Today, we’re taking another side-step from home renovations and bringing you an update on my pregnancy! I can’t quite believe I’m writing a Trimester 3 summary already. This pregnancy has just whizzed by. And yet, I’ve already forgotten a lot of what it felt like earlier on, so I’m really glad I took the time to document it. If we’re lucky enough to have more children in the future, I can’t wait to read these back and remember how much I loved being pregnant – and I really have.
Finishing work for maternity leave just shy of 37 weeks felt pretty amazing. Technically my maternity only began this week at 38 weeks pregnant but I saved as much annual leave as I could to take the extra few days for myself. And I’m so happy I did. Leaving work was actually really tough. I had a good sob on the way home after everyone was so lovely and supportive and it made me realise just how lucky I am that, when the time comes to return next year, it’ll be somewhere I’m happy to return to. Saying that, working full time with 2 hours a day in the car due to roadworks and traffic, as well as home renovations on the evenings and weekends, was leaving me exhausted, and it was just the right time for me to take the time out to concentrate on myself and my family. Maternity leave so far has been a wonderful mixture of afternoon naps, training our newly rescued ferrets, clearing through baby clothes, trying t0 get the house tidy, and just relaxing. Might as well make the most of it whilst I’m waiting for the pain of labour to kick in!
Crikey we’ve had a lot going on. We’ve had plenty happening at the house including the installation of a new front door, we’ve plastered and painted the hallway, wallpapered the lounge, added decking in the garden, ordered a new sofa, and bought carpet for the stairs! Updates coming on everything I haven’t got around to blogging yet – soon. Aside from working, Joe and I took a weekend off from everything when I was 30 weeks pregnant, and booked into a beautiful hotel in the Lake District. It was bittersweet really – the hotel was amazing, we enjoyed the spa facilities and the swanky restaurant. Joe got to try some new tipples of Whiskey and I binged on hot chocolate. But it was also a bit of a goodbye to our life as a twosome. A lovely one, but I was suddenly very aware that this was a precious last trip with Joe all to myself. For now anyway.
At about 34 weeks pregnant I had my baby shower hosted by my sister. She did a smashing job! Baby was spoiled rotten with pressies but it was just awesome to have the favourite ladies in my life all together for the day to catch up and eat cake. I wish I could do it all over again!
It was also in trimester 3 that we took our NHS antenatal classes. Whilst I didn’t learn too much I didn’t already know thanks to my addiction to BabyCenter forums, I think for the dads it was great (some even had notepads!). I would definitely recommend them, and as ours were so informal and ran by lovely midwves who I’d already met at some of my check-ups, and with it being quite informal, it generally made me feel so much more relaxed about what’s ahead.
Trimester 3 brought with it hunger. As normal I’ve been munching on dry cereal and lots of milkshakes opting for little and often when it comes to meals. I tried desperately not to binge on junk this trimester but it was also my birthday so I’d be lying if I said cake didn’t play a part in these final weeks… Whilst I took a walk every day in trimester 2, and I think that has helped me reduce the amount of podge I’ve put on, it was a bit more difficult in trimester 3 since walking for more than 15 minutes was giving me the sensation that my pelvis was going to drop off. I suppose, sat here at almost 39 weeks pregnant it’s about time I should be getting some back pain and tiredness but I’m certainly not going to complain about it after such a great pregnancy. It’s true, I’m waddling like John Wayne now as the baby’s head is in my pelvis and ready for take off, although I’m trying to parade this new style as ‘pregnancy swag’. I think in reality I’m just stomping around like an elephant in search of my pregnancy glow, which by the way, still hasn’t shown up.
Not exactly a symptom as such, but the only real downfall of being pregnant that I can think of is the absolutely horrendous effect it’s had on my nails. Normally I have some seriously strong and indestructable claws. I don’t feel bad about bragging this because once upon a time I would chew them off and I worked hard to quit biting them! But since being pregnant, I swear even a gust of wind and they just drop off. Baby has clearly been hogging all my calcium.
A photo posted by Karen Clough (@karenanita) on
One thing that has really increased this trimester is the amount of Braxton Hicks (although Joe calls them Dawson’s Creeks) as my body warms up for that labour thing… They’re not painful at all despite technically being practice contractions, but they sure trigger baby to wriggle and squirm loads, which leads me swiftly onto…
Baby has been mega active just like she has been throughout the entire pregnancy. I’ve had kicks in my ribs. Punches in the groin. Elbows prodding out of my belly button. And I’m just so addicted to watching these movements. I’ve probably sent a million videos to relatives where we play “guess the limb”. She’s particularly active throughout the night though as baby tries to stretch out, giving the appearance of a Saturday Night Fever type of dance move erupting from my stomach. It’s very odd to see when it happens, but let’s hope this disco diva chills out a bit more during the night when she’s made an appearance! This trimester, I did have one scare where I thought baby had stopped moving and I went to hospital just to be on the safe side, as the midwives recommend. I was monitored for a while and given a day of bed rest. Thankfully, it turned out to be just a very comfy little baby. Phew. Probably tired from kicking her mum to bits all night…
I’m starting to get those comments now. And for any woman who has been pregnant before, I’m sure you’ll know what I mean! “Wow, you’re HUGE”, “Ooo you must be about to pop!” – those kind. I’m measuring perfectly for my size and am very lucky that I’ve not really put any weight on this year. The bump though is huge, granted. Huge for my frame at least. There’s a fully formed human in there after all. I think I’ve definitely reached the stage where it feels like I’ve smuggled a bowling ball and it’s brought with it my first stretchmark. Nooooo. Actually, I’m lucky I only have the one. I’m using Bio Oil every day, because it’s all that’s left in my collection (I personally loved the Cussons Mum & Me Stretch Mark Cream and the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Stretch Mark Cream but I’ve run out dang it!) I know a lot of women love Bio Oil, but I personally don’t appreciate being basted like a turkey on a daily basis. Oh well, needs must.
I feel quite sad that my pregnancy is coming to an end. Of course, I’m absolutely brimming with excitement to meet my first born – I think this much is obvious. But I’ve genuinely loved it so much. Whilst I’m naturally a tiny bit nervous about the impending birth, I’m almost in denial that it’s approaching and could be any day now, because it’s just crept up so unbelievably fast. We are still decorating this week and really it’s time to pack away the paint brushes and take these final few days of quiet to build up some energy for what’s to come. I’ve officially been prescribed sleep and sex by the midwife, and I kind of wish my mum wasn’t there when she did ha!
With a first time baby expected any time from 38 – 42 weeks I could be sat here for quite some time but I’m determined to make the most of it and I’ll certainly be dreaming of all those lovely pates and cheeses and wines that I’ll finally be allowed to eat again come Christmas time.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my trimester updates. I’m glad I did them because I don’t often read many positive pregnancy stories (although for anyone suffering with all the sickness and heartburn and the like, I really do feel for you!). I feel very blessed to have had such a smooth sailing 9 months and I’m really hoping this patterns continues through to labour!
I know this is a little different from my normal posts. I’ll be doing a nursery tour soon when the room is actually tidy! Wish me luck for the birth. I’m so excited to meet my little girl.