Saturday, 24 December 2016

Pregnancy Essentials: Third Trimester: 27 - 40 Weeks of Pregnancy

It's time for my final pregnancy essentials post. I'm over the moon that little Ava Mae is finally here! These are all the things that helped me through the third trimester of my pregnancy!

Pregnancy Essentials: Third Trimester 27 - 40 Weeks of Pregnancy 

Massage Oil - Perfect for those back rubs to help with back ache. I have been using the NAIF Soothing Baby Oil which I picked up at The Baby Show. It is really moisturising and works great as a massage oil. 

Birthing Ball  - I honestly don't know how I would of coped without my birthing ball. I found sitting on it really helped with the back pain, bouncing helped with the discomfort from Braxton Hicks and  sitting rotating around in circles helped to get baby down into pelvis and engaged.

Hospital Bag - Having my hospital bag packed and ready really helped with the anxiety and nerves of baby's arrival. I wrote a list of everything I thought I would need and tried to pack as little as possible not wanting to overflow my little suitcase. I was told to pack enough bits and bobs for myself and baby for five days.

Maternity Pads - I found discharge increased towards at end of the third trimester as well as passing bits of my mucus plug. I starting wearing maternity pads and found Wilko Mum to Be Maternity Towels were not only really comfortable to wear but cheap at 95p a pack.

Facial Cleansers - I started to get outbreaks of acne during the last trimester of pregnancy and found using the Lush Ultrabland Cleanser really helped. This cleanser works really well at removing make up too and is very soothing on angry, irritated skin.

What did you find helped you through the third trimester of pregnancy?

Claire Louise Xx

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Friday, 23 December 2016

Third Trimester Update: 27 - 40 Weeks of Pregnancy

Ava Mae is finally here so it's about time I got on and finished my third trimester update. I never did quite make it to the end of the third trimester as Ava Mae arrived at 39+1 weeks but this is what I experienced. 


Third Trimester Update: 27 - 40 Weeks of Pregnancy

Baby's hearing is fully developed. As she reacts to sounds her pulse increases and she can even move in rhythm to music. Baby can suck her thumb and cry. Her brain waves show rapid eye movement (REM) sleep which could suggest baby is dreaming. Hair on her head is getting thicker and her eyebrows and eyelashes are fully developed. Baby moves into a head down position and drops low into the pelvis ready for birth. In the final weeks of pregnancy baby will gain more than half her birth weight. She will move less as she runs out of room, curling up with her knees bent, chin resting on her chest and have her arms and legs crossed. 

By the end of the third trimester baby measures around 46 - 51 cm (18" - 20") and weights around 3.2 kg (7 lb).

Symptoms: 

Fatigue - The burst if angry I had during the second trimester started to disappear and I often felt extremely tired, taking naps during the day.

Acne - I had been luckily enough during most of my pregnancy to not have any skin complaints but during the last few weeks I started to get a few outbreaks of acne on my face. I found using a good cleanser and having days of wearing no makeup really helped.

Breathlessness - After walking up a hill or the stairs in my house I would become breathless. At around 34 weeks, when baby dropped into my pelvis, this feeling started to subside.

Pelvic Pressure - Once baby had dropped into my pelvis the 'lightening' pains started. At first I would only get the short, sharp pains as I walked around but as I moved further towards the end of the third trimester I found I would even get them when just laying down in bed or watching TV on the sofa.

Frequent Urination - With baby having dropped so low in my pelvis she was now using my bladder as a pillow meaning more frequent trips to the little girls room.

Back Ache - As baby gained weight and my bump grew bigger I started to get pain in my lower back and between the shoulder blades.

Braxton Hicks - I started to get noticeable Braxton Hicks pains contractions at around 36 weeks and these increased in intensity and frequency right up until baby Ava Mae arrived.

Swelling - In the final few weeks of pregnancy my hands really started to swell. This was partly due to pregnancy and partly due to my Arthritis starting to flare up again. Throughout most of my pregnancy my Arthritis went into remission but started to come back towards the end. I was unable to remove my wedding and engagement rings and became really nervous that would have to have them cut off. 

The Best Moments:

Baby's Movement - Baby's movements started to become much more noticeable and I was able to start to distinguish between her different body parts protruding from my belly.


Growth Scans - Due to episodes of reduced movements I had a few growth scans during the last trimester. We were able to get such a clear picture of little Ava Mae's face from one of them. Her eyes, eyebrows, nose, mouth and chunky cheeks were all clearly visible.

Baby's Coming - When I found out I was pregnant I knew Ava Mae's birthday would be very close to Christmas and I worried about them being so closed together. You know what I mean, the "This is your birthday as well as your Christmas present". No! Everyone else gets two! As Christmas got closer I started to realise its such a nice time of year to welcome a new baby into the family and I will always find ways to make birthday and Christmases so special for her.

Finishing The Nursery - I was so happy to have the nursery all finished. This simple milestone signified so much for me. It meant we finally had everything ready for Ava Mae's arrival and it also meant that I would soon have a baby in my arms, something I never thought would happen.

The Worst Moments:

Taking Maternity Leave Early - After falling down the stairs at 28 weeks pregnant I decided to take my maternity leave as soon as I could at 29 weeks. I was hoping I would be able to carry on working for a little while longer but after getting so far with this pregnancy I really did not want to risk the complications of her being born too soon.

Losing Mucus Plug - At 30 weeks I lost my mucus plug. I had to go into hospital to be monitored just to make sure I was not going into premature labour. Thankfully Ava Mae decided to stay put!

Kidney Stones - I passed a kidney stone between 12 and 16 weeks of my pregnancy and then again at around 32 weeks. It was difficult not being able to take any strong pain relief due to being pregnant.

SPD - At around 37 weeks my doctor mentioned Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD). This is were the ligament that normally keep your pelvic bone aligned during pregnancy become relaxed and stretchy too soon before birth, making the pelvic joint unstable. I needed to use my crutches to walk during the last few weeks as I would often get a sharp pain which felt like my hip was dislocating or moving awkwardly at the joint.

Depression - My entire pregnancy often felt like a rollercoaster ride of many ups and downs. I experienced my fair share of complications, this coupled with the recurrent miscarriages meant it came as no surprise when I started to feel really low about my pregnancy. I just wanted Ava Mae out and to know she was safe as being inside me just didn't feel like the best place for her anymore. Luckily although the depression had been gradually building for a while it soon started to disappear as I opened up to my mental health midwife and Ava Mae was born. 

Most Embarrassing Pregnancy Moment:

I had my first home visit from the health visitor. Ian was able to get the morning off working for the visit and we all sat happily around our kitchen table talking about our family and plans for baby. I sat on my birthing ball happily bouncing and rotating away as the kitchen chairs no longer felt all that comfortable. After an hour the health visitor left and I made my way up the stairs to pop some bits into the nursery. As I was walking up the stairs I felt baby do a huge movement but didn't think too much to it. I reached the top of the stairs and felt a gush down my legs that just kept coming. Ian's face went white as he asked "Is that what we have been waiting for? Was that your waters?" I felt like crying as a swallowed what little dignity I had remaining from the pregnancy and replied "No babe, that was a wee!". Turns out an hour or rotating on the pregnancy ball is great for getting baby engaged but not so great when it means baby then squashes the bladder forcing out all its contents! 

Claire Louise Xx

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Monday, 19 December 2016

Welcome Baby Ava Mae


Ava Mae
15th December 2016
2:07pm - 6lb 10oz - 19" 

Ian and I are over the moon to announce that on Thursday Ava Mae came into the world! Meeting our rainbow baby was such a magical experience and I can't wait to share my birth story with you. These last few days we have been bonding and adjusting to becoming a family of three.  Expect plenty of baby spam on Instagram from now on! 

Claire Louise Xx

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