In India’s final pregnancy blog post, The Third Trimester, we hear all about her experience of the third trimester.
“The third trimester has been both the longest (literally, I am currently 41 weeks pregnant!) and shortest time ever, because although it lasted a while the time also just seemed to evaporate.
Everyone said to me that once I was on maternity leave time would crawl along, but instead I have had four weeks of maternity leave with no baby in sight still, and it has absolutely flown by. Mainly in a haze of coffees and lunches and wondering how on earth I ever had time for a full time job!
I won’t lie, in the back of my mind I hoped baby wouldn’t go two weeks overdue, but I always suspected he would. I chose to start my maternity leave at 37 weeks by taking a week of annual leave and officially triggering maternity leave at 38 weeks. The idea was that this would give me time to rest before baby arrived, but I always knew that if he went two weeks overdue I would have a whopping five weeks off work before he even arrived. But as friends with babies said, this is the last time I will get to myself, so I have just been enjoying it as much as possible.
At my 39 week midwife appointment I was waxing lyrical about how lucky I felt to still feel comfortable, to still be sleeping, and that I really didn’t mind still being pregnant. I still felt like that when I went back to the midwife at 40+6, but the prospect of induction being imminent at 12 days overdue kind of put pressure on that I previously hadn’t felt, and all of a sudden there was a deadline. This definitely burst the bubble I had been floating along in, saying ‘he will come when he’s ready, I don’t mind being pregnant’ when it became very real that actually he might be given a helping hand if he didn’t make an appearance before 42 weeks.
I would also say that up to 38 weeks I still felt physically pretty much the same as I had the whole third trimester. Yes my bump was growing (it seemed to grow massively between 26 and 32 weeks, then again at 36 weeks) and I was feeling a bit pudgier around the edges, but I was still managing bodypump classes and plenty of walking. Then in the 39th week my joints must have had an influx of relaxin and suddenly started to creak under the pressure of this big baby I am growing. I had knee, hip and ankle pain whenever I walked further than a mile, so I listened to my body and rested up.
Thankfully the rest has done me good, but I do feel as though I could have made an effort to be more active in these last few weeks, and I am looking forward to when I am recovered after the birth and to being able to move around more freely again. I know this might take a while, though, especially with the sleep deprivation sapping all my energy.
At 34 weeks we had the midwife home visit, which very happily coincided with our kitchen renovation. I think as women we are genetically programmed to undertake major works to our houses in the third trimester, just to add a bit of excitement to our lives. I was really nervous before the visit but needn’t have been as they weren’t judgemental at all and assured me they see houses in all states due to this in-built need to nest! The visit definitely gave us a kick to get ready for baby though, at that point we had no cot or bedside crib, but over the next two weeks we got our ducks in a row and got things ready.
We now have our bedside crib all set up and ready to go, a stash of changing gear underneath it. We also have a cot in the nursery for when he is bigger, and have a chest of drawers housing his (washed) clothes and a changing mat on top. Downstairs we also have a changing mat and some essentials as well, so we don’t always have to trek upstairs to change him.
Now we just need our baby to arrive safely and healthily and we will be able to throw all of our carefully organised home into absolute chaos. We have no idea what is about to hit us, that much I know, and although it’s the biggest unknown I also can’t wait to meet him and to start this crazy journey that is parenting.
(Read more about India’s pregnancy on her blog, www.indiawoof.com. You can also read her pregnancy diary over on Rock My Family).”