Experienced moms are often so kind to share their horror stories surrounding pregnancy stages, labor, birth, and postpartum. Maybe they think it will prepare us, but truthfully, is one mom’s experience always another’s? This list, however, of third trimester fun facts are things that I wish people told me about when I had my first many years ago. Not to scare me, just simply to know that what I’m feeling is normal and shouldn’t be alarming when it begins. As I’m nearing 33 weeks myself, it’s also my way of formally complaining. I’m so uncomfortable, y’all!
The lightning bolt sensation in your cervix. It is swift and mighty, taking your breath away. There is some debate on if it means your cervix is dilating or simply the baby pressing on a strange nerve connected to your cervix.
Different than the lightning flashes, this refers to the pressure which feels like “you’ve been beaten in the crotch with a baseball bat” according to fellow pregnant momma, Deanna. Or, maybe you can identify with feeling like a bowling ball is between your legs. Either way, it’s not exactly comfortable.
Ninja Baby Trying to Escape
Baby is now several pounds and bones are hardened, which are all great things development wise and adds to the “aw” factor in ultrasounds, but man, those bones can hurt! Tiny feet, elbows, and knees can be a comedy to watch but also makes you feel a step closer to having your body back to yourself again.
Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (aka SPD Pain)
I had no idea what this was until my fourth pregnancy when suddenly in the third trimester it hurt to lift my leg or walk. It feels like your pubic bone is being sawed in half! Thanks to relaxin that pumps through your body in preparation for birth, and often a less stable core and hips, it basically is the place where the pubic bones meet rub together. Ow. I’ve learned that taking Arnica tablets when it is at its worse helps me get through my day, plus avoiding certain movements help to prevent it for me.
With a baby’s bum stuck in your ribs, it feels like they are bruised. Arnica, again, saves the day for me there and keeping a better posture so there is more room for baby helps prevent it.
Okay, Just Uncomfortable All Over
Are you sensing the theme here of different pains? Maybe we should just sum it up saying we hurt all over. I feel like an old fragile lady– hurting to bend over, stand up, roll over, and walk. All things that were once was so easy.
The Silent Fire Killer
Heartburn eats you alive from the inside. You even can simply think about pizza and it happens, no joke. It took a few pregnancies and remedies, but I found my go-to trick to make it go away with some essential oils.
Did I Just Run 10 Miles?
No, I only walked up the stairs. I have little lung capacity right now and simple daily tasks leave me taking large breaths trying to catch up. My husband is constantly asking, “Are you okay?” Yes, my sweet husband, just trying to get some much needed oxygen into my lungs and diaphragm which are flattened out like a pancake (or so it feels).
No Room in the Inn
For food, I mean. You’d think a very pregnant lady would eat a ton to maintain the steady growth of another human. Nope, that was in the second trimester when baby was doubling its weight and height in the span of a month. Now the steadily fattening child has moved well into our ribs and there is only about an inch of space for food. I could seriously eat one meal a day right now and be content (but I do make myself at least snack throughout the day). I’m actually hoping baby will drop soon so that I can breathe and eat again, but then that leaves me with more crotch pain. Hm. We can’t win here.
Maybe not as bad as first trimester, but still no fun. Probably related to hormones adjusting again and the fact that our stomach is hungry but has no room to be filled.
What sleep? Between baby having a dance party on your bladder at 4am, the reflux, the achy hips, having to wake up to create momentum to roll the weighted belly over, and the can’t-stop-thinking-about-my-to-do-list– there is much less sleep. Some say it is good preparation for the all night feedings once baby comes and I would agree. Why not learn how to survive being exhausted now?
Blundering Bedroom Moments
I’m a pretty modest person and don’t talk about this subject much, but let’s be real for a minute: sex is extremely difficult when you have a huge belly. It’s in the way, there is no comfortable position, and feeling the baby move while your husband is trying to make a move? Awkward. Or, you are just way too tired to put the energy in being creative with it. I always have to laugh when people suggest sex to initiate labor because it sounds simpler than it really is.
I didn’t have this with my first or second baby, in fact I barely felt much braxton hicks or saw much “evidence” of anything labor wise even up until my due date in which I was induced. However, third baby and beyond, the last weeks were a guessing game of, “Is this it? Do I call the midwife?” And really, prodromal labor is a lot like early labor and it does tend to make some progress…but then the contractions fizzle out. Then, you cry because you thought it was time and it your body plays mean jokes on you every night only to go away in the daylight. On the plus side– doing some of the early labor work ahead of time often makes for a shorter active labor!
Surprises in the Undies
Did my water just break? Nope. That’s mucus (or, maybe pee?). Truthfully, I start getting excited to see globs of snot in my undies because it usually means some cervix progress is being made in my dilation prodromal labor journey. I mean, you have to find hope in the small gross stuff when you are 9 months pregnant and feeling so done.