Third Trimester! Third Trimester!! This was the stage of pregnancy where my endurance level was sorely tried, the second time I was pregnant. While I looked forward to the birth of the twins, the days seemed to drag.
Everything was S-L-O-W. Yes, like that! My walking had become a swaddle! Fast sudden movements? For where??! For who? Not for me and the passengers on board, who looked like they were nesting beautifully in my uterus.
By then, bending down was long gone. I needed some lift to get up from my bed, need I add that there was always a noticeable dent on my side of the bed, whenever I woke up, and when I lay down to sleep, even I could feel the mattress scream in protest under the weight it had to carry. The nine weeks I spent pregnant in the third trimester happened to be the longest weeks of my life.
The third trimester, which usually starts from the 28th week, through to the 40th week of pregnancy, comes with both physical and emotional changes. It is during this time, that the baby will be considered mature, and hopefully will come latest by the 40th week, which will be just perfect, as it reduces its mom’s wait to see him. For the final lap of your pregnancy, you might need to keep these tips at the back of your mind.
Your tiredness will be on another level
Being extra tired at this stage is quite understandable as your baby is growing, and your uterus is expanding. The extra weight you are carrying is the main culprit for your tiredness. Being able to slow down at this stage could be the very best thing you can do. While at it, taking naps and snacking might be good ways to keep refreshed and ramp up your energy levels.
Sleep will take on a new meaning
Whenever I was able to sleep for 7 straight hours in my third trimester, just know that it was purely a blessing, and that I would be feeling the impact for a few days to come. I was not sleeping, not because I did not want to, but because, night time was when the babies decided was the perfect time to practice their football skills, and then, the heat!!! I don’t know, where it came from, but it would leave me lying there, in a pool of my own sweat, which was not conducive for sleep, I tell you. The heat would demand water, and then I would need to urinate, and then I would need another shower, and the cycle continued, and before I knew it, morning would have broken. Arise and shine!
So, you see, if I was able to sleep for hours, then I was blessed. Regarding this third trimester, researchers have termed it the most sleep-challenged trimester of pregnancy and that is mostly because of the numerous things that I experienced above. It is also partly, nature’s way of preparing you for the sleep deprived fourth trimester, when baby is here.
Finally, prepare for crazy dreams, when you do finally sleep.
Your sense of balance is suddenly off
Talk about getting stuck in awkward positions and being unable to do anything about it, or all you can do is a hilariously ungraceful crawl to get up. My major challenge was getting up from wherever I was seated. I would have sat, or lain, for hours on the same spot, because I could not pull myself up, and I could not roll over.
This situation is caused by two things; your rapidly expanding belly, and the hormone, relaxin, which loosens your joints in anticipation of delivery, which in turn, exacerbates the stress on your body. However, you can deal with it by doing pelvic tilts, i.e. rocking your pelvis back and forth while kneeling on all fours and keeping your back straight…provided you can.
Getting a pregnancy pillow might not be a wasted investment after all. These pillows help to support your back and abdomen, when you are sleeping. If you sleep on your side, wedge a pillow between your legs to create equilibrium for your hips.
If you need help to get up, please ask, and if someone offers you, don’t turn it down.
And the Braxton-Hicks contractions will show up
Consider them great training for the main dish. They can happen at any time of the day, but you will feel them as they help your body prepare for labour and childbirth. False contractions, better known as Braxton-Hicks contractions, tend to happen mostly in the front part of your bump. However, the real contractions start at the back, and work their way through to the front, sometimes, even moving from top to bottom.
With real contractions, changing position or movements might intensify it, so if you are not sure whether it’s the real thing or pre-contractions, move around a bit. If you’re still unsure, then you need to see your doctor.
Having a baby becomes more real to you
Perhaps, it is the closeness of the EDD, or the increased activities of the babies, or the lack of sleep, which ever it is, I found I was very introspective during these last weeks. I was quiet a lot, because I did not have the energy to expend on conversations with people, so, the conversations went on in my mind.
It was purely sublime, the feeling I got, whenever I got to that place where I realised that I was actually carrying and nurturing babies, in this ordinary body of mine. That inside of me, were not one, but two human beings, people, who would have minds of their own, and personalities different from mine.
At those times, I ceased to remember my initial reaction to the fact I was pregnant with twins again. I forgot about how I would cope, and I just enjoyed it. Those were the times I got to nap peacefully for a few hours. It was like the babies knew I was in a place of acceptance, hence, they also settled in for a nap, and we were one happy family.
And that’s how the last trimester rolls. If every coping mechanism fails, just remember, the baby(ies) will soon be here, and let that thought console you.
Strength for the final lap…and afterwards!
Join the conversation with any of our TTC and Pregnancy Groups here