Pregnancy: The Third Trimester

Updated: Sep 28

I’ve made it to the end of my pregnancy! While my pregnancy as a whole has gone by quickly, this trimester has felt like the longest of the three. It’s probably because of all the anticipation, knowing that our baby girl will be here soon - but how soon? It would be nice if there were some way to calculate the definitive end date of a pregnancy, but there really isn’t. Unless there is a medical reason for an early induction or cesarean delivery, babies come when they’re good and ready!


Anyway, here’s a recap of my symptoms, medical visits, and bump growth throughout the third and final trimester of my first pregnancy!

If you want to get caught up on how my first and second trimesters went, as well as how I've handled being pregnant during a global pandemic, check out these posts first:

The First Trimester

The Second Trimester

Preparing For Baby In the Midst of a Pandemic


Third Trimester Symptoms

Heartburn & Acid Reflux (until about 34 weeks)

While I started with this symptom during my second trimester, it continued well into my third trimester. I had a hard time getting to sleep at night because whenever I laid down, I’d feel a nasty burning in my throat and have to sit up for a while, take some Tums, and hope for the best. Thankfully, around 34 weeks the baby dropped, alleviating my heartburn and acid reflux for the most part.


Restlessness At Night

The farther I got into my third trimester, the more difficult it was to sleep at night. I got used to just staying up late, waking up at 4am like clockwork, and generally only getting about 5 hours of sleep total per night (as opposed to my normal 8-9). I guess this was my body prepping for my baby’s nighttime routine!


Exhaustion

Not sleeping much at night equals exhaustion during the day. Some days I’d nap, other days I wouldn’t, hoping that would help me to sleep better at night. However, I found that sleeping at night was equally difficult whether I had taken a nap during the day or not…


And my exhaustion during the third trimester extended beyond just a general feeling of tiredness. I had days where my arms felt too tired to lift them up while doing regular household tasks. I felt like my baby was literally sucking energy out of my appendages to use for her own growth. Not that I mind, she had to do what she had to do to keep growing, but it was a strange sensation for sure.


Slight Carpal Tunnel

A few nights during my pregnancy, I felt slight tingling and pain in my wrists, which felt like a little bit of carpal tunnel. Once I put braces on my wrists, though, the tingling and pain would go away before too long.


Hip & Lower Back Aches

As my baby girl got bigger and bigger, her weight caused more pressure on my hips and lower back. Combined with my joints loosening and preparing for labor, I didn’t always feel very comfortable as my third trimester progressed.

Pregnancy Brain

Pregnancy brain is real! And it’s been realer than ever for me in my third trimester. I’ve forgotten words, missed appointments, and done things without thinking on numerous occasions. At least I have a good excuse, though, right?


Clumsiness

I can’t count the number of times I’ve dropped things, broken dishes, and bumped into random objects. The third trimester has brought with it lots of clumsiness.


Braxton Hicks

Braxton Hicks contractions feel like a tightening sensation in your stomach, but aren’t actually “real” contractions since they don’t make you dilate. I’ve felt these quite a bit throughout my third trimester, more and more as I neared the end. I’ve noticed that Braxton Hicks would usually get stronger for me at night, and even make me wonder if this was labor coming on, night after night.


Nesting

The third trimester has been full of nesting activities for me, from finishing nursery, to prepping meals, to figuring out insurance stuff.


To find out more about my third trimester nesting tasks, check out this post:

35 Things To Do Before You Reach 35 Weeks Pregnant



Signs Of Labor

I started having some signs of labor coming soon around the 34th week of my pregnancy. Stay tuned for a future post about all the labor signs I experienced!



Medical Visits

During my third trimester, I had prenatal visits with a midwife every 2-3 weeks at the beginning, and then every week once I got into my final month.


Check out how i chose my care provider for my pregnancy here:

5 Steps For Choosing a Care Provider For Your Pregnancy


The first appointment of my third trimester was my 28-week appointment. At this prenatal visit, I was weighed, my blood pressure was taken, and I got to ask whatever questions I had at the time. In addition to this “normal” prenatal appointment stuff, I got a Tdap shot, at my midwife’s recommendation, as an extra defense for my baby girl’s immunity. This will help her not to get Tetanus or Pertussis (Whooping Cough) as a newborn, as these could be very harmful to a tiny baby. At this appointment, we also discussed my postpartum plans for contraception.


Two weeks later, I went in for my 30-week appointment. Nothing was out of the norm for this prenatal visit - just weight, blood pressure, questions, listening to my baby’s heartbeat, and getting my belly measured. The same procedures followed at my 33-week appointment, and my baby girl continued to measure about a week ahead each time.


At my 36-week appointment, I was tested for Group B Strep, as is the common practice for most care providers. The next week, at my 37-week appointment, I found out that I had tested positive. My midwife explained that this means I'd be given antibiotics during labor to prevent it from passing to my baby. While Group B Strep is harmless to me, there was a slight chance that it could cause an infection for my baby, hence the preventative antibiotics. Despite this little bump in the road, all I had to do from this point on was wait for my baby girl to arrive, and go to weekly appointments to make sure all was well.



The Bump

During my third trimester, I gained about 5 pounds. Added with the 10 pounds I gained in my first trimester, and the 10 or so I gained in my second trimester, my total pregnancy weight gain was about 25 pounds. This put me right in the recommended range my midwife team had set for me in the beginning of my pregnancy.


Even though I only gained 5 more pounds during the third trimester, my belly definitely grew much more than it had in any of the previous trimesters! My belly certainly started getting in the way and feeling heavy. I even accidentally burned it on a pot while cooking one day, since I wasn’t yet used to how far it was sticking out! As I got farther into my third trimester, I found it more and more difficult to turn over from side to side when lying down. Also, almost none of my clothes fit anymore, so I mostly wore leggings and tee-shirts or hubby’s clothes.


That’s wrap on my third trimester! It was tiring and rather uncomfortable at times, but totally worth it in the end! If you’re in the midst of your third trimester right now, or heading into it soon, know that you can make it through whatever challenges it throws your way and be so proud of yourself in the end for growing a tiny human!



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