There are countless things I wish I knew about pregnancy and postpartum life. So I’ve decided to start a series where I talk about these things. I am basing these posts around my personal experiences and I am not a medical professional. This particular post is Things I wish someone told me: Third Trimester.
The third trimester was the roughest. I was a whirlwind of emotions, even more so than when I first discovered I was pregnant. I was excited, nervous and utterly terrified for the impending birth. But I expected all those things. There were so many things I had no idea were coming.If you’d like to read the previous topics, the links are here:
How exhausted I would be
I knew some tiredness would return but I thought it would be similar to the first trimester. NOPE! A mixture of sleepless nights and growing a child that would be ready to function outside of me made a dangerous sleepy combination. There were nights I’d cry from the pain and only get a couple hours of sleep. Everyone told me this was to prepare me for how little sleep I’d get with my newborn. I’d take newborn sleep deprivation over that of the third trimester.
Nausea comes back in full force (among other things)
I’m assuming it was the hormones but my first trimester morning sickness came back with a vengeance. In fact, many of my symptoms from the first trimester came back: nausea, acne, exhaustion, etc. Some new fun symptoms even started such as bad acid reflux (didn’t matter what I ate, it happened every time).
The level of pain
Every woman is different. I already knew I’d be asking for the epidural during labor, but I wish I’d known that wasn’t the only time I’d be asking for an epidural. I had trouble walking on my right side (which is a whole other story). My doctor would reassure me how normal it all was and I wanted to punch him. It was Valentine’s Day and I clearly remember thinking I was going to have an alien (like in Alien) or a vampire (like in one of the Twilight movies) pop out of me. I’m fairly certain that was when my son was flipping over but I felt every movement. OH and don’t get me started on the pain levels when he’d head-butt my cervix.
Speaking of the cervix, I had no idea that my doctor would check it every time for the last several visits. Some women do better at this, but I was not one of them. I’d cry every time it happened.
Pregnancy brain at an all-time high
Maybe pregnancy brain is a myth, but I certainly had it. I’d forget what I was doing within 5 seconds of starting to do it. I’d walk into a room and start crying because I couldn’t remember why I was there. Luckily most things I did, or rather, forgot to do, were benign but I just couldn’t remember anything.
Braxton-Hicks are a pain
Apparently, they aren’t “supposed” to be. But I learned early on what was “supposed” to be and what actually happened during pregnancy are two different things. I think I ended up in Labor and Delivery 2 or 3 times for BH alone. The whole “you’ll know when it’s happening” wasn’t true. I definitely thought they were happening and there were many more times I didn’t go to L&D but thought it might be time. But a good rule of thumb, wait as long as you can because if they admit you, you cannot have food or drink and many labors go on for days (foreshadow).
Take it all in
If you’re a first time mom, like me, you’re probably ready to just have this child by now. But I wish I could go back and have a few more moments of being pregnant. I enjoyed all the little kicks and hiccups. I really enjoyed the last moment my husband and I shared together before we left for the hospital. I knew nothing would be the same and it hasn’t been; it’s been better. But I still wish I could’ve soaked in some last little moments.
My pregnancy was very rough. There’s some old wives’ tale that says a rough pregnancy means an easy baby. Or maybe it’s a rough labor means an easy baby. I don’t know what it was but I was lucky (?) that both were true. Either way, I got through it and so can you.
Speaking of which, be on the lookout for my post next week about labor and delivery. I hope this post helps any woman worried about the final stretch. If you have anything you would like to add, let me know in the comments below or on any of my socials.
Happy days and see y’all soon!