We are getting super close folks! We’re in week 38 of pregnancy and full term! That means baby boy can come as he pleases! In this late phase of pregnancy there are some real lessons I’ve learned. Some say that the third trimester is the toughest and boy were they right! For the most part, I think my pregnancy has been rather smooth. Yes, there were some discomfort and aches, but nothing I thought I couldn’t handle. Fast forward to the third trimester and it’s like an entirely different pregnancy experience.
I’ve read enough books, blogs, and spoken to enough people to know that the third trimester can be taxing, but I don’t think I quite understood it until it happened. I’m sharing my personal experience and as every pregnant woman knows, it varies from person to person.
- Lack of sleep: As my belly grows sleeping has become not only a challenge, but impossible. Finding the right position to get comfortable doesn’t really exist. I’ve resorted to building a pillow fort and sleeping semi-upright to relieve the discomfort. And turning from side to side is like moving a mountain, my bones and joints crack at each movement.
- Non-stop bathroom visits: On top of not sleeping, baby boy has now positioned himself comfortably on my bladder and the bathroom is now my best friend.
- Back pain galore: I’ve had back issues even before pregnancy and it has become increasingly worse as time goes on during the pregnancy. The weight of my belly has put a real strain on my back. It feels stiff and sore all the time, to the point that poor Daniel has to help me from a seated position to standing and vice versa. I often have to take breaks to sit and cooking has now become nearly impossible. I do all my prep work sitting and only stand for short periods.
- Penguin waddle: With my hips and cervix opening up preparing for birth, I’ve developed a penguin waddle. Daniel gets a kick out of it, but I look ridiculous.
- Braxton Hick’s Contractions: There is nothing “fake” about these contractions. They may not be due to labor, but they sure can pack a punch…literally.
- Hemorrhoids: TMI – I know, but this post is about the REALNESS of pregnancy and unfortunately this is part of the magic. With everything pushing down some things must come out and this is one of those terrible side effects.
- Constipation: Another uncomfortable side effect of pregnancy. Some women develop this early on during pregnancy, but mine came in the third trimester. Talk about feeling stuffed up!
- Itchy belly: As my belly grows and stretches to accommodate my growing little man, the belly gets so itchy!
- Stretch marks: I started using stretch mark preventative oils in my first trimester thinking it would save me from developing them… I was wrong. No amount of oil or buttery creams can save you from this. Luckily, I can’t see the damage since most of the stretch marks are under my belly, but once he comes out we’ll have to assess the damage.
- Trouble breathing: Breathing is the most natural thing your body does, but during this time, this can prove to be challenging. To be fair, I’ve been told that my size has a lot to do with it. I’m only 4’11” or 150 cm, so as my uterus grows there is very little room left. That means baby boy is crunched in there and sometimes so high up that I can’t breathe. For normal sized women, at some point the belly will drop usually in the later stages, but because I have so little room as is, he’s staying firmly high. Seriously, there is not separation from boob to belly…just continuous roundness. LOL.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS): This one is a new one for me. I’ve developed achy numbness in my hands and fingers. This usually happens more at night when I’m trying to sleep. It’s a constant ache which adds to the difficulty of sleeping. I try to shake them out, but nothing helps. The throbbing pain is constant.
- Leg cramps and numb toes: Like CTS, this happens mostly at night when I’m trying to sleep. My calves painfully cramp up and sometimes that causes some numbness in my toes. Like I said before, sleeping is impossible.
- Swelling: Some parts of my body have begun to swell up, mostly my fingers. I can no longer wear my wedding rings. Also, my ankles have began to swell a bit. But this is quite minor, I’ve seen some other pregnant women that swell up a lot, thankfully mine is on average.
- Congestion: I’m not sure if it’s because I caught a cold, but my nose has become very congested. I’m already having trouble breathing due to lack of space, but I’m also only breathing through one nostril.
- Rib kicks: During my second trimester I longed for baby boy’s movements and kicks. It was another magical time when you connect with the baby. In the third trimester, his sweet little kicks turns into some sort of UFC battle between you and him, and guess what… you’re losing. The daily jabs and kicks to the ribs is a reminder that HE is in charge and there isn’t anything you can do about it.
Okay, so that was a rather lengthy list of realness. Sorry to have to break it to you, but all of these things are supposedly “normal” during pregnancy. BUT there is a positive message to all this pain and suffering…when you’re this far along in pregnancy that means it’s almost over! And then you get to meet your little miracle baby. I’ve been told by trusted sources that you forget about EVERYTHING. I’m really hoping they are right!