I’ll be up front- these weeks have by far been the most challenging! I was so thrilled to be in my last ten weeks though, so all the challenges seemed a little easier to push through.
At some point my measurements finally ended up stabilizing to a place my midwife was comfortable with which was very exciting! My weight also leveled out under my goal leaving plenty of space for Baby J to continue to gain all his fat- a process I’m pretty sure is going well based on how cramped my belly felt.
New symptoms during this time were mild swelling in my joints, a lot more discomfort moving around and some strange activities. I never really craved any specific food during pregnancy, but these weeks I developed a really strong desire to 1. Go to Disneyworld and 2. Play in sand. I know, I know- weird. And before you ask, no, I don’t want to eat the sand. I know a lot of people get Pica towards the end and crave eating dirt and sand, but for me, it just sounds really soothing to be able to touch and play with sand. It’s definitely a tactile thing because I’ve noticed the same feeling while touching things like epsom salts and baking soda. I don’t know, people. It’s weird, but at least I’m not eating it!
Around week 33, some of my old symptoms came back including nausea, headaches and an inability to sleep. My midwife suggested taking some Tylenol PM since I had been experiencing more aches and pains that I had before. This was a lifesaver! I still woke up about every hour, but I was able to fall asleep quickly allowing me some much needed rest.
These weeks also brought the dreaded need to pee. I would say that mine is pretty much constant. I’ll take a trip to the bathroom and in just minutes after washing my hands, feel the need to go again. I’ve learned how to read my body though, and have figured out how to coax the baby away from hanging out right on my bladder which is usually causing the urges.
Which brings me to the last big change which has been being more aware of the baby’s movements. I still can’t really see him move by just watching my belly (and probably never will with my placenta’s position), but his movements increased in frequency and strength. I can’t really tell what position he’s in, but I can tell when it’s a foot or hand skimming across my belly or if it’s a torso or back. He seemed to sleep like a champ during the day and of course, be really active while I tried to get some sleep at night.
Something that I’ve really enjoyed having recently has been the Shell by Bellabeat. I had been borrowing an at home fetal monitor from a friend, but I found I wasn’t using it a lot because of how difficult it was to use. Finding the heartbeat was more challenging for me because of my anterior placenta and I wasn’t a fan of having to get the gel out every time I wanted to hear the heartbeat. I was also uncomfortable when family would ask to hear it because it meant pulling up my shirt in front of everyone which for some reason, I’m just really self conscious about.
With the Shell, I don’t need to worry about the messy gel and can not only listen to the heartbeat, but also record it to my phone which is perfect because I can then send it along to any friends or family who may want to hear as well! I wish I had it earlier on in the pregnancy because you can record all the heartbeats and it will save them in order by week. You can then go back and re-listen as well as mark your favorites to share with loved ones when they ask. The only thing I will note is that the sound of the heartbeat is different than what you’re used to hearing from most fetal heartbeat monitors. The soundwaves are a bit more faint, but the app provides you with examples of what to listen for which makes it really easy to figure out.
Lastly, now that I’m feeling him move more day by day, my doctor’s office is asking me to keep track of kicks periodically. The app has integrated a section just for keeping track of the kicks which is so helpful! I’m queen of scribbling notes down on gum wrappers and napkins and then losing them in the abyss of my handbag. So when I need to track kicks, I go ahead and input them right into the app so that they all stay in one place and are easily accessible for my next visit to the doctor.
Around week 34, nearly everyone who saw me started to ask me if I felt pregnant. I finally hit the mark of actually looking markedly pregnant. People let me cut in line at the bathroom, men offer to take my cart to the return for me at the grocery store and people hold a lot more doors for me. Which is all nice. I was very excited to use the “Expecting Mothers” spot at our grocery store for months but was waiting until I looked noticeably qualified. Now that I am, I actually can’t bring myself to park there. I nearly did the other day, but some voice in my head reminded me that I’m not crippled and the extra 10 feet of walking would do me good. So I rolled right past leaving it open for a less active momma.
I’m counting down the days until the end. I’ve been told he may be early based on his growth, but I’m trying to not bank on that. Though, I’m ready if he does make an early appearance. Among days of exhaustion, we finished his nursery and sorted all his pretty gifts from all our showers. So we’re ready for him to get here when it comes to practical standards. I think as my body continues to struggle to keep up with his growth, I’m also feeling personally ready for his arrival. It would be really nice to walk up the stairs without feeling winded, be able to bend all the way over without taking a leg to my kidney and be able to control when I need to visit the bathroom.
Soon. It will all come very soon.
Until next time!
*I’ve partnered with Bellabeat on this post and they were kind enough to send me the Shell to try out during my pregnancy. All opinions and words are my own. For more information, visit my disclaimer page.