Thursday, August 20, 2009

Third Trimester: Almost There

I’ve been in the 3rd trimester for the past 10 weeks. To quote Charles Dickens, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times; it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness; it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity…” and all the other stuff. That pretty much sums up the third trimester.

Here is what was/is good about the third trimester:
  • Fetal movement: I don’t care what anyone says I will never bore of feeling Evan. And I know that once he is no longer in there, I’m going to feel a little empty.
  • Looking pregnant: It really wasn’t until the third trimester that I finally went over the “is she fat or pregnant” hump. Looking pregnant is nice because it is an immediate excuse for why you are a little more cranky than usual, you are sweating more, or why you fall asleep in a meeting. You really don’t have to say anything, just point to your belly.
  • Viability: Basically, by the third trimester, the question becomes when you are going to have a baby and not “if.”
  • Baby Showers: What isn’t fun about having people give you gifts? I’m not the biggest fan of being the center of attention at showers, but I do love the gifts.
  • Husband perks: foot rubs, belly lotion, pedicures and all the other pampering things your husband is all the sudden ready to do for you.

But, as Dickens points out, the third trimester is also the worst of times (at least I think that is what he was referring to in the first line of A Tale of Two Cities. And so now let’s take a look at some of my not so favorite things about the third trimester.


Yes, I was told sleeping would be difficult but was assured that as long as I stayed on my side and bought a body pillow, everything would be okay. Well, they lied. There has been nothing “okay” about sleeping since week 28. Yes, I bought the body pillow, yes, I tried to sleep on my side, but I couldn’t last for more than 45 minutes at the most. So, I finally gave up and decided to sleep on my leopard print chaise lounge. I can get 2-3 hours straight on the chaise lounge, then I go to the bed for a few hours, then I return to the chaise and back and forth all night. The one thing I can’t do on the chaise is stretch out. I really miss stretching out.

So, everyone says that this not sleeping thing is God’s way of getting me prepared for when the baby comes. Okay, fine… but did He need to prep me for 10 weeks? Couldn’t I have learned the same lesson in like 3 weeks at the most?

Carpal Tunnel / Tingly Sensation

I don’t know if you are aware of this… but apparently carpal tunnel syndrome is a common side effect of pregnancy and it is no joke! I have to admit that in the past, when people would complain about carpal tunnel, I thought they were over-reacting. I’m here to tell you now, THEY ARE NOT KIDDING! I am a pretty independent woman and so far, Brian has had to cut up my food twice out in public (and more than that in private). I choose meals to cook based on how much cutting there is in the prep, I wear a brace as often as possible, and I spend a lot of time resting my wrist. It really really hurts.

In addition to the carpal tunnel, my hands are so swollen (which causes carpal tunnel) that my fingers are constantly tingling. I have to often stop what I’m doing, make and unmake a fist, let the hands hang and let the blood flow. More of an inconvenience than the pain of carpal tunnel.

Ankles (or lack thereof)

Yes, I’ve heard the rumors of swelling – that it happens to some women. But I don’t know that I really understood what it would look / feel like. It started slowly, I was able to wear my normal shoes for a while, it just looked like I was baking bread over the tops of them. At night the swelling would go down and my feet would look normal by morning. And then one day my normal shoes felt very uncomfortable and I accepted that I had to move on to flip-flops (this was about 5 weeks ago).

Once I started to wear the flip flops, I noticed some other changes. My ankles completely disappeared – I have a stump that meets my foot at a right angle. In fact, they now swell so much that there is a permanent crease where my left and foot meet. The swelling no longer goes down and it’s been weeks since I’ve seen my ankles.

The scariest part? I put on my flip flops the other day and I can barely wear them anymore. I have to think that at some point my feet will just have had it and boycott. I don’t know what that will look like, but let’s hope it doesn’t happen before the 25th.


At 24 weeks, back in the second trimester, I, like every other pregnant woman, went and got my glucose test for Gestational Diabetes (GD). Since I had been diagnosed with PCOS and since I was overweight before I got pregnant we (at least my medical practitioners and myself) were all in shock when it came back that I didn’t have GD. So I continued with my normal diet into the third trimester.

Then, giant baby came on the scene. I had been measuring big throughout my entire pregnancy. This is no surprise considering the fact that I’m almost 5’ tall and the average woman has about 5 inches on me where she can put the baby. But then, over the last few weeks, I’ve ballooned. Last Friday, at 37 weeks, I was measuring 44 weeks (3 more centimeters than the previous week). My doctor thought that maybe I do have GD which would contribute to his size (either that or I just grow giant babies).

Since I’m giving birth in a week, it’s important to know if I have GD so that they can address the baby’s blood sugar levels once he is born. So, since Saturday, I’ve been pricking my fingers 4 times a day to test my glucose levels (fasting, 2 hours after breakfast, 2 hours after lunch, 2 hours after dinner) and will be doing this until at least Friday when I have the next appointment. Just to add fun to my medical prognosis, the last 4 days I’ve been well within the normal range. Today, my fasting and my after breakfast levels were high. I swear I’ve done nothing different. But, I mean come one, why not throw a curve ball… juts for fun?

Doctor’s Appointments

Read my post from yesterday. Now think about the fact that in the third trimester, I’ve seen a midwife or physician EVERY WEEK. Nothing has changed about what happens in the appointments, just how often it happens.

And it might seem like the bad outweighs the good, but that really isn’t true. It’s just that there is always more to say about the bad. This is why Dickens didn’t write : “It was the best of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the epoch of belief …” No one would have read it.

I have loved being pregnant – all parts except for the anxiety, carpal tunnel, and sleeping – but I’m ready for the baby. I think the gestational period works very well and I know that this is as good as it gets.

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