Monday, 20 April 2015

Things that surprised me about the third trimester

Surprising things about the 3rd Trimester
Everyone seemed to love my previous post, 6 things that surprised me about being pregnant, so I thought I'd do a follow up for the final stages of my pregnancy, all the lovely new symptoms the third trimester held in store (in vaguely chronological order).

Hurting Ribs

An unexpected side effect of having everything squished up inside to make room for the baby is apparently rib pain, especially on the right side for some reason. This article on rib pain during pregnancy explains it quite well. Still sucks though.


I kind of expected to have a tiny bladder again once the baby was pressing on it (this went came and then went again in the first trimester) so getting up in the night was not unexpected. What I didn't expect was not being about to go back to sleep. I've never had problems sleeping so this was especially weird and annoying. No wonder pregnant women are always tired if they are always up since 2am! This didn't seem to last more than a couple of weeks though and I was soon sleeping again (except mandatory loo breaks). I'm thankful for that small mercy!

Night cramps

As if staying asleep wasn't already difficult enough, my feet or calfs decided to get in on the wake-Suzy-up action and start cramping for no reason. This NHS guide explains cramps are normal but gives no real reasons why. The internet (how did we survive without it?) suggested lack of either calcium, magnesium or potassium. I was pretty sure my calcium was covered (with chocolate milk & the small one sucking the white colour from my teeth), but the other two not so much. Bananas. So unpleasant, so full of potassium, a necessary evil once a day then. I found some spray on magnesium which is supposedly helpful. After using it a few weeks Mike seemed to think it was making my skin (where I was applying it on the backs of my calves) a different texture so I stopped using it every day just use it as needed. The cramps have lessened but if I stop having my banana for more than 3 or so days they come back.

Antenatal classes (NHS)

I had no idea what to expect. I figured it'd be some sort of breathing techniques lessons or something. The first one was a large group, all sat in a circle listening to the midwife explain about pain relief methods (gas & air, some injections, epidural etc). She showed us the epidural needle and explained the risks and I went right off that idea! Maybe as a backup if the pain is too great but certainly not as a first choice going in.

The second was after birth care. I think I had a distinct nausea look all meeting for this one, they should make people come to this class as a form of birth control. Breast feeding (with an incredibly dull video) and associated unpleasantness such as Mastitis, how to wash the baby (and the fact that they don't in the hospital and you shouldn't really for 5 days) and something called cord care, where the babys umbilical cord is left to rot off on its own (and can start to smell or get infected).... Ewww. I now have visions of the cord dropping off someone in the living room and the cats eating it - blerg!

The third was supposed to be a speaker (rather than a midwife like the first two) but they didn't book anyone so the midwife brought along a friend who'd given birth locally as a water birth 10 months ago for a q&a session which was actually quite interesting. Also 10mins from the lady who runs baby massage sessions which sound good but I bet they get booked up quickly.

Overall I was surprised there was no huffing & puffing & audience participation but I think that's on the NCT classes (there's about 6 or so I think but no one really told us about those early enough). Everyone said that it was a networking experience for new mums but, although friendly, no one seemed to be networking, maybe that was nct too.

Swollen Feet & Ankles 

Can be a sign of pre-ecplampsia but not in my case. Just excess water pooling in my feet from sitting or standing too long. Nice. This got much worse in the last week & I started sleeping with my feet slightly raised (by stuffing a huge duvet under the end of the mattress) which seemed to help.

In the last week or so... 

I'm now at 38 weeks (tomorrow), in the last week it's been a bit of a struggle to walk any distance. I was working last week (today is my first day of maternity leave) and I was alright once I got there but the usually 15 min walk had turned into about 35mins and was really tough on me. The baby had felt like she'd grown on Sunday (I'm blaming all the chocolate birthday cake), she was much heavier so I had a few more general aches & pains. Also the rib pain mentioned above turned into 3 distinct pains in that area (cue furious googling), 1: the rib pain of a tiny bottom wiggling around as mentioned, 2: a more in the middle of my sternum, burning pain which I concluded was food & drink related and 3: just below the sternum in the middle a pain which I concluded was my stomach muscles splitting & separating (which the midwife had warned about) - ouch! I started being a LOT more careful of not using them after that.

So now I have two weeks off to... err.. tidy the house I suppose. They call it nesting, I'm suspecting its just boredom combined with the discomfit of sitting too long in one place & the foreknowledge that I'll be too zombie-tired to do anything useful once the baby arrives. Feel free to comment below what things surprised you about pregnancy.

Added to the following linkies...
The List MaternityMondays


  1. I have just reached the 3rd trimester with #2 and *crossed fingers* have avoided any insomnia or swelling with either. Two things that have surprised me this time are how much bigger I have got and how out of breath I am so much earlier. Not long for you now - good luck!

  2. I never got to reach 38 weeks so it was interesting to read what I missed out on! Exciting times ahead for you! Try to rest as much as you can. I thought I was tired when I was pregnant, then along came baby and showed me the real meaning of the word! Ah gah! There I went offering unsolicited advice. But honestly, If I could turn back time I would eat lots of uninterrupted meals and sleep! #MaternityMondays

  3. Thanks. Good luck too! Not all of the symptoms were all throughout, the swelling didn't start until much later. Hope not long now - I'm feeling super large!

  4. Sorry to hear that, hope everything worked out though? I would rest more if my husband wasn't always trying to get me out for exercise ;) Its for my own good thou.

  5. Oh I remember the sore ribs vividly!! Not long now, enjoy the nesting (boredom!) and watch loads of films!

    Thanks for linking up to #TheList xxx

  6. thanks for hosting #TheList :) Yes, I will not miss the hurry ribs!

  7. ahh I remember some of these although it was a long time ago now! Good luck for last 2 weeks :) thankyou for joining in with #mummymonday - love Gemma - host xo