This article comes with a trigger warning.
I’m deep into the third trimester of my pregnancy, and boy has it come around fast! At the time of writing, I am close to being 37 weeks pregnant and am now on maternity leave. We’ve again spent this trimester in and out of hospital and having a couple of additional scans, and the changes in the baby have been remarkable – it’s now an actual person with definable features and has definitely got a lot bigger! Just can’t wait to give birth and have the baby with me now. I have no idea when I’m going to give birth, so I’ll be updating the last couple of weeks as they come and go.
Here’s how my third trimester is going!
Weeks 29-31:I came down with tonsillitis and was then off work due to my pain levels being really high. Almost admitted to the maternity unit, but instead they managed to book me an additional appointment with my obstetrician.
Week 32: Had my additional consultant obstetrician appointment and it was incredibly valuable. We discussed all sorts in relation to birthing plans, pain management and I even got to see an anaesthetist. Baby was growing well and moving very frequently – spending most of their time up in my ribs! My Braxton Hicks (pretend contractions) were getting more and more regular.
Week 33: Bit of a different one for this week, as I underwent a flexible sigmoidoscopy due to experiencing ongoing bowel symptoms throughout pregnancy. If you’ve read my story about how I got diagnosed (you can find it here if not!), then you’ll know I have had bowel “problems” on and off since my Endometriosis symptoms first started, but pregnancy seemed to make them a whole lot worse plus come with some new ones. TMI warning – I was experiencing regular and large amounts of rectal bleeding and awful diarrhea for no reason (e.g. not a specific food) that came with the most painful bowel cramps I’ve ever felt. But why was it important to have a bowel camera whilst I was pregnant? My consultant wanted to check for Endometriosis in my bowel (which I’ve had before), bowel distortions (e.g. from scar tissue or my growing womb) or a small leak/perforation. And, at the end of this week, my wonderful mum threw me the best baby shower ever where we were utterly spoilt!
Week 34: This week my husband and I were on annual leave (hooray!). We had a midwife appointment (which were becoming almost weekly now) and a visit from the Health Visitor. I had no idea what to expect from the Health Visitor – if you Google it or search through mum forums, you’ll get all sorts of information from how they check out your home and where the baby is sleeping, to just advising you on bits and pieces, particularly the post-birth plan. Thankfully, our health visitor was lovely, didn’t look around our house and just spent time telling us what would happen when I got home from hospital. She also gave us leaflets regarding what free services were available in our area like support groups. My bump had also popped a bit more and baby was remaining in the “head down” position that they’d been in at 32 weeks! My Braxton Hicks were continuing to be regular, but also quite crampy!
Week 35: Unfortunately, this week was spent heading into hospital due to a second bout of Reduced Fetal Movement (RFM), although this time there was absolutely no movement, and I was getting intense Braxton Hicks. At one point we thought I’d lost some of my waters, and I ended up in hospital all day being monitored. Thankfully, as soon as the midwife began prodding my bump the baby started wriggling and it’s heartbeat was heard. Although it took a long time for it’s heart rate to settle (it was going very fast), the team were happy my baby was fine. The monitor I was hooked up on was picking up my regular Braxton Hicks, but they became so regular and intense that there was panic – early labour! I underwent scans and various tests and although early labour was ruled out, another bigger planceta bleed was picked up and I was on rest again. They offered to keep me in, but because a) I wasn’t actively bleeding and b) I am sick of hospitals, they agreed to let me go home. We got some amazing views of the baby on the scans which has made us so excited!
Week 36: A bit like the previous bleed, I’ve felt really rough all week – lots of pain, sickness, fatigue and generally not well, but I persevered at work as best as I could. I may slightly regret not taking the hospitals offer of being kept in! My husband and I attended for another scan yesterday which was simply amazing – our baby has hair (which, considering I’ve had awful acid reflux – it’s an old wives tale – I was pleased about), eyelashes and it’s little face was adorable – little pouting lips and squishy cheeks. Its already at a great weight and has very long legs courtesy of it’s father. We also saw my midwife, the one I’ve been seeing throughout my pregnancy (she is simply the best) and given everything that has happened this week, and considering everything previously I’ve been through, my specialist team advised me to stop working, which thankfully work took well. So I’m now on maternity leave!
We’ve got another appointment with my specialist obstetrician next week but it’s incredible that our baby could come any time!
Cravings: remaining the same with fruit and nutella, but also ice cream!
Scans: we had scans at 32 weeks, 35 weeks and 36 weeks, and may have a couple more depending on how long it takes for baby to arrive …
Midwife: we’ve actually been seeing the same one now since halfway through the second trimester, and she has been the best. It’s reassuring to have someone that knows your history.
Medication: continuing as before, but am now using my maternity leave to wean off some of the stronger medication.
Specialist Obstetrician: we’re still absolutely blown away by how wonderful my obstetrician and how much she has done for us. All of the problems I and baby have had are being very closely monitored, and we’ve been given her number to call if anything changes or we are worried. The time she spends with us in an appointment is great as well – I don’t think people understand that clinics often run late because people like her actually care about their patients.
Endometriosis: despite talks that it might be possible that my Endometriosis symptoms would settle in the third trimester, as my womb is now growing upwards instead of out, this has definitely not happened and my pain has been increasing as the baby grows. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – pregnancy does not cure Endometriosis!
Interstitial Cystitis: I’ve thought I had a urine infection a couple of times in this trimester, but actually I think its more because of the baby pushing on my bladder. At times it can be a struggle to empty it, but as soon a baby moves off of my bladder it’s absolutely fine! I’ve also experienced some leaking during my whole pregnancy, which although often considered “normal” (how weird is that?), I was more likely to experience it due to my shoddy bladder.
M.E./CFS: I have definitely felt more tired as the later stages of pregnancy come, but I’d still say my M.E./CFS symptoms are well-managed. There are also studies which suggest that due to the hormonal changes in pregnancy and the release of steroid-type hormones, M.E./CFS symptoms can improve.
Keep-up-to-date with my pregnancy journey by following my Instagram account, @endobunny!