You can find all of my posts about my pregnancy with Alice here.
The Third Trimester:
When the third trimester began, I could not believe that we were so close to finally meeting our girl. My mind was absolutely blown. Additionally, carrying the extra weight around because exhausting.
At the beginning of the 3rd trimester I had to do my 1 hour glucose test to make sure I didn’t have gestational diabetes. You’re supposed to fast a full 12 hours prior to the test, so for me that meant stopping eating around 7pm since I planned to get to the lab first thing in the morning. Given my penchant for frozen novelties throughout my pregnancy, this was like torture. To try and make it easier, I spent my last hour of the evening loading up on enchilada casserole, mint chocolate chip frozen yogurt and a Popsicle for good measure. After a long and hungry night I ate a couple of eggs and some toast washed down with the fruit punch flavored sugar water (not horrible if chilled, more like extra sugary Koolaid). I then went in, had my blood draw and went to work. The following Monday, I received a call from my OB’s office telling me that m test came back with slightly elevated glucose levels, indicating that I would need to do a 3 hour glucose test. If I failed that, then I would be diagnosed with gestational diabetes. As someone who went out of her way to make (mostly) healthy choices and eat some treats in moderation, I was crushed. I retrospect the hormones likely played a large role in my reaction to this. Luckily, after the 3 hour test (which was WAY worse because they didn’t chill the drink for this one) I found out that I did not have gestational diabetes.
Symptoms for this trimester included:
- Constipation- This continued on. To make things worse, the bigger I got, the more difficult it became to reach around myself, so I was constantly taking longer to try and get a good wipe. By the end I felt like I was doing yoga at the end of each bathroom break (and there were many).
- Exhaustion- More and more every day. Once in a while I might get a little light headed while grocery shopping. After long days I could definitely tell when I had overdone it.
- Hormonal Emotions- Continued. I had some frequent good cries over absolutely nothing. One time Justin and I were driving and discussing how it drives me nut when there’s anything on my windshield whereas he could drive in the rain for a while before turning on the wipers. Later that day he stopped to put gas in my car. He got out and started pumping the gas and while it was pumping he immediately started washing my slightly bug splattered windshield. Cue the sobfest. He returned to the car and said “what’s wrong?” and between sniffles I responded with “you’re just so good to me.”
- The Bump- continued to get larger and larger. I carried rather high until the very end when she dropped.
- Rib pain- this stayed constant and really sucked until Alice dropped at which point the pressure made made its was to my groin area (though my ribs still hurt, just not as much).
- Cravings- my appetite continued to grow with my bump. I lived for all of the same cravings mentioned in the 2nd trimester symptoms and whatever else sounded delicious at the time. Some of my more shameful moments include going the Schallers and ordering a cheeseburger and a hot dog while splitting fries and onion rings with J (in my defense, I couldn’t decide and I only ate half of each), eating 2 prepackaged shrimp cocktails alongside an entire fettucine alfredo packet (meant to be a side dish for an entire family- so disgusting) and eating multiple frozen novelties in one sitting. Besides some slip ups and some end-of-pregnancy emotional eating binges, I was pretty good about moderation.
- Bladder pressure- while need to pee was constantly there, toward the end A would periodically put terrible pressure on my bladder, I think she thought it was a pillow. This was extremely uncomfortable.
- Shortness of breath- which is expected since my organs became squished as my uterus grew. I also couldn’t lay on my back after 28 weeks.
- Lack of sleep- not so much due to peeing because that didn’t interrupt my sleep until the last couple weeks, more due to my body waking me up because I would end up on my back and get out of breath.
- Swollen ankles and fingers/wrists- this got really bad in May and June. My feet and ankles looked like Fat Bastard on Austin Powers and my rings stopped fitting around April. It was sad and gross. It was especially bad at work because we switched to a hotter office in May. By then I was only wearing dresses and my ankles stuck out like a sore thumb. So gross. Putting my feet up, limiting salt intake and guzzling water did nothing. It sucked a lot. My shoes went from a 7.5/8- 9.5 🙁
- Gestational Carpel Tunnel- who even knew this was a thing? I certainly didn’t. It was definitely worse in my left hand, I’m assuming because I use that the most. My fingers were frequently numb, my writing looked like chicken scratch and my hands actually hurt in the mornings.
- Discharge- Total TMI but you get extra discharge down there during pregnancy and it’s gross.
- Mucus Plug- I lost this at the beginning of my 39th week and it was gross. Justin joked that we should have saved if for A’s baby book.
- Movement- Movement became consistent around the middle of the 2nd Trimester. In general, I felt things later because I had an anterior placenta. By 32 weeks, A was a moving machine. She moved a lot in the morning and evening and periodically throughout the day. By the 3rd Tri I could tell when she was kicking, moving her hands, flipping (more the 2nd tri for that as she had more room at that time). People could feel it on the outside in the 2nd tri- she loved kicking for her daddy. At night we would watch my belly move- it was weird and kind of alien-ish. I could push on my belly to get her to move and that was cool.
- Face fullness- at the very end my face got slightly rounder but nothing too crazy.
- Heartburn- this happened only once in the last week of my pregnancy.
In general people were very supportive and said very nice things (especially people at work). A lot of people though I was carrying a boy based on how I was carrying all out front but a few people strangers guessed girl immediately. As with every pregnant woman some people said some very asinine things. During the 2nd tri I wandered into a Gap store in Lake Placid looking for maternity clothes. An older employee told me they don’t have them in that store and then looked me over and said that I should just get a men’s t-shirt and some markers to decorate it. I rolled my eyes and said absolutely not and walked away. Old bitch. In the 3rd tri, I asked an employee at a drug store which wrist brace was best for carpel tunnel. He showed me some options and then smiled and asked me when the twins were due. I told him I wasn’t having twins and he said “oh, so triplets?” at which point I told him that’s the last thing I need and turned and walked away. I’m not sure why anyone would ever think its appropriate to comment on another woman’s body, especially when she’s with child.
I was blessed enough to have 2 beautiful baby shower’s. The first was at the end of October and was thrown by my Aunt Anita and my sister. It was held at a local Italian restaurant. The other was at the end of may and held at my Aunt’s Fern’s house. It was thrown by my Aunt Fern and Aunt Mimi. Both shower’s were so special and so beautiful. Our host’s put so much thought into every detail, the food was excellent and I felt absolutely loved and spoiled at both. We registered at Buy Buy Baby and Amazon. I started a registry at Babies R Us but abandoned it pretty quickly when I realized how terrible their customer service was.
Since I’m a Pinterest addict, I started pinning various ideas for the baby room long before I was even pregnant. Once we found out A’s sex, J and I sat down one night and went through the ideas to figure out a color scheme (not theme because themes are for the birds). After that, I began gathering specific ideas for what I wanted and making purchases. Justin was the absolute best (as he is with everything). We started putting together the actual room quite late because A’s room was occupied by my brother inlaw until the end of March so it was a bit of a crunch, but J worked his butt of and the room looks fantastic (it’s the only finished room in the house). More on that in another post.
We attended 2 weddings during the 3rd tri. While these were fun weddings thrown for great couples, I have to say I really enjoy weddings much more when I can drink. That being said the first wedding had some amazing food, specifically late at night when sliders, fries and tomato soup with grilled cheese came out. The other wedding held around 38 weeks (yes, I did look like a beached whale, why do you ask?) had a pretty tasty cookie tray that I may or may not have made a few trip to…
J and I started kicking around names her and there before we got pregnant, but really didn’t delve into it until after I was pregnant. We agreed pretty early on a girl’s name but were having a very hard time with a boy’s name and never actually chose one. Thank goodness we had a girl because we had no idea what to do for a boy. We always loved the name Jack but won’t ever use it because we have a fantastic nephew who is already named Jackson which is definitely the next best thing. J really wanted to keep the names a secret, and though it was hard, I went along with it.
2 holidays that occurred during the 3rd tri were Mother’s and Father’s day. On Mother’s Day morning J, Macie and I did our usual Sunday morning activity (or lack thereof) of laying in bed and relaxing. Once we did get up, I made my way to downstairs to find that Justin had surprised me with a chest freezer. I’d been talking about wanting to freeze a bunch of meals and find a cheap used freezer on craigslist and Justin must have been listening. Additionally, and even more special, he has a piece of art made for me that is a picture of the sound waves of A’s heartbeat that he had recorded at a Dr’s appointment around 15 weeks. Needless to say that day was a sobfest of happy tears. He also made a sound bite of A’s name for both of our Mom’s (though refused to tell them her name- mean!). We planted some perennials in our front flower bed and then had brunch at my Aunt’s house.
We took maternity photos around 33 weeks. I was never a huge fan of these, but I couldn’t not document this time in our life and looking back I’m glad I did. Even though I don’t love my appearance at that point in the pregnancy, our family’s favorite photographer, Chelse of EIEIO Photography is the best at taking beautiful, real photos.
We took a few different classes in preparation for our baby. The first was a 4 week long birth class. We had to take one at a different hospital as the one at the hospital I delivered at was full. At the end of the day I’m glad we ended up in the one we did because the nurse running it was fantastic. We learned a lot it those classes. It was very emotional watching the birthing videos and in truth they scared the hell out of me, but I felt much better prepared for delivery as a result. While I didn’t read a ton of books on the actual birthing process, after my reaction to the videos, I decided to read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth which is a book on natural birthing. Now, I’ve never really been someone who is gung-ho about going natural, quite the opposite (no judgement either way, I just know I have a low pain tolerance). But I had heard that the first half is empowering stories of natural birth which I felt might help change my perspective about the birthing process after those videos. And while some of the things in the stories were a bit crunchy for me and I still was all for the meds, the book made a huge impact on my birthing labor and delivery experience. As a result of what I read, my mindset about the whole process changed to a much more positive place and I even picked up a few trick to get through the pain.
I Started reading parenting books relatively early on because I got sick of the pregnancy books (in my opinion, What to Expect only made me look at all that could go wrong, and I really just wanted to trust my body and the process and NOT freak out). The books that made the biggest impact were Bringing up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman (about the french parenting style) and French Kids Eat Everything by Karen Le Billon (about how the french teach their kids to eat). While no one style is the perfect fit for anyone, this no-nonsense style makes a lot of sense to me and I enjoyed reading both books.
As the end of my pregnancy drew closer and closer, I definitely slowed down quite a bit. I began to waddle and my energy dwindled. I cannot stress enough how truly blessed I am to have J as my husband. As with everything, he really stepped up and did everything he could to make the process as comfortable as possible. He picked up the slack for me, and was completely emotionally and at times physically supportive, never asking for a thing in return. I honestly don’t know how some women are able to get through pregnancy without a supportive partner like J. He really blew away my already high expectations and continues to as a father and spouse every day.
You can find all of my posts about my pregnancy with Alice here.