My Third Trimester!
The third trimester begins at 27 weeks and I was still relatively small at this stage, feeling great with lots of energy. I was still training clients and going to Crossfit and classes like Barrys Bootcamp but modifying a lot of the exercises. Getting my heart rate up felt really good but I was careful not to overdo it. It’s difficult because ‘overdoing’ it will mean different things to different people so you have to really be in tune with your body at this later stage. I had taken my weights right down but was still wanting to keep my glutes and upper body strong so my focus was more on this than lots of cardio.
I felt my relaxin come in around 30 weeks so I was mindful of that and of course there was now a rapidly growing weight in front of me shifting my centre of gravity so I had that to contend with too! My heart rate would easily go through the roof - even the stairs would make me out of breathe! This is due to the extra blood flowing around the body increasing cardiac output. Keeping as active as I did though really helped with my tiredness, my mental health, feeling good in my body and research indicates it can help with your birth which I believed it really did!
At around 33 weeks I ballooned and suddenly felt much more tired than I had been, each week just feeling bigger and slower! Afternoon naps became a daily event for me and I started to scale down my workouts & intensity further. Genuinely ‘putting your feet up’ has never felt so good or been more required at this stage - though I wasn’t doing that ALL the time. My due date was 1st Jan and I finished with my clients at the end of November. I’d been having acupuncture throughout my pregnancy and I started to have ‘pre-birth’ acupuncture - which won’t make you give birth earlier than you should do but it’s meant to help everything start to head in the right direction!
By week 37 I was feeling HUGE! This was the last week I exercised and took the decision to just rest from now on. The baby was low in my belly & my sleep wasn’t great (getting up 3-4 times a night to pee!). I had this weird feeling I might give birth a few days early, maybe around December 27th ( I know all first time mums are hopeful haha), but I did in fact go into labour on the evening of December 20th! It started around 8pm with some very faint contractions…..I wasn’t even sure if it was contractions….thought it might be wind! But went to bed straight away to preserve energy - just in case. Then at midnight I was woken by THE strongest contraction which was eye wateringly painful. I timed the contractions and they were so close together - we called the hospital and they said to come in. However when we got there - I was only 1cm dilated - so I went home and went to sleep. I incredibly slept until about 3pm the next day (!) when I was woken up by my waters breaking with a massive whoosh!!! I couldn’t believe it - he was coming!
The pain was quite bad at the peak of my contractions and I had to kneel doubled over in the shower for 10 mins with the warm water on my back. Obviously I had to go into hospital now as once your waters break that baby is coming out! Put my TENS machine on which was my absolute lifesaver and got a cab to the hospital arriving about 5pm. The peak of my contractions was unbearable and I felt so sick. I tried some gas and air but it made me feel even more sick so I had a weak epidural (which meant I could still move around) and they then had to prise my TENS machine out of my hands! Max was born at 1.30am on Saturday December 22nd and all was well.
However - around 4am I started to bleed a bit more heavily than I had been and unfortunately I had a small blood clot which meant I had to go into theatre at 6am for a 30 minute operation requiring a spinal aneasthetic & catheter. We’re not totally sure of why this happened, though I do believe it is because I pushed too hard and Max came out too quickly! I remember thinking - I just want him out of me - and I pushed SO hard. Having spoken to my women’s health physio - next time I won’t push as hard and allow the tissues to stretch a bit more naturally. It’s definitely good to be strong down there but I think you do need to be mindful of this bit too. I had to stay in an extra night at the hospital because of this but all was ok and we went home on Sunday 23rd in the evening as overwhelmed new parents…with wee Max in tow!!