NOTE: Baby girl arrived on her due date, and I had assumed she would come late since the majority of first time pregnancies do, my plan was to leave this blogpost for the week after my due date when I had nothing to do. So, I wrote this 4 months postpartum, and did my best to remember everything!!
Welcome to the third and final (thank goodness) instalment of my personal experiences during my pregnancy. If you haven’t read the first 2 parts (and if you want to!) check them out here and here.
My third trimester was also pretty uneventful, aside from the fact that my stomach was small but I needed to eat a lot. I definitely felt pregnant, but was surprised by how much I was still able to do. Fatigue started to set in after 30 weeks, which was exacerbated by the hottest summer in 75 years. Thank goodness I had a job that allowed me to wear sundresses and flip-flops! My boss is the best. Ha! But seriously, I would have had to leave work much earlier if my dress code wasn’t flexible.
Major Trends / Lessons Learned in my 3rd Trimester
Nutrients – nothing new to report here, other than continuing on with my Optimizing Pregnancy Nutrition protocol!
Calories – I found weeks 27-37 pretty tough for eating. Not because I was having any aversions, but because I had no space in my stomach! So as much as I don’t like the 5-6 small meals a day, that’s what I ended up doing. I ate protein & veg heavy meals (salads with meat, fish stirfry etc), with some fat of course. And in between my main 3 meals, I would have carbs & fat. Plantain chips, banana & PB, frozen cherries and coconut milk (one of my favourite treats ever). Ham sandwich. Oh how sick I was of ham sandwiches by the end of my pregnancy! The best part was when she dropped at 37 weeks and I suddenly had a ton of room! Bring on the gluten-free pizza!
Blood Sugar – I tested my morning blood sugars (I kept an eye on them off and on since about 25 weeks, especially since I opted out of the glucose testing) and they were really, really low! No wonder I was waking up so shaky. I started eating before bed again, like I did to prevent morning sickness in my first trimester. This made a huge difference for how I felt in the morning and also how I slept!
Crossfit – I really started to pull back. I even stopped 10 days before baby girl arrived (when I assumed I’d crossfit the day I went into labour, lol) to conserve my energy and strength for when labour started. See full details here. My whole goal at this stage was to maintain strength and keep moving my body. Crossfit kept me sane during the last few weeks where I felt like my body was not my own. Being able to lift weights made me feel pretty darn happy!
Sleep – I started having sleeping issues towards my final trimester. As someone who sleeps amazingly well (anywhere, everywhere, at the drop of a hat, lol) this was a new experience for me. And it wasn’t that I was uncomfortable. I’m a side sleeper, so the belly didn’t really impact that! So since that wasn’t the case, I couldn’t figure out what it was for a long time! I started implementing all of the usual tricks, which I pretty much do all the time already (always protecting my circadian rhythm!):
- No screens after 8pm, but if I did, I made sure to wear my blue blocking glasses
- Epsom salt bath with lavender EO every single night. I made the water not too hot and only stayed in for 20 minutes.
- Took magnesium before bed.
- Started eating before bed! I randomly stumbled across an article on insomnia (that had nothing to do with pregnancy), which suggested that in some people who struggle with frequent night-wakings, it is actually a dip in blood sugar that causes the waking. I thought this was interesting and was suspicious of my blood sugar dropping, because (a) I wasn’t waking up to pee every time (although that did happen like clockwork between 2:57 and 3:06 every single night – weird), I was just, awake, and (b) with the amount of muscle I had, and the amount of activity and lifting I was still doing, I was craving carbs like crazy – and not cookies and sugar carbs – real, nutrient-dense carbs, so I knew I needed them. Ham and avocado sandwiches on GF bread immediately before bed happened every single night this trimester. If I skipped or tried something else, I didn’t sleep! Pregnancy is nuts, lol.
Sore Muscles – this was something I didn’t anticipate, but makes complete sense. My body was SO sore from lack of mobility. Specifically my back. I couldn’t do anything with my back except keep it in mostly one position. No bending forward, backwards, twisting…nothing. So all the muscles in my back were constantly aching from not doing anything! You know that feeling if you’ve been sick and in bed for days? Yeah, that was all of the time from about 32 weeks on. Crossfit helped a ton, as did epsom salt baths – I had one every single night during this trimester. But the best thing I did for myself was go for a massage every 2 weeks, the last 9 weeks of my pregnancy. Made all the difference in the world.