Pregnancy // Third Trimester Diary {Part Two} and this In Between Stage...

June 24, 2019

Some notes on these last few weeks and this in between stage, the waiting game!

You can see my first trimester diary here, trimester two part one with weeks 14-20 here trimester two part two here and trimester three part one here.
* this post contains some affiliate links.

// Week 36

Baby is as big as a papaya.

We got sent for a growth scan this week after a routine midwife appointment where the fundal height measurement, that they use to track your bump growth, was showing that it hadn’t grown in the last fortnight. Although our midwife wasn’t worried as I’d still been feeling the baby move well, and it seemed like she was laying to one side which would affect how the middle of the bump measured, policy means they have to request a scan {and of course made me feel worried sick - that instant 'what have I done wrong to make her not grow' kind of feeling}. Luckily Ben was with me, I’m so glad he’s made it to almost all of the appointments as he’s definitely always the rational level headed one. After talking to lots of friends who had all had growth scans too and it had been fine for them, I felt a little more reassured. The next day we went for a scan {I was so thankful that the hospital had a space on the Friday for us, I couldn’t have waited over the weekend feeling worried} and also as luck would have it, the sonographer on duty was a family friend who had done our 20 week scan so it was nice to see a friendly face. All was well, in fact despite them worrying she might have been small, she’s actually tracking big! And was 6lb 6oz already eeek. It was so great to see her on the screen again, with her long legs, chunky little tummy {the sonographer’s words} and with some little tufts of hair! 

We discovered that growth scans are super common, as the fundal height measurement isn't the most reliable so although of course we were so grateful to be referred for any concern, it does seem from talking to friends that they do cause a lot of unnecessary stress for a lot of people. 

I've talked about the Group B strep test in this blog post - I sent mine off at the end of this week {ideally if you do it around this time the results should be valid for 5 weeks to take you theoretically up to 42 weeks of pregnancy}. I was thankful that mine came back negative so antibiotics during labour aren't recommend. But obviously with all things medical, discuss with your midwife. I also won't be complacent that there's no chance of me having it as it can be transient, so I guess the best thing is to know the symptoms of a potential infection in a newborn. 

Baby washing on the line! Making a start on my maternity leave to do list. 

Week 37 //

Baby is as big as a romaine lettuce

I remember waking up on this day feeling so glad that we made it full term! It’s really interesting how that term meaning has shifted actually in the last couple of generations. Anyone who’s had a baby recently/works in the NHS all talk about 37 weeks being the ‘safe’ point and a baby born after this time is considered term and could be without specialist care. You’re allowed to start on the clary sage/raspberry leaf tea/expressing colostrum etc as anything that ‘could’ bring on labour is theoretically safe now. But older generations are so focused on 40 weeks being term. I guess it is best to leave them in for as long as they're cooking. I kind of expected all this stuff that you're told not to do pre 37 weeks to have a big effect as everyone makes such a big deal about not doing it too soon, but so far nothing - I say this from my personal experience though, obviously everyone is different but I feel like even if you try this stuff, if the baby isn't ready, they won't come.

I shared a story about expressing colostrum on Instagram the other day, it’s not something which is talked about that much but when I first heard an Australian instagrammer share it I think last year? I was fascinated and wanted to try and do it if I could. As with anything baby/pregnancy related, I’m no expert, but just sharing my own experience as some of you asked for some more info on it. It’s always best to talk to your midwife first {mine was so in favour of it and actually gave me a leaflet on it and some sterile syringes, but I know all midwife advice differs} but from my research;
You can start expressing colostrum from 37 weeks. Colostrum is like liquid gold in terms of the nutritional importance and antibodies for immunity it holds for your baby so you can harvest some pre birth to store in case it's needed in the early days, if your baby is in special care or needs a little extra food/help in the early days and it can really give them a boost. As my midwife said, it will never be wasted as you can then supplement your baby with it for up to 6 months as an immune boost {one lady messaged me on instagram to say that she's just started mixing some of her spare frozen colostrum into her baby's porridge for example}. 
To express you should do it by hand into a sterile teaspoon {it starts as really tiny amounts, the syringes are 1ml} and then syringe this up and store in your freezer {I put mine into a bag to keep it all extra clean} for up to 6 months. You can then take this into hospital as long as it's labelled and dated to defrost if needed. 
I've been doing it around once a day, sometimes twice, because the supply is there and so I feel like I might as well build up a stash. It helps if you shower/bath first and if you struggle to fill up a syringe in one go, you can keep half of it in the back of your fridge {the coldest part} for up to a day to top up later. 
Your body keeps making colostrum until birth {your real milk is triggered to come in once your placenta comes away so you won't run out of colostrum for your baby by doing this pre birth}.
But I would also say don't stress at all if you're not doing this/don't have much/don't want to. Talking about anything feeding related can be really emotionally stressful and controversial and you just do whatever you feel is best. I'm just sharing this as not everyone knows about it and I personally think it's a good thing to do if you can

I stopped all my training at this point {deciding to just keep going with pregnancy pilates and walking instead of the training I had been doing} and it felt so bittersweet. I knew it was right for me to just focus on the baby for these last couple of weeks, it seemed silly to make myself more tired at this point {did you see this article about pregnant women being at the edge of endurance?} but also I love that feeling of training so much that I admit that I did cry on the walk home from my last session knowing that it would be a few months, and when I have a baby, that I'd be able to start it up again next.

Made it to 37 weeks of training!

My maternity leave had kicked in by this point and so the days became a lot slower. The summer started off incredibly rainy and so it was actually really lovely to have some enforced cosy days, watching series with Ben, making the most of sleeping in, taking it easy and filling up the freezer with food ready for the newborn days. {you can find a post on what I've batch cooked and prepared here}

When seeing the midwife for my routine appointment that week, they always ask if the baby had still been moving a lot. And for the past couple of days, she'd actually really slowed down. The frequency of the movements was around the same but the intensity had reduced. This immediately worried our midwife and we were sent in for some foetal monitoring just to be sure everything was as it should be. We'd heard a strong heartbeat so I wasn't too worried but was grateful to get checked out in case. I felt like a fraud as the minute we were sat in the waiting room she was going crazy and so we got hooked up to the monitor in the maternity day unit for a while and after the team were happy, were sent home again phew. The machine also showed that I was having some braxton hicks at that point, although I couldn't feel any but all good practice I guess! 

Around this time, I just couldn't eat enough high fat foods. After not having any cravings for months, it was almost like my body knew it was gearing up for this next stage and was telling me what it needed. And I wasn't going to deny myself anything right now! So alll of the chocolate please. I even craved a Five Guys SO badly so we stopped for one on the way to the hospital! 

Also, TMI?, but I'd been having a lot of discharge over the past week or so {after having none since first trimester I think}, the midwife said it's all normal for this time of pregnancy and could even be part of the show as everything begins to open up {a good sign, although can still be weeks before the baby comes}. 

Week 38 // 
Baby is as big as a winter melon

By this point, we'd ticked everything off the pre-baby to do list and felt as ready as we'd ever be! The car seat was in my car all set up, we'd washed the crib sheets and set up the little crib, assembled everything else, sorted out the baby wardrobe, checked the hospital bag, I even valeted my car and organised the bathroom unit -  that nesting urge was back! From now on, it was just a waiting game. 
- it's such a hard balance knowing how much to get prepared and when. I'm a real organisation freak so wanted everything done ahead of time, but actually it then made the next few weeks kind of boring without much to do {although very heavenly and a good excuse to actually rest up properly and just fully enjoy the last couple of weeks} but I guess if you're busy rushing around trying to get the last few bits sorted it makes time go quicker? 

Around this time I started to ramp up things that are known for preparing your body for labour like bouncing on the birth ball, drinking raspberry leaf tea {and taking these capsules which have more of the extract in}, inhaling/bathing in clary sage oil and keeping up with the walking. I also booked in some accupuncture and reflexology. All of this made me feel really relaxed but no baby yet! 

I suddenly had a couple of really emotional days where I'd burst into tears for no reason, I guess your hormones are beginning to change? And also a couple of really exhausted afternoons that I hadn't experienced in a long time. 

Week 39 // 
Baby is as big as a pumpkin

Over the past couple of weeks I can tell that she's got even bigger and is bursting to come out already. Since her head has been engaged, which I think happened around week 36/7?, the movements have all been in the same place and they're so so powerful. The kind that make you stop in your tracks sometimes as it feels like she's doing somersaults in there. The shooting, lightning kind of nerve pains that are luckily over pretty quickly around your pubic area and down your leg. The intense feelings that I kind of don't want to forget what they feel like once she's out however uncomfortable they can sometimes be. The incredible sight of elbows/knees poking out of the bump. 

I've actually had more energy over this past week and with the glorious weather, have spent so much time outside and walking for miles. My bump feels like it's grown again even in the past couple of days and I definitely can't see my feet when standing up now. 

I'm lucky that I haven't felt too uncomfortable, apart from the sudden shooting pains that happen maybe twice a day, I've pretty much been able to carry on with most things as normal and have still been sleeping really well most nights. {side note - I've had the odd night where I've had to wake up and take gaviscon for reflux, but I've learned that if I eat early and take a walk after dinner, that tends to make digestion easier and stops it from happening thankfully}. The rainy first few weeks of summer probably did me a favour, it's suddenly got really warm and there's a 30c heatwave due at the end of this week which might make things a little harder! 

We've just been making the most of these days with days out/dinner dates/walks to the allotment/time in the garden/catching up with friends and coffee shop dates. It's been heaven and I'm sure I'll always remember this time so fondly. 


But this in between time is a strange one and I didn’t quite expect to feel as impatient as I have done. You know that she could arrive at any time so you make few plans, staying fairly close to home and taking it easy. You feel huge, this end stage was always going to be the hardest, you’re limited in what you can do, you have to take a little breather when walking up a hill and tell people to slow down a bit, you have to pee just five minutes after the last time.

Although I always expected her to be late {even though rationally I shouldn’t even be calling it late as it’s a due time not due date, and so so many pregnancies do just last for 41/42 weeks.} but then I reached 37 weeks and something in me just kind of shifted? I think it was two of my bump buddies having their babies early that then made me realise how she could arrive, so why isn’t she kind of thing. I know, totally irrational, but there’s the huge mix of hormones and emotions which don’t help. There’s the impatience of wanting to meet her already, feeling prepared, I’ve been off for a while now which has been such a lovely relaxing time but there’s only so much batch cooking/going for coffee shop dates/sitting in the garden you can do. I desperately want to start this new role of being a mother already, to meet her. In my head I keep picturing the next few weeks and I just cannot wait to start it all. It feels like Christmas on steroids x a million. Except you don't know when that Christmas will begin.

There’s also this anxiety that creeps in. I had a nightmare about birth/the baby the other night, the kind which wakes you up a sobbing mess, which has haunted me ever since and I just want to know it will happen soon and that she’ll be ok and really be here kind of thing.

There’s also that feeling of knowing that it will happen, birth I mean, so you just want to do it before you think too much about it. It’s like, I imagine, going to jump out of a plane or something. You’ve prepared for it for months, you feel excited, you just want to DO it. But then you wait, and you don’t know which day will be the day. You don’t have any control over when will be your time. Will it be in the middle of the night? Should you stay home? You start to overthink it and all the different scenarios and suddenly it all feels very real.

Then there’s also that thought that the longer you wait, the bigger the baby will be as the pounds get packed on, the harder it will feel and be to push her out? As your due date approaches you know that the hospital will start trying to get an induction date booked in {why are hospitals so obsessed with that?! I know that you have every right to question that by the way if it gets to that stage but maybe by then you do just want an end date} and you desperately don’t want that so that makes you want her to come even sooner just to avoid that stage.

And THEN, you feel, you KNOW, that stressing won’t bring her any sooner. And you must remember all the amazing things you learned from hypnobirthing. That your baby will be born at the perfect time. That your baby knows how and when to be born. That oxytocin and feeling relaxed and safe will encourage labour, not worrying or sniffing clary sage or bouncing on your birth ball like a mad woman.

Your rational brain kicks in, and you start to make a few more plans for the next couple of weeks just to keep busy and keep that oxytocin going. A watched pot never boils and all that. Plus, this time is so so wonderful. The anticipation, the excitement, the guilt free relaxing, the summer days {now that the sun decided to come back}, you’ll never get this time again. I really am making the most of it as everyone tells you to do {but also I love how lots of people messaged on Instagram to say it’s ok if you are done with this time and feel impatient and ready}. I also love how people have said to make the most of keeping her to yourself before you’re separated, which is such a lovely way to think of it. And of course, the minute she arrives, I’m sure you’ll never look back and think ‘I wish you’d come a week earlier’.

I’m writing this down in a way just to look back on and laugh at my naivety and impatience in this clary sage scented time. 

It is weird though, the not knowing when it will happen part, kind of not being able to mentally prepare for that? You prepare by getting your hospital bag ready and talking about a plan for when labour begins, but you have to then just get on with regular life for the next few weeks, so then you think 'wait, am I actually prepared?' as it feels like it will never happen if that makes sense. It's just the not knowing which is the hardest part.

So, baby, I’m going to stop consciously wishing you here. Although of course you know it’s what I want more than anything in the world. And I’ll enjoy a few, one? five? twenty?!, more summer days in the meantime as the sweet, sweet anticipation builds. It won’t be long ❤️. 

A few more bump photos from these past few weeks because I know that I'll miss it so much when it's gone!;

Oiled up!

Celebrating our anniversary a week early, just in case. The last time we were here, we'd just found out about this baby bee! 

last year's dress.

R <3 xx 

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  1. Just to alleviate the big baby = hard labour thought. I had a 9lb massive, and because he was big, gravity did most of the work. It was a quick, “easy” labour. He also turned up at 42 weeks, just before induction. There’s a theory that the length of your cycle affects the length of your pregnancy - I’m a 31 day cycle and that totally bore out in my length of pregnancy.

  2. Both of my daughters were two weeks overdue and the threat of induction brought on labour the day before! Thinking of your Mum who must be in a fever of excitement and worry! Just breathe through the contractions! lots of love x


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