Sunday, 26 February 2012

My Third Trimester

I thought I would write this now, seeing as today I am officially 37 weeks pregnant and therefore baby is fully cooked. I cannot believe I am finally able to say that; in some ways it has felt like such a long journey (especially during the nasty first trimester!) but since hitting this final tri, it has flown by.
The main things I have noticed in this final tri, is the sheer DISCOMFORT of it!


At the start of this tri I was having a lot of back problems, and had sciatica on my right side, and the physio did help a little. Then as the tri progressed and baby became head down at week 33, I noticed this back pain eased a lot, meaning that the way he was laying before must have been irritating my nerves.
Now whilst I was happy that I no longer had awful back and leg pain, I seemed to get shooting pains in another area instead: my lady parts! Not sure which is worse to be honest. Since he has been getting more engaged, this pain has got a lot worse. A couple of days ago I was doing my food shopping, and having to hunch over the trolley, because standing and walking straight felt like he was using a knife to try and claw his way out. It is a very odd and painful feeling!
I also seem to get this pain whenever I try to get out of bed or stand up from a chair now, and at times it can feel like something is going to drop out of me just when I’m standing there doing the washing up.
The Bump

From about 34 weeks, my bump seemed to shoot up in size quite quickly. The growth scan confirmed he was likely to be an 8.5 or 9lbs birth weight if he reaches 40 weeks, which explains the size of my stomach!
As he has grown, so has his kicks and punches, and a lot of the time now these really do hurt, especially if he gets me near my ribs. There have also been times where he must have been touching certain organs, because I randomly threw up after a movement last week, and there are times I need to rush to the toilet after he has been shifting himself.
It is really strange to see my stomach moving of its own accord at times- it really does look like something out of the film Alien. The Bloke gets freaked out if he sees it out of the corner of his eye, but my mum loves it. I still haven’t seen actual footprints, but I am beginning to guess what limbs might be sticking out where.

I am now at the point where I do not look forward to bedtime at all. It is possibly the most uncomfortable part of my day. You are only supposed to lie on your left hand side, which I have been managing to do since the first tri, but now I get numb legs, hip pain and cramps most nights, which disturb my sleep so much. Even trying to turn over in bed is a very painful experience, you just can’t make this stuff up! And let’s not even go into the amount of times you start needing to get up to have a pee...
I was able to move onto my right side for half an hour when I used to get a numb leg, but for the last couple of weeks this seems to make me feel quite sick and I feel the need to empty my bowels (yes I know, too much info!) and I imagine that is because he is that much heavier and pressing on organs on that side.
So now I just have to deal with the numbness and the sweating from sleeping in a solid position all night. I can’t even stand the pregnancy pillow between my legs anymore, as it just seems to encourage cramps.
The strange nightmares you get during pregnancy seem to get even worse during this late stage. Most nights I will have a very intense dream and feel that it’s real. They range from monsters, to family arguments, and the most common since week 36 has been that my waters have broken in bed and I am on my own and very scared. Thankfully I tend to forget the dreams pretty quick once I have woken up, and I know it’s completely normal to have these weird dreams due to all the hormones and anxieties that we have.
My anxiety has always been high even before pregnancy, but in these last few weeks it is beginning to climb, because reality is beginning to sink in. Packing my hospital bag, washing the baby clothes, cleaning the flat and finishing work have all helped it to hit home.
My biggest fears at the moment is the pain of labour, finances and my ability to cope and enjoy being with a baby on my own day in and day out. I imagine it is quite normal to have these niggling worries at this point, because most people are scared of change, and boy this is gonna be a huge change for me!
I am trying to be quite vocal to my family about my worries, as I want them to try and look out for any signs of me struggling after the birth. Post Natal Depression is something I’m very scared of, and I want to feel assured that if I get it, people will pick up on it in case I can’t. One thing I will definitely be is open about any negative feelings I have about the baby or myself if I do get PND, as many women have hidden it in the past and that has made the problem worse. If you get PND, it is a normal symptom that you can feel numb towards your child, or have negative thoughts about them- it is the PND not you that is thinking that, so by being honest, you can be treated for it and remove it much quicker.
Besides that, I am watching birth programmes, and trying to remind myself that plenty of people in worse off positions than me manage this, and I have no choice but to succeed for the sake of my son. I will also probably ring my mum up every 5 minutes for parenting advice and do her head in!
My nose

And the most horrific symptom I have had this tri, is THE SIZE OF MY CONK!
I have always had a big nose, but pregnancy has made it even wider and more swollen looking. I cannot believe how awful it looks, and cringe when I see any photos taken of my face recently. A lot of people don’t believe me when I say it is due to the pregnancy, but I have managed to find the proof on a medical website.
It is called Rhinitis of Pregnancy (meaning wide nose) and is caused by elevated oestrogen levels, which cause the mucus linings to thicken and excess fluid retention and weight gain.
Apparently most noses return to normal size after the baby is born, so I am hoping and praying  that mine does too, or else I will have to save up for a nose job!

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