My Love/Hate Relationship With the Third Trimester

In all my pregnancies, the first trimester has always been typical. The second trimester is what I like to call the “pregnancy moon” phase, where things just kind of putt along with minimal excitement. (Most of the time.) And then there’s the third trimester. Never have a I experienced a “normal” third trimester. I have never gone into labor on my own, never went to a doctor’s appointment and heard, “You’re 3 centimeters dilated!” Nothing. While I have dilated to 2 centimeters on my own, I stall out there, and cannot go any farther. (I stayed at 2cm for 9 weeks with Jace. They finally induced me at 39 weeks. Same exact thing happened with Lucy.)

So, I can’t put up a post and tell you the truth about the third trimester, because I really have no idea what it’s like for most women. Maybe someone can explain it to me.

There are things that I just love about the third trimester: The baby is bigger now, so when he moves, my whole belly moves with him. If I poke at him, I get a reaction from him. I feel like it’s the start of the special bond he and I will share when he finally makes his appearance outside the womb. There’s nothing sweeter than that.

And, hubby can now interact with him, too. He starts talking to my belly, and it shows me that I know he’s going to be a great father all over again.

Then, there’s the fact that the pregnancy is almost over. In a matter of weeks, I will be holding my sweet baby boy. Those are all my favorite parts of the third trimester.

But, as I said, this is very much a love/hate relationship that I have going with the third trimester.

The contractions get a whole lot stronger and much more intense. I’ve always worried about actually going into labor on my own, and not knowing what it’s supposed to feel like. Delivering a baby at home doesn’t sound like much fun to me, so I’d like to avoid that at all costs.

It is impossible to get comfortable. I can no longer sit on my couch, because it feels like my pelvic bone is going to snap in half every time I do. Thank heavens I have my glider from I spend most nights in it, and as much time as I can sneak in during the day.

Because this pregnancy has been so different from my previous pregnancies, I am terrified that I may actually go into labor on my own and not even know it. In fact, the other night, I was having severe contractions. They were coming every 3 minutes, and I had back pain unlike anything I had ever experienced. From midnight until 4 am, I tried everything I could think of to ease the pain. Hubby spent several hours rubbing my back. I’d walk, sit in the glider, lie on my left side. Nothing helped. My husband joked that if the baby’s head started showing, he’d figure out how to get me to the hospital, since my truck was parked at the top of our driveway. I laughed between the tears.

Finally, a little after 4am, I fell asleep. The alarm went off at 6, and I got up with the kids. At that point, the contractions weren’t nearly as severe, and the back pain wasn’t nearly as severe. Another false alarm? I really have no idea. All I knew was that I wasn’t trekking all the way up my driveway to get to the hospital and be told that it was nothing.

A crazy, unpredictable 3rd trimester is nothing new to me. If I knew what to expect, maybe I could write a book a become famous. But I’ve learned that I need to expect the unexpected.

I have an ultrasound on Thursday, and my next doctor’s appointment is Monday the 21st. Provided my blood pressure is still ok, and there’s no change in my cervix, we’ll keep holding out as long as we can.

Now, you tell me: What has your third trimester experience been like? If you’ve had several pregnancies, have they been different each time? I’d love to hear how the third trimester goes for the rest of you! 🙂

Angie Vinez (2893 Posts)

Angie is a wife and mother to 8. Her life revolves around cooking, cleaning, laundry, and other household duties. She is passionate about her life in Christ and wants to encourage other mothers in their own walk of faith. Angie is active on many social media networks, loves technology, photography, and graphic design, and loves creating blog designs for other mom bloggers.


  1. 1

    I guess you know how my third trimester went since I complained nonstop, LOL. Definitely felt everything you talked about above. I worried too about not knowing when I was going into labor – I think everyone does! But I think you’ll know when you’re in labor. You are in so much pain you won’t even try to get your husband to rub your back through it – you just feel like you’d better get to the hospital NOW. At least that’s been my experience both times. But then my water did break both times, or partially break.
    Lindsey@Kindred Spirit Mommy recently posted..Boba Baby Carriers On Sale for Only 55 at Zulily!

  2. 2

    I totally understand what you are going through. I have 3 boys. With my first 2 my water broke at 3 weeks and 2 weeks early. So I knew that I had to go to the hospital. With the third, I was so worried that I wouldn’t know when real labour was happening. I was having strong painful contractions for a good month before he was born. I mean painful enough that I was timing them thinking for sure this is it! Everyone kept telling me I would know the difference between false and real labour but I wasn’t convinced. A tip if you can fall asleep then it is not the real thing. Let me reassure you that you WILL definitely know the difference. I woke up and knew right away that it was time to go. The contractions were just different, a lot more painful and took my breath away. I am now pregnant with baby #4 and really curious to see how my third trimester will play out this time around. 🙂

  3. 3

    Ugh! The 3rd trimester with my 3rd child was awful! I had serious issues with pain from 32 weeks on. Some days, I could not do the grocery shopping and DH would have to do it. It seemed like I had gone into labor when I was 37 weeks, but NO. It was another 3 weeks of walking around dilated to 4 and then 5 before my baby was born. And, at the end, I had 48 hours of icky pre-labor. For two days in a row, I got up thinking “Today IS the day” only to go to bed realizing it wasn’t. Then, at the end of the 2nd day, the contractions literally STOPPED. I went to bed, but woke up 90 minutes labor in FULL labor. Talk about a wake up call! It was *so* painful and I was grunting involuntarily even as I arrived at the hospital. My son was born at 7:35 AM, but I think it would have happened faster if (a) they had let me gently push the cervix a bit and (b) I had not had an epidural. But, I’m telling you, that epidural was the ONLY one I ever had and I didn’t regret it for even a single nanosecond. LOL!

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