Today, as I type, I have cracked the 32.5 week mark of my pregnancy. As much as I’m already bursting to share with you insights from this third trimester, I know it’s important to stop and reflect upon the stage often suggested to be “the best” of the three!
Here are some of the highlights and points to note from weeks 14 to 28 of my pregnancy.
(If you haven’t read the first post in this series yet, go get caught up to speed over here: FIRST TRIMESTER)
THE POWER SURGE
I was hanging for it around 12 weeks. At 14 weeks, begging for it. Finally, at 16 weeks I woke up one day bounding with energy. Daily long walks were all I wanted to do. I took to the beach, the lakeside, the local reserve. I walked, walked, and walked. I also dove deep into my asana practice once again. I used the “bible” for prenatal yoga – Iyengar Yoga For Motherhood – as my go-to guide.
The most trying part of immersing back into my Yoga practice was the realisation that pranayama and I were going to have to part ways temporarily. Since first trimester (and even as I write) I’ve had ever-changing ear pressure (like when flying an aeroplane). No sinus as a trigger. But almost every day I’m popping my ears to recalibrate. Pranayama (and very specifically breath retentions) gives me head spins, plus raging heat in my ears and a feeling I’m about to pass out. The most basic practices I can manage – like Nadi Shodana (without retentions or particularly extended breath cycles). Heart breaking – it’s my favourite component of the physical practice. I googled it – but nothing showed up medically. Yet, I did read in forums of so many women experiencing the same and then it completely releasing/disappearing as soon as bub is born!
(Oh and a big hurrah to welcoming deeper back bends into my practice once again – like Ustrasana and chair supported Urdhva Dhanurasana. No more abdominal shredding!)
At 17 weeks I felt the first distinct flutters of our baby’s movement. We later learnt that this is fairly early, yet due to the fact that my placenta is located at the back of my uterus (the “ideal” place apparently!). Therefore pub’s movement is very anterior. I recall is feeling so sweet, surreal, and strange all at once.
OUR VERY OWN NINJA
By the 18-19 week mark the baby’s movement had come on incredibly strong already. It felt like I truly had a ninja warrior emerging inside of me (and often the Loch Ness monster!). Our baby has continued to be immensely active – what seems day and night. It often took 1-2 hours to get to sleep at night due to the distractions of my abdominal depths!
I have found it quite obvious when our little ninja has a growth spurt. At 19 weeks I feel into exhaustion again (the power surge didn’t quite last as long as hoped) and raging hunger. The following week I had quite a number of people comment on how I’d “popped” out. As I’d learned in first trimester, it was best just to honour what my body needed (feasting for fuel and early nights to sleep).
It’s now become a common theme that every Sunday/Monday I feel like my belly has grown bigger. It’s as though bub knows what day of the week it is! Every Monday morning, when I receive my iPhone app update of my pregnancy progress, I can look down and see right on cue that my bump has expanded.
(As a side note… it’s been rather fascinating observing human behaviour around how people respond to my growing baby bump – see my First Trimester post for more reflections on this. Fortunately I have my head screwed on well enough and my sense of self-esteem fairly solidified. That’s all I’m going to say! But, for the most part, I’ve been showered with compliments, encouragement, and much support)
Although I’m not a huge fan of proceeding with many scans during pregnancy (due to the suggested health risks – or the lack of studies on the effects at the least), hubby and I had both very organically and naturally felt as though we wanted to find out the gender of our baby. It was as though it wasn’t even something to discuss. We booked in at 20 weeks and witnessed our wriggly bub put on a show – and yet the baby was very reluctant to disclose it’s gender!
For a long time we were amused by our bub’s very yoga-like positions. At one stage, the baby’s ankles were wrapped behind it’s head (google “Supta Kurmasana” for the insight!). At last we were told… it’s a 50% chance it’s a boy. What does that even mean?! But after some further persistence, we were then told it’s a 90% chance of being a boy (i.e: “See those 3 white dots there? That’s highly likely a boy!”).
A bucket load of girls names we had warmed up to… but nothing yet for our little man (feel free to throw your favourites our way – we have not even a short list in site!).
HEALTH & HEALTHCARE
The only physical discomfort I experienced during the second trimester was around 26 weeks. I had some pinching around my lower sacrum. After a few days of putting it off, I finally went and had a single physio session which included some massage, dry needling, and and little subtle adjusting. It worked a treat. Perhaps otherwise I’ve had some tailbone discomfort in the evenings a few times when laying on the floor – no doubt due to the structural shifts my body is making to further prepare my pelvis.
I finally carved out some time for pregnancy massage. Those massage tables with the hole in the middle are the best thing ever! If only they made mattresses like that – I seriously think I could become a millionaire if I created this kind of product. To lay on my stomach felt amazing. So much so, I made a point of heading to the beach quite a few times to dig a hole in the sand and submerge myself into an alternate universe of deep relaxation and comfort (or so it felt for a short while).
Our visions and values of giving birth led us to going under the guidance of our local (and free) midwifery service. We have the option of birthing at home or at the hospital in a birthing suite (with pool). Fortunately I have a low-risk pregnancy, and although things can change unexpectedly at any time, right now we have complete freedom as to the direction and process of labour. Our midwife is incredibly easy-going (I was told that “she is the midwife that all the midwives want for their births”!!).
I will go further into birthing preferences in the third trimester post. However, in short, we’re intending to do the following:
Water birth. Delayed cord clamping. Hubby to cut the cord. Placenta encapsulation. And, following Ayurvedic principles post-labour – such as 30-40 days of hibernation and a specific diet/herb program to support mum and bub’s recovery and immunity.
NOTE: We do not relate to being either pro or anti vax. With regards to vaccination (a sensitive subject these days!) we are treating each with an individual response, rather than lumping them together as a whole to form an opinion. We’re considering what the vaccine is, how it’s administered (and what chemicals it’s delivered with), the frequency, the timing, and more. In my opinion, I think an “all or nothing” approach is a little ignorant.
ORGANISATION & OVERCOMING OVERWHELM
Due to the resurgence of my energy in second trimester, I tried to get organised (as I’m often renowned for) for our big future shift. I intrinsically knew that we only needed to look into stocking up on bare basics for bub’s arrival, and splurging is certainly not our style. I turned to Gumtree to start searching for quality items (such as a pram, baby carrier, car capsules, etc) that were second hand. I found so many gems – we got all we needed.
I recall researching prams online (to compare brands, their functions, and the like). I not only felt overwhelmed by the countless options (sizes, standards, add ons, and more) but the PRICE. Holy moly. Baffling what people would think the spend on an item that will eventually be thrown (or hopefully given) away. I could buy a small car instead! As soon as I started looking online to the things I “needed”, I felt inundated with confusion and saturation of STUFF. I called my Mum to gain some clarity around what we would truly need to have before our baby’s arrival. Our shortlist was: a pram, car capsule, baby carrier, and then of course some newborn wraps and nappies of choice (we’re going for a mix of Bambooty reusable and Tooshies By Tom eco-friendly disposables – obtained only recently in third trimester!).
Towards the end of second trimester I had the joy of offering a prenatal yoga workshop (so much to share, so little time!). It’s a truly beautiful thing connecting with other expecting Mamas. It makes the whole journey even more real, more wondrous, more beautiful! It’s great to learn, share, giggle, and groan with others walking (and snoozing) along the same path.
At 27 weeks our little man started to move higher up into my rib cage. No pain (yet). Growing rapidly, I have started to wonder if I’ll come early (even though so many have told me that stereotypically a first pregnancy baby often comes late). But when I look to my midwife check up measurements, my weight, my growth, it seems our bub is following nicely along expected schedule to date.
The next post in this series I’ll be sharing with you updates on further physical changes, nesting, our priorities, my baby shower, and more. It has only been in third trimester that I’ve needed to make a reassessment of my wardrobe (I was ignorant to think Summer would be a breeze fitting into clothing) and that I’ve invested in some aids to help me feel more comfortable sleeping, working, and breathing!
- Juju Sundin’s book “Birth Skills” (Note: I have no plans to attend antenatal classes prior to pregnancy. This book was a gem in guiding me around the stages of labour, and active skills to work with and potentially overcome the intensity of sensation and emotion.) *Australian Author!
- Jane Hardwicke Collings book “Ten Moons” (Empowering, informative, and beautiful! This book is a gem recommended by a friend who is also expecting) *Australian Author!
- Free online childbirth classes HERE (US website and information)
- Bednest baby bassinet (our one and only new purchase/indulgence – loving the design, quality, versatility, and reputation)
Thank you for all of your supportive and encouraging comments from my first post in this series! I’d love to hear from you if you wish to share or add anything – please go ahead and leave a comment down below.
If you know of any expectant mamas, share this post with them!