The third trimester is a struggle, especially with pre term labor and a high risk pregnancy.
Being on hospital bed rest from weeks 28-34 and then transitioning to home bed rest is very worrisome for both me and my boyfriend. I love being home, but we are an hour and a half from our hospital, baby boy is breech, and I have large troublesome fibroids so it will be an emergency Cesarean unless I can miraculously make it to my scheduled Cesarean at 39 weeks. Today does mark 35 weeks gestation though so that is a huge milestone for us.
I have been home a week. I feel like as soon as I got home my pre term labor symptoms increased. I am always worried about baby boy since I am so use to hearing him on the monitors daily. I get out my stethoscope every morning to hear his heartbeat. I’m constantly thinking about how often he moves or doesn’t move. I have more uncomfortable contractions, increased leaking of fluids, and almost constant uncomfortable period like cramping. Since I’m so prone to frequent contractions, I was told to only go to the hospital if I am bleeding, fluids are running down my leg, or my contractions are extremely painful AND 2-4 min apart or progressing. So it’s a waiting game. Every time I tell my boyfriend about my discomfort or he sees I’m having a contraction he tells me he is going to take me back to the hospital. I say that he can’t return me!
I know that I’m probably doing more at home then I was in the hospital or should be doing but I really am trying to rest as much as possible. Rest doesn’t seem to help anymore though. I can barely roll over without contracting. I’m sure this baby will make his appearance sooner rather then later.
Let’s talk about the third trimester struggles:
1. Sleep. It is extremely hard to get a good nights rest. You can’t get comfortable. Rolling over is a process, then you need to re adjust all the pillows. You may experience restless legs. I feel like my whole body is restless. You have two options for sleeping, the left hip or right hip but your hips hurt so much that you don’t want to lay on them at all. You also need to get up to pee constantly. Once you’re about to fall asleep baby is up doing his baby gymnastics in your belly. Your boyfriend/husband/partner’s sleep is also affected because of your constant movements and getting up.
2. Bathroom issues. Like I mentioned above, there is the constant urge to pee. You feel like you have to go so bad then sit down and barely anything comes out. It’s recommended that you drink a ton of water all day and night which obviously doesn’t make this any better. Then there’s constipation. I’m not sure why so many pregnant women struggle with this but it’s very uncomfortable. There’s already a ton of pressure down there from the weight of the baby so this does not help. Being in pre term high risk labor my doctors don’t want me to push at all so they have me on a bunch of stool softeners. They still don’t help!
3. Showering. It is exhausting to shower. Reaching your feet to wash them and dry them is nearly impossible. Shaving in the third trimester should be an Olympic event.
4. Getting dressed. Not only is it hard to find clothes that fit you and your ever growing belly but it’s hard to put them on. Pants, socks, and shoes are the hardest. Your balance isn’t so great anymore trying to stand on one leg to dress yourself is a challenge.
5. Walking. We all start this waddle walk in the third trimester. If you are getting up from sitting or laying down the pressure is so intense that you feel like your baby will just fall out of you.
6. Discharge. You are constantly leaking fluids. Whether it’s pee from the pressure on your bladder, discharge, or amniotic fluids. You go through a lot of underwear, liners, and pads. What a mess.
7. Heartburn. Luckily I don’t have this but most pregnant women struggle with heartburn.
8. Round ligament pain and Braxton Hicks contractions. As if you weren’t uncomfortable enough. You also start getting bad period like cramping and pains.
9. Back pain. That baby is heavy and is putting a lot of strain on your lower back.
10. Swelling. Everything is swollen. Your feet are swollen from being on them a lot with the extra weight you are carrying. Your hands can be uncomfortable and swollen too from Carpal Tunnel. Even your vagina swells up.
11. Hemorrhoids. This is an unpleasant side effect of pregnancy.
12. Spider veins and Varicose veins. I’m not sure why but you have an increase in visible veins while pregnant. I would assume due to the increased blood flow in your body to your baby.
13. Breathing. Breathing is a struggle. Most people get a relief when the baby drops into position and the pressure is taken off your diaphragm a bit, but my baby is breech and there’s no sign of relief there.
14. Fatigue. You are carrying around a lot of extra weight so you are generally more fatigued. Every movement is also exhausting. Getting up from sitting or laying down, getting in and out of bed, getting in and out of a car. Even just walking around is exhausting.
15. Incontinence. With all that pressure on your bladder you are going to leak, especially when you sneeze and cough.
16. Snoring and drooling. Waking up in a pile of drool?
17. Stuffy, bloody nose. This is also due to the increase in blood flow. You may also get bleeding gums.
18. Itchy stomach. This is normal due to the stretching of the skin to accommodate for baby. All the lotion and oils in the world won’t help. If your itching is excessive, worse at night, all over your body, especially your hand and feet then you need to be checked for Cholestasis.
19. Pregnancy brain, decreased balance and clumsiness. Your center of gravity had changed a lot with a baby inside of you.
20. Restless legs. In my case, restless body.
21. Leaking boobs. Your body is preparing to feed your baby.
22. Blurry vision. In late pregnancy your eyes become very dry or very wet which may cause blurry vision.
23. Pregnancy hormones. When your pregnant you seem to cry about everything! Never mind the hot flashes, mood swings, and headaches.
24. Your belly button. Is your innie now an outie? Mine sticks out when I laugh!
25. Sex drive. Some pregnant women have an increase in their sex drive and some have a decrease. Unfortunately for me I have been on pelvic rest since 28 weeks.
26. Acne. Where is that pregnancy glow? I have never felt as though I was glowing.
27. Nausea and vomiting. This can come back for some women in the third trimester.
28. Diet. You want to eat healthy but crave unhealthy foods you don’t usually like.
29. Eating. Some people are starving in the third trimester and can’t stop eating and some people have to force themselves to eat. I am barely ever hungry. I just feel full and uncomfortable all the time.
30. Doctor appointments. You have a million doctor appointments. Ultrasounds, a strep B swab test, NST (Non Stress Test), and cervix exams.
I’m sure there’s many more that I’ve missed…
Pregnancy is so glamorous!