Now, where did we leave off?
My last pregnancy update recapped the first and second trimesters. I thought I’d pop in to share how the third trimester has been going so far!
At this point in the pregnancy, my symptoms were remaining pretty typical. I was gaining weight steadily but still not too uncomfortable. I do recall around 29 weeks that my sleep started to suffer greatly – it was about that time I began to average waking up 3-4 times per night and couldn’t fall back asleep very easily. This resulted in a lot of late night DVR and reading on the kindle!
At 30 weeks, Braxton Hicks contractions started in full force. I began to feel them almost daily, especially when I would be walking or standing for long periods of time, whenever I got dehydrated or if I needed to go to the bathroom. They were essentially painless, just a tightening feeling in my uterus that would happen sporadically throughout the day.
At this point I also noticed a change in the baby’s movements, which worried me at first. I was used to feeling sharp jabs and punches, but around 31 weeks it started to feel more like gentle nudges and squirms – evidently the little one was starting to run out of room in there! My doctor assured me that as long as I felt movement at three different times during the day, we were fine.
31 weeks was a strange turning point for me in the pregnancy. As I began to feel more uncomfortable, I also started to feel more anxious. I was definitely “loving” pregnancy less and less each day. It seemed like I had so much longer to wait, and so many anxious feelings were going through my head each day.
We also found out at 32 weeks that the stubborn little one was breech.
33 weeks – Merry Christmas, and 34 weeks – Happy New Year! These two weeks were a blur as a result of the holiday madness. It was nice to have a distraction from the pregnancy for a bit! Especially with the news that we may not be able to have the natural birth that we dreamed of, it was a much-needed break to focus on family, friends and food.
Here we are at 36 weeks, just one week away from being full-term. It’s hard to believe I’ve been on this journey for a full 9 months!
After trying every holistic measure in the book, our little nugget remains in the head-up/feet-up position. Looking back through our ultrasound photos, we realized that the baby has been breech throughout the entire pregnancy. What is interesting about that, is that our baby is actually the 4th generation of breech babies on my mother’s side. Beginning with my great-grandmother, each woman carried at least one breech baby and had either a complicated delivery or a c-section. My mom labored with me for 28 hours (without drugs!) before they realized I was frank breech; then they did a c-section immediately. This is obviously speculation, but our doctors agree that the shape of our anatomy could definitely have something to do with it!
After much thought and discussion, Mr. Markers and I have decided to not try an external cephalic version to manually flip the baby. Our latest ultrasound indicated that the placenta is in front of the baby, which means that there is more risk involved since they would have to press on the placenta to get the baby to move. Adding that to the existing risks of the procedure, we felt that it wasn’t the right decision for us. As much as I want to deliver this baby naturally, I can’t help but think there might be a reason the baby has remained in the same position for so long.
Mentally and emotionally, the past month has been a struggle for me. I prepared for so long for a specific experience, and it felt like I needed to do a complete 180 right as we’re nearing the end of this journey. Learning to accept this new reality of what our “perfect birth” will look like continues to be a challenge, but one that I’m embracing. My focus remains that if I’m healthy and the baby is healthy, perfect it will be.
If I don’t go into labor early and if the baby doesn’t flip on its own, our scheduled c-section date is the first week of February – less than 3 weeks away! I’m taking this time to clean (and re-clean) our condo, finish up last minute shopping, and generally take it easy. I have no doubt these will be the longest 3 weeks of my life – I cannot wait to meet our little one, and finally find out if this baby is a boy or a girl!
Did your pregnancy throw you any emotional curveballs? How did you cope with it?