So crazy to say that this will be my last pregnancy update! I’m 38 weeks pregnant, and babytime is just around the corner! I still have lots of pregnancy content planned for this month, since I was contingency planning on going over my due date! The short version of this update is that if our baby doesn’t turn around, we’ll be meeting him by the end of this week! Read on for my third-trimester must-haves, struggles, and our change in birth plan.
My first and second trimesters flew by! I had heard that the last trimester seems to take forever, and I was totally waiting for the forever part to kick in. I think If I were to last until 42 weeks I could see how time slows almost to a stop, but even still as I approach 39 weeks I think my entire pregnancy has flown by. Even during the third-trimester, the days might be long but the weeks sure fly by!
Fun Things First
We were fortunate enough to have had two baby showers where our friends and family celebrated with us and gifted us so many wonderful things! We’re feeling very blessed and very prepared with plenty of things to get us started as first time parents.
In addition to wonderful gifts from friends and family, we made some purchases this past trimester to complete the nursery as well as baby’s first wardrobe for what I hope will last the first few months.
For the past several weeks Mathew and I had a standing date night every Thursday to make the most of our time together before we become a trio. We went out to dinner a few times, ordered in and watched a movie, and last week we went to see Wicked the musical.
I’ve spent some time pampering myself and relaxing as well as nesting and organizing and cleaning around the house.
The nursery is finished, Mathew and I prepared a bunch of freezer meals the other week, and we have our car seat ready to go. Over the weekend we did a few last minute things, grocery shopping, cleaning around the house, and even cleaned both of our cars. We’re feeling pretty prepared.
Some women really have rough pregnancies. I’ve heard from friends and read from other bloggers everything from extended and horrific morning sickness, horrible heartburn, needing to be on bedrest, awful back pain, pelvic pain and sciatic nerve pain. I wouldn’t necessarily say that pregnancy is ‘easy’ but my experience has been pretty great compared to some of the stories and warnings I’ve heard.
My worst symptom has been carpal tunnel. I didn’t even realize it was a pregnancy symptom. Because of extra fluid and blood volume, some pregnant women get carpal tunnel in their hands/wrists as the fluid presses against nerves.
After about I week of waking up in the night because my hands and arms were falling asleep, I broke down and ordered carpal tunnel braces for my wrists on Amazon. I look like a super cute rollerblader when I get ready for bed every night. 🙂
I still get tingling at night and occasionally numbness, but the braces have helped a ton. I’m looking forward to baby’s arrival and having all this fluid and extra blood flush out of my system so I can go back to normal. My poor hands are so swollen and my fingers feel and look like sausage links!
My other pregnancy symptom has been a sore back. I’ve been seeing a chiropractor and scheduling monthly massages. My third-trimester goal was to fit in two 90-minute massages, and I have my second one scheduled for later today (praise Jesus!). Otherwise, ice and Epsom salt baths have been helpful in easing soreness and discomfort from back pain.
Other than that, I had heartburn and reflux in the middle of the night only a handful of times. I try not to eat past 7:30/8:00 at night so I can digest before laying down in bed. I get short of breath and tired more easily. The most intense workout I’ve had recently was walking up four flights of stairs. I usually stick to short walks.
I only started getting Braxton Hicks contractions in the last week or so, and I don’t have any other labor symptoms at this time. I feel uber pregnant, but I really can’t complain.
Products I’ve Loved
Aside from my wrist braces, there are a few things I continue to love and some others I couldn’t have made it without.
Yoga Ball – I purchased a yoga ball a few weeks ago. It’s so nice to sit on to stretch out my hips or to use when I work from home. I was planning on also using it during labor while we were at home, but unless our baby moves head-down that won’t happen.
Ice Pack – This large ice pack is perfect for a sore back. I wrap it in a kitchen towel and sit with it for 20 minutes at a time.
Epsom Salt – I’ve loved taking baths with Epsom Salt before bed. I’ll make a warm bath, dissolve some salt, turn down the lights, and diffuse some essential oils to relax. It’s a nice way to end the day, and the Epsom salt helps with sore muscles.
Pregnancy Wedge – Early in the third-trimester my mom surprised me with this pregnancy wedge from the same company that makes the Boppy nursing pillow. It was under $20 and fits like a wedge between the bed and my bump. It offers great support and is small enough that it’s easy to bring with me in the night when I turn from one side to the other. I highly recommend it!
Coconut Oil – I’ve had a few stretch marks crop up over the last few weeks, and I’ve been using coconut oil on my belly to ease any itching. If I notice any dry skin, I just slather on some coconut oil and the dryness goes away quickly. It’s a miracle oil.
In West Michigan, we are blessed with several choices in health care providers, hospitals, etc. It’s a great place to live for many reasons, but our community truly does have some great options for giving birth and prenatal classes.
There are several classes offered through our local hospital. I actually help teach the car seat class for expectant parents. We decided to skip that one since I’ve got all the info memorized. 🙂
We took a breastfeeding class, which was so great. I obviously haven’t put the information into practice yet, but I feel like I won’t be completely lost once baby arrives or if I start having any issues. It was also helpful to learn about resources that are available, like a free support group that meets weekly. If you’re expecting and can find a breastfeeding class in your area, I highly recommend it!
Our hospital offers a birthing class, but at the recommendation of my healthcare provider, we decided to consider other options. We were really hoping for a natural birth (you can read more about our change in birth plan below) and we decided to sign up for a GentleBirth workshop. If you’ve never heard of GentleBirth, it’s a program that bases methods on evidence-based research from around the world. It combines science with practices like mindfulness and self-hypnosis to provide expectant parents with information and tools to have a positive birth experience. There’s not a ton of information about it online, and if you’re not too familiar with natural births and non-medicated birth techniques, it can seem a little ‘out there.’
I found the workshop to be super informative. The workshop came with three months use of the GentleBirth app as well, which has additional resources like a guidebook and self-paced training. If you’re interested in more info, I’m happy to share it.
The only other thing we did class-wise was a hospital tour. It was nice to see where we would go, what the labor and delivery rooms look like, and understand the process of coming through triage and getting admitted.
A Change in Our Birth Plan
As I mentioned above, we were hoping for a natural birth. I’ve had lots of people say, oh, you’ll definitely want the epidural! when I express my wish for a natural labor. I haven’t really shared much about my hopes for birth mostly because I think it’s a pretty personal thing.
Anyway, no matter what anyone else said, I was totally preparing for a natural birth with very little intervention and feeling great about everything. Then, at 37 weeks we had a scan to check the position of the baby and learned that he was breech.
At first I super disappointed. We scheduled an ECV (External Cephalic Version) with an OB at our office and I started researching alternative ways to encourage baby to flip. I was doing inversions, going to the chiropractor, envisioning the baby doing a turn, listening to a breech turn hypnosis track on my GentleBirth app, putting peppermint oil on the top of my stomach, practicing breech tilts, and praying.
None of my at home methods were successful, and sadly neither was our ECV. Baby boy just likes where he’s at!
Even though our version wasn’t successful in getting baby to flip, and I really was hoping for a natural birth, both Mathew and I are feeling at peace about our c-section. There is a chance our baby could still turn head-down, but I sort of have this feeling he’s not interested in moving. 🙂 At this point, I’m feeling thankful that he’s healthy and that we’ll be celebrating his arrival soon.
I’m totally testing the limits of the fabric of this chambray tunic, which isn’t even maternity. Haha! It was much cuter when I wore it here and it wasn’t as stretched in the middle. I sized up to a medium for the bump, but I think it’s about time to retire it. 🙂
Outfit Details: Chambray Tunic – J.Crew Factory | Leggings – Target, non-maternity here | crossbody – similar | ankle boots – Clarks | earrings – BaubleBar | lipstick – L’Oreal Infallible Paints in Spicy Blush
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Any advice or words of wisdom as we prep for our c-section and get ready to meet our baby?