Time. Is. FLYING!!! With the second trimester burst of energy gone (like totally gone you guys) it feels like just about all I can do to make it through to the end of each day somewhat alive. I’m a total #napqueen at the moment and I told Todd that one activity per day is just about all I can handle so we’ve been trying to keep the schedule pretty light outside of work hours. I seriously don’t know how people do pregnancy when they already have multiple kids they also have to take care of—you gals are my heroes!! Since we could be at the finish line any day now, here’s a look back at what the third trimester brought with it….
Month Seven: The beginning of my third trimester started some of those “woah, definitely feeling bigger and bigger!” sorts of complaints whether it was related to how difficult it was rolling over (and over and over) in bed at night, or just trying to put on socks and shoes. I was trying on a pair of sandals at the mall and almost had to have the salesperson put them on for me because I couldn’t reach the side buckle—so embarrassing! This was also the beginning of walks at the park not necessarily being a walk in the park anymore (more like a slower waddle) and for once in my life Todd walks faster than me when we go out (I’m normally several feet ahead of him usually!). Still battling the low back pain at this point (keeping up the yoga and chiropractic to try and help) but at least it comes and goes so it’s not always there. I also finished my big nursery projects this month (like the hand-painted wallpaper and custom closet doors) and while the nursery was still far from done (not one piece of furniture it in yet), it felt good to have the big projects out of the way. Dress/Forever 21 (similar), Shoes/Public Desire, Sunnies/SojoS
Month Eight: This was the month I had my Baby Shower and really started to feel the pressure of finishing up some of our “to-do” and “to-get” lists before moving into the homestretch. While I had the vision for the nursery pretty much laid out we were still deciding and waiting on the main pieces to arrive so I busied myself with ordering the rest of the registry essentials and organizing and washing all the clothes, blankets, bedding, etc. so it would all be ready when the dresser and crib arrived. I also had some symptoms from the first trimester start to creep back in (hello again nausea!) although it wasn’t nearly as bad as the first trimester and I kept up the B6 vitamins to help keep it at bay. I also got a few new fun surprises too like acid reflux and the realization that my stomach is now squished to be pretty tiny so if I didn’t eat smaller meals I’d have that “way too full” barfy feeling for like 4 hours. Blech. My midwives and doula suggested Papaya Enzymes after each meal (and avoiding a lot of tomatoes) along with staying upright for 30 min or so after meals and that did seem to help…
Month Nine: AGH!!! How am I writing this section??! I think my brain still can’t wrap my head around this whole process, somehow it still doesn’t feel real even with all the aches and pains and giant wriggling belly included. This last homestretch has actually been some of the most stressful time so far because we found out that Baby was suddenly breech at 36 weeks and it sent us into a bit of a worried panic to come up with a new plan. We’ve been planning on giving birth at a birth center here in town but they only do low-risk deliveries (which most deliveries actually are) and a breech position would disqualify us from birthing there. Obviously we had chosen that route because we felt their philosophy and natural birth in general has some really great advantages for Baby (and Mom too) so we were feeling really disappointed to lose out on some of those benefits, but also because breech position is basically an automatic c-section as well. Even though it’s the most commonly performed surgery in the US at the moment (for better or worse), it still is major surgery and that’s generally something that I would prefer to avoid if possible. It’s true that there are some doctors who will attempt vaginal breech deliveries, but they are pretty hard to find and they would have to be on call when you went into labor so the chances of seemed slim. Even midwives that do home breech births will usually only do it on a case-by-case basis because of the added risks and a breech baby for a first time mom was a riskier situation than I was personally willing to take on as well.
Anyways, we tried literally everything I could find to try and turn her for 2 weeks (acupuncture, moxibustion, Webster chiropractic, yoga, spinning babies techniques, flashlights on the belly, frozen ice packs and heat packs on the belly, playing music and recorded voices low with belly speakers, crawling on hands and knees) with no results and I was feeling pretty drained from all the stress on top of my full time job and continued general baby prep. Oh yeah, and all the sudden not knowing what hospital or doctor to go to if I suddenly went into labor? Lots of frustrating calls with insurance companies trying to figure that out too wasn’t helping me relax either. Eventually we did find out what information we needed to have a new breech plan in place if she didn’t turn, but we decided to try an “external version” at the hospital where they attempt to turn the baby manually from the outside. It works in about 50% of the cases, but our midwives and doctor they recommended thought I’d be a good candidate for it so we decided to give it a try at 38 weeks. It definitely felt a bit scary to be at the hospital with like 6 doctors crowded around you, IVs in place, and an anesthesiologist waiting in the corner (just in case!) but I held Todd’s hand and tried to close my eyes and remain as calm as I possibly could while they moved her around. We also had so many wonderful friends and family praying for us that I had peace at the start of the day that whatever the outcome was, it would turn out exactly how it was meant to so that was a big thing keeping me calm as well. They basically oil up your belly and have one person push up on Baby’s butt lifting them out of the pelvis (they have a sonogram tech right there to see exactly where Baby is first) while one or two more people help push the rest of Baby around until the head faces down. I decided not to get an epidural for the procedure and while it was a pretty intense feeling to say the least (and yes, it definitely did hurt) I think I would for sure do it again without one if I had to. They do give you this other medicine though through an IV to stop your belly from contracting for a few moments and that stuff makes your heart race and body shake as well. Both are normal things to have happen with that medication (and they did warn me about it beforehand) but it certainly makes it way harder to relax your body when your heart is pounding out of your chest and your limbs are shaking!
Thankfully, the procedure not only worked but they said it was the fastest/easiest one they’ve ever seen and that Baby helped out by wiggling in the right direction as they started too! I could tell by the shocked looks on their faces that they really meant it, although I also just burst into tears when they said she was head down so their faces were a little blurry at that moment. We stayed for another hour afterwards so they could monitor Baby and make sure her heart rate stayed stable and then they sent us home about 5 hours after we started the whole process. Man, I was so tired from the anticipation and emotion of the day and pretty weak and shaky from the IV meds (and the 16 hours of fasting it had been at that point since they don’t want to you eat after the night before) but I felt extremely grateful walking out to our car to say the least. Since we didn’t know what would happen that day, the birth bag was in the car, the carseat was installed, the nursery was set-up and ready, but since we didn’t end up needing those items that day, we could just go home and finally relax for a bit before Baby decides she’s ready to show up.
As of this moment, Baby is still head down so we are able to continue with our original birth center plan (although I know that babies can have a mind of their own and birth is never totally predictable so that could all change in a moment) so we are basically just waiting for labor to start and we’ll go from there! I have had lots of braxton hicks tightening lately, but those can go on forever without meaning anything so I try not to take them too seriously. I’ll be trying to rest up as much as possible in the meantime and probably sneak in a few solo brunch/coffee dates with my Baby Daddy while I still can but stay tuned for news! It could be any day now!