The Third Trimester: My Experience
And just like that our baby is due in a matter of days, time has gone SO quickly! It feels like only yesterday I was writing about the second trimester, the third trimester has absolutely flown by but so much has happened over the past few months.
I thought I'd get this written up a little bit early just in case anything happens before our due date on the 30th of August, you never know! I do feel like the babe is pretty comfy curled up in there but then again the bump shape has changed quite dramatically today so it could be imminent. All the fun and games!
How I'm Feeling
I'm feeling strangely good and I have done throughout the third trimester which has been a bit of a surprise but a very, very welcome one. Overall I've been so lucky (so far, touch wood and all of that) with this pregnancy and haven't suffered too much at all.
I've been feeling very heavy and quite uncomfortable thanks to the weight of the baby pushing down on my pelvis but I've found keeping active during the day and having a bath in the evening a massive help. The babe has been trying to escape upwards and out my sides which has made breathing quite difficult at times but fun tickling little feet through my belly.
I've also been ridiculously tired in the afternoon, I've still not had to have a nap this whole pregnancy but I have definitely had to have a bit of a sit down some days! These have generally been the days where I've been more active like being on my feet all day or going for a swim so it's as expected really.
Today is day 269 of belly button watch and I am happy to report I still have an innie! I'm not sure exactly how I've got away with that one but nothing has popped out quite yet, though there is still time...
I've also managed to avoid stretch marks for the most part, quite a few have started to pop up on the underneath of my bump but they're not too dark so I'm hoping they won't take too long to fade after I've had the baby. My favourite products to help my skin stretch have been the Mama Mio Tummy Rub Oil Supersize, Mama Mio Tummy Rub Butter and Previse MommyBalm, I'll do a post after I've given birth on my favourite pregnancy beauty products so keep an eye out for that if you're interested.
I've also not put on too much weight (genuinely think this is down to not drinking wine!) so I'm hoping it shouldn't take too long to shift afterwards.
Sleep has been my number 1 problem throughout this pregnancy, I don't think I've slept through the night once this year and haven't been able to lie in past 9am even if I've barely slept. This has mostly been due to my back hurting when I'm in bed, I've suffered with this since about 10 weeks into my pregnancy and it hasn't stopped. The recent heatwave was obviously not ideal for sleeping well either, but some strategically placed fans and not getting under the duvet for about 8 weeks made it just about bearable!
Annoyingly, with only a few weeks to go, I've found a way to completely get rid of my backache! Which means I've been able to sleep until about 5 or 6am for the past week, it has been absolute bliss. Bensons for Beds saw that I'd been suffering in the heat and kindly got in touch to see if I'd like to try their iGel pillows which magically stay cool in the heat. They sent me a side sleeper pillow* and a back/front sleeper pillow*, obviously for people who sleep on their side or back/front, the difference is height for neck support.
I sleep on my side so I started with the side sleeper pillow which amazingly cured my backache completely, but gave me a neck ache, the pillows are very firm whereas I'm used to squishy pillows so I think it was a bit of a shock to my system. I switched to the back/front sleeper pillow which is a bit thinner than the side sleeper pillow and it's amazing, I can finally sleep comfortably! The temperature regulation means you always get the cold side of the pillow which is fab in the heat too. Basically, I'm a big fan and owe a lot to Bensons for Beds, thank you! They are £59 each and worth every single penny.
I've been sleeping in a nest of about 7 pillows to reduce my back pain but since I've had the iGel pillow, I'm down to 3, hoorah! I've also started using my Mothercare wedge pillow (sold out but similar here) to support my ever growing bump which has definitely helped reduce the strain on my back, I bought this in the first trimester but have only been using it properly for the past couple of weeks.
Well I think that essay about sleep and pillows shows how keen I am on a good night's sleep!
This is the biggest change of the third trimester, I'm on maternity leave! I went straight from sixth form to uni to work and have been at The Hut Group for the past 7 years so this is the first time in forever that I've had time off. It's so strange but I've taken to it a lot more quickly than I expected.
To be honest I thought I'd struggle a lot more with not being at work and not being in control but because a lot of the projects I was working on were tied up before I left or handed over to people I 100% trust (Soph, Kat, Harriet and Tom, you've got this!), so I've been able to switch off for the first time ever. Plus, I had A LOT of preparation to do for the baby so I've been really busy since my first day of maternity leave which has helped massively.
There is obviously a long way to go before I go back to work and a lot of things to worry about (mostly money, not going to lie) in that time so we'll see how it goes but I'm feeling positive about it so far. I was worried I'd go stir crazy but thanks to plenty of visitors, projects to finish, the house to sort and keeping myself busy, I haven't had the chance to yet. I am still a little worried about post natal depression after I've had the baby but we'll just see what happens, I don't want to get too hung up on things like that if I don't need to.
The past few weeks have been focused on getting everything ready for our imminent arrival from buying the pram and car seat to packing the hospital bag. Now to be honest, the baby's (very chic Ganni leopard print) hospital bag is ready to go but mine is still an open suitcase with a pile of things on it... Mostly because I still want to wear most of the things in it and it could still be a few weeks yet, but all the components are there and good to go! It'll give me something to do while I'm in labour before my contractions ramp up at least.
All of the teeny tiny baby clothes (SO CUTE) are washed, dried and ready to be worn, we just need to see what size the babe is now.
I think we're pretty much ready for our new housemate to move in, I did a last minute pillage of the Aldi baby and toddler event this morning for the cutest little sleepsuits, nappy caddys, extra storage and breast pads galore!
I am SO much more comfortable dressing the bump now that it's pretty massive compared to when it was smaller, at the moment I love my body as it's doing something incredible and having the bump means all of my problem areas (eg. my podgy tummy and love handles) are no longer really there so I oddly have less insecurities.
I did pretty much the most stylish shop I will ever do yesterday which included giant pants, fluffy socks, massive pyjama bottoms and oversized shirts for my hospital bag, all of which will most likely be burned after the birth. Joy.
The nursery is pretty much ready now, even though the babe won't be in there for a few months yet. There is still a lot of stuff to sort out and organise but that should be done this coming week. The important things like the cot, furniture and practical things (hey nappy bin) are all sorted. There are a few art bits and bobs to arrive yet but I'm not in any rush to get them up as the babe will be in our room for a while.
We're going to be using the nursery as a second living room for night feeds too so Joe sorted out Sky, Netflix and a Blu-ray player in there so we have a good little set up going on! I bought a giant rug from Wayfair so all three of us can all be in there playing when the babe is a little bit bigger.
You can see more of the nursery here.
The Baby Shower
I'll post about the baby shower more once I have the film developed from the disposable cameras the wonderful Rebecca got us but just wanted to mention it now as it was such a lovely day!
My glorious friends Sophie and Lydia organised most of it but so many of my favourite people were there from my mum and Godmother to friends from work and blogging. We played games, ate ALL the cake and just generally had a lovely time. They also spoiled us rotten with so many lovely gifts as well as the best idea ever - a nappy raffle! Basically, everyone who comes brings a pack of nappies to be entered into a raffle meaning that we now have about 3 months supply of nappies in all brands and sizes, perfect for trying out different brands and meaning we don't need to buy nappies for ages.
A huge thank you to everyone who came and made the day so special!
A few tips for expectant mamas
Here are a few little tips from what I've learned in the third trimester, hopefully they're helpful for you too!
- Head off from work at least a couple of weeks before your due date if you can so you can have some time to yourself to get used to being at home and to the idea of having a baby, I have loved having the freedom these past couple of weeks!
- Relax as much as you can in the run up to the birth but try to keep active too, even if it's just a short walk or swim. Keeping active will help to keep you fit, stretch those aching muscles and keep baby on track.
- Get a birthing ball, this was pretty much the best £12 I've ever spent! It's great for sitting on while you're watching TV so you can keep moving in comfort and it's amazing for getting the baby in a good position, I have a bounce on mine most nights and it helps to keep the baby from encroaching on my lungs too much.
- Go to the antenatal classes. They're free and don't need to take up too much of your time, we did our couple class in a day and I did my breastfeeding one in a morning, even though a lot of it is common sense
- Budgeting is going to be a really tricky one but I've got myself a Monzo card so I can move across a certain amount every month, then split it out but category to keep track of my spending. So I have a set amount I'm able to spend on groceries for example, it just helps keep track of everything and reduce unnecessary costs. Plus it's the card is a delicious bright orange colour.
- We left a lot of our baby shopping to the last few weeks but I would definitely recommend spreading this out over a longer time period if you can, it meant we had to shell out quite a lot of money in one weekend which could have been better managed.
- Take advantage of baby events, most supermarkets and Boots tend to have them on rotation so you can generally find one on at any given time. The Aldi one has been my favourite so far and it's on now!
- Make a list of box sets you want to watch. You'll suddenly have a lot of time on your hands while you recover and feed the baby. Joe and I are planning a few movie marathons for the first few days!
- Try hypnobirthing. I've been using The Positive Birth Company online course to get me up to speed on hypnobirthing and it's really helped, it essentially just explains and prepares you for what's going to happen and teaches you breathing techniques to keep you relaxed.
- Drink raspberry leaf tea. I don't like tea but I'm making myself have a cup every day as it's supposed to help make your labour easier, it's a herbal remedy so not 100% but I'm willing to try anything! Also perineal massage is well worth trying to help reduce the risk of tearing, fun.
We're ready(ish) for you baby Anderton!