I guess I could technically include our birth story with my third trimester recap but that would make for a really long and wordy post so we’ll chop it up into a few parts, shall we?
My third trimester started off pretty slow but at 32 weeks I went into a sort of panic mode. Two friends gave birth early – one five weeks early (!!!) and another three weeks early – and I put the pedal to the metal in getting our home and hearts ready for this baby girl.
My original birth plan was to show up at the hospital when I went into labor. I had a vague idea of how I wanted my “ideal” birth to go and Adam and I discussed the main points of the plan frequently but we didn’t take any parenting or birthing classes and I started to get nervous that our lackadaisical attitude towards the whole process wasn’t going to cut it. (My mom also wasn’t too keen on our plan to “wing it” and suggested numerous times we look into some sort of class.)
So, after doing more research and putting together a more thought out birthing plan that including going as natural as possible, we decided to hire a doula and got super lucky when one approached us about offering her services in exchange for a review to go towards her certification. After meeting with Kahla, Adam and I both agreed she seemed like a great asset to our birthing team and I began to feel more at ease knowing we had a laboring coach and advocate. (Please note that while we definitely appreciated receiving her services for free, we genuinely hit it off and trusted her to provide for our family. We would have gladly paid for her doula services if required.)
Around this time I also started to feel uncomfortable as baby continued growing and developing. Sleep became harder to acquire thanks to my large midsection, the incessant need to pee, and rampant heartburn and indigestion. I’m one of those people who requires a lot of sleep and the deprivation began to take a toll. I remember having one specific episode where I burst into tears over cooking dinner because my husband is a picky eater, I was HANGRY, and not interested in eating late because I knew I’d have heartburn all night and wouldn’t sleep well. I knew this temper tantrum was triggered mostly by exhaustion and hormones so I put myself to bed early that night with a good book. I didn’t sleep that great but mentally I felt a little better the next day. (Bless my sweet patient husband. Only eight more weeks to go… but then he gets to deal with a sleep deprived new mom, ha!)
Speaking of growth and eating, my insatiable hunger (and growing belly) was a big clue that baby girl was still developing and putting on weight. Skipping breakfast was no longer an option, I was hungry for lunch right at noon (I usually ate lunch late around 2:00), and though I tried to eat a light dinner to avoid indigestion, I found myself needing to eat more before bed. Gaining weight, even though just a small amount in the grand scheme of things, was mentally challenging for me. I’ve always been pretty thin by nature so struggling to get out of bed or tie my shoes was frustrating. I couldn’t wait to get back down to my normal size.
The nursery was so much fun to put together. Our house is still mostly a hodge-podge of furniture and decor from combining our belongings so it was nice to have one room that was really put together. I didn’t anticipate that we would end up rearrange and purging almost the entire house out of equal parts necessity and nesting but the changes were refreshing and needed. We were super fortunate that our family pitched in and bought all of the furniture we needed for the nursery so the biggest out of pocket expense was the area rug and crib mattress. The rest of the room was slowly put together after numerous trips to various home decor and thrift stores.
We were so fortunate to have three showers, the first with our motorcycle club family, another with our family and friends in Georgia, and the last here in Jacksonville with all of my favorite gals. The shower in Georgia was at a local barbecue restaurant and just like our wedding shower, our framily nailed our personalities and put on a wonderful celebration. The Jacksonville shower was FIESTA themed complete with taco bar. I wrote a post recapping the showers if you want more details.
And I know I touched on this in my second trimester recap but it became more of an issue in my third trimester: I was really baffled by the amount of strangers that asked details of my pregnancy. Working retail, I come in contact with a lot of people throughout the week. I joked that I need to wear a sign around my neck that said, “Due March 26th. We’re having a girl. Yes, this is our first. And no, we don’t have a name picked out yet.” Maybe it’s because I’m not an overly nosey person by nature or maybe I was just overly sensitive but I can’t imagine asking a random woman the details of her pregnancy. I also got a lot of unsolicited birthing advice mostly from men. Get an epidural, he said, natural labor is too hard. I wanted to ask him if he knew this from experience. If I rolled my eyes any further, they would have been in the back of my head.
As I wrapped up the third trimester, I counted down the days to March 26th still convinced she would make her grand entrance early. Adam and I tried all kinds of tricks during those last couple of weeks trying to kickstart labor. In an act of desperation, I even agreed to help Adam with yard work (the bane of my existence) hoping a combination of squatting and sweating would get her moving. (I planted impatiens that day. The irony is not lost on me. See unflattering but real photo at the beginning of this post.) But little did I know I’d have to wait an additional nine days past my due date to finally hold my baby.