Google+ The Duda Homestead: July 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013

Third Trimester Reflections & Advice

We are now well into our "fourth trimester" and things are starting to settle down and we're getting into our parenting groove. So now I have some time to begin blogging again and want to pick up where I left off. I will be doing a review/giveaway for Woolzies dryer balls soon so stay tuned!

As I sit here writing this, it's hard to even remember my third trimester, so thankfully I took notes! Our little man (yes a boy, not a girl...but that's for another post) arrived 15 days post date so I got to enjoy some extra time being pregnant. I truly mean that...while I was excited for our little one to arrive, I loved being pregnant (as I mention in my last post) and while it did get more uncomfortable towards the end, I was pretty lucky in that area. So here are the points I made note of in the last days of my pregnancy:

  • I did start to get uncomfortable, but my advice is to keep moving!
    • Sitting started to get uncomfortable and caused my back and pelvis to hurt and sitting made it worse. Sitting in a hard chair seemed to hurt my circulation and caused swelling in my ankles (mostly my right).
    • Rest when you need to, but light walking and staying active (if you're "allowed" to) helped me.
    • Drink lots of water and put your feet up if you notice swelling (remember to contact your Dr. or CNM if it is sudden or severe!)
  • Clothes will become harder to find in the final weeks. I am pretty small, so I made due with a lot of non-maternity tops (I just got larges or wore empire waste style tops). I did need maternity pants, but also wore some regular by using the good ol' hair tie technique. But in my last couple weeks of work (weeks 37-39) I had a really hard time finding clothes that would fit over my belly, and I wasn't going to spend money on clothes I only needed for a few weeks. I made due with rotating the same few maternity tank tops I'd gotten from Gap on clearance and different cardigans. I also stopped worrying about dressing up as much as I normally would...I figured people would understand.
  • In that last week approaching my due date, I wasn't working so I had some time to reflect while I was working on getting things ready for baby. I remember having a moment that I'm sure included tears where it hit me how fast the past 40 weeks had flown by. I had moments where I got upset thinking "If 9 months of pregnancy went by this quickly, we'll blink and our baby won't be a baby anymore!" Hormones didn't help that one. 
    • I have taught myself since to take time out and soak in the moments and then move on being happy and content that I was present in those moments. There's no point living in the past and thinking that "time flying by" is sad. We'd all be depressed if we felt that way. Get off your phone or your iPad and enjoy your time. Truly soak it in and take advantage of it and you'll have no regrets about time.
  • Remember that this is your baby and you have no obligation to cater to others' needs right now (perhaps unless you already have children). 
    • This may sound harsh, but if you are honest with yourself in these moments you will be happier in the long run. Set boundaries early on about when you want to start having visitors after the baby arrives. For me, establishing this early on relieved a lot of stress. You're allowed to be selfish right now. It was very important for me that my mom be at the birth, and that no one else other than my doula and husband (and midwife and nurses). You don't want to have any reservations in labor or pushing. It was also important to us that we had time together as a new family to relax and bond so we waited until we were home to have additional visitors, and really it was much better because we were all more comfortable at home as opposed to our little recovery room. Figure these things out in advance so you don't have to stress about it while you are recovering from birth. If someone isn't understanding of what you want or need, it is not your problem.
  • This one depends on your school of thought. I believe a woman's body knows what to do when it comes to birth and that we shouldn't mess with nature. I delivered at 42 weeks (or 41 because my midwives and I both thought my due date was off). 
    • Since we live in a world of rushing things along and highly medicalized births, I had people asking me about induction and "where's that baby?" shortly after I hit 40 weeks. I would simply respond with, "It will happen when it was meant to, I'm not being induced" and they'd get the hint. Anyone who knew me at all knew that anyways. 
    • Then there are the people who are just so excited for your baby that they may not realized how you feel. If you have gone past your due date, then you get it. My doula will tell you that I was incredibly patient. I was relaxed and knew stress would not help me or my baby. So I waited. While I was patient and enjoying my last days of pregnancy, I had moments where I got upset and had a bit of doubt that maybe my body wouldn't do what it's supposed to. Maybe I'm not woman enough. Those feelings suck, and anyone who is insensitive to them can kiss my big pregnant @$$. Call me over emotional (or...ahem, pregnant) but if you call me or my baby late you are implying that we don't know what we're doing. Sweetly asking how I'm feeling is another thing (I don't want anyone who did so to feel bad after reading this!). 
  • If you go post date (which most women do), remember that due dates are an estimate and remind people of that. It's a bell curve from 38-42 weeks. You aren't actually "late" until you go past 42 and unless there is a real reason you need to deliver earlier, don't let your doc push it. There has been recent research showing that inducing or sectioning women early has adverse effects. Again...I don't like messing with nature. This is just my opinion :)
    • If/when people ask if you're just ready to get the baby out or the like, be honest with yourself. First of all...many women don't get to carry to term. That last trimester and those last weeks are important, so be grateful if you begin having those thoughts. I wasn't feeling like I was ready to be done being pregnant until the very end. And it was NOT because I was sick of it or just wanted the baby out of me (I'm sorry but I have issues with those statements). It was genuinely because I wanted to meet and hold my baby and approaching 42 weeks I knew issues could begin to arise. I knew I'd miss pregnancy and wanted to cherish those last moments.
  • I actually began to look forward to the pain of contractions in the last days leading up to my due date so that I'd know they were real. And I was honestly looking forward to labor and birth the entire pregnancy. Even after laboring on pitocin without pain meds (later post) and pushing for close to 3 hours, I look forward to doing it again.
  • As far as nesting goes, I felt it leading up to my due date, but not quite as much after so that "sign of labor" did not apply to me. I was very productive tying up loose ends and cleaning/organizing (as much as I could under construction) in the week before my EDD. I didn't pack my hospital bag until 2 days before. I realized this was probably for the same reason I didn't write my wedding vows until 2am the morning of the wedding. I have to clear my head of details before I can focus on something meaningful. (I even used to have to clean my room before I could sit down and write a big paper). To me, packing our bags was very final compared to washing baby clothes and buying diapers.
So pregnant ladies, soak it in and enjoy it. When you are uncomfortable (which you will be), remember that many women struggle to conceive or can't carry a baby, or they don't carry to term. Remember that this is a blessing and the greatest thing you will ever do. It won't make the discomfort go away, but it will remind you of your priorities and help with your mental state. At least it did for me. 
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