Hey there! Well… I had meant to finish this recap a little while ago, however our little guy decided to make an early appearance at 36 weeks! So here I am playing catch up. I’m glad I had the Pregnancy Diary ‘Tales of the Bump’ to keep track of each week and give me a reminder of what it was like.
So… where do I begin… the third trimester was a bit of a nightmare for me. I wish I could have been one of those women who had lots of energy and was running about right up until their due date… instead for me I’ve been to and from the hospital, had a few scares and just didn’t have the best time of it. I feel bad for saying it but I didn’t enjoy the final trimester and just couldn’t wait for baby to arrive!
I was a bucket of nerves and more so as it got closer to the day itself. Tbh lack of sleep probably wasn’t helping and me being a worrier, worrying about my little bubba.
I’ve added how big baby is as per what to expect website, however my baby was a biiiitttt bigger when he came out so actually was bigger than these comparisons! Either way it was nice to think how big he might have been.
Week 28: Baby is as big as a head of lettuce
I had my 28 week growth appointment with the midwife and baby measured in the 90% for growth. At this point they weren’t too worried about the size and just something they’d keep an eye on. I on the other hand was starting to get nervous about how big baby was going to be!
I also had to go into hospital for my 28 week bloods. My appointment was first thing at 9:40am and I was the first to be seen – nice and quick which was a nice change!
I read that by 28 weeks baby can blink and stick out their tongue – so cute!
Week 29: Baby is as big as a head of cauliflower
It was week 29 that I really started to struggle and had my first trip to triage. Bump started being very uncomfortable and half way through the week my bump started to go hard, tight and was very uncomfy. So at 7:30pm one evening I called up triage and was told to go in for an assessment. I was very nervous but was seen very quickly! They checked baby’s heart rate and monitored him for about 20 mins. He was all fine and they said he had a very strong heartrate for 29 weeks <3 I was told I had Braxton Hicks (false contractions) so nothing to worry about but just very uncomfy. They said did say if they got sore to just take some paracetamol.
Week 30: Baby is as big as a bunch of broccoli
What a week! Indigestion hit with a vengeance and was particularly bad at night and it was a struggle to sleep. Nausea also came back and I was sick twice. On Sunday I projectile vomited down the stairs and all over the bathroom after smelling duck being cooked for lunch! I’d tried to sit down at the top of the stairs in the hope it would pass but it obviously didn’t… For someone who hates being sick it hasn’t been the most enjoyable symptom!
My feet also decided to start swelling and I could just about fit into my shoes minus my Toms!
I definitely was all about the treats though and some of the below got me through! Project D doughnuts, crumpets (sometimes there’s nothing better than a buttery crumpet!), brownies from the local farm shop and homemade cookies (you have to try making Jane’s Patisseries NYC cookies if you haven’t already – see recipe here)
Week 31: Baby is as big as a coconut
Our NCT classes started and took place over zoom. It was a little strange to do it over zoom but it’s been nice to meet other parents-to-be in a similar situation. (Having now finished the course we didn’t really learn much that was new but was really good for meeting others even if it was over zoom. We have a whatsapp group and has been really good for tips, chatting about how it’s going and asking for advice.) It will be lovely when we can meet up face to face!
About this time, I started to get very breathless even when sitting down and my feet became even more swollen so I called up triage and was told to go in. I managed to see the midwife very quickly who monitored baby and all was fine. I then had to wait to see the doctor which would have been OK but I had to wait 5 hours! 5 hours! It was a good job I had a couple of breakfast bars in my bag as I got there at 5pm and didn’t get home until 11:50pm! Poor Tim was waiting in the car – we thought it would just be our luck that as soon as he got home I would be seen and he’d have to drive back. Oops!
When I eventually got seen by the doctor she checked my feet, lungs and heart, and I had an ECG. It was all fine luckily but it was just a very late night. When it comes to bubba you don’t want to take any risks.
The doctor obviously apologised for how long it took to be seen and mentioned that there were only 3 doctors working that Saturday evening across the whole hospital. We couldn’t believe it! The majority of doctors had been reassigned to the QE from the Women’s for COVID but just leaving 3 doctors for the whole Women’s and Children’s Hospital is insane. That covers triage, the delivery suite, the maternity section, NICU, post-natal and transition wards as well as other wards. It just isn’t enough and no wonder it took so long to be seen.
I was told to keep an eye on the swelling and the breathlessness and go back again if it got any worse.
Week 32: Baby is as big as a cantaloupe melon
Wow! It was FREEZING this week with temps getting down to -5/6 at night! Brrr! I started finding it very hard to walk/ move about at points and I had to get help from Tim to get out of the bath one evening.
I had my 32 week midwife appointment and baby was measuring in the 97% percentile on the growth chart for size. It really made me start thinking about the possibility of having a c section as I was getting a little worried about having to push out a baby that large when I’m not the biggest myself and have a fairly small frame. I know that hypnobirthing say you should say that affirmation ‘My body is the perfect size to birth my baby’ but I was definitely getting a little concerned!
My urine test also came back with raised leukocytes so I had to call the doctor who said they’d assume it was a UTI and put me on a course of antibiotics. I went to pick up the antibiotics from the pharmacy and the pharmacist said that I shouldn’t have been put on a course for 7 days as I was pregnant and should only have 3 days worth. A bit concerning! So I called the doctor up who eventually got back to me 2 days later and confirmed that yes, I should only have 3 days worth rather than the 7 days he’d originally prescribed… just a bit concerning! I’m glad the pharmacist was paying attention as I wouldn’t have questioned it at all… Makes you a little concerned when you rely on your doctor to prescribe you the correct dosage. Luckily the UTI cleared up after the 3 days.
We did a baby first aid course over a couple evenings and it was really informative! We learnt so much! Hopefully we’ll never have to use what we learnt but are glad we have the knowledge. I’d wanted to do a baby first aid course and Tim’s work by chance mentioned free courses being put on by the charity ‘Freddie’s Wish’ – the course is free but they ask for a donation if you’re able to. We’d 100% recommend the course to any parents/ parents-to-be. (Drop them an email and register your interest for the course and they’ll come back to confirm the next course dates – they do 1 course a month.)
Everything started to feel very real that baby would be here in 4-7 weeks (it was earlier than that it turned out!) and I was getting anxious that we still weren’t in the new house.
Week 33: Baby is as big as a butternut squash
Baby just keeps on getting bigger! Not much more to report this week other than more of the same above and I was getting veryyyyy uncomfortable! I was waking up about 3 times a night from indigestion or needing a wee so was getting very tired – obviously getting some practice in for the lack of sleep once baby arrived!
We had a lovely family baby shower over zoom and had family dial in from the UK, Ireland and the US. Everyone enjoyed themselves and we got some lovely pressies. It obviously wasn’t the same as having a face to face baby shower but it was still lovely. We played some games and all caught up. We’d even been sent some pressies to open which was a lovely surprise! (I’ll do a post on how to throw a virtual baby shower soon and what we did.)
Week 34: Baby is as big as a pineapple
I had my 34 week midwife appointment and she measured baby as being off the growth chart so I was sent for a growth scan and check over at the Women’s. I got to the Women’s and they said that the midwife was meant to have arranged the growth scan and I shouldn’t have really come in. Again, it’s very annoying being told different things by different people! Who are you meant to listen to… Either way, they checked over baby who had a strong heart rate and was jumping about. They then booked me in for a growth scan later that week and an appointment with the consultant. So I popped back to the Women’s early one morning and had a growth scan and they confirmed I had a very big baby and extra fluid. The extra fluid was more of a concern and is called polyhydramnios. They weren’t too sure what was causing it but most likely a big baby. I had a gestational diabetes check and that came back negative so baby was just a big one! It’s hard not to worry and get sucked into google but it finally explained some of the issues I was having – swollen feet and ankles, frequent breathlessness, bad indigestion and constipation. All pregnancy symptoms but also of polyhydramnios. I was then booked in for more scans and check-ups over the next few weeks so at least they were keeping an eye on everything.
The doctor also said I needed to consider a c-section and we’d reassess in 2 week’s time. This didn’t come as a huge surprise as we’d already discussed this possibility. As long as baby was delivered safely that’s all that mattered.
My Braxton Hicks also started getting more intense this week as well accompanied by cramping – not nice especially when it would wake me up at night!
By this point I couldn’t fit into any of my shoes minus sandals – not the best when its a cold Feb!
Week 35: Baby is as big as a spaghetti squash
What a week! I had 2 trips to hospital for my big baby. The growth scan showed that baby was weighing in at 6lb 12 but that there hadn’t been a huge increase in the extra fluid levels. My placenta also was doing what it should be which was a relief.
I was very emotional and moving house probably didn’t help! I was moving so slowly, very uncomfortable and my feet/ legs had swollen up even more and were getting sore.
This week we finally moved house which was a relief! (3 months later than we’d hoped!) I wasn’t much help at all… I found it hard to do much at all and was getting out of breath so easily, so tried to do little bits here and there. Either way it was so nice to get into the house and we could start getting bits properly ready for baby. We hadn’t wanted to buy any nursery furniture until we were in the new house so as soon as we got in we started getting bits sorted.
Week 36: Baby is as big as a bunch of kale
Due date week!
I had my 36 week midwife appointment on the Monday and she couldn’t believe the drama over the last 2 weeks. Baby was doing ok but was taking its toll on my body. She was concerned with how big baby was apparently weighing compared to the size of me so also suggested I consider a c section. We were meant to talk about a birth plan (standard at the 36 week check) but agreed we’d have a talk after I’d spoken to the consultant later that week following another growth scan. She also said she’d book me in for the 38 week appointment but doubted we’d be meeting as 100% believed baby would be coming sooner!
My braxton hicks and cramping were getting more intense each day and I was very worried that I’d have no clue how I was going to differentiate between them and contractions. (Looking back now you can definitely tell the difference!)
I remember thinking that I just wanted baby to come soon and that I couldn’t last the full 40 weeks.
That Friday I had my growth scan booked in and baby was showing up as 8lb… I was also approached for a research project due to the size of baby. The research project was to see if being induced early (at 37 weeks) would mean you would be less likely to have intervention. I would have gone for it, however, there would be 2 control groups – one that would be induced early and the other where nothing would be done – and you wouldn’t know which group you’d be in. So in the end, I decided to go for a c section at 39 weeks so at least I knew what I was working towards.
That evening my mucus plug came out and I had a feeling I’d be having the baby that weekend!
Friday was my last day at work after bringing my mat leave forward following the conversation with the midwife that Monday. In hindsight its a good thing I brought it forward and wrapped everything up and I went into labour the next day!
I’ll do a separate post on Rory’s birth story otherwise this will be one very long post! But that was my third trimester. I’ve been fairly honest and open about it all in the hope it might help someone else who’s going through something similar know they aren’t alone. I had only thought you’d get uncomfy in your final trimester and had no clue you could have any of the above issues. It was definitely a shock and I was so glad to finally have Rory here.
It is nice having my body back (minus breastfeeding!) but I do find myself missing the bump. But then I remind myself the little guy is in this world now – currently in the baby carrier so I have 2 hands free!
Being pregnant during the COVID-19 pandemic was definitely an interesting one and brought it’s own issues like Tim not being able to come to any of the scans or appointments, however it did mean that I didn’t have to worry about commuting into work every day and could instead wear comfies/ pjs and have a nap at lunch! I’m glad we’re now coming out of lockdown and restrictions are easing as it means we can introduce Rory to family and friends and I have the summer coming up to enjoy with the little guy.
Although it was a pregnancy full of ups and downs, its brought me a healthy little baby boy who I wouldn’t change for the world!