As I prepare to make a start on the third instalment of my pregnancy series (you can start at the beginning here), I am currently 37 weeks pregnant and sitting on a swissball with my legs apart wide enough to let my big belly hang comfortably. I’m at the stage where sitting has even become uncomfortable as I can feel the weight of my belly squishing against my legs; and oh lordy – who would’ve thought that simply standing would become so exhausting!!
Ah, the joys of being heavily pregnant. All in all though I must confess to feeling pretty good, and my heart is full to the brim with happiness as I know I could meet my little angel any day now.
My beautiful baby girl is showing off her strength with frequent jabs, stretches and squirmy movements that often feels like she’s trying to break free. And I thought the movements were supposed to slow down at this stage due to there being less room?! Not with my bubba – they continue to intensify and I absolutely love it as it brings me such sweet comfort feeling her presence.
At this stage of my pregnancy it’s hard not to hide my utter elation and relief at making it to 37 weeks gestation. Let me explain…
To be able to birth at the Family Birth Centre you must be at least 37 weeks pregnant. Even if you went into labour at 36 weeks + 6 days, you would unfortunately be forced to birth next door at King Edward Memorial Hospital (still a fantastic hospital very pro natural birth) and unable to have a water birth.
For a first time mama, making it to 37 weeks is usually not a problem as a vast amount will go over their due date; but my baby girl has had her head low and engaged for quite a few weeks now that it had me anticipating an early arrival. In fact, I’m pretty certain her head has been down since early on in the second trimester as I’ve felt pelvic pressure for months.
But she’s hanging in there, quite literally, although I feel I may not make it to 40 weeks…we’ll just have to wait and see when she’s ready to make her earth-side debut! Eeek!
Preparing For Birth
Preparing for the big day (emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually) has been quite a surreal experience as I’m sure other pregnant women and mothers would agree with. I think it’s because there’s so many unknown’s as to how the birth is going to play out, and because as a maternal woman, I’ve imagined this day for years and years and now this day is almost here…totes surreal!
Nonetheless, there have a been a few practices I’ve been doing to get me as prepared as I can be.
// Hypnobirthing – Gav and I attended 5 private classes with our wonderful Doula, and I truly feel more calm about the birth from having these sessions. I’ve particularly enjoyed listening to the meditation most days at home, and the affirmations whilst I’m driving.
// Hiring a Doula – I always loved the idea of having a Doula present at the birth for extra support for both myself and my fiance. Gav was a little unsure about this at first, as he was about hypnobirthing (let’s face it, they’re not exactly two things blokes talk about!), but now he feels so relieved that there’s going to be someone else there to guide us through the process (other than our midwife of course), as it’s nerve wracking and scary for our partners too.
//Moving my body – this trimester has seen me reduce the amount of gym workouts and gravitate towards gentler, slower exercise in the way of prenatal yoga and pilates. I’ve enjoyed doing some walking in our local park, a few ocean swims and there’s been no escaping loads of incidental exercise (we live in a two story house!). Labour is like a marathon, so light exercise during pregnancy is a good thing.
// Natural therapies – I’ve continued with monthly acupuncture and just started this week with my pre-labour treatments which I’ll have each week until the birth. I’m taking homeopathic tablets to soften my cervix, probiotics specifically for pregnant women that reduce allergies in babies, and I’ve kept up with my supplements and Auyvedic tea mentioned in my second trimester post. I’ve also snuck in a few divine massages and reflexology for sheer relaxation. Pregnant women sure do deserve some pampering I say!
// Perineal massage – I started this at 36 weeks. It’s aim is to stretch the perineum to assist in the last stage of birth and reduce tearing.
// Watched a few water births on YouTube – knowledge is power!
// With the help from my Doula, I’ve written out my hospital birth preferences in case I require intervention at King Edward.
Third Trimester Symptoms
I had heard and read that this was often the trimester when some not-so-nice symptoms could pop up! Here’s what I’ve been experiencing…
- ‘Lightning crotch’ – yep, this is a real thing. Shooting sensations in my crotch due to baby’s head bumping against nerves. Only lasts a few seconds but it’s most unpleasant!
- Sinusitis – due to an increase in progesterone levels. It’s at it’s worst when I’m sleeping, so much so that Gav has been sleeping in our spare room as he says my breathing sounds like Darth Vader. Hehe.
- Pelvic pressure – I’ve been feeling like there’s been a rockmelon in my pelvic area for months now. I don’t notice it when I’m sitting or lying down though, it’s only when I’m standing and gravity comes into play. My midwife was concerned at first that I may have a prolapse as this symptom began in my second trimester which is not as common. Thankfully, all has been okay.
- Mood swings – I’ve had a very short fuse in this trimester, like I did in the first. I had been warned of it’s unceremonious return in this trimester, but I had hoped this wouldn’t be true for me. Not to be unfortunately. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to pull the “but I’m pregnant, it’s my hormones”, card out!! Poor Gavey, but bless his heart – he told me recently that he thinks I’ve been pretty good throughout the pregnancy other than a few grumpy episodes (I think he’s just being nice).
- Swelling – mostly on the very hot days, but in recent weeks my ankles, feet and fingers have consistently remained swollen. The positive of this is that my engagement ring now fits perfectly!
- Sugar/ carb cravings – I’ve definitely eaten more carbs in this trimester than the other two, which is fine as the third trimester is when baby puts on the most weight so it’s normal to feel more hungry. I’ve still been conscious of my sugar intake however, and I make sure I eat plenty of protein and veggies each day. I have been eating more fruit mainly in the stone fruit variety – organic plums have been my daily obsession.
- Low iron – picked up at 28 weeks and is very common during pregnancy. It’s not frightening low, but definitely enough to be given a script for some iron tablets. I feel a lot better now as overwhelming fatigue had really set back in.
Preparing For Our Baby’s Arrival
Nesting and setting up her nursery has been so much fun! I’ve loved shopping for all the bits and bobs needed for a bubba, especially the clothes…baby clothing is just the cutest. Here’s a run down of some of the things I’ve gotten…
// Boori cot and change table – in classic white, plus for Christmas my mum gave us the most gorgeous antique cane bassinet which she restored and repainted in cream and pale pink…it’s my favourite item along with the pram.
// Grovia modern cloth nappies (MCN) – I love these nappies! I’m going to start off with a combo of disposable and MCN and see how we go. I may end up converting to the cloth nappies entirely (better on the environment and you end up saving heaps of money), but I just want to test them out first. It’s definitely a good idea to let your bub have some nappy off time, and the MCN are just so soft on baby’s skin. I’ve also bought some bamboo nappy liners to use for both the disposable and MCN. These are great for disposable nappies as your bub’s skin will be against the soft, breathable liner, and fab for the cloth nappies as it will prevent staining on the cloth insert. I bought my nappies from Booty Crawl here in Perth.
// Gumtree finds – so many fantastic buys that have saved us loads of cashola. I highly recommend taking a gander and you can also check out Kidspot Baby & Kids Market that has monthly markets around the country. This is what I’ve found on Gumtree:
- A good as new leather nursing/ rocking chair never been used
- A second-hand baby bath and stand in great nic
- A second-hand Oroton original nappy bag that looks brand new except for some minor wear and tear at the base of the bag
- A brand new Olympus OM-D E-M10 still in it’s box with a warranty (I’ve wanted one of these cameras for yonks). This sexy camera has been my best buy…I saved $700!!!
- A second-hand IKEA 3 draw pine chest of draws in perfect condition which I’ve painted with chalk paint. I only painted the draws and knobs (pale pink draws and gold knobs) and left the rest in its original pine colour. It looks so pretty.
// Baby clothing tip – whilst it’s super easy to go nuts on buying loads of cute baby clothing, the reality is that babies grow fast and you don’t really know exactly how long your baby will be until he/she is out, or what style (i.e. studs or zips) you’re going to prefer. I’ve bought a combo of 0000 and 000 sized clothing to start off with, and have kept tags on one full bag of 0000 items to return if my little one comes out longer and heavier than expected.
My Final Thoughts
As I finish up this post, I am now 38 weeks and feeling heavy but great! I’m putting it down to the long, deep sleeps I’ve been having over the last couple of weeks (and plenty of naps). Definitely soaking these up before bub arrives.
As I embark on this exciting new chapter in my life, I can honestly say that I feel ready for it. Pretty much from the moment I found out I was pregnant, my energy, focus and purpose in life has been centred on my growing babe and motherhood. So much so that I’ve really noticed a change in my dedication towards the work I do…I haven’t felt the same level of ambition and drive, although I can sense it coming back in full force a little later in the year.
I’ve come to realise that this current lack of interest is largely due to the fact I can sense a big shift and possible change of direction (or just an added element) in my coaching once I’ve had my baby, so I feel as though I’m waiting to see how this may or may not transcend.
I feel open and expansive to the thought of something new, and I’m so looking forward to sharing my journey with you all.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my pregnancy series so far. As always, I love hearing from you, so please feel free to leave a comment below.