The Truth About Third Trimester

 

An email from Baby Center tells me I entered Day 228 of pregnancy. This week I had a routine doctor’s appointment and everything looks good. I have an achy lower back, round ligament pain and annoying rashes under my stomach that gets really itchy and irritated. I’ve been having major curry cravings so I ate it twice already this week. Soon after I get a heartburn, but the next day I want it again. Go figure.

Since I don’t have the willpower to fight the cravings I just eat it and drink plenty of water. Heartburn all day and night? No problem. There are other discomforts to keep me preoccupied.

I have trouble falling asleep swiftly these days. I feel full and uncomfortable like I’m in someone else’s body. I miss feeling fit, energized and light. I toss and turn for hours while listening to my husband’s rhythmic breathing. I get up to pee at least 2-3 times before falling asleep because the baby is sitting on my bladder. Or at least, that’s what it feels like. Sometimes I don’t even have to go but every time the baby shifts his body inside me I feel the urge. It’s annoying, so I take a deep breath, gather what’s left of my core strength, turn to my left side, grunt like a grandma and get up to go to the bathroom again.

I repeat this until 1 or sometimes 2 a.m. when the sleep goddess finally graces me. Then I wake up at 7 a.m. exhausted and starving like I haven’t eaten for days. It’s time to get the kids ready for school. My body feels heavy like dead weight. Sometimes I can drag myself out of bed, other times I cannot. Luckily my husband is there to step in to fix them breakfast and get them to school.

For this, I’m very grateful.

If I’m lucky I get through the night without leg cramps. If I’m not, I wake up unable to move my left leg and my calf feels incredibly sore. I wish I can get a foot massage but people say it can induce early labor so I count on my husband to give me a foot rub and leg massage once in awhile. Others say stretching before bedtime helps, but sometimes there simply is no cure.

If there is one thing I learned from three pregnancies, it’s that almost every discomfort is considered “normal” during pregnancy.

Doctor says I should start thinking about birth control options now before delivering this baby. I remember getting a pack of birth control pills at my first postpartum visit only a few weeks after giving birth. Is this seriously the best time to think about this? As soon as one baby is out, I have to worry about the next one?

I’ve tried everything from birth control pills to injections– I hate them all. It’s not natural and I don’t like the way it makes me feel and alters my regular cycle. The other viable option is permanent sterilization which sounds invasive and painful.

Some couples deal with infertility, other couples have sterilization surgery or take birth control to prevent having more children. Some believe even having one child is a huge blessing and spend thousands of dollars on fertility treatments, while another family is struggling to pay rent and support their growing family.

Life rarely seems fair. Or does it all even out in the end? I hope to be able to answer this question some day.

I’m now 8 weeks away from meeting this baby. It seems like just yesterday when I first found out I was pregnant. I wish I took a picture of the pregnancy test like I did with my first two, but this time I was so in shock and sick, I crawled into bed to take a nap. When I found out about my pregnancy about 5 days before a missed period, I was in Seattle visiting my parents after getting a concussion just two weeks prior.

A concussion, then a pregnancy. That’s how it went down.

The concussion scared me so much I thought I was getting old and closer to death. No really– the blackout and suddenly high blood pressure scared me so much I felt I got a second chance at life. And to celebrate my symbolic rebirth, I chopped off my hair.

You can read about it here.

Shortly after I was on the plane to Seattle because I needed mama’s home cooking and a break from full time mom duty. My parents were worried about me and my health as I was. Instead against all odds and plans, my body was slowly preparing itself for another baby and I left grandparents with a surprise pregnancy announcement of a third grandchild.

Everyone was happy and shocked. I was just….shocked. You can read more about it here.

This was last November when weather was chilly and I was wearing oversized coats and boots to protect the life that was just beginning to form inside my womb. I didn’t look any different, but everything changed overnight.

I had to quit drinking coffee cold turkey and deal with onset of morning sickness symptoms. I had to skip the much anticipated road trips, happy hours and oyster bars. I began waking up with the worst headaches, body chills and nausea. I was suddenly too sick to visit places and play energetically with the kids. I even cried in the shower a few times because I felt so sick and miserable.

I still remember my last drink. My husband and I were “bar hopping” in Downtown Seattle. This was our first date night in months and we walked around town holding hands in the rain. We were enjoying the cosmopolitan and eclectic Seattle vibe and gloomy weather. I had no idea my life was about to change drastically soon after.

Fast forward 7 months I’m now in my 32 weeks of pregnancy. It feels so long yet short. This baby boy is moving around a lot and my stomach is growing by the day. I’m extremely heavy, uncomfortable but excited.

Unplanned pregnancy = unplanned joy.

Nothing can be truer than this. Instead of trying to fit a baby around their life plans, I wish more people would fit their life plans around babies. I know how tough it is to let go of our plans especially when it comes to significant and life-altering choices like having babies.

But let me tell you, none of my pregnancies were planned to a tee but every single child fits into my plan perfectly. Even more perfectly than my own premature plans.

I guess what I’m trying to say is….pregnancy is tough but an amazing blessing, and there is no such thing as an unplanned pregnancy, just unexpected joy that stretches your heart tenfold.

Just let go and flow with the currents of life. You may miss some, but will gain that much more.

Angela
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