Friday, May 15, 2015

Surviving the 3rd trimester

After you have a baby, one of the first questions after "How are you sleeping?" is "So when are you having a second?"  It's surprising how many people ask that.  I don't know if we'll have a second, we're just having a really good time getting to know Luca and enjoying this newborn stage.  He's already changing so quickly.  It's amazing how much stuff you forget, so I wanted to jot down a few of my 3rd trimester essentials just in case a second comes along.

I think I was pretty lucky in my third trimester.  I heard people talk about feeling like they just wanted to get the baby out of them and that they were so uncomfortable they were over being pregnant. Some friends felt like that early into the third trimester.  But I never really felt that way.  By the very end I was just anxious to meet our baby (and find out if we had a son or daughter!). But I was still pretty comfortable.

That said, there were some things that made the third trimester a lot easier for me.

I did yoga throughout my entire pregnancy.  I went to a prenatal class once a week and then did stretches at home at night before bed.  Honestly, I think this was the #1 best thing I did during pregnancy.  I don't know how women survive pregnancy without it. I also did a pilates reformer class about once a week. It wasn't prenatal but the instructor modified things for me as I got further along.
I loved this tea and drank a small pot of it almost every night starting at 36 weeks.  I also brewed red raspberry leaf tea which is said to help your labor progress.  I'm not sure if it did anything but my doctor said my active labor stage progressed much faster than was expected.  And if anything, while it felt like so much was out of my hands, making this tea every night made me feel like I had a bit of control and was helping things along.

A friend recommended taking evening primrose oil during my 3rd trimester.  I took two a day until 38 weeks and then took four a day. Like the tea, there's no way to tell if it actually helped things.  But it made me feel like I was doing something to help and I had a really fast recovery.

 We were incredibly blessed to have three different people host showers for Luca's arrival.  One of my goals while on maternity leave was to send all of our thank you cards before I went into labor.  Friends and family were so incredibly generous, I had to re-order stationary several times just to write them all. I ordered some gorgeous cards from Sugar Paper LA. Target also has a really selection at great prices - favorites here and here.

I was skeptical at first but now I'm a total believer in the benefits of acupuncture. I started going for my migraine pain and continued through pregnancy.  It was wonderful to have an hour to just lay down and relax in the middle of the day. At 38 weeks, my acupuncturist started doing some techniques to help induce labor.  That afternoon was the first time I felt my first contractions. I scheduled 2 more sessions after that and had to cancel the last one because my water broke.

Friends warn you about lots of things during pregnancy but it's hard to imagine it happening to you... until it does. Like not being able to cross your legs or not being able to tie your shoes.  I laughed when I had to contort myself to reach to tie my shoes and then finally gave in and wore slip-on shoes for the last few weeks of pregnancy. I thought I had avoided the feet swelling stage too, but during my last few weeks of work, by the end of the day my feet were so swollen.  At night I used Luca's infant tub and soaked my feet in warm water with bath salts.

I've mentioned it before, but the bumpnest pillow was such an essential item for my sleep in both the 2nd and 3rd trimesters.

{2 1/2 weeks}

{5 weeks}


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