Welcome to month seven, the start of your last trimester. I call this the phase of nesting, constipation and birth plans. This was a time when I felt a mild panic begin to bubble to the surface of my consciousness. Not so much about having a baby, but going into labour. I knew I wanted a natural birth and the closer I got to my due date, the more terrified I became. It wasn’t really the pain that scared me, but rather not knowing exactly what would happen. What would it feel like when why water broke, how would I know when to go to the hospital, what would happen when I got there? All these questions kept me up at night. And in the midst of this mild panic, was this unexpected wonderful feeling, ah yes, nesting.
The nesting phase is kind of a mystery. No one really knows why being pregnant triggers this uncontrollable urge to organise and order your home. And whether you actually do it, or whether you just spend time on Pinterest looking at beautiful nursery’s and organised pantries, it feels really great. When I think back to my last trimester I am reminded of a yearning for order, a tidy house, packing and re-packing my hospital bag for 3 months, obsessively washing baby clothes. I am not a terribly organised person by nature, so I really loved the feeling of being seriously organised.
Part of that hyper organised state meant that I approached my birth plan with clinical precision. I sat down with my doctor and spoke about all the options. I asked so many questions and presented him with so many worst-case scenarios. I had to know that regardless of the events of the day (or days as it turned out) my baby would be well taken care of. Here are a few things to ask your doctor and hospital when plotting your birth plan:
- What is your view on induction?
- What pain relief will I be offered and what are the side effects associated with each option?
- How often will my baby be monitored during labour?
- If I need an assisted birth, which do you use: vacuum or forceps?
- Are there any risk factors which could lead me to have an emergency c-section?
While planning your birth is important, I think it’s equally important not to be too attached to your birth plan. Things happen, and plans change, and you need to be mentally prepared to be flexible on how you bring your child into this world. I really believe that there is no wrong way to give birth. Ultimately the only real plan is having a healthy mom and baby at the end of it all.
Speaking of baby, whoa, that little cherub is doing some serious growing right now and all that growth will do crazy things to your body. One of the worst third trimester symptoms (in my humble opinion) is chronic constipation. Girl, you need to find a way to manage this because walking around with a baby in your belly AND feeling constantly bloated is not fun. I found the easiest way to cope was to adjust my diet to include high fibre foods and yep, drink loads of water.