'd like to see...

// Week 28

Baby is as big as an aubergine.

I suddenly feel like the owner of a proper baby bump. And have a meltdown one morning trying to work out my maternity wardrobe, what fits, what I'll wear for the next few weeks now it's warming up {hooray!}. Luckily, that stretchy skirt in the photo above has saved me and been so comfy. Jeans are definitely getting too limiting and restrictive, even the ones that felt so comfortable a few weeks back! 

At this point I realised how difficult it is to get up/down out of chairs all of a sudden and how I can't really bend over anymore, shoes and picking something up from the floor are getting tricky! 

I find it fascinating how everyone has an opinion on the size of your bump, including those who don't know you. Some say 'you've only got how long left?... you look so neat!', others will say 'woah, you're looking big already'. So funny isn't it, luckily I couldn't care less and am totally in love with this bump. It's not too big, it's not too small, it's perfect for my baby. At this point, in my midwife appointment, the bump got measured for the first time to start my growth chart to track it each time and see what kind of chart it plots. I had some blood tests taken as part of it, and then they booked me in to come back at 31 weeks, I remember feeling like that seemed ages away, 31 weeks was so far, but then realised it was just 3 weeks from now! Wow. 

Over this time I spotted the first time that there was a foot out of my stomach!! So so cool. But then equally had a couple of days of not feeling all that much, which I really hated. The midwife said it's to do with the placenta at the front but also strong abdominal muscles.

I think this was the last time I wore jeans! Top online here, {gifted, affiliate link}.

// Week 29

Baby is as big as an acorn squash {week 29} and a courgette {week 30}.

We went to Amsterdam for the weekend, to see the tulips. It was a trip we'd booked before we'd even come home from Amsterdam last October, and I remember so clearly wondering {and hoping} if I'd be coming back with a bump. Looking back now, I would have been pregnant, at the very first stage, at the time. It was such a lovely trip and we walked for miles, I still had plenty of energy at that point. - you can see the blog posts here and here.

I had a call when we were in Amsterdam that the midwives were concerned with the antibodies detected in the blood test I'd had the previous week and asked if I had any Anti D injections {yes, that time I had the bleed in California and at that time didn’t know that the baby had the same blood type as me}. So they needed details of the exact injection I’d had. It was all a bit worrying especially as we were away for another couple of days and it was hard to call the right department once I’d got back to the hotel to get my hospital notes. In the end, the day we got home I had a call asking me to go into hospital to repeat the blood tests so they could send them to a specialist lab. The way they made such an urgent fuss made me panic, but actually I then didn’t then hear anything at all so assume that the antibodies detected must have just been from the anti d I'd had. It was probably one of the most horrible days in pregnancy so far though, especially as the nurse couldn't do the blood test after putting the needle in :-! So I came home with two big bruises on each arm and lots of tears shed - mainly from the worry of it all! But all good practice I guess, I'm such labour will be worse eeek. 

Hey bump! 

// Week 30
Baby is as big as a courgette

I was so happy that the weather got better so that I could wear lots of easy wearing dresses and sandals. We had a couple of days in Norfolk with my parents over the Easter weekend and enjoyed time with them before the baby arrives. It was around this weekend that I woke up with crazy leg cramps, I don't think I've ever had cramp before and woke up almost screaming in pain with it. It's super common in pregnancy, and I wondered how often I'd have it from now on!

At this point the 10 week countdown became real, the final stage, but it still feels a while away. I think time will go realllly fast from now on though.

// Week 31

Baby is as big as asparagus 

The need to pee is real. ALL the time. On walks, I've resulted to going in the bushes on a few occasions. And at night, I have to go at least three times in the hour that we're watching tv in bed before I can fall asleep. One of those cliches that goes with pregnant women but it's so true. I swear sometimes it will have been about ten minutes and then I'll need to pee again!

May began and I had a hectic few weeks ahead finishing up with work projects and travels. I'd vowed to myself to have June off so really tried to be strict limiting any plans for it at all, needing that time to just think about getting prepared, to batch cook, to not have any set stressy agendas. Maternity leave is a weird one when you're self employed, but speaking to others, they say that you'll never get that time back so really try to give yourself some time to properly nest and relax beforehand.

I finally bought a birth ball {I bought this one from Amazon, check which size you need depending on how tall you are} Ben inflated it for me and I started to use it as a desk chair. It's really good for your posture but also to get the baby down into the right position. I think you're ideally meant to sit on it as much as you can over the last few weeks, I try my best to but sometimes the sofa calls! I think it will be really useful for the last couple of weeks though and during the first part of labour.

I started getting really tired again around mid afternoon/early evening, it's definitely catching up with me. Some evenings I couldn't wait to get into bed, a feeling I hadn't had for weeks! 

// Week 32

Baby is as big as a squash 

We snuck in a few days in Lisbon this week. Partly as a press trip with the tourist board and partly because you know what huge travel addicts we are and how everything will change before we know it. It was kind of surreal getting waved through into the priority boarding/security lines at the airport when officials spotted the bump, I kind of forget that it's really obvious now.

Luckily over the past few weeks the baby has been really active {well, I think she's always been active but I can just feel it all the time now which makes me feel so much better. I know her patterns and it's so lovely to see my whole stomach move!}. I always try to film it but end up with loads of videos of not much happening although sitting on the plane I did manage to capture a good one, just the most magical thing to me right now.

I debated whether to share this photo above. Super personal I guess but I love it so much and one I'm sure I'll want to look back on. 

// Week 33

Baby is as big as celery

Sooo, my boobs starting leaking!! I was packing my hospital bag {see this post on that}, and suddenly looked down at my t-shirt as I felt a wet patch and was amazed that I'd started producing, and err leaking, colostrum already. It felt like such a huge part of this motherhood journey and I was sure that all the oxytocin and thinking ahead to meeting her and what I'd need for my hospital bag started it off. I'd been really keen to harvest it {although this should only be done from 37 weeks as trying to encourage it before then can cause early labour!} so was really pleased to know that my body was starting to produce it. But also slightly concerned about how often I'd need to wear breastpads from now on, would this happen every day? Would I get an embarrassing wet patch if I wasn't prepared? Over the next few days, it would happen again at random times. As much as I felt like it was a waste to not harvest it, there was nothing I could do but let it happen, and put pads in when I would be conscious it could leak {and to save my clothes/bras from the yellow marks, sorry TMI!}. I didn't know that women could start leaking with it early, but it's just a sign of everything preparing. And don't worry either if you haven't produced any yet, it will be there when your baby needs it.

Have I mentioned before about how much I love my midwife? I'll blame baby brain if I have talked about that before, but we feel so lucky in our area to have the same midwife at every appointment. It makes such a difference to have that continuation of care, and she's so fab with so much experience. Definitely a take no nonsense kind of figure though too, which I respect. I've just been so impressed with the NHS care so far and the information they've given us and even things like syringes when I mentioned that I was interested in harvesting colostrum. They seem so supportive in everything we want to do. I'm not sure how much this varies regionally? 

This week I also hosted my baby shower! You can see the full post on that here.

- this became by uniform! SO comfy.

We started our NCT classes this week, one of those 'we're really nearly parents' kind of life events. Well, we actually missed our first one because we were in Lisbon {annoyingly they'd changed the date after we'd already booked our flights and changed them once already} and we were really worried that we'd miss out on the friend making! It's like missing your first day of school, you worry everyone will group up already. But we needn't have done, everyone was so lovely in the second class and filled us in on what we'd missed. We quickly set up a group whatsapp so we can chat outside of the classes, there are 8 couples including us which feels like a fairly big group. We'd done a hospital tour and had an extensive hypnobirthing course so mainly felt prepared for birth, we'd pretty much just booked the course in the hope of meeting other couples due at the same time as us and for that support network. But actually, the course turned out to be so informative and much more up to date than we'd imagined. Our teacher is also into hypnobirthing which we loved as it went hand in hand with our preferences/language used etc. We all went out for a drink after a Friday afternoon session and I hope we'll all keep meeting up once the babies are here!

// Week 34

Baby is as big as a butternut squash {although I prefer the lion cub analogy on another app I have!}

I felt really run down at this point, I assumed it was from getting further into pregnancy and my body taking some energy to produce the colostrum plus a busy time with getting back from Lisbon to lots of work projects and the baby shower weekend. I was really out of breath, exhausted, headachey and with sore gums - I assumed a mouth ulcer from being run down. But after a few days of feeling worse, and my tooth now starting to throb, I realised that I'd better book a dental appointment to check it out - especially as there's a reason that dentristy is free when you're pregnant as it's common when your body is putting growing a baby first for your teeth/gums to suffer. The dentist told me that I had an infected wisdom tooth {no wonder it was so painful and I felt so bad! I can't believe I hadn't realised sooner}, and she strongly recommended antibiotics to stop me getting even worse. I was so upset, I'd got this far without any real complications and feel so strongly about avoiding antibiotics unless I really need them, and this time there was a baby thrown into the mix too to think about. But then I read up about the risk of not taking them, sepsis and the like and after checking with a pharmacist, did take them. {I'll take a course of Symprove afterwards to get the good stuff back in and prepare both me and the baby for birth}. My Midwife agreed too that it was definitely the right thing to do and that only a tiny amount would reach the baby. 

I saw my GP to get a fit to fly letter {needed after 34 weeks with BA - although in reality nobody even asked to see it during the trip but I wanted it for piece of mind for our travel insurance as a just in case!} and we flew to Ibiza for our very last babymoon. A special week to properly switch off and the final time as just us two. Will share more on that in other blog posts soon. It was such a lovely time and marked the end of an era in so many ways - I shared this post on the end of travel as just us, but how we can't wait for for this next chapter.

We used a few hours of that week away to sit down and write our birth preferences sheet {aka a birth plan}. It had been part of our hypnobirthing course, and if you're not doing a course - you can find a really great guide in the Yes Mum's book  which gives you an outline and guide on it all. A few people on an ask me anything on Instagram a couple of weeks back asked me to share our birth plan, but I've decided not to for a few reasons. Partly because you can't really plan it, yes we've outlined our preferences in an ideal world which I'll happily share after the event, but in reality anything could happen. I just can't be dealing with the inevitable comments or scare stories from others with their experiences right now - in the nicest possible way, I'm just trying to limit thinking about what could happen or what happened to X during their labour and just be open to whatever happens to us, not setting my heart on something, just waiting and seeing, preparing for all bases, keeping positive and keeping an open mind. I'm sure I'll share the birth story after the event though as I've loved reading so many others, I just don't really want to discuss our preferences and what we're hoping will happen right now if that's ok. 

// Week 35

Baby is as big as a pineapple

Up until this point I'd never really felt that pregnant before, if that makes sense? I'd often forget until I saw my bump looking down or a reflection in a mirror because it hadn't really impacted day to day life too much. But I feel like week 34 onwards is when I reallllly started to feel it all. The reflux when going to sleep, the waking up multiple times in the night, the leg cramps every so often during the night that jolted me awake, the tiredness, the achey bump after doing too much, the breathlessness. Oh the breathlessness, sometimes I'll just be standing still or even just sitting down and I'll be struggling to breathe a little! I think my lungs are super crushed right now. And likewise with the reflux, which one night was burning my oesophagus - I've never had anything like that before, I think everything must have shifted with this growing babe and just regular things like digestion and breathing have become a struggle haha!

I hope this doesn't sound negative. I'm fascinated by these pregnancy symptoms, and wouldn't change any of it. I've had such a straight forward pregnancy and feel so so lucky to have felt so well. It's just funny to feel the effects over these last few weeks and this definitely feels like the hardest part. But side note, if you're reading this and yet to go through the second trimester, honestly savour that part as it really is the honeymoon period. It's also think it's kind of a good thing that I am experiencing some slightly annoying symptoms, to make me ready to say goodbye to pregnancy by the end in a way. Although I know that new motherhood will bring lots of new challenges of it's own, and although I feel like getting up to pee a couple of times in the night is annoying right now, I'll probably be wishing for that amount of sleep again in a few weeks when we have a newborn waking us around the clock haha.

I've revisited some pregnancy books this week, I devoured them most during the first trimester working out what to expect, but at that point the end felt so long away that it almost wasn't worth reading about. But now it actually is time to read about birth preparations/the last few weeks etc.

Maternity leave is nigh! I've been waiting for this week to arrive over the past few weeks, just a few more days to finish up on before June begins to sit back with no real plans, nowhere to be, just taking each day as it comes and the final countdown to meeting our baby. We hope to have a couple of days out if the weather is nice, but mainly just stay home and get organised and relax if I can. We've written a couple of final lists of things we still need to tick off, things to stock up on and batch cook for the freezer and the final things to buy and things to set up like practicing with the carseat, going through the hospital bag with Ben and setting up the bedside crib. Will hopefully share a couple of last blog posts on all of this soon!

And last night, just before publishing this, I was rubbing my bump oil in {it's become a big part of my evening routine} and felt an actual hand or foot!!! I rushed to show Ben, you could see it coming out and then she moved it. I couldn't stop smiling about it for so long, it's just the weirdest but coolest feeling.

I'm so aware of savouring these last few weeks, in just two weeks the baby will be full-term. I'm so so ready to meet her already but equally am trying not to wish time away too much. It will be here before we know it so I'm just happy to bob along for now, I'm so conscious to be present and I'm sure I'll really miss and feel nostalgic about this time in the future. Time is just SO crazy when you think about it isn't it? I just love love love being pregnant and getting to experience all of this. It really is the most magical, incredible thing to grow a new life.

// a few more bump photos....

Exercise // It was in my third trimester that I decided to stop running. As much as I missed the buzz it just wasn’t worth the extra pressure it was putting on my pelvic floor and back. I ended up cutting my routes so short and walking a lot of it that I figured I’d just start it properly again once I’ve recovered from the baby. So in the meantime I’ve carried on walking for at least an hour everyday, pregnancy Pilates {although it being on a Monday, so many were cancelled with the bank holidays/Easter/us going away so I feel like there have hardly been any}, doing my one small group personal training session a week which I’ve really enjoyed and a spin class a week. I felt like I ‘should’ have done more, compared to what I’m used to and have definitely seen my muscles change {aka lose any definition!} and my face get rounder but growing this baby and resting and eating lots and enjoying laying around more have been my focus. It’s such a short time in the scheme of things and I’ve definitely noticed just how much more tired I’ve felt on days where I’ve got up to exercise. 
My Pilates teacher also put on a group pregnancy reformer/Cadillac class as well over these past few weeks which I’ve LOVED as reformer was one of the things I missed most since being pregnant. 

I hope to come back for a couple more blog posts before the baby is here with the last few weeks and ideas on batch cooking/the final preparations etc!

R <3 xx

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