They say that every pregnancy is different. I never believed this statement to be true until baby number three. My first two were very similar experiences. I had a miscarriage before my son and was pregnant a month later with a healthy full term baby. The same repeated with my daughter. This being my fifth pregnancy and (third baby) the first twelve weeks are always a breath holder. The “safe zone” is something I stress over every day until I reach it. This go around I did not even announce to friends until 13 weeks out of fear of possible miscarriage. My husband and I had been trying for over two years for this little miracle, so when the double pink lines popped up on my birthday I was over joyed with excitement. Now with my first two I was the glowing, vibrant, and energized pregnant woman who now I loath. I would see women struggling and not understand how they could not love every moment of pregnancy. Why were they not joyful or bouncing around energized and nesting? Can we say karma. I get it…Mama’s if I ever said to you “I just love being pregnant’ I take it all back because now I know your pain.
Some pregnancies can just be HARD there is no way around it. The experience is beautiful but damn it ladies we have to cut our selves some slack…. We are growing tiny human beings… For this pregnancy I feel like I’m Bella from Twilight and have Baby Edward growing inside. From day one I have been throwing up, exhausted, and struggling to keep up with my lifestyle, business, and other two children. I have pushed through naturally because us mama’s have this little trick called magic super power strength to push through tough situations. Now on a positive note because you know I love a solid silver lining in situations, I have learned so much over the past eight months and wanted to bring you some peace of mind if you are experiencing a less than glowing adventure to mommyhood.
The third trimester of pregnancy is probably the most difficult period, in the entire nine month duration, mainly because your hormones become an identity all within themselves. You think crying at an SPCA commercial is bad during the first 12 weeks, now I am crying that I missed the “This is us” season premier, or that I can’t remember where I put anything, or that I can’t get my socks on without feeling like a hedge hog stuck in an upside down position. Most women go through something called the Third trimester blues. What’s that look like? Insomnia, boredom and anxiety. Let’s not leave out the painful back pain, swollen feet, ankles that no longer exist. Theres light at the end of the tunnel ladies… 1. This is temporary. 2. The “blues” typically only last a few weeks. 3. I have gathered up some information from mama’s with all different pregnancies and experiences and gathered up what I feel will make you feel at ease and “normal” as we get closer to the transition of labor. Without further a do let’s dive in, find some strength and support and know you are not alone. You are a brave, strong woman who is growing a beautiful baby.
- Total Myth – Losing your mucus plug means labors around the corner…..Yup you read it right, that is all false. Some women may lose it and experience a slight “bloody show” and nada for another couple of months. If you lose your mucus plug do not panic, it’s like a giant sneezing booger that comes out of your vagina….All shapes, all sizes, and no two are alike. This experience is all totally normal and natural, my doctor even told me that majority of the time women only lose “part of it” so the rest is still hanging on tight protecting that little nugget from any infections of the outside world.
- Contractions vs Braxton Hicks – Contractions are when your belly is consistently tightening for the same amount of time. For examples you have a tight tummy for 2 minutes long every eight minutes apart… When this happens you call your doctor! Braxton Hicks are practice contractions which are irregular and like a work out to prepare your body for the big day. Braxton Hicks are like the short run practices before the marathon. To time and tell the difference between the two here’s what you do… Grab some ice water, sit still and download the “contraction” app on your phone. Every time you feel tightening hit that start button on the app, when it ends hit the button again. This will allow you to relax all while timing your contractions to see if its time to call your doctor.
- Boobiesssss – Did you know that over your pregnancy your boobs can gain as much as 2 pounds…A PIECE. Woah Nelly. Were not complaining on this part am I righttt? Make sure you are wearing a supportive bra even at night. Leaking yellowish goo from the boobies?? It is all normal mama!! This is the colostrum your baby needs to thrive his first few hours meeting the world. You can also start scrubbing your nipples in the shower to toughen them up for nursing. (A wash rag works great for this, just rub a few minutes each shower.)
- Sleeping while Standing Up? Anyone else feel like they could just close their eyes and begin snoring mid conversation? Your body is working so hard the last trimester in growing this little person that it takes every ounce of everything you have. Make sure you are resting and giving yourself grace through this period. Its temporary and will pass. All completely normal.
- Hormones – Three hormones rise at crazy rates during different parts of your pregnancy: estrogen, the dominant female hormone produced by the ovaries; progesterone, the hormone responsible for maintaining the uterine lining, produced by the corpus luteum early in pregnancy and the placenta late in pregnancy; and human chorionic gonadotropin, better known as HCG, produced by the placenta. Changes in hormone levels cause changes in neurotransmitters, chemicals that relay signals to your brain to regulate your moods. (Basically we can expect to be total hot messes from week 1 – 12 then again from week 32-40) You are not alone and the irritability, crying episodes for no reason, and feeling foggy are all just part of the body working over time. This will all pass Mama Bear. I pinky promise you.
- What exactly are we growing the third trimester? Bones – As your baby transforms cartilage to bone in months 7 and 8, he’ll be getting all of his calcium from the mama. Hair, Skin and Nails – By week 32 of pregnancy, the baby’s skin becomes opaque. Digestive system – In the final weeks of pregnancy the meconium (baby poo poo) is consisting mostly of blood cells, vernix and lanugo — The poo is now building up in baby’s intestines. The Brain and Five Senses – In the third trimester your baby’s brain will grow faster than ever, test-driving some nifty skills including blinking, dreaming and regulating his own body temperature.
- Cray Cray Dreams – I have dreamt of everything from flying the first car, to being in war against barbies, to my husband having five wives I didn’t know about. Your brain does some serious doozies on you during the last stretch. What has helped me this pregnancy is Badgers lavender Sleep Balm. (Really and truly a miracle worker and all organic.)
- Aches and Pains – Can we just talk about hip pain while trying to sleep! WHEW girl!!!! I have experienced the Charlie Horses and lower back pain but this go around the pelvic pressure is on another level! So what is normal?
The extra pounds we have put on can cause pressure on your body (everywhere). The discomfort in your pelvis and hips are your ligaments getting limber to prepare for labor. Tips for sleeping with the pain? Take a Tylonal one hour before bed. Sleep with a pillow between your legs. Sleep propped up or on your left side. Heating Pads have also had some magic powers for me this pregnancy.
Every aspect of our bodies is changing daily, this can be scary, depressing, exciting, basically all the feels in such a short amount of time. Know that you are not alone, we are all here to answer any questions of “is this normal?” Before you know it that little bundle of joy will be in your arms and you will experience a happiness, euphoria, and love like never before. It’s truly a miracle, but along this ugly truth journey…We got you…After all we are the Mama Tribe and it takes a Village.