It feels so surreal to have ticked over into the third trimester. I can’t quite believe we’ve now entered the final stretch of this pregnancy – our little one will be here before we know it! This month we started our hospital classes, toured the birth suite and found out what position the baby is in. Let me fill you in on what happened between weeks 28-31, my seventh month of pregnancy!
Bumpdate: Weeks 28-31
I think I’ve been pretty levelled out during this pregnancy (although Ben will probably tell you differently!). I haven’t been overly emotional and haven’t generally been too teary (except when I watch birth videos – cue the waterworks!). This month though, I started to feel VERY emotional and a big conflict of feelings started swirling around inside me. I think now that I’ve entered the last trimester, it’s suddenly hit me that this pregnancy will be over soon and that’s making me feel sad.
I’ve truly adored being pregnant, of seeing my belly grow and feeling all those sweet kicks and movements. The fact that I only have a few short months left is making me want to pause time. Who knows if I’ll ever be able to be pregnant again? Maybe this babe will be our one and only. It sounds strange but it almost feels like I’m mourning not being pregnant anymore, even while I still am. Crazy I know. I’m just so conscious of time marching by and I want to soak in these last few special months.
I’ve also been feeling this intense conflict in wanting to both keep the baby in, safe and protected from the world, and being overwhelmingly impatient to find out who they are, kiss those little toes and finally hold them in my arms. When the baby is born, ANYTHING can happen – illness, accidents, you name it. But inside, they’re safe, warm and sheltered. Obviously I know that they can’t stay in there forever and need to come out at some point. I guess it’s just that mama bear protective instinct kicking in wanting to protect them from everything!
Come week 28, I popped into my GP’s office to get my whooping cough vaccine. It’s free to all pregnant women (and their partners) and it’s recommended you get the jab around this point in your pregnancy so that the antibodies are passed along to the baby. Needles don’t really bother me but I tell you what, the whooping cough one is nasty! I felt like my arm had been corked for days afterwards and I couldn’t sleep on that side or even lift my arm above my shoulder. Our families will also be getting theirs soon too, since it’s recommended that anyone who’s going to be in close contact with the baby be immunised.
A lot of women when they hit the third trimester start to get pretty uncomfortable but I’ve been so lucky so far. I’ve been feeling really good and, apart from a few niggles here and there, really have nothing to complain of. I keep waiting for the grumpiness and the ‘get this baby outta me’ phase to hit but it’s not here yet. I did pop back to the physio a couple of times for my hip pain and also, some new upper back pain. Basically, because my ribs are expanding to make room for this growing belly, my rib joints are getting sore and tired. It feels like a hot knife going into my back. The area just needed to be massaged and now it’s loosened up and feeling better.
When the midwife felt the baby at my 30-week appointment, we found out it’s head down! Woohoo! I’ve had a few friends and family members whose babies were breech (head up), which can mean for a more complicated birth or even a c-section. I’m glad our little babe got the memo (now stay put down there, baby).
This month, we also started the hospital’s childbirth education classes. It was spread over three weeks, from 6:30 - 9:30pm each Monday night. We covered things like what to expect in labour, when to come to the hospital, pain relief options, complications, taking the baby home as well as breastfeeding. To be honest, Ben and I both felt like we knew a lot of what was covered already from our fabulous hypnobirthing course. It was still good to learn about the hospital’s perspective on things though, like when an intervention is likely to be offered and what is routine practise within the hospital. This way, when we come to write our birth preferences, we know what we need to be more specific about.
We also got a tour of the birth suite and postnatal ward, which was super exciting and made everything feel so real. The birth suites at the Royal Women’s Hospital here in Melbourne are ahhhmazing. They don’t even really feel like hospital rooms. Firstly, they’re massive – bigger than my whole kitchen and living room combined. They all have big birth pools in them, are dimly lit, have fit balls, thick floor mats and are painted in a soothing lavender colour. Also, all the medical equipment is hidden away behind cupboards, only to be pulled out when and if needed. The whole environment just felt so calm and made me even more excited about the birth. I honestly can’t wait – I’m not afraid at all and am so looking forward to the experience!
In early August, Ben and I booked a little getaway up to Bright (in Victoria’s alpine region and about a 3.5hr drive from Melbourne). It was our first wedding anniversary and we wanted to do something special to celebrate. We booked a little cabin, stared out at the mountains, lit the log fire and sipped hot cocoa while reflecting on all that’s happened this past year. What a big, FULL adventure our first year of marriage has already been.
This month, I also wrote about my maternity leave plans here on the blog. As I’m self-employed, I don’t have a company to pay me any kind of maternity leave benefit so I’ll be accessing the government’s paid parental leave scheme. I had to pop down to Centrelink (always the joy) to sort out some admin stuff and get onto their system. Now we just have to wait until the baby’s born, forward on the birth certificate and start getting the payment.
So you know how a few months ago I wrote about how we’d be having a birth photographer capture our little one’s entry into the world? Sadly, due to unforeseen, difficult personal circumstances, our lovely birth photographer isn’t able to be there for the birth anymore. I’m now madly trying to find another Melbourne birth photographer to be there instead. It’s so hard though – there just aren’t that many birth photographers out there and even fewer whose styles I like! Wish me luck.
The nesting has well and truly been in full swing this month. I’ve been obsessing about cooking and stocking the freezer so that we won’t have to think about dinner prep once our little tornado is here. I can barely shut the freezer door now and it’s bursting with ready-to-go meals like chilli con carne, pies, curries, soups, cassoulet, zucchini slice as well as snacks like muffins and healthy banana bread. My mum’s going to come over soon too to help me cook more and since I’ve run out of room in my own freezer, she’s letting me take over hers. Thanks mum!
The general disorganisation of cupboards and shelves has really been getting to me as well. I’ve stocked up on drawer organisers and plastic tubs and have been slowly working my way around the house sorting and arranging everything. This is normally something I couldn’t care less about but at the moment, it’s really bothering me! I know the baby won’t notice if the bathroom cabinet is arranged neatly or not, but hey, being both pregnant and rational don’t always go hand in hand!
And lastly, what have I been reading this month? I dove into Juju Sundin’s Birth Skills, which I found super useful. It’s all about having as many tools to help you in labour as possible. It covers everything from movement, breathing, visualisation and vocalisation to naturally help you deal with the intensity of labour. It was so practical. If I find it difficult to get into or stay in ‘the zone’ using my hypnobirthing techniques, it’ll be great to use these more active birth skills too.
That’s it for this month’s pregnancy update on weeks 28-31! Stay tuned for the next bumpdate to read about our latest ultrasound, whether or not my placenta decided to move out of the way as well as our babymoon!
In the meantime, if you want to get up to date with my pregnancy journey so far, check out the pregnancy archives – you’ll find everything in there. Otherwise, read the latest three bumpdates here:
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What was your third trimester like? Tell me in the comments – I’d love to know!