Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Having a Happy Third Trimester

In case you've never been here before and might not know, I'm having a baby in two days. And you know what? I feel great.

While some of that is simply "luck of the draw", it can't be ignored that some of it just stems from attitude and another good portion is the result of decisions I've made during this pregnancy.

So, for what it's worth, here are some things that work for me in terms of having a happy, comfortable third trimester:

  • Drinking plenty of water- I tend to have very frequent, rather intense Braxton-Hicks contractions. The best way to keep them under control? Drinking tons of water. That's not always easy when you feel bloated and full, but it has to be done! Flavored seltzer helps me drink more of the stuff.
  • Eating small meals- Again, I hardly ever feel hungry anymore, but I still need to nourish this little one! I eat small meals and try to make every bite count with nutritionally dense food.
  • Changing sleep positions often- Have I been sleeping soundly lately? Hmm, not exactly. But I do okay. I wake frequently and, every time I do, I make a conscious effort to change positions so that my back doesn't take a beating. This definitely makes a difference in how I feel in the morning.
  • Staying active- I still walk all over the place. I still water and weed my garden. I have to slow down a bit now and sometimes I need breaks. But I make sure and keep my body moving which I think makes me feel better in the long run.
  • Exercising regularly earlier in the pregnancy- I walked two to three miles a day right up through the beginning of my third trimester. Eventually it got to be a little too much for me and I gradually eased off of that for now. But I am absolutely convinced that exercising (as long as it's permitted by your doctor) is nothing but helpful. Carrying a baby is WORK. Labor is WORK. It helps to be in shape.
  • Gaining an appropriate amount of weight- I don't want to be preachy about this, but it simply makes sense that gaining a LOT of weight is going to be harder on your body. Your joints are likely to hurt more if you put on 45 lb vs. 25 lb. Dieting is never appropriate during pregnancy, but it does make sense to try to be reasonable...
  • Limiting salt and caffeine- I'm not super strict about my salt intake, but I do try to avoid going overboard. And I choose decaf every chance I get. I think limiting these two substances helps my body maintain a more consistent level of hydration and also helps regulate my blood pressure.
  • Not being a martyr- This is very hard for me. I am definitely one of those, "Oh, I'll just do it myself!" kind of women. And not necessarily with a smile on my face. Shameful, but true. Giving up some control and taking some help makes my life AND my husband's better right now. So I happily let him handle bath time, for example. And you know what? Maybe the soap ends up on the wrong shelf, but everyone's clean and happy at the end of the day.
  • Making use of energy bursts- I think most of us have our "peak" times each day. I tend to be very bouncy and energetic in the morning hours. These are good times for me to clean and prepare food ahead. In the afternoons? I'm better suited to running some errands. And in the evening? Well, I'm fairly useless... but if I MUST accomplish something, I can handle unloading the dishwasher, folding laundry, or mending.
  • Always, always, always remembering what it's like to have a preemie - No matter how uncomfortable you get during the third trimester... and I mean, no matter what... it is not as hard as having a baby in the NICU. It can't even compare. Being tired, achy, miserable, sick... it all pales next to worrying that your baby could die at any moment.
Don't get me wrong- I'm far from perfect. My husband can tell you that I've certainly had a few complaints and discomforts along the way. But I can honestly say that I am more sad that this pregnancy is almost over than I am happy to be almost done. Though I AM pretty excited to meet this little boy or girl!

What tips or tricks do you have for feeling better and more comfortable in late pregnancy? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday.

1 comment:

Rachelle(aka mamabear) said...

Great post ! I have never had a preemie , but had two stay in hosp. One stayed for two weeks the other a week.( both came three weeks early ) I know this is nothing compared to what you went through!

But you are right about being happy and not thinking of all the little things .....aches, pains, can't breath....

Just glad to be this close to having baby. Only 6 days to go ;-)