Ah! Finally, after the trying and testing first and second trimesters, you have reached the pinnacle, the third trimester! This is pretty much the last phase of your pregnancy from months 7 through 9. Personally, this was the most enjoyable part of the pregnancy for me. I thoroughly enjoyed feeling my baby move around (it is that much more intense as the baby grows), and also that I got to interact with him. These last three months usually pass by quickly and even before you know it, it is D-day.
What You Should Know…
For all those first time mommy’s to be, the third trimester while exciting is also daunting. You will find yourself going back and forth feeling excited, anxious that you are about to become a parent and once you get a hang of the idea, you might tend to worry about the kind of parent you will be. Feeling anxious or being worried is very natural and remember that you should not feel guilty for either of those things. Being pregnant (and in your last stages) can be stressful in itself. I, for one, was overwhelmed almost throughout and couldn’t hold back tears every time I felt anxious. What did I do? I would spend a while every other day talking to my husband about how scary all this seemed. I was repetitive no doubt, but talking helped a tonne and took some pressure off! Phew!
Exciting Times Ahead
Besides the anxiety, the third trimester can be rather fun-filled. It is also baby shower time! We had a rather traditional (tam-brahm style) baby shower that involved all the aunts (friends and family alike) adorning you and blessing you with glass bangles. I realized glass bangles, with its wonderful mellow sounds is particularly soothing for the baby. On stressful days at work, I would jingle these bangles and my baby would respond with either a kick (if resting) or slowing down intense kicks (if hyper active). Though these were subtle responses, it felt like I was talking to my baby and he was talking back to me. He already made me feel like a good mom! Besides all the celebration frenzy, a long leave of 6 months from work also in store for me. Truth be told, I love what I do and the thought of taking a 6 months break was quite scary for me. But, a week into my maternity leave made me realise that this time off is so essential to bond with your soon-to-be born child. I spent the last two weeks before child birth simply sitting around and chatting with the little one. The joy it brought is indescribable.
So, Child Birth…
In these last few weeks, you will feel your body slow down naturally, and you will also look and feel enormous, so the sluggishness is rather justified. Think about how much energy you and your baby need, now that the tiny pea sized life is almost a full-grown infant! There will be times when you will feel the energy drain from your body. During these times I adopted some pregnancy yoga and boy, was it a life-saver. You don’t need to get bendy (and trust me you can’t); just sitting with good posture and taking deep breaths gives you some relief from these frequent bouts of fatigue. If this is not your thing, slow strolls for about 20-30 minutes also does the trick. What also helps is to eat healthy. My choice was always fresh fruit which energised me instantly and also didn’t cause heartburn (yes, this is important!). But, you could turn to nuts, yoghurt or even some ice cream! All of these habits eventually prepare your body for child birth, so watch what you do and what you eat at this time.
It was very early in the morning (about 4 am) when my water broke. Yes, I was sleeping, and I jumped out of bed as I realised what was happening. After the fear passed, excitement kicked in… I was in labour. This was really the culmination of the last 8-9 months of creating life, nurturing it and finally bringing your child into the world. What I will also never forget is startling my husband awake when my water broke. His initial confusion giving way to excitement at that moment just spoke volumes as to the magic of this time!
The drive to the hospital and some hours of labour after that are a blur, but, as I was taken into the labour room kicking and screaming in pain (an understatement), all I thought about was seeing my child. An excruciating 50 minutes later, our son was born. As the nurse approached me with my son and the second I saw him, all the pain and discomfort melted away, just in that instant. It is amazing how your mind and body work in this regard. I have never felt anything like it before and it is something that I will never forget. No doubt that our lives will have many more moments of pain and joy, but, seeing your child for the first time as he stepped into this world, just… stays with you forever.