Let’s catch up on what’s been going on in my third trimester, shall we? YES, LET’S!
29 – 34 WEEKS
This is a fairly huge chunk of time although, in truth, it was genuinely marked by energy and feeling pretty damn good. When I was supposed to be feeling amazing in the second trimester I felt crap, and now I’m in my third trimester I should be feeling shattered and devoid of energy but I’m not! So praise be.
A lot of that is to do with the iron I’ve been taking for my anaemia which has, in turn, cured my restless legs giving me the most amazing nights sleep I’ve had in yonkers. I’ve also been practicing yoga daily, in no small part preparing my body and mind for the marathon of its life but also because I’ve started my 50 hours pregnancy yoga teacher training (timing sounds mad, but it feels so right)
Emotionally, I’m a LOT happier albeit fairly anxious about the birth. Most people seem to think I’m anxious not to have another c-section but I’m not worried about that (I’ve done it, know what it’s like and know the recovery wasn’t hideous for me) – what I AM worried about is the unknown. I’ve laboured for 27 hours with no pain relief (not in a braggy way) but I haven’t experienced transition or the second stage of pushing. And that unknown is fairly scary……not sure why, as I wasn’t remotely frightened the first time around.
Perhaps it’s the onslaught of horror stories you become privy too once inducted into the cult of motherhood, or perhaps it’s the lost innocence of having already given birth. Who knows, but this is something I’ve had to work on through hypnobirthing (which I didn’t do last time.)
35 – 39 WEEKS
Well, after feeling VERY SMUG about the fact the dreaded Pelvic Girdle Pain (PGP) I’d been afflicted with in my first pregnancy hasn’t come back, guess what? It’s back. Luckily I managed to complete my pregnancy yoga teacher training before it kicked in but still….come on. It’s started with twinges, rather than the full on I-CANNOT-WALK horror of last time but I know it’s only a matter of time before things get tricky.
So armed with my new-found knowledge about the pelvis and anatomy of a preggo I’ve been practicing gentle yoga, and resting a whole heap. Yoga Nidra (yogic sleep) has become my new best friend and I’ve been listening to my hypnobirthing tracks daily. The only thing I can’t really change is my daily walk to get my toddler from nursery and the various activities we do together (that are all fairly physical.)
My mood has definitely shifted into a less sunny disposition and I’m feeling all the feelings about the fact I should be in Edinburgh for a friend’s wedding but, alas, I am exhausted both mentally and physically and decide to stay at home feeling sorry for myself. A tricky decision and, spoiler alert, one I come to regret.
As I approach the final hurdle time seems to incomprehensibly slow down and speed up all at the same time. Which leads me to feeling a bit out of sorts about my birth plan (which, FYI, nobody has asked to see as at 39 weeks because the care down in Brighton is LESS THAN ideal………and I’m privileged so God help those less fortunate. Look, the NHS are freaking amazing. They are. And I am PROFOUNDLY grateful to have been born in a country that, once upon a time, believed in a welfare state that grants healthcare to us all for free. But in comparing my care down in Brighton to London it’s been lacking; I was under the care of the perinatal mental health team in London, however here, “I don’t qualify” despite the fact my history is the same, I had post-natal depression AND my anxiety/depression have both got much, much worse throughout pregnancy.
I was also not allowed the mythical ‘birth stories’ chat I hear so many folk talk about (this is where a midwife talks you through the notes of your last birth so you can better understand what happened) because it wasn’t considered ‘traumatic enough’……overall, it’s been an uphill battle to get any support and I’m lucky that I have the emotional privilege (along with everything else) to have fought for midwife changes, birth plan chats etc etc.
But it has definitely taken a toll on my mental health and that’s felt crappy at a time I should be coddling myself in extra support.
That being said, as I approach my estimated due date I feel fairly positive (albeit impatient) that everything will be okay. Trusting in the process, my body and what’s meant to be is hard but with a whole heap of support from friends and my saint of a husband I’m getting there!
40 – 41 WEEKS
Hello my old friend OVERDUE. As I write I am 40 weeks and five days pregnant which is technically overdue however practically completely normal. In fact, if I moved to France tomorrow I wouldn’t even be due yet (they consider week 41 full term) so…..there’s that.
Although I am insanely excited to meet baby two and feeling all the gratitude for my crazy nesting stint of the past month (SO much has been fixed, cleaned and decluttered) I’m also very aware of the fact I am, in NHS terms, a ticking time bomb. As a home birth VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarian) I’m considered to be more risky than a normal vaginal birth and, as a rule, the NHS don’t like pregnancies to linger beyond 42 weeks.
But like last time, I’m not prepared to have an induction, rather choosing to have extra scans to check baby’s okay if needs be/going straight to a c-section so…..essentially, I’d love everyone to get in the sea and leave me alone 😉
One small thing; I can barely walk. The PGP is now so bad I am both waddling AND limping. Oli’s had to take over picking Anaïs up from nursery (thank GOD) and we spend our afternoons going a little stir crazy at home. But it’s also had it’s sweet moments as we have been able to spend loads of quality one on one time that I know I’ll miss soon enough.
I’ll end this on a happy note (SHOCKER) and say that while this pregnancy has been incredibly tough and I am in a lot of physical pain, I am also feeling intensely blessed. For every ache and pain, and annoying midwife I can count 10 friends who’ve sent me messages of support, dropped flapjacks on my doorstep, added me to a meal rota, prayed for me and generally made life a whole heap better.
And for that I’m TRULY grateful.
See you soon (with a baby hopefully!)
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This is a much requested post AND one I've been promising to write for a long time, too. It baffles me in a way and saddens me somewhat too -- because it speaks to a much deeper issue really doesn't it? Funnily enough, this post was supposed to go live last week (I...