Now I’m in my third trimester – not quite ready for baby yet, but the end is in sight for my pregnancy. It’s mostly an awe-inspiring and overwhelming feeling to know that we are going to have a new baby in our lives very soon. My second trimester was full of different feelings and issues than my first trimester (read about my first trimester here).
Symptoms, Issues & Body Changes
- Pain – Sciatica – I noticed around week 18 that I was having a new pain in the left side of my back and hip that sometimes would travel down my butt and upper thigh. It was nearly debilitating for a couple of weeks while I was working full-time and trying to get relief. On the recommendation of my doula, I started going to a chiropractor who not only is a mom herself, but knows how to specifically treat pregnant women. After the first session, I was shocked that I had immediate relief. I’ve gone back several times but I can’t believe the difference it has made.
- Weight Gain – By the start of my 3rd trimester (28 weeks), I’d gained roughly 20 pounds. Not too little, not too much. I originally hoped to only gain 25 pounds total, but I’d already hit that around 32 weeks. Now I’m hoping for a total gain of 30 pounds or so. I might not succeed, but it’s a goal.
- Baby Movements – On a typical day there are lots of baby movements, but not necessarily all day long. Some days I won’t feel movement for a while, then I’ll have a five or ten minute period of intense movement. It’s not so much straightforward kicking, but more rolling and pushing on the outside and internal pushing/pressure. Often baby will push on my bladder and boy does it burn!
- Fatigue – I haven’t had terrible fatigue (knock on wood) but some days I do feel it. I’m trying to walk every night, and I notice by the time my 20 minute walk is done, my body is ready for a break. The extra weight and pull of my body makes even simple walking more challenging.
- Sleep – I typically go to bed by 9 p.m. and wake up between 6:30 and 7:30. Between those hours, I might wake up 2-4 times to use the restroom, and briefly wake up to roll over 6-10 times. I’m handling it pretty well, which is good because I’ll need to wake up plenty when the baby is born.
- Bump Size – At my last appointment my fundal height was measuring exactly on target for where I was in my pregnancy. During both 2nd trimester ultrasounds, baby was in right around the 50th percentile. I definitely look pregnant, but I don’t think I’m extraordinarily big in the belly.
- Mood Swings and Anxiety – After the shock of pregnancy wore off after the first few weeks, I sailed through pregnancy with no anxiety at all. Having struggled off and on with depression and anxiety my whole life, I was very happy about this. However here and there lately, I’ve had bits of anxiety about impending birth. Sometimes I’ll find myself feeling a bit weepier than normal. Nothing too intense and it passes within 15 or 20 minutes.
New Habits I’ve Adopted
- Mindfulness – This is what sticks out to me when I think of new habits for my pregnancy. I’ve been doing a lot of reading in preparation for natural childbirth, and I try to fill my mind with awareness, calm, acceptance, and positive thinking.
- Snoogle – I couldn’t sleep without this pillow. I tuck it between my upper thighs and it goes all the way to my ankles. It is so comfy to snuggle with this every night. It does take up a lot of room in bed, but it’s worth it. It really helps with sciatica and muscle cramps.
- Ina May Gaskin – her book “Guide to Childbirth” and her Tedx Talk – Her book was invaluable in giving me insight and confidence into a birth without medical intervention. The personal birth stories were empowering. The other half of the book was informative and factual information about childbirth, practices, and insight into having a low/no-intervention birth.
- The Business of Being Born documentary – This was the first time I’d watched this documentary, although I heard about it when it was first released. An informative but still entertaining piece. Here is a direct link to rent on YouTube.
- Mindful Birthing by Nancy Bardacke – I just finished this book and really enjoyed its insights into staying mindful during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. The book I just started reading is Hypnobirthing by Marie F. Mongan.
- Organic decaf coffee – I love a cup of coffee every morning, and about 3 or 4 times a month, my husband and I stop at Starbucks. I always have organic decaf at home and the office, and when at Starbucks I have been getting either a plain decaf Frappuchino or, when it was colder, a hot decaf.
Now that my pregnancy is down to a few weeks, I’m trying to finish buying all the necessities, get the house prepared, and get myself mentally prepared. I still have to wash clothes and cloth diapers, pack a hospital bag and diaper bag, install the car seat, and clean second-hand baby items like the bassinet and swing. The countdown is on for baby #2 and although part of me is overwhelmed, I’m also really excited to meet our baby!
If you’re pregnant or have a little one, I’d love to know your most used and loved products for the first few months!