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 Hayneedle.com. 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! 🙂

Just Another Manic Monday….

I know it’s Tuesday, but I’m guessing that you also notice that no new posts went up yesterday. I had every intention of getting at least one new post up, but it didn’t happen. Instead, I decided to spend the afternoon in my doctor’s office hooked up to a fetal monitor.

On Sunday, I woke up and discovered that I was completely broken out in hives. It turned out, I had a reaction to the antibiotic I had been on for the previous 6 days. I took Ashley to church, and drove to my mother in law’s house so I would be close to the hospital if the reaction got worse. I spent the day completely doped up on Benadryl to help with the hives. After church that night, we left my husband’s truck at my mother in law’s house and he drove all of us home.

On Monday, we drove back to my mother in law’s house to get hubby’s truck. We went in and chatted for awhile, and I noticed that my contractions were coming very regularly – 2 to 3 minutes apart, and they were strong. In between each contraction, and every time I moved or the baby moved, I would have this horrible sharp pain in my stomach. It made no sense to me, because when you touched that area of my stomach, all you could feel was the baby.

I called the doctor’s office and asked if the doctor could just check my cervix and verify that the contractions weren’t doing anything. They had me come in right away, and they hooked me up to the fetal monitor. Lying on my back caused the sharp pain to be even more consistent, and it HURT. The doctor checked my cervix once and hour for 3 hours, and I never dilated. Crazy how my contractions can be off the charts, but not do a dang thing to my cervix. He said that the good news is that the baby is still really high, so it doesn’t appear that I’ll be delivering a baby any time soon. Since I’m not even 34 weeks pregnant yet, that is very good news.

The bad news is, I tore my round ligament in my stomach, which is what is causing that terrible pain. He’s guessing that walking up and down my driveway every day is what’s done it. So, I need to avoid my driveway as much as possible, (which means I’ll be stuck at home for weeks on end now), and I need to not pick up Lucy or Parker. He also said no playing basketball or volleyball – at least until the baby is born. 🙂

I had been doing SO great with this pregnancy. Thank heavens I’ve only got about 6 more weeks to go, but I have a feeling it’s going to be a very long 6 weeks!

Now to get caught back up around here! Thanks again for your patience!