About Me

A first time mum blogging the journey.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Third Trimester - The Countdown Begins....

  • Backache and rib ache
  • Heartburn
  • Swollen feet
  • Midwife checks
  • Nesting
  • Buying baby clothes
  • The head is engaged
  • Packing a maternity bag
  • Making a birth plan
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • The due date.
And so the backache continued... and along came rib ache.  The third trimester starts with a feeling of  'I am really getting the hang of this pregnancy thing' and ends with 'get this baby out of me'.  The third trimester can bring with it a number of discomforts, for me heartburn was another.  So avoiding acidic food, not eating late, and having a warm milky drink or peppermint tea were my remedies.  Now is the time to be really careful and take it easy.  Lots of women feel they have to work right up until the birth and continue doing all the housework, however it is easy to get run down and have all sorts of aches and pains.  At this point in the pregnancy it is hard to sit down/ stand up/ walk very far/ sit for very long and stay awake all day.... So what can you do?  Prepare for birth.  Birth is imminent.  Your baby could be early so its really time to get things ready for baby and to prepare yourself mentally and physically for birth.  

Just when you think nothing else can happen... your feet swell!  I have very tiny feet (size 3!) so its no wonder I had swollen feet carrying around all that weight.  I tried to keep my feet raised up whenever possible, wore comfortable shoes (not heels like Jessica Simpson) and moisturised them regularly.  Watch out for fluid retention, swollen hands and feet as it could be a sign of pre-eclampsia.  For more information on pre-eclampsia check out this link:

Your midwife checks become more frequent during the third trimester, they will feel your tummy to check where the baby is.  For me the baby was always in the correct position and always kicked the midwife!  They let you listen to the heartbeat of the baby, which was always reassuring.  I never got used to hearing her heartbeat, it always amazed me.  They also check your blood pressure at each visit, as it can vary a lot during pregnancy, also another sign for pre-eclampsia.  My midwife had very cold hands, I remember that....Towards your due date the baby will drop down further into your pelvis, and then begins the infamous 'pregnancy waddle'.  The midwife will monitor this and will be able to tell you when the head is engaged.  Once it is, birth could happen at anytime really.

My bump got in the way a lot!
My new garden
Nesting.  What a lovely term.  Some women get a sudden impulse to clean, decorate and organise (especially the nursery) towards the end of pregnancy, all preparation for baby.  At that time I was doing up an old cottage so was in full nesting mode.  Painting/decoration/sanding you name it!  On my tired days I would have to settle for making tea for the builders.  If you do get the overwhelming urge to nest, be careful and don't over do it!  You will need all your energy for birth.  

Your first trip to Mothercare is a right of passage for parents-to-be and feels both exciting and daunting.  It's not a shop you would have previously browsed in, you feel out of place, like everyone is staring at you and thinking 'you don't have a baby', you start to push your bump out to to justify your visit.  You suddenly realise you don't understand baby sizes and haven't considered half the stuff you need to care for a baby!  You feel swayed by the pricey but gorgeous baby outfits in Mamas and Papas as well as their nursery sets and cots.  I will post a breakdown of the baby things I believe you really need as the extras can really run away with your budget.  My mum washed all my baby vests for me before the baby was due, it was so surreal seeing them all hanging on the line.

Waiting for baby.

As the due date draws near, it is time to pack a maternity bag.  I kept putting it off and making list after list.  You can find many examples of lists online, I found this NHS video useful:


I will post what I used from my maternity bag, bearing in mind Poppy was born in summer.

During the final weeks of pregnancy you and your partner will make a birth plan and the midwife will write it in your notes, this allows you to have some control of where and how you give birth, for example at home or in a hospital, an active birth or a water birth.  My birth plan was to have my baby in a midwife led unit (as opposed to a hospital), thus ensuring as little medical interference as possible, with no pain relief apart from gas and air, a birth pool and a playlist on my i-pod.  Did I get this birth?  Well check out my post on the birth to find out.  

My due date was the 2nd July 2012.  That day came and went.  So did another 10 days.  Poppy was born the 12th July.  I was born on the day I was due (April fools day) so I had a feeling she may have been the same, I guess she was just fashionably late.  I like to think I had a nice comfy womb.  It's a strange day, you are really waiting for something to happen, Braxton hicks contractions, waters breaking, anything. You try to get on with your day as normal.  My partner was on edge at work all day, waiting for a phone call.  Lots of people contacted me, everyone is holding their breath, especially me.

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